Environmental Protection: Improved Inspections and Enforcement Would Better Ensure the Safety of Underground Storage Tanks

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The states and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot ensure that all active underground storage tanks have the required leak-, spill-, and overfill-protection equipment installed, nor can they guarantee that the installed equipment is being properly operated and maintained. Although the states and EPA regions focus most of their limited resources on monitoring active tanks, empty or inactive tanks can also potentially contaminate soil and groundwater. Half of the states have not physically inspected all of their tanks, and several others have not done inspections often ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. May 4, 2001.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The states and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot ensure that all active underground storage tanks have the required leak-, spill-, and overfill-protection equipment installed, nor can they guarantee that the installed equipment is being properly operated and maintained. Although the states and EPA regions focus most of their limited resources on monitoring active tanks, empty or inactive tanks can also potentially contaminate soil and groundwater. Half of the states have not physically inspected all of their tanks, and several others have not done inspections often enough to ensure the tanks' safety. Moreover, most states and EPA lack authority to use the most effective enforcement tools, and many state officials acknowledge that additional enforcement tools and resources were needed to ensure tank safety. EPA has the opportunity to correct these limitations within its own regions and to help states correct them through its new tank program initiatives. However, the agency has yet to define many of the implementation details, so it is difficult to determine whether the proposed actions will ensure more inspection coverage and more effective enforcement, especially within the states. Congress could help alleviate the states' resource shortages by providing additional funding for inspections and enforcement or greater flexibility to use existing funds to improve these activities."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 4, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Environmental Protection: Improved Inspections and Enforcement Would Better Ensure the Safety of Underground Storage Tanks, report, May 4, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc294253/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.