U.S. Senator Tom Carper, D-Del., sent a letter with Sens. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Jan. 26 calling on the Donald Trump administration to reverse its decision to suspend all grants and contracts at the Environmental Protection Agency.
In the letter, the senators ask who approved this action, both within EPA and at the White House; the legal basis for the suspension; which grants, contracts and other awards have been suspended; and an estimate of the costs associated with re-starting any contracts.
“EPA’s grants and contracts support billions of dollars worth of research and development funding, cleanup of toxic Superfund sites, local air and water quality monitoring and testing, assessments of risks to human health from environmental hazards, measures to enhance water security, radioactive and hazardous waste removal, radiation protection and containment assessments for underground fuel storage tanks,” write the senators in the letter to Trump. “Moreover, if this suspension applies to existing contracts, re-starting them could prove to be an exceedingly expensive waste of taxpayer funds.”