Hazardous Waste:

Adequacy of EPA Attorney Resource Levels

RCED-86-81FS: Published: Jan 31, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 1986.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed whether or not the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an adequate supply of regional attorney resources to: (1) enforce Superfund and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements; and (2) defend EPA against lawsuits under these acts.

GAO noted that: (1) EPA received 680 full-time personnel positions, which included attorneys and support staff, to perform legal and compliance activities under all of its environmental statutes, including Superfund and RCRA; (2) regional counsels are understaffed in the Superfund and RCRA areas because of an imbalance between the level of RCRA and Superfund program activities and legal staffing; and (3) attorney shortages are extensive for RCRA activities, because regional counsels have not kept pace with increased work loads resulting from new statutory requirements. GAO found that: (1) four regional counsels have eliminated or reduced their involvement in certain legal activities associated with Superfund and RCRA enforcement; (2) attorneys lacked time to review work plans for the Superfund site investigation and feasibility study; (3) five regional counsels experienced delays in processing administrative orders; and (4) at least five regional counsels had attorneys working substantial amounts of overtime. GAO also found that: (1) enforcement cases are expected to increase 27 percent in fiscal year 1986; (2) some EPA regional offices tried to compensate for attorney shortages by allocating positions from program units to the regional counsels; and (3) three of the eight regional counsels have made an effort to quantify the extent of their attorney resource needs by using work-load projections and pricing factors to estimate the time required to perform each activity.

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