No Sexual Harassment Policy Violations Found at EPA Region 5

By Tiffany Stecker

The EPA inspector general exonerated the agency’s Region 5 office from accusations that its managers mishandled sexual harassment allegations, after House lawmakers requested an internal investigation.

The Chicago-based office’s policies and practices for addressing sexual misconduct complaints meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s policies and procedures and federal requirements, the Office of Inspector General report finds.

“This audit did not identify any problems requiring corrective actions,” Inspector General Arthur Elkins told Acting Region 5 Administrator Robert Kaplan in a letter accompanying the report.

The office, one of 10 EPA regional headquarters, oversees federal environmental compliance in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The region’s management came under fire two years ago after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on the matter, in which former employees testified that managers ignored reports of sexual misconduct and threatened retaliation.

Former Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) asked the inspector general to begin the investigation in September 2015.

The committee didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg BNA’s request for comment on the conclusion of the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tiffany Stecker in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachael Daigle at

For More Information

The EPA Inspector General report on sexual misconduct in the Region 5 office is here:

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