Blog Archives

The Government Shutdown’s effect on the EPA

US-EPA-Seal-EO11628

US-EPA-Seal-EO11628 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reposted from http://ieconnections.com

The shutdown of the federal government that began October 1 is affecting agencies and departments that deal with indoor environmental issues.

Now that the government has run out of money due to the failure to reach a budget agreement, federal agencies must decide which employees are “essential” and which ones can be furloughed for the duration of the budget impasse.

Ninety-four percent of the employees at the Environmental Protection Agency are being furloughed. This will suspend, for the time being, the agency’s ability to enforce its rules regarding lead-based paint, which require landlords to notify prospective tenants at rental units about potential hazards and contractors to be certified with respect to their knowledge of safe practices. Individuals should, of course, remain in compliance, as the agency will certainly reopen at some point.

But the head of the union that represents EPA employees issued a statement noting that some workers will remain on duty.

“Even today, some employees will continue to assist flood ravaged communities so that they can once again have clean, safe drinking water and fully functioning bathrooms,” the letter said. “They are helping these communities put the essentials in place so that they can begin to rebuild. But they will not have the support of their colleagues in the office, because they have been sent home to wait, wait for Congress to do its job and fund the government.” Read More

Landowners blast EPA cleanup

By Seaborn Larson, http://www.thewesternnews.com

Before Judy Lundstrom finally agreed to let the Environmental Protection Agency remove asbestos from her property, she wanted to know what her yard would look like after cleanup workers dug up the soil and removed the contaminated material.

Lundstrom, 72, said she was told by an EPA official that her yard, pasture, flower beds and garden would be “put back the same way, if not better.”

Three years later, after countless visits by EPA officials and contractors, Lundstrom said she has had enough. The asbestos has been removed, but she fears her property will never look as good as it once did.

“After they first did my lawn in 2010, I told them ‘This isn’t right. It shouldn’t be this way,'” Lundstrom said. “I’ve been going through this with (the EPA) for three years now. As far as I’m concerned they haven’t done anything right. It’s been a nightmare.” Read More

 

 

EPA cleans up lead contaminated lot in Pilsen

Environmental Protection Agency Seal

Environmental Protection Agency Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

 

By Shannon Heffernan, http://www.wbez.org

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun cleanup of brain-damaging lead contamination on the former site of Loewenthal Metals in Pilsen.

 

Jerry Mead-Lucero is an organizer with Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO). He says lead contamination of over over 400 parts per million (ppm) is a concern. On the Lowenthal site, they discovered  lead levels levels as high as 23,000 ppm.

 

“Really we were quite shocked because that was off the charts from what we’ve seen before.  And it’s very close to a school and very close to a community garden,” said Mead-Lucero.

 

Lead exposure is especially damaging to pregnant women and young children. PERRO says the EPA knew about the contamination of the soil as early as 2006, but they only responded after PERRO began to pressure them. Read More