Natural Resources and Environment:

Improvements Needed To Control the Disposal of PCB's

T-RCED-88-10: Published: Dec 9, 1987. Publicly Released: Dec 9, 1987.

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GAO discussed: (1) federal regulation of the handling and disposal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) under the Toxic Substances Control Act; and (2) a legislative proposal to improve this regulation. GAO noted that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): (1) does not have adequate control over PCB handling and disposal; (2) has not met legislative deadlines for issuing PCB regulations; and (3) estimates that PCB disposal demand will peak over the next several years. GAO also noted that the proposed legislation: (1) establishes nationwide criteria for PCB permits; (2) extends EPA permit requirements to include all intermediate operators; and (3) emphasizes periodic inspections of all PCB handlers and focuses on the correction of regulatory deficiencies as soon after inspection as possible. GAO supports these features of the proposed legislation and believes that further legislation should impose financial responsibility requirements on PCB handlers.

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