I was disappointed and disheartened on so many levels after reading the Sept. 6 The Energy 202 column, "EPA, in blasting a news story, takes a page from Trump's media playbook" [PowerPost]. The column described what happened after the Associated Press published an article saying Environmental Protection Agency officials had not arrived on the scene of Houston-area Superfund sites while they were still flooded. The EPA press office responded with a personal attack on the AP reporter.
I was a manager in the EPA office that is responsible for the Superfund program and a 30-year federal employee serving under Republican and Democratic administrations. I have never seen the likes of this administration, particularly the way EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will do and say anything to weaken the agency's credibility. The Superfund program that I know would have identified at-risk sites in advance and established a monitoring protocol with responsible entities, often contractors, on call. Real-time information would come to EPA's emergency operations center, with reports made up the EPA chain and to the press office.
That the press office seemed incapable of providing helpful information shows how deep the cancer of Mr. Pruitt's disdain has spread — even the people responsible for working with the media now turn against it and ignore the good story of the agency's preparation and response. This news is heartbreaking for former agency staff.
Phyllis Anderson, Chevy Chase