EPA staff has been instructed to freeze all its grants ― an extensive program that includes funding for research, redevelopment of former industrial sites, air quality monitoring and education, among other things ― and told not to discuss this order with anyone outside the agency, according to a Hill source with knowledge of the situation.
An EPA staffer provided the information to the congressional office anonymously, fearing retaliation.
It’s unclear whether the freeze is indefinite or temporary as the agency transitions fully to the Trump administration; the Senate has not yet confirmed Trump’s pick for EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt. It’s also not clear the immediate impact the grant freeze would have on programs across the country, since EPA grants are distributed at varying intervals and frequency.
“I will say it’s pretty unusual for us to get these kinds of anonymous contacts from people at the agency, which makes me think it’s unusual,” said the Hill source.
A source who works closely with states and territories on EPA grants said they heard from the agency on Tuesday evening that a review of grants would be done by Friday.
Read more (The Huffington Post)