[ RadSafe ] Re: Radiation Hormesis

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon Dec 31 11:03:31 CST 2007

I do not agree with the idea that public comment is useless.  I
certainly agree that only a tiny portion of the public comments, but as
long as at least some of that public is knowledgeable about the topic,
and as long as the people seeking the comments are willing to listen
(both points that I grant are not always true), comments can have an
effect.  I can think of three cases in which I submitted comments on
drafts or proposals in which I pointed out flaws or logical fallacies,
and the final version was changed.  In one case the changes probably
prevented millions of dollars of testing and regulation for something
that, when you stepped back and looked at it, was not a viable pathway
(I pointed out that for radioactive material in sewage sludge there was
no worker ingestion pathway, as the workers take great care to never get
it in their mouths, and if they do not to swallow, and certainly not to
have it happen on an ongoing basis, and if they did the rad wouldn't be
in the top ten of problems that needed to be addressed).  

I am not claiming that these changes were made on my input alone (though
in one case the wording in the final was closer to my comment than it
was to the wording in the draft), but I do believe that in many cases
comments are taken seriously and can make a difference.  

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Steven Dapra
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2007 5:52 PM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Re: Radiation Hormesis

Dec. 28

         Public comment is a de facto fraud and hoax.  It's an
opportunity for a minute portion of the public to blow off steam, or to
think it may have some salutary influence, while the regulators, etc.,
go right ahead and do what they planned to do all along.  Besides, who
has the time to read that dry-as-dust legalese (in what --- six point
type?) and decipher what the writers are trying to say, let alone
compose a response or a suggestion.

Steven Dapra

At 02:22 PM 12/28/07 -0800, John Jacobus wrote:
>   You are quite right.  I would say that regulartory agencies do write

>and enforce regulations that implement the laws.  But regulations have 
>to  be posted in the Federal Register for a commentary period for 
>public  review, so I doubt they do it every day.  My impression is that

>public  comments seldom have an impact during the process.
>"Syd H. Levine" <syd.levine at mindspring.com> wrote:
>   But EPA DOES write law. They do it every day! The legislators have 
>delegated the vast majority of regulatory duties to administrative 
>agencies like EPA. Historically, this goes back to the original 
>railroad regulatory scheme in the very late 1800s, but has become a 
>true monster since 1970 when Nixon gave us the EPA.
>Congress merely says regulate some particular activity, and EPA is 
>charged with developing the administrative law to accomplish same. 
>Worse yet, if the agency decides you have violated some provision of 
>this voluminous administrative law, you get the dubious honor of having

>the matter adjudicated before an "administrative law judge", generally 
>an employee of the agency that promulgated the regulation to begin 
>with. If you ever do get to see a "real" judge, deference will be given

>to the agency ( a nice way of saying what you say will not matter).
>Pity is not what EPA deserves, I fear.
>Syd H. Levine
>AnaLog Services, Inc.
>Phone: (270) 276-5671
>Telefax: (270) 276-5588
>E-mail: analog at logwell.com
>Web URL: www.logwell.com

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