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Natural Resources and Environment (151 - 160 of 3,480 items)
National Environmental Policy Act: Little Information Exists on NEPA Analyses
GAO-14-369: Published: Apr 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 2014.
Governmentwide data on the number and type of most National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses are not readily available, as data collection efforts vary by agency. NEPA generally requires federal agencies to evaluate the potential environmental effects of actions they propose to carry out, fund, or approve (e.g., by permit) by preparing analyses of different comprehensiveness depending on t...
Petroleum Refining: Industry's Outlook Depends on Market Changes and Key Environmental Regulations
GAO-14-249: Published: Mar 14, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2014.
Stakeholders GAO contacted and information reviewed by GAO identified the following three major changes that have recently affected the domestic petroleum refining industry:Increased production. U.S. and Canadian crude oil production have increased, leading to lower costs of crude oil for some refiners. After generally declining for decades, monthly U.S. crude oil production increased over 55 per...
Mine Safety: Basis for Proposed Exposure Limit on Respirable Coal Mine Dust and Possible Approaches for Lowering Dust Levels
GAO-14-345: Published: Apr 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 9, 2014.
The Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) appropriately did not use recent trend data on coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) as a basis for its proposal to lower the permissible exposure limit for respirable coal mine dust. These recent data from the Department of Health and Human Services' National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are inappropriate...
Climate Change: Energy Infrastructure Risks and Adaptation Efforts
GAO-14-74: Published: Jan 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2014.
According to assessments by the National Research Council (NRC) and the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), U.S. energy infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to a range of climate change impacts--particularly infrastructure in areas prone to severe weather and water shortages. Climate changes are projected to affect infrastructure throughout all major stages of the energy supply chai...
Oil and Gas Management: Continued Attention to Interior's Human Capital Challenges Is Needed
GAO-14-394T: Published: Feb 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2014.
The Department of the Interior continues to face challenges hiring and retaining staff with key skills needed to manage and oversee oil and gas operations on federal leases. Interior officials noted two major factors that contribute to challenges in hiring and retaining staff: lower salaries and a slow hiring process. In response to GAO's survey, officials from a majority of the offices in the thr...
Plutonium Disposition Program: DOE Needs to Analyze the Root Causes of Cost Increases and Develop Better Cost Estimates
GAO-14-231: Published: Feb 13, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 2014.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) identified various drivers for the close to $3 billion increase in the estimated cost of the Plutonium Disposition program's two construction projects—the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility and the Waste Solidification Building (WSB). These drivers included DOE's approval of the MOX facility's cost and sche...
Oil and Gas: Interior Has Begun to Address Hiring and Retention Challenges but Needs to Do More
GAO-14-205: Published: Jan 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 2014.
The Department of the Interior (Interior) continues to face challenges hiring and retaining staff with key skills needed to manage and oversee oil and gas operations on federal leases. Interior officials noted two major factors that contribute to challenges in hiring and retaining staff: lower salaries and a slow hiring process compared with similar positions in industry. In response to GAO's surv...
Extreme Weather Events: Limiting Federal Fiscal Exposure and Increasing the Nation's Resilience
GAO-14-364T: Published: Feb 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 12, 2014.
The federal government has opportunities to limit its exposure and increase the nation's resilience to extreme weather events. Since 1980, the U.S. has experienced 151 weather disasters with damages exceeding 1 billion dollars each. This testimony focuses on 4 areas where the government could limit its fiscal exposure.Property and crop insurance. The financial risks from two federal insurance prog...
Drinking Water: EPA Has Improved Its Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program, but Additional Action Is Needed
GAO-14-103: Published: Jan 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has implemented all of the recommendations GAO made in its May 2011 report to improve the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) program. In that report, GAO recommended that EPA (1) monitor for the full 30 contaminants allowed by statute, (2) monitor for most or all contaminants using a more robust monitoring approach, and (3) select sufficiently...
Nanomanufacturing: Emergence and Implications for U.S. Competitiveness, the Environment, and Human Health
GAO-14-181SP: Published: Jan 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 7, 2014.
What the Participants SaidThe forum's participants described nanomanufacturing as a future megatrend that will potentially match or surpass the digital revolution's effect on society and the economy. They anticipated further scientific breakthroughs that will fuel new engineering developments; continued movement into the manufacturing sector; and more intense international competition.Although lim...