EPA begins offering buyouts to cut staff: report

EPA begins offering buyouts to cut staff: report
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has kicked off its buyout program to reduce staffs numbers, according to an internal memo reported by Reuters on Thursday.

The EPA memo was sent to all agency employees as President Trump, joined at the White House by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

The EPA plans to submit the buyout proposal to the White House's Office of Management and Budget for approval in June and work to "expedite the review process," Reuters reported. The EPA has said it aims to complete the buyout program by the end of the fiscal year in September.

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"Early outs and buy outs ... can help us realign our workforce to meet changing mission requirements and move toward new models of work," reads the memo sent by acting Deputy Administrator Mike Flynn, Reuters reported.

"The authority encourages voluntary separations and helps the Agency complete workforce restructuring with minimal disruption to the workforce," it added.

Officials wrote in a memo earlier this month that they were setting aside $12 million for employee buyouts as part of a workforce restructuring proposal.

Trump's 2018 budget proposed major cuts across several government agencies, with a $2.6 billion, or 31 percent cut, to the EPA — the largest cut for any Cabinet-level agency — and the elimination of 3,200 of the agency's 15,000 jobs.