In spite of the importance of the Environmental Protection Agency, which protects our clean water, clean air and the public’s health, the current administration is putting its survival at risk by a continued deliberate decrease of its workforce.

Not publicized but behind the scenes, the administration is making it more difficult for many federal workers at the EPA to continue to work. Although EPA workers are unionized, the administration is imposing unilateral directives on them, upending many of their ability to afford to continue working for our environment.

One of the new directives practically eliminates telecommunicating, so important to a workforce where often housing expenses drive many to the outskirts of the cities where the offices are located. This, despite the fact that in 2017, the Office of the Inspector General concluded EPA was operating “smoothly and consistently” even though many telecommute. Along with reducing the EPA’s own environmental footprint, teleworking has enabled a dedicated, talented workforce to continue working at the EPA even though the salaries prohibit living near their jobs.

Such directives will force many to leave the agency, which is already working at bare bones. With the new fires, storms, floods, etc., workers are already being pulled from important work activities to help deal with environmental problems left by the disasters.

The new directives will force many talented, devoted workers to leave the EPA, the agency so important to the health and welfare of our nation. By eroding the workforce, the administration is surreptitiously threatening EPA’s very survival.

Norma Dreyfus


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