NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Congress Checking Up On EPA Grants

January 3, 2000

The Environmental Protection Agency is handing out money left and right -- and that has caught the attention of Congress. It spent $4 billion -- or half its fiscal 1999 budget -- on grants.

  • The grants ranged from projects to promote the use of electric bicycles and wind power in China to money for states to conduct hazardous-waste management programs.
  • In congressional testimony, the agency's inspector general reported discovering that some grant recipients get money twice for the same programs, and some grantees did only part of the work they were paid to do.
  • As far back as 1996, EPA officials admitted to serious weaknesses in the grants program -- and claim they have been working intently on solutions ever since.
  • As much as $190 million in research grants are awarded without competition, agency officials concede.

A subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee plans to hold three more hearings on EPA grant procedures during 2000.

Source: Cindy Skrzycki, "Congress Isn't Taking EPA for Granted," Washington Post, December 31, 1999.


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