EPA Disavows Its Own Shutdown PlanBy
The Environmental Protection Agency’s public contingency plan for a federal shutdown isn’t necessarily accurate and may not reflect its current plans, according to a well-placed source familiar with the situation.
The source? The Environmental Protection Agency itself.
With a shutdown possible starting midnight Friday, federal agencies have posted contingency plans on their website, outlining how many staff would be sent home and what functions would be curtailed. According to a 16-page document the EPA posted last month, the Environmental Protection Agency would send 95 percent of its 14,000-person workforce home, effectively shuttering offices that protect Americans’ air and water.
Then again, maybe not.
“The plan on the website is required to be put on the site as a contingency plan, but it doesn’t necessary accurately reflect what our current plans will be," Jahan Wilcox, an EPA spokesman, said in an email. "To take that plan and deduce what is actually going to happen is not accurate reporting. Our plans are in flux and we are doing what is consistent with other agencies.”
Wilcox didn’t respond to an email seeking clarification.
The Office of Management and Budget, which is responsible for ensuring that federal agencies comply with the rules surrounding a shutdown, wouldn’t immediately say how many other agencies have posted shutdown plans on their websites that shouldn’t be construed as accurate.
— With assistance by Jennifer A Dlouhy