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Natural Resources and Environment (1 - 10 of 3,475 items)
Grants Management: EPA Has Taken Steps to Improve Competition for Discretionary Grants but Could Make Information More Readily Available
GAO-17-161: Published: Jan 23, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 22, 2017.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manages competition for its discretionary grants through a process established by its competition policy and implemented by its program and regional offices. Under the policy, offices are to advertise discretionary grant opportunities on Grants.gov—a website for federal grant announcements—and may also advertise using other methods, such as trade journ...
Army Corps of Engineers: Factors Contributing to Cost Increases and Schedule Delays in the Olmsted Locks and Dam Project
GAO-17-147: Published: Feb 16, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 2017.
Reports by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and consultants it hired identified the construction method, contract type, and other factors as primary contributors to cost increases and schedule delays in the Olmsted Locks and Dam project. Specifically, the 2012 Corps' post-authorization change report (PACR) and a 2012 consultant report identified the Corps' 1997 selection of an innovative i...
High Risk: Federal Management Challenges Related to Indian Energy Resources
GAO-17-434T: Published: Feb 15, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2017.
In three prior reports on Indian energy development, GAO found that the Department of the Interior's (Interior) Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has inefficiently managed Indian energy resources and the development process and thereby limited opportunities for tribes and their members to use those resources to create economic benefits and improve the well-being of their communities. GAO has also rep...
High-Risk Series: Progress on Many High-Risk Areas, While Substantial Efforts Needed on Others
GAO-17-317: Published: Feb 15, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2017.
Since GAO's last high-risk update, many of the 32 high-risk areas on the 2015 list have shown solid progress. Twenty-three high-risk areas, or two-thirds of all the areas, have met or partially met all five criteria for removal from the High-Risk List; 15 of these areas fully met at least one criterion. Progress has been possible through the concerted efforts of Congress and leadership and staff i...
Government Purchase Cards: Little Evidence of Potential Fraud Found in Small Purchases, but Documentation Issues Exist
GAO-17-276: Published: Feb 14, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2017.
Since 2008, the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have taken several steps, in part to address prior GAO recommendations, to enhance purchase card program controls over micropurchases, which are currently capped at $3,500 for most purchases. These steps include developing training, monitoring tools, and guidance. For example, according to OMB guida...
Grants Management: EPA Partially Follows Leading Practices of Strategic Workforce Planning and Could Take Additional Steps
GAO-17-144: Published: Jan 9, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 8, 2017.
Staffing levels for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants management personnel generally declined during fiscal years 2006 through 2015, but it is unclear how workloads may have changed during this time frame. Specifically, the number of grant specialists and project officers—EPA's key grants management personnel—who entered information about grant actions into the agency's automat...
Nuclear Waste: Benefits and Costs Should Be Better Understood Before DOE Commits to a Separate Repository for Defense Waste
GAO-17-174: Published: Jan 31, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 2017.
The information that the Department of Energy (DOE) provided to the President about whether a separate defense waste repository was required did not quantify cited benefits, when possible, show how these benefits could be achieved, or show the risks if certain benefits could not be realized as planned. In the information provided to the President, DOE stated that separate repositories for defense...
Endangered Species Act: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's American Burying Beetle Conservation Efforts
GAO-17-154: Published: Dec 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 23, 2017.
To address the potential adverse impacts of construction and other projects on the American burying beetle (ABB) and its habitat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), within the Department of the Interior, first focuses on avoidance and minimization approaches. For example, to avoid impacts on ABB habitat, FWS may suggest that project proponents—public and private entities—relocate the pr...
Military Base Realignments and Closures: DOD Has Improved Environmental Cleanup Reporting but Should Obtain and Share More Information
GAO-17-151: Published: Jan 19, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 19, 2017.
The Department of Defense (DOD) has captured and reported more comprehensive cost information in its environmental cost reporting for installations closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process since GAO last reported on the issue in 2007. For example, GAO reported in 2007 that the costs DOD reported for environmental cleanup for installations closed under the 2005 BRAC round were n...
Financial Assurances for Reclamation: Federal Regulations and Policies for Selected Mining and Energy Development Activities
GAO-17-207R: Published: Dec 16, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2017.
Federal requirements for financial assurances, such as cash or bonds that companies may be required to provide to cover the cost of reclaiming lands affected by development, are broadly similar for surface coal mining, hardrock mining, onshore oil and gas extraction, and wind and solar energy development, but some differences exist. Federal laws, regulations, and policies govern various aspects of...