Environmental Protection:

Agenda for the 1980's

CED-82-73: Published: May 5, 1982. Publicly Released: May 5, 1982.

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GAO prepared a staff study as part of its continuing reassessment of areas of national concern and interest and identified environmental protection problems and issues most in need of attention. The review will influence the scope and direction of GAO audit efforts involving pollution control programs and activities.

Environmental pollution affects the daily lives of all Americans in some form or manner. Excessive pollutants introduced into the environment have an adverse impact on environmental quality, on human health, and on other factors important to human life. The United States has made major efforts to control pollution since the early 1970's and has realized some significant accomplishments. However, there have also been shortcomings: certain environmental problems continue to persist and grow worse while new ones continue to appear. Recent environmental disasters involving such things as hazardous waste dumps, pesticide contamination, dying lakes, and radiation releases have made the public increasingly aware of the major health hazards associated with the pollution of our natural resources.

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