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EPA Doles Out Billions For Clean Water, Can’t Be Bothered To Track It

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials aren’t consistently auditing states’ use of Clean Water State Revolving Funds (CWSRF), so it’s unclear how much of the $100 billion in tax dollars spent on the program was wasted.

A new EPA Office of Inspector General (IG) report found the EPA isn’t always conducting required annual reviews of how states spend the money the EPA allots for improving water for drinking and recreational use. The EPA gave states $1.4 billion in 2014 alone.

“The EPA did not always perform annual reviews of state CWSRF grants as required, which may lead to undetected misuse of federal funds,” the IG said. “Regions did not always review single audit reports or include single audit findings in program evaluation reports.”

The Water Quality Act of 1987 requires EPA regions to review state spending and results annually. The EPA gave states $105 billion between 2000 and 2014, according to the IG.

The IG’s report included Region 3 covering Pennsylvania, Region 4 covering Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee, and Region 5 covering Michigan and Ohio.

Most of the EPA regions the IG inspected also failed to periodically review states’ progress in addition to the annual reviews, as required. Region 5, covering Ohio, failed to complete any of the 11 periodic reviews required, according to the IG. (RELATED: New Mexico Sues ‘Grossly Negligent’ EPA Over Mine Disaster)

This wouldn’t be the first time the EPA failed to watch over the taxpayer money it doles out to states and other entities. EPA officials gave $542 million in grants to colleges and universities to study everything from hotel shower use to pollution over the last five years, but no government watchdog has ever audited that money. The last time the EPA IG inspected any of those grants was 10 years ago, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found.

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