White House tallies shutdown’s energy, enviro impact

The 16-day government shutdown delayed oil-and-gas permits and prevented a substantial number of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspections of industrial sites, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said.

OMB issued a report Thursday detailing the shutdown’s economic and other effects, a tally that a White House official and a senior Senate Democrat used to press Congress to reach a budget deal that prevents another shutdown.

The tally notes that the Interior Department was unable to process 200 onshore oil-and-gas drilling permit applications. “This delayed energy development on Federal lands in North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah and other states,” the report states.

Elsewhere, the EPA couldn’t do an important part of its job, OMB said.

“[The shutdown] Halted the EPA’s non-emergency inspections at about 1200 hazardous waste facilities, chemical facilities, and drinking water systems; discontinued evaluations of potential health impacts of new industrial chemicals; and stopped reviews of pesticides for adverse impacts to health and the environment,” the report states.

“While the majority of these inspections will be rescheduled, they are unlikely to fully be made up during this fiscal year,” it states.

Also on the environmental front, the shutdown cut productivity of Energy Department nuclear site cleanups and “may cause the Department of Energy to miss cleanup milestones agreed to with the states where cleanup is under way,” OMB said.

The Hill’s On The Money blog has much more on the OMB report here.