Hazardous Waste:

DOD Estimates for Cleaning Up Contaminated Sites Improved but Still Constrained

NSIAD-92-37: Published: Oct 29, 1991. Publicly Released: Dec 3, 1991.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) cost estimates to identify and contain or clean up hazardous waste sites, focusing on: (1) why DOD has had difficulty developing reliable estimates; and (2) DOD efforts to produce better estimates.

GAO found that: (1) factors that affect DOD ability to develop reliable estimates of how much it will cost to clean up its hazardous waste sites include unidentified clean-up sites, incomplete contamination studies, unanticipated clean-up costs, and undetermined cleanup times; (2) in 1985, DOD estimated that the costs for assessment, study, and potential cleanup of 400 to 800 sites ranged from $5 to $10 billion; (3) in 1989, DOD estimated that its potential clean-up costs for about 7,100 sites ranged from $4.2 billion to $42.2 billion, depending on the technology needed for remedial actions; (4) although DOD based its 1985 estimates on limited study and research, it produced its 1989 estimate to examine available clean-up options; (5) in the past, DOD either based its estimates on projected clean-up costs of individual sites or updated previous estimates; and (6) DOD used study and cleanup experiences, historical costs, and the military services' input in developing its most recent estimate of $24.2 billion.

Aug 16, 2018

Aug 14, 2018

Jul 19, 2018

Jul 17, 2018

Jul 12, 2018

Jun 19, 2018

Jun 14, 2018

Jun 7, 2018

Jun 5, 2018

May 30, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here