Under Pressure From Senate Dems, EPA Restores Funding for Bay Journal

"The Environmental Protection Agency agreed Thursday to restore $325,000 in funding this year for the Bay Journal, a publication with a print circulation of 50,000 that has covered environmental issues involving the Chesapeake Bay for more than a quarter-century.

A Trump political appointee who started signing off on each EPA grant last year, public affairs official John Konkus, made the decision in August to cut off funding for the paper. The federal money accounts for roughly a third of the Bay Journal’s budget. The publication challenged the move in an appeal directly to the agency, arguing the EPA had violated the terms of its cooperative agreement, and Maryland’s two senators, Benjamin L. Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both Democrats, repeatedly pressed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in private and in public to reinstate the funds.

On Thursday, Kerry Neal, deputy director of the EPA’s Office of Grants and Debarment, told attorneys for the Bay Journal that the grant would be restored. “This renders the appeal moot,” he wrote in a letter to the newspaper’s lawyers."

Juliet Eilperin and Dino Grandoni report for the Washington Post March 1, 2018.

Source: Washington Post, 03/02/2018