Management Issues Facing the Environmental Protection Agency

T-RCED-93-26: Published: Mar 29, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 1993.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) management problems. GAO noted that: (1) EPA has limited resources available to carry out environmental mandates; (2) EPA has often been unable to meet statutory mandates and implement plans addressing pollution control; (3) EPA needs to establish priorities among its programs on the basis of the risk to public health and the environment; (4) EPA needs to keep the public better informed about environmental risks; (5) numerous legislative mandates have led to the creation of individual program offices within EPA that focus solely on reducing pollution within their particular environment, rather than reducing pollution overall; (6) although EPA regulatory programs depend heavily on scientific information on the health and environmental effects of chemicals and pollutants, these data often do not exist; (7) EPA is lacking the information necessary to evaluate its programs; (8) EPA has relied on activity-based measures for program evaluation because of the technical difficulties in establishing linkages between program activities and environmental improvements and conditions; (9) EPA has not ensured management accountability for correcting program weaknesses; and (10) EPA needs to strengthen its global environmental protection efforts.

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