Water Pollution

Serious Problems Confront Emerging Municipal Sludge Management Program Gao ID: RCED-90-57 March 5, 1990

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) development of a mandated municipal sludge management program, focusing on: (1) the status of EPA and state municipal sludge management efforts; (2) potential obstacles to permanent program implementation; and (3) key issues concerning EPA development of technical sludge standards.

GAO found that: (1) few states were willing to fully participate in the program because of limited resources, and participating states' programs omitted key responsibilities; (2) EPA had not completed its inventories of priority sludge-generating facilities; (3) EPA did not properly enforce or approve technical sludge standards; (4) overly stringent technical standards could eliminate most beneficial sludge uses; and (5) regulatory delays and uncertainties have inhibited states' participation in the interim program and willingness to seek approval for the permanent program.


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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