According to a recent EPA Office of Inspector General (IG) report, the agency has ineffectively reported and recorded delays in diesel emissions reduction projects funded in 2009 by the federal government’s stimulus legislation. The IG conducted an audit to determine whether EPA successfully used its grant management tools to identify and mitigate project delays in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grants. The Act provided EPA with $300 million for grants used to reduce emissions by such means as retrofitting existing diesel engines with emissions controls.
The report says that 49 grants, with a value of $101.4 million, had spent less than 10 percent of their funds by June 30, 2010. It also claims that 85 percent of the grantees did not finish projects by the completion date and that the agency granted no-cost time extensions to all of those grantees. In addition, the report says EPA did not set any time frames in granting extensions even though agency guidance requires them.
The report recommends that EPA (i) revise baseline and advanced monitoring procedures to accurately track the progress of grants and verify that project officers are documenting delays in baseline and monitoring reports, and (ii) regularly chronicle the progress of reports and the status of corrective actions.