NYT Runs EPA Photos of Enviro-Criminals, Not FBI Ones

Reporter Cornelia Dean's Monday story on a publicity program by the Environmental Protection Agency designed to track down environmental criminals, "A List of the Most Wanted, by the EPA," included thumbnail photosshowing EPA "wanted" posters of three of the perps.



Albania Deleon started a business eight years ago to instruct and certify workers in the safe removal of asbestos. It was a growth industry, and pretty soon her company, Environmental Compliance Training in Methuen, Mass., was the largest in the state.


Some might say Ms. Deleon, who was born in the Dominican Republic and is a naturalized citizen, was living the American dream.


But not the Environmental Protection Agency, which on Thursday added her to its list of "E.P.A. Fugitives," people who have been charged with violating environmental laws or regulations.


In Ms. Deleon's case, the environmental agency says that hundreds of the people she certified never received any asbestos training. She was convicted in November of 28 counts of fraud, and became eligible for the wanted list when she failed to appear for a sentencing hearing on March 23.


At the end, Dean encouraged people to turn in the enviro-criminals to the proper authorities:


The environmental agency asks people who think they have spotted one of the fugitives to complete a brief online form, notify the local police or, if they are abroad, tell the nearest United States Embassy.


It's instructive that the suddenly tough-on-crime Times felt comfortable running "wanted posters" from a politically correct agency like the EPA, even though most of these "criminals" are no threat to anyone, unless violating the Clean Water Act makes you a dangerous perp.


Yet in August 2007, the Times ran an article approving of the decision by another newspaper, the Seattle Times, not to run photos released by the Seattle branch of the FBI of two foreign-looking men that had been seen behaving oddly on a ferry boat, fearing possible "racial profiling." The New York Times didn't run the photos either, not even as part of the news story. (The men later visited a U.S. embassy and were found to have legitimate reasons for being in the United States.)