Health hazards (1 - 10 of 69 items)
Environmental Health: Action Needed to Sustain Agencies' Collaboration on Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water
GAO-11-346: Published: Aug 8, 2011. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2011.
Drinking water in some metropolitan areas contains concentrations of pharmaceuticals, raising concerns about their potential impact on human health. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, in public drinking water systems if they may adversely affect human health among other criteria. Pharmaceutica...
Hazardous Waste: Early Goals Have Been Met in EPA's Corrective Action Program, but Resource and Technical Challenges Will Constrain Future Progress
GAO-11-514: Published: Jul 22, 2011. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 2011.
Years of industrial development generated hazardous waste that, when improperly disposed of, poses risks to human health and the environment. To mitigate these risks, Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA). Subtitle C of RCRA, as amended, requires owners or operators to take corrective actions to clean up contamination at facilities that treat, store, or dispose...
Safe Drinking Water Act: Improvements in Implementation Are Needed to Better Assure the Public of Safe Drinking Water
GAO-11-803T: Published: Jul 12, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2011.
This testimony discusses highlights of GAO's report on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) implementation of requirements for determining whether additional drinking water contaminants warrant regulation. The number of potential drinking water contaminants is vast--as many as tens of thousands of chemicals may be used across the country, and EPA has identified more than 6,000 chemicals tha...
Safe Drinking Water Act: EPA Should Improve Implementation of Requirements on Whether to Regulate Additional Contaminants
GAO-11-254: Published: May 27, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2011.
Under 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, every 5 years the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to determine for at least five contaminants, such as chemicals, whether regulation is warranted, considering those that present the greatest public health concern. Since 1996, EPA had not recommended any new contaminants for regulation until February 2011, when it reversed its controver...
Environmental Contamination: Information on the Funding and Cleanup Status of Defense Sites
GAO-10-547T: Published: Mar 17, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2010.
Under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), the Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for cleaning up about 5,400 sites on military bases that have been closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, as well as 21,500 sites on active bases and over 4,700 formerly used defense sites (FUDS), properties that DOD owned or controlled and transferred to other parties...
Chemical Regulation: Observations on Improving the Toxic Substances Control Act
GAO-10-292T: Published: Dec 2, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2009.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is authorized under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to obtain information on the risks of chemicals and to control those that it determines to pose an unreasonable risk. EPA also conducts assessments of chemicals under its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program. Nonetheless, EPA does not have sufficient information to determine whether i...
Hardrock Mining: Information on State Royalties and the Number of Abandoned Mine Sites and Hazards
GAO-09-854T: Published: Jul 14, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2009.
The General Mining Act of 1872 helped open the West by allowing individuals to obtain exclusive rights to mine billions of dollars worth of gold, silver, and other hardrock (locatable) minerals from federal lands without having to pay a federal royalty. However, western states charge royalties so that they share in the proceeds from the hardrock minerals extracted from their lands. For years, some...
Chemical Regulation: Options for Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Toxic Substances Control Act
GAO-09-428T: Published: Feb 26, 2009. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2009.
Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 1976, authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to obtain information on the risks of industrial chemicals and to control those that EPA determines pose an unreasonable risk. However, EPA does not have sufficient chemical assessment information to determine whether it should establish controls to limit public exposure to many c...
Hardrock Mining: Information on Types of State Royalties, Number of Abandoned Mines, and Financial Assurances on BLM Land
GAO-09-429T: Published: Feb 26, 2009. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2009.
The General Mining Act of 1872 helped open the West by allowing individuals to obtain exclusive rights to mine billions of dollars worth of gold, silver, and other hardrock (locatable) minerals from federal lands without having to pay a federal royalty. However, western states charge royalties so that they share in the proceeds from various hardrock minerals extracted from their lands. For years,...
Electronic Waste: EPA Needs to Better Control Harmful U.S. Exports through Stronger Enforcement and More Comprehensive Regulation
GAO-08-1044: Published: Aug 28, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 2008.
Increasingly, U.S. consumers are recycling their old electronics to prevent the environmental harm that can come from disposal. Concerns have grown, however, that some U.S. companies are exporting these items to developing countries, where unsafe recycling practices can cause health and environmental problems. Items with cathode-ray tubes (CRT) are particularly harmful because they can contain 4 p...