Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Impacts of the Government Shutdown on Federal Agencies with a Mississippi River Basin Connection

Below is a summary of Federal agency impacts expected because of the government shutdown, compiled by the Northeast-Midwest Institute's Great Lakes Washington Program Director, Danielle Chesky. Links to information sources are provided for each agency.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Approximately 94% of EPA’s 16,204 employees are expected to be furloughed starting today. Oversight of some Superfund sites may qualify for an exception to remain staffed, ensuring the site does not pose an imminent threat to public health. About 300 of the 800 superfund sites were determined to qualify for the exception. Huffington Post

US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
A total of 1,794 USFWS employees will be exempt from the federal shutdown furloughs, serving in law enforcement, animal caretaker, and emergency personnel departments, among others. Fish hatcheries are included under the animal caretaker portfolio. Department of Interior Contingency Plan

US Geological Survey (USGS)
Only 43 of USGS’ 8,623 employees have been designated as exempt and will remain on the job, according to the Department of the Interior’s Contingency Plan for the U.S. Geological Survey. Designated essential activities include the National Earthquake Information Center and the Earth Resources Observation and Science Center. Of those furloughed, 200 employees will be on call and ready to be exempted should a natural disaster occur.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
About 45% of NOAA employees are expected to be furloughed beginning today. Most workers remaining on the job are with the National Weather Service. Fishery Nation

Army Corps of Engineers
Mississippi River locks and dams, as well as other commercial traffic and flood control aspects, will remain open as they are considered core functions. Recreation areas are expected to close. Projects funded through prior year appropriations, like for Hurricane Sandy impacts, will continue. NBC St. Paul-Minneapolis

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