Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to let you know what our congressman, Tim Holden, is doing. At home, Mr. Holden claims to be fighting for the health and safety of the people in his district. He usually has a token member of his staff attend any public meeting about the polycythemia vera cancer epidemic in Schuylkill, Luzerne and Carbon counties.

However, in Washington, D.C., Mr. Holden does the bidding of the fly ash dumpers. Mr. Holden recruited other congressmen to join him on a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In the letter, Mr. Holden asked the EPA not to issue federally enforceable regulations for the dumping of fly ash ("We strongly recommend that EPA resist calls to regulate CCB as a listed waste under the hazardous waste authorities of subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act").

Instead, Mr. Holden asked the EPA to maintain the status quo of the current patchwork of state regulations ("Instead, we urge EPA to develop non-hazardous waste controls for CCB under subtitle D of RCRA …").

You should know that Mr. Holden's position is contrary to the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The NAS has called for federally enforceable regulations to better protect the health and safety of people exposed to the hazardous and toxic chemicals in fly ash.

In my opinion, Mr. Holden's actions indicate that he is more concerned with the financial well-being of the fly ash dumpers than with the health and safety of the people in his district.

Dr. Dante Picciano

Tamaqua