Environmental Protection:

Assessing EPA's Progress in Paperwork Reduction

T-RCED-96-107: Published: Mar 21, 1996. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 1996.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to reduce the paperwork burden associated with environmental reporting and recordkeeping. GAO noted that: (1) EPA identified about 18 million hours of paperwork reduction burdens and needed to identify another 2 million hours to reach its goal of a 25-percent reduction in paperwork burdens; (2) two EPA offices accounted for the majority of the reported reduction; (3) EPA overstated the reduction for the burden associated with Toxic Release Inventory reporting because it did not offset the reduction with an increase in time required for companies to certify compliance; (4) EPA overstated the reduction associated with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's land disposal requirements, but actually increased the paperwork burden associated with those requirements; (5) the total EPA paperwork burden has increased from its January 1995 baseline because of new disclosure requirements, recalculations of existing paperwork burdens, new programs and rules, and program growth; and (6) EPA is reviewing the way it calculates paperwork burden reductions.

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