The gov­ern­ment’s un­sung he­roes

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

The ex­cel­lent obit­u­ary for Harold Den­ton should be read as a re­minder of the ded­i­ca­tion and com­pe­tence that char­ac­ter­ize hun­dreds, prob­a­bly thou­sands, of fed­eral gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees [“Nu­clear reg­u­la­tor helped calm fears at Three Mile Is­land,” Metro, Feb. 22]. Mr. Den­ton was very spe­cial in his com­bi­na­tion of quiet yet deep com­pe­tence and ded­i­ca­tion to his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in serv­ing the pub­lic, along with pos­sess­ing a dis­arm­ingly downto-earth de­meanor.

Fed­eral em­ploy­ees who carry out the reg­u­la­tory di­rec­tions of Congress to the very best of their abil­i­ties are al­ways un­der fire for reg­u­la­tory over­reach, par­tic­u­larly un­der the present ad­min­is­tra­tion. Mr. Den­ton had been sub­ject to that type of crit­i­cism. But he was rec­og­nized as a hero when he su­perbly con­trolled the po­ten­tial dis­as­ter at the Three Mile Is­land nu­clear power plant in 1979.

Let us not for­get that there are many un­sung he­roes in the agen­cies of our fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

Ken­neth C. Rogers, Gaithers­burg The writer was a com­mis­sioner at the U.S. Nu­clear

Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion from 1987 to 1997.

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