oversight

Hazardous Waste: Progress Under the Corrective Action Program Is Limited, but New Initiatives May Accelerate Cleanups

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-10-21.

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

                United States General Accounting Office

GAO             Report to the Ranking Minority Member,
                Committee on Commerce, House of
                Representatives


October 1997
                HAZARDOUS WASTE
                Progress Under the
                Corrective Action
                Program Is Limited,
                but New Initiatives
                May Accelerate
                Cleanups




GAO/RCED-98-3
                   United States
GAO                General Accounting Office
                   Washington, D.C. 20548

                   Resources, Community, and
                   Economic Development Division

                   B-277878

                   October 21, 1997

                   The Honorable John D. Dingell
                   Ranking Minority Member
                   Committee on Commerce
                   House of Representatives

                   Dear Mr. Dingell:

                   Under the requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s
                   Corrective Action Program, the nearly 3,700 nonfederal facilities that treat,
                   store, or dispose of hazardous waste in the United States could spend
                   about $16 billion to clean up their properties contaminated by hazardous
                   substances.1 The Corrective Action Program attempts to minimize the
                   federal cleanup burden by having current operating facilities clean up their
                   hazardous waste contamination, thereby preventing them from becoming
                   Superfund sites.2 The companies that perform cleanups under the program
                   include, for example, chemical manufacturers and waste disposal
                   companies. Although the Corrective Action Program has been in effect
                   since 1984, concerns have been raised that companies are not cleaning up
                   their facilities quickly enough and that the properties remain
                   contaminated, posing risks to public health and the environment.

                   To assess the current status of the Corrective Action Program, you asked
                   us to determine (1) the progress made in cleaning up facilities under the
                   program, (2) factors affecting progress, and (3) any initiatives that the
                   Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the states, and industry have
                   taken to accomplish cleanups. As agreed with your office, we limited our
                   review to nonfederal facilities.


                   As of March 31, 1997, only about 8 percent of the approximately 3,700
Results in Brief   nonfederal facilities nationwide that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous
                   waste—including about 5 percent of the approximately 1,300 facilities
                   considered to pose the highest risk—have completed cleanup actions
                   under the Corrective Action Program, according to EPA’s data. Many of the

                   1
                    The number of facilities is based on our analysis of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)
                   data. In addition, we adjusted EPA’s 1992 estimated cost for cleanups to 1996 dollars.
                   2
                    Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, also
                   known as Superfund, EPA may compel companies responsible for hazardous waste contamination to
                   perform a cleanup. Alternatively, the agency may perform the cleanup itself and seek reimbursement
                   from the responsible company. As we recently reported in Superfund: Times to Complete the
                   Assessment and Cleanup of Hazardous Waste Sites (GAO/RCED-97-20, Mar. 31, 1997), a significant
                   backlog of facilities are awaiting cleanup under the Superfund program.



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remaining facilities are in various stages of the cleanup process: About
17 percent are implementing cleanup remedies; another 14 percent have
taken actions to contain on-site contamination so that it does not pose an
immediate threat to human health or the environment; and 14 percent are
still investigating the extent of contamination. Finally, about 56 percent of
the facilities—including about 35 percent of those posing the highest
risk—have yet to begin the formal cleanup process. Some facilities have
undertaken cleanup actions outside of the program; however, the extent of
these efforts is unknown because they are not reflected in the agency’s
program data.

Four key factors are hampering progress under the Corrective Action
Program, according to EPA, state, and company cleanup managers we
contacted. First, cleaning up the contaminated facilities under the program
is time-consuming and costly because the process EPA developed for
cleanups, and which some states authorized to implement the program
have adopted, has multiple reporting and review requirements. Second,
the agency, the states, and companies often disagree on how cleanup
should be pursued. These disagreements prolong the cleanup process
because more time is needed to negotiate cleanup terms, and companies
must sometimes meet the duplicate requirements of both federal and state
regulators. Third, unless EPA or the states direct the companies to begin
cleanup, the companies appear to perform cleanups at their facilities only
when they have business incentives to do so, such as an interest in selling
or redeveloping the property. Finally, cleanup has been hampered because
EPA, as well as the states in the regions we reviewed, lack the resources
they need to direct more companies to begin their cleanups and to provide
timely oversight at the facilities already performing cleanups under the
program.

Recently, EPA, some states, and industry have undertaken initiatives to,
among other things, streamline the cleanup process and make cleanup
decisions on the basis of the level of the risk to public health and the
environment posed at the individual facility, rather than on the basis of the
more generic process specified for the program. In addition, the agency
and the states are looking for ways to leverage their limited resources to
accomplish cleanups more quickly. These efforts include putting facilities
into alternative programs that streamline cleanups—such as states’
voluntary cleanup programs. While these initiatives promise to allow faster
and cheaper cleanups, some of them, such as the voluntary programs, may
involve tradeoffs in the stringency of the standards applied, the
permanence of the remedies selected, and the level of public participation



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             required. These tradeoffs increase the need for long-term oversight to
             ensure that the remedies continue to protect human health and the
             environment. Furthermore, although companies’ cleanup managers favor
             many of the initiatives, several of them—citing their experience with
             cleanups under the program to date—expressed reservations about the
             agency’s and the states’ willingness to use these initiatives. Therefore, the
             agency’s current strategy of adopting new approaches to corrective action
             by issuing guidance or final regulations may not be sufficient to ensure
             that the approaches are implemented nationwide.


             The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) requires
Background   companies that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste to obtain a
             permit specifying how their facilities will safely manage that waste. EPA
             may authorize states to administer their own permitting programs for
             hazardous waste in lieu of the federal program, as long as these programs
             are equivalent to and consistent with the federal program and provide for
             adequate enforcement. Currently, almost all states are authorized to issue
             operating permits. Existing facilities, under certain conditions, can operate
             while EPA or the state authorized to implement the program reviews their
             permit applications. These facilities operate in “interim status.”

             The Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 revised RCRA to
             include new provisions for cleaning up the contamination at facilities
             seeking permits to treat, store, and dispose of hazardous waste. The
             corrective actions can be specified in the facility’s operating permit or in a
             separate corrective action permit. EPA may also use its enforcement
             authority to require facilities to clean up hazardous waste contamination
             by issuing to the facility an enforcement order specifying the corrective
             actions it must take. The agency’s offices of Solid Waste and Emergency
             Response, and Enforcement and Compliance Assurance implement the
             Corrective Action Program through EPA’s 10 regional offices. In addition to
             giving 47 states the authority to issue operating permits to facilities, EPA
             has, to date, given 32 states the authority to issue permits to facilities to
             undertake corrective action cleanups.3 The states authorized to issue these
             corrective action permits must also, as part of the authorization process,
             demonstrate that they have adequate authority under state laws to enforce
             the program at all applicable facilities.

             RCRA,as amended, did not set any deadlines for completing cleanups under
             the Corrective Action Program. In response to the planning requirements

             3
              EPA has authorized 31 states and 1 territory—Guam—to implement the Corrective Action Program.



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                                       established for all federal agencies under the Government Performance
                                       and Results Act of 1993, EPA has set two performance targets for all
                                       high-priority RCRA facilities by 2005. These two targets are to control the
                                       (1) human exposure to hazardous contamination at 95 percent of them and
                                       (2) release of contaminated groundwater at 70 percent.

                                       To implement the Corrective Action Program, EPA designed a cleanup
                                       process that generally includes four stages. (See fig. 1.)


Figure 1: The Four Primary Phases of
the RCRA Corrective Action Process



                                                   Initial facility assessment



                                                                                                           Interim
                                                                                                          measures
                                                      Detailed investigation                                  to
                                                                                                           control
                                                                                                        contamination



                                                  Remedy study and design




                                                   Remedy implementation




                                       Note: At any point in this process, the facility may be required to take interim measures to
                                       address contamination that poses an immediate threat to human health or the environment.

                                       Source: EPA.




                                       In the first phase—initial facility assessment—EPA or the state assesses the
                                       facility to characterize the risk posed and determine the need for
                                       immediate action. In the second phase—detailed investigation—the



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                      company that owns the RCRA facility conducts a more detailed
                      investigation to establish the nature and extent of contamination released
                      to groundwater, surface water, air, and soil; this phase can be complex
                      and take years to complete. This investigation is conducted under EPA’s or
                      the state’s review and monitoring and with the agency’s or state’s
                      approval. If corrective action is needed, a third phase—remedy study—is
                      started. During this phase, the company must complete a corrective
                      measures study that describes the advantages, disadvantages, and costs of
                      various cleanup options; EPA solicits public comments on the selected
                      option and approves a final method. Finally, in the fourth phase—remedy
                      implementation—the company implements the corrective measure
                      selected; it is required to design, construct, operate, maintain, and monitor
                      this remedy.

                      To examine cleanup issues under the Corrective Action Program, we
                      analyzed RCRA’s program data and interviewed cleanup managers from 23
                      companies that are responsible for corrective action cleanups. For these
                      23 companies, we visited 20 facilities selected from the 2 largest industry
                      groups subject to cleanup under the program—chemical and metal
                      manufacturers—and interviewed their cleanup managers at these
                      facilities. We also interviewed cleanup managers of five corporations that
                      are among those with the most facilities subject to corrective action
                      cleanup nationwide. In addition, we interviewed EPA and state program
                      managers who directly oversee the 20 facilities. Appendix I provides
                      additional details on our scope and methodology.


                      Since 1984, companies have completed cleanup action at about 8 percent
Few Facilities Have   (301) of the universe of 3,698 nonfederal facilities that treat, store, or
Completed Cleanups    dispose of hazardous waste, according to EPA’s data. These cleanups
Under the Program     include about 5 percent (69) of the 1,304 facilities that EPA considers to be
                      a high priority because they pose the highest potential risk to human
                      health or the environment.4 EPA or the states have certified these facilities
                      as having completed all cleanup action and needing no further monitoring.

                      Of the 573 facilities that are implementing remedies, 395 of
                      them—including 215 high-priority facilities—have put remedies in place to
                      control human exposure to on-site contaminants. Another 34
                      facilities—including 18 high-priority facilities—have completed
                      construction of at least one on-site remedy and are monitoring the

                      4
                       We obtained EPA’s database as of March 31, 1997, and, using a methodology we designed in
                      conjunction with the EPA program managers, placed each of the facilities subject to corrective action
                      into one of five cleanup categories, such as remedy implementation.



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effectiveness of that remedy. The rest have, at a minimum, presented their
suggested remedies to the public for consideration and comment and
subsequently received approval from EPA or the state to implement those
remedies. EPA expects that a number of facilities, such as those designed
specifically as waste disposal facilities, will remain in this category
because they will require monitoring far into the future.

The 461 facilities that are controlling contamination—297 of them high
priority—have taken interim steps at the location to abate threats to
human health and the environment and to prevent or minimize the further
spread of contamination by, for example, halting the migration of
contaminated groundwater. The interim measures are specific to the
contaminated portions of the property and may not be facilitywide. The
facility may need to take additional corrective measures to complete the
cleanup.

The 477 facilities—including 197 high-priority facilities—that are
investigating contamination are completing, or have completed, a
thorough study of the types and extent of on-site contamination. During
this investigation, EPA or the state becomes actively involved with the
cleanup, and the facility is considered to be participating in the Corrective
Action Program.

The 1,886 facilities that have not begun their cleanups under the
Corrective Action Program may have been assessed by EPA or the state and
ranked as high, medium, or low priority; however, the facility, EPA, or the
state has not taken any further action under the program. Of these
facilities, 427 are high priority.

Figure 2 illustrates the number and percent of total and high-priority
facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste in each of the
corrective action categories.




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Figure 2: Status of Facilities in the Corrective Action Process by Cleanup Phase—All Facilities and High-Priority Facilities



             All facilities                                        High-priority facilities
                (3,698)                                                   (1,304)


                                                                               5.3%
                      8.1%                                                                                   Completed cleanup (69)
                                      Completed cleanup (301)
                                                                                          24.1%
                                                                     22.8%                                   Implementing remedies (314)
                              15.5%   Implementing remedies
                                      (573)
                                                                                                             Controlling
       51%                                                                                                   contamination (297)
                          12.5%       Controlling
                                      contamination (461)                                  15.1%             Investigating contamination
                                      Investigaing                                                           (197)
                     12.9%                                                  32.7%
                                      contamination (477)
                                                                                                             Cleanup not started (427)
                                      Cleanup not started
                                      (1,886)



                                             Source: EPA data, as of March 31, 1997.




                                             Companies have made some progress since 1993, when we last examined
                                             the Corrective Action Program. At that time, EPA data showed that only
                                             about 1 percent of the facilities that needed cleanups had undertaken
                                             cleanup actions.5 In addition, some companies have undertaken cleanup
                                             actions outside of the Corrective Action Program, under state
                                             environmental programs, such as state Superfund or voluntary cleanup
                                             programs, and these are not reflected in EPA’s data. While some of these
                                             cleanup activities are likely to qualify as corrective action, according to
                                             EPA program managers, the extent of these types of cleanup actions is
                                             unknown.

                                             We also examined facilities in two categories of the program—the cleanup
                                             begun and cleanup completed categories—to determine differences in
                                             progress among the states that are authorized to implement the program
                                             and those that are not, EPA’s 10 regions, and the major industry groups that


                                             5
                                              Hazardous Waste: Much Work Remains to Accelerate Facility Cleanups (GAO/RCED-93-15, Jan. 19,
                                             1993). The analysis in this report was based on data in the EPA database, as of June 1992. At that time,
                                             EPA estimated that about 3,400 facilities needed cleanups. Because the data used for both reports are
                                             not fully comparable, we could not analyze progress by cleanup category.



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                             are responsible for corrective action. (See app. II for a detailed
                             explanation of our analysis and the results.) Some of the significant
                             variations in progress include the following:

                         •   States. Facilities in the states authorized to implement the Corrective
                             Action Program have achieved more progress in both categories than
                             facilities in the states not authorized, regardless of the industry or cleanup
                             priority of the facility. For example, 53 percent of the facilities in the states
                             authorized to implement the program have their cleanups under way,
                             compared with 41 percent in the states not authorized for the program.
                         •   EPA regions.6 The regions differ significantly in the percentage of cleanups
                             they have under way or completed. For example, the Denver region has
                             cleanups under way at about 92 percent of its facilities, while the Boston
                             region has about 23 percent of its cleanups under way. The Denver region
                             has completed cleanups at 12 percent of its high-priority facilities, while
                             each of the Boston, Philadelphia, and Atlanta regions has completed less
                             than 5 percent of its facility cleanups, regardless of priority.
                         •   Industry. Industry’s progress also varies. Petroleum and coal facilities have
                             the largest percentage of cleanups under way at high-priority
                             facilities—87 percent—while metals manufacturing facilities have the
                             smallest—51 percent. Electrical, gas, and sanitary facilities have the
                             highest percentage of completed cleanups—11 percent—regardless of
                             priority, while metal manufacturing facilities have the lowest—5 percent.

                             Appendix III details cleanup progress, by category, for states, EPA regions,
                             and industries.


                             Four key factors are hampering cleanups, according to the cleanup
Several Factors Affect       managers we spoke with at EPA and the companies. First, the RCRA cleanup
Cleanup                      process is time-consuming and costly. Second, EPA, the states, and
                             companies often disagree on how to approach cleanup at a facility,
                             including the standards and remedies that facilities should use. Third,
                             because cleanups under the Corrective Action Program are expensive and
                             drawn-out, unless EPA or a state directs a company to begin cleanup under
                             the program, a company tends to initiate cleanup at its facilities only when
                             it has economic incentives to do so. Finally, EPA and some states lack the
                             resources needed to direct more companies to begin cleanups at the
                             facilities not yet in the program and to provide timely oversight of
                             cleanups already under way.


                             6
                              See fig. III.2 in app. III for a listing of all EPA regions.



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The RCRA Process Can Be   According to cleanup managers from each of the 23 companies we
Time-Consuming and        reviewed, the RCRA cleanup process is sometimes unnecessarily
Costly                    time-consuming and costly. According to EPA officials, the complexity of
                          many RCRA facilities—especially the high-priority ones—adds to the time
                          and cost of cleanups. However, the industry representatives stated that the
                          duplicative and restrictive nature of the cleanup process EPA and the states
                          have implemented adds more time and cost than warranted. These
                          representatives believe that the corrective action process forces EPA’s
                          cleanup managers to become overly prescriptive in monitoring a cleanup,
                          concentrating on whether the facility has complied with every step in the
                          cleanup process rather than on whether it has met the cleanup’s overall
                          goals and objectives. For example, according to the cleanup managers of
                          one chemical company, the company has numerous, similar facilities with
                          underground storage tanks that need to be cleaned up. The managers
                          commented that, although EPA and the states typically require the same
                          cleanup method at each facility, program protocol requires each facility to
                          conduct a thorough investigation and corrective measures study, with all
                          of the requisite data collection, reports, and plans. The managers believe
                          that this is a heavy, costly, and unnecessary paperwork burden. Similarly,
                          representatives of a chemical facility we visited reported that prior to EPA’s
                          involvement in the cleanup, the facility spent $10 million to investigate the
                          contamination and initiate its own cleanup activities, which EPA later
                          approved as sufficient. Once EPA became involved, the facility spent an
                          additional $28 million, a substantial portion of which, in their view, was to
                          comply with EPA’s procedural requirements rather than to substantially
                          increase the amount of cleanup. EPA regional officials believe that the
                          company’s estimate includes more work than EPA requires for RCRA
                          cleanups; however, they could not determine how much the company
                          spent for RCRA requirements because EPA does not track the cost of
                          cleanups.

                          Representatives of a steel manufacturing facility told us that they cannot
                          deviate from the schedule of consecutive steps detailed in their facility’s
                          corrective action order. As a result, the facility will not begin actual
                          cleanup activities until about 7 years after the order was signed.
                          Furthermore, they stated that the order specifies that the facility must
                          submit a workplan and obtain EPA’s approval for each interim measure
                          taken at the facility. The company’s representatives noted that it took
                          about 7 months to obtain EPA’s approval to place fencing and
                          propane-powered cannons, an interim measure, around one contaminated
                          pit to keep wildlife out. They believe that the interim measure was a
                          simple one that could have been implemented much more quickly without



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                          a formal workplan. These representatives’ experience with cleaning up
                          similar facilities more quickly under other programs, such as state
                          voluntary programs, leads them to believe that RCRA’s process-oriented
                          approach is unnecessarily delaying cleanup.

                          Several of the EPA officials in the regions and at headquarters agreed that
                          the corrective action process can be cumbersome and unnecessarily
                          time-consuming. They explained that EPA somewhat modeled the RCRA
                          cleanup process—with its extensive documentation requirements and
                          prescribed, consecutive steps—after the Superfund process. According to
                          these officials, Superfund cleanups follow detailed procedural steps so
                          that the agency can document cleanup costs because, under Superfund,
                          EPA needs the documentation to pursue reimbursement for cleanup costs
                          from the parties that are responsible for the contamination. In addition, in
                          the early days of both Superfund and RCRA, when the agency was relatively
                          inexperienced with cleaning up hazardous contamination, agency
                          decisionmakers designed the cleanup processes to be thorough to ensure
                          that facilities choose the best cleanup solutions. Furthermore, they
                          thought that it was important to make the requirements of the two
                          programs consistent because Superfund and RCRA cleanups can be similar
                          in the types and extent of contamination they must address. As a result,
                          they noted, RCRA cleanups became very process-oriented, and the
                          authorized states usually adopted this approach.

                          Some EPA officials commented that the extensive process for dealing with
                          RCRA cleanups may not always be appropriate today. EPA and the state
                          agencies and industry have gained experience with cleanups and tend to
                          know more about the success of various cleanup methods, decreasing the
                          need for extensive investigation and analysis. In addition, the managers
                          pointed out that other approaches to cleanups have been developed, such
                          as state voluntary programs, which they believe can achieve results
                          comparable with RCRA’s in terms of the standards and remedies applied but
                          with less adherence to a step-by-step process.


Disagreements on          EPA, the states, and companies frequently disagree on how to approach
Approaches, Standards,    cleanups as well as on the standards and remedies that should be used,
and Remedies Can Hamper   according to cleanup managers from each of the 23 companies in our
                          review. This lack of agreement, some of them said, tends to hamper
Cleanups                  cleanup progress because the regulators and companies spend more time
                          negotiating cleanup terms.




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For example, according to some of the company cleanup managers, some
EPA regions and states may disagree with a company and require a
comprehensive, facilitywide investigation prior to beginning the corrective
measures study, while others may agree to allow a company to investigate
and remediate its facility in phases. Likewise, some EPA and state officials
may disagree with a company’s preference to clean up a facility to less
stringent standards, assuming that the land will be put to industrial rather
than residential uses in the future. Finally, some EPA and state officials
may push the company to use permanent remedies, such as removing all
sources of contamination, rather than simply containing the waste. Some
of the companies that have facilities in different parts of the nation said
that they experience these disagreements first-hand; another cleanup
manager said that the company became aware of them through the
consultants it uses who have national experience in managing the
corrective action process.

According to company cleanup managers representing 8 of the 23
companies in our review, delays can occur at facilities where both EPA and
the state have oversight because the regulators disagree or impose
duplicate requirements. Usually, either EPA or the state monitors cleanup
activity conducted under the Corrective Action Program; however,
sometimes both EPA and the state are involved in portions of a facility’s
cleanup. For example, a company could close a landfill or surface
impoundment under the state’s oversight—because almost all states are
authorized to oversee those types of closures outside of the Corrective
Action Program—and later enter into facilitywide corrective action under
EPA’s oversight. This was the case at one chemical facility that we visited.
The company wanted to close numerous similar surface impoundments. It
closed some of them under the state’s oversight prior to beginning
corrective action. The state allowed the company to meet industrial
land-use standards. The company closed the remaining impoundments
under EPA’s oversight in the Corrective Action Program, however, and EPA
initially insisted upon more stringent standards that would not restrict the
future use of the land. The company argued that all of the surface
impoundment closures should meet the same risk-based criteria. It was 4
years before EPA and the company agreed to cleanup specifications that
mirrored those of the state.




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Companies Appear to   According to several cleanup managers we spoke with, companies will
Initiate Extensive    generally ensure that the contamination at their facilities does not pose an
Cleanups Only With    immediate danger to public health or the environment, whether or not EPA
                      or a state has directed the facility to enter the Corrective Action Program.
Economic Incentives   For example, two of the companies we visited were addressing identified
                      groundwater contamination before EPA or the state had approached them
                      with a permit or order to begin corrective action. They were working with
                      the facility’s neighbors to ensure that they had safe drinking water and
                      keeping the neighbors informed of cleanup actions. One of the facility
                      managers explained that it was very important for the company to avoid
                      the liability of future problems from contamination that could migrate off
                      of the property and to maintain a good public image.

                      We determined, however, that the companies in our survey appear to
                      undertake more comprehensive cleanup actions only when they have an
                      economic incentive to do so because the corrective action process can be
                      so costly and time-consuming. For example, two companies we visited
                      were growing and wanted to expand their operations on the property. The
                      company cleanup managers said that they are seeking program approval
                      of their cleanup actions in order to avoid the risk of later having to tear
                      down structures to address on-site contamination. Representatives of
                      another company, a chemical manufacturer, told us that the company was
                      motivated to clean up its facility through the program because it had an
                      agreement with the prior owner to share in the liability costs for
                      contamination. Because the agreement had a time limit on these
                      provisions, the company wanted to enter the program and obtain EPA’s
                      certification that cleanup was complete before the provisions expired.

                      In other cases, a company subject to the Corrective Action Program may
                      perform more extensive cleanup actions prior to any EPA or state oversight
                      because it foresees a financial advantage in not waiting for EPA or the state
                      to initiate the cleanup. Such a company runs the risk of having to redo its
                      cleanup or take additional action later if the cleanup does not meet
                      program requirements once EPA or a state directs it to enter the program.
                      For example, one company that has closed down its steel-making
                      operations is developing the facility into an industrial park. The company
                      negotiates cleanup terms with the prospective tenants as part of each
                      lease and cleans up without government oversight, retaining liability for
                      any future cleanup that EPA or the state may require. Company
                      representatives explained that the business community demands quicker
                      turnaround times for real estate transactions than EPA can provide and
                      that, therefore, the company cannot afford to wait for EPA. According to



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the cleanup managers of two other companies, these companies purposely
began their facility investigations prior to EPA’s involvement as a way to
better manage total cleanup costs. They explained that the EPA process
would usually require an investigation of each area of the facility thought
to be contaminated; however, if a company can show that some areas are
not problematic, those areas can often be eliminated from the
specifications dictated in the permit or order, making the investigation
under the program cheaper. One of the managers added that, by getting
started prior to EPA’s involvement, the company can better control cleanup
costs—more than $14 million to date—than if EPA dictates the cleanup
schedule.

In contrast, a company may clean up a facility under a state program, such
as a voluntary cleanup program, to gain some assurance that the cleanup
will meet the requirements of the Corrective Action Program. For
example, a steel manufacturing company we visited is performing the
cleanup of a large facility under a state voluntary program. According to
company cleanup managers, the company plans to build extensively on the
property and wants to begin as soon as possible. Even though company
representatives are concerned about building before EPA certifies that no
more cleanup is needed, they do not want to increase the time or money
they expect would be needed to perform a facility investigation under the
Corrective Action Program. The company chose the voluntary program
because its process requirements are less extensive, and therefore less
expensive, than those of the Corrective Action Program. In addition, the
representatives expect that the cleanup under the state program will occur
more quickly so that the redevelopment can begin sooner. Company
representatives believe that, by meeting the state’s requirements, EPA is
less likely to require the company to perform additional cleanup actions
later.

Furthermore, when companies have no immediate economic incentives to
clean up, they wait until the state or EPA pursues corrective action with
them, according to one cleanup manager at a large corporation. He
explained that the company may not be anxious to pursue cleanup if the
contamination is not posing an immediate threat, the facility is not losing
revenue, or the company is not incurring a financial liability by delaying
cleanup.

Several company cleanup managers told us that, to some extent,
companies are discouraged from taking more proactive cleanup steps
because the regulatory uncertainty of the program has made it difficult to



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                           predict the cleanup actions EPA or the states might impose. For example,
                           although the program began in 1984, EPA did not issue draft regulations
                           governing how facilities must complete cleanups until 1990 and has not yet
                           issued final regulations.


EPA’s and Some States’     EPA cites a lack of resources as one of the main reasons it cannot direct
Lack of Resources Hamper   more than a relatively small number of the facilities still not in the
Their Ability to Address   program to begin cleanup each year. In fiscal year 1997, the agency
                           expected to direct cleanup at less than 2 percent (46) of the 1,886
Cleanups                   backlogged facilities—427 of them high priority—that have not yet begun
                           their program cleanups. Several company cleanup managers said that they
                           had waited years for EPA to oversee their cleanups. For example, EPA did
                           not approach one steel company to begin negotiating cleanup under an
                           order until 8 years after EPA had initially assessed the company’s facility.

                           The resource shortfall delays ongoing cleanups because agency staff are
                           slow to review the documentation submitted by the companies. While EPA
                           generally requires that companies respond to requests for reports and
                           documents for each step of the corrective action process within 30 to 60
                           days of the requests, it is not uncommon for EPA to take much longer to
                           respond to the documents that companies submit, according to company
                           cleanup managers. For example, representatives of one steel company told
                           us that it regularly took some EPA regional staff 9 to 12 months to respond
                           when the company submitted drafts or workplans, and representatives of
                           a chemical company said that they have been waiting since 1994 for EPA to
                           respond to information that the company provided on the risks at its
                           facility.

                           This gap between workload and available resources has affected the
                           progress of the program since its inception. After the Corrective Action
                           Program was created in 1984, the agency received a flood of applications
                           from facilities requesting a permit to operate in compliance with the RCRA
                           requirements. RCRA established earlier deadlines for final decisions on
                           permit applications for certain types of facilities, such as landfills, than for
                           other types of facilities. Because of these earlier deadlines, EPA used
                           available resources to address the applications from those facilities first
                           and delayed addressing other types of facilities or taking additional
                           enforcement actions. EPA was not able to conduct facility assessments at
                           many of these other facilities or to begin the more detailed facility
                           investigations until the early 1990s. In an effort to enlist states’ assistance
                           with cleanups, EPA authorized states to implement the program. This



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strategy appears to have helped to some extent. About 47 percent of the
facilities in the 32 states authorized to implement the program are awaiting
cleanup, compared with about 59 percent in the states not authorized to
implement the program. In states that are not authorized to implement the
program, EPA’s regional staff must issue all corrective action permits and
enforcement orders.

Generally, EPA relies on its regions to decide how many corrective actions
to initiate each year and which facilities to pursue, given their budget and
available staff. However, limited resources is still an issue in both of the
regions we reviewed. In fiscal year 1997, program managers in the
Philadelphia region projected that the region would have enough
resources to direct companies to begin cleanups at 4 of the 69 high-priority
facilities awaiting cleanup. These resources will address none of the
remaining 86 lower-priority facilities. Because none of the states in the
region are authorized to issue either corrective action permits or orders,
the region must perform these actions.

Program managers in the Philadelphia region told us that they often rely
on the states to identify those facilities (1) that they believe have
contamination problems that must be addressed, especially since the
region has only limited information about the facilities that was collected
during the initial assessment, and (2) for which the states might issue
operating permits so that EPA can add corrective action requirements to
the operating permits. The regional program managers told us that their
states currently supplement EPA’s activities by performing limited
corrective action activities that were agreed to at the beginning of the
year; however, the managers said that they cannot rely on their states for
additional corrective action assistance because the states do not have the
resources to do more. Furthermore, these officials told us that the limited
program resources contributed to the fact that few cleanups are initiated
and the agency is slow to review and approve companies’ submissions.

Similarly, in addition to its current enforcement workload of 50 cases, the
Chicago region has 377 facilities, including 82 high-priority facilities, that
are eligible for corrective action. The region relies on its states to issue
most new corrective action permits and enforcement orders for those
permits since all of its states are authorized to do so. Because of EPA’s and
the states’ resource shortfalls, however, regional officials projected that
the region will undertake corrective action enforcement at only three of
the facilities during fiscal year 1997 and anticipated that the states will
undertake only a limited number of new cleanup actions.



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                        Furthermore, several of EPA’s program managers in headquarters and the
                        two regions noted that they may never have the resources to get to the
                        1,459 lower-priority sites that are in EPA’s corrective action workload. They
                        said that facilities need to address their contamination issues on their own
                        or perhaps with the help of state regulators by working through other state
                        cleanup programs, such as voluntary programs. The managers expect that,
                        because most low-priority facilities will not need much cleaning up and
                        the cleanup of medium-priority facilities will be much less extensive than
                        at high-priority facilities, the facilities probably are not taking a significant
                        risk in pursuing cleanups without EPA’s or the states’ oversight under the
                        Corrective Action Program. We did not contact state environmental
                        agencies nationwide to examine the extent to which they may have
                        additional resources or capabilities to help fill the gap between EPA’s
                        workload and the resources the agency has available to manage its
                        workload.


                        EPA, the states, and industry have recognized the need to improve the
EPA’s and States’       cleanup process. They have taken actions designed to, among other things,
Initiatives May Begin   streamline the process, apply more flexible approaches, standards, and
to Address the          cleanup methods, and allow for better use of EPA’s and the states’ limited
                        resources. By beginning to address some of the factors that hamper
Cleanup Backlog         cleanup progress, these actions may help to reduce some of the economic
                        disincentives that tend to keep companies from cleaning up their facilities.


EPA Headquarters’       EPA  has taken several initiatives over the years to help leverage its
Initiatives             resources. In 1991, EPA decided to use its resources to ensure that, until it
                        can direct more facilities to begin the formal corrective action process, it
                        has at least controlled or abated any immediate threats to human health
                        and the environment at all facilities. The agency also has decided to focus
                        first on those facilities it ranked as high priority for corrective action.
                        Furthermore, in November 1994, the agency proposed a rule that it
                        believes should help more effectively integrate corrective action and
                        closure activities at a facility, which should help to address some of the
                        problems that can occur when both the state and EPA are involved in a
                        cleanup.

                        In May 1996, in its advance notice of proposed rulemaking for
                        implementing the Corrective Action Program, the agency announced plans
                        to design new regulations for the program and introduced various revised
                        techniques, standards, and remedies that regions and states can use to



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                             focus cleanups more on the level of the risk posed by the facilities. In
                             addition, the notice suggested using alternative environmental programs,
                             such as state Superfund or voluntary cleanup programs, to accomplish
                             corrective action cleanups, when appropriate, as a way to leverage EPA’s
                             and the states’ resources for program oversight. While program managers
                             said that the agency plans to proceed with the rulemaking, the agency’s
                             other priorities may delay the rulemaking process. Therefore, until these
                             regulations become final, the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency
                             Response has directed EPA regions and the states authorized to implement
                             the Corrective Action Program to use the notice as guidance when
                             implementing the program. In addition, headquarters managers told us
                             that the agency plans to conduct regional training sessions on the
                             provisions in early 1998. The regions, in turn, are to provide the training to
                             the states.

                             In September 1996, the agency issued new guidance to its regions for
                             coordinating cleanup activities among RCRA, Superfund, and state cleanup
                             programs. The guidance describes how regions can accept cleanup
                             decisions made by other programs, defer cleanups to other programs,
                             coordinate when more than one program applies at a facility, and integrate
                             the RCRA closure and post-closure activities with other cleanup activities.
                             The guidance is intended to eliminate duplication of effort, streamline
                             cleanup processes, and build more effective relationships between EPA and
                             the states.

                             Finally, EPA’s 1997 response to the planning requirements under the
                             Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 may help the agency to
                             better leverage its resources by focusing on performance targets.
                             However, while EPA headquarters managers expect that these targets will
                             help to direct the program, they commented that it is too early to
                             determine what effect this action will have on the program. The managers
                             explained that, by the end of 1997, the agency plans to have determined
                             the number of facilities currently meeting these targets in order to
                             establish a baseline for its indicators. After several years of experience
                             with the indicators, the agency will determine what modifications are
                             necessary.


EPA’s Regional Initiatives   EPA regions are also taking steps to streamline the cleanup process. For
                             example, project managers in the Philadelphia region explained that they
                             sometimes help those companies that want to undertake cleanup actions
                             before the region has sufficient resources to monitor them under the



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                      Corrective Action Program. Regional staff help a company by answering
                      its questions about cleanup approaches and methods, thereby serving as
                      consultants. The region and a company engage in this informal
                      relationship, hoping that when the company is under the program, the
                      actions it has taken will meet the program’s requirements and the region
                      can bypass many of the process steps and more quickly certify that
                      cleanup is complete. In addition, on a case-by-case basis, some project
                      managers in the Philadelphia region are allowing companies to combine
                      phases of the process and are informally reviewing companies’ draft plans
                      in an effort to shorten cleanup process times and to allow the companies
                      to cut unnecessary costs. Similarly, program managers in the Chicago
                      region have drafted procedures designed to expedite the cleanup process
                      by, for example, encouraging companies to submit the investigation and
                      cleanup design reports together.

                      Furthermore, EPA enforcement managers noted that some regions are
                      beginning to use enforcement orders, instead of permits, for facilities that
                      are high priority and are not likely to get a permit soon. They explained
                      that enforcement orders tend to be more flexible than permits. For
                      example, EPA can issue an order at any time, regardless of whether the
                      company has an operating permit; in contrast, specifications for corrective
                      action permits must be attached to an existing operating permit. Although
                      enforcement orders may provide more administrative flexibility, EPA
                      intends to have both orders and permits include the same substantive
                      requirements for cleanup and public participation and achieve the same
                      environmental results. One company cleanup manager added that
                      companies sometimes find it easier to justify extensive cleanup costs to
                      stockholders if these costs are part of an enforcement action because
                      stockholders perceive that EPA is forcing the company to take the
                      expensive actions.


States’ Initiatives   States are also taking several new approaches. For example, after Illinois
                      was authorized to implement the Corrective Action Program, it developed
                      a tiered approach to cleanup standards. Depending upon the results of a
                      risk assessment, a company may (1) meet the most stringent standards
                      and not have to impose any restrictions on the future use of the land or
                      (2) clean up to the less stringent standards allowed for industrial use of
                      the land but restrict the land to that use, perhaps through a deed
                      restriction. The state has also streamlined the process by which
                      companies must ensure the quality of their cleanup work. Instead of
                      requiring quality assurance reports at every step of the cleanup process,



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                           the state will accept a single certification by a company that it has
                           complied with EPA’s quality assurance requirements.

                           Similarly, Pennsylvania, although not authorized to implement the
                           Corrective Action Program, developed a state voluntary cleanup program
                           that applies a risk-based approach to the cleanup of a facility as well as to
                           the standards and remedies chosen. Under EPA’s advance notice of
                           proposed rulemaking, EPA encourages companies to clean up their
                           facilities under programs such as Pennsylvania’s, when appropriate, in lieu
                           of the Corrective Action Program, with some modifications to meet the
                           corrective action requirements.


Joint Initiative           The American Society for Testing and Materials, in consultation with EPA,
                           the states, and industry, is developing a new standard way to perform
                           risk-based corrective action for facilities with chemical contamination.
                           This standard, called Risk Based Corrective Action (RBCA), will establish a
                           framework, with specified cleanup levels and methods, for assessing the
                           level of risk posed by a facility and selecting the appropriate level of
                           cleanup on the basis of that risk and on the future expected use of the
                           land. A subgroup in the Society is currently reviewing the standard, and
                           the Society’s endorsement of the standard is intended to, according to the
                           subgroup’s co-chair, help institutionalize the standard’s use nationwide.
                           EPA has commented on the draft standard and is working with the Society
                           to revise the standard so that it can be applied to corrective action
                           cleanups under RCRA. According to the subgroup’s co-chair, a similar
                           standard tested by one state has resulted in cleanups that were completed
                           more quickly and at much less cost than would have occurred under the
                           corrective action process. The RBCA Leadership Council, a consortium of
                           industry representatives formed to promote use of the standard by EPA and
                           the states has, in conjunction with EPA representatives, made presentations
                           to the program mangers in 9 of the 10 EPA regions to educate them on the
                           standard and how it can be used to expedite the corrective action process.


Tradeoffs of Initiatives   While all of these initiatives should help to accelerate cleanups and reduce
                           costs, some of them accomplish this goal by making tradeoffs in the
                           controls they place on cleanups—controls designed to ensure the
                           long-term effectiveness of remedies. For example, in April of this year, we
                           reported that state voluntary cleanup programs more frequently employ
                           industrial land-use standards and less-permanent remedies than federal or




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state enforcement programs, thereby reducing costs.7 As a result, these
types of cleanups more frequently require, for example, a deed restriction
to ensure that the land use remains industrial, as well as long-term
operations and maintenance to ensure that the remedies do not fail. In
addition, some of the voluntary programs we reviewed in the April report
did not provide for monitoring future land-use restrictions. We also
reported that some voluntary cleanup programs reduced their
requirements for meaningful public participation in cleanup decisions
because these are time-consuming steps. While these tradeoffs may be
appropriate for less-contaminated, lower-risk facilities, we concluded that
care must be taken before voluntary programs are applied at more
complex and highly contaminated facilities or at those surrounded by
residential neighborhoods. In this regard, according to cleanup managers
in EPA’s Philadelphia region, they believe that one of the state voluntary
programs in their region does not have public participation requirements
that will satisfy the RCRA requirements. Therefore, when the region agreed
to let a high-priority facility proceed through the program, the region
stipulated that it will monitor the cleanup to ensure that the company
creates more opportunities for public participation.

EPA recognized this variability among state voluntary programs when
implementing its Superfund program and issued draft guidance for public
comment that would outline basic criteria for the state programs. If a
program met EPA’s criteria, the region could enter into a memorandum of
agreement with the state that would provide a company in a voluntary
program with some assurance that EPA will not plan to take further action
at the facility. This assurance of limited federal liability is an attractive
incentive for volunteers. The draft Superfund guidance proposes to
restrict facilities designated as higher-risk facilities or those already under
corrective action permits or orders from being included in the scope of
these agreements. All other facilities may be included on a case-by-case
basis, and states authorized to implement the Corrective Action Program
can allow these facilities to proceed through an approved voluntary
cleanup program. The draft guidance also provides that if voluntary
cleanup occurs at a facility prior to permitting, EPA or the state must
determine if the cleanup satisfied all corrective action requirements.

While companies’ cleanup managers favor the flexibility that many of
these initiatives provide, several of them expressed reservations about
EPA’s and the states’ willingness to adopt these new approaches



7
Superfund: State Voluntary Programs Provide Incentives to Encourage Cleanups (GAO/RCED-97-66,
Apr. 9, 1997).



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              B-277878




              nationwide. The managers commented that EPA’s 1996 advance notice of
              proposed rulemaking incorporated many of these changes; however, they
              were uncertain about whether EPA will issue regulations in final form,
              given that the agency has issued regulations implementing only limited
              portions of the program to date. If the proposals do not become final and
              therefore remain solely as guidance, some of the companies’ managers
              expressed concern that some EPA and state project managers would be
              less willing than others to adopt the more flexible approaches. Companies’
              cleanup managers pointed out that the program has been operating under
              federal guidance rather than approved regulations since it began and, as a
              result, that they have experienced differences among the regions and
              states in their cleanup approaches.


              Thirteen years after the Congress created the Corrective Action Program
Conclusions   to clean up contamination at operating facilities, cleanup progress is
              limited. Although some cleanup activity is taking place under other
              programs, the fact remains that less than 10 percent of the facilities have
              completed cleanups under the Corrective Action Program, and about half
              of them have not even begun their cleanups under the program. While
              several factors influence the time it takes to complete a cleanup, two stand
              out. First, the step-by-step process for cleanup is drawn out and
              cumbersome, and the cost of implementing it discourages companies from
              initiating more cleanups. Second, protracted disagreements among EPA,
              the states, and affected companies over the cleanup standards to be met
              and the methods used to meet them have also delayed cleanups. Both of
              these factors can contribute to the economic disincentives that companies
              face in performing cleanups. Furthermore, these two problems are
              exacerbated by the limited resources EPA and the states have for
              implementing the program.

              EPA has the ability both to streamline the cleanup process it created and to
              better clarify how regions, states, and facilities can approach cleanups
              more consistently. EPA has begun to do this by publishing an advance
              notice of proposed rulemaking that incorporates some of the states’, EPA
              regions’, and industry’s actions to promote more flexible cleanup
              approaches. While this proposed rule promises to address problems with
              the cleanup process, its success in that regard remains uncertain because
              the agency’s other priorities may delay the process. In the meantime, the
              agency has directed the regions and states to use the advance notice of
              proposed rulemaking as guidance during cleanups. However, simply
              directing the staff in EPA’s regions and the states authorized to implement



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                  the program to follow the guidance will not ensure that they consistently
                  use it to address the factors we identified as impeding cleanups.


                  Whether the agency decides to use program guidance or final regulations
Recommendations   as its vehicle for reforming the program, it will have to make additional
                  efforts to ensure that the reforms are reflected in cleanups nationwide.
                  Therefore, we recommend that the Administrator of EPA (1) devise a
                  strategy with milestones for ensuring that cleanup managers in EPA’s
                  regions and the states authorized to implement the program have a
                  consistent understanding of the new approaches provided by the guidance
                  or regulations as well as how to apply these approaches to cleanup
                  decisions and (2) oversee program implementation to determine if cleanup
                  managers are appropriately using the new approaches as they direct
                  cleanups.


                  We provided a draft of this report to EPA for its review and comment. We
Agency Comments   met with agency officials, including the Acting Deputy Director, Office of
                  Solid Waste, the division with management responsibility for the
                  Corrective Action Program. EPA generally agreed with the report’s findings
                  and suggested some technical revisions to the report, including some
                  qualifications to the EPA data in our analyses, which we incorporated. The
                  agency also identified seven issues it believed needed further clarification.
                  First, EPA noted that, while the body of the report accurately acknowledges
                  that facilities are taking cleanup actions outside of the Corrective Action
                  Program that are not captured in EPA’s database, the conclusions section
                  does not. We agreed with the agency’s assessment and added this point to
                  that section. The agency also acknowledged that it needs to devise a
                  process to capture data from the states on these other cleanup activities in
                  order to fully assess the accomplishments of the Corrective Action
                  Program. Second, the agency believes that one of the major factors
                  affecting the rate of progress in the program is that the cleanups of many
                  of the high-priority facilities are very complex and it therefore takes time
                  to assess and clean up. We have noted this factor in the report where
                  appropriate. Third, EPA made two points about our discussions of state
                  voluntary cleanup programs: (1) the agency believes that a significant
                  number of actions take place at RCRA facilities under state programs, such
                  as state Superfund or water programs, as well as under state voluntary
                  programs, and (2) the agency does not want to imply that it thinks
                  high-priority sites should categorically be excluded from cleanups




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conducted under state voluntary programs. We made these clarifications
in the report.

Fourth, EPA noted that we should add or clarify information regarding the
following three agency initiatives designed to help address some of the
cleanup problems identified: (1) EPA’s policy on RCRA/Superfund
coordination, intended to prevent the duplication of, and promote better
coordination on, cleanup efforts by the states and EPA regions; (2) EPA’s
post-closure rule, which the agency now plans to submit to the Office of
Management and Budget for final review, intended to more effectively
integrate corrective action and closure activities; and (3) EPA’s new
guidance on the use of certain enforcement orders as a more flexible tool
for implementing cleanups. We made additions or clarifications in the
report on the first two initiatives, but we did not address the third
initiative because EPA has not yet issued the guidance.

Fifth, EPA disagreed with one company’s claim that it spent a substantial
portion of $28 million in cleanup costs to comply with EPA’s procedural
requirements. EPA believes that this company’s claim significantly
overestimates the costs related to RCRA’s procedural requirements;
however, the agency does not have detailed cost data on this cleanup.
Regional cleanup managers believe that the estimate includes work that
the company performed at the facility that was in addition to work that EPA
would require for RCRA cleanups. In response, we added EPA’s view on this
estimate to the report and more clearly attributed the figure to company
representatives.

Sixth, EPA clarified the point that, in its view, it has conducted strategic
planning efforts for the Corrective Action Program as part of the agency’s
RCRA Implementation Study, overall strategic plans for the Office of Solid
Waste, RCRA implementation plans, and annual operating plans through the
budget allocation process. We changed the report to reflect this
information.

Finally, in commenting on the report’s conclusions and recommendations,
EPA stated that the conclusions lead a reader to expect that we would
recommend that EPA issue final regulations for the program; however, we
did not do so. The purpose of this report is to highlight barriers to cleanup
progress, and we did not design our review to take a position on the
agency’s proposed regulations. We did, however, identify that one of the
barriers to cleanup is regulators’ inconsistent implementation of the
program, in part because some regulators have used the proposed rules



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more flexibly as guidance, while others have used them more stringently.
We believe that EPA needs to address this issue of how consistently
regulators adopt new cleanup approaches. EPA can choose to do this either
by issuing guidance or by promulgating final regulations. However, we
believe that EPA must also go beyond either of these actions and take the
steps necessary to ensure that the guidance or regulations are being
implemented properly.


We conducted our review in accordance with generally accepted
government auditing standards from December 1996 through
September 1997.

As arranged with your office, unless you announce its contents earlier, we
plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days after the date of
this letter. At that time, we will send copies to the appropriate
congressional committees; the Administrator, EPA; and other interested
parties. We will also make copies available to others upon request.

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

Sincerely yours,




Peter F. Guerrero
Director, Environmental
  Protection Issues




Page 24                            GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
Page 25   GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
Contents



Letter                                                                                               1


Appendix I                                                                                          28

Objectives, Scope,
and Methodology
Appendix II                                                                                         30

Technical Appendix of
Statistical Results
Appendix III                                                                                        32

Cleanup Progress in
EPA Regions,
Industries, and States
Appendix V                                                                                          40

Major Contributors to
This Report
Tables                   Table II.1: Statistical Significance of the Factors of Region,             30
                           Industry, and Priority Used to Analyze Whether Cleanups Have
                           Begun and Whether Cleanups Have Been Completed
                         Table II.2: Statistical Significance of the Factors of Authorization,      31
                           Industry, and Priority Used to Analyze Whether Cleanups Have
                           Begun and Whether Cleanups Have Been Completed
                         Table III.1: Cleanup Categories, by RCRIS Event Codes                      32
                         Table III.2: All Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store, or Dispose       36
                           of Hazardous Materials in Each Category of the Corrective Action
                           Process in States Authorized to Implement the Corrective Action
                           Program
                         Table III.3: All Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store, or Dispose       37
                           of Hazardous Materials in Each Category of the Corrective Action
                           Process in States Not Authorized to Implement the Corrective
                           Action Program




                         Page 26                           GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
          Contents




          Table III.4: High-Priority Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store,         38
           or Dispose of Hazardous Materials In Each Category of the
           Corrective Action Process in States Authorized to Implement the
           Corrective Action Program
          Table III.5: High-Priority Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store,         39
           or Dispose of Hazardous Materials in Each Category of the
           Corrective Action Process in States Not Authorized to Implement
           the Corrective Action Program

Figures   Figure 1: The Four Primary Phases of the RCRA Corrective                     4
            Action Process
          Figure 2: Status of Facilities in the Corrective Action Process by           7
            Cleanup Phase—All Facilities and High-Priority Facilities
          Figure III.1: Percentage of Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store,        33
            or Dispose of Hazardous Materials in Each Phase of the
            Corrective Action Process for EPA Regions I Through X, All
            Facilities and High-Priority Facilities
          Figure III.2: EPA’s Regions                                                 34
          Figure III.3: Percentage of Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store,        35
            or Dispose of Hazardous Materials in Each Phase of the
            Corrective Action Process for Major Industry Groups, All
            Facilities and High-Priority Facilities




          Abbreviations

          EPA        Environmental Protection Agency
          RCRA       Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
          RCRIS      Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information
                         System


          Page 27                            GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
Appendix I

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology


              Because the Ranking Minority Member of the House Committee on
              Commerce was interested in the current status of the Corrective Action
              Program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976
              (RCRA), he asked us to determine (1) the progress made in cleaning up
              facilities under the program, (2) factors affecting progress, and (3) any
              initiatives that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the states, and
              industry have taken to accomplish cleanups. As agreed, we limited our
              review to nonfederal facilities.

              To determine the overall progress in cleaning up facilities, we collected
              and analyzed information from EPA’s national program management and
              inventory system of hazardous waste handlers, the Resource Conservation
              and Recovery Information System (RCRIS). RCRIS captures identification and
              location data on facilities that treat, store, and dispose of hazardous
              materials, as well as permit/closure status, compliance with federal and
              state regulations, and cleanup activities. EPA has determined which
              facilities it considers to be its universe for cleanups under the Corrective
              Action Program and has identified them as the Corrective Action
              Workload Universe within RCRIS. We focused our analysis on that universe.
              We categorized each facility according to its industry type using Standard
              Industrial Classification codes in the files. We also accounted for
              corrective action events occurring at each facility, grouping them into the
              categories suggested by EPA’s program managers: cleanup not started,
              investigating contamination, controlling contamination, implementing
              remedies, and cleanup completed. We compared facilities by risk category,
              industry, region, and state to determine whether there are statistically
              significant differences. (See app. II for details on our statistical analysis
              and results.)

              We did not independently verify the overall accuracy of the data in the
              RCRIS database. However, a previous GAO report criticizing the reliability of
              RCRIS data showed that the data elements that we used in this analysis had
              small error rates.8 Furthermore, we compared the data that the
              Philadelphia region maintains independently on its facilities with selected
              data for these facilities in RCRIS and found the RCRIS data to be generally
              accurate. Therefore, we concluded that the RCRIS data in the Corrective
              Action Workload Universe were suitable for the aggregate analyses we
              present in this report.




              8
                Hazardous Waste: Benefits of EPA’s Information System Are Limited (GAO/AIMD 95-167, Aug. 22,
              1995).



              Page 28                                      GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
Appendix I
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




To further determine cleanup progress, to identify the factors affecting
corrective action, and to identify any initiatives by EPA, states, and industry
to expedite cleanups, we used a combination of (1) data and
documentation on cleanup progress at individual facilities; (2) information
obtained through interviews with cognizant EPA regional and state
officials, facility program managers, and EPA headquarters officials
responsible for the RCRA Corrective Action Program; and (3) EPA and state
RCRA corrective action policy and guidance. We also contacted
representatives of public interest, industry, and environmental groups who
have studied or have extensive experience with RCRA corrective action. We
judgmentally selected two EPA regional offices that have representative
corrective action workloads and activity and that oversee the states that
are authorized and the states that are not authorized to implement the
Corrective Action Program. Within each of the regions, we judgmentally
selected two states with varying experience with corrective action
cleanups. Our selections were EPA Region III, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
and the states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia in that region, neither of
which is authorized to implement the program; and EPA Region V, Chicago,
Illinois, and the states of Illinois and Michigan, both of which are
authorized to implement the program. Within those states, we examined 20
facilities that we judgmentally selected from the largest industry groups
nationwide that are responsible for corrective action cleanups—chemical
manufacturing and primary and fabricated metals manufacturing—and
included facilities that were involved in all phases of the corrective action
process. Finally, in addition to these 20 facilities, we interviewed and
obtained documentation from representatives of 5 national companies
with significant numbers of facilities nationwide that treat, store, and
dispose of hazardous materials and are subject to the Corrective Action
Program to determine their experience with conducting cleanups across
the nation.

We conducted our work from October 1996 through September 1997 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 29                              GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
Appendix II

Technical Appendix of Statistical Results


                                          We used analysis of variance techniques to determine which of the factors
                                          that might affect cleanups under the Corrective Action Program were
                                          statistically significant in explaining the impact on two categories of the
                                          cleanup process: cleanup begun and cleanup completed. We tested the
                                          effects of four factors: (1) region—EPA regions I through X,
                                          (2) authorization—the states authorized by EPA to implement the
                                          Corrective Action Program and the states not authorized to implement the
                                          program, (3) industry—nine major industrial groups, and (4) priority—the
                                          facility’s ranking as a high- or lower-priority. Because of the sparseness of
                                          the data, we conducted two separate analyses of variance, the first testing
                                          the relationship between region, industry, and priority; and the second
                                          testing the relationship between authorization, industry, and priority.

                                          To determine whether the factors in our analyses could explain the
                                          differences in the two cleanup phases or whether the differences in
                                          cleanup progress observed are due strictly to chance, we used p-values
                                          from the analysis of variance. We interpreted factors to be statistically
                                          significant when the p-value was less than or equal to 0.05. When a
                                          combination of factors was significant, we chose to discuss only the
                                          combination of factors, even if the influence of the individual factor(s)
                                          may have been significant.

                                          For the analysis using the factors of region, industry, and priority, we
                                          found statistically significant results for both categories of the process.
                                          Regarding whether cleanups have begun, the analysis showed significant
                                          results for the individual effect of industry and the combination of factors
                                          of region by priority. Regarding whether cleanups have been completed,
                                          the analysis showed significant results for the combination of region by
                                          industry and for the combination of region by priority. Table II.1 contains
                                          the results of this analysis.

Table II.1: Statistical Significance of
the Factors of Region, Industry, and                                                                 P-value for whether
Priority Used to Analyze Whether          Factor that may influence         P-value for whether      cleanups have been
Cleanups Have Begun and Whether           cleanup                         cleanups have begun                 completed
Cleanups Have Been Completed              Region                                         .0001                     .0001
                                          Industry                                       .0001                     .0140
                                          Priority                                       .0001                     .0730
                                          Region by industry                             .0510                     .0010
                                          Region by priority                             .0001                     .0001
                                          Industry by priority                           .2530                     .8520




                                          Page 30                            GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
                                          Appendix II
                                          Technical Appendix of Statistical Results




                                          For the analysis using the factors of authorization, industry, and priority,
                                          we also found statistically significant results for both categories of the
                                          process. Regarding whether cleanups have begun, the analysis showed
                                          significant results for the individual effect of industry and the combination
                                          of authorization by priority. Regarding whether cleanups have been
                                          completed, the analysis showed significant results for the individual
                                          factors of industry, authorization, and priority. Table II.2 contains the
                                          results of this analysis.

Table II.2: Statistical Significance of
the Factors of Authorization, Industry,                                                                       P-value for whether
and Priority Used to Analyze Whether      Factor that may influence               P-value for whether         cleanups have been
Cleanups Have Begun and Whether           cleanup                               cleanups have begun                    completed
Cleanups Have Been Completed              Authorization                                          .0001                      .0001
                                          Industry                                               .0001                      .0020
                                          Priority                                               .0001                      .0030
                                          Authorization by industry                              .0850                      .8400
                                          Authorization by priority                              .0490                      .2010
                                          Industry by priority                                   .4100                      .0950




                                          Page 31                                     GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
Appendix III

Cleanup Progress in EPA Regions,
Industries, and States

                                      This appendix presents information on cleanup progress, by category, for
                                      nonfederal facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous materials in
                                      EPA’s 10 regions, 9 major industry groups, and the states. We categorized
                                      facilities using event codes in RCRIS. Table III.1 shows the cleanup
                                      categories and the event codes included in each category.

Table III.1: Cleanup Categories, by
RCRIS Event Codes                     Category                                              Event Codes
                                      Completed cleanup                                     CA999
                                      Implementing remedies                                 CA725, CA550, CA500,
                                                                                            CA450, or CA400 but not
                                                                                            CA999
                                      Controlling contamination                             CA650, CA600, or CA750
                                                                                            but not any of the codes
                                                                                            above
                                      Investigating contamination                           CA200 or CA100 but not
                                                                                            any of the codes above
                                      Cleanup not started                                   Any remaining facilities
                                                                                            without dates in any of the
                                                                                            codes above




                                      Page 32                             GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
                                                  Appendix III
                                                  Cleanup Progress in EPA Regions,
                                                  Industries, and States




Figure III.1: Percentage of Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store, or Dispose of Hazardous Materials in Each Phase of the
Corrective Action Process for EPA Regions I Through X, All Facilities and High-Priority Facilities
       All facilities
       Percent
        100
                                                                                                        Cleanup completed
                                                                                                        Implementing remedies
                                                                                                        Containing contamination
        80
                                                                                                        Investigating contamination
                                                                                                        Cleanup not started

        60




        40




        20




         0
                 I (262)   II (646)   III (286)    IV (546)    V (644)     VI (482)   VII (170)      VIII (225)   IX (328)      X (109)

         Regions



        High-priority facilities
        Percent
        100




        80




        60




        40




        20




         0
                 I (153)   II (272)   III (175)    IV (213)    V (203)     VI (152)    VII (68)      VIII (43)     IX (77)      X (48)

         Regions


                                                  Source: EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Information System, as of Mar. 31, 1997.




                                                  Page 33                                         GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
                                                          Appendix III
                                                          Cleanup Progress in EPA Regions,
                                                          Industries, and States




Figure III.2: EPA’s Regions




                                                                                                                                               I
                   X


                                                        VIII                                                                      II




                                                                                                         V

                                                                                                                            III
                                                                                 VII
                        IX




                                                                                                             IV
                                                                 VI




                             X

                                                                                                    IX

                                                                                                                            II                     II
                                                   IX                    IX



  Region I                       Region III                     Region IV              Region V              Region VII           Region IX
  Connecticut                    Delaware                       Alabama                Illinois              Iowa                 Arizona
  Maine                          District of Columbia           Florida                Indiana               Kansas               California
  Massachusetts                  Maryland                       Georgia                Michigan              Missouri             Hawaii
  New Hampshire                  Pennsylvania                   Kentucky               Minnesota             Nebraska             Nevada
  Rhode Island                   Virginia                       Mississippi            Ohio                                       American Samoa
  Vermont                        West Virginia                  North Carolina         Wisconsin             Region VIII          Guam
                                                                South Carolina                               Colorado
  Region II                                                                            Region VI             Montana              Region X
  New Jersey                                                                           Arkansas              North Dakota         Alaska
  New York                                                                             Louisiana             South Dakota         Idaho
  Puerto Rico                                                                          New Mexico            Utah                 Oregon
  U.S. Virgin Islands                                                                  Oklahoma              Wyoming              Washington
                                                                                       Texas




                                                          Source: EPA.




                                                          Page 34                                   GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Ot
                                                                                                     Ot                                                                                                       ga her e




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         30
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              40
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   50
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        60
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  70
                                                                                                   ga her e
                                                                                                      s                                                                                                    se s, an lect
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              r




                                                                                                                     0
                                                                                                                         10
                                                                                                                              20
                                                                                                                                   30
                                                                                                                                        40
                                                                                                                                             50
                                                                                                                                                  60
                                                                                                  se , an lectr                                                                                               rv i
                                                                                                    rvi d s ic,                                                                                                   ce d sa ic,
                                                                                                       ce                                                                                                            s ( nit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         21 ary




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Percent




                                                                                                                                                       Percent
                                                                                                         s ( anita                                                                                                         4)
                                                                                                            59 ry
                                                                                               Ch             )                                                                                           Ch
                                                                                                                                                                                                         ma em
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                                                                                                                                                                                                               fac pr
                                                                                            (33 nufa al p




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All facilities
                                                                                               2)    ctu rod                                                                                                        tur odu
                                                                                                        rin uc                                                                                                         ing ct
                                                                                                           g    ts                                                                                                         (80 s
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pe                   7)




                                                                                                                                                                                            Major industry groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                              tro




                                                               Major industry groups
                                                                           Pe                                                                                                                            co
                                                                              t                                                                                                                            al leum
                                                                        co roleu                                                                                                                               pro a
                                                                            al                                                                                                                                     du nd
                                                                               pro m a                                                                                                                                 cts
                                                                                   du nd                                                                                                            Pr




                                                                                                                                                                 High-priority Facilities
                                                                                     ct s                                                                                                                                  (17
                                                                                                                                                                                                   me imar                    9)
                                                                                          (99                                                                                                         t a    y
                                                                    Pr                        )                                                                                                  (44 ls an
                                                                 me imar                                                                                                                            8) ma d fa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                nu br
                                                               (22 tals y an                                                                                                                                       fac ica
                                                                   3) ma d fa                                                                                                                                          tur ted
                                                                             nu br                                                                                                                                        ing
                                                                                fac ica
                                                                                   tur ted
                                                                                      ing




Page 35
                                                                                                                                                                                                        No
                                                                                                                                                                                                           n
                                                                               No                                                                                                                     ma elec
                                                                                  n                                                                                                                      ch tric
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Appendix III




                                                                             ma elec                                                                                                                         ine al
                                                                                 ch tric                                                                                                       Ele              ry
                                                                                   ine al                                                                                                                          (12
                                                                   El                  ry                                                                                                     ma ctri
                                                                                                                                                                                                 c    c                0)
                                                                 ma ectri                 (40                                                                                               (24 hin l aa
                                                                     c
                                                              (73 hin l ac a                 )                                                                                                 2) ery nd
                                                                  )    ery nd                                                                                                                            an ele
                                                                                   e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Industries, and States




                                                                             an lec                                                                                                                          d e ct r
                                                                                d e t ro                                                                                                                        qu oni
                                                                                    qu nic                                                                                                                         ipm c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       en
                                                                                      ipm
                                                                                           en                                                                                                                             t
                                                                                             t                                                                                                            Tr
                                                                                                                                                                                                             an
                                                                                                                                                                                                        eq sp
                                                                                                  Tr                                                                                                      uip or
                                                                                                     a                                                                                                         me tati
                                                                                                eq nsp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Cleanup Progress in EPA Regions,




                                                                                                  uip or                                                                                                         nt on
                                                                                                      me tati                                                                                                        (14
                                                                                                        nt on                                                                                                           2)
                                                                                                          (62
                                                                                                              )
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wh
                                                                                                  Wh                                                                                                                (88 oles
                                                                                                (11 oles                                                                                                               )     ale
                                                                                                   )     ale                                                                                                                       tra
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      de
                                                                                                             tra
                                                                                                                de

                                                                                                 M                                                                                                                    M
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Corrective Action Process for Major Industry Groups, All Facilities and High-Priority Facilities




                                                                                               (40 iscel                                                                                                            (1, iscel
                                                                                                  5) lan                                                                                                               45 lan
                                                                                                         eo                                                                                                               8) eo
                                                                                                           us                                                                                                                  us
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Cleanup completed




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Cleanup not started
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Implementing remedies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Containing contamination
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Investigating contamination




                                               Source: EPA's RCRIS, as of March 31, 1997.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Figure III.3: Percentage of Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store, or Dispose of Hazardous Materials in Each Phase of the




GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
                                            Appendix III
                                            Cleanup Progress in EPA Regions,
                                            Industries, and States




Table III.2: All Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store, or Dispose of Hazardous Materials in Each Category of the Corrective
Action Process in States Authorized to Implement the Corrective Action Program
                                          Percent with               Percent          Percent             Percent     Percent with
                          Number of            cleanup         implementing        controlling       investigating     cleanup not
State                        facilities      completed             remedies     contamination       contamination           started
All authorized
states                        2,520                10                    15                   13                 15              47
Alabama                          64                   0                  16                    9                 25              50
Arkansas                         41                12                    12                    7                 42              27
Arizona                          37                   8                    3                   3                  3              84
California                      268                   8                  12                   18                 15              48
Colorado                        166                46                    37                    2                 10               6
Georgia                         111                   5                  41                    8                 30              15
Guam                              1                   0                    0                 100                  0               0
Idaho                            13                23                    54                    8                  8               8
Illinois                        170                11                      5                   4                 15              65
Indiana                          96                13                      1                  10                 26              50
Kentucky                         63                   0                  27                   21                  8              44
Louisiana                        74                   3                  31                   16                 16              34
Michigan                        107                   3                    3                   9                 21              65
Minnesota                        42                17                    12                    2                 26              43
Missouri                         72                   4                    8                  25                 18              44
North Carolina                   90                   4                  19                   20                 16              41
North Dakota                      6                   0                  67                    0                  0              33
New Hampshire                     4                25                    25                   25                  0              25
New Mexico                       17                   0                  41                    6                  0              53
Nevada                           10                   0                    0                  10                 20              70
New York                        290                   6                    7                  10                  7              71
Ohio                            184                10                      4                  13                 11              63
Oklahoma                         33                   3                  58                    6                  0              33
Oregon                           32                13                    28                   19                 16              25
South Carolina                   57                16                    21                   28                 12              23
South Dakota                      2                   0                  50                    0                  0              50
Texas                           317                10                    10                   16                  9              56
Utah                             31                13                    71                    0                  3              13
Vermont                           9                   0                  22                    0                 11              67
Washington                       54                   7                  11                   30                 24              28
Wisconsin                        45                16                      7                   4                 36              38
Wyoming                          14                   7                  14                   50                 21               7
                                            Source: EPA’s RCRIS, as of Mar. 31, 1997.




                                            Page 36                                     GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
                                            Appendix III
                                            Cleanup Progress in EPA Regions,
                                            Industries, and States




Table III.3: All Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store, or Dispose of Hazardous Materials in Each Category of the Corrective
Action Process in States Not Authorized to Implement the Corrective Action Program
                                          Percent with               Percent          Percent             Percent     Percent with
                          Number of            cleanup         implementing        controlling       investigating     cleanup not
State                        facilities      completed             remedies     contamination       contamination           started
All nonauthorized
states                        1,178                   4                  16                   13                  9              59
Alaska                           10                30                    10                    0                 10              50
Connecticut                     190                   1                    1                  12                  3              84
Delaware                         13                   0                  31                    8                 23              39
Florida                          73                   3                  23                   23                 19              32
Hawaii                           12                   8                    0                  17                 17              58
Iowa                             33                12                    67                    0                  0              21
Kansas                           37                   3                  30                    3                  8              57
Massachusetts                    37                   3                    0                  22                 14              62
Maryland                         30                   3                  23                    7                  7              60
Maine                            15                   0                  20                   20                  7              53
Mississippi                      35                   3                  34                   14                 23              26
Montana                           6                   0                    0                  17                 67              17
Nebraska                         28                   0                    0                  18                 18              64
New Jersey                      279                   6                  16                   12                  5              60
Pennsylvania                    142                   2                  23                   11                  8              56
Puerto Rico                      76                   7                    5                   8                  9              71
Rhode Island                      7                   0                  14                   14                  0              71
Tennessee                        53                   0                  15                   19                  6              60
Virginia                         63                   3                  16                    5                 19              57
Virgin Islands                    1                   0                    0                 100                  0               0
West Virginia                    38                   0                  18                   24                 16              42
                                            Source: EPA’s RCRIS, as of Mar. 31, 1997.




                                            Page 37                                     GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
                                            Appendix III
                                            Cleanup Progress in EPA Regions,
                                            Industries, and States




Table III.4: High-Priority Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store, or Dispose of Hazardous Materials in Each Category of the
Corrective Action Process in States Authorized to Implement the Corrective Action Program
                                         Percent with               Percent            Percent             Percent    Percent with
                           Number of           cleanup        implementing          controlling      investigating     cleanup not
State                        facilities     completed             remedies       contamination      contamination           started
All authorized
states                          778                   8                  25                   25                 18              24
Alabama                          34                   0                  27                   18                 29              27
Arkansas                         18                17                    22                   11                 44               6
Arizona                           2                50                      0                   0                  0              50
California                       71                   9                  21                   27                 21              23
Colorado                         21                24                    57                    5                 10               5
Georgia                          38                   5                  53                   13                 24               5
Guam                              0                   0                    0                   0                  0               0
Idaho                             4                14                    12                    9                 23              42
Illinois                         43                14                    12                    9                 23              42
Indiana                          32                   9                    3                  16                 28              44
Kentucky                         23                   0                  48                   35                  4              13
Louisiana                        36                   6                  47                   22                 11              14
Michigan                         33                   6                    6                  15                 18              55
Minnesota                         9                11                    44                    0                 22              22
Missouri                         31                   0                  10                   45                 26              19
North Carolina                   23                   0                  30                   44                 17               9
North Dakota                      2                   0                 100                    0                  0               0
New Hampshire                     3                33                      0                  33                  0              33
New Mexico                        4                   0                  75                    0                  0              25
Nevada                            1                   0                    0                   0                100               0
New York                         83                   2                  15                   25                 11              47
Ohio                             69                10                      7                  25                 17              41
Oklahoma                         14                   0                  86                    7                  0               7
Oregon                           15                20                    20                   33                  7              20
South Carolina                   25                12                    28                   52                  8               0
South Dakota                      1                   0                 100                    0                  0               0
Texas                            80                18                    19                   39                  8              18
Utah                              8                   0                  88                    0                  0              13
Vermont                           3                   0                  67                    0                  0              33
Washington                       26                   4                  19                   35                 39               4
Wisconsin                        17                12                    18                    6                 53              12
Wyoming                           9                   0                  22                   56                 22               0
                                            Source: EPA’s RCRIS, as of Mar. 31, 1997.




                                            Page 38                                     GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
                                            Appendix III
                                            Cleanup Progress in EPA Regions,
                                            Industries, and States




Table III.5: High-Priority Nonfederal Facilities That Treat, Store, or Dispose of Hazardous Materials in Each Category of the
Corrective Action Process in States Not Authorized to Implement the Corrective Action Program
                                        Percent with               Percent            Percent            Percent      Percent with
                           Number of          cleanup        implementing          controlling     investigating       cleanup not
State                       facilities     completed             remedies      contamination     contamination              started
All nonauthorized
states                         526                 1                    23                  20                 11                45
Alaska                            3                0                    33                   0                  0                67
Connecticut                    116                 0                     1                  17                  4                78
Delaware                         10                0                    40                  10                 30                20
Florida                          32                3                    44                  28                 19                 6
Hawaii                            3                0                     0                  33                 33                33
Iowa                              8                0                  100                    0                  0                 0
Kansas                           15                0                    67                   7                  7                20
Massachusetts                    20                5                     0                  30                 10                55
Maryland                         15                0                    47                  13                  7                33
Maine                             7                0                    14                  29                 14                43
Mississippi                      14                0                    43                  36                 14                 7
Montana                           2                0                     0                   0                 50                50
Nebraska                         14                0                     0                  36                 36                29
New Jersey                       80                1                    21                  20                  8                50
Pennsylvania                     87                2                    35                  14                  9                40
Puerto Rico                       8                0                    25                  50                 13                13
Rhode Island                      4                0                    25                  25                  0                50
Tennessee                        24                0                    29                  38                  4                29
Virginia                         35                0                    26                   6                 17                51
Virgin Islands                    1                0                     0                 100                  0                 0
West Virginia                    28                0                    18                  29                 21                32
                                            Source: EPA’s RCRIS, as of Mar. 31, 1997.




                                            Page 39                                     GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
Appendix V

Major Contributors to This Report


               Lawrence J. Dyckman, Associate Director
               Eileen R. Larence, Assistant Director
               Karla J. Springer, Evaluator-in-Charge
               James B. Musial, Senior Evaluator
               Harriet Drummings, Senior Evaluator
               Jennifer W. Clayborne, Evaluator
               William D. Updegraff, Technical Advisor
               Mitchell B. Karpman, Senior Operations Research Analyst
               Richard P. Johnson, Senior Attorney
               Carol Herrnstadt Shulman, Communications Analyst




(160370)       Page 40                         GAO/RCED-98-3 RCRA Corrective Action Program
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