Toxic Substances:

PCB Enforcement in Kansas City Region Substantiates Need for Further Program Improvements

RCED-88-72: Published: Feb 26, 1988. Publicly Released: May 3, 1988.


Hugh J. Wessinger
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Office of Public Affairs
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In response to a congressional request, GAO: (1) reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Kansas City regional office's oversight of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) storage and disposal companies; and (2) identified improvements needed in the EPA nationwide PCB enforcement program.

GAO found that: (1) EPA has not directed its regional offices to assign special priority to the inspection of the 130 or more companies that handle PCB; (2) the Kansas City regional office failed to inspect all vacated and nonoperating PCB sites for contamination; and (3) the regional office's processing time for official enforcement actions against violators averaged 9.5 months in 1985 and 1986.

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

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should establish nationwide inspection guidance for PCB companies. Such guidance should include: (1) requirements for annual comprehensive inspections of every PCB disposal and intermediate company for compliance with all PCB regulations and permit conditions; (2) inspection of facilities once PCB operations cease; and (3) procedures that ensure correction of PCB regulatory deficiencies as soon after inspection as possible.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GAO plans to issue an accomplishment report upon receipt of EPA guidance documents.

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