The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Joanna Klonsky,

EPA Union Applauds Senate Breakthrough on Climate

Union calls for new contract provisions to implement climate emergency provisions.


Following is a statement from Nicole Cantello, President of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 704, which represents Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) workers in the Midwest--in response to the passage by the Senate of the Inflation Reduction Act:

"AFGE Local 704, representing EPA workers in the six states of the Great Lakes--Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin-- applauds the Senate's passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. EPA scientists and engineers will act quickly and diligently to use the new, expanded authority under the IRA to cut the release of greenhouse gases, which is the cause of the climate emergency.

"The new work handed to EPA is enormous--the bill will provide EPA with $41.5 billion to address climate change and advance environmental and climate justice. It provides funds to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, including methane, to employ zero-emission technology, to reduce air pollution in ports and elsewhere, and to empower low-income and disadvantaged communities with expanded roles in responding to climate change.

"Now that EPA has more authority to fight the new air pollutants threatening the nation, EPA must invest in the workforce that will be delivering the reductions to greenhouse gases under the IRA. This law will require an even more expert and experienced EPA workforce than ever before, and EPA must act quickly to put the right staff in place to implement this monumental effort, and to provide them with the support and working conditions they need to accomplish the enormous task now in front of them.

"By providing a just pay scale and a guarantee of scientific integrity for its workers, EPA can quickly eliminate the largest sources of pollution to avoid the most alarming climate effects."

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union proudly representing 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas. Workers in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency depend upon AFGE for legal representation, legislative advocacy, technical expertise and informational services.

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