SCIENTIST FINALLY GIVES ATRAZINE TESTIMONY HE WAS FIRED OVER

October 17, 2007

A scientist who was fired shortly after he asked permission to testify before the Minnesota legislature on Atrazine pollution of water finally had his say.

"Paul Wotzka is a hydrologist who logged 16 years monitoring water quality for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture before moving to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency last year," reports KARE-11 in Minneapolis-St. Paul. "On March 20th Wotzka took a call from Representative Ken Tschumper, a dairy farmer who advocates banning Atrazine from use in Minnesota."

Tschumper had read an article that quoted Wotzka saying Atrazine levels were up in Minnesota trout streams. Wotzka sent a request to his bosses asking permission to testify. They denied the request, and two weeks later fired him. Wotzka has now filed a whistleblower lawsuit.

The MPCA did not manage to silence Wotzka, though. State Sen. John Marty (D) invited him to testify Oct. 10 at a hearing on Atrazine and scientific integrity.