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On March 6, 2017, James V. Aidala, Senior Government Affairs Consultant with Bergeson & Campbell P.C. (B&C®), was quoted by the Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report laying out responses that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may have to proposed budget cuts.
There's a long process ahead before Congress decides what EPA's budget and staffing levels will be, Jim Aidala, who served under President Bill Clinton and now is a senior government affairs consultant with Bergeson & Campbell PC, and Jim Jones, who departed from the EPA in January told Bloomberg BNA.
It's not unusual for the White House to propose cuts to programs it anticipates Congress will restore, Aidala said.
There are also a lot of practical challenges that would arise if the EPA was forced to cut staff 20 percent, he said. Staff attrition is normally in the 7 percent to 9 percent range, Aidala said.
Buyouts and reductions in force, or RIFs, would not normally get the agency to a 20 percent target, he said. That would suggest a fairly large buyout program, which will cost money in the short run, Aidala said.
RIFs are quite difficult to implement because there are many rules that apply to what job titles can be reduced and in what order, he said.
Further, staffing reductions of 20 percent mean, essentially, that the agency would be under a hiring freeze, Aidala said.
That puts the agency in a tough spot when it comes to making sure it has scientific expertise available to address cutting-edge issues, such as whether chemicals are contributing to neurotoxicity and immune toxicity, Aidala said.