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Hazardous Waste: Information on How DOD and Federal and State Regulators Oversee the Off-Site Disposal of Waste from DOD Installations

GAO-08-74 Published: Nov 13, 2007. Publicly Released: Nov 13, 2007.
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Military installations operated by the Department of Defense (DOD) can generate hazardous waste during routine operations, such as the repair and maintenance of weapon systems and equipment, or during an environmental cleanup related to past operations. The proper disposal of hazardous waste, especially when it is taken to an off-site location, is essential to ensuring the health and safety of communities across the country. This report describes (1) DOD's procedures for selecting hazardous waste transporters and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities, and ensuring that they properly dispose of hazardous waste; (2) the role of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state agencies in ensuring hazardous waste is disposed of safely and in accordance with laws and regulations; and (3) the information that facilities and regulators must publicly report regarding a release of hazardous waste and the enforcement actions taken against facilities found in violation of the applicable laws and regulations. GAO reviewed applicable laws, regulations, and policies, and interviewed federal and state officials. GAO does not make any recommendations in this report. EPA generally agreed with the report, while DOD did not comment on the report. Both agencies provided technical comments which were incorporated.

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Department of Defense contractorsEnvironmental cleanupsEnvironmental lawEnvironmental protectionHazardous substancesHazardous waste disposalHazardous waste sitesHazardous wastesInspectionPolicy evaluationRegulatory agenciesReporting requirementsWaste disposalWaste managementPolicies and proceduresProgram goals or objectives