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EPA union buys subscription after agency canceled contract with news outlet dedicated to covering it

EPA union buys subscription after agency canceled contract with news outlet dedicated to covering it
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The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) largest union is independently subscribing to one of the largest environmental publications, E&E News, after the agency abruptly canceled its subscription in July.

The announcement came from the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Council, which said employees saw the cancelation “as anti-transparency, anti-science, and part of a years-long campaign by the Trump administration to discredit critical journalism as 'fake news' and stymie coverage of the union’s work to support employees following a bruising contract negotiation process.” 

The EPA had subscribed to E&E since 1998, offering all employees access to the news service which covers the agency and related government offices alongside a wide variety of environmental issues. 

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The deal will only provide E&E access to AFGE’s 7,500 members, about half of the agency’s workforce.

The EPA did not respond to request for comment Thursday but had said in July it was canceling the subscription effective immediately due to the cost. 

“Over the next two years, EPA would have spent $382,425 to receive" various E&E newsletters, Associate Deputy Administrator Doug Benevento wrote in an email at the time, with the agency adding that the money would be spent "in other higher priority areas."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story included incorrect information. EPA's union bought a subscription after the EPA canceled its subscription to E&E in July.