Organizations Took In And Misused COVID ‘Environmental Justice’ Funding

Recent reports revealed that most of the environmental justice funding in President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief package pays the salaries, benefits and travel expenses of community organizations’ staff.

A congressional investigation found that a portion of the funds in the package have gone toward a rap song for elementary school students, Timberland boots, catered meals and paid vacations, according to The Washington Times.

House Republicans said these expenditures, which are detailed in a report by the GOP minority staff of the Senate Budget Committee, prove that the Biden administration funneled taxpayer funds to benefit its leftist organizational allies in the name of addressing concerns over the environment and public health.

“Climate change poses real challenges, but the EPA’s efforts to address climate issues through its 2021 environmental justice program don’t pass the smell test,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told The Washington Times.

Grassley added that the Biden administration’s misallocation of taxpayer funds and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “faulty oversight of grantees raise major concerns for this program and cast doubt on the agency’s fiscal responsibility.”

In 2021, the EPA awarded over $4 million to 34 organizations as part of a plan to expand environmental justice projects across the U.S. in the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan. The agency and the organizations that received the funds have hidden how they spent it.

Multiple organizations have admitted that they were well on their way to spending most of the funding on salaries and benefits for staff.

A federally recognized tribe in Washington, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, set aside $181,000 for staffing costs, of which $13,000 went toward paid vacations.

In September 2023, BikeWalkKC told the Senate Budget Committee that all the funds it had received, $200,000, were used for staff.

Other organizations decided to use the money towards things such as a rap song, food for an EPA meeting and Timberland boots.

Metro Community Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia, told congressional staff that it was recruiting young children and adults to be vocal advocates in their communities on the importance of clean water and reducing pollution. To spread awareness, recruits would present a PowerPoint, rap song and other materials to elementary schools and groups.

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