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Merck & Co., Inc.

Letter from Marie B. Pettit to Robin Moran

116 Wayside Drive
Bridgewater VA 22812

May 12, 1997

Ms. Robin Moran
U.S. EPA Region III
Air, Radiation & Toxin Division
841 Chestnut St. (3AT23)
Philadelphia PA 19107-4431

Dear Ms. Moran:

I have lived in the Shenandoah Valley for 26 years and am personally aware of the serious problems with the air quality in Shenandoah National Park. Visibility has drastically decreased since I first visited the Park in 1971.

I am supportive of Merck's plan to reduce emissions from its Elkton plant. However, there are problems with the proposed permit from EPA. Public participation is minimized in the permit review process. Full public participation is supposed to be a major component of the Project XL program. This is unfortunate for future evidence of emissions affecting Shenandoah National Park may not be addressed or ignored.

I do not think Merck should be given veto power over any changes that may be proposed. With veto power and an unlimited term, Merck will be given control over the permitting process and can ignore evidence of harmful effects on the Park resources and air quality.

I urge the EPA to require greater public involvement in the review process; put a term limit on the permit. A 10-15 year initial term limit would be appropriate; and remove Merck's veto authority over proposed permit changes.



Ms. Marie B. Pettit


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