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Natural Resources and Environment (111 - 120 of 3,480 items)
Geostationary Weather Satellites: Launch Date Nears, but Remaining Schedule Risks Need to be Addressed
GAO-15-60: Published: Dec 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 15, 2015.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) program has made major progress in developing its first satellite, including completing testing of satellite instruments. However, the program continues to face challenges in the areas of schedule, cost, and functionality. Specifically, the program has continued to experience d...
Environmental Litigation: Impact of Deadline Suits on EPA's Rulemaking Is Limited
GAO-15-34: Published: Dec 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2015.
GAO identified seven key environmental laws that allow citizens to file a deadline suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (see table) and EPA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) consider several factors in determining whether or not to settle these suits. The seven key environmental laws include, among others, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. EPA works with DOJ—which re...
Electronic Submissions in Federal Procurement: Implementation by the Army Corps of Engineers and Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation
GAO-15-253R: Published: Dec 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 18, 2014.
The approaches by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Department of the Interior (Interior) Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) to electronic bid submissions are consistent with relevant statutory requirements and the flexibilities provided by the statute and implementing regulation. Section 850 of Public Law 105-85 requires agency heads to use electronic solutions to make the procurement...
Climate Change: Better Management of Exposure to Potential Future Losses Is Needed for Federal Flood and Crop Insurance
GAO-15-28: Published: Oct 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 2014.
Since GAO's 2007 report on flood and crop insurance, exposure growth in hazard-prone areas has increased losses, and climate change and related increases in extreme weather events may further increase such losses in coming decades. Scientific and industry studies GAO reviewed generally found that increasing growth and property values in hazard-prone areas have increased losses to date and that cli...
Highway Projects: Many Federal and State Environmental Review Requirements Are Similar, and Little Duplication of Effort Occurs
GAO-15-71: Published: Nov 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2014.
Three factors—project funding sources and project characteristics, and whether a state allows the adoption of federal review documents—generally determine whether a highway project needs a federal environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or a state environmental review under state law, or both. Projects without federal highway funding usually do not require a Fed...
NOAA's Observing Systems: Additional Steps Needed to Achieve an Integrated, Cost-Effective Portfolio
GAO-15-96: Published: Nov 17, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 2014.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Department of Commerce operates 41 ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observing systems. NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and National Ocean Service manage 25 of these observing systems, with management of the remaining 16 systems split among four other NOAA offices. The majority of NOAA's ocean, coastal, and Great Lak...
Spent Nuclear Fuel Management: Outreach Needed to Help Gain Public Acceptance for Federal Activities That Address Liability
GAO-15-141: Published: Oct 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 2014.
Spent nuclear fuel—the used fuel removed from nuclear power reactors—is expected to accumulate at an average rate of about 2,200 metric tons per year in the United States. This spent nuclear fuel is mostly stored wet, submerged in pools of water. However, since pools have been reaching their capacities, owners and generators of spent nuclear fuel (typically utilities and reactor operators) hav...
Food Safety: FDA and USDA Should Strengthen Pesticide Residue Monitoring Programs and Further Disclose Monitoring Limitations
GAO-15-38: Published: Oct 7, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 6, 2014.
The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) most recent data from 2008 through 2012 show that pesticide residue violation rates in 10 selected fruits and vegetables were low, but FDA's approach to monitoring for violations, which targets commodities it has identified as high risk, has limitations. Among other things, GAO found that FDA tests relatively few targeted (i.e., non-generalizable) samples f...
Chemical Assessments: Agencies Coordinate Activities, but Additional Action Could Enhance Efforts
GAO-14-763: Published: Sep 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 2014.
The federal agencies GAO reviewed—the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)—undertake distinct chemical toxicity assessment activities that differ in type and purpose...
Managing for Results: Selected Agencies Need to Take Additional Efforts to Improve Customer Service
GAO-15-84: Published: Oct 24, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2014.
GAO reviewed the customer service standards at Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Forest Service, Federal Student Aid (FSA), the National Park Service (NPS), and two services in the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)—disability compensation and Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI). GAO found that none of the agencies' standards included all of the key elements of customer service standard...