Assessment of DOD's Pollution Control Progress and Future Cost

LCD-79-303: Published: Jan 26, 1979. Publicly Released: Feb 6, 1979.

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GAO reviewed the progress made by the Department of Defense (DOD) in correcting pollution at military bases and the cost to strengthen pollution control programs. It is expected that half of the $972 million allocated through 1984 for pollution control will be used for abatement programs already identified. The remaining sum will cover costs for complying with upgraded federal pollution standards.

The military services were asked to include, in the 5-year defense plan, the amount needed for specific projects and for anticipated environmental standards. Since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not yet published these standards in their final form, DOD has no firm basis to estimate its future needs. Consequently, GAO was unable to evaluate the adequacy of the estimates. The study of projects already proposed or underway has allowed GAO to reach some conclusions on the DOD programs. The pollution reporting system does not provide a full and reliable description of its future needs. The cost for the programs cannot be estimated accurately due to unpublished environmental standards and the effect that current litigation might have on the programs.

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