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Virginia lawmakers push USPS on mail disruptions, delays from Richmond processing center

United States Postal Service
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Virginia lawmakers delivered another letter of concern to the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Inspector General regarding more mail disruptions and delays.

Congressman Rob Wittman joined Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Mark Warner, Rep. Jennifer McClellan, Rep. Bobby Scott, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, Rep. Bob Good and Rep. Jen Kiggans share the challenges at Richmond Regional Processing and Distribution Center in Sandston in the letter.

The USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is auditing the Richmond Regional Processing and Distribution Center (RPDC) in Sandston because the center is one of the first processing centers in the country that was opened to centralize outgoing mail and package processing. The USPS OIG is expected to release its report and recommendations soon that will assess the efficacy and operational impacts of the changes.

“Since last summer, we have seen a significant uptick in mail disruptions and delays within the Richmond RPDC’s covered area,” the lawmakers wrote. “These developments are especially concerning as the Richmond RPDC was one of the first implemented consolidation projects as a part of USPS’s Delivering for America initiative. While we are always open to changes to longstanding practices to improve efficiency, the ongoing stream of reports we get suggests that the opposite is happening.”

The letter highlights recent examples of USPS delivery issues, including from a constituent in Mechanicsville, a medical supply business owner in Richmond, county officials in the Northern Neck, and a student at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

“In an effort to advocate for our constituents and help inform your investigation, we would like to highlight some examples that our offices have received of mail problems that have cost people significant time, money, and frustration,” the lawmakers wrote. 

The members wrote: 

  • “Ron, a Vietnam veteran from Mechanicsville placed an order through the Department of Veterans Affairs for medication and was told to expect a 7–10-day delivery time. Over six weeks later, he had still not received his medications despite verification from the Department of Veterans Affairs that it was mailed on December 28, 2023.”
  • “Lys, who operates a medical supply business in Richmond notified us that over $1,000 of medical supplies were never delivered after having been traced to the Richmond RPDC on December 18, 2023. After multiple inquiries with the USPS, the constituent not only never recovered the supplies, but their business relationship with a key distributor ended as a result.”
  • “County officials in the Northern Neck region reported receiving mail a month after it had been initially postmarked, and in some cases where mail was not delivered at all. These disruptions have had significant impacts on tax collections and operations.”
  • “Micah, a PhD student at VCU, counted on USPS to deliver his visa application to the Italian Consulate as is needed to acquire a student visa to Italy. However, the entire package, including his passport, were lost in transit having never left Richmond. The significant delays in delivery necessitates him to obtain a new passport and while his package including his old passport was eventually delivered to the Italian consulate, the resulting delays cost Micah hundreds of dollars and weeks of uncertainty about his academic future.”

In August 2023, Congressman Wittman sent a letter to the Postmaster General DeJoy requesting information following outreach from constituents with concerns about mail delays and their effects. After the Postal Service gave an insufficient response, the congressman pressed USPS again for declining to provide answers to the Virginians they are supposed to serve. He met with USPS officials in December to continue advocating for constituents impacted by these delays. 

In January 2024, the congressman joined Virginia delegation colleagues to demand answers from the Postmaster General after the Richmond VA received hundreds of cancer test samples that were unusable due to mail delays. Next week, Wittman will visit the Richmond distribution facility to see firsthand the issues that are causing delays.

Risk American families, workers cannot afford: Spanberger pushes USPS on mail delivery delays – Augusta Free Press

Lawmakers push USPS for answers about mail delays, disruptions in Richmond area – Augusta Free Press


Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.