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Cooperation Laudable

Thu., Dec. 11, 1997

… And speaking of high-profile issues, the City of Spokane and the state Department of Ecology are on their way to settling a doozy.

Kathryn Kelly, a scientist hired by the city to study health effects of the waste-to-energy plant, had an affair with Phil Williams, a top city official who oversaw the plant. That cost Williams his job. Next came allegations Kelly worked as a lobbyist and friendly consultant for some hazardous waste burning projects - so friendly that project critics say she recommended some damaging data be downplayed.

This casts doubt on the reliability of her conclusions, due this month, regarding the Spokane incinerator. But City Manager Bill Pupo has ordered his staff to cooperate fully with Ecology, which in turn plans to submit Kelly’s work to scrutiny by several state scientists.

Tony Grover, Ecology’s regional director, praises the city’s cooperation. The bottom line isn’t the diverting smell of sleaze, it’s what the scientific data show about the incinerator. Grover’s agency has a duty, which it has shouldered, to go through the forthcoming data with a fine-toothed comb.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = John Webster/For the editorial board

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