FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: John O’Grady
September 19, 2012 (630) 699-6106
AFGE Chicago EPA Local Launches “Save the Environment” Campaign
CHICAGO—The American Federation of Government Employees’ Local 704 today announced that it is launching a “Save the Environment – Save the EPA” campaign to draw the public’s attention to the potential impacts of the draconian budget cuts being proposed by Congress on the ability of the EPA to protect our nation’s human health and the environment.
AFGE Local 704, which represents employees at the U.S. EPA regional office in Chicago, including the Great Lakes National Program Office, launched a website, www.savetheepa.org, which highlights environmental issues and congressional proposals targeting EPA programs.
“More than 70 percent of EPA’s budget is in the form of pass-through funding for the states, tribal associations, municipalities and contractors,” said Local 704 President John O’Grady. “Cutting EPA’s budget not only will impact the Agency’s ability to protect human health and the environment on the national level, but also on the local, municipal and tribal levels. Why does Congress want to put people out of work by cutting EPA’s budget in this economy?”
“The American Society of Civil Engineers most recent report card gave America a “C” on bridges, a “D” on dams, and a “D-“ on drinking water,” said Mike Mikulka, a vice president of AFGE Local 704. “As a country we need to recognize the importance of infrastructure investment in America. Infrastructure funding provided by EPA puts people to work building and repairing our nation’s water and wastewater treatment plants, cleaning up contaminated property and the Great Lakes, and supporting clean diesel. By providing these services, we ensure America’s competitiveness and are able to ensure clean air and water for future generations.”
“What will it take for people to say, “yes, the EPA is important for my children and my children’s children?” added Local 704 Vice President Rafael Gonzalez. “The mantra that environmental regulations hurt the economy is utter nonsense. What is hurting America today and threatens the natural beauty of this great country is the desire for outrageous bonuses, profits, and salaries at the risk of clean air, land and water.”
“The Local believes the American public needs to be educated about how EPA’s work is being undermined and to motivate them to speak out in favor of clean air and water, and against destroying the beauty of this great country,” said O’Grady.
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AFGE Local 704 represents 1,000 highly dedicated employees working at the U.S. EPA Region 5 Office in Chicago. Local 704 is part of AFGE Council 238, which represents more than 10,000 EPA employees nationwide