Environmental policies (21 - 30 of 151 items)
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...
Clean Water Act: Improved Resource Planning Would Help EPA Better Respond to Changing Needs and Fiscal Constraints
GAO-05-721: Published: Jul 22, 2005. Publicly Released: Aug 2, 2005.
Federal and state fiscal constraints may jeopardize past and future accomplishments resulting from the Clean Water Act (the act). In this environment, it is important to manage available resources as efficiently as possible and to identify future human capital needs, including the size of the workforce and its deployment across the organization. GAO was asked to determine (1) the extent to which t...
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...
Storm Water Pollution: Information Needed on the Implications of Permitting Oil and Gas Construction Activities
GAO-05-240: Published: Feb 9, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2005.
To prevent pollutants from entering storm water runoff, the Clean Water Act's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Storm Water Program requires controls for construction activities that disturb land. Phase I of this program requires permitting for construction activities that disturb 5 acres or more, while Phase II requires permitting for activities disturbing between 1 and 5 acres. The...
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...
Federal Procurement: Government Agencies' Purchases of Recycled-Content Products
GAO-02-928T: Published: Jul 11, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 11, 2002.
In the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, Congress directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify products made with recycled waste materials or solid waste by-products and to develop guidance for purchasing these products. The act also requires procuring agencies to establish programs for purchasing these products. Procuring agencies, which can include contractors and...
Hazardous Waste: Effect of Proposed Rule's Extra Cleanup Requirements Is Uncertain
GAO-01-57: Published: Oct 20, 2000. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 2000.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed several amendments to its 1993 Corrective Action Management Unit (CAMU) rule. The CAMU rule currently allows agencies to set aside part of their hazardous waste site to deposit wastes without triggering the requirements of the Recovery Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA's action is in response to a lawsuit alleging that the CAMU rule would...
Environmental Protection Agency: Use of Precautionary Assumptions in Health Risk Assessments and Benefits Estimates
GAO-01-55: Published: Oct 16, 2000. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 2000.
Some of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations set standards that limit environmental contaminants to levels that are determined, in large part, on the basis of the health risks they pose. When EPA assesses the health risks of contaminants, however, the agency is faced with uncertainties and gaps in scientific knowledge and data. This report summarizes GAO's findings on whether EP...
Hazardous Waste: EPA Has Removed Some Barriers to Cleanups
RCED-00-224: Published: Aug 31, 2000. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2000.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to remove barriers to hazardous waste cleanup, focusing on: (1) cleanups of remediation waste at sites subject to the three Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements; and (2) the management factors that had slowed the pace of cleanups under the corrective action pro...
Environmental Protection: More Consistency Needed Among EPA Regions in Approach to Enforcement
RCED-00-108: Published: Jun 1, 2000. Publicly Released: Jul 5, 2000.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the consistency of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regional offices' enforcement of environmental requirements, focusing on: (1) the extent to which variations exist among EPA's regional offices in the actions they take to enforce environmental requirements; (2) what factors contribute to any variations; and (3) what EPA...