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Environment

EPA Memo Told Employees Not to Talk to Own Inspector General

Better PlanetBy Benjamin NugentJuly 29, 2008 1:47 AM

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The Associated Press just published an internal memo the EPA's chief of staff sent to managers telling them to not let staffers cooperate with the agency's own inspector general but forward the info requests to him. In addition to the inspector general, employees aren't supposed to talk to congressional investigators (!) or reporters (no "!").

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Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) pounced immediately today, saying the memo shows that the EPA's administration have been turning the agency into "a secretive, dangerous ally of polluters, instead of a leader in the effort to protect the health and safety of the American people." The Office of the Inspector General also made a statement today, saying, basically, what the f--k, dude, you're supposed to be on my team and this is my job: "All EPA officials and employees are required to cooperate with OIG. This cooperation includes providing the OIG full and unrestricted access to EPA documents, records, and personnel." The managers who were sent the e-mail were in the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, which means they're the guys in charge of making sure pollution laws are obeyed. So basically the legal compliance people were being told not to comply with the inspector general. Which proves once and for all that these days the EPA is The Office.

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