Delays in Constructing Waste Treatment Facilities after Award of Construction Grants, Improvements Made

Gao ID: CED-77-1 November 10, 1976

Certain aspects of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) grants program for constructing municipal waste treatment facilities were reviewed to determine the reasons for and extent of lengthy delays in beginning construction and to ascertain the federal share of waste treatment facility costs.

The following factors were found to contribute to delays in constructing such facilities: (1) the EPA award of construction grants to projects which had not completed development, design, and specification stages, and were not ready to begin construction; (2) problems in acquiring easements and rights of way; (3) revisions in the design and scope of projects; and (4) problems with local funding. The government provides 75 percent of approved eligible costs of constructing waste treatment projects under Public Law 92-500, but when total project costs are considered, the local community or grantee has to finance a larger share than 25 percent. In the majority of projects reviewed, the federal share of project costs was between 65 percent and 75 percent.

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