Magazine article Occupational Hazards

IG: Cleanup Claims Falsified by Region IX

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

IG: Cleanup Claims Falsified by Region IX

Article excerpt

EPA Inspector General John C. Martin told a Senate panel recently that personnel in EPA's Region IX had falsified Superfund reports. At a June 10 hearing held by the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee, Martin said 275 site assessments which the region reported as being done were never actually completed.

According to Martin's testimony, EPA personnel in the region, which includes California, New Mexico, and Nevada, claimed to have completed site inspection reports at the sites between 1988 and 1991. Those reports were never done.

Martin further testified that region personnel had outside contractors and other agency employees create site inspection reports to "verify" their claims.

The inspector general said he discovered the falsifications as part of a broader investigation of Superfund activities. Martin's office is preparing a report on the cleanup program's fiscal and information management. Martin said Region IX was the only region to falsify site assessment information.

At the hearing, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D,N.J.) pressed Richard Guimond, EPA's acting assistant administrator for solid waste and emergency response, to explain how the falsifications could have slipped past EPA headquarters. …

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