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Pruitt Set to Slash EPA Scientists, Public Health Experts by Half

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For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, January 9, 2018

WASHINGTON – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s mission to decimate the agency he heads is on track, as he works to eliminate roughly 50 percent of its scientists, researchers and others in charge of protecting the public from pollution.

Aides to Pruitt confirmed to the Washington Examiner that by the end of President Trump’s first term, the agency’s staff will be cut by nearly half.

“There are certain people who should never hold any position where public health protection is a priority, and Scott Pruitt is one of them,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “After Pruitt saps EPA of its talented workforce, rebuilding the required expertise to protect air, water and human health from pollution could take decades.”

Pruitt told the Washington Examiner he was “proud” of his efforts to dismantle the very agency he leads, which is responsible for enforcing such critical programs as the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Superfund toxic waste cleanup program, among others.

Since Trump took office, more than 700 employees have already left the EPA, according to The New York Times and ProPublica.

Among the people who have quit are more than 200 scientists and nearly 100 environmental protection specialists.

At a Dec. 7 hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Pruitt testified that Toyota is partnering with the EPA to help the agency correct deficiencies in its management and accountability systems.

“I’m sure Toyota executives can imagine what would happen to the company’s brand, reputation and the quality of their cars if they adopted Pruitt’s approach,” said Cook. “More accidents, injuries and fatalities always occur when companies or governments cut corners on safety, and the same fate will befall public health with Pruitt’s assault on EPA.” 

Last month, Cook urged Toyota to halt its partnership with Pruitt and the Trump administration. "To do otherwise risks irreparable harm to Toyota's brand and reputation in the American marketplace," Cook wrote in a letter to the head of the company’s North American division.

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