Management of the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program and EPA's Proposals To Control Vehicle Refueling and Evaporative Emissions

Gao ID: T-RCED-88-2 October 2, 1987

GAO discussed the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program's (NAPAP) research into acid rain and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed action to reduce gasoline vapors from motor vehicles. GAO found that: (1) although the first NAPAP assessment's purpose was to summarize current knowledge about acid rain, it generated considerable controversy; and (2) management changes and staffing shortages contributed to delays in the assessment and the annual report and could delay a final assessment scheduled for 1990. GAO believes that the NAPAP Joint Chairs Council should take a stronger and more visible management role to ensure timely resolution of differences between agency representatives. GAO also found that EPA proposed to require: (1) motor vehicle manufacturers to equip their vehicles with onboard systems to control refuelling emissions; and (2) oil refineries to lower the volatility of the commercial gasoline consumers use in their vehicles. GAO believes that EPA should: (1) document the cost-effectiveness of alternative ozone control strategies; and (2) provide a more thorough analysis of the costs and benefits of its various refuelling and evaporative emission control strategies.

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