Pollutants (1 - 8 of 8 items)
Electricity: Significant Changes Are Expected in Coal-Fueled Generation, but Coal is Likely to Remain a Key Fuel Source
GAO-13-72: Published: Oct 29, 2012. Publicly Released: Nov 28, 2012.
Retirements of older units, retrofits of existing units with pollution controls, and the construction of some new coal-fueled units are expected to significantly change the coal-fueled electricity generating fleet, making it capable of emitting lower levels of pollutants than the current fleet but reducing its future electricity generating capacity. Two broad trends are affecting power companies'...
Biofuels: Challenges to the Transportation, Sale, and Use of Intermediate Ethanol Blends
GAO-11-513: Published: Jun 3, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 2011.
U.S. transportation relies largely on oil for fuel. Biofuels can be an alternative to oil and are produced from renewable sources, like corn. In 2005, Congress created the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires transportation fuel to contain 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022. The most common U.S. biofuel is ethanol, typically produced from corn in the Midwest, transported by rail, and...
Department of Energy: New Loan Guarantee Program Should Complete Activities Necessary for Effective and Accountable Program Management
GAO-08-750: Published: Jul 7, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2008.
Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 established DOE's loan guarantee program (LGP) for innovative energy projects that should decrease air pollutants or greenhouse gases and that have a reasonable prospect of repayment. For fiscal years 2008 and 2009, Congress authorized the use of borrower fees to pay the costs of loan guarantees through Title XVII's "borrower pays" option, under which DO...
Storm Water Pollution: Information Needed on the Implications of Permitting Oil and Gas Construction Activities
GAO-05-240: Published: Feb 9, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2005.
To prevent pollutants from entering storm water runoff, the Clean Water Act's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Storm Water Program requires controls for construction activities that disturb land. Phase I of this program requires permitting for construction activities that disturb 5 acres or more, while Phase II requires permitting for activities disturbing between 1 and 5 acres. The...
Federal Power: The Role of the Power Marketing Administrations in a Restructured Electricity Industry
T-RCED/AIMD-99-229: Published: Jun 24, 1999. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 1999.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the role of the power marketing administrations (PMA) in a restructured electricity industry, focusing on five goals of deregulating the retail electricity market.GAO noted that: (1) one major goal of deregulating the retail electricity market is encouraging retail price competition; (2) removing practices that treat potential competitors inconsis...
Nuclear Safety: Concerns with the Nuclear Power Reactors in Cuba
T-RCED-95-236: Published: Aug 1, 1995. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 1995.
GAO discussed the construction of two Soviet-designed nuclear power reactors in Cuba. GAO noted that: (1) it is uncertain when or whether the Cuban reactors will become operational, since Cuba suspended the reactors' construction due to a lack of funding; (2) a Nuclear Regulatory Commission study showed that the Cuban reactors' containment structures were designed to withstand only inordinately lo...
Energy Supply: Energy Potential of Municipal Solid Waste Is Limited
RCED-94-200: Published: Sep 20, 1994. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 1994.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the potential environmental impacts of producing energy from solid waste, focusing on the: (1) Department of Energy's (DOE) efforts to use waste as a viable energy source; and (2) potential energy savings from and environmental impacts for recycling waste material.GAO found that: (1) energy recovery from municipal solid waste has the potential for...
Water Pollution: EPA Controls Over Ballast Water at Trans-Alaska Pipeline Marine Terminal
RCED-87-118: Published: Jun 18, 1987. Publicly Released: Jul 24, 1987.
In response to a congressional request, GAO obtained information on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) controls over pollutants that a pipeline company discharged into Valdez Bay, Alaska, at its ballast water treatment plant to determine: (1) why EPA has not issued the plant a new water discharge permit; and (2) whether EPA has effectively monitored and enforced the conditions of the exis...