Due to a series of buyouts and retirements, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could cut its workforce by half by the end of President Donald Trump’s first term in office, The Washington Examiner reports.
Several agencies in the Trump administration are focused on a leaner workforce and cutting spending. The EPA is leading the pack. It is on track to reduce the size of the agency anywhere from 25 to 47 percent.
“We’re proud to report that we’re reducing the size of government, protecting taxpayer dollars and staying true to our core mission of protecting the environment,” EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement to The Washington Examiner.
At the start of 2018, EPA employed 14,162 workers. Through Pruitt’s series of buyouts and generous retirement packages, as well as normal retirements, up to 47 percent of employees will leave the agency in the next five years.
Trump initiated a hiring freeze in Jan. 2017 that will prevent retirees being replaced by new hires.
If the EPA remains on its current course, agency could employ less than 8,000 people in the next few years. It would be the leanest workforce the agency has seen since 1972, two years after it was created.