Environmental issues such as climate change are not as visible as those that faced the country in the past, which has made public support for the Environmental Protection Agency more elusive, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Dec. 2. "Most people don't see the environmental challenges the way they used to, because we've been very good at the work we've done," she said.
The Environmental Protection Agency wants to clear up standards about sustainability claims for products the government is purchasing and it is looking to private sector standards to do that. The EPA released draft guidelines, Wednesday, to establish standards that would help agencies implement sustainable acquisition requirements of a 2009 Executive Order.
Late last month the Environmental Protection Agency experimented with a new social media tool designed to amplify a single message across social networks called Thunderclap. The tool is open to all agencies for use based on federal-friendly terms of service recently negotiated by the General Services Administration.
The Labor Department fails to communicate in plain language with the public, while the Social Security Administration is the easiest to understand, says Center for Plain Language in its annual report card.
The Environmental Protection Agency needs more congressional authority to collect data on its efforts to ensure unpolluted water, an Aug. 21 EPA inspector general report says. Currently, the EPA office of water doesn't have statutory authority to collect data from water utilities, which means the agency doesn't know how effective its efforts are in assisting in protection against terrorism and natural disasters, the report (.pdf) says.
The EPA didn't develop a program to instruct employees on the standards of scientific inquiry and the agency has not generated an annual report on the status of scientific integrity within the agency, an Aug. 28 EPA inspector general report (.pdf) says. The agency does have a scientific integrity policy, and it does addresses the promotion of scientific ethical standards, including quality standards, auditors say.
The EPA may have tried to evade a Freedom of Information Act request from Landmark Legal Foundation, who filed requests for e-mails of current and former top EPA officials, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Royce Lamberth wrote in an Aug. 14 opinion (.pdf).
A report (.pdf) from the Defense Department office of inspector general, dated Aug. 6, says that Army officials were still identifying the extent of the necessary cleanup, so they were not able to determine the length of the delays or the costs of cleanup. In several cases, disagreements between the Army, the EPA, the local development authority and state officials have slowed cleanup processes.
Officials across the federal government want a venue where they can share their experiences working with foreign regulatory agencies, the Government Accountability Office says. Venues for agencies to discuss international regulatory cooperation do exist, but they involve high-level officials, not those who are responsible for day-to-day implementation, GAO says in a report (.pdf) released August 1.
An outcome of the chemical facility executive order signed by President Obama Aug. 1 could be a consolidated federal database of chemical facilities, a Homeland Security Department official told a House panel while blaming technological difficulties for past inability to share data across organizational lines.