According to an article in the Huffington Post, the EPA has frozen all grants and ordered staff to refrain from any outside communications to discuss or comment on the grant freeze.
The information was apparently leaked to the Huffington Post by a disgruntled “whistleblower” inside the EPA.
(In a recent blog post, I noted that “Department Heads Come & Go, But Agency Public Servants Do Not,” and speculated that agency staff would likely muck-up any efforts towards unreasonable change. Apparently this is already happening…)
Both developments are very troubling:
- “Grants” are used to pay for environmental cleanups, air and soil testing, etc. and much of those funds are issued to state environmental agencies for these purposes. Are these grant freezes temporary or permanent? Which environmental compliance programs will they negatively impact?
- Communications freeze: Essentially the order prevents EPA staff from commenting or discussing the grant freezes, and from answering any of these questions.
Until the issue is resolved, we’re left to wonder why is Trump doing this? What does it mean for the near term future of the EPA, the federal agency tasked with protecting our environment, our air quality, and our land?….