EPA Needs to Better Focus Cleanup Technology Development

T-RCED-93-34: Published: Apr 28, 1993. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 1993.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to foster development of innovative technologies used for Superfund and hazardous waste cleanup initiatives, focusing on: (1) whether EPA has demonstrated and selected innovative technologies for Superfund site cleanups; (2) barriers and solutions to innovative technology development and use; and (3) the EPA response to previous recommendations. GAO noted that: (1) the EPA Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation Program (SITE) has initiated 71 of 117 field demonstrations designed to evaluate selected technologies; (2) the number of SITE field demonstrations has increased annually; (3) although the number of innovative technologies selected for use has increased annually, EPA has completed only 11 remedial cleanup actions; (4) innovative technology barriers include the lack of adequate and timely EPA site cleanup assessments, the inability to match new technologies with specific site requirements, the lack of reliable cost and efficacy data, and burdensome EPA policies, regulations, and permit requirements; and (5) despite recent EPA initiatives in response to previous recommendations, EPA lacks a systematic strategy for identifying and prioritizing cleanup technology and research needs and targeting solicitations to meet specific technology development needs.

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