Water Pollution

Stronger Enforcement Needed To Improve Compliance at Federal Facilities Gao ID: RCED-89-13 December 27, 1988

In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed: (1) federal facilities' compliance with the Water Pollution Control Act; and (2) the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) and states' oversight and enforcement of the facilities' compliance with the act.

GAO found that: (1) most federal facilities did not comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program priority requirements; (2) in fiscal years 1986 and 1987, federal facilities' noncompliance rate was twice that of private industrial facilities; (3) more than 40 percent of federal facilities had a significant noncompliance problem for more than 1 year; (4) Navy and Department of Energy facilities had the highest noncompliance rates; (5) agency and facility officials cited lengthy budget and procurement processes as factors affecting facilities' noncompliance; (6) EPA and states failed to take timely enforcement actions on 31 of 46 facilities without permits; and (7) EPA did not exercise its authority in 18 instances of untimely state enforcement.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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