Local EPA office hit hard by government shutdown

PARKVILLE, Mo. - The Environmental Protection Agency is one of the agencies hit hardest by the government shutdown.

The agency reports in a contingency plan that classifies 1,069 employees out of 16,205 as essential, leaving the agency to operate with less than 7 percent of its employees.

Bill Gresham of Parkville is one of the 529 employees from the Kansas City area and said sometimes not having a job to report to is harder than the job itself. 

"I won't be doing any extras. This will be living close to the bone, you know, saving enough to pay the bills," he told 41 Action News while staying busy doing household chores.

He explained that it's the "cheap" things he's trying to do.

After working for the EPA for 16 years, more recently as a water contamination specialist, Gresham read a gut-wrenching letter sent out October first. He is considered non-essential.

"Your services are no longer needed," part of the letter read. "You will be in a non-pay, non-duty status."

He was given very clear instructions to not do any work from home, not to answer any work e-mails and not to use his work phone. All of his projects have to be suspended.

"I can't assume that it will be short, so I'm adjusting my lifestyle," he said.

41 Action News tried to contact the agency for more information but the Office of Public Affairs is also closed.

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