Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Regulation - July 18, 2017
EPA begins buyout offers for staffing cuts
Employees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will start leaving the federal government by the end of summer as the White House’s plan to cut the agency’s staff through buyouts moves forward, according to news reports.
According to an internal memo obtained by E&E News, the EPA plans to offer to buy out 1,227 positions, 655 of which are positions within the agency’s headquarters. The division hit the hardest by the cuts will be the EPA’s Office of Research and Development, which is planning to buy out about 180 positions, according to the publication
Other offices planning to offer large numbers of buyouts are the Office of Administration and Resource Management, which will offer 98 buyouts, and the Office of Land and Emergency Management, which is offering up to 94.
The planned buyout offers follow the May release of the Trump administration’s budget proposal, which called for a 31% cut to the EPA’s funding and the elimination of 3,200 of its 15,000 jobs. That revised budget also includes a 70% cut in funding to the U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
According to the publication, the EPA formally announced to employees last week that the Office of Personnel Management and U.S. Office of Management and Budget had approved a proposal to begin offering voluntary early retirements.
Employees who accept the buyout offers or early retirement option will have until Sept. 2 to leave the agency, according to the memo. E&E News also reported that some EPA employees might be eligible to apply for voluntary early retirements and voluntary separation incentive payments and have until July 26 to submit their applications.
“The aim of the agency offers is to eliminate positions the administration does not consider necessary or to reduce the pay grade of the position,” the publication reported.
A separate internal EPA document obtained by the publication suggests that 3,654 employees are eligible for voluntary early retirement, with 195 expected to take the offer.
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