Environmental law (1 - 10 of 332 items)
Environmental Protection: Status of GAO Recommendations to EPA
GAO-16-722T: Published: Jun 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 2016.
As of May 23, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had implemented 174 of the 325 recommendations GAO made in fiscal years 2006 through 2015. EPA had not yet implemented the remaining 151 recommendations. The figure below shows the status of the 325 recommendations, which fall into six broad categories that relate to EPA programs and operations. These are: (1) management and operat...
Environmental Litigation: Information on Cases against EPA and FWS and on Deadline Suits on EPA Rulemaking
GAO-15-803T: Published: Aug 4, 2015. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2015.
As GAO reported in August 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faces legal challenges implementing the nation's key environmental laws. The number of environmental litigation cases brought against EPA each year for fiscal years 1995 through 2010 varied with no discernible trend. Data available from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, and EPA show that the costs as...
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...
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...
Environmental Regulation: EPA Should Improve Adherence to Guidance for Selected Elements of Regulatory Impact Analyses
GAO-14-519: Published: Jul 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used the seven Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIA) GAO reviewed to inform decision making, and its adherence to relevant Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance varied. According to senior EPA officials, the agency used these RIAs to facilitate communication with management throughout the rulemaking process and communicate information that supported it...
Clean Water Act: Changes Needed If Key EPA Program Is to Help Fulfill the Nation's Water Quality Goals
GAO-14-80: Published: Dec 5, 2013. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states each have responsibilities for developing and implementing pollution targets, known as total maximum daily loads (TMDL). EPA oversees states' TMDL efforts by establishing in regulations minimum requirements TMDLs need for approval, providing funding, and furnishing technical assistance. States develop TMDLs and generally take the lead in imp...
Nuclear Reactor License Renewal: NRC Generally Follows Documented Procedures, but Its Revisions to Environmental Review Guidance Have Not Been Timely
GAO-13-493: Published: May 30, 2013. Publicly Released: Jul 10, 2013.
The scope of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) license renewal process focuses on managing the effects of aging on a reactor and its associated systems, structures, and components (i.e. safety) and assessing certain potential environmental impacts of extending a reactor's operating-life. As a result, reviews done as part of this process are not required to address as many topics as reviews...
Pipeline Permitting: Interstate and Intrastate Natural Gas Permitting Processes Include Multiple Steps, and Time Frames Vary
GAO-13-221: Published: Feb 15, 2013. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2013.
Both the interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline permitting processes are complex and can involve multiple federal, state, and local agencies, as well as public interest groups and citizens, and include multiple steps. The interstate process involves a voluntary pre-filing phase, an application phase, and a post-authorization phase with multiple steps that stakeholders reported to be consis...
Electricity: Significant Changes Are Expected in Coal-Fueled Generation, but Coal is Likely to Remain a Key Fuel Source
GAO-13-72: Published: Oct 29, 2012. Publicly Released: Nov 28, 2012.
Retirements of older units, retrofits of existing units with pollution controls, and the construction of some new coal-fueled units are expected to significantly change the coal-fueled electricity generating fleet, making it capable of emitting lower levels of pollutants than the current fleet but reducing its future electricity generating capacity. Two broad trends are affecting power companies'...
Environmental Justice: EPA Needs to Take Additional Actions to Help Ensure Effective Implementation
GAO-12-77: Published: Oct 6, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 7, 2011.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for promoting environmental justice--that is, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people in developing, implementing, and enforcing environmental laws, regulations, and policies. In January 2010, the EPA Administrator cited environmental justice as a top priority for the agency. GAO was asked to examine (1) how EPA is implem...