Reagan Flood Closure Update

NTEU Chapter 280 has been monitoring the safety issues associated with the recent flood in the Reagan building closely to ensure it's safe for employees to return to work in the building. Management and NTEU agreed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that we have a role in ensuring safety of employees, which we're exercising.

In case you didn't know, a water pipe in the ceiling of the 4th floor of the Ronald Reagan Building had an end cap come loose, allowing hot water from the pipe to flood several floors of the building. EPA closed the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors to remediate the damage.

On Monday, April 2, Chapter 280 along with our sister union, AFGE Local 3331 did a walk through of the 5th floor. The 5th floor was not damaged, but was nonetheless closed so that the 4th floor ceiling crawlspaces could be access through the 5th floor floating floors. Management agreed to not re-occupy the floor until NTEU and AFGE completed their safety inspection, which was completed Monday morning. The floor was opened immediately thereafter to employees.

With all of the water saturation, NTEU remains concerned about mold and mildew growth over the long-term on the 3rd and 4th floors. While the agency is doing air sampling now, that air sampling is not likely to detect mold or mildew growth currently as mold and mildew require moisture and time to grow. Mold and mildew can have serious health consequences.

If you notice you are having respiratory problems on the 3rd and 4th floors of the Reagan Building subsequent to this problem, or are having other problems such as the ones that EPA notes can result from mold and mildew indoors, please let us know by emailing

Below is the latest message we received from facilities with an update on the repairs:

From: Jefferson, Gayle
Sent: Thursday, April 5, 2018 5:00 PM
Subject: RE: RRB Update #4

Good Afternoon Everyone:

We just concluded a meeting with GSA , and would like to provide you with the following update regarding the flood restoration work on the 3rd and 4th floors of the RRB.

Unfortunately, GSA has been unable to make the progress we expected and the space will not be ready for re-occupancy until Monday, April 16.

While we have made tremendous progress, GSA was unable to secure funding for the drywall and painting repairs necessary until late yesterday, so that work did not begin until today.

There is a slight possibility that one of the two floors may be ready by mid to late next week, and if/when looks likely, we will notify you asap. Otherwise, we will confirm late next week that the space will be ready for re-occupancy on April 16.

Again, the air quality testing has been completed, and employees should work through their management for telework and other arrangements should they wish to wait for the final analysis of the rest results before returning to their workstation. At this point in time, we anticipate the results the week of April 16.

We apologize for the delay in re-occupancy of the 3rd and 4th floors, and would be happy to help you find alternative work space for those impacted employees if we have not already found a way to accommodate those who have been displaced and cannot telework.

If you have any questions at this time, please let me know – thank you for your support and patience.

Gayle L. Jefferson
Facilities Management and Services Division (FMSD)
Main Number: (202)564-2030

From: Collard, Erin
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2018 2:08 PM
Subject: RRB Update #3


FMSD met with GSA to address any potential issues due to moisture (ie: mold). Based on the site visit, visual observations, and the very recent nature of the leak, it is the professional opinion of the GSA Industrial Hygienist that mold sampling at this juncture is not necessary.

While deemed not necessary by GSA, FMSD has requested that testing be completed to allay any remaining concerns employees may have. Testing is scheduled to begin Wednesday April 4 and results will take up to two weeks to receive. We expect remediation activities to be concluded and the workspace to be available for employees to return on Monday, April 9th. Employees should work through their management for telework or other arrangements should they wish to wait for the final analysis of the test results before returning to their workstation.

Finally, aside from eight identified workstations, GSA has let us know that it will not be necessary for employees to pack the filing cabinets and drawer contents in the workstations. Only the items that are on the desk surfaces need to be packed.

The eight workstations/offices that will need to be completely packed are:

RRB 4th Floor:

RRB 3rd Floor:

As mentioned earlier, employees are welcome to voluntarily come and pack their items, or if they prefer, FMSD staff and support services will complete this task for them.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.


Erin Collard
Chief of Staff, Facilities Management Division
Office of Administration
US Environmental Protection Agency
EPA West Bldg, Room B200-B
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20460