Hazardous Waste: DoD Estimates for Cleaning Up Contaminated Sites Improved but Still Constrained
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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We reviewed the Department of Defenses DOD estimates of the cost to identify and contain or clean up hazardous waste sites. Specifically, our objectives were to identify the reasons why DOD has had difficulty developing a reliable estimate and what efforts DOD is making to produce better estimates. We did not prepare any cost estimates. DODs current official cost estimate to clean up its hazardous waste sites, released in September 1991, is 24.5 billion 1991 dollars. This estimate updates DODs 1988 estimate with an estimate range from 8.5 billion to 12.8 billion 1987 dollars, depending on the extent of the cleanup. DODs newest estimate is almost double the 1988 estimate. DOD may be responsible for cleaning up hazardous waste that has been disposed of in sites on 1 active installations, 2 land formerly owned or used by DOD, or 3 other sites, such as those used by DOD contractors. Most of DODs sites are on active installations. In many cases, an installation will have more than one site within its boundaries. DODs site categories include landfills and underground storage tanks, as well as DOD-unique explosive ordnance disposal areas, and fire training areas. The size of a site can range from a small storage tank to a large landfill.
- Environmental Health and Safety