UG sues federal government over EPA move
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., today announced it is suing the federal General Services Administration over its decision to move the Region 7 Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Kan., to suburban Lenexa.
The Unified Government lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, alleges the GSA violated two Presidential Executive Orders and federal regulations in deciding to move the EPA and its nearly 700 employees from custom built offices in downtown KCK to the former Applebee's restaurant offices in suburban Lenexa. The lawsuit asks the Federal Court to issue injunctions stopping the move, canceling the contract for the Applebee's building and starting the selection process over.
“We're convinced the GSA ignored its own policies and violated federal law in the way it conducted this process,” Mayor Joe Reardon said in a news release. “The GSA should be looking to locate in the urban core and to support environmentally sustainable practices as two Presidential Executive Orders require.”
The Unified Government contends in the lawsuit that Kansas City will suffer irreparable harm to its economy, downtown core and local tax revenues if the move takes place.
The lawsuit also alleges the GSA violated the federal Freedom of Information Act by ignoring formal requests for information and documents about the selection process. The lawsuit says failure to follow the federal open records law underscores that the GSA decision to move the EPA Region 7 Headquarters was the result of a closed process made without respect to the Presidential Executive Orders and its requirements.
“The GSA’s unwillingness to provide those records as required by law is further evidence of a lack of transparency in this process,” Mike Taylor, public relations director for the Unified Government, said in a release.
The lawsuit requests the issues be resolved by a jury trial at the United States District Courthouse in downtown Kansas City, Kan.