Environmental law (11 - 20 of 332 items)
EPA Health Risk Assessments: Oversight and Sustained Management Key to Overcoming Challenges
GAO-12-148T: Published: Oct 6, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 6, 2011.
This testimony discusses our prior work on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program and database. IRIS is one of the most significant tools that EPA has developed to support its mission to protect people and the environment from harmful chemical exposures. The IRIS database contains EPA's scientific position on the potential human health effects...
Environmental Litigation: Cases against EPA and Associated Costs over Time
GAO-11-650: Published: Aug 1, 2011. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 2011.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faces numerous legal challenges as it implements the nation's environmental laws. Several statutes, such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, allow citizens to file suit against EPA to challenge certain agency actions. Where EPA is named as a defendant, the Department of Justice provides EPA's legal defense. If successful, plaintiffs may be paid for cert...
Drinking Water: Unreliable State Data Limit EPA's Ability to Target Enforcement Priorities and Communicate Water Systems' Performance
GAO-11-381: Published: Jun 17, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 2011.
The nation's drinking water is among the safest in the world, but contamination has occurred, causing illnesses and even deaths. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authorized most states, territories, and tribes to take primary responsibility for ensuring that community water systems provide safe water. EPA needs complete and accurate data on sy...
Environmental Protection Agency: Major Management Challenges
GAO-11-422T: Published: Mar 2, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2011.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) overarching mission is to protect human health and the environment by implementing and enforcing the laws intended to improve the quality of the nation's air, water, and lands. EPA's policies and programs affect virtually all segments of the economy, society, and government. As such, it operates in a highly complex and controversial regulatory arena. In...
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...
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...
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 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...
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...