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July 3, 2000
by Ted Mooney
I gave up smoking 20 years ago and get asthmatic around tobacco smoke, so I'm as happy as anyone to see the increasing restrictions on smoking.
But we non-smokers have to be honest enough to admit that at least a little bit of the pleasure of a smoke-free environment comes from the perverse fun of imposing an inconvenience upon smokers. This is apparent on its face and I won't waste my breath arguing with those who would deny it.
Now that the smoke has cleared on the recent "your-treatment-system-is-a-nitrate-factory" issue, it's time for similar honesty.
Frank Altmayer's "Advice & Counsel" in this month's Plating & Surface Finishing explains how to perform these worthless and silly nitrate "calculations". It is apparent on its face that one of their purposes is to afford the environmentalists and the EPA the perverse fun of imposing a hardship upon business, and I won't waste my breath arguing with those who would deny it.
The EPA is currently facing a crisis in confidence over the MTBE disaster they mandated. Now is the time for the EPA to be asking for help and understanding from the nation's engineers. It is most certainly not the time for the EPA to be demanding that engineers perform makework "calculations" that are an embarrassment to us, which achieve little but harassment of our clients, and which breed despair for the EPA's ability to undertake any effort--such as MTBE remediation--that requires science.
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