Superfund: Funding and Reported Costs of Enforcement and Administration Activities

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in four Americans lives within 3 miles of a hazardous waste site. To clean up these highly contaminated sites, the Congress established the Superfund program under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980. EPA, the principal agency responsible for administering the Superfund program, has since identified more than 47,000 hazardous waste sites potentially requiring cleanup actions and has placed some of the most seriously contaminated sites on its National Priorities List (NPL). Through the end of ... continued below

Creation Information

United States. Government Accountability Office. July 18, 2008.

Context

This text is part of the collection entitled: Government Accountability Office Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 13 times . More information about this text can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this text or its content.

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this text. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in four Americans lives within 3 miles of a hazardous waste site. To clean up these highly contaminated sites, the Congress established the Superfund program under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980. EPA, the principal agency responsible for administering the Superfund program, has since identified more than 47,000 hazardous waste sites potentially requiring cleanup actions and has placed some of the most seriously contaminated sites on its National Priorities List (NPL). Through the end of fiscal year 2007, EPA had classified 1,569 sites as NPL sites. Cleanup efforts at NPL sites are typically expensive and can take many years. There are two basic types of cleanup actions: (1) removal actions--generally short-term or emergency cleanups to mitigate threats--and (2) remedial actions--generally long-term cleanup activities. Among other efforts, EPA may respond to and provide technical support for emergency actions, collect and analyze site data, and design and construct remedies, or oversee the work of others. However, the parties responsible for contributing to the contamination of a hazardous waste site are also primarily responsible for conducting or paying for the cleanup of the site. Responsible parties include current or former owners or operators of a site or the generators and transporters of the hazardous substances. CERCLA authorizes EPA to compel the responsible parties to clean up contaminated sites and also allows EPA to conduct cleanups and then seek reimbursement from the responsible parties. One of EPA's goals is ensuring that, to the extent possible, parties who are responsible for the contamination perform or pay for cleanup actions. In some cases, however, parties cannot be identified or may be unwilling or financially unable to perform the cleanup; we previously found that the number of NPL sites without viable responsible parties may be increasing. In these cases, EPA can assume responsibility for site cleanup and seek reimbursement from any responsible parties that can be identified. The states may also play a significant role in cleaning up hazardous waste sites. Most states have established programs to help address hazardous waste sites, although many states have limited capacity to address costly and complex sites. To fund program activities, CERCLA established a trust fund that was financed primarily by taxes on crude oil and certain chemicals, as well as an environmental tax assessed on corporations based upon their taxable income. Although the authority for these taxes expired in 1995, some tax revenues have continued to accrue to the fund as audits of past years' tax returns have led to the recovery of Superfund taxes previously owed by companies. In addition, the trust fund continued to receive revenue--also referred to as receipts--from various other sources, including appropriations from the general fund. EPA receives annual appropriations from the trust fund for program activities; since 1981, Superfund appropriations have totaled over $32 billion in nominal dollars, or about $1.2 billion annually. CERCLA authorizes EPA to use its Superfund appropriation to conduct cleanup actions, and the agency's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) is accountable for achieving Superfund's cleanup goals. In this context, Congress asked us to examine the (1) sources of funding for the Superfund trust fund and (2) allocation of these resources to Superfund program activities, particularly enforcement and administration."

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this text in the Digital Library or other systems.

Collections

This text is part of the following collection of related materials.

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.

What responsibilities do I have when using this text?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this text.

Creation Date

  • July 18, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this text last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 0
Total Uses: 13

Where

Geographical information about where this text originated or about its content.

Place Name

Publication Place

Map Information

  • map marker Automatically generated Place Name coordinates.
  • map marker Automatically generated Publication Place coordinates.
  • Repositioning map may be required for optimal printing.

Mapped Locations

Interact With This Text

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

United States. Government Accountability Office. Superfund: Funding and Reported Costs of Enforcement and Administration Activities, text, July 18, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc296775/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.