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Natural Resources and Environment (151 - 160 of 3,475 items)
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...
Coal Leasing: BLM Could Enhance Appraisal Process, More Explicitly Consider Coal Exports, and Provide More Public Information
GAO-14-140: Published: Dec 18, 2013. Publicly Released: Feb 4, 2014.
Since January 1990, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has leased 107 coal tracts, and associated coal production and revenues have grown. Most lease sales have had a single bidder and were leased the first time offered. The amount of coal produced from federal leases and associated revenues have increased since 1990, although production has leveled off since 2002. Revenues from federal coal leas...
Army Corps of Engineers: Cost Increases in Flood Control Projects and Improving Communication with Nonfederal Sponsors
GAO-14-35: Published: Dec 20, 2013. Publicly Released: Jan 22, 2014.
The majority of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) flood control projects budgeted for construction from fiscal years 2004 to 2012 experienced cost increases, including inflation. Specifically, 59 of 87 flood control projects during this period experienced increases from their original authorized cost to their current estimated project cost or their total expenditures at closeout, according...
Clean Water Act: Changes Needed If Key EPA Program Is to Help Fulfill the Nation's Water Quality Goals
GAO-14-80: Published: Dec 5, 2013. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states each have responsibilities for developing and implementing pollution targets, known as total maximum daily loads (TMDL). EPA oversees states' TMDL efforts by establishing in regulations minimum requirements TMDLs need for approval, providing funding, and furnishing technical assistance. States develop TMDLs and generally take the lead in imp...
Air Emissions: Status of Regulatory Activities and Permitting on Alaska's Outer Continental Shelf
GAO-14-187R: Published: Jan 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 2014.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, amended the Clean Air Act to transfer regulatory authority for air emissions on the outer continental shelf (OCS) off Alaska's north coast, including the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Department of the Interior. Since the act was passed on December 23, 2011, there has been limited activity subject to air...
Oil And Gas Resources: Actions Needed for Interior to Better Ensure a Fair Return
GAO-14-50: Published: Dec 6, 2013. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 2013.
Interior has taken some steps intended to help ensure a fair return on federal oil and gas resources but does not have documented procedures for periodically conducting assessments of the fiscal system. Specifically, Interior has taken the following steps:Changed offshore lease terms and considered but has not changed onshore lease terms. Interior changed certain offshore lease terms-- including r...