Hazardous Waste:

Information on EPA's Proposal To Delete Chemicals From Groundwater Monitoring

RCED-87-132FS: Published: May 19, 1987. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 1987.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposal to eliminate 150 chemicals from groundwater monitoring at its land disposal facilities.

GAO surveyed 175 testing laboratories on the feasibility of testing the chemicals, and found that: (1) the majority of the laboratories could not test for the chemicals in groundwater because of suspected testing problems; (2) 10 of the laboratories surveyed indicated that the test method was valid and reliable; (3) information on the quantities of disposed wastes that contained the chemicals was unavailable; (4) there was limited information on the amounts of the chemicals produced annually in pure form; (5) two-thirds of the chemicals were highly toxic; (6) chemical production was not a reliable indicator of disposable wastes; and (7) short-term exposure to the chemicals could lead to death or permanent injury.

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