Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to move one of its regional offices out of downtown Kansas City, KS, to an office park nearly 20 miles outside of the city. The EPA employs nearly 600 people at these offices, and leaving downtown will hurt both the environment and the economy of the region.
The EPA’s decision to leave downtown contradicts its own mission, hurts employees, hurts Kansas City and wastes taxpayer dollars.
First and foremost this decision contradicts the mission of the EPA, which aims to reduce air pollution. Many employees will now have a longer commute that must be done by car, meaning higher emissions and more congestion on roads in the region.
Equally troubling, EPA’s decision wastes valuable taxpayer dollars. The U.S. Department of Transportation, as well as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – both of which work closely with EPA in the Partnership for Sustainable Communities – have invested millions of dollars in projects meant to support the Kansas City region’s economy through smarter growth strategies. EPA’s decision goes against these efforts and undermines other federal agencies’ work and investments.
The EPA’s offices in Kansas City have been a cornerstone of the city’s economic revitalization, and its decision to leave undermines these efforts. In addition, as gas prices reach all time highs the EPA’s decision will also be a burden on employees and their families. More money spent on gas and car maintenance also means less money to spend in other sectors of the economy, further hurting the Kansas City region.
The EPA’s decision is irresponsible and hurts U.S. taxpayers as well as Kansas City’s environment and economy. Help us hold the Agency accountable for its actions.