by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Environmental Protection Agency spent nearly $700,000 for parking spots that no one used during the final two years of the Obama administration.
The office of inspector general released an audit Wednesday finding the agency wasted taxpayer dollars on subsidized parking for employees at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.
“Only EPA headquarters (based in Washington, D.C.) and Region 4 (based in Atlanta, Georgia) subsidized employee parking,” the inspector general said. “These offices paid over $840,000 to subsidize employee parking from January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2016.” …
… Not only did the EPA use resources on unnecessary parking benefits that could have gone towards environmental projects, it also paid $293.45 per month for parking spots that were not being used. More than a quarter of the parking spots the EPA paid for its D.C. headquarters were unoccupied.
“We also found that, from January 2015 through December 2016, 29 percent of the parking spaces that headquarters leased for its employees and 27 percent of the parking spaces that Region 4 leased for its employees remained unoccupied,” the inspector general said. “The EPA paid approximately $690,000 for these unoccupied parking spaces.”
The inspector general said the $1.5 million spent on subsidized parking and unused parking spots could have been used for mission-critical work.