Natural Resources and Environment:

Closure Status of RCRA Hazardous Waste Land Disposal Facilities

T-RCED-88-13: Published: Dec 5, 1987. Publicly Released: Dec 5, 1987.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) compliance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's requirements for closure of hazardous waste land disposal facilities. GAO found that: (1) the estimate of the number of disposal facilities requiring closure has increased from 995 to 1,161; (2) the increases occurred because some facilities which had planned to continue operation later decided to close and EPA discovered new sites; (3) EPA and the states approved 645 of the 902 closure plans they received; (4) 32 percent of the facilities with approval plans completed the closure process; and (5) 516 facilities either have not submitted closure plans or have not received approval of their plans. GAO also found that EPA: (1) stated that it would not meet the regulatory time frames because of its limited resources and increased work load; (2) needed to further investigate 80 of the 376 facilities that completed the closure process because they could pose environmental risks; and (3) plans to complete 60 percent of the closures by the end of 1988. GAO believes that EPA and the states should continue monitoring facilities that are closing until they complete closure and corrective actions.

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