Response from Senator Patty Murray

5/18/2016We are grateful to Senator Murray and Kevin Stockert from her DC office for the response to our letter asking for support for farmers in the EPA and Whatsupstream issue.

Mr. Stockert assured us that Senator Murray is very familiar with the concerns of farmers and understands those concerns. He noted that there were several inquiries underway regarding the EPA funding of the Whatsupstream campaign against farmers and that the Senator would monitor these inquiries. These include an internal EPA investigation and an audit by the Office of Inspector General.

He also reiterated that Senator Murray has long been supportive of agriculture in our state and nation and considers it important to our state’s economic future.

While we are appreciative of the response from Senator Murray, we have to express some disappointment that unlike many colleagues in the Senate and the House, Senator Murray is not expressing willingness to become directly involved in pursuing this issue with the EPA and administration. We would very much have liked to see a stronger expression of dismay over a clear violation of federal law by a government agency and a stronger commitment to follow up this concern with real action.

We also discussed with Mr. Stockert our concerns about the EPA’s unfair treatment of groups in granting waivers for documents request fees. Mr. Stockert indicated that the Senator’s office receives many complaints about EPA behavior and action. If this is the case, it provides even greater cause for the Senator to become directly involved in oversight over this federal agencies which seems to disregard law and fairness at nearly every turn.