Natural resources (1 - 10 of 50 items)
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...
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...
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'...
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...
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...
Toxic Chemical Releases: EPA Actions Could Reduce Environmental Information Available to Many Communities
GAO-08-128: Published: Nov 30, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 2007.
Federal law requires certain facilities that manufacture, process, or use any of 581 toxic chemicals to report annually to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their state on the amount of those chemicals released into the air, water, or soil. It also requires EPA to make this information available to the public electronically through the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database. Facilitie...
Toxic Chemical Releases: Survey of State Toxics Release Inventory Coordinators (GAO-08-129SP), an E-supplement to GAO-08-128
GAO-08-129SP: Published: Nov 30, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 2007.
This is an E-supplement to GAO-08-128, which was released on November 30, 2007. The Environmental Protection and Community Right-to-Know Act requires certain facilities to submit Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reports to their respective states, which have a created range of TRI programs. In order to learn about states' TRI activities, we conducted a survey of state TRI coordinators in the 50 stat...