Hazardous substances (21 - 30 of 535 items)
Superfund: Information on Cost and Other Issues Related to the Cleanup of the Federal Creosote Site
GAO-10-277: Published: Feb 25, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 2010.
In the 1990s, creosote was discovered under a residential neighborhood in Manville, New Jersey. Creosote, a mixture of chemicals, is used to preserve wood products, such as railroad ties. Some of the chemicals in creosote may cause cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA found that creosote from a former wood-treatment facility (known as the Federal Creosote site) had c...
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...
Nuclear Waste Management: Key Attributes, Challenges, and Costs for the Yucca Mountain Repository and Two Potential Alternatives
GAO-10-48: Published: Nov 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2009.
High-level nuclear waste--one of the nation's most hazardous substances--is accumulating at 80 sites in 35 states. The United States has generated 70,000 metric tons of nuclear waste and is expected to generate 153,000 metric tons by 2055. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to dispose of the waste in a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, ab...
Coal Combustion Residue: Status of EPA's Efforts to Regulate Disposal
GAO-10-85R: Published: Oct 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2009.
On December 22, 2008, a breach in a surface impoundment (or storage pond) dike at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston Fossil Plant in Tennessee resulted in the release of 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash--also referred to as coal combustion residue (CCR)--into the nearby Emory River. The spill covered more than 300 acres and made 3 homes uninhabitable; it damaged 23 other homes, plus...
Federal Electronics Management: Federal Agencies Could Improve Participation in EPA's Initiatives for Environmentally Preferable Electronic Products
GAO-10-196T: Published: Oct 27, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2009.
Advancing technology has led to increasing sales of new electronic devices. With this increase comes the dilemma of managing them at the end of their useful lives. If discarded with common trash, a number of environmental impacts may result, ranging from the loss of valuable resources to the potential release of toxic substances, such as lead. If recycled, they may be exported to countries with wa...
Superfund: Litigation Has Decreased and EPA Needs Better Information on Site Cleanup and Cost Issues to Estimate Future Program Funding Requirements
GAO-09-656: Published: Jul 15, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 14, 2009.
Under the Superfund program, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) places the most seriously contaminated sites on the National Priorities List (NPL). EPA may compel site cleanups by parties responsible for contamination, or conduct cleanups itself and have these parties reimburse its costs. The program is funded by a trust fund, which is largely supported by general fund appropriations. GAO w...
Environmental Contamination: Lessons Learned from the Cleanup of Formerly Used Defense and Military Munitions Sites
GAO-09-779T: Published: Jun 10, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2009.
Under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), the Department of Defense (DOD) has charged the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) with cleaning up 4,700 formerly used defense sites (FUDS) and active sites that were under its jurisdiction when they were initially contaminated. The 661-acre Spring Valley site in Washington, D.C is one such site. Like many other FUDS, the U.S. Army used...
Hazardous Materials: Status of EPA's Efforts to Assess Sites That May Have Received Asbestos-Contaminated Ore from Libby, Montana
GAO-09-6R: Published: Mar 10, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 2009.
In October 2007, we reported on how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies had assessed and addressed risks at sites that were thought to have received asbestos-contaminated ore from a mine located in Libby, Montana, and the overall results of these efforts. As we noted at that time, EPA has identified hundreds of sites nationwide that are thought to have received mil...
Superfund: Greater EPA Enforcement and Reporting Are Needed to Enhance Cleanup at DOD Sites
GAO-09-278: Published: Mar 13, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 16, 2009.
Prior to the 1980s and the passage of environmental legislation--particularly the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) governing environmental cleanup--Department of Defense (DOD) activities contaminated millions of acres of soil and water on and near DOD sites. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which enforces CERCLA, places the most contaminated...