Status of EPA's Efforts To Regulate Chemical Substances as Hazardous Air Pollutants Under the Clean Air Act

Gao ID: RCED-85-168 September 30, 1985

GAO reported on the status of EPA efforts to fulfill a commitment to make a decision regarding the need for regulation of 20 to 25 chemical substances as hazardous air pollutants.

GAO noted that EPA now issues notices of intent to list or regulate specific chemicals where regulation seems warranted. Since these notices are not legally binding regulatory decisions, they do not require EPA to propose emission standards within 180 days, as is required when formal listing decisions are announced. In order to meet the Clean Air Act's requirements, EPA will publish legally binding regulatory decisions when it believes it is within 180 days of publishing proposed emission standards. EPA plans to: (1) publish either notices of intent or final decisions concerning the regulation of 23 chemicals by the end of 1985; (2) publish notices within the next 3 months regarding its regulatory intentions concerning seven additional substances; and (3) streamline the regulatory decisionmaking process by submitting to the Science Advisory Board health assessment documents for only those substances it would probably regulate. Based on discussions with EPA officials and members of the Board and a review of the Clean Air Act, as well as the Board's enabling legislation, GAO found that the EPA decision to be more selective in its submissions to the Board was consistent with the legislation.

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