EPA Could Benefit From Comprehensive Management Information on Superfund Enforcement Actions

RCED-85-3: Published: Dec 28, 1984. Publicly Released: Dec 28, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the extent of management information available to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in carrying out its enforcement responsibilities under the Superfund program.

GAO found that, while EPA headquarters and regional offices have individual management information systems for tracking Superfund enforcement actions, there is no such system that covers the entire agency. Most such systems were developed in recent years, as the growing Superfund case load prompted program managers to develop systematic ways of tracking enforcement actions. Many EPA officials believe that, if the Superfund enforcement case load continues to increase as expected, an agencywide information system could enable program managers to better address comprehensive Superfund issues such as the length of the enforcement process, whether enforcement milestones are met, and resource allocation. However, EPA has not assessed the feasibility of implementing a comprehensive Superfund enforcement tracking system.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: EPA has developed a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System (CERCLIS). Though quality assurance efforts on CERCLIS are continuing, EPA hopes this system will satisfy all internal and external users' needs for Superfund enforcement information. GAO will monitor the adequacy of the CERCLIS system in future Superfund-related work.

    Recommendation: In view of the growing enforcement work load, the Administrator, EPA, should assess the feasibility of developing and maintaining a comprehensive Superfund enforcement management information system and, if cost-effective, implement such a system. In making this assessment, the Administrator should consider the needs of EPA program managers and Congress.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency


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