Federal Hazardous Waste Sites

Opportunities for More Cost-Effective Cleanups Gao ID: T-RCED-95-188 May 18, 1995

The federal effort to clean up contaminated hazardous waste sites is expected to cost hundreds of billions of dollars and take decades to complete. Despite outlays of billions of taxpayer dollars so far, only two sites on the National Priorities List have been completely cleaned up. Given continuing budgetary constraints, it is critical for federal agencies to find the most effective ways to use their resources. During the current congressional debate on reauthorizing Superfund, it is important to address the following issues: identifying the full inventory of federal hazardous waste sites, establishing a priority-setting process for federal cleanups based on relative risks, better controlling cleanup costs through better management of cleanup contracts, and exploring incentives to promote the use of innovative cleanup technologies.

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