Blow Your Green Whistle to Protect the Environment


The Office of Inspector General is an independent office within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that assists the agency in accomplishing its goals more efficiently.  OIG conducts audits, investigations and evaluations of EPA programs and its contractors to promote effectiveness and prevent fraud, abuse and waste. OIG is dedicated to making America cleaner and healthier by enhancing the EPA's productivity.

The hotline

The EPA OIG hotline was created to receive complaints of fraud, abuse and waste in EPA programs. In particular, OIG hotline focuses on complaints of mismanagement and violations of law or regulations by EPA employees or participants in EPA programs. Citizens, EPA employees and participants in EPA programs may file complaints.

What may be reported to the hotline?

Almost any kind of fraud, waste or misappropriation may be reported. Common violations that are reported to the EPA include:

  • Travel fraud
  • Conflict of interest
  • Theft of government-owned property
  • Computer crimes
  • Gross mishandling and waste of funds
  • Bribery
  • Contract or grant fraud

Whistleblower protection in green

The Inspector General Act of 1978 provides that reports made by EPA employees will remain confidential. When complaints are made by non-EPA employee, confidentiality is not guaranteed. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 and its 2012 Enhancement protect federal employees from retaliation because of their whistleblowing activities. Additional whistleblower protection is provided in the following environmental laws:

  • Clean Water Act
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Toxic Substances Control Act
  • Solid Waste Disposal Act
  • Safe Drinking Water Act 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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