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Re: E-M:/ Engineers in MDEQ's Director's office



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Enviro-Mich message from "Gloria E. Helfand" <ghelfand@umich.edu>
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As a social scientist in a School of Natural Resources and Environment,
I also don't see the necessity for an engineer in the upper ranks of an
environmental/resource agency.  All disciplines have their biases:
engineers have been accused (e.g., in the Army Corps of Engineers) of
wanting to build things as the solution to all problems; foresters of
wanting to cut down trees (though also happy to replant them, in most
cases).  Viewing environmental problems only as science problems leaves
out a very large component of the problem:  why people do what they do,
and how to stop people from doing the destructive things.  Those questions
are the topic of social science research.

Understanding the science and technology of environmental problems is
absolutely critical, and we desperately need people trained in those
areas.  We also desperately need people trained in understanding human
behavior toward the environment and ways of changing that behavior as
necessary.  And, probably highest priority, we need people at the top who
can understand both components of the issues.

> 
> >From: "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
> >Reply-To: "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
> >To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
> >Subject: E-M:/ Engineers in MDEQ's Director's office
> >Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 10:49:47 -0400 (EDT)
> >
> >-------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
> >-------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >It occurs to me that with the departure of Chad McIntosh earlier
> >this year, who was formerly Deputy Director for Programs and
> >Regulation in the MDEQ, for the very first time for as long as I
> >can remember,  there is no engineer in the highest top management team
> >of MDEQ (or the previous MDNR).   McIntosh was a chemical
> >engineer who originally started in the Air Division, went to Dow Chemical,
> >got hired as an environmental advisor in Engler's office and then
> >ended up as a Deputy Director of MDEQ.
> >
> >I may be wrong, but as long as I can remember, there has been an engineer
> >in a top deputy position in the director's office that oversaw all
> >environmental protection programs in both the previous MDNR
> >and in the MDEQ and made the executive decisions concerning
> >permits and enforcement when those decisions landed in the Director's 
> >office.
> >At least this was true of the old MDNR....
> >
> >The current occupant of the office of MDEQ deputy director for
> >programs and regulations, Art Nash, originally came from the
> >State Police Fire Marshall's office and later was in charge of the
> >storage tank division.  Nash isn't an engineer, but has a
> >masters in public administration.
> >
> >Russell Harding, as director,  is not an engineer.
> >
> >This means that right now no one in the Director's office brings the
> >judgement of
> >a registered professional engineer to complex final decisions made on 
> >permits
> >and enforcement where the director's office has self-designated
> >itself to be the decisionmakers on particular permit and enforcement 
> >matters.
> >
> >
> >
> >----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com
> >
> >Environmental Enforcement, Technical Review, Public Policy and
> >Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
> >and Community Environmental Protection
> >
> >PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
> >(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)
> >----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >
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Gloria E. Helfand				(734) 764-6529
School of Natural Resources and Environment	fax (734) 936-2195
The University of Michigan			ghelfand@umich.edu
Dana Building, 430 E. University
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1115


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