Skip to Highlights
Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund Program, focusing on: (1) EPA use of Superfund program funds between 1987 and 1993; (2) the status of cleanup work at each Superfund site; (3) the cleanup work financed by EPA and the responsible parties; and (4) the extent to which judicial review limits have eliminated EPA cleanup delays.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Environmental Protection Agency To ensure that expeditious cleanup actions are being taken at Superfund sites listed before 1987 and the accuracy of EPA data on site cleanup status, the Administrator, EPA, should determine why no site studies have been started at nine sites placed on the National Priorities List before 1987 and the reasons for slow progress at other pre-1987 sites that have not progressed past the initial study phase. Consideration should be given to removing sites from the list if they do not pose a significant threat.
Closed - Implemented
EPA surveyed its regions to identify the reasons for slow progress at NPL sites listed before 1987 and analyzed the reasons for these delays. About one-fifth (34) of the sites had actually progressed beyond the RI/FS stage. Of the remaining 116 sites, EPA estimates that 75 percent will complete the RI/FS stage by FY 1996.
Environmental Protection Agency To ensure that expeditious cleanup actions are being taken at Superfund sites listed before 1987 and the accuracy of EPA data on site cleanup status, the Administrator, EPA, should ensure the accuracy of the Superfund database on state-managed sites by directing the regions to confirm the accuracy of the data with appropriate state officials, correct inaccurate data, and ensure accurate and timely reporting in the future.
Closed - Implemented
EPA has reemphasized the importance of accurate data on the status of state-managed cleanups and established guidance that requires its regional staff to consult semi-annually with state officials on the status of state-managed cleanups.

Full Report