EPA Officials Exposed Whistleblowers Three Minutes After Receiving Confidential Complaint
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Intercept
Posted: July 11th, 2022
Within minutes of receiving a complaint from four Environmental Protection Agency whistleblowers in late June, an agency official shared the document with six EPA staffers, including at least one who was named in it, according to records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The records — more than 1,000 pages of internal emails — also show that within 24 hours EPA officials sent the whistleblowers’ complaint to other staff members who had been named in it. Two days later, the named employees met to discuss it. The scientists’ disclosure laid out allegations of corruption within the EPA’s New Chemicals Division and provided detailed evidence that managers and high-level agency officials had deliberately tampered with numerous chemical assessments, sometimes deleting hazards from them and altering their conclusions. The four scientists who worked in the division decided to speak up about the behavior they had witnessed because they feared it could have public health consequences. And they hoped that by carefully documenting and making public their allegations they would spark a thorough investigation and bring an end to the problems. While the sharing of the disclosure widely within the agency was not a violation of law, several experts in the handling of whistleblower complaints said it was troubling. “Sending it around to everybody who’s mentioned in it, that’s insane,” said Adam Arnold ... at the Government Accountability Project.
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