Federal Hazardous Waste Sites:
Opportunities for More Cost-Effective Cleanups
T-RCED-95-188, May 18, 1995
GAO discussed the federal government's efforts to clean up hazardous waste sites, focusing on how to make these efforts more cost-effective. GAO noted that: (1) the federal cleanup effort is over a decade old and has cost over $15 billion; (2) many sites have not yet been identified or assessed and only two high priority sites have been completely cleaned up; (3) although increasing budgetary pressures are forcing agencies to choose among competing cleanup needs, the government has not established an adequate approach for setting federal cleanup priorities; (4) contract management problems have increased cleanup costs; (5) federal agencies have not utilized potentially cost-saving, innovative cleanup technologies, because they feel there is too much risk involved; and (6) federal agencies are collaborating with the private sector to develop and disseminate cost and performance data on commercial innovative cleanup technologies.