James Mahoney, newly appointed head of the Reagan administration's National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP), got a writing assignment last week from Rep. James Scheuer (D-N.Y.) , a subcommittee chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (SST).

At a hearing on April 27, 1988, Mahoney agreed to Scheuer's request that he rewrite by Labor Day the executive summary o f an interim report o n NAPAP's progress that was submitted to Congress during September 1987. The summary, written by Mahoney's predecessor, J. Laurence Kulp, was immediately criticized by scientists, legislators, and environmental groups as a distortion of facts and a whitewash of the scientific conclusions of the interim report. Kulp resigned within a week of the summary's release.