Hazardous wastes (1 - 10 of 155 items)
Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Numbers of Contaminated Federal Sites, Estimated Costs, and EPA's Oversight Role
GAO-15-830T: Published: Sep 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 11, 2015.
The Departments of Agriculture (USDA), the Interior, Defense (DOD), and Energy (DOE) have identified thousands of contaminated and potentially contaminated sites on land they manage but do not have a complete inventory of sites, in particular, for abandoned mines. GAO reported in January 2015 that USDA had identified 1,491 contaminated sites and many potentially contaminated sites. However, USDA d...
Hazardous Waste: Agencies Should Take Steps to Improve Information on USDA's and Interior's Potentially Contaminated Sites
GAO-15-35: Published: Jan 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 2015.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of the Interior (Interior) have identified many contaminated and potentially contaminated sites, but neither agency has a complete inventory. As of April 2014, USDA had identified 1,491 contaminated sites and many potentially contaminated sites, including landfills and shooting ranges. However, USDA does not have a reliable, centralized...
Nuclear Material: DOE's Depleted Uranium Tails Could Be a Source of Revenue for the Government
GAO-11-752T: Published: Jun 13, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2011.
Since the 1940s, the Department of Energy (DOE) has been processing natural uranium into enriched uranium, which has a higher concentration of the isotope uranium-235 that can be used in nuclear weapons or reactors. This has resulted in over 700,000 metric tons of leftover depleted uranium, also known as "tails," that have varying residual concentrations of uranium-235. The tails are stored at DOE...
Nuclear Waste: Disposal Challenges and Lessons Learned from Yucca Mountain
GAO-11-731T: Published: Jun 1, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 2011.
The United States has generated over 75,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste--extremely hazardous substances--at 80 sites in 35 states and is expected to more than double that amount by 2055. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) required the Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate a geologic repository for nuclear waste. In 1987, Congress amended NWPA to dire...
Superfund: Interagency Agreements and Improved Project Management Needed to Achieve Cleanup Progress at Key Defense Installations
GAO-10-348: Published: Jul 15, 2010. Publicly Released: Aug 16, 2010.
Before the passage of federal environmental legislation in the 1970s and 1980s, Department of Defense (DOD) activities contaminated millions of acres of soil and water on and near DOD sites. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has certain oversight authorities for cleaning up contaminants on federal property, and has placed 1,620 of the most contaminated sites--including 141 DOD installation...
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...
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...