"Cleanups at some U.S. hazardous waste sites have stopped or slowed down because the Environmental Protection Agency does not manage its Superfund staff effectively to match its workload, an internal government watchdog said Tuesday.
Such work is at a standstill or moving slowly on at least four Superfund sites where "human exposure is not under control," according to a report from the EPA's inspector general. That means contamination at the sites is unsafe for humans and there is a reasonable expectation that people may be exposed to it, the report said.
The report comes as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said the cleanup up of more than 1,300 listed Superfund sites is a priority.
Though President Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget seeks to cut the Superfund program by 30 percent, Pruitt has insisted he can do more with less money through better management. He formed a committee to study the issue, adopting 42 recommendations. Pruitt has said he will give priority to sites that can be redeveloped or have nearby residents under threat from the spread of harmful chemicals."