Government Shutdown Halts EPA Air and Water Monitoring

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A picture shows a water treatment plant in the town of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 24, 2010. A recent easing of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip is welcome but not enough to meet the huge needs of the Palestinian enclave's 1.5 million people, a top UN official said.
National Journal
Clare Foran
Oct. 2, 2013, 12:20 p.m.

With the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment shut­down in its second day, the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency is op­er­at­ing without 94 per­cent of its staff. As a res­ult, ac­cord­ing to the Guard­i­an, air- and wa­ter-qual­ity in­spec­tions have ground to a halt — rais­ing po­ten­tial pub­lic-health con­cerns.

“No one is go­ing to be out in­spect­ing wa­ter dis­charges or wet­lands,” said John O’Grady, a uni­on rep­res­ent­at­ive at EPA’s re­gion­al of­fice in Chica­go. “Nobody is go­ing to be out in­spect­ing wastewa­ter-treat­ment plants, drink­ing-wa­ter treat­ment plants, or land­fills — noth­ing. None of that is go­ing to be done. The em­ploy­ees are ab­so­lutely dev­ast­ated.”

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