Health hazards (51 - 60 of 127 items)
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...
Federal Water Requirements: Challenges to Estimating the Cost Impact on Local Communities
GAO-06-151R: Published: Nov 30, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2005.
Under the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has responsibility for protecting public health and welfare, as well as the integrity of our nation's waters. Federal water requirements under these acts affect facilities providing the most basic services at the local level, includin...
Air Pollution: Estimated Emissions from Two New Mexicali Power Plants Are Low, but Health Impacts Are Unknown
GAO-05-823: Published: Aug 12, 2005. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 2005.
Power plants emit pollutants that have been linked to various negative health effects. In 2003, two new power plants, owned by Sempra Energy and Intergen, began operations 3 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border near Imperial County, California. The county does not meet some federal and state air quality standards and may be further impacted by the emissions from these plants. Although these plant...
Environmental Justice: EPA Should Devote More Attention to Environmental Justice When Developing Clean Air Rules
GAO-05-289: Published: Jul 25, 2005. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2005.
Executive Order 12898 made achieving "environmental justice" part of the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies. According to EPA, environmental justice involves fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes. EPA developed guidance for considering environmental justice during the development of rules under the Clean Air Act and other activiti...
Chemical Regulation: Options Exist to Improve EPA's Ability to Assess Health Risks and Manage Its Chemical Review Program
GAO-05-458: Published: Jun 13, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 2005.
Chemicals play an important role in everyday life, but some may be harmful to human health and the environment. 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. However, some chemicals, such as lead and mercury, are highly toxic at certain doses and need to b...
Clean Air Act: EPA Has Completed Most of the Actions Required by the 1990 Amendments, but Many Were Completed Late
GAO-05-613: Published: May 27, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 2005.
While air quality in the United States has steadily improved over the last few decades, more than a hundred million Americans continue to live in communities where pollution causes the air to be unhealthy at times, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Clean Air Act, first passed in 1963, was last reauthorized and amended in 1990, when new programs were created and changes we...
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...
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...