Environmental monitoring (41 - 50 of 831 items)
Climate Change Adaptation: Federal Efforts to Provide Information Could Help Government Decision Making
GAO-12-238T: Published: Nov 16, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 2011.
Climate change is a complex, crosscutting issue that poses risks to many existing environmental and economic systems, including agriculture, infrastructure, ecosystems, and human health. A 2009 assessment by the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) found that climate-related changes--such as rising temperature and sea level--will combine with pollution, population growth, urbaniza...
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...
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...
Polar Satellites: Agencies Need to Address Potential Gaps in Weather and Climate Data Coverage
GAO-11-945T: Published: Sep 23, 2011. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 2011.
Environmental satellites provide critical data used in weather forecasting and measuring variations in climate over time. In February 2010, the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy disbanded the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS)--a tri-agency satellite acquisition that had encountered continuing cost, schedule, and management problems--and...
Chesapeake Bay: Restoration Effort Needs Common Federal and State Goals and Assessment Approach
GAO-11-802: Published: Sep 15, 2011. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 2011.
The Chesapeake Bay, with its watershed in parts of six states and the District of Columbia (watershed states), is an important economic and natural resource that has been in decline. Over decades, federal agencies and watershed states have entered into several agreements to restore the bay, but its health remains impaired. In May 2009, Executive Order 13508 established a Federal Leadership Committ...
Environmental Health: Action Needed to Sustain Agencies' Collaboration on Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water
GAO-11-346: Published: Aug 8, 2011. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2011.
Drinking water in some metropolitan areas contains concentrations of pharmaceuticals, raising concerns about their potential impact on human health. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, in public drinking water systems if they may adversely affect human health among other criteria. Pharmaceutica...
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...
Hazardous Waste: Early Goals Have Been Met in EPA's Corrective Action Program, but Resource and Technical Challenges Will Constrain Future Progress
GAO-11-514: Published: Jul 22, 2011. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 2011.
Years of industrial development generated hazardous waste that, when improperly disposed of, poses risks to human health and the environment. To mitigate these risks, Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA). Subtitle C of RCRA, as amended, requires owners or operators to take corrective actions to clean up contamination at facilities that treat, store, or dispose...
Green Information Technology: Agencies Have Taken Steps to Implement Requirements, but Additional Guidance on Measuring Performance Needed
GAO-11-638: Published: Jul 28, 2011. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2011.
The federal government's substantial use of information technology (IT) contributes significantly to federal agencies' energy use and environmental impact. To help mitigate this impact, organizations have adopted practices for using computing resources in a sustainable and more environmentally friendly manner-- sometimes referred to as "green IT." These practices include equipment acquisition, use...
Climate Change Adaptation: Aligning Funding with Strategic Priorities
GAO-11-876T: Published: Jul 28, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2011.
A 2009 assessment by the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) found that many types of extreme weather events, such as heat waves and regional droughts, have become more frequent and intense during the past 40 to 50 years. According to the assessment, changes in extreme weather and climate events will affect many aspects of society and the natural environment, such as infrastructu...