Union group launches initiative to ‘save the EPA’

 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency research vessel Lake Guardian transits through Lake Michigan. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency research vessel Lake Guardian transits through Lake Michigan. United States Coast Guard

A group of Environmental Protection Agency union employees launched a public awareness campaign Friday to call attention to the effects proposed budget cuts would have on the agency.

The American Federation of Government Employees’ Local 704, which represents bargaining unit employees at an EPA regional office in Chicago, including the Great Lakes National Program Office, launched a website, www.SaveTheEPA.org, which highlight environmental campaign issues and congressional proposals targeting EPA programs.

“What is the point of cutting EPA’s budget today to reduce the federal deficit if the end result is more illness and death due to a short-sighted focus on costs with no consideration of the benefits of spending?” Local 704 President John O’Grady said in a statement Friday.

The group’s website highlights “pending environmental problems” such as fracking and mountain mining, provides information about the agency’s strategic plans and budget requests, and outlines threats to its mission.

EPA is facing its third year of budget cuts. The Obama administration’s $8.3 billion budget request for fiscal 2013 is down 1.2 percent from fiscal 2012 levels. The current budget request is comparable to spending levels for the agency in the last years of the Bush administration. Obama proposed a 26 percent increase in EPA’s budget when taking office in 2009.

The website also mentions several riders included in the budget request that target EPA initiatives regarding clean drinking water, Great Lakes restoration, and mercury and air toxicity standards for power plants.

“EPA is being assaulted by special interests that want to reduce government to the size where it can be dragged into the bathroom and drowned in the bathtub,” O’Grady said. “What is the point of cutting EPA’s budget today to reduce the federal deficit if the end result is more illness and death due to a short-sighted focus on costs with no consideration of the benefits of spending?”

The group described as “ironic” calls to cut EPA’s Smart Growth Program and its Community Action for a Renewed Environment, which provides grants to help local and state governments reduce citizens’ exposure to toxic pollutants. “Tea party folks believe that eliminating federal authorities and cutting funding for federal programs gets the government out of the business of state and local communities,” the website says. “What they fail to see is that the EPA CARE program does just that.”

The site also includes information for visitors about contacting their local lawmakers and includes links to resources about environmental standards in their own neighborhoods.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.