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Committee Leaders Condemn EPA’s Stonewalling of GAO Enforcement Investigation

Mar 3, 2020
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) issued the following statement today after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report stating that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is refusing to share documents and information related to EPA’s enforcement program:

“The fact that EPA is stonewalling GAO’s audit of the Agency’s enforcement program is outrageous, and begs the question: what is EPA hiding?  As a federal agency, EPA has a duty to be transparent and cooperate with GAO’s review.  Concealing critical information is not how a good faith actor behaves, particularly when the review in question concerns the health and wellbeing of the American public and our environment.  Unfortunately, this stonewalling follows a troubling pattern at the EPA, including obstruction of Inspector General investigations and a backlog in complying with Freedom of Information Act requests. 

“We will call EPA in to demand answers and hold them accountable for stonewalling this important investigation into its enforcement program.”

The GAO report follows Committee leaders’ letter flagging a decline in EPA enforcement cases initiated by the Trump Administration, and requesting that GAO investigate.