Hazardous substances (41 - 50 of 276 items)
Groundwater Contamination: DOD Uses and Develops a Range of Remediation Technologies to Clean Up Military Sites
GAO-05-666: Published: Jun 30, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2005.
To date, the Department of Defense (DOD) has identified nearly 6,000 sites at its facilities that require groundwater remediation and has invested $20 billion over the past 10 years to clean up these sites. In the past, DOD primarily used "pump-and-treat" technologies to contain or eliminate hazardous contaminants in groundwater. However, the long cleanup times and high costs of using pump-and-tre...
Clean Air Act: Emerging Mercury Control Technologies Have Shown Promising Results, but Data on Long-Term Performance Are Limited
GAO-05-612: Published: May 31, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2005.
In March 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule that will limit emissions of mercury--a toxic element that causes neurological problems--from coal-fired power plants, the nation's largest industrial source of mercury emissions. Under the rule, mercury emissions are to be reduced from a baseline of 48 tons per year to 38 tons in 2010 and to 15 tons in 2018. In the rule, EPA s...
Clean Air Act: Observations on EPA's Cost-Benefit Analysis of Its Mercury Control Options
GAO-05-252: Published: Feb 28, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2005.
Mercury is a toxic element that can cause neurological disorders in children. In January 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed two options for limiting mercury from power plants, and plans to finalize a rule in March 2005. The first would require each plant to meet emissions standards reflecting the application of control technology (the technology-based option), while the secon...
Hazardous Waste Sites: Improved Effectiveness of Controls at Sites Could Better Protect the Public
GAO-05-163: Published: Jan 28, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2005.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) programs were established to clean up hazardous waste sites. Because some sites cannot be cleaned up to allow unrestricted use, institutional controls--legal or administrative restrictions on land or resource use to protect against exposure to the residual contamination--are placed on them. GAO...
Drinking Water: Safeguarding the District of Columbia's Supplies and Applying Lessons Learned to Other Systems
GAO-04-974T: Published: Jul 22, 2004. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2004.
Concerns have been raised about lead in District of Columbia drinking water and how those charged with ensuring the safety of this water have carried out their responsibilities. The 1991 Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) requires water systems to protect drinking water from lead by, among other things, chemically treating it to reduce its corrosiveness and by monitoring tap water samples for evidence of...
Hazardous Waste: EPA's Cleanup of the Eagle-Picher Henryetta, Oklahoma, Site
GAO-03-1051R: Published: Sep 5, 2003. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2003.
From 1996 to 1997, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a cleanup action on a former zinc smelter operated by Eagle-Picher Mining and Smelting, Inc. and other areas contaminated by materials from this site near Henryetta, Oklahoma. EPA's cleanup focused on removing the immediate health threat posed by lead- and arsenic-contaminated soil transported from the Eagle-Picher site to...
Deep Injection Wells: EPA Needs to Involve Communities Earlier and Ensure That Financial Assurance Requirements Are Adequate
GAO-03-761: Published: Jun 13, 2003. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2003.
Billions of gallons of hazardous liquid waste are injected into underground wells each year. These Class I hazardous deep injection wells are designed to inject waste into an area below the lowermost underground source of drinking water. EPA and the states grant permits to commercial operators to construct and operate these wells and must obtain public comments on the permits. Communities often ra...
Hazardous Materials: EPA's Cleanup of Asbestos in Libby, Montana, and Related Actions to Address Asbestos-Contaminated Materials
GAO-03-469: Published: Apr 14, 2003. Publicly Released: May 15, 2003.
Between 1979 and 1998, the number of deaths in Libby, Montana from asbestosis--a lung disease that progressively restricts breathing and can be fatal--was 40 to 80 times higher than the average for the United States. Vermiculite ore--containing high concentrations of asbestos--was mined at Libby between 1923 and 1990, and accounted for most of the world's vermiculite. Mining, processing, or any di...
Environmental Contamination: DOD Has Taken Steps to Improve Cleanup Coordination at Former Defense Sites but Clearer Guidance Is Needed to Ensure Consistency
GAO-03-146: Published: Mar 28, 2003. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2003.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is in charge of addressing cleanup at the more than 9,000 U.S. properties that were formerly owned or controlled by the Department of Defense (DOD) and have been identified as potentially eligible for environmental cleanup. The Corps has determined that more than 4,000 of these properties have no hazards that require further Corps study or cleanup action. H...
Environmental Protection: Recommendations for Improving the Underground Storage Tank Program
GAO-03-529T: Published: Mar 5, 2003. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 2003.
Nationwide, underground storage tanks (UST) containing petroleum and other hazardous substances are leaking, thereby contaminating the soil and water, and posing health risks. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which implements the UST program with the states, required tank owners to install leak detection and prevention equipment by the end of 1993 and 1998 respectively. The Congress aske...