EPA is losing employees—and they’re not being replaced

Record numbers of employees are leaving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and many are not being replaced, leaving behind a demoralized workforce, according to recent reports.

In a February 15, 2019 story on Boston’s WGBH radio, current and former EPA employees said they’re concerned about the reduced number of employees as well as the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back federal environmental rules and regulations. Others said that talking about climate change has been off limits.

Recently released data from the EPA showed that the agency’s numbers of inspections and environmental crime cases are down by half or more. The agency is at its smallest size since 1987, according to the article.

Ronnie Levin, visiting scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, worked for the EPA for more than 37 years, most recently in the regional office in Boston as a lead housing inspector, risk assessor and senior scientist. She told WGBH that she loved the job but that it “became intolerable” during her last few years. She left in 2017.

Levin said that the EPA is losing its most experienced people without passing on their knowledge. “Nobody ever asked that I train a new person or that I hand over my files or anything,” she said. “I just walked out the door and closed it.”

Listen to or read the WGBH story: Boston’s EPA Office Is Shrinking, And Employees Are Speaking Out