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Natural Resources and Environment (121 - 130 of 3,480 items)
Climate Change: USDA's Ongoing Efforts Can Be Enhanced with Better Metrics and More Relevant Information for Farmers
GAO-14-755: Published: Sep 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 2014.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) climate change priorities for agriculture include, among other things, providing better information to farmers on future climate conditions. These priorities generally align with national priorities set by the Administration, which include promoting actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, advancing climate science, developing tools for decision mak...
Specialty Metals: DOD Dissemination of National Security Waiver Information Could Enhance Awareness and Compliance with Restrictions
GAO-15-133: Published: Oct 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 2014.
The Department of Defense (DOD) typically relies on its prime contractors to plan for the procurement of specialty metals and ensure compliance with specialty metals' restrictions for the five weapon systems programs that GAO reviewed. For these programs, GAO found that DOD plays a limited role—primarily monitoring the availability of specialty metals and conducting periodic reviews of prime con...
Ocean Acidification: Federal Response Under Way, but Actions Needed to Understand and Address Potential Impacts
GAO-14-736: Published: Sep 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2014.
Ocean acidification could have a variety of potentially significant effects on marine species, ecosystems, and coastal communities, according to six summary reports that GAO reviewed. The reports were developed by federal agencies and others and were based on extensive reviews of the scientific literature. The scientific understanding of these effects, however, is still developing, and uncertainty...
Natural Gas: Federal Approval Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Exports
GAO-14-762: Published: Sep 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 2014.
Since 2010, of 35 applications it has received that require a public interest review, the Department of Energy (DOE) has approved 3 applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 6 applications are conditionally approved with final approval contingent on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) issuance of a satisfactory environmental review of the export facility. DOE considers a...
Drinking Water: Characterization of Injected Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production
GAO-14-857R: Published: Sep 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program, including oversight and regulation of injection wells associated with oil and gas production called class II wells. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, these wells are subject to regulation to protect underground drinking water sources. EPA has approved 39 states to manage their own class II well pro...
Army Corps of Engineers: The Corps Needs to Take Steps to Identify All Projects and Studies Eligible for Deauthorization
GAO-14-699: Published: Aug 21, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 2014.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) backlog list of authorized water resources construction projects is incomplete because the agency does not track all authorized projects and the list does not include studies. Specifically, GAO found that the backlog does not include some projects that were authorized but were not appropriated funds. Corps headquarters officials said that the agency does n...
Oil and Gas Transportation: Department of Transportation Is Taking Actions to Address Rail Safety, but Additional Actions Are Needed to Improve Pipeline Safety
GAO-14-667: Published: Aug 21, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 2014.
Increased oil and gas production presents challenges for transportation infrastructure because some of this increase is in areas with limited transportation linkages. For example, insufficient pipeline capacity to transport crude oil has resulted in the increased use of rail, truck, and barge to move oil to refineries, according to government and industry studies and publications GAO reviewed. The...
Fish Stock Assessments: Prioritization and Funding
GAO-14-794R: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2014.
In summary, GAO found that differences exist in the number and frequency of regional fish stock assessments conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). For example, GAO’s analysis of NMFS data from 2005 through 2013 found that the Alaska Fisheries Science Center conducted 467 fish stock assessments, the Southeast Fisheries Science Center conducted 158 assessments, and the Pacific...
EPA Regulations and Electricity: Update on Agencies' Monitoring Efforts and Coal-Fueled Generating Unit Retirements
GAO-14-672: Published: Aug 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 2014.
The Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) have taken initial steps to implement a recommendation GAO made in 2012 that these agencies develop and document a joint process to monitor industry's progress in responding to four proposed or finalized EPA regulations affecting coal-fueled generating units. GAO concluded...
Missouri River Flood and Drought: Experts Agree the Corps Took Appropriate Action, Given the Circumstances, but Should Examine New Forecasting Techniques
GAO-14-741: Published: Sep 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 2014.
Experts who participated in a GAO-sponsored meeting agreed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) made appropriate release decisions during the 2011 flood and 2012 and 2013 drought affecting the Missouri River basin, given the severity of these events. These experts acknowledged that the flood was primarily due to extreme rain in eastern Montana in May and June 2011. The experts agreed that...