Environmental policies (31 - 40 of 193 items)
Electronic Waste: Harmful U.S. Exports Flow Virtually Unrestricted Because of Minimal EPA Enforcement and Narrow Regulation
GAO-08-1166T: Published: Sep 17, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 2008.
Increasingly, U.S. consumers are recycling their old electronics to prevent the environmental harm that can come from disposal. Concerns have grown, however, that some U.S. companies are exporting these items to developing countries, where unsafe recycling practices can damage health and the environment. Items with cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) are particularly harmful because they contain lead, a know...
Superfund: Funding and Reported Costs of Enforcement and Administration Activities
GAO-08-841R: Published: Jul 18, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 18, 2008.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in four Americans lives within 3 miles of a hazardous waste site. To clean up these highly contaminated sites, the Congress established the Superfund program under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980. EPA, the principal agency responsible for administering the Superfund program, has...
Architect of the Capitol: Progress in Improving Energy Efficiency and Options for Decreasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
GAO-08-917T: Published: Jun 18, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 18, 2008.
In April 2007, GAO reported that 96 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from the Capitol Hill Complex facilities--managed by the Architect of the Capitol (AOC)--resulted from electricity use throughout the complex and combustion of fossil fuels in the Capitol Power Plant. The report concluded that AOC and other legislative branch agencies could benefit from conducting energy audits to identify...
Climate Change: Expert Opinion on the Economics of Policy Options to Address Climate Change
GAO-08-605: Published: May 9, 2008. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2008.
Elevated levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the resulting effects on the earth's climate could have significant environmental and economic impacts in the United States and internationally. Potential impacts include rising sea levels and a shift in the intensity and frequency of floods and storms. Proposed responses to climate change include adapting to the possible impacts by plannin...
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Endangered Species Act Decision Making
GAO-08-688T: Published: May 21, 2008. Publicly Released: May 21, 2008.
The Department of the Interior's (Interior) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is generally required to use the best available scientific information when making key decisions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Controversy has surrounded whether former Deputy Assistant Secretary Julie MacDonald may have inappropriately influenced ESA decisions by basing decisions on political factors ra...
Offshore Marine Aquaculture: Multiple Administrative and Environmental Issues Need to Be Addressed in Establishing a U.S. Regulatory Framework
GAO-08-594: Published: May 9, 2008. Publicly Released: May 9, 2008.
U. S. aquaculture--the raising of fish and shellfish in captivity--has generally been confined to nearshore coastal waters or in other water bodies, such as ponds, that fall under state regulation. Recently, there has been an increased interest in expanding aquaculture to offshore waters, which would involve raising fish and shellfish in the open ocean, and consequently bringing these types of ope...
Hardrock Mining: Information on Abandoned Mines and Value and Coverage of Financial Assurances on BLM Land
GAO-08-574T: Published: Mar 12, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 12, 2008.
The 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 lands. 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 of Sur...
Military Training: Compliance with Environmental Laws Affects Some Training Activities, but DOD Has Not Made a Sound Business Case for Additional Environmental Exemptions
GAO-08-407: Published: Mar 7, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2008.
A fundamental principle of military readiness is that the military must train as it intends to fight, and military training ranges allow the Department of Defense (DOD) to accomplish this goal. According to DOD officials, heightened focus on the application of environmental statutes has affected the use of its training areas. Since 2003, DOD has obtained exemptions from three environmental laws an...
Coastal Wetlands: Lessons Learned from Past Efforts in Louisiana Could Help Guide Future Restoration and Protection
GAO-08-130: Published: Dec 14, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 14, 2007.
Louisiana, home to 40 percent of all coastal wetlands in the lower 48 states, is projected to lose almost 17 square miles of coastline each year for the next 50 years to storms, sea level rise, and land subsidence. Coastal wetlands are an important wildlife and commercial resource, and provide a natural buffer against the storm surge that accompanies storms and hurricanes. The Coastal Wetlands Pla...
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...