Policy Letter

Letter to President-Elect Bush

The Honorable George W. Bush

Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition Headquarters

1800 G Street, NW

Washington, DC 20405

Dear President-Elect Bush:

Our organizations are writing to express dismay and alarm at the Environmental Protection Agency's recent treatment of its National Hazardous Waste and Superfund Ombudsman Office. The removal of that Office's sole investigator without the knowledge or consent from the Ombudsman; the current bar on the National Ombudsman to supervise any personnel or other resources; and the newly released draft Ombudsman guidance restricting investigations, demonstrate the lack of discretion and independence allowed that important office.

The very essence of an Ombudsman is to stand apart from the entrenched bureaucracy and to perform independent investigations at the request of elected officials and the public and private sector. Discretion over which cases an Ombudsman looks into is essential for the effectiveness of that office. Should the Ombudsman become subservient to the agency whose work he is meant to investigate, any of his decisions would become suspect thus compromising the legitimacy and integrity of the office.

We ask you to direct the next Administrator to provide a level of resources which the EPA National Ombudsman deems necessary to do his work, including but not limited to the reinstatement of staff, and to ensure that the Office is truly independent from manipulation by EPA management. We trust that, in the name of good government, you will let EPA Administrator-designate Whitman know of your support for this vital office.


20/20 Vision

James Wyerman, Executive Director

Alaska Waveriders

Mike Macy, Director of Public Policy

Alberton Community Coalition for Environmental Health

Lucinda Hodges, Director

Alliance for Nuclear Accountability

Susan Gordon, Director

American Friends Service Committee Northeast Ohio Office

Greg Coleridge, Director, Economic Justice & Empowerment Program

American Lands Alliance

Steve Holmer, Campaign Coordinator

Arrest the Incinerator Remediation (AIR)

Vicki Smedley, Chair

Brio Superfund Site Community Group

Marie Flickinger, Chair

Chemical Weapons Working Group

Craig Williams, Director

Citizens Advisory Group

Mary Mosley, Acting Chair

Clean Air Council

Jeff Tober, Board Member

Clean Air Hotline

Dr. Richard H. Osborne, Barbara T. Osborne


Jack Unruh, President

Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers

Darrell Geist, Executive Director

Common Ground

Naomi Schultz, Steering Committee

Concerned Citizens of Lake Township

Christine Borello, President

Cook Inlet Keeper

Bob Shavelson

Don't Waste Arizona

Stephen M. Brittle, President

Environmental Association for Great Lakes Education (EAGLE)

Craig Minowa, Projects Cooridinator

Friends of the Earth

Gawain Kripke, Director, Economic Campaigns

Glynn Environmental Coalition

Bob Drury, President

Government Accountabilty Project

Tom Devine, Legal Director

Grand Canyon Trust

Bill Hedden, Utah Conservation Director


Rick Hind, Legislative Director, Greenpeace Toxics Campaign

GreenWatch USA

Bill Smedley, President

Kentucky Environmental Foundation

Peter Hille, Chair

Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation, Inc.

Aliki Moncrief, Staff Attorney

Marin Breast Cancer Watch

Francine Levien, Founder and Executive Director


Tony Tweedale, Project Director

Mothers Organized to Stop Environmental Sins (M.O.S.E.S.)

Phyllis Glazer, President and Founder

Non-Stockpile Chemical Weapons Coalition

Elizabeth Crowe, Director

Ohio Citizen Action

Jennifer O'Donnell, Akron Area Director

Olympic Environmental Council

Darlene Schanfald, Rayonier Hazardous Waste Project Director

Overland Neighborhood Environmental Watch

Catherine Sandy, President

Pennsylvania Environmental Network

Vicki Smedley, President


Rose Mary Ammons, Vice President

Political Ecology Group

Sara Zimmerman, Board Member

Project On Government Oversight

Danielle Brian, Executive Director

Protect the Peninsula's Future

Eloise Kailin, President

Public Citizen

Joan Claybrook, President

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

Jeff Ruch, Executive Director

Safe Food and Fertilizer

Patricia Anne Martin, Executive Director

Shenandoah County Alliance

Against Toxic Sludge, LLC

Charlotte Hughes, Secretary

Silver Valley People's Action Coalition

Barbara Miller, Director

Site Specific Advisory Board Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Sandra Jaquith, Spokesperson

Take Off Unknowns in Communities (TOXIC)

Inese Holte, Director of Communications

Trans Alaska Gas System Environmental Review Committee

Mike Macy, Coordinator

Tri-State Environmental Council

Terri Swearingen, Executive Director

United Parents Against Lead of North Carolina, Inc.

Kristin Joyner, Director

Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG)

Sarah O'Brien, Environmental Health Advocate

Washington Toxics Coalition

Laurie Valeriano, Policy Director

Waste Action Project

Greg Wingard, Executive Director

Waste Not

Ellen & Paul Connett, Editors

Working Group on Community Right to Know

Lisa Mosca, Coordinator

Alaska Forum For Environmental Responsibility

Ross Coen, Executive Director

Healing Our Mother Earth

Marta Salinas

The West County Toxics Coalition

Dr. Henry Clark

CC: EPW Committee