Making Superfund Work Better:

A Challenge for the New Administration

T-RCED-89-48: Published: Jun 15, 1989. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 1989.

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GAO discussed its work on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program and reviewed the EPA Superfund management report. In previous reports, GAO had found EPA difficulty in: (1) controlling contracting costs; (2) maintaining a stable and competent work force; (3) compelling violators to pay cleanup costs; and (4) defining and meeting its short- and long-term goals. GAO found that the EPA management report recommended: (1) requiring additional procedures for detecting and avoiding contractor conflicts of interest and providing guidance for contractors; (2) retaining staff through pay increases and other incentives; and (3) increasing the use of enforcement orders and improving cost recovery procedures. GAO believes that these recommendations should improve Superfund's effectiveness, but the EPA report did not adequately address contracting cost controls, statutory deadlines, a comprehensive management information system, and the need for strong leadership and management.

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