Watchdogs face flat funding, new transparency requirements

By Kevin Bogardus | 03/05/2024 01:13 PM EST

“Oversight of the EPA will unfortunately be at its lowest point just as Congress and the American taxpayers are demanding more,” said a spokesperson for the agency’s inspector general.

Energy Department, Interior Department, EPA headquarters.

The Energy Department, Interior Department and EPA headquarters are shown. Claudine Hellmuth/E&E News (DOE and EPA); Pamela King/E&E News (Interior)

Internal watchdogs at energy and environmental agencies face flat core budgets and will be required to disclose more about their operations under the spending package expected to pass Congress this week.

Funding was already stretched for inspectors general at EPA as well as at the departments of Energy and the Interior. The watchdog offices, known for their green eyeshade audits and tough-nosed investigations, are responsible for keeping their respective agencies free of waste and fraud as they are flush with billions of dollars under President Joe Biden’s signature climate and infrastructure laws.

That could be a little more difficult for EPA’s Office of Inspector General under the appropriations minibus moving on Capitol Hill. That office would actually see slightly less funding, in line with other programs at the agency that would have budgets cut.


EPA’s inspector general would receive $43.25 million along with close to $11.33 million from a Superfund account transfer in fiscal 2024. The prior fiscal year, the watchdog office took in $44.03 million and an $11.8 million transfer from Superfund.