GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
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 September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and World Trade Center (WTC) collapse blanketed Lower Manhattan in dust from building debris. In response, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an indoor clean and test program from 2002 to 2003.
In 2006, GAO reported that many large wastewater facilities have responded to this risk by voluntarily conducting vulnerability assessments and converting from chlorine gas to other disinfection methods.
Wastewater facilities provide essential services to residential, commercial, and industrial users, yet they may possess certain characteristics that terrorists could exploit to impair the wastewater treatment process or to damage surrounding infrastructure.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating hazardous wastes (such as mercury) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Under RCRA, mercury-containing hazardous waste must meet specific treatment standards before land disposal.
In September and October 2001, letters laced with Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores were sent through the mail to two U.S. senators and to members of the media. These letters led to the first U.S. cases of anthrax disease related to bioterrorism.
The events of September 11, 2001, triggered a national re-examination of the security of thousands of industrial facilities that use or store hazardous chemicals in quantities that could potentially put large numbers of Americans at risk of serious injury or death in the event of a terrorist-caused chemical...