Employees at the newly renovated Consumer Financial Protection Bureau headquarters are getting sick from “noxious fumes” in the building, according to an exclusive report from The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group.
The DCNF reportedly spoke to a federal employee who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, fearing his jobs would be in danger if CFPB management learned he spoke to reporters.
“We’ve been experiencing noxious fumes for a while, and people are saying they are getting sick,” the employee told TheDCNF.
“People should not be in that building. They need to evacuate that building until it’s ready for occupancy.”
Around 750 of the agency’s employees moved into the building in October, while construction was still underway.
According to an employee, the fumes are coming from the chemicals used in the still-under-construction basement.
A spokesman for the CFPB stated that many employees are now working from a remote location.
“If necessary, please contact your manager about telework and other workplace flexibilities that may be available to you,” read a memo to employees.
The CFPB was established by Elizabeth Warren under the Obama administration in 2011, with the stated aim of protecting consumers.
The building renovation’s “$124 million price tag was double the original $55 million estimate and 25 percent over the $99 million estimate approved by Richard Cordray, the bureau’s first director,” The Daily Caller reported.
Despite the expensive renovation, this is not the CFPB’s first encounter with a health hazard.
The Daily Caller reported earlier this month that the CFPB headquarters is also dealing with an infestation of rats.
“Right from the start there were reports of rats in the building,” one employee told TheDCNF.
“There were rat sightings. One person had a rat in her trash can, and they couldn’t get it out. Rat feces were on the floor and on people’s desks. Rats are running across people’s feet when they’re sitting there trying to work.”
The decision to reoccupy the building while it was still under construction was made by the CFPB’s first bureau director, Richard Cordray, who left in November last year.
Acting Director Mick Mulvaney has been appointed by President Donald Trump to take over its management, and he has promised to drastically change the bureau in the form of a five-year strategic plan.
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