EPA warehouse needs cleanup; feces, mold found

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By DINA CAPPIELLO, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has some cleaning up of its own to do.

An inspector general's report released Monday found rodent feces, mold and other problems at an EPA storage warehouse in suburban Washington that the government leases for $750,000 a year. The report also found that 11 contract workers charged with protecting the warehouse and its contents were using government-owned exercise equipment and watching television in "hidden personal spaces" outside the range of security cameras.

Since June 2007, the EPA had paid the contractor, Apex Logistics, LLC, $5.3 million for its services.

The IG said that "deplorable conditions" at the 70,000-square-foot warehouse in Landover, Md., raised concerns about the EPA's lack of oversight of storage space and its inventory. No one at EPA had visited the facility, and some contents — such as employee passports — could have been stolen.

Others, such as pianos, new unopened appliances received in 2007, and gold-embossed mugs appeared unused. And the inventory system was a mess.

The EPA immediately halted work with the contractor, changed the locks and reset the security system. It corrected the inventory at the warehouse. The agency has also initiated a review of all of its storage facilities.

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Online:

EPA's Inspector General: www.epa.gov/oig

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