Union Representing EPA Workers Express Concerns With New Administrator

Craig Dellimore
August 21, 2018 - 7:18 am

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency workers and activists were using the new EPA Administrator’s first official visit to Chicago to air their complaints and fears.

New EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler replaces former Chief Scott Pruitt who left amid scandals over his lavish spending, his policies, and personnel.

Michael Mikulka, president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 704, which represents EPA workers in the Midwest, said labor leaders wanted a meeting with Wheeler while he was in Chicago, but it didn’t look like they would get one.

He said he is skeptical of the new boss.

"Let's be clear, Andrew Wheeler is not an upgrade from Scott Pruitt. He is a lobbyist who is putting the best interests of big corporate polluters over the health and safety of millions of people in the Midwest and across the country," Mikulka said.

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky agrees.

"He is different, there is no question, from Scott Pruitt. I don't think we are going to see some of those dramatic scandals that we saw under Pruitt, but I think that the ideology, the beliefs are very much the same," she said.

Mikulka said the EPA has been losing staff members steadily, leaving those remaining unable to handle the work.