The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of President Trump’s goal to shrink the federal workforce (and budget), is establishing a buyout program to reduce its 15,000-person staff.
EPA acting deputy administrator Mike Flynn said the agency was acting on a letter from the White House urging immediate action on staffing reductions across the federal landscape.
“In light of this guidance, we will begin the steps necessary to initiate an early out/buy out … program,” Flynn said. He said he hopes to complete the process by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. He also noted that the EPA would maintain a hiring freeze even after the government-wide freeze was lifted recently.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 45 percent of the EPA’s employees are retirement eligible. Across all agencies, the average is 34 percent.
President Trump’s proposed budget calls for a 31 percent reduction in the EPA workforce.