WorldCat Identities

Stephenson, John B.

Works: 79 works in 145 publications in 1 language and 16,735 library holdings
Genres: Rules 
Roles: Author, Author of introduction
Classifications: HC107.A13, 330.97404
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works about John B Stephenson
Most widely held works by John B Stephenson
Appalachia in the sixties : decade of reawakening by David S Walls( )

1 edition published in 1972 in English and held by 1,092 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In The Southern Appalachian Region: A Survey, published by the University Press of Kentucky in 1962, Rupert Vance suggested a decennial review of the region's progress. No systematic study comparable to that made at the beginning of the decade is available to answer the question of how far Appalachia has come since then, but David S. Walls and John B. Stephenson have assembled a broad range of firsthand reports which together convey the story of Appalachia in the sixties. These observations of journalists, field workers, local residents, and social scientists have been gathered from a variety
Climate change assessment : administration did not meet reporting deadline by John B Stephenson( )

2 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 330 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Hurricane Katrina : continuing debris removal and disposal issues by John B Stephenson( )

3 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 327 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In 2005, as a result of Hurricane Katrina, more than 1,600 people lost their lives and more than a million were driven from their homes on the Gulf Coast. Tens of thousands of homes in New Orleans were flooded, many requiring either demolition or gutting before reconstruction. Nearly 3 years later, the New Orleans area still faces significant debris management issues and challenges. For example, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) stated that while the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimated in July 2008 that it had funded about 16,900 home demolitions, an estimated 6,100 homes remained to be demolished around the New Orleans area. The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) establishes programs and processes for the federal government to provide major disaster and emergency assistance to states, local governments, tribal nations, and others. FEMA has the responsibility for administering the provisions of the Stafford Act, including approving and funding the assistance provided under it. This assistance has been provided to the Gulf Coast under the Department of Homeland Security's National Response Framework (formerly called the National Response Plan). In New Orleans, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps of Engineers) was the primary federal agency responsible for providing debris removal and disposal until it concluded its response activities in September 2007. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the coordinator of federal emergency support for oil and hazardous materials releases, also assisted the Corps of Engineers and LDEQ with debris removal and disposal and continues to undertake Katrina response activities, such as monitoring landfill operations. The federal law addressing the management of hazardous and other solid wastes--the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act--addresses nonhazardous solid wastes under subtitle D. The act prohibits "open dumping"--The disposal of solid waste in landfills failing to meet the relevant criteria--and requires state plans to prohibit the establishment of open dumps. RCRA provides EPA with limited authority to address environmental problems at solid waste landfills. The Water Resources Development Act of 2007 directed GAO to address certain activities related to debris management in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We briefed relevant committee staff on the results of our work on March 6, 2008, and held subsequent discussions with them in March and April 2008. We are following up with this report, which provides more detail on the topics covered in the briefing. This report describes (1) key plans and practices federal and state agencies are currently using to oversee debris removal and disposal in response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, (2) enforcement actions state and federal agencies have taken related to Katrina debris removal and disposal, and (3) actions by LDEQ and EPA in response to potential environmental issues at the Gentilly Landfill in New Orleans
Hazardous waste programs : information on appropriations and expenditures for Superfund, Brownfields, and related programs by John B Stephenson( )

2 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 325 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Our July 2003 report on the status of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program included, among other things, data on the program's appropriations and expenditures for fiscal years 1993 to 2002. In February 2004, we issued a report updating that information and, in May 2004, we broke down the appropriations data, reporting the amounts for the Superfund program as well as amounts designated for EPA's Brownfields program, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) that had previously been included in the Superfund appropriation. Superfund program operations are funded by appropriations from the Superfund trust fund. Historically, a tax on crude oil and certain chemicals and an environmental tax on corporations were the primary sources of revenues for the fund; however, the authority for these taxes expired in 1995. The trust fund continues to receive revenues in the form of cost recoveries, interest on the fund balance, fines and penalties, and general revenue fund appropriations. EPA's Brownfields activities to clean up and redevelop underutilized industrial properties were funded under the Superfund appropriation until the Brownfields program appropriations were changed, based upon the Congress' passage of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act in January 2002. Since fiscal year 2003, the Brownfields program has been funded through EPA's Environmental Program Management and State and Tribal Assistance Grants appropriations, rather than Superfund. ATSDR and NIEHS--both under the Department of Health and Human Services--are responsible for certain Superfund-related activities. ATSDR is responsible for carrying out health-related activities; and NIEHS is responsible for basic research and worker training and education programs. Since fiscal year 2001, the Congress has provided ATSDR and NIEHS with funding for these activities directly, rather than through the Superfund program. Our three reports primarily focused on the Superfund program and included information on ATSDR, NIEHS, and the Brownfields program only for those fiscal years when their hazardous waste-related activities were funded through the Superfund program appropriations. To supplement the information in these reports, Congress asked us to determine the total funding and expenditure levels for EPA's Superfund and Brownfields programs and the Superfund-related programs of the ATSDR and NIEHS for fiscal years 1993 to 2005
Chemical regulation : approaches in the United States, Canada, and the European Union by John B Stephenson( )

4 editions published between 2005 and 2013 in English and held by 324 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Chemical Safety Board : improvements in management and oversight are needed by John B Stephenson( )

2 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 320 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The principal role of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is to investigate accidental releases of regulated or extremely hazardous substances to determine the conditions and circumstances that led to the accident and to identify the cause or causes so that similar accidents might be prevented. Accidental releases of these toxic and hazardous chemicals occur frequently and often have serious consequences. CSB reported to Congress that the agency received notification of approximately 900 chemical accidents in calendar year 2007, and that 31 of these accidents were serious or even fatal events that warranted the commitment of CSB investigators. CSB began operating in 1998 as an independent agency created under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. The act directs CSB to (1) investigate and report on the cause or probable cause of any accidental chemical releases from stationary sources resulting in a fatality, serious injury, or substantial property damages; (2) make recommendations to reduce the likelihood or consequences of accidental chemical releases and propose corrective measures; and (3) establish regulations for reporting accidental releases. The agency publishes investigative reports and issues safety studies and videos to help prevent future accidents. Congress modeled CSB after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which has a similar public safety mission. Like NTSB, CSB has no enforcement authority and a limited regulatory role. As outlined in the authorizing statute, CSB is to be managed by a five-member board. Currently the board has one vacancy. CSB received an appropriation of $9.4 million for fiscal year 2008 and had 39 staff as of January 30, 2008
Hazardous materials : status of EPA's efforts to assess sites that may have received asbestos-contaminated ore from Libby, Montana by John B Stephenson( )

2 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 316 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

For each of the sites that EPA had identified, the database provides available information on the site's location, how much ore was shipped to the site, and the type of facility that operated at the site, as well as whether EPA visited the site and conducted sampling and what EPA's evaluation showed. The data on the amount of ore received are based on an EPA database of W.R. Grace invoices for shipments of vermiculite ore from the Libby mine between 1964 and 1990. EPA does not believe it has an invoice for every shipment of ore that was made during this time; the database represents only the invoices EPA was able to collect. For about 28 percent of the sites that are in the database, the amount of ore received is unknown. For these reasons, the information on the number of sites receiving the contaminated ore and the amount of ore received is likely to be understated. The vermiculite ore mined in Libby contained high concentrations of naturally occurring asbestos. At some of the facilities that received Libby ore, manufacturing processes--to produce such products as building insulation, fireproofing material, and some gardening products--released the asbestos into the air. Some workers and others who inhaled the asbestos fibers developed serious, in some cases fatal, asbestos-related respiratory illnesses. As we reported in October 2007, EPA began to clean up asbestos contamination in the Libby area in 2000 and to identify and evaluate those sites that received the ore to determine if they were contaminated. As of January 2009, with the assistance of other federal and state agencies, EPA had evaluated 266 sites thought to have received the asbestos-contaminated ore from the Libby mine, conducted sampling at 82 sites, and determined that 21 needed to be cleaned up (removal actions). However, as we reported in October 2007, EPA used cleanup standards for the sites that were not health-based, and it had not completed an assessment for determining the toxicity of the asbestos in the Libby ore. We also found that the sampling and analysis techniques that EPA used at some of the sites were limited, and advances in technology have since led to the development of more accurate methods. EPA has initiated plans to complete an assessment of the toxicity and associated risks of Libby asbestos by the end of fiscal year 2010
Superfund : funding and reported costs of enforcement and administration activities by John B Stephenson( )

2 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 316 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in four Americans lives within 3 miles of a hazardous waste site. To clean up these highly contaminated sites, the Congress established the Superfund program under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980. EPA, the principal agency responsible for administering the Superfund program, has since identified more than 47,000 hazardous waste sites potentially requiring cleanup actions and has placed some of the most seriously contaminated sites on its National Priorities List (NPL). Through the end of fiscal year 2007, EPA had classified 1,569 sites as NPL sites. Cleanup efforts at NPL sites are typically expensive and can take many years. There are two basic types of cleanup actions: (1) removal actions--generally short-term or emergency cleanups to mitigate threats--and (2) remedial actions--generally long-term cleanup activities. Among other efforts, EPA may respond to and provide technical support for emergency actions, collect and analyze site data, and design and construct remedies, or oversee the work of others. However, the parties responsible for contributing to the contamination of a hazardous waste site are also primarily responsible for conducting or paying for the cleanup of the site. Responsible parties include current or former owners or operators of a site or the generators and transporters of the hazardous substances. CERCLA authorizes EPA to compel the responsible parties to clean up contaminated sites and also allows EPA to conduct cleanups and then seek reimbursement from the responsible parties. One of EPA's goals is ensuring that, to the extent possible, parties who are responsible for the contamination perform or pay for cleanup actions. In some cases, however, parties cannot be identified or may be unwilling or financially unable to perform the cleanup; we previously found that the number of NPL sites without viable responsible parties may be increasing. In these cases, EPA can assume responsibility for site cleanup and seek reimbursement from any responsible parties that can be identified. The states may also play a significant role in cleaning up hazardous waste sites. Most states have established programs to help address hazardous waste sites, although many states have limited capacity to address costly and complex sites. To fund program activities, CERCLA established a trust fund that was financed primarily by taxes on crude oil and certain chemicals, as well as an environmental tax assessed on corporations based upon their taxable income. Although the authority for these taxes expired in 1995, some tax revenues have continued to accrue to the fund as audits of past years' tax returns have led to the recovery of Superfund taxes previously owed by companies. In addition, the trust fund continued to receive revenue--also referred to as receipts--from various other sources, including appropriations from the general fund. EPA receives annual appropriations from the trust fund for program activities; since 1981, Superfund appropriations have totaled over $32 billion in nominal dollars, or about $1.2 billion annually. CERCLA authorizes EPA to use its Superfund appropriation to conduct cleanup actions, and the agency's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) is accountable for achieving Superfund's cleanup goals. In this context, Congress asked us to examine the (1) sources of funding for the Superfund trust fund and (2) allocation of these resources to Superfund program activities, particularly enforcement and administration
Clean Air Act : historical information on EPA's process for reviewing California waiver requests and making waiver determinations by John B Stephenson( )

2 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 316 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Emissions from mobile sources, such as automobiles and trucks, contribute to air quality degradation and can threaten public health and the environment. Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates these emissions. The act generally allows one set of federal standards for new motor vehicle emissions and preempts states from adopting or enforcing their own standards. However, it also authorizes the EPA Administrator to waive this provision to allow the state of California to enact and enforce emission standards for new motor vehicles that are as protective, in the aggregate, as federal government standards. Other states may also adopt California's standards if they choose. The waiver provision was added to the Federal Air Quality Act (one of the precursors of the current Clean Air Act) in 1967 because of California's severe air pollution problems and because the state had already established its own emission standards for mobile sources
EPA's execution of its fiscal year 2007 new budget authority for the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program in the regional offices by John B Stephenson( )

2 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 314 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This letter responds to a mandate in House Report No. 110-187 that directed GAO to review the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) budget execution, specifically to identify the factors that influence EPA's operating plan allocations to the regional offices for a selected national program and to compare and contrast these operating plan allocations with EPA's reported obligations in the regional offices. After discussing this mandate with your offices, we focused our review on EPA's enforcement and compliance assurance program in the regional offices. EPA, in partnership with state agencies, oversees compliance with 44 separate environmental programs. These programs regulate facilities--such as sewage treatment plants, petroleum refineries, and power plants--whose operations could pollute the air, water, and land, and thereby endanger public health and the environment. EPA and its regulatory partners are responsible for ensuring that these regulated facilities comply with program requirements and taking enforcement action in instances of noncompliance. EPA administers its environmental enforcement and compliance assurance responsibilities through its headquarters Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA). While OECA provides overall direction on enforcement policies, and sometimes takes direct enforcement action, EPA's 10 regional offices are responsible for carrying out much of EPA's enforcement activities. The regional offices are responsible for monitoring regulated facilities' compliance, taking direct enforcement action, and providing compliance assistance and incentives to regulated facilities. Many federal environmental statutes, such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, direct EPA to approve or authorize qualified states to implement and enforce environmental programs consistent with federal requirements. Over the years, states have increased their inspection and enforcement activities. Today most states have responsibility for multiple EPA programs. As a result, EPA regional offices are now more actively involved in coordinating with and conducting oversight of states that have been granted enforcement authority and providing guidance, training, and technical assistance. The regions are also responsible for implementing programs in Indian country and in states that do not have enforcement authority for particular programs
Air pollution : air quality and permitting of new coal-burning, electricity-generating units in central Texas by John B Stephenson( )

1 edition published in 2009 in English and held by 313 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Environmental protection : MTBE contamination from underground storage tanks by John B Stephenson( )

4 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 306 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

I am pleased to be here today to discuss the increasing concern that our nation's waters are becoming contaminated with methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). About a third of the states, in certain areas, use gasoline that contains MTBE to help them limit air pollution because it burns cleaner. However, the substance could also pose risks to human health, especially as a contaminant in drinking water wells. One of the primary ways in which the contaminant has migrated into wells and groundwater is from leaking underground tanks used to store gasoline. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the responsibility through the Underground Storage Tank Program and working primarily through the states to ensure the tanks do not leak, and if they do, that the contamination is cleaned up. However, several studies, including our own report on EPA s implementation of the tank program,1 showed that many tanks have leaked and continue to leak hazardous substances, such as MTBE and benzene. These leaks, in turn, contaminate soil and groundwater, posing health risks to those who live nearby or drink the water. Such health risks can range from nausea to kidney or liver damage or even cancer. As a result, some communities have closed their drinking water wells. A recent news report illustrates the problem. A school in Roselawn, Indiana, discovered that the children had been using and drinking water with nearly 10 times the EPA-recommended safe level of MTBE. I understand that an investigation is trying to determine whether the MTBE came from a nearby tank and whether it is a factor contributing to the children s nosebleeds and other reported health problems
Environmental protection : the federal government could help communities better plan for transportation that protects air quality by John B Stephenson( )

5 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 300 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Climate change : a coordinated strategy could focus federal geoengineering research and inform governance efforts : report to the Chairman, Committee on Science and Technology, House of Representatives by United States( )

1 edition published in 2010 in English and held by 284 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Policymakers have raised questions about geoengineering, large-scale deliberate interventions in the earth's climate system to diminish climate change or its impacts, and its role in a broader strategy of mitigating and adapting to climate change. Most geoengineering proposals fall into two categories: carbon dioxide removal (CDR), which would remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, and solar radiation management (SRM), which would offset temperature increases by reflecting sunlight back into space. GAO was asked to examine (1) the state of geoengineering science, (2) federal involvement in geoengineering, and (3) the views of experts and federal officials about the extent to which federal laws and international agreements apply to geoengineering, and any governance challenges. GAO examined relevant scientific and policy studies, relevant domestic laws and international agreements, analyzed agency data describing relevant research for fiscal years 2009 and 2010, and interviewed federal officials and selected recognized experts in the field. GAO recommends that within the Executive Office of the President, the appropriate entities, such as the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), establish a clear strategy for geoengineering research in the context of the federal response to climate change to ensure a coordinated federal approach. OSTP neither agreed nor disagreed with our recommendation, but provided technical comments
Perchlorate : occurrence is widespread but at varying levels ; federal agencies have taken some actions to respond to and lessen releases : report to the Ranking Member, Committee on Environment and Public Works, U.S. Senate by United States( )

1 edition published in 2010 in English and held by 284 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Perchlorate is both a man-made and naturally occurring chemical. It is used in rocket fuel, explosives, fireworks, and other products. Naturally occurring perchlorate is produced through atmospheric processes and then settles on surface water or land. Perchlorate can disrupt the uptake of iodide in the thyroid, potentially interfering with thyroid function and negatively affecting fetal and infant brain development and growth. As of June 2010, there is no federal regulatory standard for perchlorate in drinking water, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has the authority to regulate contaminants in public drinking water systems, had not determined whether to establish one. The Department of Defense (DOD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Department of Energy (DOE) are the primary federal users of perchlorate. GAO was asked to examine (1) what is known about the extent to which perchlorate occurs in the nation's water and food supply and its likely sources; (2) what actions DOD, NASA, and DOE have taken to respond to or lessen perchlorate releases; and (3) what actions states, such as California and Massachusetts, have taken to regulate perchlorate. To address these questions, GAO analyzed data from EPA, DOD, NASA, and DOE, reviewed agency documents, and interviewed federal and state officials, researchers, and others. Perchlorate has been found in water and other media at varying levels in 45 states, as well as in the food supply, and comes from a variety of sources. EPA conducted one nationwide perchlorate sampling, between 2001 and 2005, and detected perchlorate at or above 4 parts per billion in 160 of the 3,865 public water systems tested (about 4.1 percent). In 31 of these 160 systems, perchlorate was found above 15 parts per billion, EPA's current interim health advisory level. Sampling by DOD, NASA, and DOE detected perchlorate in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, soil, and sediment at some facilities. For example, GAO's analysis of DOD data showed that perchlorate was detected at almost 70 percent of the 407 installations sampled from fiscal years 1997 through 2009, with detections ranging from less than 1 part per billion to 2.6 million parts per billion. A 2006 Food and Drug Administration study found perchlorate in 74 percent of 285 food items tested, with certain foods, such as tomatoes and spinach, having higher perchlorate levels than others. According to researchers, concentrations of perchlorate at or above 100 parts per billion generally result from activities involving man-made perchlorate, such as the use of perchlorate as a rocket propellant. Lower concentrations can result from the use of man-made perchlorate, atmospheric processes, or the use of fertilizer containing naturally occurring perchlorate. According to DOD, NASA, and DOE officials, the agencies have sampled, monitored and, at several sites, begun cleaning up perchlorate. When DOD detects perchlorate at or above threshold levels--currently 15 parts per billion for water--DOD is to investigate further and may take additional actions. DOD has taken actions beyond initial sampling at 48 of the 53 installations with perchlorate detections above 15 parts per billion. NASA is in the midst of a cleanup at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and is monitoring the level of perchlorate in groundwater at three other facilities. In addition, DOE is cleaning up perchlorate at two facilities involved in high explosives research, development, and testing and is monitoring the level of perchlorate in groundwater at two other facilities. According to DOD, NASA, and DOE officials, the perchlorate detected at their facilities is largely the result of past disposal practices. Officials at these agencies told us that by complying with current federal and state waste disposal laws and regulations, they have lessened their perchlorate releases. In addition, DOD is developing perchlorate substitutes for use in weapons simulators, flares, and rockets. In the absence of a federal regulatory standard for perchlorate in drinking water, California and Massachusetts have adopted their own standards. California adopted a drinking water standard of 6 parts per billion in 2007, and Massachusetts set a drinking water standard of 2 parts per billion in 2006. The key benefits of a regulatory standard cited by state officials include protecting public health and facilitating cleanup enforcement. However, limited information exists on the actual costs of regulating perchlorate in these states. Also, at least 10 other states have established guidance levels for perchlorate in drinking water (ranging from 1 to 18 parts per billion) or in groundwater. This report contains no recommendations
Electronic waste : considerations for promoting environmentally sound reuse and recycling : report to the Chairman, Committee on Science and Technology, House of Representatives by United States( )

1 edition published in 2010 in English and held by 283 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Low recycling rates for used televisions, computers, and other electronics result in the loss of valuable resources, and electronic waste exports risk harming human health and the environment in countries that lack safe recycling and disposal capacity. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the management of used electronics that qualify as hazardous waste and promotes voluntary efforts among electronics manufacturers, recyclers, and other stakeholders. However, in the absence of a comprehensive national approach, a growing number of states have enacted electronics recycling laws, raising concerns about a patchwork of state requirements. In this context, GAO examined (1) EPA's efforts to facilitate environmentally sound used electronics management, (2) the views of various stakeholders on the state-by-state approach, and (3) considerations to further promote environmentally sound management. GAO reviewed EPA documents, interviewed EPA officials, and interviewed stakeholders in five states with electronics recycling legislation. GAO recommends that the Administrator, EPA, (1) examine how EPA's partnership programs could be improved to contribute more effectively to used electronics management and (2) work with other federal agencies to finalize a legislative proposal on ratification of the Basel Convention for congressional consideration. EPA agreed with the recommendations
Superfund : interagency agreements and improved project management needed to achieve cleanup progress at key defense installations : report to congressional requesters by United States( )

1 edition published in 2010 in English and held by 281 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Before the passage of federal environmental legislation in the 1970s and 1980s, Department of Defense (DOD) activities contaminated millions of acres of soil and water on and near DOD sites. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has certain oversight authorities for cleaning up contaminants on federal property, and has placed 1,620 of the most contaminated sites, including 141 DOD installations, on its National Priorities List (NPL). As of February 2009, after 10 or more years on the NPL, 11 DOD installations had not signed the required interagency agreements (IAG) to guide cleanup with EPA. GAO was asked to examine (1) the status of DOD cleanup of hazardous substances at selected installations that lacked IAGs, and (2) obstacles, if any, to cleanup at these installations. GAO selected and visited three installations, reviewed relevant statutes and agency documents, and interviewed agency officials. GAO is recommending, among other things, that EPA and DOD identify options that would provide a uniform method for reporting cleanup progress at the installations and allow for transparency to Congress and the public. EPA and DOD agreed with the recommendations directed at them. GAO is also suggesting that Congress may want to consider giving EPA certain tools to enforce CERCLA at federal facilities without IAGs. DOD disagreed with this suggestion. GAO believes EPA needs additional authority to ensure timely and proper cleanup at such sites
Bottled water : FDA safety and consumer protections are often less stringent than comparable EPA protections for tap water : report to congressional requesters by United States( )

1 edition published in 2009 in English and held by 270 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Over the past decade, per capita consumption of bottled water in the United States has more than doubled. With this increase have come several concerns in recent years about the safety, quality, and environmental impacts of bottled water. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled water under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as a food and is responsible for ensuring that domestic and imported bottled water is safe and truthfully labeled. Among other things, GAO (1) evaluated the extent to which FDA regulates and ensures the quality and safety of bottled water; (2) evaluated the extent to which federal and state authorities regulate the accuracy of labels and claims regarding the purity and source of bottled water; and (3) identified the environmental and other impacts of bottled water. GAO reviewed FDA data, reports, and requirements for bottled water; conducted a state survey of all 50 states and the District of Columbia; reviewed bottled water labels; and interviewed FDA officials and key experts. FDA's bottled water standard of quality regulations generally mirror the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) national primary drinking water regulations, as required by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, although the case of DEHP (an organic compound used in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride plastics) is a notable exception. Specifically, FDA deferred action on DEHP in a final rule published in 1996 and has yet to either adopt a standard or publish a reason for not doing so. GAO also found that FDA's regulation of bottled water, particularly when compared with EPA's regulation of tap water, reveals key differences in the agencies' statutory authorities. Of particular note, FDA does not have the specific statutory authority to require bottlers to use certified laboratories for water quality tests or to report test results, even if violations of the standards are found. Among GAO's other findings, the state requirements to safeguard bottled water often exceed FDA's, but still are often less comprehensive than state requirements to safeguard tap water. FDA and state bottled water labeling requirements are similar to labeling requirements for other foods, but the information provided to consumers is less than what EPA requires of public water systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Like other foods, bottled water labels must list ingredients and nutritional information and are subject to the same prohibitions against misbranding. In 2000, FDA concluded that it was feasible for the bottled water industry to provide the same types of information to consumers that public water systems must provide. The agency was not required to conduct rulemaking to require that manufacturers provide such information to consumers, however, and it has not done so. Nevertheless, GAO's work suggests that consumers may benefit from such additional information. For example, when GAO asked cognizant officials in a survey of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, whether their consumers had misconceptions about bottled water, many replied that consumers often believe that bottled water is safer or healthier than tap water. GAO found that information comparable to what public water systems are required to provide to consumers of tap water was available for only a small percentage of the 83 bottled water labels it reviewed, companies it contacted, or company Web sites it reviewed. Among the environmental impacts of bottled water are the effects on U.S. municipal landfill capacity and U.S. energy demands. Regarding impacts on landfill capacity, GAO found that about three-quarters of the water bottles produced in the United States in 2006 were discarded and not recycled, on the basis of figures compiled by an industry trade association and an environmental nonprofit organization. Discarded water bottles, however, represented less than 1 percent of total municipal waste that EPA reported entered U.S. landfills in 2006. Regarding the impact on U.S. energy demands, a recent peer-reviewed article found that the production and consumption of bottled water comprises a small share of total U.S. energy demand but is much more energy-intensive than the production of public drinking water
Air pollution : air quality, visibility, and the potential impact of coal-fired power plants on Great Basin National Park, Nevada by John B Stephenson( )

1 edition published in 2009 in English and held by 250 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

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