Environmental ProtectionAssessing EPA's Progress in Paperwork Reduction Gao ID: T-RCED-96-107 March 21, 1996
In March 1995, as part of the administration's effort to eliminate some federal regulations and improve others, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pledged to reduce by 25 percent the paperwork burden imposed by its environmental regulations. The agency plans to meet this goal by June 1996. Given EPA's January 1995 baseline of about 81 million hours spent on such paperwork per year, this commitment translates to a reduction of slightly more than 20 million hours. This testimony discusses (1) the status of EPA's efforts to reach its goal; (2) the way that EPA has calculated reductions in the paperwork burden, specifically those it has claimed for two of its program offices--the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances and the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response--which account for about 75 percent of EPA's estimated reduction as of February 1996; and (3) EPA's current paperwork burden.