Environmental monitoring (121 - 130 of 832 items)
Hurricane Katrina: Continuing Debris Removal and Disposal Issues
GAO-08-985R: Published: Aug 25, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 2008.
In 2005, as a result of Hurricane Katrina, more than 1,600 people lost their lives and more than a million were driven from their homes on the Gulf Coast. Tens of thousands of homes in New Orleans were flooded, many requiring either demolition or gutting before reconstruction. Nearly 3 years later, the New Orleans area still faces significant debris management issues and challenges. For example, t...
Chemical Safety Board: Improvements in Management and Oversight Are Needed
GAO-08-864R: Published: Aug 22, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 22, 2008.
The principal role of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is to investigate accidental releases of regulated or extremely hazardous substances to determine the conditions and circumstances that led to the accident and to identify the cause or causes so that similar accidents might be prevented. Accidental releases of these toxic and hazardous chemicals occur frequently and oft...
Superfund: Funding and Reported Costs of Enforcement and Administration Activities
GAO-08-841R: Published: Jul 18, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 18, 2008.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in four Americans lives within 3 miles of a hazardous waste site. To clean up these highly contaminated sites, the Congress established the Superfund program under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980. EPA, the principal agency responsible for administering the Superfund program, has...
Chesapeake Bay Program: Recent Actions Are Positive Steps Toward More Effectively Guiding the Restoration Effort
GAO-08-1033T: Published: Jul 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2008.
The Chesapeake Bay Program (Bay Program) was created in 1983 when Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to establish a partnership to restore the Bay. The partnership's most recent agreement, Chesapeake 2000, sets out five broad goals to guide the restoration effort through 2010. This testimon...
Nuclear Waste: DOE Lacks Critical Information Needed to Assess Its Tank Management Strategy at Hanford
GAO-08-793: Published: Jun 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2008.
The Department of Energy (DOE) manages more than 56 million gallons of radioactive and hazardous waste stored in 149 single-shell and 28 double-shell underground tanks at its Hanford Site in Washington State. Many of these aging tanks have already leaked waste into the soil. Meanwhile, DOE's planned process for emptying the tanks and treating the waste--mixing it with molten glass and solidifying...
Architect of the Capitol: Progress in Improving Energy Efficiency and Options for Decreasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
GAO-08-917T: Published: Jun 18, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 18, 2008.
In April 2007, GAO reported that 96 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from the Capitol Hill Complex facilities--managed by the Architect of the Capitol (AOC)--resulted from electricity use throughout the complex and combustion of fossil fuels in the Capitol Power Plant. The report concluded that AOC and other legislative branch agencies could benefit from conducting energy audits to identify...
Climate Change: Expert Opinion on the Economics of Policy Options to Address Climate Change
GAO-08-605: Published: May 9, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2008.
Elevated levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the resulting effects on the earth's climate could have significant environmental and economic impacts in the United States and internationally. Potential impacts include rising sea levels and a shift in the intensity and frequency of floods and storms. Proposed responses to climate change include adapting to the possible impacts by plannin...
Aboveground Oil Storage Tanks: More Complete Facility Data Could Improve Implementation of EPA's Spill Prevention Program
GAO-08-482: Published: Apr 30, 2008. Publicly Released: May 30, 2008.
Oil leaks from aboveground tanks have contaminated soil and water, threatening human health and wildlife. To prevent damage from oil spills, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule in 1973. EPA's 10 regions inspect oil storage facilities to ensure compliance with the rule. EPA estimates that about 571,000 facilities are subject...
Chemical Assessments: EPA's New Assessment Process Will Further Limit the Productivity and Credibility of Its Integrated Risk Information System
GAO-08-810T: Published: May 21, 2008. Publicly Released: May 21, 2008.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) contains EPA's scientific position on the potential human health effects of exposure to more than 540 chemicals. Toxicity assessments in the IRIS database constitute the first two critical steps of the risk assessment process, which in turn, provides the foundation for risk management decisions. Thus, IRIS is a c...
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Endangered Species Act Decision Making
GAO-08-688T: Published: May 21, 2008. Publicly Released: May 21, 2008.
The Department of the Interior's (Interior) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is generally required to use the best available scientific information when making key decisions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Controversy has surrounded whether former Deputy Assistant Secretary Julie MacDonald may have inappropriately influenced ESA decisions by basing decisions on political factors ra...