Dear editor,

Thank you, Dan Stewart, for your eloquent letter (“No taxpayer bailout for corporate river killers,” Feb. 16 Press Gazette), reminding us of our "red, hazy pollution filled sunsets and toxic rivers" before the EPA and DEP forced local industries to clean up their operations. 

Back then, I saw the degradation of our environment from a different vantage point.

As a Navy flight instructor at NAS Whiting Field in Milton in the early 1970s, my job was to teach fledgling aviators the important skill of formation flying. We were supposed to operate below 10,000 feet and we required a clear horizon.

Those conditions often contradicted each other, however.

On many "clear" days, without a single cloud in the sky, we had to climb to 12, 14 or 16 thousand feet to obtain that clear horizon, due to air pollution.

Fortunately, by the late ’70s, after EPA clean air regulations took effect, that problem literally cleared up. We no longer looked down on air pollution spewing from industrial sites in Pensacola, Cantonment and Brewton.

We got our horizon back. Thanks primarily to the EPA and DEP.

Everyone who likes eating local oysters and fish, wants to drink and swim in unpolluted water, and view clear horizons should resist current efforts by the Trump administration and Congressman Gaetz to "make America toxic again."

 

ROB JOHNSTONE

Milton