EPA Spending Nearly $25K To Build Soundproof Booth In Pruitt’s Office

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency of United States (EPA), during the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Environment ongioing in Bologna, Italy, 11 June 2017. The meeting runs until tomorrow, 12 June. ANSA/ GIORGIO BENVENUTI
Giorgio Benvenuti/ANSA
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The Environmental Protection Agency is spending $24,570 to build a “privacy booth” for the agency’s chief, Scott Pruitt, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The Washington Post reported, citing a contract the agency signed with Acoustical Solutions, LLC, that the EPA agreed to pay nearly $25,000 for a “privacy booth for the administrator,” scheduled to be completed Oct. 9, 2017.

According to Acoustical Solutions’ website, the company manufactures and distributes “acoustical products” that can be used for “office/conference room privacy, reduction in mechanical and equipment noise, secure rooms (SKIF) environments, scientific testing rooms, gun ranges and many other environments.”

The EPA, according to the Washington Post, requested a soundproof booth that cost considerably more than a standard model.

Steve Snider, a sales consultant with Acoustical Solutions, told the Washington Post that the EPA “had a lot of modifications” in its request.

“Their main goal was they wanted essentially a secure phone booth that couldn’t be breached from a data point of view or from someone standing outside eavesdropping,” he said.

An EPA spokeswoman told the Washington Post that the booth would be a SCIF, or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, and said it was “something which a number, if not all, Cabinet offices have and EPA needs to have updated.”

The Washington Post reported, however, citing unnamed EPA employees, that the agency already has such a facility, but that the agency did not specify what about it was due for an update.

Pruitt reportedly already has a round-the-clock security detail of unprecedented size, according to the Washington Post, which reported on Wednesday that Pruitt has 18 people on his security detail, though he has pushed for a 31 percent funding cut across the EPA.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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