According to an internal e-mail obtained by the AP, the chief of staff of the EPA’s enforcement wing has issued a gag order, telling staffers in June exactly what to do should a reporter, the inspector general or the Government Accountability Office call: “Please do not respond to questions or make any statements.”
Before this disclosure, the EPA was already under fire for, in the words of Sen. Barbara Boxer, acting as “a secretive, dangerous ally of polluters.”
AP via Google:
The Environmental Protection Agency is telling its pollution enforcement officials not to talk with congressional investigators, reporters and even the agency’s own inspector general, according to an internal e-mail provided to The Associated Press.
The June 16 message instructs 11 managers in the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, the branch of the agency charged with making sure environmental laws are followed, to remind their staff members to keep quiet.
“If you are contacted directly by the IG’s office or GAO requesting information of any kind ... please do not respond to questions or make any statements,” reads the e-mail sent by Robbi Farrell, the division’s chief of staff. Instead, staff members should forward inquiries to a designated EPA representative, the memo says.