Under questioning from Rep. Debbie Dingell in December, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt committed to keeping the EPA emissions laboratory on Plymouth Rd. open–a welcome reversal after the Trump administration proposed crippling staff cuts (“EPA in the Crosshairs,” May 2017).
Pruitt hasn’t lifted his ban on employees talking to the media, but as president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3907, Mark Coryell is exempt. “I am cautiously encouraged,” Coryell emails. But, he adds, “Pruitt and other Trump appointees to EPA have been clear about their goal to ‘deconstruct'” the agency–and with another budget vote coming up by year-end, “employees don’t yet know if they will be fully funded after the New Year.”
Pruitt wouldn’t make even a verbal guarantee about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. “I don’t think anyone is surprised by Pruitt’s lack of commitment,” emails Brad Cardinale, director of a U-M lab funded largely by GLRI. “He seems far more interested in promoting growth of certain industries and protecting polluters.
“The good news is that Congress decides whether or not to fund,” Cardinale adds–and there’s bipartisan support for the GLRI among representatives from Great Lakes states.