Environmental policies (21 - 30 of 585 items) in Custom Date Range
Safe Drinking Water Act: EPA Should Improve Implementation of Requirements on Whether to Regulate Additional Contaminants
GAO-11-254: Published: May 27, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2011.
Under 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, every 5 years the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to determine for at least five contaminants, such as chemicals, whether regulation is warranted, considering those that present the greatest public health concern. Since 1996, EPA had not recommended any new contaminants for regulation until February 2011, when it reversed its controver...
Climate Change: Improvements Needed to Clarify National Priorities and Better Align Them with Federal Funding Decisions
GAO-11-317: Published: May 20, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 2011.
Climate change poses risks to many environmental and economic systems, including agriculture, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Federal law has periodically required the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to report on federal climate change funding. GAO was asked to examine (1) federal funding for climate change activities and how these activities are organized; (2) the extent to which methods fo...
Air Quality: Information on Tall Smokestacks and Their Contribution to Interstate Transport of Air Pollution
GAO-11-473: Published: May 11, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2011.
Tall smokestacks--stacks of 500 feet or higher, which are primarily used at coal power plants--release air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) high into the atmosphere to help limit the impact of these emissions on local air quality. Tall stacks can also increase the distance these pollutants travel in the atmosphere and harm air quality and the environment in downwin...
Environmental Protection Agency: Major Management Challenges
GAO-11-422T: Published: Mar 2, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2011.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) overarching mission is to protect human health and the environment by implementing and enforcing the laws intended to improve the quality of the nation's air, water, and lands. EPA's policies and programs affect virtually all segments of the economy, society, and government. As such, it operates in a highly complex and controversial regulatory arena. In...
Electronic Waste: Considerations for Promoting Environmentally Sound Reuse and Recycling
GAO-10-626: Published: Jul 12, 2010. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 2010.
Low recycling rates for used televisions, computers, and other electronics result in the loss of valuable resources, and electronic waste exports risk harming human health and the environment in countries that lack safe recycling and disposal capacity. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the management of used electronics that qualify as hazardous waste and promotes voluntary effor...
Vehicle Fuel Economy: NHTSA and EPA's Partnership for Setting Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards Improved Analysis and Should Be Maintained
GAO-10-336: Published: Feb 25, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 2010.
In May 2009, the U.S. administration announced plans to increase the Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards and establish the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for vehicles. NHTSA redesigned CAFE standards for light trucks for model years 2008 throug...
Environmental Contamination: Information on the Funding and Cleanup Status of Defense Sites
GAO-10-547T: Published: Mar 17, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2010.
Under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), the Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for cleaning up about 5,400 sites on military bases that have been closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, as well as 21,500 sites on active bases and over 4,700 formerly used defense sites (FUDS), properties that DOD owned or controlled and transferred to other parties...
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...
Chemical Regulation: Observations on Improving the Toxic Substances Control Act
GAO-10-292T: Published: Dec 2, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2009.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is authorized under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to obtain information on the risks of chemicals and to control those that it determines to pose an unreasonable risk. EPA also conducts assessments of chemicals under its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program. Nonetheless, EPA does not have sufficient information to determine whether i...
Federal Electronics Management: Federal Agencies Could Improve Participation in EPA's Initiatives for Environmentally Preferable Electronic Products
GAO-10-196T: Published: Oct 27, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2009.
Advancing technology has led to increasing sales of new electronic devices. With this increase comes the dilemma of managing them at the end of their useful lives. If discarded with common trash, a number of environmental impacts may result, ranging from the loss of valuable resources to the potential release of toxic substances, such as lead. If recycled, they may be exported to countries with wa...