At a hearing before a House committee on Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog warned lawmakers that the agency’s recent surge in funding — part of President Biden’s climate policy spending — comes with “a high risk for fraud, waste and abuse.”
The EPA — whose annual budget for 2023 is just $10 billion — has received roughly $100 billion in new, supplemental funding through two high-dollar pieces of legislation, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. The two new laws represent the largest investment in the agency’s history.
Sean O’Donnell, the EPA inspector general, testified to the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the share of money tied to the latter piece of legislation — $41 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed just with Democratic votes — did not come with sufficient oversight funding. That, he said, has left his team of investigators “unable to do any meaningful IRA oversight.”
The EPA has used its Biden-era windfall to launch or expand a huge range of programs, including clean drinking water initiatives, electric school bus investments and the creation of a new Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights.
Read more at NPR.org