Environmental policies (51 - 60 of 243 items)
Electronic Waste: Observations on the Role of the Federal Government in Encouraging Recycling and Reuse
GAO-05-937T: Published: Jul 26, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2005.
Advances in technology have led to rapidly increasing sales of new electronic devices, particularly televisions, computers, and computer monitors. With this increase comes the dilemma of how to manage these products when they come to the end of their useful lives. Concerns have been increasingly expressed that while millions of existing computers become obsolete each year, only a fraction of them...
Oil And Gas Development: Increased Permitting Activity Has Lessened BLM's Ability to Meet Its Environmental Protection Responsibilities
GAO-05-418: Published: Jun 17, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2005.
Rising U.S. energy consumption and concerns about dependency on foreign energy sources have prompted the administration to aggressively pursue domestic oil and gas production, including production on public lands, which in turn has generated concern that the impacts of this activity may compromise the use of public land for other purposes. GAO determined (1) the extent to which the level of oil an...
Clean Air Act: EPA Has Completed Most of the Actions Required by the 1990 Amendments, but Many Were Completed Late
GAO-05-613: Published: May 27, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 2005.
While air quality in the United States has steadily improved over the last few decades, more than a hundred million Americans continue to live in communities where pollution causes the air to be unhealthy at times, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Clean Air Act, first passed in 1963, was last reauthorized and amended in 1990, when new programs were created and changes we...
Clean Air Act: Emerging Mercury Control Technologies Have Shown Promising Results, but Data on Long-Term Performance Are Limited
GAO-05-612: Published: May 31, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2005.
In March 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule that will limit emissions of mercury--a toxic element that causes neurological problems--from coal-fired power plants, the nation's largest industrial source of mercury emissions. Under the rule, mercury emissions are to be reduced from a baseline of 48 tons per year to 38 tons in 2010 and to 15 tons in 2018. In the rule, EPA s...
Storm Water Pollution: Information Needed on the Implications of Permitting Oil and Gas Construction Activities
GAO-05-240: Published: Feb 9, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2005.
To prevent pollutants from entering storm water runoff, the Clean Water Act's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Storm Water Program requires controls for construction activities that disturb land. Phase I of this program requires permitting for construction activities that disturb 5 acres or more, while Phase II requires permitting for activities disturbing between 1 and 5 acres. The...
Clean Air Act: Observations on EPA's Cost-Benefit Analysis of Its Mercury Control Options
GAO-05-252: Published: Feb 28, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2005.
Mercury is a toxic element that can cause neurological disorders in children. In January 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed two options for limiting mercury from power plants, and plans to finalize a rule in March 2005. The first would require each plant to meet emissions standards reflecting the application of control technology (the technology-based option), while the secon...
Hazardous Waste Sites: Improved Effectiveness of Controls at Sites Could Better Protect the Public
GAO-05-163: Published: Jan 28, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2005.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) programs were established to clean up hazardous waste sites. Because some sites cannot be cleaned up to allow unrestricted use, institutional controls--legal or administrative restrictions on land or resource use to protect against exposure to the residual contamination--are placed on them. GAO...
Great Lakes: Organizational Leadership and Restoration Goals Need to Be Better Defined for Monitoring Restoration Progress
GAO-04-1024: Published: Sep 28, 2004. Publicly Released: Oct 4, 2004.
The Great Lakes remain environmentally vulnerable, prompting the United States and Canada to agree on actions to preserve and protect them. As requested, this report (1) determines the extent to which current EPA monitoring efforts provide information for assessing overall conditions in the Great Lakes Basin, (2) identifies existing restoration goals and whether monitoring is done to track goal pr...
Grants Management: EPA Continues to Have Problems Linking Grants to Environmental Results
GAO-04-983T: Published: Jul 20, 2004. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2004.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has faced persistent challenges in managing its grants, which constitute over one-half of the agency's budget, or about $4 billion annually. These challenges include achieving and measuring environmental results from grant funding. It is easier to measure grant activities (outputs) than the environmental results of those activities (outcomes), which may oc...
Transportation Planning: State and Metropolitan Planning Agencies Report Using Varied Methods to Consider Ecosystem Conservation
GAO-04-536: Published: May 17, 2004. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2004.
The nation's roads, highways, and bridges are essential to mobility but can have negative effects on plants, animals, and the habitats that support them (collectively called ecosystems in this report). Federally funded transportation projects progress through three planning phases: long range (20 or more years), short range (3 to 5 years), and early project development, (collectively defined as pl...