Recommendations Database

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As of January 31, 2023, there are 4840 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 471 of these are priority recommendations, those that we believe warrant priority attention. Learn more about our priority designation on our Recommendations page.

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1 - 20 of 75 Recommendations, including 12 Priority Recommendations
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Clean Water Act: EPA Should Track Control of Combined Sewer Overflows and Water Quality Improvements

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Environmental Protection Agency The Assistant Administrator of the Office of Water should develop a performance goal and measure(s) to track and assess the status of long-term control plans or other control plans for municipalities with CSOs. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Environmental Protection Agency The Assistant Administrator of the Office of Water should develop a performance goal and measures to track and assess the improvements to water quality resulting from CSO controls implemented by municipalities with CSOs. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Environmental Protection Agency The Assistant Administrator of the Office of Water should report on nationwide progress and results of municipalities' efforts to control CSOs. (Recommendation 3)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Renewable Fuel Standard: Actions Needed to Improve Decision-Making in the Small Refinery Exemption Program

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5 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of EPA should reassess EPA's conclusion that all small refineries recover their RFS compliance costs in the price of the gasoline and diesel they sell, including by fully examining and documenting RIN market performance and RIN pass-through in all relevant fuel markets. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of EPA should identify and communicate what information refineries would need to submit to demonstrate disproportionate economic hardship. (Recommendation 3)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of EPA should develop policies and procedures for making small refinery exemption decisions. (Recommendation 5)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of EPA should develop policies and procedures to ensure that EPA meets statutory deadlines to issue decisions, including tracking when petitions are considered complete. (Recommendation 6)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of EPA should assess the effect of small refinery exemption decision timing on the benefit provided to small refineries, as well as the effect on fuel markets, and reconsider petition requirements, such as that of three quarters of current year financial information. (Recommendation 7)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Persistent Chemicals: EPA Should Use New Data to Analyze the Demographics of Communities with PFAS in Their Drinking Water

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Environmental Protection Agency The EPA Administrator should conduct a nationwide analysis using comprehensive data—such as the forthcoming fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule data—to determine the demographic characteristics of communities with PFAS in their drinking water. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Privacy: Dedicated Leadership Can Improve Programs and Address Challenges

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of EPA should fully develop and document a privacy continuous monitoring strategy. (Recommendation 44)
Open

The Environmental Protection Agency concurred with our recommendation and described planned actions to address it. Once the agency states that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.

Water Quality: Agencies Should Take More Actions to Manage Risks from Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia

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6 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of EPA, working with the other members of the working group, should develop an interagency framework, including prioritizing water bodies and identifying resource needs, to expand monitoring of freshwater HABs and hypoxia. (Recommendation 3)
Open

EPA agreed with this recommendation. EPA further stated that, in consultation with other working group members, it intends to coordinate the development of a framework and determine the resources needed to prioritize water bodies and expand monitoring for HABs and hypoxia in freshwater systems.

Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of EPA, working with the other members of the working group, should develop an interagency framework, including prioritizing water bodies and identifying resource needs, to expand forecasting of freshwater HABs and hypoxia. (Recommendation 4)
Open

EPA agreed with this recommendation. In addition, EPA stated that it intends to coordinate with other working group members to develop an interagency framework--including identifying resource needs and prioritizing water bodies based on magnitude, spatial extent, and frequency--to expand forecasting of freshwater HABs and hypoxia.

Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of NOAA and the Administrator of EPA, in collaboration with the members of the working group, should document and define what a national HAB and hypoxia program would entail, including identifying the program's resource needs. (Recommendation 1)
Open

NOAA and EPA agreed with this recommendation. In addition, the agencies stated that they will work together to realize a more defined national program, including by defining the scope of the program and its resource needs.

Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of NOAA and the Administrator of EPA, in collaboration with the members of the working group, should develop performance measures to assess the working group's efforts, including the extent to which the recommended goals from the Research Plan and Action Strategy have been achieved. (Recommendation 2)
Open

NOAA and EPA agreed with this recommendation and stated that they will work together, in collaboration with the working group members, to develop formal performance measures.

Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of NOAA and the Administrator of EPA, in collaboration with the members of the working group, should develop a national goal for the group focused on efforts to prevent HABs and hypoxia. (Recommendation 5)
Open

NOAA and EPA agreed with this recommendation and stated that they will work together, in collaboration with the working group members, to develop a national goal focused on prevention.

Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of NOAA and the Administrator of EPA, in collaboration with the members of the working group, should coordinate the development of a more comprehensive body of information on the costs and benefits of mitigation, control, and prevention actions for use by state, local, and tribal governments. (Recommendation 6)
Open

NOAA and EPA agreed with this recommendation. In addition, the agencies stated that they will work together and in collaboration with the working group members to identify the resources and information needed to determine the costs and benefits of mitigation, control, and prevention actions.

Oil and Gas: Federal Actions Needed to Address Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Development

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Environmental Protection Agency The EPA Administrator should provide greater flexibility to operators for using alternative technologies to detect methane emissions. (Recommendation 1)
Open

EPA generally agreed with the recommendation. EPA stated that its November 15, 2021, proposed rule would allow operators greater flexibility to use advanced methane detection technologies to more frequently screen sites for large emissions, in addition to using EPA-approved technologies. When we confirm what actions EPA has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Chemical Accident Prevention: EPA Should Ensure Regulated Facilities Consider Risks from Climate Change

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Environmental Protection Agency The Assistant Administrator of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and Director of the Office of Emergency Management, together with EPA officials at regional offices, should provide additional compliance assistance to RMP facilities related to risks from natural hazards and climate change. (Recommendation 1)
Open

EPA agreed with this recommendation and noted that it will develop a fact sheet which will compile resources on climate change-related impacts to Risk Management Plan (RMP) facilities. The agency is currently revising the RMP regulations and expects to complete the revisions by August 2023. EPA noted that it will develop additional materials to assist regulated entities in complying with the updated RMP regulations, as appropriate, if any new requirements relating to addressing risks from natural hazards and climate change are finalized.

Environmental Protection Agency The Assistant Administrator of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance should design an information system to track common deficiencies found during inspections, including any related to natural hazards and climate change, and use this information to target compliance assistance. (Recommendation 2)
Open

EPA agreed with the goal of this recommendation. The agency noted that it intends to develop a written business process by the end of second quarter FY 2023 to identify common deficiencies and to use this process to target compliance assistance efforts.

Environmental Protection Agency The Director of the Office of Emergency Management should issue regulations, guidance, or both, as appropriate, to clarify requirements and provide direction for RMP facilities on how to incorporate risks from natural hazards and climate change into their risk management programs. (Recommendation 3)
Open

EPA agreed with this recommendation. The agency is working on a proposal to revise the RMP regulations and expects to complete the revisions by August 2023. EPA noted that, if needed, the Office of Emergency Management will develop compliance guidance or update existing guidance for regulated facilities after the final rulemaking is complete.

Note: the list of open recommendations for the last report may continue on the next page.

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