Hazardous Waste: EPA's National and Regional Ombudsmen Do Not Have Sufficient Independence
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
Through the impartial and independent investigation of citizens complaints, federal ombudsmen provide the public an informal and accessible avenue of redress. In particular, ombudsmen help federal agencies be more responsive to persons who believe that their concerns have not been dealt with fully or fairly through normal problem-solving channels. At the Environmental Protection Agency EPA, the 1984 amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act first established a national hazardous waste ombudsman, who operated under the aegis of the act. Over time, EPA expanded the ombudsmans jurisdiction to include Superfund 2 and other hazardous waste programs managed by the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. EPAs national hazardous waste ombudsman is charged with responding to citizens concerns, assisting industry in complying with environmental regulations, and handling complaints arising from the relevant programs. The ombudsmans activities range from providing information to investigating the merits of complaints.
- Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control