Environmental Management:

An Integrated Approach Could Reduce Pollution and Increase Regulatory Efficiency

RCED-96-41: Published: Jan 31, 1996. Publicly Released: Feb 5, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) the environmental management approaches used in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey; (2) state and industry experiences with these integrated management approaches; and (3) the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) role in state efforts to reduce pollution.

GAO found that: (1) Massachusetts has adopted a single, integrated inspection approach to assess facilities' compliance with environmental statutes; (2) New York is using a facility-management strategy to coordinate medium-specific environmental programs; (3) New Jersey is testing the use of single, integrated permits for industrial facilities, rather than issuing separate permits for pollution releases; (4) although Massachusetts and New York intend to implement their integrated approaches statewide, New Jersey believes that it is too early to evaluate the success of its pilot program; (5) state industry officials believe these integrated management approaches are beneficial to the environment, achieve regulatory efficiencies, and reduce costs; and (6) EPA has proposed a new grant program that will help states gain easier access to funding for multimedia programs, as well as ease the reporting of multimedia activities.

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