Hazardous Waste: Early Goals Have Been Met in EPA's Corrective Action Program, but Resource and Technical Challenges Will Constrain Future Progress, Report to the Honorable Edward J. Markey, House of Representatives [open pdf - 721KB]
"Years of industrial development generated hazardous waste that, when improperly disposed of, poses risks to human health and the environment. To mitigate these risks, Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA). Subtitle C of RCRA, as amended, requires owners or operators to take corrective actions to clean up contamination at facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste. The corrective action program is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or states authorized by EPA. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked by Representative Markey, in his former capacity as Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, to assess this program. This report discusses (1) actions EPA has taken to establish goals for the program and expedite cleanup; (2) the progress EPA, states, and facilities have made in meeting these goals; and (3) the challenges EPA, states, and facilities face, if any, in meeting future cleanup goals. GAO reviewed and analyzed EPA documents and data and interviewed EPA and state agency officials and stakeholder groups. GAO recommends that EPA assess the remaining corrective action workload, determine the extent to which the program has resources needed to meet 2020 goals, and take steps to either reallocate its resources or revise its goals. EPA agreed with the recommendation."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/