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Natural Resources and Environment (301 - 350 of 3,480 items)
Border Security: Additional Actions Needed to Better Ensure a Coordinated Federal Response to Illegal Activity on Federal Lands
GAO-11-177: Published: Nov 18, 2010. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 2010.
Federal and tribal lands on the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico are vulnerable to illegal cross-border activity. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)--through its U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Border Patrol (Border Patrol)--is responsible for securing these lands, while the Departments of the Interior (DOI) and Agriculture (USDA) manage natural resources and protect the p...
Moving Illegal Proceeds: Challenges Exist in the Federal Government's Effort to Stem Cross-Border Currency Smuggling
GAO-11-73: Published: Oct 25, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2010.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the lead federal agency responsible for inspecting travelers who seek to smuggle large volumes of cash--called bulk cash--when leaving the country through land ports of entry. It is estimated that criminals smuggle $18 billion to $39 billion a year in bulk cash across the southwest border. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is responsible...
Forest Service Research and Development: Improvements in Delivery of Research Results Can Help Ensure That Benefits of Research Are Realized
GAO-11-12: Published: Oct 29, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 29, 2010.
In recent decades, managing the nation's public and private forests and rangelands has become increasingly complex, requiring a sound understanding of science and science-based tools to address these complexities. The Department of Agriculture's Forest Service maintains a research and development program (FS R&D) to help provide scientific information and tools. GAO was asked to examine (1) the sc...
Energy-Water Nexus: A Better and Coordinated Understanding of Water Resources Could Help Mitigate the Impacts of Potential Oil Shale Development
GAO-11-35: Published: Oct 29, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 29, 2010.
Oil shale deposits in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are estimated to contain up to 3 trillion barrels of oil--or an amount equal to the world's proven oil reserves. About 72 percent of this oil shale is located beneath federal lands, making the federal government a key player in its potential development. Extracting this oil is expected to require substantial amounts of water and could impact ground...
Surface Coal Mining: Information on Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit Reviews under Enhanced Coordination Procedures in Appalachia, Focusing on West Virginia
GAO-11-101R: Published: Oct 19, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2010.
In 2009, West Virginia accounted for about 43 percent of the surface coal mining production in Appalachia. Surface coal mining in the mountainous areas of Appalachia--a process often referred to as mountaintop mining--has generated opposition in recent years because of its impact on landscapes, streams, ecosystems, and communities. In mountaintop mining, before the underlying coal can be extracted...
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Preliminary Assessment of Federal Financial Risks and Cost Reimbursement and Notification Policies and Procedures
GAO-11-90R: Published: Nov 12, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 2010.
On April 20, 2010, an oil spill of national significance in the Gulf of Mexico followed an explosion on the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon (the Deepwater Horizon oil spill). The Deepwater Horizon was leased by BP America Production Company (BP) as part of the Macondo project. 152 days later, on September 19, 2010, BP confirmed the completion of cementing operations to prevent furt...
Environmental Protection Agency: EPA Needs to Complete a Strategy for Its Library Network to Meet Users' Needs
GAO-10-947: Published: Sep 30, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 2010.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) library network provides agency staff and the public with access to environmental information. A 2006 attempt by EPA to reorganize its network by consolidating libraries and making more materials and services available online caused concern among users, and in 2007, EPA put a moratorium on its reorganization plans. Congress requested that GAO report on t...
Climate Change: A Coordinated Strategy Could Focus Federal Geoengineering Research and Inform Governance Efforts
GAO-10-903: Published: Sep 23, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 2010.
Policymakers have raised questions about geoengineering--large-scale deliberate interventions in the earth's climate system to diminish climate change or its impacts--and its role in a broader strategy of mitigating and adapting to climate change. Most geoengineering proposals fall into two categories: carbon dioxide removal (CDR), which would remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, and s...
Southwest Border: More Timely Border Patrol Access and Training Could Improve Security Operations and Natural Resource Protection on Federal Lands
GAO-11-38: Published: Oct 19, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 2010.
Over the last 5 years, Border Patrol has nearly doubled the number of its agents on patrol, constructed hundreds of miles of border fence, and installed surveillance equipment on and near lands managed by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture along the southwestern border. In so doing, the agency has had to comply with federal land management laws, and some have expressed concern that th...
Afghanistan and Iraq: DOD Should Improve Adherence to Its Guidance on Open Pit Burning and Solid Waste Management
GAO-11-63: Published: Oct 15, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2010.
From the start of military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. military and its contractors have burned solid waste in open burn pits on or near military bases. According to the Department of Defense (DOD), burn pit emissions can potentially harm human health. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) guidance directs the military's use of burn pits, and the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) prov...
The Democratic Republic of the Congo: U.S. Agencies Should Take Further Actions to Contribute to the Effective Regulation and Control of the Minerals Trade in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
GAO-10-1030: Published: Sep 30, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 2010.
Rich in minerals, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has long been the site of one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. Since 1998, an estimated 5 million have died as a result of the conflict. GAO was asked to examine the connection between minerals trade and human rights abuses, and the efforts to help control the trade. This report assesses (1) how the key minerals are mine...
Aviation and the Environment: Survey of Airport Officials on Airport Environmental Issues (GAO-10-748SP, September 2010), an E-supplement to GAO-10-50
GAO-10-748SP: Published: Sep 13, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2010.
This is an E-supplement to GAO-10-50. This document presents the results of GAO's survey of airport officials. The purpose of the survey was to determine the nature and scope of airports' environmental actions and challenges associated with airport operations and development. GAO developed the Web-based questionnaire and administered the survey to airport officials from the 150 busiest U.S. airpor...
Aviation and the Environment: Systematically Addressing Environmental Impacts and Community Concerns Can Help Airports Reduce Project Delays
GAO-10-50: Published: Sep 13, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2010.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that the number of flights in the United States will increase 20 percent by 2024. It also has identified numerous airports that will need to expand to handle more flights. However, increasing airport capacity and operations poses potentially significant impacts on the environment and quality of life for surrounding communities. This report addres...
Nuclear Waste: Actions Needed to Address Persistent Concerns with Efforts to Close Underground Radioactive Waste Tanks at DOE's Savannah River Site
GAO-10-816: Published: Sep 14, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2010.
Decades of nuclear materials production at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site in South Carolina have left 37 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste in 49 underground storage tanks. In December 2008, DOE entered into a contract with Savannah River Remediation, LLC (SRR) to close, by 2017, 22 of the highest-risk tanks at a cost of $3.2 billion. GAO was asked to assess: (1) DOE...
Onshore Oil and Gas: BLM's Management of Public Protests to Its Lease Sales Needs Improvement
GAO-10-670: Published: Jul 30, 2010. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 2010.
The development of oil and natural gas resources on federal lands contributes to domestic energy production but also results in concerns over potential impacts on those lands. Numerous public protests about oil and gas lease sales have been filed with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages these federal resources. GAO was asked to examine (1) the extent to which BLM maintains and makes...
Superfund: Interagency Agreements and Improved Project Management Needed to Achieve Cleanup Progress at Key Defense Installations
GAO-10-348: Published: Jul 15, 2010. Publicly Released: Aug 16, 2010.
Before the passage of federal environmental legislation in the 1970s and 1980s, Department of Defense (DOD) activities contaminated millions of acres of soil and water on and near DOD sites. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has certain oversight authorities for cleaning up contaminants on federal property, and has placed 1,620 of the most contaminated sites--including 141 DOD installation...
Electronic Waste: Considerations for Promoting Environmentally Sound Reuse and Recycling
GAO-10-626: Published: Jul 12, 2010. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 2010.
Low recycling rates for used televisions, computers, and other electronics result in the loss of valuable resources, and electronic waste exports risk harming human health and the environment in countries that lack safe recycling and disposal capacity. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the management of used electronics that qualify as hazardous waste and promotes voluntary effor...
Climate Change: The Quality, Comparability, and Review of Emissions Inventories Vary Between Developed and Developing Nations
GAO-10-818: Published: Jul 30, 2010. Publicly Released: Aug 5, 2010.
Nations that are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change periodically submit inventories estimating their greenhouse gas emissions. The Convention Secretariat runs a review process to evaluate inventories from 41 "Annex I" nations, which are mostly economically developed nations. The 153 "non-Annex I" nations are generally less economically developed and have less stri...
Oil and Gas Management: Past Work Offers Insights to Consider in Restructuring Interior's Oversight
GAO-10-888T: Published: Jul 22, 2010. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2010.
The catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has drawn attention to the exploration and production of oil and gas from leases on federal lands and waters. The Department of the Interior oversees oil and gas activities on federal lands and waters. Onshore, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has oversight responsibilities. Offshore, the newly created Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulatio...
Coal Power Plants: Opportunities Exist for DOE to Provide Better Information on the Maturity of Key Technologies to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions
GAO-10-675: Published: Jun 16, 2010. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2010.
Coal power plants generate about half of the United States' electricity and are expected to remain a key energy source. Coal power plants also account for about one-third of the nation's emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2 ), the primary greenhouse gas that experts believe contributes to climate change. Current regulatory efforts and proposed legislation that seek to reduce CO2 emissions could affect...
U.S. Insular Areas: Interior's Management and Oversight of Insular Area Grants
GAO-10-917T: Published: Jul 15, 2010. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2010.
U.S. insular areas face serious economic and fiscal challenges and rely on federal funding to support their governments and deliver critical services. The Department of the Interior, through its Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), provides about $70 million in grants annually, including technical assistance grants, to increase insular area self-sufficiency. In the past, GAO and others have raised con...
Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellites: Agencies Must Act Quickly to Address Risks That Jeopardize the Continuity of Weather and Climate Data
GAO-10-558: Published: May 27, 2010. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 2010.
In the 8 years since a contract was awarded, the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS)--a tri-agency program managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)--has experienced escalating costs, schedule delays, and ineffective interagency manageme...
Superfund: EPA's Costs to Remediate Existing and Future Sites Will Likely Exceed Current Funding Levels
GAO-10-857T: Published: Jun 22, 2010. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 2010.
This testimony summarizes the findings of our report on funding issues related to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program. To protect human health and the environment from the effects of hazardous substances, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980, which established the Superfund program. Since 1980, EPA has...
Superfund: EPA's Estimated Costs to Remediate Existing Sites Exceed Current Funding Levels, and More Sites Are Expected to Be Added to the National Priorities List
GAO-10-380: Published: May 6, 2010. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 2010.
At the end of fiscal year 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Priorities List (NPL) included 1,111 of the most seriously contaminated nonfederal hazardous waste sites. Of these sites, EPA had identified 75 with unacceptable human exposure, 164 with unknown exposure, and 872 with controlled exposure that may need additional cleanup work. EPA may fund remedial actions--long-te...
Oil and Gas Management: Key Elements to Consider for Providing Assurance of Effective Independent Oversight
GAO-10-852T: Published: Jun 17, 2010. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 2010.
The catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has drawn national attention to the exploration and production of oil and gas from leases on federal lands and waters. The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees onshore oil and gas activities, the Minerals Management Service's (MMS) Offshore Energy and Minerals Management oversees offshore oil and gas activities, and...
Oil Spills: Cost of Major Spills May Impact Viability of Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund
GAO-10-795T: Published: Jun 16, 2010. Publicly Released: Jun 16, 2010.
On April 20, 2010, an explosion at the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon resulted in a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill's total cost is unknown, but may result in considerable costs to the private sector, as well as federal, state, and local governments. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) set up a system that places the liability--up to specified limits--on the res...
Recovery Act: Clean Water Projects Are Underway, but Procedures May Not Be in Place to Ensure Adequate Oversight
GAO-10-761T: Published: May 26, 2010. Publicly Released: May 26, 2010.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) included $4 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF). This testimony--based on GAO's report GAO-10-604, issued on May 26, 2010, in response to a mandate under the Recovery Act--addresses (1) state efforts to meet requirements associated with the Recovery Act and SRF program, (2)...
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: Policies and Procedures for Preparing Public Health Products Should Be Strengthened
GAO-10-741T: Published: May 20, 2010. Publicly Released: May 20, 2010.
This testimony discusses the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR) policies and procedures for product preparation. ATSDR investigates community exposures related to chemical sites and releases; works with federal, tribal, state, and local agencies to identify potential exposures; assesses associated health effects; and recommends actions to stop, prevent, or minimize these ha...
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: Policies and Procedures for Public Health Product Preparation Should Be Strengthened
GAO-10-449: Published: Apr 30, 2010. Publicly Released: May 20, 2010.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has faced concerns related to the quality of some of the public health products it publishes. ATSDR investigates community exposures related to certain hazardous chemical sites and releases; assesses associated health effects; and recommends actions to stop, prevent, or minimize harmful effects. ATSDR publishes many types of products, in...
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: An Appropriate Methodology Is Needed for Determining Administrative Costs Attributable to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
GAO-10-610R: Published: May 20, 2010. Publicly Released: May 20, 2010.
This letter formally transmits and summarizes an oral briefing we gave on April 12, 2010, in response to House of Representatives Explanatory Statement, 155 Cong. Rec. H2113 (daily ed., Feb. 23, 2009), accompanying the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. No. 111-8, 123 Stat. 524) (2009). GAO was directed to review the indirect costs the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR...
U.S. Tsunami Preparedness: NOAA Has Expanded Its Tsunami Programs, but Improved Planning Could Enhance Effectiveness
GAO-10-490: Published: Apr 28, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2010.
In June 2006, GAO reported a number of concerns about the level of U.S. tsunami preparedness. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) leads U.S. efforts through three key programs: the Tsunami Program, which focuses on detection and warning activities; the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP), which is a partnership with federal and state agencies focusing on hazar...
Oil and Gas Management: Interior's Oil and Gas Production Verification Efforts Do Not Provide Reasonable Assurance of Accurate Measurement of Production Volumes
GAO-10-313: Published: Mar 15, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2010.
Oil and natural gas produced from federal leases generated over $6.5 billion in royalties in 2009. To verify that royalties are paid on the correct volumes of oil and gas, the Department of the Interior (Interior) verifies the quantity and quality of oil and gas, both onshore, through the Bureau of Land Management, and offshore, through the Offshore Energy and Minerals Management Service. This rep...
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Additional Guidance Would Help Strengthen the Minerals Management Service's Assessment of Environmental Impacts in the North Aleutian Basin
GAO-10-276: Published: Mar 8, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 7, 2010.
Interest has re-emerged in developing oil and gas in the nation's offshore areas, such as the North Aleutian Basin. Located on the outer continental shelf (OCS) where the Aleutian Islands meet the Alaskan mainland around Bristol Bay, the basin may contain sizable oil and gas deposits, although the area's environmental and cultural sensitivity has made oil and gas development in the area controvers...
Delaware River Deepening Project: Comprehensive Reanalysis Corrected Errors, but Several Issues Still Need to Be Addressed
GAO-10-420: Published: Mar 31, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 2, 2010.
In 1992 Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to implement the Delaware River deepening project, which would deepen the river's shipping channel from 40 to 45 feet. In 2002 GAO reviewed the Corps' economic analysis of the project, concluding that it contained significant limitations. GAO recommended that the Corps prepare a comprehensive economic reanalysis, which the Corps...
Vehicle Fuel Economy: NHTSA and EPA's Partnership for Setting Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards Improved Analysis and Should Be Maintained
GAO-10-336: Published: Feb 25, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 2010.
In May 2009, the U.S. administration announced plans to increase the Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards and establish the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for vehicles. NHTSA redesigned CAFE standards for light trucks for model years 2008 throug...
Superfund: Information on Cost and Other Issues Related to the Cleanup of the Federal Creosote Site
GAO-10-277: Published: Feb 25, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 2010.
In the 1990s, creosote was discovered under a residential neighborhood in Manville, New Jersey. Creosote, a mixture of chemicals, is used to preserve wood products, such as railroad ties. Some of the chemicals in creosote may cause cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA found that creosote from a former wood-treatment facility (known as the Federal Creosote site) had c...
Climate Change: Observations on Options for Selling Emissions Allowances in a Cap-and-Trade Program
GAO-10-377: Published: Feb 24, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 2010.
Congress is considering proposals for market-based programs to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Many proposals involve creating a cap-and-trade program, in which an overall emissions cap is set and entities covered by the program must hold tradable permits--or "allowances"-- to cover their emissions. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the value of these allowances could total $300...
Status of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Efforts to Implement GAO's 2007 Recommendations Regarding Its Section 214 Authority
GAO-10-385R: Published: Feb 19, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2010.
When cities, counties, or other nonfederal public entities propose public works projects that could degrade or damage federally regulated waters and wetlands, such as road construction and sewer line construction or maintenance, they must obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) before proceeding. Under authorities delegated to the Corps from Section 404 of the Clean Water Act...
Climate Change: Preliminary Observations on Geoengineering Science, Federal Efforts, and Governance Issues
GAO-10-546T: Published: Mar 18, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 18, 2010.
Key scientific assessments have underscored the urgency of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide to help mitigate potentially negative effects of climate change; however, many countries with significant greenhouse gas emissions, including the United States, China, and India, have not committed to binding limits on emissions to date, and carbon dioxide levels continue to rise. Recently, some policym...
Environmental Health: High-level Strategy and Leadership Needed to Continue Progress toward Protecting Children from Environmental Threats
GAO-10-205: Published: Jan 28, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2010.
Exposure to toxic chemicals or environmental pollutants may harm the health of the nation's 74 million children and contribute to increases in asthma and developmental impairments. In 2007, 66 percent of children lived in counties exceeding allowable levels for at least one of the six principal air pollutants that cause or aggravate asthma, contributing to medical costs of $3.2 billion per year, a...
Environmental Contamination: Information on the Funding and Cleanup Status of Defense Sites
GAO-10-547T: Published: Mar 17, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2010.
Under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), the Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for cleaning up about 5,400 sites on military bases that have been closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, as well as 21,500 sites on active bases and over 4,700 formerly used defense sites (FUDS), properties that DOD owned or controlled and transferred to other parties...
Environmental Health: Opportunities for Greater Focus, Direction, and Top-Level Commitment to Children's Health at EPA
GAO-10-545T: Published: Mar 17, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2010.
This testimony discusses highlights of GAO's report about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to institutionalize the protection of children's health. EPA's mission is to protect human health and the environment. As a result of mounting evidence about the special vulnerabilities of the developing fetus and child, the federal government and EPA took several bold steps to make childr...
Forest Service: Information on Appeals, Objections, and Litigation Involving Fuel Reduction Activities, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2008
GAO-10-337: Published: Mar 4, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2010.
Increases in the number and intensity of wildland fires have led the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service to place greater emphasis on thinning forests and rangelands to reduce the buildup of potentially hazardous vegetation that can fuel wildland fires. The public generally has an opportunity to challenge agency hazardous fuel reduction decisions with which it disagrees. Depending on the ty...
Update on the Status of the Merchantable Timber Contracting Pilot Program
GAO-10-379R: Published: Mar 4, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2010.
Counties containing federal lands have historically received a percentage of the receipts generated by the sale or use of natural resources on the federal lands. A steep decline in federal timber sales during the 1990s, however, resulted in a significant decrease in federal payments to counties that previously depended on timber receipts. The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination A...
Oil and Gas Bonds: Bonding Requirements and BLM Expenditures to Reclaim Orphaned Wells
GAO-10-245: Published: Jan 27, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2010.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 directs the Department of the Interior (Interior) to manage lands for multiple uses while also taking any action to prevent "unnecessary or undue degradation" of the land. To do this, Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), among other things, requires oil and gas operators to reclaim the land they disturb and post a bond to help ensure they d...
Surface Coal Mining: Financial Assurances for, and Long-Term Oversight of, Mines with Valley Fills in Four Appalachian States
GAO-10-206: Published: Jan 14, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 2010.
Surface mining for coal in Appalachia has generated opposition because rock and dirt from mountaintops is often removed and placed in nearby valleys and streams. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) in the Department of the Interior and states with approved programs regulate these mines under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). The Army Corps of Engine...
Biomonitoring: EPA Could Make Better Use of Biomonitoring Data
GAO-10-419T: Published: Feb 4, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 4, 2010.
Biomonitoring, which measures chemicals in people's tissues or body fluids, has shown that the U.S. population is widely exposed to chemicals used in everyday products. Some of these have the potential to cause cancer or birth defects. Moreover, children may be more vulnerable to harm from these chemicals than adults. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is authorized under the Toxic Substanc...
Defense Infrastructure: DOD Needs to Take Actions to Address Challenges in Meeting Federal Renewable Energy Goals
GAO-10-104: Published: Dec 18, 2009. Publicly Released: Jan 25, 2010.
The Department of Defense (DOD) consumes about 60 percent of all energy used at federal government facilities. To encourage an increased use of energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, (1) the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (the 2005 Act) directs DOD to consume at least 3 percent of its total electricity from renewable resources starting in fiscal year 2007; (2) Executive Order 1342...
Rural Water Infrastructure: Improved Coordination and Funding Processes Could Enhance Federal Efforts to Meet Needs in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region
GAO-10-126: Published: Dec 18, 2009. Publicly Released: Jan 19, 2010.
A serious problem for U.S. communities along the U.S.-Mexico border is the lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation systems. Inadequate systems can pose risks to human health and the environment, including the risk of waterborne diseases. Numerous federal programs provide grants, loans, or other assistance to rural U.S. communities, including those in the border region, for drinking wa...
Department of Energy: Actions Needed to Develop High-Quality Cost Estimates for Construction and Environmental Cleanup Projects
GAO-10-199: Published: Jan 14, 2010. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2010.
The Department of Energy (DOE) spends billions of dollars on construction projects--those that maintain nuclear weapons, conduct research, and process nuclear waste--and projects that clean up nuclear and hazardous wastes at DOE's sites; these projects are largely executed by contractors. DOE has struggled to keep these projects within cost and schedule estimates. GAO was asked to assess (1) DOE's...