Environmental Cleanup: Transfer of Contaminated Federal Property and Recovery of Cleanup Costs

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Ammonium perchlorate (perchlorate) is a primary ingredient in solid rocket propellant and has been used for decades by the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the defense industry in the manufacturing, testing, and firing of rockets and missiles. Perchlorate has been found in the drinking water, groundwater, surface water, or soil in 35 states, the District of Columbia, and 2 commonwealths of the United States. Exposure to perchlorate affects the human thyroid, and certain levels of exposure may result in hyperthyroidism in adults ... continued below

Creation Information

United States. Government Accountability Office. September 16, 2005.

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. 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 "Ammonium perchlorate (perchlorate) is a primary ingredient in solid rocket propellant and has been used for decades by the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the defense industry in the manufacturing, testing, and firing of rockets and missiles. Perchlorate has been found in the drinking water, groundwater, surface water, or soil in 35 states, the District of Columbia, and 2 commonwealths of the United States. Exposure to perchlorate affects the human thyroid, and certain levels of exposure may result in hyperthyroidism in adults and developmental delays in children. Although there is no specific federal requirement to clean up perchlorate, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state regulatory agencies have used various environmental laws and regulations to require cleanup of perchlorate by responsible parties. Between 1942 and 1945, new military uses for perchlorate led to an increase in the production of perchlorate in the United States. Between 1945 and 1967, the U.S. Navy, Western Electrochemical Company, and the American Potash and Chemical Company manufactured perchlorate at a facility in Henderson, Nevada. The United States owned part of the facility from 1953 to 1962. In 1967, the Kerr-McGee Corporation acquired the facility and continued to manufacture perchlorate until 1998, when it ceased production after the chemical was found in nearby groundwater. Kerr-McGee is presently cleaning up perchlorate contamination under a consent order with the Nevada state environmental agency. The American Pacific Corporation also manufactured perchlorate near Henderson from 1958 until 1988, when its facility was destroyed in an explosion. American Pacific relocated its perchlorate production to Utah and is currently the sole manufacturer of perchlorate in the United States. In a recent letter to GAO, Congress asked us to report on the costs, liability and financial responsibility related to perchlorate cleanup. The issue of liability for perchlorate cleanup is currently the subject of litigation between the Kerr-McGee Corporation and the United States. In 2000, Kerr-McGee initiated litigation against the United States, seeking reimbursement for cleanup costs. The case is still in the pretrial stage. The information requested above is among the issues being addressed as part of the pending court case. It is a longstanding GAO policy to refrain from taking a position on or addressing matters that are pending in litigation. During a June 2005 meeting with Congressional staff, we agreed to document why we could not undertake the study originally requested, and we also agreed to report on general issues relating to the federal government's responsibility for environmental cleanup on land that it transfers or sells to other parties. This report discusses (1) laws governing the transfer of contaminated federal property to private parties, both before and after the enactment of a 1986 amendment to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) that specifically governs such transfers, and (2) the degree to which private parties not subject to civil actions under CERCLA may seek environmental cleanup costs from other responsible parties in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision in Cooper Industries v. Aviall Services, and subsequent cases."

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

  • September 16, 2005

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: 8

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. Environmental Cleanup: Transfer of Contaminated Federal Property and Recovery of Cleanup Costs, text, September 16, 2005; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299464/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.