Solid Waste Disposal Practices:

Open Dumps Not Identified; States Face Funding Problems

CED-81-131: Published: Jul 23, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 1981.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Hugh J. Wessinger
(202) 275-5489
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO was requested to review the status of state solid waste management plans, the conduct of the open-dump inventory, and the impact of reduced funding on state solid waste activities.

GAO found that over $47 million was awarded to states from October 1977 to March 1981 to develop state solid waste management plans and to conduct an open-dump inventory. However, plan development has been slow. No state plans have been approved by EPA as of June 1981. The open-dump inventory published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in late May 1981 is incomplete and is not the management tool intended to apprise Congress and the public of the overall magnitude of solid waste land disposal problems throughout the Nation. Funding for state grants is authorized through fiscal year (FY) 1982; the EPA proposed budget does not provide funding for FY 1982 because EPA expects the states' programs to be self-reliant and self-supporting by then. The States believe that, if additional federal funding is not provided, their solid waste efforts, including implementing the state solid waste management plans and continuing the open-dump inventory, will be significantly curtailed. EPA has encouraged the states to explore alternative funding sources to finance state programs as federal financial assistance was gradually being phased out.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of EPA should encourage the states to submit the names of all disposal facilities not meeting one or more of the EPA criteria for classifying disposal facilities. After receiving the data from the states, the Administrator should publish an inventory of all facilities which do not meet the EPA criteria.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of EPA should provide to all state solid waste management agencies comprehensive reports on those states that the Administrator believes have developed alternative sources of funding to the point that state solid waste management programs are considered self-reliant and self-supporting. Such reports can serve as guides to encourage all states to develop self-reliant and self-supporting solid waste management programs.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 26, 2016

Aug 15, 2016

Jul 26, 2016

Jul 21, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 7, 2016

Jun 14, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here