Tlaib, Dingell Press EPA on Rush to Reopen Ann Arbor Facility
ANN ARBOR, MI – Today, Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) expressed concerns and asked questions about reported steps the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking to reopen government facilities in Ann Arbor in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This public health crisis has dramatically increased concerns for worker safety conditions that already existed. The lawmakers wrote to EPA last December regarding the decision to close the Large Lakes Research Station on Grosse Ile and move employees into prefabricated offices with real health and safety concern.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on nationwide, we are deeply concerned with reports we are hearing that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with reopening government facilities in Michigan,’” wrote Tlaib and Dingell. “Rushing to reopen offices when social distancing would prevent meetings and collaborations brings only risk without benefit—this is an unnecessary risk that puts EPA employees in danger and, ultimately, could negatively impact all Americans.”
The Large Lakes Research Station was the base of operations for EPA first responders in the region, housed personnel from the Criminal Investigation Division, and served as an important post for the Great Lakes National Program Office. With the closure and relocation of EPA employees, new challenges and issues have arisen, including the new working conditions for these employees, labor contracts, and what impact this will have on emergency preparedness and environmental protections.
A copy of Tlaib and Dingell’s letter can be found here.Tlaib, Dingell Press EPA on Rush to Reopen Ann Arbor Facility