Regarding the Aug. 10 letter “Exaggerated statements” from Thomas Stith, the governor’s chief of staff: Stith suggested that state toxicologist Ken Rudo is at best an exaggerator and at worst untruthful. Stith presented an example of Rudo’s earlier disagreement with an NCSU scientist and a leaked memo during the Hunt administration, suggesting that because of this earlier controversy a pattern of unreliability had been established.
There was no mention of any disciplinary action initiated toward Rudo at that time. Stith did not disclose the fact that over Rudo’s objections and during his absence a toned-down version and a reversal of the state’s earlier position regarding the safety of well water in the vicinity of coal ash ponds was released.
Politics matters little to a homeowner whose water was deemed unsafe to drink in 2015 that has been suddenly rendered “safe” by arbitrary action. In view of the consequences that Flint, Michigan, residents have experienced from drinking lead-contaminated water, I’d prefer public servants to err on the side of caution. We know too little about hexavalent chromium and its effect on human health to put our citizens at risk because our scientific research is incomplete.