Waste in EPA Environmental Justice Grant Spending

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says millions of taxpayer dollars funneled through the Environmental Protection Agency’s grant programs weren’t used correctly.

While the funds were used to cover recipient organizations’ overhead costs and operating expenses, they didn’t produce tangible results demonstrating the efficacy of the environmental justice program. Records and receipt tracking expenditures released this week show a vast portion of the $4.3 million allocated to the environmental justice program was spent by grant recipients on internal and superfluous purposes, including funding employees’ salaries, covering benefits, and even paying for vacation expenses.

“Climate change poses real challenges, but the EPA’s efforts to address climate issues through its 2021 environmental justice program don’t pass the smell test,” says Grassley. “Having seen all this laid bare, it’s difficult to imagine how any taxpayer would want their hard-earned money invested in this program instead of putting those funds back in their own pockets.”