The temporary blackout of data coming from the EPA may be more than temporary, because there may be no EPA left to produce that data.
The former head of President Donald Trump's transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency says he expects the new administration to seek significant budget and staff cuts. …
Asked what he personally would like to see, Ebell replied that slashing the agency workforce by half would be a good start.
A good start—at blinding the nation to environmental damage and pollution.
Of the EPA’s 15,000 employees, two-thirds are stationed in regional and local offices where they are directly involved in monitoring conditions and working with local officials. Some of these local positions are directly mandated by laws such as the Clean Water Act. Others are associated with clean up of environmental emergencies. Many are located in tiny, remote locations with just one or two people dedicated to tasks like speeding up response time to pipeline spills and working on Superfund sites.
To cut the agency’s staffing in half, it would take elimination of all the 6,000 workers in the DC office and closure of many local offices.
Would those cuts include the one person responsible for inspecting coal ash impoundments in the whole state of North Carolina? Or perhaps the single person in each region of the country assigned to planning for hazardous material spills, pipeline failures, or major terrorist attacks. Or maybe they could go for bigger cuts, like the 59 EPA employees who work in providing environmental data to assist criminal investigations.
Wherever they find them, you can bet it will include the people responsible for researching and compiling climate change data. And for two EPA workers who monitor fracking injection wells in Oklahoma ... it may be time to update their resumes.