Hints Aside, EPA Staff Stayed Here for Paris Deal Assistance

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By Anthony Adragna

Aug. 2 — No employees with the Environmental Protection Agency were sent overseas to help other developing nations implement the international Paris Agreement to combat climate change, a senior official told congressional Republicans.

Janet McCabe, in an April 2016 letter obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, said the U.S. has and would continue to assist other nations “by means of capacity building tools and expert advice.” Doing so, she said, allows for the transparent and verifiable reports of greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

But “the EPA does not plan to deploy staff to other countries as a result of the Paris Agreement,” she wrote.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy raised eyebrows among some House Republicans when she hinted the agency might actually send staff overseas to help with the accord's implementation.

“We have actually detailed folks working with State to different countries to actually embed people there who can teach this, to get professional expertise there,” McCarthy said in remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations. “I think we have done it where resources are available to us. You know, everybody has limitations, and we work within those.”

Those comments prompted 29 House Republicans, led by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), to send a letter in January asking for information about how many agency staff might be deployed to other nations, how long the employees would stay and how much such an effort would cost.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Adragna in Washington at aadragna@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

For More Information

A copy of the letter from McCabe to congressional Republicans is available at http://src.bna.com/hli.

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