Vehicle Emissions:

EPA Program To Assist Leaded-Gasoline Producers Needs Prompt Improvement

RCED-86-182: Published: Aug 6, 1986. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) certain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) management controls over its Lead Rights Banking Program; and (2) the program's legal basis.

GAO found that EPA: (1) controls the program primarily through its reviews of participants' reports; (2) has not established a requirement to verify the reported data; (3) received erroneous information from participants on the amount of lead used in production and leaded gasoline produced; (4) is developing a methodology for audit participants to verify reported data and to ensure compliance with program requirements; (5) has no complete, current data on the balance of lead rights available for use through the end of the program in 1987; (6) has not enforced regulations regarding the 25 potential banking requirements violations; and (7) expects to implement enforcement action once it finalizes its lead rights banking enforcement policy.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: EPA developed a methodology, completed 19 audits, and plans seven more during the remainder of FY 1987. It expects to finalize an enforcement policy in August 1987, but has already begun enforcement actions.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should establish specific time frames to develop: (1) a methodology for auditing refiners to verify reported data and ensure compliance with program requirements, and initiate such audits promptly; and (2) an enforcement policy, including the identification of program violations, enforcement actions to be taken, and the penalties to be assessed, and take appropriate actions against identified program violators.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: EPA agreed to periodically assess its review, processing, and reconciliation of refinery reports. However, it stated that, by hiring additional staff, it has accellerated report processing and is now current.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should: (1) require periodic reviews or assessments of agency actions being taken to expedite the review, processing, and reconciliation of refiners' reports; and (2) take other actions, such as providing additional staff or further modifying computer capabilities, if satisfactory progress is not being made.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency


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