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Right now, the EPA is tasked with cleaning up the mess it made in Colorado, after its heavy machinery unleashed a deluge of waste water into the Animus river. But they’ve also been cutting down trees, as the Washington Times notes – for furniture.
According to a report, released this week, the EPA has spent tens of millions on high-end furniture to furnish their offices, approximately $6,000 per employee.
The federal agency that has the job of protecting the environment doesn’t seem to have too much concern for trees, at least the ones cut down to make furniture.
The Environmental Protection Agency over the past decade has spent a whopping $92.4 million to purchase, rent, install and store office furniture ranging from fancy hickory chairs and a hexagonal wooden table, worth thousands of dollars each, to a simple drawer to store pencils that cost $813.57.
The furniture shopping sprees equaled about $6,000 for every one of the agency’s 15,492 employees, according to federal spending data made public by the government watchdog OpenTheBooks.com.
Six thousand can buy a lot of furniture, but not the way the EPA spends it. According to the report, the EPA went shopping at very high end retailers, including Herman Miller furniture company (where an office chair can run you upwards of $730), and at Knoll, Inc., whose designs, are, according to the Times, on display in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
The EPA claims that it needed the furniture after it moved buildings and expanded its workforce, but it’s hard for the EPA to justify a $4,047 chair, which was part of its massive order. It’s also hard to justify the $73,000 the office spent to replace carpeting after it moved out of its office space. Certainly, budget-minded consumers could find friendlier and less expensive options.