The Government Accountability Office (GAO) provided an update on the 19 recommendations it made to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made in March 2018 and of those recommendations, the EPA has taken actions to improve on five of the recommendations as of April 2019.

Those actions include improving the risk evaluation for chemicals in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The GAO has identified three additional recommendations for the EPA to act on bringing the total recommendations back up to 17.

Among those, include “addressing data, funding, and cybersecurity issues for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.” GAO recommended that the EPA coordinate with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop methods to determine a cybersecurity framework.

GAO also recommended that the EPA should provide data verification audits to evaluate data collected to best provide Congress with a more complete and accurate picture on compliance in accordance with the Safe Water Drinking Act. The EPA is running with this recommendation by stating that they were developing a new data system called the Safe Drinking Water Information System Prime.

According to the GAO report, the EPA’s implementation rate for its recommendations is 61 percent and in the meantime of the data system being developed, GAO recommends that it work to improve its data auditing process.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.