TBogg - "...a somewhat popular blogger"

Faithful husband, soccer dad, basset owner, and former cowboy
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  • Tuesday, April 29, 2003


    “Were safe here. Thank God we’re in a bowling alley Starbucks!”

    Well, look what showed up in my email box.

    As noted in my post below, the EPA Enforcement Division has been put in the position of becoming roadies for the Christy Whitman Caffeine & Crumpets World Tour (t-shirts available by the concession stands) and a few of the agents don't think too much of it. Well, J.P. Suarez, Assistant Administrator Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance for the EPA wants all the EPA folks to know that he didn't do it, and besides, it's all about 9/11 anyway. Here's the memo that he sent out yesterday:


    April 28, 2003


    SUBJECT: Correcting the Record: EPA's Role in Homeland Security,
    Enforcement, and Protective Security Detail

    TO: All EPA Employees

    FROM: J.P. Suarez, Assistant Administrator Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

    Some of you may have read recent media stories about EPA's involvement in homeland security, enforcement, and protective security detail issues. Here are the facts.

    Since September 11, 2001 our government has experienced an enormous increase in the need to protect its citizens from acts of terrorism. Agencies across the government came together and established an effective, strong homeland security presence. EPA responded immediately and continues to play a critical role in homeland protection. EPA's strategic plan for homeland security was held up as a model for other Agencies and Departments. Every EPA program and region has reallocated some of its resources to address important and essential homeland security functions.

    EPA's focus since September 11 has been to support our nation's effort at combating domestic threats while at the same time ensuring that enforcement of environmental crimes continues. Homeland security is a critical new aspect of EPA's mission, and we have dedicated resources to support this essential effort. At the same time we continue to achieve significant success in prosecuting environmental crimes in fact, EPA's enforcement numbers in several categories are at an all time high.

    Some of EPA's Criminal Investigations Division agents participate on the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Department of Justice's Anti-Terrorism Task Force. Participation on the task forces allows these EPA agents to respond to any domestic incident that may involve a threat to the nation's infrastructure, including drinking water supplies, chemical storage and manufacturing facilities, illegal importation of dangerous or hazardous substances, or other incidents that may require the expertise of an environmental enforcement agent. In addition to homeland security investigations, agents assigned to the Terrorism Task Force also carry traditional environmental crime caseloads.

    EPA's enforcement record is outstanding as we continue to aggressively pursue those who pollute.

    In 2001 and 2002, EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement referred 506 cases to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. In 1999 and 2000, 477 cases were referred. In 2002, enforcement cases resulted in criminal sentences totaling 215 years, and in 2001, the total was 256. These two years represent the two highest years in the last five in EPA's criminal enforcement program The 674 enforcement cases initiated in 2002 was the highest ever in the program.

    EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics & Training was delegated the authority to provide protection to the Administrator and Deputy Administrator on September 27, 2001. Prior to this date, protection services were provided by the Inspector General pursuant to the Inspector General Act of 1978. The Criminal Investigations Division staffs Administrator Whitman's protection detail to the extent necessary after an evaluation of both specific and general threats has been made. These professional law enforcement agents are the only officers within EPA with the training to carry out the level of security protection (including carrying firearms and having the authorization to make arrests) required to protect all Cabinet-level officials and to address homeland security incidents.

    The level of protection is appropriate in light of the Administrator's significant responsibilities related to environmental
    threats and her status as a Cabinet Officer within the Administration. Issues raised regarding personal services are simply not accurate at no time have agents assigned to the protection detail been required to provide personal services for the Administrator. EPA welcomes the opportunity for any employee to raise concerns about the management and direction of any office within the Agency.

    The "dos and don'ts list" mentioned in media stories was prepared by EPA's Criminal Investigations Division management. This list was apparently prepared as a checklist to help agents who normally do not provide personal security protection. Neither myself nor Administrator Whitman asked for, or were aware of, such a list. The Enforcement Office has recently compiled a confidential protective services manual for protection service agents. This manual fully defines the functions performed by these agents while they are assigned to protective services detail.

    EPA continues to produce significant environmental results for the American people through its enforcement program, as is evidenced by the more than 674 cases initiated last year alone. At the same time, I am also proud to have the many professional enforcement officials who are helping to fulfill the counter-terrorism protection role for the nation following September 11, 2001


    There you have it. Mr Suarez don' know nothin' bout no dropping cars off at the airport, looking for cozy bookstores, saving tables at restaurants, or whether "Administrator" Whitman wants chocolate sprinkles or maybe just a dash of cinnamon on her latte. It's all about 9/11 and terrorism.

    Based on this memo, should we suffer another terrorist attack, and you don't have the wherewithal to hide out at Offut Air Force Base, I suggest you get yourself to whichever Starbucks Ms. Whitman is bunkered down in.

    There is safety to be found there.

    And they have Wi-Fi too.....

    (Thanks to the nameless EPA employee who passed this along to me)

    posted by tbogg at 8:31 AM



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