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EPA warns employees of up to 13 furlough days

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday formally notified its employees of planned furloughs of up to 13 discontinuous days, a number in the mid-range of what agencies have announced to date in response to sequestration.

“EPA intends to allow flexibility for you to request a specific schedule for your furlough time off, and will provide further clarification on this as needed,” said a representative notice provided by the American Federation of Government Employees council of EPA locals. The notices trigger a 30-day waiting period before the unpaid time can begin.

In a memo to employees, EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe said that the agency will carry out the furlough in two phases, with employees required to take 32 unpaid hours, the equivalent of four days, in the first phase through June. At that point the EPA will review its budget “to determine if there may be a way to reduce the number of furlough hours that would be required in the second phase,” he wrote.

He also said that the EPA will be “making significant cuts in all non-personnel spending, such as grants and contracts. These steps are in addition to the substantial efforts to save resources that we have been implementing since the beginning of the fiscal year.”

“It is our hope that undertaking these actions will help reduce the overall impact of sequestration on employees and their families, while maintaining our ability to protect public health and the environment,” he added.

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