A slew of startling revelations about the Environmental Protection Agency has local implication for families fighting the government over the CTS contamination - a case that is being decided right now by the US Supreme Court.
Congressman Mark Meadows ripped into the EPA's deputy administrator, Bob Perciasepe, at the House Reform and Government Oversight Committee yesterday:
MEADOWS: "Do you have a management problem- a systemic problem within management to allow these kinds of things to go on?"
MEADOWS: "In 1990, the EPA came in and conducted a test on one of my constituents' piece of property without her permission. And took samples. And found that there was toxic hazardous substance on her property. Do you think it was proper that when they found that, they did not tell her for over nine years that there was toxic stuff on her property? Would you want to be informed it was there?"
Meadows asked why the CTS Superfund site has not been cleaned up in 25 years, and Perciasepe said it was due to budget cuts to the program. Meadows then cites the Inspector General report that showed a WNC resident called the EPA hotline to report possible contamination.
The message was not checked for five months.
The resident was never called back.
Porn and policing
The Office of Inspector General report reads like an agency gone wild.
The office of about 10 employees is overseen by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy's office, and the inspector general's office is accusing it of operating illegally as a "rogue law enforcement agency" that has impeded independent investigations into employee misconduct, computer security and external threats, including compelling employees involved in cases to sign non-disclosure agreements.
One of those investigations found an employee who watched two to six hours of porn every day on the EPA computer.
"When an OIG special agent arrived at this employee’s work space to conduct an interview, the special agent witnessed the employee actively viewing pornography on his government-issued computer," Allan Williams, deputy assistant inspector general for investigations at the EPA, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
For downloading 7,000 hours of pornography, he has been suspended with pay.
The employee's identity has not yet been released pending an ongoing Justice Department investigation, but he is still on the government's payroll earning about $120,000 per year.
All of this started after a top EPA official was convicted of defrauding the agency out of almost a million dollars in pay and benefits - when he wasn't working.
Given these reports, it appears that the EPA is the quintessential federal government program.