“Right now we are in a holding pattern. The new EPA administration has asked that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately. Until we receive further clarification, this includes task orders and work assignments.” -EPA Contracting Officer
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a freeze on all grants and contracts after actions taken by the Trump administration Monday as reported by propublica.org. The freeze could threatens to disrupt core operations including everything from toxic cleanup to water quality testing.
The EPA often hires third parties for services ranging from hazardous waste handling to drinking water quality testing. There are more than 600 active contracts currently which will all be effected by the payment freeze.
Myron Ebell oversaw the EPA transition for the incoming administration. He had this to say about the freeze:
“They’re trying to freeze things to make sure nothing happens they don’t want to have happen, so any regulations going forward, contracts, grants, hires, they want to make sure to look at them first. This may be a little wider than some previous administrations, but it’s very similar to what others have done. ”
The freeze comes amid an already controversial transition of the EPA head, with President Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt meeting much opposition during confirmation meetings. Pruitt is widely known for deep ties within the fossil fuel industry.
[image from desmogblog.com]