March 23, 2011

Blog Update: That $75k was not for bottled water, it was for hybrid trucks

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In a blog post this morning about state purchases of bottled water, we listed $75,000  that went to Deer Park from the Maryland Energy Adminstration.

The figure came from the Maryland Funding Accountability & Transparency website. It turns out the money was not for water, but for hybrid trucks, according to Ian Hines with the MEA.

In an e-mail, Hines said the agency made a grant of $74,881.74 to Nestle Waters North America – the parent corporation of Deer Park – as part of the Maryland Hybrid Truck Initiative. The program got $5.9 million in federal stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program.

The program invests in heavy-duty Freightliner hybrid electric and Freightliner Custom Chassis hybrid hydraulic trucks by offsetting the incremental cost of the investment, Hines said.

None of this is obvious in the listing of payments to Deer Park on the website. And it confirms last week’s story on the report by Maryland PIRG that gave the state’s transparency site a of C because it provides insufficient information about state contracts and how the money is spent.

If every listing on the site requires a follow-up call to find out what company really got the money and for what, then the site provides little of the accountability or transparency it promises.

—Len Lazarick
Len@MarylandReporter.com

  • Nelly Baldwin

    Thanks for looking into this, Len. It needs to be easier to track spending.

  • Anonymous

    Why are MD taxpayers giving money to mega-corporations for hybrid trucks?