This past week, the Trump administration reportedly froze all grants and contracts the Environmental Protection Agency maintains.
Former EPA transition lead Myron Ebell defended the move as necessary, “to make sure nothing happens they don't want to have happen” regarding any regulations, hires, contracts and grants.
The freeze, as would be expected was not a popular move among environmentalists. States like Michigan, still working to abate the Flint water crisis, were concerned about the flow of federal aid.
Additionally, many contractors and affected industries were uncertain what the move may mean in the long term, with some trade groups voicing their concerns, and asking for answers.
Some acknowledge the compelling goals of lessening the burden of regulation on industry, and saving taxpayers money on duplicative rules. However the move has led to many to ask Acting EPA Administrator Catherine McCabe and White House leadership, to consider the detriment of a hard halt to contracting, and the possible costs of restarting core government functions.
In fiscal 2015, EPA had a budget of $8.1 billion and a workforce of more than 14,000, and it holds thousands of contracts to do everything from build IT systems to aid in disaster relief.
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