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Environmental monitoring (51 - 60 of 268 items)
Aviation and Climate Change: Aircraft Emissions Expected to Grow, but Technological and Operational Improvements and Government Policies Can Help Control Emissions
GAO-09-554: Published: Jun 8, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 2009.
Aircraft emit greenhouse gases and other emissions, contributing to increasing concentrations of such gases in the atmosphere. Many scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)--a United Nations organization that assesses scientific, technical, and economic information on climate change--believe these gases may negatively affect the earth's climate. Given forecasts of growth...
Nuclear Waste: DOE's Environmental Management Initiatives Report Is Incomplete
GAO-09-697R: Published: Jun 2, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2009.
The Department of Energy (DOE) spends billions of dollars annually to clean up nuclear waste at sites across the nation that produced nuclear weapons from the 1940s through the end of the Cold War. This waste can threaten public health and the environment. For example, contaminants at DOE's Hanford site in Washington have migrated through the soil into the groundwater, which generally flows toward...
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...
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...
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...