As an analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency, I generally find your coverage of environmental issues disappointing in its focus on personalities and politics, not substance. Nonetheless your news story on the lack of media attention to the acid rain study was surprisingly candid {"Acid Rain, a Tempest in News Media Teapot?" Jan. 14}, especially Michael Weisskopf's unabashed explanation for not writing about the study.

First, he said he was on vacation when the study was released, a variant on "the dog ate my homework" excuse. Second, he said many people involved in the acid rain debate told him the report had little news value. How strange that a journalist would rely on the opinion of others as to what was newsworthy. Third, he blamed information overload: "There are enough reports on this subject to line your bookshelves," he said. I thought the job is to read reports, not decorate with them.

Finally, he wrote, "you don't have to do investigative reporting to find these reports. If they are truly important, they are promoted and put forward." This view advances a reverse Gresham's Law of Reports -- that good reports drive out bad ones. Since this one obtained no currency, it must not be any good. If nothing else, Weisskopf explained the poor quality of your coverage of environmental issues. -- John B. Chamberlin