Thursday, December 07, 2006

EPA Vets Staff Objections

Even in these last few weeks of Republican congressional control, politics still trumps actual need. Despite the coming transition, the games are still being played.

The EPA is at it again.

In a previous post, I wrote about the destruction by the EPA of its own libraries. Now, those in charge are attempting to undercut any wetlands permits objections by agency staff.

ENS Link

WASHINGTON, DC, December 6, 2006 (ENS) - Under a new screening procedure, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires prior approval from EPA Headquarters for any objections agency staff may contemplate filing against wetlands destruction permits.

The order is contained in a October 30, 2006 Memorandum for the Field signed by EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin Grumbles.

The discosure was made by PEER, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. PEER was involved with the disclosure of the prior library destruction. PEER is an association of employees in various natural resources agencies.

And the reason is apparently that all speak in the unified language of the Bush administration. (Read, If it's good for big business, it's just plain good!)

The rationale for this new policy is to "ensure consistency with national program regulations, policies, and goals," Grumbles states in the directive.

Yes, let's not let those nasty environmental concerns get in the way of the interests of big business.

Here's another view.

"The aim and effect of this policy is to stifle EPA’s own staff from protecting wetlands," said New England PEER Director Kyla Bennett, a biologist and lawyer formerly with the EPA’s wetland program.

"This new policy puts the final decision in the hands of officials who have never seen the land in question and whose principal interest is political rather than environmental," said Bennett.

Well said. More at the PEER link above.


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