Before I stop, a description of what i saw as the "battle lines " is in order.
There was the paper - which was screaming about a cover up (remember, I did not get the report till after they wrote something).
Then there were many of the "appointed officials", some were clueless or uninterested, but there was one who was willing to learn. He asked me to draw up an initial survey plan, I did.
There were the inspectors of the Health Department who were a mixed bag,. One or two were interested, most just appeared to me that it was an interruption to their daily routine. They basically responded to whoever pushed their buttons (the robot thing).
Then there was the public, also a mixed bag. Many were frightened, with good cause. Few could see beyond that (understandably). Some believed it was a big government conspiracy.
This i laugh at because while government is slow and lazy and hard to move into action and there are a few corrupt individuals, corruption and cover-up are not a normal course of action. Ignorance is a bigger issue.
My boss, the lab director, was on my side and was trying to get things done correctly, even though it was very difficult for the two of us.
The breakthrough came from the one appointed official who wanted to learn. He and his assistant (my very good friend), created lots of work for me and kept guiding the path of the investigation (many times taking from what i talked about).
His resolve to get a plan of action together and to make sure that all the information was out in the open brought most of the people in the directly affected area to a sense of relief or at least a feeling that there would be an end.
Others not directly in the area are still concerned, but that issue will be a post for Joey K on the Environment at some later time.
The final line were the politicians, who were somewhat laughable, one state representative in particular who made claim to all the actions my boss had taken to expedite results. They never learn.
The crisis is passing, but a foundation of more work needs to be done.
I will give my input, but others will do that work.