Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt attends a Cabinet meeting with President Donald Trump, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

EPA Cleaning Up Bloat in Department Left By Obama Administration

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s new administrator is cleaning house. It was announced today that the agency’s workforce will shrink to Reagan-era levels:

The EPA employs about 15,000 people.

After buyouts and retirements, that number could drop to 14,428 by October, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said in an email.

 That would be below the fiscal 1988 level, when EPA staffing was 14,440, the official noted. A further 2,998 employees, or just over 20 percent of the total, are eligible to retire now, the official said.

It has been reported that 400 people have left the EPA since August 31, 2017. Earlier this year, President Trump recommended a 31% cut in funding for the agency. Here’s more from WSJ:

The voluntary buyouts were offered in June to more than 1,200 workers. Almost a third of those eligible took the buyout and, coupled with a dozen retirements on Aug. 31, the agency trimmed its staff by about 2.5% in less than a week. Several dozen more workers could retire or opt to take the buyout later this month, which would cut EPA’s total number of employees to almost 14,400 workers, the lowest since 1988. Two years ago it had more than 15,500 employees nationwide.

“We’re giving long-serving, hardworking employees the opportunity to retire early,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement. “We’re proud to report that we’re reducing the size of government, protecting taxpayer dollars and staying true to our core mission of protecting the environment and American jobs.”

Pruitt has rolled back many of the egregious Obama era policies that hurt businesses and had little-to-no effect in improving the environment. Moreover, the new EPA administrator was instrumental in convincing President Trump to pull out of the unenforceable Paris Climate Accords.

Despite being lambasted by critics, Scott Pruitt is doing a great job cleaning up the mess left by his predecessor, Gina McCarthy. As I wrote here a few weeks back, even the Denver Post offered praise for Pruitt for his response to help compensate victims affected by the 2015 Gold Mine spill in Colorado:

The EPA employees who triggered the Gold King deluge were trying to help. They were working on privately owned property to help clean up historic contamination from decades of mining operations. Opening up the EPA for lawsuits in such situations sets a dangerous precedent.

But sometimes the government’s negligence is so egregious that hiding behind sovereign immunity — as the EPA did under President Barack Obama — becomes shameful.

A lot of people are giving Pruitt flack and not the benefit of the doubt. Let’s hope he can continue to reform the agency.

About the author

Gabriella Hoffman

Gabriella Hoffman is a media strategist based in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. She has written for The Resurgent since March 2016 and serves as their D.C. Correspondent.

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