Superfund:

Use of Innovative Technologies for Site Cleanups

T-RCED-96-45: Published: Dec 6, 1995. Publicly Released: Dec 6, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed Superfund research and development activities, focusing on: (1) the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) use of innovative technologies at Superfund sites; (2) barriers impeding the use of innovative technologies at these sites; and (3) how the Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) program encourages the development and use of innovative technologies at Superfund sites. GAO noted that: (1) EPA used innovative technologies in about 20 percent of its cleanup activities during 1994; (2) barriers impeding the development and use of innovative technologies at Superfund sites include strict regulatory cleanup standards, technical limitations, limited cost and performance data, and the lack of investment in innovative technology development; (3) SITE is intended to encourage the development and use of innovative technologies at Superfund sites by removing the barriers that innovative technologies face; and (4) SITE primary functions include testing unproven technologies at Superfund sites and publishing information on the performance of new technologies.

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