Hazardous substances (51 - 60 of 535 items)
Undeclared Hazardous Materials: New DOT Efforts May Provide Additional Information on Undeclared Shipments
GAO-06-471: Published: Mar 29, 2006. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 2006.
More than 3 billion tons of regulated hazardous materials (hazmat)--including explosive, poisonous, corrosive, flammable, and radioactive materials--are transported in the United States each year. When these materials are properly packaged, labeled, and stowed, they can be transported safely, but when they are not, they can pose significant threats to transportation workers, emergency responders,...
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 Cleanup: Transfer of Contaminated Federal Property and Recovery of Cleanup Costs
GAO-05-1011R: Published: Sep 16, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2005.
Ammonium perchlorate (perchlorate) is a primary ingredient in solid rocket propellant and has been used for decades by the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the defense industry in the manufacturing, testing, and firing of rockets and missiles. Perchlorate has been found in the drinking water, groundwater, surface water, or soil in 35 states, the D...
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...
Defense Health Care: Improvements Needed in Occupational and Environmental Health Surveillance During Deployments to Address Immediate and Long-Term Health Issues
GAO-05-632: Published: Jul 14, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 2005.
Following the 1991 Persian Gulf War, research and investigations into the causes of servicemembers' unexplained illnesses were hampered by inadequate occupational and environmental exposure data. In 1997, the Department of Defense (DOD) developed a militarywide health surveillance framework that includes occupational and environmental health surveillance (OEHS)--the regular collection and reportin...
Defense Health Care: Occupational and Environmental Health Surveillance Conducted During Deployments Needs Improvement
GAO-05-903T: Published: Jul 19, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 2005.
Following the 1991 Persian Gulf War, research and investigations into the causes of servicemembers' unexplained illnesses were hampered by a lack of servicemember health and deployment data, including inadequate occupational and environmental exposure data. In 1997, the Department of Defense (DOD) developed a militarywide health surveillance framework that includes occupational and environmental h...