Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Another spy office...at the Environmental Protection Agency

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility reports the EPA has created a new, top-level position for homeland security.

On May 1, 2006, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson announced that Tom Dunne would serve as the agency’s first Associate Administrator for Homeland Security and will report directly to Johnson, who has also created a “national security and intelligence” center in the new Homeland Security Office. In addition, the Bush administration has proposed channeling $45 million of EPA research funds into a “Water Sentinel” program, to help monitor water infrastructure safety in the event of a terrorist attack.

Meanwhile, PEER says, the agency is cutting programs to keep folks safe from known health threats like industrial waste and pesticides:

In January, the EPA Office of Inspector General issued a report criticizing serious inadequacies in the agency’s ability to assess the effects of pesticides on fetuses, infants, toddlers, and youngsters. The agency claims that it lacks funding to collect data, conduct cumulative effect analyses and develop standards for determining the developmental neurotoxicity of the pesticides that EPA is approving for commercial use. Significantly, EPA is overdue in producing a plan for corrective actions that address the material weaknesses identified by the Inspector General.

All the kids in George's Washington World want their own Homeland Security center of incompetence and corruption. Why wouldn't the EPA want one, too?

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