Natural Resources and Environment:

Review of Selected Air Force Hazardous Waste Reports

NSIAD-86-68BR: Published: Mar 31, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed 30 contractor-developed Installation Restoration Program Phase I reports, which identify areas of potential environmental contamination due to hazardous waste disposal at Air Force installations, and compared them to the procedures outlined in the Air Force's guidance manual.

GAO found that the contractors used the required procedures to determine whether the potential for contamination at a disposal site warranted recommending the site for further work. Each site was given a Hazard Assessment Rating Methodology score that provided the Air Force with a relative indication of the potential for contamination over a wide range of sites and conditions; however, the scores for the sites recommended for further action were inconsistent. The Air Force stated that: (1) many of the contractors had been conservative in assigning scores; and (2) while the method for computing a score primarily uses objective factors, the contractors have to make some subjective evaluations. As a result, the Air Force reviewed the contractors' recommendations and decided to include more sites for further action than were recommended. An Air Force status report indicated that work has begun at 10 of the sites and, after more data analysis, the Air Force decided to do further work at 9 additional sites.

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