Monday, 16 July, 2018

Accountability Office: $43000 soundproof booth for EPA head violated law

Houston-area toxic waste site removed from priority cleanup list EPA Removes Site Flooded By Harvey From Priority Cleanup List
Beatrice Douglas | 17 April, 2018, 20:24

In a so-called "government watchful", EPA inspector-general Arthur Elkins Jr. explained his team had examined employees records for 6 workers who were hired or had received increases beneath a provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act as Pruitt arrived to the bureau a year ago.

If the agency had informed the House and Senate Appropriations committees of the plans to spend that amount on the booth, investigators said, its installation would not have been illegal.

But GAO general counsel Thomas Armstrong concluded it indeed was covered by the rule, and that EPA officials broke the Antideficiency Act by not reporting it to Congress ahead of time.

"During your confirmation hearing, I specifically asked you to 'refrain from taking any action - that makes it hard or impossible for the public to access your official written communications under the Freedom of Information Act, '" Barrasso wrote Pruitt.

"The GAO letter "recognized the...need for employees to have access to a secure telephone line" when handling sensitive information", EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said in a statement to the Daily News. Last week, a group of House and Senate Democrats published a detailed list of allegations suggesting mismanagement and lavish spending by Pruitt and his office.

Without advance notice to lawmakers, EPA obligated $43,239 from its fiscal 2017 environmental programs and management account to install the soundproof privacy booth in Pruitt's office, according to the GAO decision.


The room, known elsewhere in government as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility or SCIF, is typically used for reading and meetings involving classified information.

-Michael Brune, Sierra ClubFederal law prohibits goverment agencies from dishing out more than $5,000 to "furnish, redecorate, purchase furniture for, or make improvements for the office of a presidential appointee during the period of appointment without prior notification to the appropriations committees of Congress". They blasted the EPA chief after the decision was released today.

EPA chief Scott Pruitt's ethics problems keep piling up. "An illegal privacy booth to conduct secret discussions with his polluter friends does nothing to help our health or environment", said Sen.

Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Tom Carper, D-Del., have also written the EPA's inspector general, asking him to investigate Pruitt's multiple emails. "Donald Trump shouldn't wait to see what ethical norm or law Pruitt breaks next".

"It is critical that EPA and all federal agencies comply with notification requirements to Congress before spending tax payer dollars", Senator John Barrasso, a Republican, said in a statement. "EPA must give a full public accounting of this expenditure and explain why the agency thinks it was complying with the law".

The Associated Press first reported in December that EPA also spent about $9,000 for an outside contractor to sweep Pruitt's office for secret listening devices and installed biometric locks. Congress passed the legal provision to enable the EPA to better attract scientists and experts, but it did not put those restrictions on the agency.

Recommended

Late-Night Hosts Slam Sean Hannity for Sharing Trump Lawyer Late-Night Hosts Slam Sean Hannity for Sharing Trump Lawyer He has also frequently defended Cohen in the days since the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cohen's home and office. But on Monday's " Jimmy Kimmel Live!", Kimmel again seized the opportunity to mock Hannity for his connection to Cohen.

Romaine From Yuma Linked to E-Coli Romaine From Yuma Linked to E-Coli The people who are in the age range from 12 years to 84 years, with an average age of 29. Shereef Elnahal, commissioner of the state Department of Health, said in a statement .

Facebook Must Face Court for Facial Recognition - US Judge Facebook Must Face Court for Facial Recognition - US Judge The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act ( BIPA ) requires consent before companies can collect biometric data. He said the firm is making changes to better protect user data.

8-year-old slashes other students with knife at Minnesota school 8-year-old slashes other students with knife at Minnesota school The parents of the three injured students chose to transport their children either home or to receive further medical attention. School officials say they will work with the family of the attacker and law enforcement in dealing with the incident.

Paris St Germain thrash AS Monaco to clinch Ligue 1 title Paris St Germain thrash AS Monaco to clinch Ligue 1 title Monaco confirmed via their Twitter account that they would offer refunds to fans who made the long trip from the Principality to the French capital.

Why you shouldn't overreact to Cleveland's Game 1 Loss to the Pacers Why you shouldn't overreact to Cleveland's Game 1 Loss to the Pacers LeBron James' triple double was in vain for the Cavaliers after he finished with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. It's the continuation of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff matchup between a pair of Central Division rivals.

Canada's Brooke Henderson pulls away to win Lotte Championship — NewsAlert Canada's Brooke Henderson pulls away to win Lotte Championship — NewsAlert Canada's Brooke Henderson remained bogey-free Thursday to take the second-round lead in the Lotte Championship. Hawaii's Michelle Wie, who has risen 100 spots to No. 13 since last March, made her 16th straight cut.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Voices Support for Military Strikes in Syria Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Voices Support for Military Strikes in Syria African asylum seekers and Israeli activists protest in central Jerusalem, against their deportation, on April 4, 2018. Israel's National Security Adviser, Meir Ben Shabbat, also spoke with incoming U.S.

76ers C Embiid (orbital fracture) ruled out of Game 2 76ers C Embiid (orbital fracture) ruled out of Game 2 ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported that all Embiid had to do to clear concussion protocol was prove he could withstand contact. Winning the games played at home in Miami will be crucial to the Heat's chances of advancing to the second round.

Led airstrikes hit all targets in Syria: Pentagon Led airstrikes hit all targets in Syria: Pentagon Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "will still continue to bomb his people, to gas his people". He did not rule out sarin use.

Trump Considers Reopening Door to Trans-Pacific Partnership Trump Considers Reopening Door to Trans-Pacific Partnership Withdrawing from the deal was one of Mr Trump's first acts as president, delivering one of his core campaign promises. The 11 remaining nations represent 13 percent of global output and include Japan and Canada.

Undertaker vs. Chris Jericho (Casket Match) Undertaker vs. Chris Jericho (Casket Match) Whether this influenced WWE's decision to move Rusev from his one-on-one match with Taker to the 50-man Rumble is unknown. Here is a video of TMZ Sports catching up with Lana and Rusev for comments about the upcoming match.

IPL: Prasidh Krishna to replace injured Nagarkoti for KKR IPL: Prasidh Krishna to replace injured Nagarkoti for KKR Kolkata lost Nitish Rana's wicket just after the play started- Sunil Narine was sent ahead of Dinesh Karthik to up the ante. He averages only 25.11 against KKR - the least amongst the seven opponent teams .

Kylie Jenner & Kourtney Kardashian Arrive at Coachella With Their Boyfriends Kylie Jenner & Kourtney Kardashian Arrive at Coachella With Their Boyfriends Jenner also showed off the stroller in a snapshot on Instagram Stories. "You are so strong, you made that look so easy", she tweeted. She kept her pregnancy a secret until the birth occurred.

MI vs DD IPL 2018 Match 9 Live Streaming MI vs DD IPL 2018 Match 9 Live Streaming However, Daniel Christian, with two wickets, brought things under control for DD to restrict Mumbai to a below-threatening score. Ishan Kishan only made nine runs, while Evin Lewis struck a 17-ball 29 before he was clean bowled by Siddarth Kaul.