The key tool for federal regulators to ensure power plants are not violating air pollution standards are permits issued by the states, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency doesn't keep any data to ensure utilities are properly permitted, a new audit finds.
The Environmental Protection Agency is unable to tell if all of the nation's gas and coal power plants are complying with federal pollution laws because it does not maintain a centralized database of permits, the Government Accountability Office has found.
The Government Accountability Office is the main auditing and investigative arm of Congress, studying issues of policy, regulation and compliance.
The Environmental Protection Agency is a Cabinet-level federal agency that regulates environmental policy and safeguards against pollution.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Oversight Subcommittee is the Senate's main investigative panel for environmental issues.