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EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Spent More Than $58000 On Non-Commercial Flights

29 September, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • A representative from Acoustical Solutions said that the booth protects from eavesdroppers

"As someone who spent a lot of time in the administrator's office, I can tell you that there was nothing like this", Liz Purchia, former head of communications at the EPA, told CNN. In a statement to the Post, she said agencies needed to have such booths to guard against hacking and eavesdropping.

"We are glad that the EPA Office of Inspector General is looking into this issue, to determine whether taxpayer funds were spent appropriately", said Sylvia Lam, an attorney for the Environmental Integrity Project.

The governor's office confirmed to Denver7 Wednesday that Pruitt had declined Hickenlooper's invitation, but did not offer further comment.

While no previous EPA administrators had such a setup, the booth will not be the first SCIF constructed within the agency.

The booth ordered for Pruitt is being built by Acoustical Solutions, a Richmond, Va. -based company that sells more economical versions retailing for about $5,000, designed for people taking hearing tests.

There is already a SCIF at EPA headquarters in Washington where officials with the appropriate levels of security clearance can go to access classified information.

Add EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to the ever growing list of Trump administration officials who have used private planes for government duties.

In recent months, Pruitt and his top deputies have taken other steps aimed at heightening security.

An EPA spokesman told CBS News that technically, the EPA did not charter this flight, but instead asked the Department of Interior to book it for the EPA, making use of an inter-agency program.

"Pruitt also has shied away from using email at EPA, often preferring to deliver instructions verbally and hold face-to-face meetings".

He flew back to Denver on a private plane after the tour of the mine and after announcing he'd consider paying for more damages caused by the spill.

During the visit to Colorado, Pruitt blasted the Obama administration for failing to protect local communities and the environment. "The administrator, and any Cabinet secretary, is the face of that agency". Such 24/7 coverage has prompted officials to rotate in special agents from around the country who otherwise would be investigating environmental crimes.

The company has worked with government offices since at least 2007 to soundproof rooms and provide acoustic insulation, according to the federal contract database.

Snider said the company also has installed numerous "audiometric" booths in other government agencies, such as Veterans Affairs, but those nearly always are used for hearing tests. "(But) for the criteria they had, it fit this product".


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