PMG Potter Looks to Congress to Cover ‘Billions’ from Anthrax Mess

Washington—Referring to the estimated $2.5 billion that he says it will cost the U.S. Postal Service in new equipment and changes to protect the mail from anthrax contamination, Postmaster General Jack Potter appealed to the House Government Reform Committee on Oct. 30 for emergency funding, calling the USPS situation “a homeland security issue.”

“We don’t feel the rate payers can bear the additional burden” of the new emergency costs, Potter said. In fact, last week Postal Rate Commission vice chairman George Omas suggested that the USPS rework the rate case it announced just prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Omas has asked participants in the rate case to discuss the matter and come up with more practical—to both the USPS and mailers–alternative means of raising postal rates. A new proposal is due out Nov. 2.

Potter says that mail volume declines since Sept. 11 have cut into USPS revenue by $300 million, while the Postal Service has incurred more than $60 million in damages related to the anthrax attacks.

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