Carper Urges GSA to Ascertain President-Elect Biden to Ensure Americans’ Environmental and Health Protections
Nov 23 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, urged General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Murphy to ascertain the results of the 2020 Presidential Election for the sake of Americans’ environment and health.
In a new letter to GSA Administrator Murphy, Senator Carper underscored the urgency and importance of a smooth transition to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris’s administration, given the global crises of climate change and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“GSA must immediately ascertain the President-elect’s clear election victory and assist in facilitating a timely and effective transition of power to the incoming administration, as required by the Presidential Transition Act of 1963,” Senator Carper wrote. “Failing to do so risks the health and safety of millions of Americans as the nation grapples with a pandemic that continues to grow more severe every week.”
Senator Carper outlined three specific areas currently hindered by GSA’s refusal to ascertain President-Elect Biden: air pollution and the coronavirus, evaluation and approval of disinfectants amid the pandemic, and preparation for the next administration to assess and remediate contaminated Superfund sites.
“I urge you to fulfill your lawful duty and begin the process of facilitating an orderly transfer of power to the new administration, so that President-elect Biden and Vice-President elect Harris can protect human health and the environment effectively on day one,” Senator Carper continued.
The full letter can be read here or below.
November 23, 2020
General Services Administration
1800 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
Dear Administrator Murphy:
I am deeply concerned that the General Services Administration (GSA) continues to delay providing resources and access to critical information to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and their team as they prepare to take office in January. GSA must immediately ascertain the President-elect’s clear election victory and assist in facilitating a timely and effective transition of power to the incoming administration, as required by the Presidential Transition Act of 1963. Failing to do so risks the health and safety of millions of Americans as the nation grapples with a pandemic that continues to grow more severe every week.
As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, I am particularly concerned that the Biden Administration (hereafter the Transition) is being hindered in its preparations to protect human health and the environment in several areas:
- Air Pollution Exposure and Coronavirus Disease (COVID). Lack of access to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) career officials and important environmental data prevents the Transition from further evaluating research demonstrating that air pollution leads to more adverse outcomes from COVID. This lack of access hinders the Transition’s ability to prepare effective policies to address this health hazard.
- Evaluation and Approval of Disinfectants amid the Pandemic. The Transition’s lack of resources and access to EPA information also risks possible delays in the evaluation and approval of surface disinfectants that can be used to ensure surfaces are free of the COVID-19 virus.
- Management of Contaminated Sites. The Transition must prepare the Biden administration to immediately and effectively manage the nation’s Superfund sites. The Trump administration has added several sites to the National Priorities List this fall. The incoming administration needs to prepare to protect the health of communities at these contaminated sites and the safety of the drinking water supplies in surrounding areas. Of particular concern are the six sites that were added to the Superfund National Priorities List in September, affecting communities in Delaware, South Carolina, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Kansas, and California. Continued lack of access to information makes preparing to manage these sites that have long awaited cleanup more challenging.
I urge you to fulfill your lawful duty and immediately begin the process of facilitating an orderly transfer of power to the new administration, so that President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris can protect human health and the environment effectively on day one. Thank you for your attention to this matter of national safety.
Thomas R. Carper