Natural resources (11 - 20 of 102 items)
Drinking Water: EPA Has Improved Its Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program, but Additional Action Is Needed
GAO-14-103: Published: Jan 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has implemented all of the recommendations GAO made in its May 2011 report to improve the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) program. In that report, GAO recommended that EPA (1) monitor for the full 30 contaminants allowed by statute, (2) monitor for most or all contaminants using a more robust monitoring approach, and (3) select sufficiently...
Air Emissions: Status of Regulatory Activities and Permitting on Alaska's Outer Continental Shelf
GAO-14-187R: Published: Jan 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 2014.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, amended the Clean Air Act to transfer regulatory authority for air emissions on the outer continental shelf (OCS) off Alaska's north coast, including the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Department of the Interior. Since the act was passed on December 23, 2011, there has been limited activity subject to air...
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: Further Actions Would Result in More Useful Assessments and Help Address Factors That Limit Progress
GAO-13-797: Published: Sep 27, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 8, 2013.
The Task Force agencies use the Action Plan to implement the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and use an interagency process to enter into agreements among themselves to identify GLRI projects and with other stakeholders to implement GLRI projects. The Action Plan includes guidance for implementing the GLRI in five focus areas (such as invasive species and habitat and wildlife protection...
Pesticides: EPA Should Take Steps to Improve Its Oversight of Conditional Registrations
GAO-13-145: Published: Aug 8, 2013. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2013.
The total number of conditional registrations granted is unclear, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that its data are inaccurate for several reasons. First, the database used to track conditional registrations does not allow officials to change a pesticide's registration status from conditional to unconditional once the registrant has satisfied all requirements, thereby overstat...
Chemical Assessments: An Agencywide Strategy May Help EPA Address Unmet Needs for Integrated Risk Information System Assessments
GAO-13-369: Published: May 10, 2013. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2013.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not conducted a recent evaluation of demand for Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) toxicity assessments with input from users inside and outside EPA. Specifically, EPA issued a needs assessment report in 2003, which estimated that 50 new or updated IRIS toxicity assessments were needed each year to meet users' needs. However, GAO did not find su...
Funding for 10 States' Programs Supported by Four Environmental Protection Agency Categorical Grants
GAO-13-504R: Published: May 6, 2013. Publicly Released: May 21, 2013.
State environmental agencies use federal grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, in addition to their own funds, to help implement and enforce the nation's environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Under this approach the states have an important role as partners and co-regulators, and, among other things, issue and enforce perm...
Climate Change: Future Federal Adaptation Efforts Could Better Support Local Infrastructure Decision Makers
GAO-13-242: Published: Apr 12, 2013. Publicly Released: May 14, 2013.
According to the National Research Council (NRC) and others, infrastructure such as roads and bridges, wastewater systems, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) centers are vulnerable to changes in the climate. Changes in precipitation and sea levels, as well as increased intensity and frequency of extreme events, are projected by NRC and others to impact infrastructure in a var...
Superfund: EPA Should Take Steps to Improve Its Management of Alternatives to Placing Sites on the National Priorities List
GAO-13-252: Published: Apr 9, 2013. Publicly Released: May 10, 2013.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) most commonly addresses the cleanup of sites it has identified as eligible for the National Priorities List (NPL) by deferring oversight of the cleanup to approaches outside of the Superfund program. As of December 2012, of the 3,402 sites EPA identified as potentially eligible, EPA has deferred oversight of 1,984 sites to approaches outside the Superfund...
Pipeline Permitting: Interstate and Intrastate Natural Gas Permitting Processes Include Multiple Steps, and Time Frames Vary
GAO-13-221: Published: Feb 15, 2013. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2013.
Both the interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline permitting processes are complex and can involve multiple federal, state, and local agencies, as well as public interest groups and citizens, and include multiple steps. The interstate process involves a voluntary pre-filing phase, an application phase, and a post-authorization phase with multiple steps that stakeholders reported to be consis...
Electronic Waste: Actions Needed to Provide Assurance That Used Federal Electronics Are Disposed of in an Environmentally Responsible Manner
GAO-12-74: Published: Feb 17, 2012. Publicly Released: Mar 19, 2012.
Over the past decade, the executive branch has taken steps to improve the management of used federal electronics. Notably, in 2003, EPA helped to pilot the Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC)a voluntary partnership program that encourages federal facilities and agencies to purchase environmentally friendly electronic products, reduce the impacts of these products during their use, and manage...