Hazardous substances (31 - 40 of 276 items)
Clean Water: Better Information and Targeted Prevention Efforts Could Enhance Spill Management in the St. Clair-Detroit River Corridor
GAO-06-639: Published: Jun 7, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2006.
Spills of oil and hazardous substances in the St. Clair-Detroit River corridor have degraded this border area between the United States and Canada and are a potential threat to local drinking water supplies. Within the United States such spills are reported to the National Response Center (NRC), and in Canada to the Ontario Spills Action Centre. This report discusses (1) how many oil and hazardous...
Superfund: Better Financial Assurances and More Effective Implementation of Institutional Controls Are Needed to Protect the Public
GAO-06-900T: Published: Jun 15, 2006. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2006.
Under the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program, parties responsible for pollution bear the cost of cleaning it up. However, these parties sometimes no longer exist, leaving the problem for others, typically the federal government, to address. Furthermore, many sites' cleanup remedies leave some waste in place, relying on institutional controls--legal or administrative restrict...
Environmental Liabilities: Hardrock Mining Cleanup Obligations
GAO-06-884T: Published: Jun 14, 2006. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 2006.
Key federal environmental statutes, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), which established the Superfund program, require that parties statutorily responsible for pollution bear the cost of cleaning up contaminated sites. In many cases, liable parties meet their cleanup responsibilities. Ho...
Hazardous Waste: EPA Needs to Clarify the Types of Mercury Waste That Can Be Treated and Disposed of Using the Debris Regulations
GAO-06-99: Published: Dec 16, 2005. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2006.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating hazardous wastes (such as mercury) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Under RCRA, mercury-containing hazardous waste must meet specific treatment standards before land disposal. But, certain difficult to manage waste due, in part, to its large particle size, can follow alternate "debris" standards that pr...
Chemical Regulation: Approaches in the United States, Canada, and the European Union
GAO-06-217R: Published: Nov 4, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2005.
Chemicals are used to produce items widely used throughout society, including consumer products such as cleansers, paints, plastics, and fuels, as well as industrial solvents and additives. While chemicals play an important role in everyday life, some may be harmful to human health and the environment. Some chemicals, such as lead and mercury, are highly toxic at certain doses and need to be regul...
Environmental Protection: More Complete Data and Continued Emphasis on Leak Prevention Could Improve EPA's Underground Storage Tank Program
GAO-06-45: Published: Nov 30, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2005.
Leaking underground storage tanks that contain hazardous products, primarily gasoline, can contaminate soil and groundwater. To address this problem, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under its Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program, required tank owners to install leak detection equipment and take measures to prevent leaks. In 1986, the Congress created a federal trust fund to assist sta...
Electronic Waste: Strengthening the Role of the Federal Government in Encouraging Recycling and Reuse
GAO-06-47: Published: Nov 10, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2005.
Advances in technology have led to rapidly increasing sales of new electronic devices. With this increase comes the dilemma of managing these products at the end of their useful lives. Some research suggests that the disposal of used electronics could cause a number of environmental problems. Research also suggests that such problems are often exacerbated by the export of used electronics to count...
Department of Energy: Preliminary Information on the Potential for Columbia River Contamination from the Hanford Site
GAO-06-77R: Published: Nov 4, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 4, 2005.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford site in southeastern Washington state was established in 1943 to produce nuclear materials, especially plutonium, for the nation's defense. The site occupies 586 square miles northwest of the cities of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick, with a combined regional population of over 200,000. The Columbia River, the nation's second largest river and a source of hy...
Environmental Liabilities: EPA Should Do More to Ensure That Liable Parties Meet Their Cleanup Obligations
GAO-05-658: Published: Aug 17, 2005. Publicly Released: Aug 17, 2005.
The burden of cleaning up Superfund and other hazardous waste sites is increasingly shifting to taxpayers, particularly since businesses handling hazardous substances are no longer taxed under Superfund and the backlog of sites needing cleanup is growing. While key environmental laws rely on the "polluter pays" principle, the extent to which liable parties cease operations or restructure--such as...
Hazardous Waste Programs: Information on Appropriations and Expenditures for Superfund, Brownfields, and Related Programs
GAO-05-746R: Published: Jun 30, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 2005.
Our July 2003 report on the status of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program included, among other things, data on the program's appropriations and expenditures for fiscal years 1993 to 2002. In February 2004, we issued a report updating that information and, in May 2004, we broke down the appropriations data, reporting the amounts for the Superfund program as well as amount...