Government watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response

Government watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response
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The internal watchdog at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking into how the agency handled last year’s response to Hurricane Harvey.

The EPA Office of Inspector General on Wednesday announced its investigation, saying the self-initiated project that began in August will explore how the agency managed its Hurricane Harvey funding.

After the hurricane made landfall in Texas in August 2017 as a Category 4 storm, EPA was responsible for disseminating Disaster Relief Funding received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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The inspector general's office described its investigation as a way to “improve EPA business practices and accountability, and improve stewardship and operational efficiency,” according to a letter sent to EPA staff Tuesday and shared online.

The watchdog asked employees to provide it with details including all sources of funding for the hurricane response and the amounts received, a list of mission assignments, a list of expenses related to the response, and property and equipment acquisitions.

The letter did not address why the inspector general decided to open the investigation.

When asked for comment, an EPA spokeswoman said, "We look forward to reviewing the audit.”

The investigation will be lead by Michael Davis, director of the Efficiency Directorate at the Office of Audit and Evaluation.

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