Waste management (11 - 20 of 113 items)
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Livestock Agriculture: Increased EPA Oversight Will Improve Environmental Program for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
GAO-03-285: Published: Jan 16, 2003. Publicly Released: Jan 28, 2003.
Congress is concerned that waste from animal feeding operations continues to threaten water quality. In light of this concern, GAO was asked to review the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) administration of its regulatory program for animal feeding operations and to determine the potential challenges states and EPA may face when they begin to implement the revisions to this program. GAO surv...
EPA: Revisions to the Water Quality Planning and Management Regulation and Revisions to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program
OGC-00-45: Published: Jul 28, 2000. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2000.
Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new rule on water quality planning and management regulation. GAO noted that: (1) the final rule revises and clarifies EPA's regulatory requirements for establishing total maximum daily loads and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System under the Clean Water Act; and (2) EPA complied with app...
Superfund: EPA Can Improve Its Monitoring of Superfund Expenditures
RCED-99-139: Published: May 11, 1999. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 1999.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund Program expenditures, focusing on: (1) the relative shares of Superfund expenditures for contractor cleanup work, site-specific support, and non-site-specific support; (2) the activities carried out with the EPA's cleanup support spending, particularly its non-site-specific spendi...
Superfund: Progress, Problems, and Future Outlook
T-RCED-99-128: Published: Mar 23, 1999. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 1999.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the status and management of the Superfund program and the outlook for the program's future, focusing on: (1) progress made toward cleaning up sites in the program; (2) continuing management problems; and (3) factors affecting Superfund's future workload.GAO noted that: (1) in the past GAO has called attention to the slow pace of cleanups in the S...