GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) progress in implementing Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) provisions to determine whether EPA was: (1) identifying and regulating hazardous wastes; (2) ensuring RCRA facilities' compliance with regulatory controls; and (3) encouraging waste minimization.
Matter for Congressional Consideration
|Congress may wish to amend RCRA to require EPA to undertake, in consultation with Congress, such a planning and management effort. The objective would be to establish measurable goals for priority areas and a long-term strategy to achieve the goals. Congress may also wish to expand RCRA annual reporting requirements to include a report on EPA progress in attaining the established goals.||Reauthorization of RCRA has been delayed indefinitely, and this recommendation has been open for 6 years with no action by Congress.|
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Environmental Protection Agency||1. To give a greater sense of direction to the RCRA program, the Administrator, EPA, should, in consultation with Congress, engage in strategic planning for priority efforts. This planning effort should include a strategy that identifies specific measurable goals, the tasks necessary to accomplish the goals, milestones, required resources, organizational responsibilities, and periodic reporting on progress in achieving the stated goals. An integral part of this strategy should include development of the data necessary to formulate and measure progress in attaining such goals. The priority efforts that make up this strategy should, at a minimum, include identifying and regulating hazardous wastes, ensuring regulatory compliance, and encouraging waste minimization.|