EPA: Agency staffing on pace to dip to 1980s levels

EPA: Agency staffing on pace to dip to 1980s levels
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The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) workforce is expected to dip to levels not seen since Ronald Reagan was president, an agency official confirmed Wednesday.

Between retirements and a buyout program the EPA instituted earlier this summer, the agency is expected to lose more than 500 employees by October, Reuters reported Tuesday. An agency official confirmed the numbers to The Hill.

The EPA employes about 15,000 people. The tally after the fiscal year ends at the end of the month could decline to 14,428 staffers. That's a level not seen since the 1988 fiscal year, when the EPA employed 14,440 people.

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Nearly 3,000 other employees are eligible to retire, as well.

Cutting EPA employment has been a key goal for Republicans for years. President Trump’s budget proposal, released in May, would eliminate 3,200 of the agency’s 15,000 jobs.

That proposal would cut agency funding by $2.6 billion, far more than the $528 million cut approved by a House committee earlier this year.