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As New Contract Talks Begin, EPA Unions Seek Employee ‘Bill Of Rights’

As they resume long-stalled contract talks with agency officials, EPA’s largest employee union is urging Administrator Andrew Wheeler to back its newly released “workers’ bill of rights,” as part of any new contract, a document that calls for “scientific integrity in EPA work,” the ability to research and address climate change and full funding.

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EPA reports highest backlog of unfunded Superfund cleanups

The backlog of 34 sites where the agency was unable to fund construction stands in contrast to top officials’ claims that quickly cleaning up sites is a priority.

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Facing Doubts, EPA Eyes Budget To Boost Alternative Testing ‘Moonshot’

EPA’s research chief is looking to the agency’s pending appropriations for fiscal year 2020 to bolster Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s “moonshot” directive to eliminate EPA’s use of animal testing by 2035 and develop a host of new alternate chemical test methods (NAM) in the face of doubts that the agency is providing sufficient funds to the effort.

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EPA Wins $200 Million Boost In Lawmakers’ FY20 Spending ‘Minibus’

House and Senate lawmakers have released consensus spending bills for the remainder of fiscal year 2020 that would raise EPA’s annual budget to $9 billion, an increase of $207 million over FY19 levels, according to a summary released by Senate Democrats.

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EIP Sees Steep State Environment Cuts, Undermining ‘Cooperative’ Effort

Environmentalists have unveiled new findings showing steep staff and funding cuts to environmental agencies in most states over the past decade, arguing this undermines Trump EPA claims that the agency’s own resource limits are not degrading environmental protection but rather shifting responsibility to the states.

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EPA, AFGE reopen contract negotiations

The two sides are committing to conclude negotiations over a new contract by April 15, but a contested contract EPA unilaterally imposed in July will remain in force until then.

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OIG Touts Budgetary Return In Year-End Congressional Report For FY19

EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) says it far exceeded its planned “return on investment” for fiscal year 2019, finding in its year-end report to Congress that the office’s investigations, audits and reviews created $314 million in benefits on a $50.3 million budget, and dozens of unimplemented recommendations could produce another $68 million.

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California lawmakers seek EPA IG inquiry over SIP dispute

EPA “appears to be using inaccurate information to unfairly punish California for political reasons,” the lawmakers say.

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States Seek To Influence EPA’s Reformulation Of RCRA Grants’ Allocation

State regulators are seeking to influence EPA’s reconfiguration of its method for allocating Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste grants, including asking the agency to phase in the funding changes, consider states’ implementation of new federal rules in determining allocations, and other recommendations.

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EPA Rejects Key GAO Calls To Bolster Climate Reviews At Superfund Sites

EPA is largely rejecting Government Accountability Office (GAO) calls to make Superfund sites less vulnerable to climate change impacts, including incorporating climate risks into its long-term strategic plan, though officials agreed to improve processes for defining sites’ boundaries and are weighing whether to reinforce existing tools and resources available to local site teams.

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