Natural Resources and Environment:

The Environmental Protection Agency Needs Congressional Guidance and Support To Guard the Public in a Period of Radiation Proliferation

CED-78-27: Published: Jan 20, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 20, 1978.


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In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was given unclear authority to protect the American people and their environment from radiation hazards. EPA officials agree that the agency currently is unable to provide complete protection under its ambiguous authorities and that clarification by Congress is needed.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Matter for Congressional Consideration

    Matter: To overcome the apparent controversies regarding the role of EPA in developing standards and Federal guidance for environmental exposure to radiation, Congress should: define more clearly the agency's role as the Federal overseer of environmental radiation; outline the scope of radiation dangers to be determined by EPA; and require timely development of necessary standards and guidance and periodic advisement of the progress of EPA in meeting its radiation protection goals. The Administrator of EPA should provide the EPA radiation protection program with sufficient support to do its job. Specifically, the Administrator should: (1) assign additional staff and resources as available to the program; (2) reexamine the environmental monitoring network and develop the capability to provide accurate and complete information on radiation dangers; (3) coordinate EPA research with that performed by others; (4) require that reports on radiation levels in the environment be continued and issued at least annually; and (5) develop a comprehensive assessment of the need for standards and guidance such as those required for radioactive air pollutants.

    Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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