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EPA Runs Out of Funds as Government Shutdown Drags On
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=48829"><span class="small">Miranda Green, The Hill</span></a>   
Saturday, 29 December 2018 09:30

Green writes: "A week after the government failed to agree on a final funding bill, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to follow suit and shut down."

A rally to support the EPA. (photo: AFGE)
A rally to support the EPA. (photo: AFGE)


EPA Runs Out of Funds as Government Shutdown Drags On

By Miranda Green, The Hill

29 December 18

 

week after the government failed to agree on a final funding bill, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to follow suit and shut down.

The agency, which had enough funding to remain open a week after about 25 percent of the federal government officially ran out of funding, will begin furloughing employees Friday night at midnight.

“In the event an appropriation is not passed by midnight Friday, December 28th, EPA will initiate orderly shutdown procedures,” read a message obtained by The Hill from acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to employees.

The message laid out to employees what to do if they end up furloughed. Steps included creating an out of office email message, changing their voicemail greeting, and properly completing their time card. Additionally, all travel is canceled for furloughed employees, according to the notice.

Congress adjourned over the weekend, meaning the partial government shutdown will extend into next week. Members were initially slated to return to Capitol Hill on Thursday to continue funding negotiations. However, the House announced Thursday there will be no votes this week and the Senate isn’t slated to meet for votes until Jan. 2.

The Interior and Energy departments have already shuttered due to the funding lapse.

In the past, a shutdown at the EPA meant the closure of 134 facilities across the country.

Nearly 14,000 employees would be furloughed under a shutdown, according to the EPA’s contingency plan. Only national security and emergency staff will remain on under a shutdown.

Activities that are likely to be halted in the case of a shutdown include hazardous waste cleanup efforts at Superfund sites, on-site inspections at power plants, reviews of toxic substances and pesticides, and responses to Freedom of Information Act requests.

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