WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) and Tom Udall (D – N.M.), top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, released a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney outlining OMB’s lack of cooperation in a probe examining a number of troubling irregularities in the crafting of a November 2017 proposal to repeal air emission standards for heavy-polluting ‘glider trucks.’ The letter provides a timeline that details a consistent pattern over several months to both ignore and sidestep basic requests from the IG’s office.
“I do not accept today's response from OMB that, while ‘very supportive of EPA OIG's work,’ it declines to support our work due to the supposed deliberative character of the sought information,” wrote EPA Acting IG Charles Sheehan. “…Such protracted delay constitutes a clear impediment to our audit. It undermines our ability to fully answer the congressional request that led to our audit. Accordingly, and as required by the IG Act in the event of information being requested by an Inspector General and being unreasonably refused or not provided, ‘the Inspector General shall report the circumstances to the head of the establishment involved without delay.’ Please consider this letter my report to you of such circumstances.”
Senators Carper and Udall released the following joint statement reacting to this letter:
“We are deeply troubled to learn that, for several months, top leadership at the Office of Management and Budget has been evading the EPA Office of Inspector General’s entirely reasonable investigatory requests. Director Mulvaney’s refusal to cooperate with the EPA OIG investigation we requested it undertake only leads to more questions about this administration’s blatant disregard for transparency and the rule of law – if there is nothing to hide, why is this administration shielding EPA? We call on OMB to fully cooperate with this investigation so that both Congress and the American people have a clear and complete understanding of EPA’s decision-making on a matter that will lead to more polluting trucks on the road.”
A PDF of the letter from the EPA OIG can be found HERE.
- On December 4, 2018 EPA OIG agreed to broaden its investigation into matters related to the glider truck proposal, following Carper and Udall’s October 31, 2018 request.
- On March 12, 2018 Carper and Udall requested documents and information from EPA that led to the creation of this proposal.