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EPA closing Las Vegas office

EPA closing Las Vegas office
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is closing its research operations in Las Vegas later this year.

Tim Watkins, the director of the EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory, told Office of Research and Development employees in Las Vegas this week that they would have to move to another EPA location or leave the agency by Sept. 30.

“The drivers behind the decision are the continued pressure to reduce the amount of federally leased space by consolidating operations into federally owned space and to reduce our overall operational costs moving forward,” Watkins wrote to colleagues.

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“As I mentioned in my discussion with our staff earlier today, announcing this decision was extremely difficult, but our colleagues in Las Vegas are now faced with an even more difficult set of decisions from both a personal and professional perspective.”

The EPA had earlier decided to close a lab at the location.

Federal News Radio said about 50 employees are affected by the EPA’s decision to move out of the Las Vegas office entirely, including 17 human resources workers.

The closure had been in the works for a while, as part of an effort to consolidate space and save money. The EPA is currently renting space in Las Vegas from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

“EPA is consolidating services into EPA-owned buildings in Cincinnati, Ohio and Research Triangle Park, N,C.,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said in a statement. “This decision will save taxpayer dollars and streamline layers. EPA staff will be given the opportunity to relocate to an EPA-owned facility by the summer of 2018.”