8 “nonessential” health and environmental services that shut down today

Flu monitoring, national parks and food inspections are all on hiatus

Topics: Government shutdown, national parks, public health, Food safety, Superfund, clean water, renewable energy, Oil and Gas, Pandas, pandacam, , ,

The government shutdown is officially a reality, meaning all federal programs and services deemed nonessential are temporarily on hold. Here are just a few of things we’ll have to do without until a compromise is reached — some are arguably less nonessential than others:

1. National parks

Access is now denied to any recreational visitors to our 84 million-plus acres of public land; those camping in national parks and forests have 48 hours to get out. The National Zoo, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 12 marine sanctuaries are also closed to visitors.

ThinkProgress found this loophole in the National Park Service’s contingency plan: while parks, forests and wildlife refugees are shut down, “access to personal and commercial inholdings and leased facilities is permitted.” So it’s likely business as usual for oil, gas and mining operations. (The Department of Interior, though, will temporarily stop reviewing proposals for new projects.)

2. Superfund cleanup

Second only to NASA in the proportion of its employees staying home today, the Environmental Protection Agency is down 94 percent of its staff of 16,204. That includes, an EPA spokesperson said yesterday, those running cleanup operations at 505 Superfund sites in 47 states. Pollution and pesticide regulators are also no longer on the job.

3. Flu vaccines

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s seasonal influenza program, which works to monitor and control the flu’s spread, isn’t “medically necessary” enough to continue.

4. Food inspections

The Food and Drug Administration is now ”unable to support the majority of its food safety, nutrition, and cosmetics activities,” the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration has been anticipating an “inability to investigate alleged violations,” and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website is no longer live.

5. Water quality

The U.S. Geological Survey‘s water quality data “will not be received, analyzed or disseminated to the public” for the shutdown’s duration.

6. Climate research

Meteorologists are still filing weather reports, but the monitoring of larger trends is off. Still on: climate change.

7. Renewable energy

Those in charge of monitoring nuclear reactors are still on the job, but everyone at the Department of Energy currently working on cutting-edge research is staying home. As with gas and oil operations, the Department of Interior won’t be reviewing proposals for renewable energy projects on public land.

8. Panda Cam

National Zoo staff is still taking care of its pandas, but the zoo warned yesterday that we’ll no longer be able to watch from home. And so it’s come to pass. Go ahead, try to “start watching the Panda Cam.” This is the reality we’re currently dealing with.

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 22
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Talking Heads, 1977
    This was their first weekend as a foursome at CBGB’s, after adding Jerry Harrison, before they started recording the LP “Talking Heads: 77.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith, Bowery 1976
    Patti lit up by the Bowery streetlights. I tapped her on the shoulder, asked if I could do a picture, took two shots and everyone went back to what they were doing. 1/4 second at f/5.6 no tripod.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Blondie, 1977
    This was taken at the Punk Magazine Benefit show. According to Chris Stein (seated, on slide guitar), they were playing “Little Red Rooster.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    No Wave Punks, Bowery Summer 1978
    They were sitting just like this when I walked out of CBGB's. Me: “Don’t move” They didn’t. L to R: Harold Paris, Kristian Hoffman, Diego Cortez, Anya Phillips, Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Jim Sclavunos, Bradley Field, Liz Seidman.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell + Bob Quine, 1978
    Richard Hell and the Voidoids, playing CBGB's in 1978, with Richard’s peerless guitar player Robert Quine. Sorely missed, Quine died in 2004.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bathroom, 1977
    This photograph of mine was used to create the “replica” CBGB's bathroom in the Punk Couture show last summer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So I got into the Met with a bathroom photo.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Stiv Bators + Divine, 1978
    Stiv Bators, Divine and the Dead Boys at the Blitz Benefit show for injured Dead Boys drummer Johnny Blitz.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977
    “The kids are all hopped up and ready to go…” View from the unique "side stage" at CBGB's that you had to walk past to get to the basement bathrooms.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Klaus Nomi, Christopher Parker, Jim Jarmusch – Bowery 1978
    Jarmusch was still in film school, Parker was starring in Jim’s first film "Permanent Vacation" and Klaus just appeared out of nowhere.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Hilly Kristal, Bowery 1977
    When I used to show people this picture of owner Hilly Kristal, they would ask me “Why did you photograph that guy? He’s not a punk!” Now they know why. None of these pictures would have existed without Hilly Kristal.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Dictators, Bowery 1976
    Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators with his girlfriend Jody. I took this shot as a thank you for him returning the wallet I’d lost the night before at CBGB's. He doesn’t like that I tell people he returned it with everything in it.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Alex Chilton, Bowery 1977
    We were on the median strip on the Bowery shooting what became a 45 single sleeve for Alex’s “Bangkok.” A drop of rain landed on the camera lens by accident. Definitely a lucky night!

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery view, 1977
    The view from across the Bowery in the summer of 1977.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977 – never before printed
    I loved shooting The Ramones. They would play two sets a night, four nights a week at CBGB's, and I’d be there for all of them. This shot is notable for Johnny playing a Strat, rather than his usual Mosrite. Maybe he’d just broken a string. Love that hair.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell, Bowery 1977 – never before printed
    Richard exiting CBGB's with his guitar at 4am, about to step into a Bowery rainstorm. I’ve always printed the shots of him in the rain, but this one is a real standout to me now.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith + Ronnie Spector, 1979
    May 24th – Bob Dylan Birthday show – Patti “invited” everyone at that night’s Palladium show on 14th Street down to CBGB's to celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday. Here, Patti and Ronnie are doing “Be My Baby.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Legs McNeil, 1977
    Legs, ready for his close-up, near the front door of CBGB's.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Suicide, 1977
    Rev and Alan Vega – I thought Alan was going to hit me with that chain. This was the Punk Magazine Benefit show.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ian Hunter and Fans, outside bathroom
    I always think of “All the Young Dudes” when I look at this shot. These fans had caught Ian Hunter in the CBGB's basement outside the bathrooms, and I just stepped in to record the moment.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Tommy Ramone, 1977
    Only at CBGB's could I have gotten this shot of Tommy Ramone seen through Johnny Ramones legs.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery 4am, 1977
    End of the night garbage run. Time to go home.

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...