oversight

Superfund: Trends in Spending for Site Cleanups

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-09-04.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                  United States General Accounting Office

GAO               Report to Congressional Requesters




September 1997
                  SUPERFUND
                  Trends in Spending for
                  Site Cleanups




GAO/RCED-97-211
                   United States
GAO                General Accounting Office
                   Washington, D.C. 20548

                   Resources, Community, and
                   Economic Development Division

                   B-277456

                   September 4, 1997

                   Congressional Requesters

                   The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spends about $1.4 billion a
                   year on the Superfund program to address the potential threats to human
                   health and the environment resulting from hazardous waste sites. The
                   Superfund program is focused on cleaning up the nation’s worst hazardous
                   waste sites, known as the National Priorities List (NPL) sites, although
                   Superfund money may also be used to address other releases of hazardous
                   substances into the environment. The Congress is considering proposals
                   to reauthorize the program.

                   EPA does not clean up hazardous waste sites by itself. Instead, it uses
                   Superfund money to prepare for and implement the cleanups through
                   others. EPA may compel private parties to clean up the contamination for
                   which they are responsible (an action referred to as enforcement).
                   Alternatively, EPA may pay contractors, states, or other federal agencies to
                   prepare for and implement the site cleanups. (In this report, these
                   alternatives are referred to as contractor cleanup work.) Actual cleanups
                   are of two basic types: remedial actions, which are generally long-term,
                   comprehensive cleanups, and removal actions, which are generally
                   shorter-term measures to address immediate health threats. EPA also uses
                   Superfund money to pay for the program’s administration and
                   management, research and development, and laboratory analysis.

                   As agreed with your offices, we analyzed Superfund spending from fiscal
                   year 1987 through fiscal year 1996 to determine (1) of total Superfund
                   spending, how much was for contractor cleanup work, in contrast with
                   other activities; (2) of the money spent on contractor cleanup work, how
                   much was spent on the actual cleanups, in contrast with cleanup
                   preparation; and (3) whether a trend in spending for the actual cleanups
                   could be determined for the years examined, and, if so, what accounted
                   for that trend.


                   Both the amount and share of money spent on contractor cleanup work
Results in Brief   increased from fiscal year 1987 through fiscal year 1996. In fiscal year
                   1987, $261 million (in constant 1996 dollars) was spent on contractor
                   cleanup work, or 37 percent of the total Superfund spending of
                   $702 million. In fiscal year 1996, $696 million was spent on contractor
                   cleanup work, or 49 percent of the total Superfund spending of $1.4 billion.




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             In both years, the remaining funds were spent on administration,
             enforcement, and other Superfund activities.

             Of the money spent on contractor cleanup work, the amount and share
             spent on the actual cleanups also increased from fiscal year 1987 through
             fiscal year 1996. In fiscal year 1987, of the $261 million the Environmental
             Protection Agency spent on contractor cleanup work, $142 million was for
             the actual cleanups, or 54 percent of the total. In fiscal year 1996, of the
             $696 million the agency spent on contractor cleanup work, $614 million
             went to the actual cleanups, or 88 percent of the total. In both years, the
             remaining funds for contractor cleanup work were spent for cleanup
             preparation—that is, to study site contamination and design the cleanup
             action.

             Annual spending for the actual cleanups increased by about $472 million
             from fiscal year 1987 through fiscal year 1996. About half of this increase
             resulted from spending at a few large-dollar sites (defined as those with
             $10 million or more in spending during any 1 year). There were no
             large-dollar sites in 1987 or 1988; but by 1989, two large-dollar sites
             accounted for $28 million in annual spending; and by 1996, nine such sites
             accounted for $238 million in annual spending. Two other factors each
             contributed about 25 percent to the increase in the spending for the actual
             cleanups. First, the remedial action spending at sites other than the
             large-dollar sites increased from $61 million in 1987 to $180 million in
             1996, primarily because the number of these sites grew from 38 in 1987 to
             165 in 1996. Second, the amount of money spent on removal actions
             increased from $80 million in 1987 to $196 million in 1996, primarily to
             address the immediate threats at sites that were not on the National
             Priorities List.


             In 1980, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Background   Liability Act created the Superfund program to clean up highly
             contaminated hazardous waste sites. To pay for the activities under the
             Superfund program, the act established a trust fund, financed primarily by
             taxes on crude oil and certain chemicals. Under the act, EPA has the
             authority to compel the parties responsible for the contamination to
             perform the cleanup. EPA may also pay for the cleanup and attempt to
             recover the cleanup costs in those cases in which a responsible party can
             be identified. In 1986, amendments to the act added new provisions
             regarding cleanup methods, community participation, and enforcement
             actions, among other things.



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EPA arranges to have cleanup preparation and the actual cleanups
conducted through one of several entities. EPA may directly hire a
contractor to conduct the work, or it may arrange to have the work
conducted by another federal agency, usually the Army Corps of
Engineers, or a state. Under agreements with other federal agencies or
states, EPA transfers the cleanup funds to them, and they in turn generally
hire a contractor to conduct the actual site work.

A number of phases occur in cleaning up an NPL site. First, once a site is
determined to be contaminated enough to be placed on the NPL, the type
and extent of contamination is studied and the alternative remedial
actions are analyzed. This phase is known as the study phase. Second,
after a cleanup action is selected, technical drawings and specifications
for the remedial action are developed. This phase is known as the design
phase. (We define spending for these first two steps as “cleanup
preparation spending.”) Finally, the remedial action is constructed or
implemented; this action is usually a long-term project that can continue
over several years. In addition, EPA can use Superfund funds to pay for
removal actions—shorter-term actions that generally address immediate
threats from hazardous substances.1 Removal actions may occur at NPL
sites, or more commonly, at non-NPL sites. (We define spending for
remedial and removal actions as “actual cleanup spending.” According to
the director of the Superfund program office, EPA uses the term “cleanup”
generally to refer to both cleanup preparation spending and actual cleanup
spending.)

Other Superfund spending covers (1) costs directly related to cleanups,
including EPA’s salaries and travel for cleanup oversight and the costs
associated with screening sites for inclusion on the NPL; (2) enforcement,
including costs related to the oversight of responsible parties’ cleanups
and to EPA’s legal staff for negotiating and settling with responsible parties;
(3) research and development, and laboratory analysis, including the costs
of EPA’s scientists, innovative technology programs, and the evaluation of
hazardous waste samples; and (4) administration and support, including
indirect costs for the Superfund program, such as rent, utilities, and
accounting systems.

All dollar amounts in this report have been converted to constant 1996
dollars. Appendix I provides both the constant and the current dollar


1
 In 1996, we reported that using the removal process instead of the remedial process at portions of
Superfund sites can save time and money and expedite the protection of human health and the
environment. See A Superfund Tool for More Efficient Cleanups (GAO/RCED-96-134R, Apr. 15, 1996).



Page 3                                          GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
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                     amounts of Superfund expenditures from fiscal year 1987 through fiscal
                     year 1996.


                     From fiscal year 1987 through fiscal year 1996, Superfund spending for
Spending on          contractor cleanup work increased from $261 million to $696 million (in
Contractor Cleanup   constant 1996 dollars). As figure 1 shows, the funds spent for contractor
Work Increased       cleanup work generally increased each year. The amount spent on other
                     Superfund activities increased each year from 1987 through 1991, but
                     decreased each year from 1991 through 1996.




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                                                   B-277456




Figure 1: Contractor Cleanup Work and Other Superfund Expenses in 1996 Constant Dollars, Fiscal Year 1987 Through
Fiscal Year 1996


Dollars in millions
1,000
                                                                        $941          $929
                                                                                                    $893            $891
                                                          $867
                                                                                                                                  $841

 800
                                            $711                                                                                                $716
                                                                                                                                         $696
                              $666                                                                                         $666
                                                                                                             $627
                                                                 $604
 600                                                                           $574
                                                                                             $536


                                     $455          $463
                $441

 400
                       $346


         $261


 200




    0
          1987         1988           1989         1990           1991     1992               1993            1994         1995           1996
                                                                   Fiscal year
          Contractor cleanup work
          Other Superfund expenses




                                                   Over the same period, the spending on contractor cleanup work also
                                                   increased as a percentage of total Superfund spending. Contractor cleanup
                                                   work accounted for 37 percent of total spending in fiscal year 1987 and
                                                   49 percent in fiscal year 1996. The spending for the other Superfund
                                                   activities declined during the period, from 63 percent in 1987 to 51 percent
                                                   in 1996. Within this category, the percentages spent on directly related
                                                   costs and research and development and laboratory analysis decreased,




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                                                    B-277456




                                                    while the percentages spent on enforcement and administration and
                                                    support increased, as shown in figure 2.



Figure 2: Changes in the Composition of Superfund Spending, Fiscal Years 1987 and 1996


                                        1987                                                            1996

                                                                  Contractor                                                     Contractor
                                                                  cleanup                                                        cleanup
                    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                    AAAA
                    AAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAA AAAA
                    AAAAAAAA
                        AAAAAAAA
                             AAAAAAAA
                                 AAAAAAAA
                                      AAAAAAAA
                                          AAAA   37%                                                       49%
                    AAAA
                    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                        AAAA AAAAAAAA AAAAAAAA
                    AAAA
                    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                        AAAA AAAAAAAA AAAAAAAA
                    AAAAAAAA
                    AAAAAAAAAAAA
                             AAAAAAAA
                                 AAAAAAAA
                                      AAAAAAAA
                                          AAAA
                    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                    AAAA
                    AAAAAAAA AAAAAAAA AAAAAAAA
                    AAAAAAAA
                        AAAAAAAA
                             AAAAAAAA
                                 AAAAAAAA
                                      AAAAAAAA
                                          AAAA
Directly related    AAAA
                    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                        AAAA AAAAAAAA AAAAAAAA                                 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                    AAAAAAAA AAAA
                             AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                    AAAAAAAA21%  AAAA AAAAAAAA
                                                                               AAAA
                                                                               AAAAAAAA
                                                                                    AAAAAAAA
                                                                                         AAAAAAAA
                                                                                              AAAAAAAA
                                                                                                   AAAAAAAA
                                                                                                        AAAAAA
                    AAAA
                    AAAAAAAA AAAAAAAA AAAAAAAA                                 AAAA
                                                                               AAAAAAAA
                                                                                    AAAAAAAA
                                                                                         AAAAAAAA
                                                                                              AAAAAAAA
                                                                                                   AAAAAAAA
                                                                                                        AAAAAA
                    AAAAAAAA
                        AAAAAAAA
                             AAAAAAAA
                                 AAAAAAAA
                                      AAAAAAAA
                                          AAAA                                 AAAA AAAA AAAA
                                                                                         11%  AAAA AAAA AAAAAA
                    AAAA
                    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                        AAAA AAAAAAAA AAAAAAAA
                                                                               AAAA
                                                                               AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                                                                                    AAAA AAAA AAAA AAAA AAAAA
                    AAAA
                    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                        AAAA AAAAAAAA AAAAAAAA
                                                                               AAAA
                                                                               AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                                                                                    AAAA AAAA AAAA AAAA AAAAAA
                    AAAA                               18%
                    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                        AAAA AAAAAAAA AAAA                            Directly AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
                                                                               AAAA AAAA AAAA AAAA AAAA AAAAAA
                                          AAAA
                    AAAAAAAA AAAAAAAA
                                 AAAAAAAAAAAA
                    AAAAAAAAAAAA13%   AAAAAAAA
                                                                               AAAAAAAA
                                                                                    AAAAAAAA
                                                                                         AAAAAAAA
                                                                                              AAAAAAAA
                                                                                                   AAAAAAAA
                                                                                                        AAAAAA         21%
                                                                      related AAAA
                                                                               AAAA
                                                                               AAAAAAAA
                                                                                    AAAAAAAA
                                                                                         AAAAAAAA  AAAA
                                                                                                   AAAAAAAA
                                                                                              AAAA15%   AAAAAA
                                            11%                                                              4%
                                                               Administration
                                                                                                                                 Administration
              Enforcement                                      and support
                                                                                                                                 and support
                                                                                    Enforcement
                                                                                                           Research,
                                       Research,                                                           development, and
                                       development, and                                                    laboratory analysis
                                       laboratory analysis




                                                    EPA’s spending on the actual cleanups increased from fiscal year 1987
Spending for Actual                                 through fiscal year 1996, while spending on cleanup preparation declined.
Cleanups Also                                       As figure 3 shows, spending on the actual cleanups rose from $142 million
Increased                                           in 1987 to $614 million in 1996. In contrast, spending on cleanup
                                                    preparation increased from $120 million in 1987 to $169 million in 1988 but
                                                    generally decreased each year thereafter, dropping to $81 million in 1996.




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                                                   B-277456




Figure 3: Cleanup Preparation Spending and Actual Cleanup Spending in 1996 Constant Dollars, Fiscal Year 1987 Through
Fiscal Year 1996

Dollars in millions
 700

                                                                                                                                          $614

 600                                                                                                                         $574


                                                                                                                $526

 500
                                                                      $449
                                                                                    $428          $431


 400

                                                        $318

 300                                      $288




 200
                       $169 $176   $167
                                                               $155
                $142                             $144                        $146
         $120
                                                                                           $105          $101
                                                                                                                       $92
 100                                                                                                                                $81




   0
         1987          1988        1989          1990          1991     1992               1993          1994          1995         1996
                                                                Fiscal year
        Cleanup preparation
        Actual cleanups



                                                   Note: The spending for the cleanup preparation and the actual cleanups may not add to total
                                                   spending for contractor cleanups because of rounding.




                                                   From fiscal year 1987 through fiscal year 1996, the spending for the actual
                                                   cleanups also increased as a percentage of total spending for contractor
                                                   cleanup work. The spending for the actual cleanups accounted for
                                                   54 percent of the spending for contractor cleanup work in 1987 and




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                                      88 percent in 1996. Conversely, the spending for cleanup preparation
                                      declined during the period, from 46 to 12 percent.


                                      About half of the increase in the spending on the actual cleanups from
A Few Large-Dollar                    fiscal year 1987 through fiscal year 1996 resulted from the growth in the
Sites Primarily                       spending at a few large-dollar sites. The increased spending at other
Accounted for                         remedial action sites and for removals accounted for the remainder.

Increased Spending
on Actual Cleanups
Large-Dollar Sites Were the           Of the approximately $472 million increase in spending for the actual
Most Significant Factor in            cleanups from fiscal year 1987 through fiscal year 1996, about $356 million
the Increase in Actual                was for remedial actions and about $116 million was for removal actions.
                                      We found a substantial variation in the annual spending per site. For
Cleanup Spending                      example, in 1996, of the 327 sites where EPA spent money for remedial
                                      actions, it spent less than $10,000 at each of 153 sites,2 $10,000 to
                                      $10 million at each of 165 sites, and $10 million or more at each of 9 sites,
                                      as shown in table 1. (App. II provides a list of the nine large-dollar sites
                                      and the amount of remedial action spending at those sites in 1996.)

Table 1: Distribution of Remedial
Action Spending, by Amount of         Annual                                            Spending
Spending Per Site, Fiscal Year 1996   spending per                Number of            (dollars in     Percentage of        Percentage of
                                      site                            sites              millions)             sites            spending
                                      Less than $10,000                    153                 $0.3                46.8                   0.1
                                      $10,000 to $10
                                      million                              165               179.9                 50.4                 43.0
                                      $10 million or
                                      more                                    9              237.9                   2.8                56.9
                                      Total                                327              $418.0                100.0                100.0
                                      Note: Numbers may not add to totals because of rounding.



                                      The number of large-dollar sites generally increased from fiscal year 1987
                                      through fiscal year 1996, as shown in figure 4. There were no such sites in
                                      1987 or 1988, two in 1989, and nine in 1996. In dollar terms, $28 million
                                      was spent on large-dollar sites in 1989 and $238 million in 1996. Thus,



                                      2
                                       According to EPA’s officials, charges this small were most likely to represent adjustments to previous
                                      years’ expenditures at a site, not ongoing activity. Therefore, we excluded these sites from the
                                      following analysis of site-by-site spending patterns.



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                                                   large-dollar sites accounted for half of the $472 million increase in
                                                   spending for the actual cleanups that occurred from 1987 through 1996.

                                                   Moreover, the percentage of the spending on remedial actions at such sites
                                                   generally increased from fiscal year 1987 through fiscal year 1996. There
                                                   was no spending for remedial action at such sites in 1987 or 1988,
                                                   21 percent in 1989, and 57 percent in 1996, as also shown in figure 4.



Figure 4: Remedial Action Spending at Large-Dollar Sites, Fiscal Year 1987 Through Fiscal Year 1996

Number of large-dollar sites                                                                                Percentage of spending
12                                                                                                                         57         60
                                              55

                                                                                                            51
                                                            50
                                                                                            49
10                                                                                                                                    50
                                                                            46
                                        9                                                                              9


                                                        8               8
 8                                                                                                                                    40
                                                                                                        7

                             31
                                                                                        6
 6                                                                                                                                    30


             21
                         4
 4                                                                                                                                    20



         2
 2                                                                                                                                    10



 0                                                                                                                                    0
         1989            1990            1991            1992       1993                1994            1995            1996
                                                           Fiscal year
     Number of large-dollar sites
     Percentage of remedial action spending
                                                   Note: Large-dollar sites are those with annual spending of $10 million or more in 1996 constant
                                                   dollars for at least 1 year. There were no such sites in 1987 or 1988.




                                                   Page 9                                          GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
                             B-277456




Spending at Other            At sites other than those in the large-dollar category, spending increased
Remedial Action Sites Also   from $61 million in fiscal year 1987 to $180 million in fiscal year 1996. This
Contributed to the           $119 million increase accounted for 25 percent of the growth in the
                             spending for the actual cleanups. This increase resulted primarily from a
Increase in Actual Cleanup   growth in the number of such sites at which EPA spent money, although the
Spending                     number of sites leveled off after 1993. The average annual amount spent at
                             sites other than the large-dollar sites changed little during this period.

                             Excluding the large-dollar sites and the sites with annual spending of less
                             than $10,000,3 the number of sites receiving funds for remedial action
                             increased from 38 in fiscal year 1987 to 165 in fiscal year 1996. However,
                             the increase was not steady. The number of these sites increased from 38
                             to 155 from fiscal year 1987 through fiscal year 1993, and from 155 to 165
                             from fiscal year 1993 through fiscal year 1996, as shown in figure 5.




                             3
                              Spending at sites with annual disbursements of less than $10,000 amounted to 0.04 percent of total
                             spending during the 10-year period.



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Figure 5: Number of Sites With Spending for Remedial Action, Fiscal Year 1987 Through Fiscal Year 1996

Remedial action sites
200



                                                                                                           165          165
                                                                                 155
                                                                                              150
150
                                                                   137


                                                      121
                                          113


100
                               84



                     63


 50
          38




  0
         1987       1988      1989       1990        1991         1992         1993         1994         1995         1996
                                                      Fiscal year

                                          Note: We excluded (1) sites with annual spending of $10 million or more and (2) sites with annual
                                          spending of less than $10,000, both in 1996 constant dollars.




                                          Moreover, when the large-dollar sites and those with little spending are
                                          excluded, the average annual amount spent per site changed only slightly
                                          during this period. Specifically, the average spending ranged between
                                          $0.9 million and $1.3 million, except in 1987, when the average annual
                                          spending per site was $1.6 million. (See fig. 6.)




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                                          B-277456




Figure 6: Average Annual Spending for Remedial Action Per Site, in 1996 Constant Dollars, Fiscal Year 1987 Through
Fiscal Year 1996


 Dollars in millions
 2




         1.6

1.5

                               1.3        1.3
                                                       1.2                                      1.2
                                                                     1.1                                                   1.1

 1
                       0.9                                                         0.9                        0.9




0.5




 0
        1987       1988       1989       1990         1991      1992             1993          1994         1995          1996
                                                        Fiscal year

                                          Note: We excluded (1) sites with annual spending of $10 million or more and (2) sites with annual
                                          spending of less than $10,000, both in 1996 constant dollars.




Spending on Removal                       The spending on removal actions also contributed to the increase in actual
Actions Also Increased                    cleanup spending from fiscal year 1987 through fiscal year 1996. This
                                          spending increased from $80 million in fiscal year 1987 to $196 million in
                                          fiscal year 1996. This $116 million increase accounted for 25 percent of the
                                          overall $472 million increase in actual cleanup spending.

                                          While the spending on remedial action is limited to the NPL sites by EPA’s
                                          regulations, the spending on removal action usually occurs at non-NPL
                                          sites. In fact, from fiscal year 1987 through fiscal year 1996, about
                                          80 percent of the removals EPA funded were at non-NPL sites. EPA




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                  undertakes removals at non-NPL sites if it determines that an immediate
                  threat exists to human health or the environment.


                  We provided copies of a draft of this report to EPA for review and
Agency Comments   comment. EPA said that the report’s analysis is sound. EPA also commented
                  that, in representations to the Congress and the public, it uses the term
                  “cleanup” to include studying and designing cleanups (which we refer to
                  as “cleanup preparation”), as well as field work to implement site remedies
                  (which we refer to as “actual cleanups”). We added this clarification where
                  appropriate. (App. IV contains EPA’s comments.)


                  We conducted our review from January through August 1997 in
                  accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. See
                  appendix III for the details of our scope and methodology.

                  As arranged with your offices, we plan no further distribution of this
                  report until 15 days after the date of this letter unless you publicly
                  announce its contents earlier. At that time, we will send copies of the
                  report to other appropriate congressional committees and to the
                  Administrator of EPA. We will also make copies available to others upon
                  request.

                  Should you need further information, please call me at (202) 512-6111.
                  Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix V.




                  Lawrence J. Dyckman
                  Associate Director, Environmental
                    Protection Issues




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Congressional Requesters

The Honorable Thomas J. Bliley, Jr.
Chairman, Committee on Commerce
House of Representatives

The Honorable Michael G. Oxley
Chairman, Subcommittee on Finance
  and Hazardous Materials
Committee on Commerce
House of Representatives

The Honorable Bud Shuster
Chairman, Committee on Transportation
  and Infrastructure
House of Representatives

The Honorable Sherwood C. Boehlert
Chairman, Subcommittee on Water Resources
  and Environment
Committee on Transportation
  and Infrastructure
House of Representatives




Page 14                           GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
Page 15   GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
Contents



Letter                                                                                              1


Appendix I                                                                                         18

Superfund Spending
Categories
Appendix II                                                                                        22

Superfund Sites With
$10 Million or More in
Remedial Action
Spending, Fiscal Year
1996
Appendix III                                                                                       23

Scope and
Methodology
Appendix IV                                                                                        24

Comments From the
Environmental
Protection Agency
Appendix V                                                                                         25

Major Contributors to
This Report
Tables                   Table 1: Distribution of Remedial Action Spending, by Amount of            8
                           Spending per Site, Fiscal Year 1996
                         Table I.1: Superfund Net Disbursements, Fiscal Year 1987                  18
                           Through Fiscal Year 1996, in 1996 Constant Dollars
                         Table I.2: Superfund Net Disbursements, Fiscal Year 1987                  20
                           Through Fiscal Year 1996, in Current Dollars




                         Page 16                            GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
          Contents




Figures   Figure 1: Contractor Cleanup Work and Other Superfund                      5
            Expenses in 1996 Constant Dollars, Fiscal Year 1987 Through
            Fiscal Year 1996
          Figure 2: Changes in the Composition of Superfund Spending,                6
            Fiscal Years 1987 and 1996
          Figure 3: Cleanup Preparation Spending and Actual Cleanup                  7
            Spending in 1996 Constant Dollars, Fiscal Year 1987 Through
            Fiscal Year 1996
          Figure 4: Remedial Action Spending at Large-Dollar Sites, Fiscal           9
            Year 1987 Through Fiscal Year 1996
          Figure 5: Number of Sites With Spending for Remedial Action,              11
            Fiscal Year 1987 Through Fiscal Year 1996
          Figure 6: Average Annual Spending for Remedial Action per Site,           12
            in 1996 Constant Dollars, Fiscal Year 1987 Through Fiscal Year
            1996




          Abbreviations

          EPA        Environmental Protection Agency
          FMS        Financial Management System
          IFMS       Integrated Financial Management System
          NPL        National Priorities List


          Page 17                            GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
Appendix I

Superfund Spending Categories


                                                 This appendix provides detailed information on Superfund disbursements
                                                 for fiscal years 1987 through 1996 in constant 1996 dollars (table I.1) and in
                                                 current dollars (table I.2).


Table I.1: Superfund Net Disbursements, Fiscal Year 1987 Through Fiscal Year 1996, in 1996 Constant Dollars
Dollars in millions
Inflation
factor and
type of                                                                   Fiscal year
disbursement        1987     1988        1989          1990       1991       1992       1993          1994      1995       1996         Total
Inflation factor   0.7546   0.7810      0.8140       0.8473      0.8839     0.9099 0.9338           0.9555     0.9793    1.0000
Contractor cleanup work
Remedial
investigation/
feasibility study $105.5    $142.7      $128.7       $108.8      $105.8      $81.3      $55.7        $55.9      $48.9      $41.3       $874.7
Remedial
design               14.4        26.7     38.3         35.5        49.6       64.6       48.8         45.1       43.1       39.8       $405.8
Remedial
actions              61.4        60.7    185.8        207.4       321.0      300.7      250.5        337.3      312.7      418.5     $2,456.0
Removal
actions              80.2    115.8       102.0        111.1       127.6      127.2      180.9        188.4      261.6      195.9     $1,490.6
Subtotal           $261.4   $345.9      $454.8       $462.8      $604.0     $573.7 $535.9           $626.7     $666.4    $695.5      $5,227.2
Directly related cleanup costs
Removal
support and
management          $35.2    $58.5       $59.4        $61.7       $64.4      $84.4      $64.7        $91.0      $54.9      $45.4       $619.7
Remedial
support and
management           85.8        98.5    111.0        103.2        90.0       81.1       96.7         71.4       78.6       53.5       $869.8
Site
assessment           22.6        37.4     34.2         39.3        32.3       51.4       52.1         52.7       53.6       43.1       $418.5
Other                 1.2    (13.2)        0.3             0.1      0.7        0.7       (0.4)         7.7       12.7       16.9        $26.7
Subtotal           $144.7   $181.3      $204.9       $204.3      $187.4     $217.6 $213.1           $222.7     $199.8    $158.9      $1,934.6
General administrative and support management
Subtotal           $126.8   $214.0      $230.0       $330.2      $385.1     $342.1 $279.1           $296.0     $317.0    $299.4      $2,819.6
Enforcement
Preenforcement
activities           $5.6    $14.6       $15.3        $17.0       $15.7      $18.8      $16.0        $12.2       $8.5       $7.1       $130.8
Oversight of
responsible
parties              26.3        35.8     38.7         54.5        64.8       79.5       77.3         75.4       64.5       45.4       $562.3
Judicial
enforcement           3.5         4.8      3.5         34.9        16.1       25.8       24.1         19.2       26.5       26.5       $185.0
                                                                                                                                   (continued)




                                                 Page 18                                         GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
                                                  Appendix I
                                                  Superfund Spending Categories




Dollars in millions
Inflation
factor and
type of                                                                    Fiscal year
disbursement          1987       1988     1989          1990       1991       1992       1993         1994      1995       1996       Total
Enforcement
support and
management             55.4       71.3     70.3         87.9       142.7      117.3      125.0       106.2      113.1      122.4   $1,011.6
Other                   0.8       18.4      3.2             5.0      5.9        6.7        6.0         6.9        4.4        2.9     $60.1
Subtotal              $91.6    $145.0    $131.0       $199.3      $245.1     $248.0 $248.3          $219.9     $216.9    $204.4    $1,949.7
R&D/laboratory analysis
Research and
development
activities            $25.5     $52.8     $69.5        $77.6       $82.2      $89.2 $103.6          $113.0      $70.9      $19.5    $703.7
Laboratory
activities             52.2       73.1     75.7         55.9        41.1       32.3       49.0        39.0       36.0       34.1    $488.3
Subtotal              $77.7    $125.8    $145.2       $133.5      $123.3     $121.5 $152.6          $152.0     $106.9      $53.6   $1,192.0
Total net
disbursements $702.1          $1,012.0 $1,165.9     $1,330.1 $1,545.0      $1,502.9 $1,428.9      $1,517.2   $1,507.0   $1,411.9 $13,123.1




                                                  Page 19                                        GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
                                              Appendix I
                                              Superfund Spending Categories




Table I.2: Superfund Net Disbursements, Fiscal Year 1987 Through Fiscal Year 1996, in Current Dollars
Dollars in millions

Type of                                                             Fiscal year
disbursenment        1987    1988     1989      1990        1991       1992        1993       1994    1995       1996         Total
Contractor cleanup work
Remedial
investigation/
feasibility study    $79.6 $111.4 $104.7       $92.2       $93.5       $74.0       $52.1     $53.4    $47.9      $41.3       $750.2
Remedial
design                10.9    20.8     31.2     30.1         43.8       58.7        45.5      43.1     42.2       39.8       $366.2
Remedial
actions               46.3    47.4    151.2    175.8       283.8       273.6       233.9     322.3    306.2      418.5     $2,259.0
Removal
actions               60.5    90.4     83.0     94.1       112.8       115.7       168.9     180.0    256.2      195.9     $1,357.6
Subtotal            $197.3 $270.1 $370.2      $392.1      $533.9     $522.1       $500.4    $598.8   $652.6    $695.5      $4,733.0
Directly related cleanup costs
Removal
support and
management           $26.5   $45.7    $48.4    $52.2       $56.9       $76.8       $60.4     $86.9    $53.8      $45.4       $553.2
Remedial
support and
management            64.7    77.0     90.4     87.4         79.6       73.8        90.3      68.2     77.0       53.5        761.8
Site
assessment            17.0    29.2     27.8     33.3         28.6       46.7        48.6      50.3     52.5       43.1       $377.1
Other                  0.9   (10.3)     0.2       0.1         0.6        0.6        (0.3)      7.4     12.4       16.9        $28.5
Subtotal            $109.2 $141.6 $166.8      $173.1      $165.7     $198.0       $199.0    $212.8   $195.6    $158.9      $1,720.5
General administrative and support management
Subtotal             $95.7 $167.1 $187.2      $279.8      $340.4     $311.3       $260.6    $282.8   $310.4    $299.4      $2,534.7
Enforcement
Preenforcement
activities            $4.2   $11.4    $12.4    $14.4       $13.8       $17.1       $15.0     $11.7     $8.3       $7.1       $115.5
Oversight of
responsible
parties               19.9    28.0     31.5     46.2         57.3       72.3        72.2      72.0     63.2       45.4       $508.0
Judicial
enforcement            2.7     3.8      2.9     29.5         14.3       23.5        22.5      18.4     25.9       26.5       $169.9
Enforcement
support and
management            41.8    55.7     57.2     74.5       126.1       106.7       116.7     101.4    110.7      122.4       $913.4
Other                  0.6    14.4      2.6       4.2         5.2        6.1         5.6       6.6      4.3        2.9         52.4
Subtotal             $69.1 $113.3 $106.7      $168.9      $216.7     $225.7       $231.9    $210.1   $212.4    $204.4      $1,759.1
                                                                                                                         (continued)




                                              Page 20                                  GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
                                               Appendix I
                                               Superfund Spending Categories




Dollars in millions

Type of                                                              Fiscal year
disbursenment         1987    1988    1989       1990        1991       1992        1993       1994     1995       1996      Total
R&D/Laboratory analysis
Research and
development
activities            $19.2   $41.2   $56.6     $65.8       $72.7       $81.1       $96.7    $108.0     $69.4     $19.5     $630.2
Laboratory
activities             39.4    57.1    61.6       47.4        36.3       29.4        45.7       37.2     35.2      34.1      423.5
Subtotal              $58.6   $98.3 $118.2     $113.1      $109.0     $110.6       $142.5    $145.2    $104.6     $53.6   $1,053.7
Total net
disbursements $529.8 $790.4 $949.1            $1,127.0   $1,365.6    $1,367.5   $1,334.4    $1,449.7 $1,475.7   $1,411.9 $11,801.1




                                               Page 21                                  GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
Appendix II

Superfund Sites With $10 Million or More in
Remedial Action Spending, Fiscal Year 1996


               Dollars in millions
               Site                                             State                   1996 spending
               Bridgeport Rental and Oil Services               New Jersey                       $62.2
               Baird & McGuire                                  Massachusetts                      40.4
               Raymark Industries                               Connecticut                        30.8
               Sharon Steel                                     Utah                               21.5
               Summitville Mine                                 Colorado                           20.5
               Drake Chemical Corp.                             Pennsylvania                       19.5
               Southern Shipbuilders                            Louisiana                          17.2
               Portland Cement                                  Utah                               13.5
               Bunker Hill Mining & Metallurgical               Idaho                              12.2
               Total                                                                            $237.9
               Note: Spending amounts do not add to total because of rounding.




               Page 22                                       GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
Appendix III

Scope and Methodology


               To determine how Superfund spending was apportioned from fiscal year
               1987 through fiscal year 1996, we obtained information from the
               Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Integrated Financial
               Management System (IFMS) and its predecessor, the Financial Management
               System (FMS). (IFMS replaced FMS as the agency’s official financial
               information system in 1989.) Working with officials from EPA’s Office of
               the Comptroller, we established categories for Superfund spending and
               allocated the Superfund expenditures into those categories. To identify the
               factors accounting for increased spending on the actual cleanups, we
               analyzed site-by-site Superfund expenditures for each fiscal year from
               1987 through 1996. We discussed our analysis with EPA officials from both
               the Comptroller’s office and the Superfund program office. They generally
               agreed that our analysis was appropriate.

               We did not assess the reliability of the data contained in IFMS as part of this
               review. However, in a 1995 review of IFMS, we found instances of
               inaccurate and incomplete data in the system.4 While we did not consider
               these instances to be representative of the overall integrity of the IFMS
               data, we recommended that EPA conduct statistical testing of the data, and
               EPA has done that. To provide additional assurance about the reliability of
               the IFMS data, we verified that, for each fiscal year included in our analysis,
               the site-by-site cleanup expenditures added up to the annual cleanup
               expenditure totals reported in the system. The sum of the cleanup
               expenditures closely matched the annual total for each year, except 1989.
               Officials from the Office of the Comptroller explained that the discrepancy
               for 1989 is related to the conversion from FMS to IFMS that occurred that
               year. They stated that reconciling the differences between the two totals
               would be very difficult. We did not attempt such a reconciliation because
               data for a single year have a relatively minor effect on the 10-year trends
               observed in our analysis.




               4
                Superfund: System Enhancements Could Improve the Efficiency of Cost Recovery
               (GAO/AIMD-95-177, Aug. 25, 1995).



               Page 23                                       GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
Appendix IV

Comments From the Environmental
Protection Agency




              Page 24     GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
Appendix V

Major Contributors to This Report


                        David Marwick, Assistant Director
Resources,              Patricia J. Manthe, Evaluator-in-Charge
Community, and          Donald J. Sangirardi, Evaluator
Economic                Cathy L. Helm, Advisor
                        Annette Wright, Computer Specialist
Development Division    Carol Herrnstadt Shulman, Communications Analyst


                        Richard P. Johnson, Senior Attorney
Office of the General
Counsel




(160375)                Page 25                           GAO/RCED-97-211 Superfund Cleanup Spending
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