Patterico's Pontifications


The EPA: Missing Emails And Polluting The Environment

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:22 am

[guest post by Dana]

The Environmental Protection Agency is in the news this week, and none of it’s good, as usual. Unfortunately, it also involves missing emails.

On the heels of the IRS being the focus of a House Oversight Committee investigation, this investigation by the Committee involves the EPA and whether a biologist, or anyone else at the agency, colluded with environmentalists to ensure a negative assessment of a mining proposal in Alaska.

The environmental assessment concluded that the Pebble Mine project could significantly harm the sockeye salmon fishery in Bristol Bay. As a result, in February, the agency essentially froze the permitting process for the mine as it reviews options for the area.

Critical emails from the biologist have gone missing. However, the agency came just short of blaming it on a computer crash.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told the Republican-led committee that the agency cannot access some e-mails belonging to a biologist who worked on a controversial mining project assessment. It is a hard drive problem, but McCarthy was careful to not call it a “hard drive crash” or destroyed hard drive.

“I don’t believe this is a missing hard drive issue,” McCarthy told the panel, “There is a challenge getting access to the data on it… I’m still hoping we recover all those e-mails.”

“I heard similar testimony yesterday,” replied Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, dryly referring to the committee’s Tuesday hearing about a critical crashed hard drive at the IRS.

Meadows asked her if the agency broke federal laws on record-keeping and if the biologist’s emails were preserved, and she said the EPA has notified the National Archives and Records Administration about the hard-drive issue.

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, who surely must be ready to blow a gasket over the excuse of missing emails, demanded the subpoenaed documents be turned over.

“I am telling you, the time to comply is now,” Issa told her. “If it is not complied with … this committee will consider and vote on contempt. I hope that over the next few days our folks and your folks can resolve this with all the emails.”

The Environmental Protection Agency in Denver, Colorado is facing a troubling issue of a disgusting sort, and it became necessary to address it with all staff:

Management for Region 8 in Denver, Colo., wrote an email earlier this year to all staff in the area pleading with them to stop inappropriate bathroom behavior, including defecating in the hallway.

In the email, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor mentioned “several incidents” in the building, including clogging the toilets with paper towels and “an individual placing feces in the hallway” outside the restroom.

Confounded by what to make of this occurrence, EPA management “consulted” with workplace violence “national expert” John Nicoletti, who said that hallway feces is in fact a health and safety risk. He added the behavior was “very dangerous” and the individuals responsible would “probably escalate” their actions.

“Management is taking this situation very seriously and will take whatever actions are necessary to identify and prosecute these individuals,” Cantor wrote. He asked for any employees with knowledge of the poop bandit or bandits to notify their supervisor.

The irony of poop in the hallways of the Environmental Protection Agency speaks for itself, however, while the EPA has a reputation of corruption, as well as “unusual” activity within the agency, this is a new low.

Contractors built secret man caves in an EPA warehouse, an employee pretended to work for the CIA to get unlimited vacations and one worker even spent most of his time on the clock looking at pornography.

Our government at work.


19 Responses to “The EPA: Missing Emails And Polluting The Environment”

  1. I wish more EPA workers spent more time looking at pornography and less time telling the rest of us what to do.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  2. “I wish more EPA workers spent more time looking at pornography and less time telling the rest of us what to do.”

    Second the motion.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  3. Third. Or they could go to expensive conferences; it would be a lot cheaper than having them at work. Maybe they could even play golf with 0bama, and keep him occupied.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  4. Do you think that Gina’s in-house CIA spy could have them stashed in his garage?

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  5. Fourth on the motion!

    But it seems that the government is learning very quickly what too many businesses have learned slowly: e-mail is a bad, bad thing. You should call people, on the telephone, and speak to them on unrecorded lines, even if you are doing nothing more than ordering lunch.

    The Danan who burns diesel fuel profligately! (3e4784)

  6. And just what lines, these days, are ‘unrecorded’?

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  7. I wonder if it possible that the EPA hires radical ‘environmentalists’ to staff
    their office their, and are finding out that the same tactics they use against the
    rest of the world will be used against them when they aren’t happy with the work that
    is being done. At least they aren’t driving spikes in the floor and walls to kill
    people, but, as the article says, escalation is just around the corner. Hey, you
    guys, don’t store your lunches in the office refrigerator any more. Just sayin’.

    TimothyJ (241467)

  8. EPA destroyed records right before Bush #1 took office despite order to maintain (per Mark Levin’s dealings with them). IBD – Businesses watch out – another addition to the crew eager to serve justice.

    Judy Eaton (213f13)

  9. That is just too delicious Judy.
    My reaction is: Goldman Sachs to be eaten last.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  10. Recall the controversy over the “Richard Windsor” email account set up, apparently, to conceal communications with then-EPA director Lisa Jackson?

    What ever happened to FOIA requests for Richard Windsor’s email archive? Did “his” hard drive mysteriously “crash”, also?

    Pouncer (415203)

  11. Decisions, decisions…. Pebble Mine vs Hallway Deficater. What to do? Could it be that they “lost” the wrong set of emails?

    And then we are told that even a 2% scaling back of the Federal budget, across the board will bring civilization to a screeching halt? With decent management a 10 – 15% one would go unnoticed.

    Are we certain that the “hallway email” is not a product of “The Onion”?

    Gramps, the original (29ecf6)

  12. Ooh! Ooh! Let’s do a meaningless red-meat Congressional bounty for these emails, too! Politics YAYYYYY

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  13. Our friend Leviticus proves once again that he’s always fighting for the little guy, especially when the little guy is being stomped by goliath government.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  14. if his point is that Republicans are beginning to look like they have no real ideas then yup Mr. Leviticus is five by five

    feckless boehnerpoofter lawsuits and feckless gowdywhore bounties

    these are just baubles and amusements for the base to tickle and finger while the whorepublican leaders do what whorepublicans do best

    they keep the pork a-flowin’ to Mississippi

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  15. mister happy,

    government agencies conveniently “losing emails” in order to cover up criminal wrongdoing gots absolutely nuthin’ to do with john boehner or karl rove or any of the other boogeyman who cause some of our conservative allies to go hide in their bunker, eat canned food, and grow a beard.

    obama’s agencies are behaving like the mafia.
    all these emails end up being buried with jimmy hoffa.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  16. team r in a coma i know i know

    it’s serious

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  17. mister happy,

    if you were a baseball player, your coach would have to keep saying, “hey, happy, stop looking at the dandelions in the outfield. keep your eye on the ball.”

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  18. Once upon a time in Los Angeles there was a little pikachu

    and his name was happyfeet.

    All the other little pikachu he lived with would run and jump and butt their heads together

    but not happyfeet.

    He liked to sit just quietly and smell the flowers.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  19. “I don’t believe this is a missing hard drive issue,” McCarthy told the panel, “There is a challenge getting access to the data on it… I’m still hoping we recover all those e-mails.”

    If the problem is that it’s encrypted, why is the exact nature of the problem a big secret?

    Or why doesn’t EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy actually know what’s going on?

    Sammy Finkelman (9ec422)

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