As part of FY22 appropriations, Members of Congress could request to designate a certain amount of federal funding for specific projects in their communities.
While agencies often have discretion over how they award funds, Congress has directed them to distribute these funds to designated recipients. We're tracking the funds to help ensure transparency.
The Environmental Protection Agency's FY22 appropriations included $859.3 million for 491 of these projects.
This report looks at when EPA plans to distribute the funds and how it plans to ensure they're spent properly.
We're also tracking these funds across government and at 17 other agencies.
EPA: Where did the FY 2022 funding go?
What GAO Found
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 appropriated $859.3 million to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 491 projects at the request of Members of Congress. The act includes specific provisions that designate an amount of funds for a particular recipient to use for a specific project. These provisions are called "Congressionally Directed Spending" in the U.S. Senate and "Community Project Funding" in the House of Representatives.
GAO described, among other things, information about the intended uses for these funds, the recipients to whom they were designated, and when EPA expects recipients will have access to the funds:
The intended uses of these funds are primarily to support improvements to drinking water and wastewater systems. Projects include the construction, repair, and replacement of drinking water, wastewater, and sewage systems.
The designated recipients of these funds are mostly tribal, state, territorial, and local governments. The remaining recipients are higher education and other nonprofit organizations. Funding ranged from $50,000 to more than $22 million, with a median project amount of about $1 million.
EPA plans to obligate funds to recipients by early 2023. Some funds must be obligated within 2 fiscal years, but the majority may be obligated until expended. The amount of time EPA has to fully disburse the funds varies by account.
Why GAO Did This Study
The joint explanatory statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 includes a provision for GAO to review agencies' implementation of Community Project Funding/Congressionally Directed Spending.
For more information, contact J. Alfredo Gómez (202) 512-3841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.