Inspection, Enforcement, and Permitting Activities at New Jersey and Tennessee Hazardous Waste Facilities

RCED-84-7: Published: Jun 22, 1984. Publicly Released: Jul 11, 1984.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed activities associated with the federal hazardous waste regulatory program and compliance under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. This report discusses how the program is being carried out in Tennessee and New Jersey and updates a prior report by identifying corrective actions the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken.

GAO noted that Tennessee has administered its own inspection and enforcement program for several years, but New Jersey has only recently obtained primary inspection and enforcement authority from EPA. GAO found that 5 of the 34 New Jersey facilities and 11 of 14 Tennessee facilities were not in full compliance with the act with respect to ground water monitoring requirements. Neither state knew whether the facilities were in compliance with financial responsibility requirements regarding closure and postclosure care. In Tennessee and New Jersey, follow-up on violations was not always performed and few enforcement actions were taken. Relatively few of the estimated 7,500 facilities nationwide needing permits have been issued permits by EPA and the states. GAO noted that EPA plans to act to correct these problems.

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