Environmental monitoring (81 - 90 of 833 items)
Energy-Water Nexus: Many Uncertainties Remain about National and Regional Effects of Increased Biofuel Production on Water Resources
GAO-10-116: Published: Nov 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2009.
In response to concerns about the nation's energy dependence on imported oil, climate change, and other issues, the federal government has encouraged the use of biofuels. Water plays a crucial role in all stages of biofuel production--from cultivation of feedstock through its conversion into biofuel. As demand for water from various sectors increases and places additional stress on already constra...
Coal Combustion Residue: Status of EPA's Efforts to Regulate Disposal
GAO-10-85R: Published: Oct 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2009.
On December 22, 2008, a breach in a surface impoundment (or storage pond) dike at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston Fossil Plant in Tennessee resulted in the release of 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash--also referred to as coal combustion residue (CCR)--into the nearby Emory River. The spill covered more than 300 acres and made 3 homes uninhabitable; it damaged 23 other homes, plus...
Federal Electronics Management: Federal Agencies Could Improve Participation in EPA's Initiatives for Environmentally Preferable Electronic Products
GAO-10-196T: Published: Oct 27, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2009.
Advancing technology has led to increasing sales of new electronic devices. With this increase comes the dilemma of managing them at the end of their useful lives. If discarded with common trash, a number of environmental impacts may result, ranging from the loss of valuable resources to the potential release of toxic substances, such as lead. If recycled, they may be exported to countries with wa...
Climate Change Adaptation: Strategic Federal Planning Could Help Government Officials Make More Informed Decisions
GAO-10-113: Published: Oct 7, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 22, 2009.
Changes in the climate attributable to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases may have significant impacts in the United States and the world. For example, climate change could threaten coastal areas with rising sea levels. Greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere will continue altering the climate system into the future, regardless of emissions control efforts. Therefore, adaptation--defi...
Climate Change Adaptation: Strategic Federal Planning Could Help Officials Make More Informed Decisions
GAO-10-175T: Published: Oct 22, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 22, 2009.
This testimony discusses our report to this committee on climate change adaptation and the role strategic federal planning could play in government decision making. Changes in the climate attributable to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases may have significant impacts in the United States and internationally. For example, climate change could threaten coastal areas with rising sea levels...
Clean Water Act: Longstanding Issues Impact EPA's and States' Enforcement Efforts
GAO-10-165T: Published: Oct 15, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2009.
Congress enacted the Clean Water Act to help reduce water pollution and improve the health of the nation's waterways. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers its enforcement responsibilities under the act through its Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA), as well as its 10 regional offices and the states. Over the last 9 years, GAO has undertaken a number of reviews o...
Clean Air Act: Mercury Control Technologies at Coal-Fired Power Plants Have Achieved Substantial Emissions Reductions
GAO-10-47: Published: Oct 8, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2009.
The 491 U.S. coal-fired power plants are the largest unregulated industrial source of mercury emissions nationwide, annually emitting about 48 tons of mercury--a toxic element that poses health threats, including neurological disorders in children. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that mercury emissions from these sources should be regulated, but the agency has not set...
Climate Change Adaptation: Information on Selected Federal Efforts To Adapt To a Changing Climate (GAO-10-114SP, October 7, 2009), an E-supplement to GAO-10-113
GAO-10-114SP: Published: Oct 7, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 7, 2009.
This is a supplement to GAO-10-113. We obtained information from 13 selected federal departments and agencies on their current and planned climate change adaptation efforts as part of a broader review of climate change adaptation (see GAO-10-113). We present this information to provide a more complete picture of the activities that federal agencies consider to be related to climate change adaptati...
Superfund: Litigation Has Decreased and EPA Needs Better Information on Site Cleanup and Cost Issues to Estimate Future Program Funding Requirements
GAO-09-656: Published: Jul 15, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 14, 2009.
Under the Superfund program, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) places the most seriously contaminated sites on the National Priorities List (NPL). EPA may compel site cleanups by parties responsible for contamination, or conduct cleanups itself and have these parties reimburse its costs. The program is funded by a trust fund, which is largely supported by general fund appropriations. GAO w...
Air Pollution: Air Quality and Permitting of New Coal-Burning, Electricity-Generating Units in Central Texas
GAO-09-787R: Published: Aug 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2009.
Burning coal generates about 50 percent of the nation's electricity and produces air pollution that can pose a significant threat to human health and ecosystems. The Department of Energy (DOE) predicts that demand for electricity will increase nationally by 26 percent between 2007 and 2030, and DOE's Energy Information Administration projects that Texas's electricity demand will steadily increase...