(WASHINGTON)-The American Federation of Government Employees National Council 238 of EPA Locals will be host its annual congressional breakfast on Tuesday, July 20, as an opportunity to hear from key lawmakers, as well update them on issues important to Council members and the American people. The breakfast will be held from 8:30-10:30 a.m. in the Senate Visitor's Center, 203-202.
At the breakfast, Council 238 will thank members of Congress for their ongoing efforts to bring EPA back to its original mission of safeguarding human health and protecting the environment by ensuring adequate funding. However, the Council will urge quick action from Congress to ensure EPA hires more environmental engineers, scientists and specialists and properly accounts for its staffing levels through workload and workforce analyses. The Council additionally will encourage Congress to task the Government Accountability Office to study EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office, in particular GLNPO's planning, implementation and management of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
"We thank Congress for its decisive action in increasing EPA's budget from $7.6 billion in FY2009 to $10.5 billion for FY2010," Council President Chuck Orzehoskie said. "That being said, we urge Congress to continue to increase EPA's funding and staffing, particularly in light of recent environmental disasters like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now is not the time for EPA to ease up on enforcement or oversight of environmental programs."
"AFGE Council 238 and EPA's expert staff want nothing more than to tackle the environmental challenges impacting the world today and to contribute in every way possible, but need the resources to do so," said Tom Link, Council 238 secretary and executive vice president of AFGE Local 3347 (EPA Research Triangle Park). "We are looking for Congress to conduct oversight of the agency's workload and workforce staffing analyses to ensure we have the necessary means to get the job done."
"After our Congressional breakfast, we will be meeting with EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe to continue building our relationship with EPA management, as well as to emphasize our mutual commitment to ensure that EPA remains on track to rebuild what has been lost in the previous Administration," Orzehoskie added. "EPA must staff up now and maintain robust budgets in order to ensure that our children's children have clean air, land and water, and that the health and safety of our fellow citizens is protected?"