Grants and contracts databases offer a handy but oft-forgotten tool for environmental journalists seeking to better understand the daily business of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Grants and contracts are a key way that the agency extends the reach of its work into the world beyond agency offices. They may include an engineering project to clean up a Superfund site, an environmental education and outreach program, snow-plowing agency parking lots, expert studies, and computer services.
You can find EPA's Grant Awards Database, searchable and online, here. You can find much more information about EPA's grant program, including information about suspension and debarment of grantees, here. Further information on a range of agencies beyond EPA is available in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, which you can get to from here.
There are several ways to explore EPA contracts. The simplest and most immediately relevant is the EPA Active Contracts Listing. It is arranged by vendor name or contract number and is available in pdf or spreadsheet format. A wider range of contextual information is available here.