Funding for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

RCED-87-112BR: Published: Mar 13, 1987. Publicly Released: Apr 3, 1987.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the implementation of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), which authorized funds for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) for fiscal years 1987 through 1991.

GAO found that: (1) SARA allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to transfer Superfund money to ATSDR, but prohibited it from controlling the use of the money; (2) EPA reviewed and reduced the 1988 ATSDR budget request and, after negotiations and appeals, submitted a request for $50 million, the minimum amount earmarked by SARA; (3) the interagency agreements EPA used to transfer funds to ATSDR, which restricted the use of those funds for specified activities, did not comply with SARA; and (4) EPA no longer has the authority to direct how ATSDR spends money authorized under SARA.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: EPA changed its procedures to allow ATSDR to transfer Superfund money among budgetary line items in an ATSDR interagency agreement without prior EPA approval.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should not place any restrictions, through interagency agreements or any other means, on the use of funds earmarked to ATSDR under section 111(h) of SARA.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency


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