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Natural Resources and Environment (101 - 110 of 3,480 items)
Hanford Waste Treatment: DOE Needs to Evaluate Alternatives to Recently Proposed Projects and Address Technical and Management Challenges
GAO-15-354: Published: May 7, 2015. Publicly Released: May 7, 2015.
The Department of Energy's (DOE) two proposed facilities may help achieve Hanford's waste treatment mission by expediting treatment of some waste and addressing some technical challenges within the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant's (WTP) Pretreatment facility. However, DOE selected the facilities based on past proposals and excluded other potential alternatives from consideration. One fac...
Oil and Gas Resources: Interior's Production Verification Efforts and Royalty Data Have Improved, but Further Actions Needed
GAO-15-39: Published: Apr 7, 2015. Publicly Released: May 6, 2015.
The Department of the Interior has made considerable progress in improving both the verification of oil and gas produced from federal leases and the reasonableness and completeness of royalty data. Since fiscal year 2009, Interior has implemented 28 of 36 GAO recommendations made in these areas; however, key challenges remain, including the following:Interior has not updated its regulations for on...
Bureau of Land Management: More Information Needed to Implement the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013
GAO-15-394: Published: Apr 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 16, 2015.
In the summer of 2014, refiners purchased all the helium offered in the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) first-ever competitive helium auction at higher than expected prices. Two refiners purchased all 93 million cubic feet of helium that was auctioned at an average price of $161 per thousand cubic feet—significantly above the prices offered by most other bidders....
Nuclear Waste: DOE Needs to Improve Cost Estimates for Transuranic Waste Projects at Los Alamos
GAO-15-182: Published: Feb 18, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2015.
The National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) project to remove transuranic (TRU) waste—primarily discarded equipment and soils contaminated with certain radioactive material—at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) did not meet its cost estimates. At the end of fiscal year 2014, NNSA had spent about $931 million on the project, exceeding its 2006 estimate of $729 million by $202 milli...
DOE Facilities: Better Prioritization and Life Cycle Cost Analysis Would Improve Disposition Planning
GAO-15-272: Published: Mar 19, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 19, 2015.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has identified 83 facilities at six of its eight sites for transfer to the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) for disposition, and the condition of NNSA's facilities awaiting transfer continues to degrade. NNSA plans to transfer all 83 facilities to EM over the next 25 years. Twenty-seven of them are still operat...
Indian Irrigation Projects: Deferred Maintenance and Financial Sustainability Issues Remain Unresolved
GAO-15-453T: Published: Mar 4, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2015.
The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) estimated the cost for deferred maintenance for the 16 irrigation projects covered in GAO's February 2006 report at about $850 million for fiscal year 2005. To further refine the estimate, BIA planned to hire engineering and irrigation experts to conduct thorough condition assessments of the irrigation projects to correctly identify d...
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board: Improvements Needed to Strengthen Internal Control and Promote Transparency [Reissued on March 2, 2015]
GAO-15-181: Published: Jan 20, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 2015.
Until 2013, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) had few written policies and procedures for its Board members and technical staff work, and some policies and procedures recently developed for the Board were not consistently followed. For example, Board procedures call for the Board to approve and implement an annual resource plan that would prioritize DNFSB's work for the coming ye...
Hazardous Waste: Agencies Should Take Steps to Improve Information on USDA's and Interior's Potentially Contaminated Sites
GAO-15-35: Published: Jan 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 2015.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of the Interior (Interior) have identified many contaminated and potentially contaminated sites, but neither agency has a complete inventory. As of April 2014, USDA had identified 1,491 contaminated sites and many potentially contaminated sites, including landfills and shooting ranges. However, USDA does not have a reliable, centralized...
Environmental Satellites: Improvements Needed in NOAA's Mitigation Strategies as It Prepares for Potential Satellite Coverage Gaps
GAO-15-386T: Published: Feb 12, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 12, 2015.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) $11.3 billion Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program has recently completed significant development activities and remains within its cost and schedule baselines; however, recent cost growth on key components is likely unsustainable, and schedule delays could increase the potential for a near-term satellite data gap. In addition, wh...
Polar Weather Satellites: NOAA Needs To Prepare for Near-term Data Gaps [Reissued on January 16, 2015]
GAO-15-47: Published: Dec 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 15, 2015.
The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program has recently completed significant development activities and remains within its cost and schedule baselines; however, recent cost growth on key components is likely unsustainable and risks remain that could increase the potential for near-term satellite data gaps. For example, technical issues experienced while developing a key instrument have led t...