Environmental monitoring (101 - 150 of 833 items)
Hazardous Materials: Status of EPA's Efforts to Assess Sites That May Have Received Asbestos-Contaminated Ore from Libby, Montana
GAO-09-6R: Published: Mar 10, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 2009.
In October 2007, we reported on how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies had assessed and addressed risks at sites that were thought to have received asbestos-contaminated ore from a mine located in Libby, Montana, and the overall results of these efforts. As we noted at that time, EPA has identified hundreds of sites nationwide that are thought to have received mil...
Superfund: Greater EPA Enforcement and Reporting Are Needed to Enhance Cleanup at DOD Sites
GAO-09-278: Published: Mar 13, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 16, 2009.
Prior to the 1980s and the passage of environmental legislation--particularly the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) governing environmental cleanup--Department of Defense (DOD) activities contaminated millions of acres of soil and water on and near DOD sites. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which enforces CERCLA, places the most contaminated...
Hazardous Materials: EPA's Assessment of Sites That May Have Received Asbestos-Contaminated Ore from Libby, Montana (GAO-09-7SP, March 2009), an E-supplement to GAO-09-6R
GAO-09-7SP: Published: Mar 10, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 2009.
Vermiculite, a fibrous mineral with many commercial and industrial uses, was mined in Libby, Montana, from 1923 through the early 1990s, when the mine was closed. While the mine was operating, ore was shipped to hundreds of processing and receiving sites throughout the United States. The vermiculite ore from the Libby mine was contaminated with asbestos. In 2000, EPA began cleaning up asbestos con...
Environmental Protection Agency: Major Management Challenges
GAO-09-434: Published: Mar 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2009.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) overarching mission is to protect human health and the environment by implementing and enforcing environmental laws intended to improve the quality of the nation's air and water and to protect its land. EPA's policies and programs affect virtually all segments of the economy, society, and government. As such, it operates in a highly complex and controver...
Chemical Regulation: Options for Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Toxic Substances Control Act
GAO-09-428T: Published: Feb 26, 2009. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2009.
Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 1976, authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to obtain information on the risks of industrial chemicals and to control those that EPA determines pose an unreasonable risk. However, EPA does not have sufficient chemical assessment information to determine whether it should establish controls to limit public exposure to many c...
Climate Change Science: High Quality Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data are a Cornerstone of Programs to Address Climate Change
GAO-09-423T: Published: Feb 24, 2009. Publicly Released: Feb 24, 2009.
Elevated levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the resulting effects on the earth's climate could have significant impacts in the United States and internationally. Potential impacts include a change in sea levels, ecosystems, and ice cover. The United States Congress is considering proposals to limit greenhouse gas emissions using market-based mechanisms that would place a price on emi...
Clean Air Act: Historical Information on EPA's Process for Reviewing California Waiver Requests and Making Waiver Determinations
GAO-09-249R: Published: Jan 16, 2009. Publicly Released: Feb 17, 2009.
Emissions from mobile sources, such as automobiles and trucks, contribute to air quality degradation and can threaten public health and the environment. Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates these emissions. The act generally allows one set of federal standards for new motor vehicle emissions and pre-empts states from adopting or enforcing their own standards...
International Environmental Oversight: U.S. Agencies Follow Certain Procedures Required by Law, but Have Limited Impact
GAO-09-99: Published: Nov 20, 2008. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 2008.
The World Bank Group lends about $40 billion annually to developing countries. Critics have claimed that some projects have harmed the environment and the local population. Title XIII of the International Financial Institutions Act of 1977 outlines in part the U.S. government's requirements for reviewing potential environmental and social impacts of proposed multilateral development bank projects...
Federal Land Management: Use of Stewardship Contracting Is Increasing, but Agencies Could Benefit from Better Data and Contracting Strategies
GAO-09-23: Published: Nov 13, 2008. Publicly Released: Nov 13, 2008.
The Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have stewardship contracting authority, which allows the agencies to trade goods--such as timber--for services (e.g., thinning forests or rangelands) that the agencies would otherwise pay for with appropriated dollars, and to enter into stewardship contracts lasting up to 10 years. T...
Aviation and the Environment: Initial Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Program Projects Reduce Emissions, and FAA Plans to Assess the Program's Overall Performance as Participation Increases
GAO-09-37: Published: Nov 7, 2008. Publicly Released: Nov 7, 2008.
In 2003, Congress established a program to reduce airport ground emissions at commercial service airports in areas failing to meet or maintain air quality standards. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) administers the Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) Program and oversees the program's two sources of funding: Airport Improvement Program (AIP) federal grants or Passenger Facility Charges...
Environmental Enforcement: EPA Needs to Improve the Accuracy and Transparency of Measures Used to Report on Program Effectiveness
GAO-08-1111R: Published: Sep 18, 2008. Publicly Released: Oct 21, 2008.
As part of its mission to protect human health and the environment, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) enforcement office maintains civil and criminal enforcement programs to help enforce the requirements of major federal environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. EPA's civil and criminal enforcement programs work with the Department of Justice (DOJ), and in som...
Climate Change: Federal Actions Will Greatly Affect the Viability of Carbon Capture and Storage As a Key Mitigation Option
GAO-08-1080: Published: Sep 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 2008.
Key scientific assessments have underscored the urgency of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) to address climate change. Many have cited carbon capture and storage (CCS) as an essential technology because it has the potential to greatly reduce CO2 emissions from power plants while allowing for projected increases in electricity demand. CCS involves capturing CO2 from a power plant's emissi...
Carbon Offsets: The U.S. Voluntary Market Is Growing, but Quality Assurance Poses Challenges for Market Participants
GAO-08-1048: Published: Aug 29, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
Carbon offsets--reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from an activity in one place to compensate for emissions elsewhere--are a way to address climate change by paying someone else to reduce emissions. To be credible, an offset must be additional--it must reduce emissions below the quantity emitted in a business-as-usual scenario--among other criteria. Assessing credibility is inherently challen...
Nuclear Waste: Action Needed to Improve Accountability and Management of DOE's Major Cleanup Projects
GAO-08-1081: Published: Sep 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
The Department of Energy (DOE) spends billions of dollars annually to clean up nuclear wastes at sites that produced nuclear weapons. Cleanup projects decontaminate and demolish buildings, remove and dispose of contaminated soil, treat contaminated groundwater, and stabilize and dispose of solid and liquid radioactive wastes. Ten of these projects meet or nearly meet DOE's definition of major: cos...
Recent Actions by the Chesapeake Bay Program Are Positive Steps Toward More Effectively Guiding the Restoration Effort, but Additional Steps Are Needed
GAO-08-1131R: Published: Aug 28, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
Since 1983, the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission; and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have partnered to protect and restore the deteriorated Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The partners established the Chesapeake Bay Program (Bay Program) to manage and coordinate a variety of restoration activities and in their most recent...
Wildlife Refuges: Changes in Funding, Staffing, and Other Factors Create Concerns about Future Sustainability
GAO-08-797: Published: Sep 22, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 2008.
The National Wildlife Refuge System, which is administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service in the Department of the Interior, comprises 585 refuges on more than 96 million acres of land and water that preserve habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, and other wildlife. Refuges also provide wildlife-related activities such as hunting and fishing to nearl...
Wildlife Refuges: Trends in Funding, Staffing, Habitat Management, and Visitor Services for Fiscal Years 2002 through 2007
GAO-08-1179T: Published: Sep 24, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 2008.
The National Wildlife Refuge System, which is administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service in the Department of the Interior, comprises 585 refuges on more than 96 million acres of land and water that preserve habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, and other wildlife. Refuges also provide wildlife-related activities such as hunting and fishing to about...
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: EPA Needs More Information and a Clearly Defined Strategy to Protect Air and Water Quality from Pollutants of Concern
GAO-08-944: Published: Sep 4, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 2008.
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) are large livestock and poultry operations that raise animals in a confined situation. CAFOs can improve the efficiency of animal production but large amounts of manure produce can, if not properly managed, degrade air and water quality. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating CAFOs and requires CAFOs that discharge cert...
Electronic Waste: EPA Needs to Better Control Harmful U.S. Exports through Stronger Enforcement and More Comprehensive Regulation
GAO-08-1044: Published: Aug 28, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 2008.
Increasingly, U.S. consumers are recycling their old electronics to prevent the environmental harm that can come from disposal. Concerns have grown, however, that some U.S. companies are exporting these items to developing countries, where unsafe recycling practices can cause health and environmental problems. Items with cathode-ray tubes (CRT) are particularly harmful because they can contain 4 p...
Electronic Waste: Harmful U.S. Exports Flow Virtually Unrestricted Because of Minimal EPA Enforcement and Narrow Regulation
GAO-08-1166T: Published: Sep 17, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 2008.
Increasingly, U.S. consumers are recycling their old electronics to prevent the environmental harm that can come from disposal. Concerns have grown, however, that some U.S. companies are exporting these items to developing countries, where unsafe recycling practices can damage health and the environment. Items with cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) are particularly harmful because they contain lead, a know...
Environmental Health: EPA Efforts to Address Children's Health Issues Need Greater Focus, Direction, and Top-Level Commitment
GAO-08-1155T: Published: Sep 16, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2008.
According to EPA, children face disproportionate risks from contaminants such as air pollution and lead paint. The health consequences to the country's 74 million children are significant. In 2006, 55 percent of children lived in counties exceeding allowable levels for at least one of the six principal air pollutants such as ozone which causes or aggravates asthma. Asthma is the third-most common...
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...
Offshore Marine Aquaculture: Multiple Administrative and Environmental Issues Need to Be Addressed in Establishing a U.S. Regulatory Framework
GAO-08-594: Published: May 9, 2008. Publicly Released: May 9, 2008.
U. S. aquaculture--the raising of fish and shellfish in captivity--has generally been confined to nearshore coastal waters or in other water bodies, such as ponds, that fall under state regulation. Recently, there has been an increased interest in expanding aquaculture to offshore waters, which would involve raising fish and shellfish in the open ocean, and consequently bringing these types of ope...
Aviation and the Environment: NextGen and Research and Development Are Keys to Reducing Emissions and Their Impact on Health and Climate
GAO-08-706T: Published: May 6, 2008. Publicly Released: May 6, 2008.
Collaboration between the federal government and the aviation industry has led to reductions in aviation emissions, but growing air traffic has partially offset these reductions. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), together with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and others, is working to increase the efficiency, safety, and...
Toxic Chemicals: EPA's New Assessment Process Will Increase Challenges EPA Faces in Evaluating and Regulating Chemicals
GAO-08-743T: Published: Apr 29, 2008. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2008.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) mission includes evaluating and regulating toxic chemicals. EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program is a chemical evaluation program that is a critical component of EPA's capacity to support scientifically sound environmental regulations and policies. The IRIS database contains EPA's scientific position on the potential human health effec...
International Boundary and Water Commission: Two Alternatives for Improving Wastewater Treatment at the United States-Mexico Border
GAO-08-595R: Published: Apr 24, 2008. Publicly Released: Apr 24, 2008.
For many years, untreated wastewater originating in Tijuana, Mexico, has entered the United States, largely via the Tijuana River. Tijuana's sewage system does not have the capacity to treat all of the city's wastewater, and some areas of the city are not connected to the sewer system. Tijuana's higher elevation results in sewage flowing downhill into California and out to the Pacific Ocean, causi...
Drinking Water: The District of Columbia and Communities Nationwide Face Serious Challenges in Their Efforts to Safeguard Water Supplies
GAO-08-687T: Published: Apr 15, 2008. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 2008.
The discovery in 2004 of lead contamination in the District of Columbia's drinking water resulted in an administrative order between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the District's Water and Sewer Authority (WASA), requiring WASA to take a number of corrective actions. WASA also took additional, longer-term measures, most notably a roughly $400 million program to replace what may be 3...
Military Training: Compliance with Environmental Laws Affects Some Training Activities, but DOD Has Not Made a Sound Business Case for Additional Environmental Exemptions
GAO-08-407: Published: Mar 7, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2008.
A fundamental principle of military readiness is that the military must train as it intends to fight, and military training ranges allow the Department of Defense (DOD) to accomplish this goal. According to DOD officials, heightened focus on the application of environmental statutes has affected the use of its training areas. Since 2003, DOD has obtained exemptions from three environmental laws an...
Great Lakes Initiative: EPA and States Have Made Progress, but Much Remains to Be Done If Water Quality Goals Are to Be Achieved
GAO-08-312T: Published: Jan 23, 2008. Publicly Released: Jan 23, 2008.
Millions of people in the United States and Canada depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water, recreation, and economic livelihood. During the 1970s, it became apparent that pollutants discharged into the Great Lakes Basin from point sources, such as industrial and municipal facilities, or from nonpoint sources, such as air emissions from power plants, were harming the Great Lakes. Some of these...
Bureau of Reclamation: Reimbursement of California's Central Valley Project Capital Construction Costs by San Luis Unit Irrigation Water Districts
GAO-08-307R: Published: Dec 18, 2007. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2008.
In 1960, Congress authorized the construction of the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project (CVP) in California. The CVP is a network of dams, canals, pumps, and other facilities providing water for multiple uses. Located south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the San Luis Unit is a component of the CVP and was built jointly by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Recla...
Coastal Wetlands: Lessons Learned from Past Efforts in Louisiana Could Help Guide Future Restoration and Protection
GAO-08-130: Published: Dec 14, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 14, 2007.
Louisiana, home to 40 percent of all coastal wetlands in the lower 48 states, is projected to lose almost 17 square miles of coastline each year for the next 50 years to storms, sea level rise, and land subsidence. Coastal wetlands are an important wildlife and commercial resource, and provide a natural buffer against the storm surge that accompanies storms and hurricanes. The Coastal Wetlands Pla...
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...
Hazardous Materials: EPA May Need to Reassess Sites Receiving Asbestos-Contaminated Ore from Libby, Montana, and Should Improve Its Public Notification Process
GAO-08-71: Published: Oct 12, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 2007.
Between 1923 and the early 1990s, a mine near Libby, Montana, shipped millions of tons of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite ore to sites throughout the United States. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began to clean up asbestos contamination at the Libby mine and evaluate those sites that received the ore to determine if they were contaminated. Under Superfund program regulations...
Chemical Regulation: Comparison of U.S. and Recently Enacted European Union Approaches to Protect against the Risks of Toxic Chemicals
GAO-07-825: Published: Aug 17, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2007.
Chemicals play an important role in everyday life. However, some chemicals are highly toxic and need to be regulated. In 1976, the Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment, but some have questioned whether TSCA provides EPA with enough tools t...
Climate Change: Agencies Should Develop Guidance for Addressing the Effects on Federal Land and Water Resources
GAO-07-863: Published: Aug 7, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 2007.
Climate change has implications for the vast land and water resources managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service (FS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and National Park Service (NPS). These resources generally occur within four ecosystem types: coasts and oceans, forests, fresh waters, and grasslands and shrublands....
World Trade Center: EPA's Most Recent Test and Clean Program Raises Concerns That Need to Be Addressed to Better Prepare for Indoor Contamination Following Disasters
GAO-07-1091: Published: Sep 5, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 2007.
The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and World Trade Center (WTC) collapse blanketed Lower Manhattan in dust from building debris. In response, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an indoor clean and test program from 2002 to 2003. In 2003, EPA's Inspector General (IG) recommended improvements to the program and identified lessons learned for EPA's preparedness for future disa...
Aboveground Oil Storage Tanks: Observations on EPA's Economic Analyses of Amendments to the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Rule
GAO-07-763: Published: Jul 27, 2007. Publicly Released: Aug 16, 2007.
Oil in aboveground tanks can leak into soil and nearby water, threatening human health and wildlife. To prevent certain oil spills, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule in 1973. EPA estimated that, in 2005, about 571,000 facilities were regulated under this rule. When finalizing amendments to the rule in 2002 and 2006 to bot...
Environmental Protection: EPA-State Enforcement Partnership Has Improved, but EPA's Oversight Needs Further Enhancement
GAO-07-883: Published: Jul 31, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 2007.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces the nation's environmental laws through its Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA). OECA sets overall enforcement policies and through its 10 regions oversees state agencies authorized to implement environmental programs consistent with federal requirements. GAO was asked to (1) identify trends in federal resources to regions and st...
Environmental Justice: Measurable Benchmarks Needed to Gauge EPA Progress in Correcting Past Problems
GAO-07-1140T: Published: Jul 25, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 2007.
A 1994 Executive Order sought to ensure that minority and low-income populations are not subjected to disproportionately high levels of environmental risk. Studies have shown that these groups are indeed disproportionately exposed to air pollution and other environmental and health problems. The Order sought to address the problem by requiring EPA and other federal agencies to make achieving envir...
Environmental Contamination: Department of Defense Activities Related to Trichloroethylene, Perchlorate, and Other Emerging Contaminants
GAO-07-1042T: Published: Jul 12, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2007.
DOD defines emerging contaminants as chemicals or materials with (1) perceived or real threat to health or the environment and (2) lack of published standards or a standard that is evolving or being reevaluated. Two emerging contaminants--trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchlorate--are of particular concern to DOD because they have significant potential to impact people or DOD's mission. TCE, a degre...