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Natural Resources and Environment (31 - 40 of 3,480 items)
Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Agencies Are Taking a Range of Actions, but the Task Force Lacks Performance Targets for Assessing Progress
GAO-16-717: Published: Sep 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 2016.
While criminal elements of all kinds, including some terrorist entities and rogue security personnel, engage in poaching and transporting ivory and rhino horn across Africa, transnational organized criminals are the driving force behind wildlife trafficking, according to reports GAO reviewed and agency officials GAO spoke with in the United States and Africa. Wildlife trafficking can contribute to...
Environmental Satellites: NOAA Needs to Ensure Its Timelines Are Accurate, Clear, and Fully Documented
GAO-16-767: Published: Sep 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2016.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) process for updating its flyout charts involves obtaining updated information on the health of operational satellites and schedules for new satellites, having relevant individuals review the updated charts, and obtaining approval from a senior NOAA official to publish the charts. This process is partially documented in a 2011 draft polic...
Grants Management: EPA Could Improve Certain Monitoring Practices
GAO-16-530: Published: Jul 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 2016.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) generally awards three different categories of grants: formula, categorical, and discretionary. According to EPA data, in fiscal year 2015, EPA awarded the majority of its grant funds— $2.25 billion of $3.95 billion (57 percent)—as formula grants, primarily to states to support water infrastructure based on funding formulas prescribed by law. EPA award...
Nuclear Waste: Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Recovery Demonstrates Cost and Schedule Requirements Needed for DOE Cleanup Operations
GAO-16-608: Published: Aug 4, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2016.
The Department of Energy (DOE) did not meet its initial cost and schedule estimates for restarting nuclear waste disposal operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), resulting in a cost increase of about $64 million and a delay of nearly 9 months. DOE incurred this cost increase and delay partly because it did not follow all best practices in developing the cost and schedule estimates. I...
Army Corps of Engineers: Additional Steps Needed for Review and Revision of Water Control Manuals
GAO-16-685: Published: Jul 26, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2016.
According to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) officials, the agency conducts ongoing, informal reviews of selected water control manuals and has revised some of them, but the extent of the reviews and revisions is unclear because they are not documented or tracked, respectively. The Corps' engineer regulations state that water control manuals should be reviewed no less than every 10 years so t...
Levee Safety: Army Corps and FEMA Have Made Little Progress in Carrying Out Required Activities
GAO-16-709: Published: Jul 26, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2016.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have made little progress in implementing key national levee-safety-related activities required in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. More specifically, the Corps has been working to develop a national levee inventory, but the agencies have taken no action on the remaining key national...
Oil and Gas: Interior Could Do More to Account for and Manage Natural Gas Emissions
GAO-16-607: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2016.
The Department of the Interior's (Interior) guidance to oil and gas operators on its reporting requirements has limitations that may hinder the extent to which it can account for natural gas emissions on onshore federal lands (leases). Interior is required to ensure that oil and gas operations are conducted in a manner that minimizes waste. As part of its oversight activities, Interior requires op...
Nuclear Security: NRC Has Enhanced the Controls of Dangerous Radioactive Materials, but Vulnerabilities Remain
GAO-16-330: Published: Jul 1, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2016.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the 37 states it permits to grant licenses for radioactive materials—called agreement states—have taken several steps since 2007 to help ensure that licenses are granted only to legitimate organizations and that licensees can only obtain such materials in quantities allowed by their licenses. However, NRC and agreement states have not taken some meas...
Environmental Protection Agency: Status of Efforts to Address Nonpoint Source Water Pollution through the Section 319 Program
GAO-16-697R: Published: Jul 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2016.
From fiscal years 2011 through 2014, the most recent years for which complete data were available, states awarded at least 3,080 projects under the section 319 program for addressing nonpoint source water pollution, which comes from such sources as runoff from farms, managed forests, and urban areas. Similar to what GAO found in May 2012, the two most common categories of nonpoint source water pol...
Defense Weather Satellites: DOD Faces Acquisition Challenges for Addressing Capability Needs
GAO-16-769T: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
GAO found in March 2016 that the Department of Defense (DOD), in conducting a requirements review and Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) from 2012 to 2014, generally performed a thorough review for identifying capability gaps in meteorological and oceanographic data—also referred to as weather data—that needed to be met and determining the operational benefit of satisfying these gaps.In doing so,...