EPA Union History

A History of the Environmental Protection Agency HQ Professionals' Union

In Memoriam for Dr. James Murphy, PhD, DABT

Documentation of Union Efforts to Work with Management on Fluoride Issues

New Post: December 23, 2018. Links to 11 documents have been added on the Fluoride page of the website that show how the union attempted to work “within the family” on the question of applying principles of scientific integrity to regulation of hazards of fluoride in drinking water. Members of the union began in 1985 to try to bring ethical science to bear on this question. At least one such member, albeit in retired status, continues to this day in this effort.

EPA Workers Fight to Save Telework Feb 1, 2020

Story in The Hill available at https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/labor/480770-why-epa-workers-are-fighting-to-save-telework

EPA 2045 – A Staff Perspective

Posted May 4, 2019: See the Fight Back Page for a paper with the above title that was distributed to attendees and discussed at a symposium titled “The Future of EPA” co-sponsored by the American University School of Public Service and the EPA Alumni Association held April 23 and 24.

Extensive Documentation on Winning Official Time

Posted August 1, 2018 – This is particularly significant in so far as President Trump having signed Executive Orders attempting essentially to destroy federal sector labor union effectiveness by severely limiting official time (no union officer could spend more than 25% of her/his time on union activities, unions would have to do their representational work off-site from their normal work stations, etc. These E.O.’s are under challenge by national unions representing federal employees.

A new subpage to “EPA Attempts to Bust the Union” contains considerable documentation of how NFFE Local 2050 won four full time positions for its officers and, by establishing the precedent, five full time positions for its sister union at EPA HQ, AFGE Local 3331.

Support from the public and Congress was key in this victory, with the public support stemming from NFFE Local 2050 aggressively defending good science and its bargaining unit’s members’ right to safe, healthful working conditions and spreading the word to the public about these activities upon request.

Lesson learned??

Pruitt and Gorsuch Administrations Cartoon Comparisons

New Post April8, 2018

When the Gorsuch Administratorship crashed in 1982 from ethical catastrophes, EPA staffer and whistleblower extrodinaire, Hugh Kaufman, created this cartoon which was posted on bulletin boards around Headquarters.Die Opera ist Kaput

Sensing a dejavu moment approaching, and employing technology 30+ years more advance than what Hugh Kaufman had available, people observing the sleaze at the head of the Agency now, have posted these gems all around Capitol Hill. The phone number on the tear-out response tabs at the bottom is for the EPA Public  Information Office.

Now is the Time….

Now is the time for EPA’s 22 labor unions to rally round the Principles of Scientific Integrity for which union leaders in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s fought so hard. Resistance to obliterating extant environmental rules – and protection – under the guise of “better” science (mandated by the anti-science crowd, no less!) must be active, vocal, and made public.

The First Amendment exists for a reason, and – for EPA’s unions – this is it.

Collaboration in undermining environmental progress – and protection – is not an option. Honor – personal and organizational – is at stake.

Citizens and Congress will respond with support if EPA staff leads the fight under the unions’ banner.

August 23, 2017

The following is from The Environmental Defense Fund Blog

Copyright © 2017 Environmental Defense Fund. Used by permission. The original material is available at:

Who’s who at the EPA? Latest staff picks continue alarming trend.
Jeremy Symons / Published August 3, 2017

Fossil fuel interests have a seat at the table at Pruitt’s EPA, and their lobbyists are hired for key positions. Here he’s meeting with Kentucky energy providers. Source: EPAThis post first appeared on EDF Voices.

In President Trump’s Washington, polluter lobbyists are grabbing control of decisions that affect the health of our children and families.

Their goal: To deregulate and weaken laws and standards that protect our health, environment and a broad range of public services Americans have long taken for granted. While most companies readily comply with clean air, clean water and other common-sense standards, some deep-pocketed laggards are leading the charge to roll back such protections.

The increasingly crowded playground of industry power brokers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fits a broader pattern of presidential appointees with deep conflicts of interest with companies to which they have close ties, as uncovered by The New York Times and ProPublica.

Their influence extends well beyond Scott Pruitt, the controversial head of the EPA who has been working closely with industry to roll back dozens of the agency’s life-saving standards, often bypassing its own experts.

A growing list of polluter lobbyists are now waiting in the wings to take charge of day-to-day operations at the agency. Here are the latest three examples:

1. Coal lobbyist tapped as EPA deputy

Trump is expected to nominate a well-known coal lobbyist, Andrew Wheeler, as EPA’s deputy and second in command. Wheeler is a top lobbyist for Murray Energy, a coal mining giant that backed Trump in the election and gave $300,000 to his inauguration.

Murray Energy is a long-time friend of Pruitt, too. The company has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Pruitt-affiliated political action committees and joined him on six lawsuits against the EPA. These legal attacks set the stage for Pruitt’s current efforts to roll back standards that protect communities and families from smog and carbon pollution, toxic mercury and other health threats.

2. Industry’s hired gun chosen for toxics office

From tobacco to toxic chemicals, Michael Dourson has long been industry’s go-to man to downplay concerns about the safety of their products. Now he’s been nominated to lead the EPA toxics office charged with ensuring the safety of many of the same chemicals he defended.

3. Oil lobby man becomes top EPA lawyer

The oil industry has one of its own in the EPA’s legal office with the appointment of Erik Baptist as the agency’s senior deputy general counsel. Baptist was previously a top lawyer at the American Petroleum Institute, which has been lobbying, among other things, to repeal regulations that reduce harmful methane pollution from oil and gas operations.

With more foxes joining Pruitt, no environmental law or program is safe.

While most companies in America readily comply with clean air, clean water and other common-sense standards, some deep-pocketed laggards are leading the charge to roll back protections.

They’re part of a plan coming from the very top to quietly tear down decades of environmental progress, as Rolling Stones put it in a recent article. As head of the EPA, Pruitt simply wants the agency to fail.

“If there was ever an example of the fox guarding the henhouse, this is it,” Michael Mann, a noted climate scientist at Penn State University, told the magazine. “We have a Koch-brothers-connected industry shill who is now in charge of climate and environmental policy for the entire country.”

With more foxes joining Pruitt, no environmental law or program is safe from the damage they will try to inflict.

Given the entangled web of conflicts of interest among Trump’s EPA appointees, Congress has an added responsibility to conduct oversight and guard against extremism. And yet members of both parties appear to be distracted, disinterested or timid in the face of the power grab happening at the EPA.

If ever there was a time for a public outcry, it’s now.http://www.edfaction.org/blog/2017/08/03/whos-who-epa-latest-staff-picks-continue-alarming-trend

Malathion/Organophosphates Page

Under the Key Issues Page we have now published the subsidiary page Malathion/Organophosphates. Additions to this page may be added because there is a rich record of the union’s support for Dr. Brian A. Dementi, Ph.D, D.A.B.T*., who was recognized as the national expert toxicologist on malathion.

*Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology

All print editions of Inside the Fishbowl now available

All available print editions of the NFFE/NTEU newsletters are now posted on that Page of this site.

In 2000-2001 Inside the Fishbowl shifted from printed editions – supplied to the bargaining unit by EPA through contractual arrangements – to on-line editions. These were posted on the union’s website provided contractually by EPA management. These editions, through 2008, have been preserved and we are working toward editing them to make them compatible with the EPAUnionHistory.org website. They continue to be a rich source of information on how this union worked in the interest of its bargaining unit members and the American public.

RE: March for Science – April 22, 2017

Photo of EPA HQ union presence at the March for Science. At left, holding banner, Amer Al-Mudallal, Executive Vice-President, far left, side view of Chief Steward, Anne-Marie Pastorkovich, right side of banner, Secretary Toby Jeong, holding”We need EPA,” Steward Denise Walker, Bill Hirzy behind “EPA Unions Fighting….” sign.    EPA HQ Union at March for ScienceEPA HQ Union at March for Science

Two other links regarding NTEU Chapter 280’s efforts on scientific integrity are below…..

“Rejuvenating Federal Sector Science” was the topic of a conference called by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and a presentation at that conference caught my eye today (April 23, 2017). I was looking through historical documents to post on this website and ran across that presentation. Although it was given 9 years ago, in July 2008, the presentation speaks clearly to the theme of yesterday’s March for Science. Here is the link to it.Protecting Federal Sector Scientists

Later that year the union was invited to make a presentation at Harvard University’s School of Law, along with other unions, on the subject of representing professional employees in science and technology workplaces.Representing Professionals in Science, Engineering and Technology

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