A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has criticized EPA for not having a central system to track CERCLA cleanup costs. The report specifically focuses on cleanup costs at three landfill sites in the Gulf Coast region—the Agriculture Street Landfill in New Orleans, Louisiana; Beulah Landfill near Pensacola, Florida; and Taylor Road Landfill near Tampa, Florida.
According to the report, although EPA tracks its expenditures at CERCLA sites, the information does not include the costs associated with each cleanup activity conducted at a site. Consequently, EPA’s system excludes costs expended by private companies, including potentially responsible parties (PRPs), states and local governments.
State and local governments are generally required to collect cost data under public accounting standards, but these standards do not address maintenance of the data. Private companies often consider their cleanup costs information they have a right to keep confidential.