Water Pollution:

Ocean Dumping Fee Program Is Meeting Statutory Requirements

T-RCED-92-5: Published: Oct 30, 1991. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1991.

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GAO discussed the collection and disposition of fees authorized by the Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988, focusing on: (1) how much sludge was dumped in the ocean in 1989 and 1990; (2) whether sewage authorities collected the correct fees and deposited them in the proper accounts; and (3) what specific activities the fees funded. GAO noted that: (1) between August 15 and December 31, 1989, sewage authorities dumped 132,424 tons of sewage sludge at the authorized ocean dumping site, and in 1990, sewage authorities dumped 354,700 tons at the site; (2) fees totalled about $77 million and authorities depositied them in the proper accounts; (3) the Environmental Protection Agency, the Coast Guard, and the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration used the collected fees for purposes consistent with the act's requirements, including developing and implementing land-based sludge disposal alternatives; and (4) sewage authorities need to develop long-term alternatives to ocean dumping.

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