Green: ‘Poo-poo heads’ won’t drive her out

Toxicologist resigned from EPA and then reconsidered.

Laura Green says she decided to stay as a special government employee with the EPA.

Laura Green, Ph.D., the toxicologist disavowed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for downplaying the risks of per- and poly-fluoralykyl substances (PFAS), resigned from her special government employee (SGE) position with the agency on Thursday. 

Then she took it back.

At least two publications, including Greenwire Environmental & Energy News, which first reported EPA’s concerns with Green’s comments with regard to PFAS and synthetic turf fields like the one proposed at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, are reporting Green resigned. But that’s already old news.

Green provided her email exchange with the EPA. She sent an email Thursday morning addressed to EPA employee Tamue Gibson: “I’m very sorry to say that, by this email, I hereby resign from my appointment as an EPA SGE. I have enjoyed working with you over the years, and wish you the very best.”

Later that morning, Green received an email from Steve M. Knott, branch chief (supervisory chemist), peer review and ethics branch, asking Green to reconsider. “We are looking into the events of this week to determine what additional information we can provide to you. We hope to have a follow-up call with you very soon,” Knott wrote. “In the interim, we will honor your request to resign from your SGE appointment effective today. However, we wanted to check whether you would like to withdraw your resignation until we have a chance to talk.”

That was followed up by an email from Green withdrawing the resignation. “In deference to, and respect of, you and Tamue, I would like to hereby withdraw my resignation as an SGE,” Green wrote. “I continue to hope that you can get to the bottom of how and why I have been ‘disavowed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency’ …” 

Green then linked to the story posted Thursday by The Times. She asked Knott to set up a Zoom call “to tell me what went wrong, and how we can collectively avoid this unpleasantness going forward.”

The Times asked the EPA about Green’s status, and received a cryptic response: “We don’t have a comment at this time.”

So what changed in just a few hours? In a conversation with The Times, Green said she was intent on resigning, but two things changed. “I thought, Fine, I’ll reconsider. As you might imagine, I don’t want to be defamed any more than I’ve already been defamed. It’s not worth it. I don’t care. I’d like to become a private figure again, and take my stuff out of the limelight,” she told The Times.

But ultimately Green attributed her change of heart to a conversation with her daughter and a comment by her 5-year-old grandson, who referred to the writers of the Greenwire report as “poo-poo heads.”

“They are poo-poo heads. I’m not going to resign,” Green said. “Why would I let two poo-poo heads make me leave an agency that I love working for?”

Asked about the support she has received from school officials and field proponents in the wake of the story, Green said she’s grateful for the support, but remains upset at being in the spotlight. “I’m disheartened by being the subject of a story. I just want all this b_______ to go away,” she said. “Yes, it’s nice that people have come to respect the fact that I know what I’m talking about. It’s nice that I’ve made friends on the Island.”

What’s not nice is the attention is being taken away from the field conditions at the high school.

“If I may say, the real story was told by students over months and months at these [Martha’s Vineyard Commission] meetings,” Green said. “These teenagers who said exactly what’s needed to be said: ‘The grownups aren’t doing us any favors. They should either vote for all grass or synthetic fields … The grownups are not acting like grownups’.”

She added that she believes democracy is being subverted. “The MVC voted 10-6, and that should have been the end of it,” Green said. 

While the debate continues, the track and field are in bad shape. “I am disgusted. If I lived on Martha’s Vineyard, I would leave. If I had student athletes … I would move off-Island. I’m just disgusted.”

She didn’t stop there. “Why is Martha’s Vineyard so unwilling to just end it? Just do something. It’s disgusting to me,” she said. “It’s not like this booster club is trying to site a nuclear power plant. It’s a goddamned playing field. Grownups continue to put athletes’ interests below their own interests.”


  1. As I read it, Green’s 5-year old grandson was referring to people whom he believed were being mean to his grandmother, and using language that made sense to him.
    Nothing wrong with that.
    If you think otherwise, perhaps you do not have grandchildren.

    • I was not disparaging her grandson, my issue with her was quoting him as she did, that was unprofessional. FYI Steve due to cancer I was unable to have children. Your final sentence is hurtful.

      • Again. You called into question the credibility of a scholar because she quoted her grandchild. Do you even hear yourself. You fell victim to a clickbait title. Your cancer is unfortunate. What is not unfortunate is the science that kept you on this planet. Maybe go back and read the tetra tech report. It is science and not from Dr. Green. Always convenient when people cherry pick what they want to hear. I suppose you want to discredit the testing or the people who delivered the report as well? Tested, resulted and provided to the public for consumption.

  2. Susan,

    Do you have an advanced degree from MIT?

    Are you a supposed human? What credibility do you bring to your statements?

      • Her opinions are just that, opinions. In my opinion, she chooses to ignore the results of the testing that I would hope guide an opinion. Clearly not the case. Everyone has an opinion. If I have an opinion the earth is flat do I get to attack the scientists that have provided the ample evidence to support their position? I guess with your logic I have credibility because it is my opinion and all others should rely on my statements. I suppose we should ignore the feedback from the grass expert from Weston as well. Pretty sure he told the MVC that with the allowed amount of nitrogen and the number of fields we have that we could not provide the appropriate field rest periods or nutrients to adequately expect good fields. He must have no credibility because Susan has an opinion.

  3. I think this cheerleader for the plastic playing fields speaks volumes for why we should support a natural alternative.

    • The natural alternative requires unnatural chemicals to make the playing surface usable more than a few times a year.
      If the the players did not use cleats you might get 4-6 games a year.
      Or eliminated blocking and tackling.

      • “The natural alternative requires unnatural chemicals to make the playing surface usable more than a few times a year.”

        This is NOT the evidence supplied by the Field Fund and *their* expert on modern grass fields. Some folks here seem to think that Green was the only expert providing expert opinion to the MVC.

        As for “poo poo heads,” where in the world did a *professional* such as Dr. Green get the idea of using baby talk to explain her decisions?

  4. I don’t believe that Ms. Desmarais and I have ever met or spoken. I do not know why she disagrees with me on the issue of whether one synthetic turf field, among five natural grass fields, is or is not suitable as part of the solution to the MVRHS school fields problem, but of course I respect her right to have her opinion. I do not question her motives or integrity, and am sorry that she questions mine. I hope that she comes to believe, as I have, that we should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.

  5. In 2018, 9 year old Milo Cress stunned the world by figuring out that the U.S threw away about 500 million plastic straws a day.
    Conservative heads exploded over the idea that a 9 year old should have any sway in a debate among “adults”, and mocked the liberals on this very site for being influencing by him during the debate about banning plastic straws on island.
    Now we have a 5 year old influencing who has the ability to sway a decision as to whether or not we expose ourselves and our children and their descendants to potentially toxic chemicals with unknown health consequences for decades or centuries.
    While I understand that a five year old using a term like “poo poo heads” will carry a lot of weight with some people, it is not a scientific term. Nor does it qualify as a credible reason to overlook whether a person is qualified to give a reasonable unbiased opinion on a project where there may be a conflict of interest , or at least the appearance of a conflict of interest.
    Now, I don’t yet have enough information about Ms. Green to trust whether her opinion is heartfelt or not. One thing that would help me make an informed decision would be if we could follow the money. Why is that being difficult to figure out ? It should be simple and transparent– She sent someone a bill, and someone paid it. At least some of it with taxpayer money.
    But regardless of my opinion about Ms. Green, I will admit that I have a serious bias against the idea of putting tons of plastic over our sports fields that WILL degrade over time, WILL put toxic chemicals into our environment, WILL kill the existing living grasses and the billions of living organisms that live in that field , and WILL NOT be recycled , just like the other 95 % of plastic that does not get recycled . And no one can guaranteed me that the bacteria, annelids and various bugs that will ingest this stuff will not be eaten by birds , which will spread these PFAS all over the island, including my own organic garden.
    I could not care less about Ms. Greens credentials. We already know this “poo poo” will leach chemicals into our environment which will be here forever. They call these
    “forever chemicals” for a reason.

    • Dear Don,
      Out of the mouths of babes……..
      How toxic are the chemicals necessary to maintain a “natural grass” football field for 40 games a year?
      The lack of plastic recycling is a lack of political will.

      • Albert–You start with the premise that we need toxic chemicals to grow grass.
        I do not think that is a given.
        Grass has been growing for millions of years with just water and dirt.
        So, my short answer to your question is that your question is moot.

        What have they been doing for the last 70 years ?
        Why, just because some snake oil salesperson comes along and claims that we “need” a plastic football field, do we need a plastic football field ?

    • Martha– you are correct. We all know that “poo” is a great fertilizer– “poo poo” is even better . There seems to be quite a bit of both flying around here lately.
      Perhaps if the commission started holding their meetings on these fields, they would be completely fertilized for the next few years.

  6. It does not make sense to worry about this situation.If you want to scare yourself,friends and family make a list about whats buried in our capped dump mountains…WOW…real proven killer stuff AND super close to the water table in VH! Need a good cause to jump on try SEWER PIPING the island and save our drinking water ponds,lagoons etc DONT LAUGH!! Every happy summer resident gives us a quarter pound present dailey x100.000=25000 pounds a dayX 100 days=2,500000 pounds in100 days AND that is before we add in beer water and medicine WOW SEASONS GREETINGS

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