Environmental Protection: EPA's and States' Efforts to Focus State Enforcement Programs on Results: RCED-98-113

May 1998
GAO Reports;5/27/1998, p1
Government Document
Most major environmental statutes allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to delegate the responsibility for key programs to qualified states. In order for states to obtain such responsibility, they generally are required to have adequate authority to inspect, monitor, and enforce the program. Recently, some state have supplemented these traditional enforcement activities with other, more cooperative approaches to improve compliance through technical assistance and various incentives. GAO discusses (1) the alternative compliance strategies that states are practicing, (2) whether and how states are measuring the effectiveness of these strategies, and (3) how EPA has responded to these states' efforts, focusing on the agency's objective of holding the states accountable for achieving environmental results, rather than focusing solely on enforcement processes. GAO summarized this report in testimony before Congress; see: Environmental Protection: EPA's and States' Efforts to Focus State Enforcement Program on Results, by Michael Gryszkowiec, Director of Planning and Reporting in the Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division, before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Commerce. GAO/T-RCED-98-233, June 23 (13 pages).


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