Environmental protection (21 - 30 of 184 items)
Perchlorate: EPA Does Not Systematically Track Incidents of Contamination
GAO-07-797T: Published: Apr 25, 2007. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 2007.
Perchlorate has been used for decades by the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the defense industry in manufacturing, testing, and firing missiles and rockets. Other uses include fireworks, fertilizers, and explosives. Perchlorate is readily dissolved and transported in water and has been found in groundwater, surface water, and soil across the country....
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: EPA Should Take Steps to Better Ensure the Effective Use of Public Funding for Cleanups
GAO-07-152: Published: Feb 8, 2007. Publicly Released: Feb 22, 2007.
Underground storage tanks that leak hazardous substances can contaminate nearby groundwater and soil. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), tank owners and operators are primarily responsible for paying to clean up releases from their tanks. They can demonstrate their financial responsibility by using, among other options, publicly funded state financial assurance funds. Such fu...
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...
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...
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...
Environmental Protection: Recommendations for Improving the Underground Storage Tank Program
GAO-03-529T: Published: Mar 5, 2003. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 2003.
Nationwide, underground storage tanks (UST) containing petroleum and other hazardous substances are leaking, thereby contaminating the soil and water, and posing health risks. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which implements the UST program with the states, required tank owners to install leak detection and prevention equipment by the end of 1993 and 1998 respectively. The Congress aske...
Environmental Protection: MTBE Contamination From Underground Storage Tanks
GAO-02-753T: Published: May 21, 2002. Publicly Released: May 21, 2002.
To help limit air pollution, about a third of the states use gasoline that contains methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), which burns cleaner. However, MTBE has migrated into wells and groundwater from leaking underground tanks used to store gasoline. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the responsibility through the Underground Storage Tank Program and works through the states to ensure t...
Environmental Protection: Improved Inspections and Enforcement Would Ensure Safer Underground Storage Tanks
GAO-02-712T: Published: May 8, 2002. Publicly Released: May 8, 2002.
Hazardous substances that leak from underground storage tanks can contaminate the soil and water and pose continuing health risks. Leaks of methyl tertiary butyl ether--a fuel additive--have forced several communities to close their wells. GAO surveyed all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine whether tanks are compliant with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) underground st...
Environmental Cleanup: Better Communication Needed for Dealing with Formerly Used Defense Sites in Guam
GAO-02-423: Published: Apr 11, 2002. Publicly Released: Apr 16, 2002.
Chemical testing kits from World War II containing diluted mustard gas and other chemicals have been discovered on Guam. The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for identifying and cleaning up contaminated military sites throughout the United States and its territories. In the mid-1990s, DOD scaled back its identification efforts nationally and focused its attention on Guam. It now relies o...