Environmental protection (41 - 50 of 562 items)
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...
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...
Abandoned Mines: Information on the Number of Hardrock Mines, Cost of Cleanup, and Value of Financial Assurances
GAO-11-834T: Published: Jul 14, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2011.
The General Mining Act of 1872 helped foster the development of the West by giving individuals exclusive rights to mine gold, silver, copper, and other hardrock minerals on federal land. However, miners often abandoned mines, leaving behind structures, safety hazards, and contaminated land and water. Four federal agencies--the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Office...
EPA Health Risk Assessments: Sustained Management and Oversight Key to Overcoming Challenges
GAO-11-824T: Published: Jul 14, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 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...
Safe Drinking Water Act: Improvements in Implementation Are Needed to Better Assure the Public of Safe Drinking Water
GAO-11-803T: Published: Jul 12, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2011.
This testimony discusses highlights of GAO's report on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) implementation of requirements for determining whether additional drinking water contaminants warrant regulation. The number of potential drinking water contaminants is vast--as many as tens of thousands of chemicals may be used across the country, and EPA has identified more than 6,000 chemicals tha...
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...
Nuclear Material: DOE's Depleted Uranium Tails Could Be a Source of Revenue for the Government
GAO-11-752T: Published: Jun 13, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2011.
Since the 1940s, the Department of Energy (DOE) has been processing natural uranium into enriched uranium, which has a higher concentration of the isotope uranium-235 that can be used in nuclear weapons or reactors. This has resulted in over 700,000 metric tons of leftover depleted uranium, also known as "tails," that have varying residual concentrations of uranium-235. The tails are stored at DOE...
Recovery Act: Preliminary Observations on the Use of Funds for Clean and Drinking Water Projects
GAO-11-642T: Published: May 4, 2011. Publicly Released: May 4, 2011.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) included $4 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and $2 billion for the agency's Drinking Water SRF. This testimony is based on GAO's ongoing review of clean and drinking water projects. It provides preliminary observations on (1) the status and use of Recovery Act SRF progra...
Federal Oil and Gas: Interagency Committee Needs to Better Coordinate Research on Oil Pollution Prevention and Response
GAO-11-319: Published: Mar 25, 2011. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 2011.
Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act in 1990 (OPA). Among other things, OPA established the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research (interagency committee) to coordinate an oil pollution research program among federal agencies, including developing a plan, having the National Academy of Sciences review that plan, and reporting to Congress on the interagency committee's effort...