Approaches for Environmental Regulations

RCED-96-135R: Published: Apr 25, 1996. Publicly Released: May 6, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the cost of complying with federal environmental laws and regulations. GAO found that: (1) beginning in 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was required to generate standards for predetermined water and air contaminants within a rigid schedule; (2) the predetermination of contaminants and rigid schedule limited EPA capacity to identify and regulate the contaminants that pose the greatest risk; (3) sulfur dioxide emissions allowances provide utilities flexibility in choosing how they will meet overall reduction requirements and limited emissions at specific times have reduced sulfur dioxide emissions; (4) in return for better pollution reduction than traditional cleanup approaches provide, EPA allows companies to test new, flexible pollution controls; (5) by eliminating or using shortened planning steps, EPA cleanups of federal hazardous waste sites can be finished 2 years sooner and cost $500,000 less than traditional remedial cleanups; and (6) while 1,194 federal hazardous waste sites are being evaluated or cleaned up, cleanups have been completed at only 8 sites.

Feb 6, 2018

Oct 12, 2017

Oct 2, 2017

  • budget icon, source: GAO

    U.S. Territories:

    Public Debt Outlook
    GAO-18-160: Published: Oct 2, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 2, 2017.

Sep 20, 2017

May 3, 2017

Jan 18, 2017

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Jan 12, 2017

Dec 20, 2016

Dec 8, 2016

  • budget icon, source: GAO

    State and Local Governments' Fiscal Outlook:

    2016 Update
    GAO-17-213SP: Published: Dec 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 2016.

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