FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 22, 2017
Contact: Cheston McGuire
EPA Union Responds to Pruitt’s Introductory Press Conference
AFGE says they hope to have an open dialogue with the agency’s new administrator
WASHINGTON – AFGE commended newly-confirmed Administrator Scott Pruitt for opening a dialogue with frontline workers on his first day at the Environmental Protection Agency.
“I am eager to see if Administrator Pruitt stands by his commitment to seek out guidance from the people who have dedicated their life’s work to protecting America’s air and water,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “EPA workers have been made a scapegoat for many of our country’s problems, when in fact, they have only been protecting and serving the American people by keeping our water clean to drink and our air safe to breathe.”
The Trump Administration has made it clear it plans to massively scale back the work of the EPA, which would be detrimental to the environmental and economic health of communities across the country. In yesterday’s speech, Pruitt hinted that he plans to shift some of the agency’s work to state-run partners.
“Administrator Pruitt took the time to speak with long-serving working people at the EPA who have done so much to protect citizens of this country, and that is a positive first step to take as the EPA’s leader,” said AFGE Council 238 President John O’Grady. “Unfortunately, there are several inescapable realities the Administrator will soon face.”
“That includes his desire to shift more of the work we do to our state-run partners,” O’Grady added. “Right now, not only is the Agency understaffed, but so are our state partners, and any plans to hand-off control to states without addressing that will have massive implications on the work we do.”
“By continuing to have conversations with the hard-working men and women at the EPA, Administrator Pruitt will have a better understanding of what the agency does for local communities,” said Cox, adding: “Administrator Pruitt should turn around and promote these success stories to the American public so taxpayers can see how the EPA keeps our environment clean, and free of pollutants, and actually spurs – not hinders – business creation in the U.S.”
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
For the latest AFGE news and information, visit the AFGE Media Center.