Kristina Baum– 202.224.6176
Donelle Harder– 202.224.4721

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, sent the following letter to Ann Dunkin, chief information officer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and nominee to serve as Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Environmental Information, yesterday calling for efforts to improve the integrity of EPA’s grant programs and reform the Agency’s online grants database:

“For more than a decade, I have called for efforts to improve the integrity of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) grants programs, including EPA’s online grants database. While EPA has taken some steps to increase transparency and accountability within the grants program, the current grants database is not user-friendly and lacks significant information about EPA grants,” Inhofe said in the letter.

“As one example, my Committee staff identified a lack of comprehensive information on EPA’s database when conducting oversight of EPA’s grant awards to the environmental activist group, Natural Resources Defense Council,” the letter goes on to highlight. “This is a significant difference in the amount and number of grant awards reported, and can be construed as EPA misleading the public on the grants awarded to the NRDC.”


During Ms. Dunkin’s nomination hearing on June 11, 2015, Chairman Inhofe asked for her commitment to improve the EPA online grant’s database.

EPA’s grant program constitutes more than 40 percent of the Agency’s annual budget. EPA manages an online grants database for the public to access information about grants awarded. While the grants website states, “EPA Grant Awards Database contains a summary record for all non-construction EPA grants awarded in the last 10 years plus grants that were awarded before that time that are still open;” the database does not appear to contain comprehensive information regarding grants awarded by EPA, nor does it fully report grants awarded for the last ten years.

To view the full text of the letter, click here.