This issue of ECOLOGIA Newsletter focuses upon regulatory agencies of the United States federal government, caught between conflicting demands of public opinion. In Seabrook, New Hampshire, a federal agency is advocating a nuclear power plant against citizen opposition. In Palmerton, Pennsylvania, a different federal agency is proceeding with the clean-up of an ecologically devastated area despite the apathy or opposition of most of the residents. Taken together, these stories raise a number of questions about the role of citizen actions and governmental responsiveness to environmental concerns. To what extent, and in what situations, should governmental agencies change their policies under pressure from an active minority? In what situations should governmental agencies persevere in their policies despite lack of support by the majority of the citizens?