Issue Date: June 4, 2007
Unions Protest Cuts At EPA Labs
Unions representing scientists and engineers at EPA are calling on Congress to conduct more oversight of Bush Administration efforts to cut costs at the agency's laboratories. These efforts were revealed in March when a House panel released an internal EPA memo laying out plans to streamline and consolidate the agency's laboratories (C&EN, March 26, page 32). In a May 23 letter to four congressional committees, five unions representing EPA employees said they will support proposals to make the agency's labs more efficient and productive. They said, however, "The cuts being proposed for savings in laboratory services are deep and will likely impact the quality and quantity of work produced at U.S. EPA's laboratories." If agency leaders decide to turn over research to contractors, the independence and objectivity of EPA science could be jeopardized, the unions added. The unions want congressional hearings and an investigation by the Government Accountability Office on the planned cuts.
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