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STUDY CALLS FOR MAJOR OVERHAUL OF SUPERFUND PROGRAM

SHARE STUDY CALLS FOR MAJOR OVERHAUL OF SUPERFUND PROGRAM

More than half of the multibillion-dollar federal Superfund is being spent on studies, management and ineffective technology instead of cleaning up toxic waste dumps, a congressional study said Thursday.

"Analysis breeds paralysis," declared the report by Congress' Office of Technology Assessment in calling for a major overhaul of the Superfund program. Tinkering and fine-tuning won't solve the program's massive problems, the study said.Perhaps as little as a third of the money spent thus far has gone for decontamination of toxic waste sites, the report said.

Since 1980, Congress has earmarked some $10 billion under the Superfund program for cleanup work through 1992. About half of the money has been appropriated so far to the Environmental Protection Agency.

But there has been only scant progress, with only about three dozen of the 1,200 priority cleanup sites declared totally decontaminated under the widely criticized program.

The Superfund - bogged down in "gridlock," according to the report - is top-heavy in administration, legal wrangling, management spending and exhaustive site studies instead of focusing on effective cleanup activities, it said.