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EPA unions quit management cooperation pact

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  • LForouhi
    ... ignored jointly developed principlesof scientific integrity "whenever political direction from other federalentities or private sector interests so
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2008
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      This article was sent to you by someone who found it on SFGate.
      The original article can be found on SFGate.com here:
      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/03/04/MNI6VCQ48.DTL
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      EPA Unions Quit Management Cooperation Pact
      Tuesday, March 4, 2008 (SF Chronicle)
      Erica Werner, Associated Press
      (03-04) 04:00 PST Washington - --

      Unionized EPA workers are withdrawing from a cooperation agreement with
      the political appointees who supervise them because of controversies
      including the agency's refusal to let California regulate greenhouse gas
      emissions from cars and trucks.

      Nineteen union local presidents representing more than 10,000
      Environmental Protection Agency employees signed a letter to Administrator
      Stephen Johnson on Friday accusing him of "abuses of our good nature and
      trust."

      Under Johnson's leadership, EPA has ignored jointly developed principles
      of scientific integrity "whenever political direction from other federal
      entities or private sector interests so direct," the unions charged.
      Asked for comment, EPA spokesman Jonathan Shradar said only: "As a 27-year
      career EPA scientist, the administrator values the expertise and advice of
      his staff and will do so through his time in leadership."

      The letter cited the California greenhouse gas waiver denial and several
      other issues, including mercury emissions from power plants. The Bush
      administration recently lost a court case for not sufficiently weighing
      the health impact of its proposal for reducing mercury pollution.
      "EPA boasts of the principles of scientific integrity before the Congress
      and the public as an example of EPA's dedication to using only good
      science in its decision-making, but refuses to agree to an adjudication
      process for resolving disputes arising from alleged violations," says the
      letter, released Monday by Public Employees for Environmental
      Responsibility.

      The union locals involved represent the vast majority of EPA workers
      around the country. Signers included William Evans, president of the EPA
      headquarters chapter of the National Treasury Employees Union.
      Evans said that the purpose of the Clinton-era National Labor-Management
      Partnership Council was for senior agency officials and workers to deal
      with workplace and other issues before the decision stage.
      Instead, "what we found is decisions are being made, and they're being
      presented to us," said Evans.

      The union leaders told Johnson they would be suspending involvement in the
      partnership council "until we receive from you a clear commitment and
      specific direction."

      The move follows a letter by a smaller group of union officers in January
      protesting Johnson's December decision on the California waiver.
      The Clean Air Act gives California special authority to regulate vehicle
      pollution because the state began such regulations before the federal
      government. But a federal waiver is required. The EPA has been sued by
      California, more than a dozen other states and a coalition of
      environmental groups over the denial of the waiver.
      Johnson had argued that a nationwide approach would be better and said it
      would be provided by a new law raising fuel economy standards. California
      officials argued that California's law would be stronger and act faster.

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      Copyright 2008 SF Chronicle


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