On the 7th Day of the Shutdown, the EPA Has Run Out of Money

More than 13,700 employees will be furloughed at midnight.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

As the government shutdown enters its second week, the Environmental Protection Agency is set to run out of funds and join the list of agencies affected by the partial closure. The shutdown was precipitated by President Donald Trump’s insistence that he would only sign a Congressional spending bill that includes funds for a wall on the southern border of the US.

Unlike some other agencies, like the Department of State and the Department of Justice which shuttered almost immediately, the EPA had enough funds to operate through December 28. “EPA has sufficient carryover funds to continue to operate for the remainder of this week,” Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in an email on Thursday afternoon. “However, in the event an appropriation is not passed by Friday, December 28th, EPA will initiate orderly shutdown procedures.”

Approximately 750 EPA staffers will join the 420,000 essential employees working without pay. According to the agency’s shutdown contingency plan, personnel working on Superfund sites or other projects that pose an imminent threat to public health will be exempted from the shutdown. Meanwhile, more than 13,700 other employees throughout the country, who handle activities such as answering Freedom of Information Act requests, inspection of power plants, and reviews of toxic substances will be furloughed

“Shutdowns, which waste American resources and taxpayer dollars, have grave consequences for science and research, public health, public lands and species protections.” Ken Kimmell, the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a statement last week. “Community members, especially ones near Superfund sites and other contaminated areas, won’t get their questions answered when federal offices empty out.”

The shutdown has no clear end in sight. Trump is still demanding funding for the wall and threatening to completely close down the border if he doesn’t get his way. On Thursday, after brief sessions, both the Senate and the House adjourned until Monday, making it inevitable that the shutdown will extend into the new year.

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate