Sacremento, CA — California’s Department of Public Health is keeping tight-lipped after being scolded by the Environmental Protection agency for failing to spend $455 million in federal funding to improve the state’s water infrastructure. The state agency has acknowledged it received a letter of non-compliance for holding on to the program’s largest unspent sum in the nation. But it says it has no immediate comment about the revelation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued the letter to the state on Friday.
The EPA also says the state gave out grants and loans to projects that were not shovel-ready and lacked adequate staffing to administer and track the fund. According to federal regulators, California needs $39 billion in capital improvements through 2026 for water systems to continue providing safe drinking water to the public.