Observations on Compliance and Enforcement in EPA's Drinking Water Program

T-RCED-91-47: Published: May 10, 1991. Publicly Released: May 10, 1991.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) and states' implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, focusing on the: (1) extent to which community water systems complied with monitoring requirements and drinking water standards; (2) effectiveness of state and EPA enforcement efforts in ensuring compliance; and (3) impact of new drinking water requirements. GAO noted that: (1) many water systems, particularly smaller systems, violated water quality monitoring requirements and drinking water standards; (2) EPA probably could not detect some water quality standard violations due to water system operator errors; (3) some water systems falsified data and manipulated test results; (4) states' sanitary survey programs were inconsistent; (5) states' and EPA enforcement actions aimed at deterring violations and ensuring system compliance fell short of EPA program requirements and were ineffective in achieving their objectives; (6) 1986 amendments to the act will probably make compliance more difficult to achieve and enforcement problems more difficult to resolve; (7) EPA issued guidance policies to EPA regions and states, but lacked a system for ensuring that water systems complied with those policies; and (8) it would be difficult to determine the extent to which water systems corrected their problems unless EPA increases its oversight activities.

Aug 15, 2016

Jul 26, 2016

Jul 21, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 7, 2016

Jun 14, 2016

Jun 13, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here