EPA's Efforts To Clean Up Three Hazardous Waste Sites

RCED-84-91: Published: Jun 7, 1984. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 1984.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the status of cleanup efforts at three hazardous waste sites, provided information on progress at the sites, and discussed the lack of cost-effectiveness evaluations for remedial measures by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

GAO found that, since 1980, cleanup actions have taken place at the three sites, and studies are underway to determine how to complete the tasks. Although the Superfund program provides that the long-term remedies be cost effective, no standards exist as to the extent of the required cleanup. Specifically, at the Laskin/Poplar Oil Company site in Ohio, EPA has disposed of contaminated oil and water. At the LiPari Landfill site in New Jersey, EPA has constructed an underground containment wall and, at the Picillo Farm site in Rhode Island, EPA has instituted a number of cleanup strategies. However, EPA has indicated that total cleanup of the LiPari site may not be practical because contaminants continue to leak from underground containment into ground and surface waters. GAO expressed concern that standards for cost-effective cleanup have not been developed and noted that an Office of Technology Assessment study is examining the extent to which the absence of specific national standard affects the selection of cleanup technologies and whether sufficient data exist to develop such standards.

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