What's Upstream Update
The Republican from Sunnyside joined with Congressmen from five other states Tuesday in drafting a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy who was asked in April when her agency learned it had spent over $650,000 on the “What’s Upstream” campaign …
“I cannot give you an exact date, but I can assure you the EPA was also distressed about the use of that money and the tone of the campaign. And we have put a halt to reimbursement of any funds under that and I do know the most egregious tone was reflected on billboards that will not be reimbursed under that fund.”… 29 seconds
She also told the Senate’s Environmental and Public Works Committee they would look into measures to stop future funding errors …
“I think we need to relook at the details and scope of our contracts so that subcontractors that are then used not only meet the legal merits of what we have to do, but also, you know, reflect the tone and interests of EPA in collaborating with agriculture.” … 16 seconds
The Washington Public Disclosure Commission has also asked “What’s Upstream” organizers to respond to allegations the advocacy group broke state law by failing to file grass-roots lobbying reports.
The complaint from a group of farm supporters calling itself “Save Family Farms” accused “What’s Upstream” of trying to influence state legislation and should have registered with the state.
The Swinomish Tribe received the EPA grant and hired Seattle lobbying firm Strategies 360 to create the media campaign advocating for stricter regulations on agriculture … including mandatory 100-foot buffers between farm fields and waterways.
Newhouse and the other Representative are hoping for an EPA update by next week on protections to prevent future misuse of funding.