EPA warehouse in Washington tainted with rat feces, mold

A government agency's watchdog says a storage warehouse rented by the Environmental Protection Agency in suburban Washington for $750,000 was tainted with rodent feces, mold and other problems.

The EPA inspector general's report released Monday also found that contract workers charged with protecting the warehouse and its contents were using government-owned exercise equipment and watching television in "hidden personal spaces" outside the range of security cameras.

The IG said that "deplorable conditions" at the 70,000-square-foot warehouse in Landover, Md., raised concerns about the EPA's lack of oversight of storage space. No one at EPA had visited the facility, and some contents -- such as employee passports -- could have been stolen.

The EPA has halted work with the contractor and initiated a review of all its warehouse space.