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EPA Issues Statement to Wildwood Residents

Environmental Protection Agency Region 7: "EPA has no reason to believe (Robert) Feild has mishandled any documents in connection with Wildwood."

In response to the article entitled published Tuesday morning in Eureka-Wildwood Patch, an EPA spokesperson emailed a complete agency response.

Patch is publishing it in its entirety and verbatim:

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's engagement with city officials and community members in has been extensive and has stressed transparency of agency actions. The agency is committed to practicing sound science and clear communication in connection with sampling results and environmental assessments in Wildwood.

EPA has engaged a team of professionals including engineers, geologists, chemists, statisticians, attorneys and community involvement coordinators in response to questions about possible environmental contamination in Wildwood. Robert Feild, an engineer who works as a remedial project manager, is one of the members of the team which is supervised by a physicist.

Feild's name came up in connection with litigation between EPA and another company.  EPA and that company entered into a settlement agreement regarding lead contamination in Omaha, Nebraska. After the settlement, there were allegations that Feild, a remedial project manager in Omaha, had instructed EPA employees to delete internal e-mails in connection with that case.

In response to the allegations related to the Feild e-mails, EPA interviewed 15 agency employees who were either recipients of the Feild e-mails or who were identified as primary custodians of documents related to the Omaha Lead Site (OLS). Not one EPA employee who was interviewed said they deleted an e-mail or any other document at Feild's request. In compliance with the Federal Records Act and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) regulations, EPA's Records Officer reported to NARA through an October 25, 2010, letter the results of the interviews and other actions taken by the agency to secure all existing documents related to the OLS. In a June 27, 2011 response letter, NARA informed EPA that it had closed its file on the matter.

In the Omaha case, the agency produced more than 77,000 documents consisting of more than 1.1 million pages in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Region 7 is dedicated to transparency in managing, retaining and disclosing records of actions by agency staff. The region has extensive policies and procedures on records retention and responding fully to Freedom of Information requests. EPA has no reason to believe Feild has mishandled any documents in connection with Wildwood.

Based on personal privacy laws, EPA cannot discuss the existence or nonexistence of disciplinary action against any employee."

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