EPA Office to Stay Put
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A federal judge Friday temporarily halted a Bush administration plan to reshuffle the office of the Environmental Protection Agency’s hazardous waste ombudsman.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard W. Roberts issued a temporary restraining order against the government until a full hearing on the matter can be scheduled. The order remains in effect until Feb. 26.
Robert Martin, who handles citizen complaints on waste and Superfund matters, has asked the court to block EPA Administrator Christie Whitman from moving the ombudsman’s office to the EPA’s Inspector General’s Office.
Martin contends the move would weaken his independence within the agency. He said in court papers the action was being taken because he has been an outspoken critic of corporations’ influence in Superfund cases, large environmental cleanups that involve the worst types of hazardous waste.
On the Net:
EPA Inspector General: http://www.epa.gov/oigearth