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Merck & Co., Inc.

Letter from Linda McCarthy to Robin Moran

May 5, 1997

Ms. Robin Moran
841 Chestnut Street (3AT23)
Philadelphia, PA 19107-4431

Dear Ms. Moran:

I was disturbed to learn about the proposed emissions permit EPA might approve for Merck's Elkton Plant. As one who follows these matters closely (not only do I enjoy the Shenandoah National Park, my home is in Front Royal), I must say I had no prior knowledge of this plant and what it was requesting from EPA. This suggests strongly that the public participation phase of the permit process was sorely lacking. (I am not the only Valley resident who believes this.) To be generous, I will consider it an oversight; however, I can not forgo the feeling that something is amiss here, and that EPA is trying a stealth maneuver to push this permit through without adequate public input and discussion.

Also troublesome is the notion that this will be an unlimited permit, with Merck holding total veto power over any future changes. This provision only lends credence to the belief by many that EPA and Merck are, to put it bluntly, "up to something" to the detriment of the park and the air quality of neighboring areas, such as Front Royal.

The more I think about this, the more I feel it would make a compelling topic for a "60 Minutes" or "Dateline" investigative report. For now, however, I will limit those receiving copies of this letter to my senators and congressman, all of whom have been active and concerned patrons of Shenandoah National Park.

I truly hope your office and the entire EPA carefully consider the impact of granting Merck this permit and how the "agreement" was crafted.

Sincerely yours,

Linda McCarthy
272 Oak Heights Road
Front Royal, VA 22630

cc: Hon. Charles Robb, US Senate
Hon. John Warner, US Senate
Hon. Frank Wolf, Member of Congress

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