Natural resources (21 - 30 of 121 items)
Superfund: EPA's Costs to Remediate Existing and Future Sites Will Likely Exceed Current Funding Levels
GAO-10-857T: Published: Jun 22, 2010. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 2010.
This testimony summarizes the findings of our report on funding issues related to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program. To protect human health and the environment from the effects of hazardous substances, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980, which established the Superfund program. Since 1980, EPA has...
Oil and Gas Bonds: Bonding Requirements and BLM Expenditures to Reclaim Orphaned Wells
GAO-10-245: Published: Jan 27, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2010.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 directs the Department of the Interior (Interior) to manage lands for multiple uses while also taking any action to prevent "unnecessary or undue degradation" of the land. To do this, Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), among other things, requires oil and gas operators to reclaim the land they disturb and post a bond to help ensure they d...
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...
Federal Lands: Enhanced Planning Could Assist Agencies in Managing Increased Use of Off-Highway Vehicles
GAO-09-509: Published: Jun 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2009.
Off-highway vehicle (OHV) use on lands managed by the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service (Park Service) has become popular over the past few decades. Some critics have asserted that OHV use causes adverse environmental, social, and safety impacts, while proponents have voiced concerns about retai...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...