Federal regulations (1 - 10 of 206 items)
Financial Assurances for Reclamation: Federal Regulations and Policies for Selected Mining and Energy Development Activities
GAO-17-207R: Published: Dec 16, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2017.
Federal requirements for financial assurances, such as cash or bonds that companies may be required to provide to cover the cost of reclaiming lands affected by development, are broadly similar for surface coal mining, hardrock mining, onshore oil and gas extraction, and wind and solar energy development, but some differences exist. Federal laws, regulations, and policies govern various aspects of...
Hazardous Materials Rail Shipments: Emergency Responders Receive Support, but DOT Could Improve Oversight of Information Sharing
GAO-17-91: Published: Nov 17, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 2016.
Emergency planners from most of the 25 selected counties in 17 states that GAO surveyed reported that training for responders and information about rail shipments of hazardous materials affect preparedness. Emergency planners from almost all of the selected counties reported that a majority of the emergency response personnel, such as fire fighters, who arrive first at an accident receive basic tr...
Oil and Gas: Interior Could Do More to Account for and Manage Natural Gas Emissions
GAO-16-607: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2016.
The Department of the Interior's (Interior) guidance to oil and gas operators on its reporting requirements has limitations that may hinder the extent to which it can account for natural gas emissions on onshore federal lands (leases). Interior is required to ensure that oil and gas operations are conducted in a manner that minimizes waste. As part of its oversight activities, Interior requires op...
Nuclear Security: NRC Has Enhanced the Controls of Dangerous Radioactive Materials, but Vulnerabilities Remain
GAO-16-330: Published: Jul 1, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2016.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the 37 states it permits to grant licenses for radioactive materials—called agreement states—have taken several steps since 2007 to help ensure that licenses are granted only to legitimate organizations and that licensees can only obtain such materials in quantities allowed by their licenses. However, NRC and agreement states have not taken some meas...
Unauthorized Grazing: Actions Needed to Improve Tracking and Deterrence Efforts
GAO-16-559: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
The frequency and extent of unauthorized grazing on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service lands are largely unknown because according to agency officials, the agencies prefer to handle most incidents informally (e.g., with a telephone call) and do not record them. The agencies' databases contained information on nearly 1,500 incidents of unauthorized grazing where formal action w...
Drinking Water: EPA Needs to Collect Information and Consistently Conduct Activities to Protect Underground Sources of Drinking Water
GAO-16-281: Published: Feb 26, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2016.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not collected specific inspection and complete or consistent enforcement information, or consistently conducted oversight activities, to assess whether state and EPA-managed Underground Injection Control (UIC) class II programs are protecting underground sources of drinking water. EPA guidance calls for states and EPA regions to report certain informat...
Rural Water Infrastructure: Federal Agencies Provide Funding but Could Increase Coordination to Help Communities [Reissued on November 6, 2015]
GAO-15-450T: Published: Feb 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2015.
Seven federal agencies provide funding or technical assistance to rural communities in developing drinking water and wastewater systems and complying with federal regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Drinking Water and Clean Water Revolving Funds (SRF) are the largest source of funding and assistance receiving $907 million and $1.45 billion respectively in fiscal year 2014, som...
Indian Energy Development: Actions Needed to Address BIA Management Challenges
GAO-16-171T: Published: Oct 21, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 21, 2015.
In its June 2015 report, GAO found that Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) management shortcomings and other factors—such as a complex regulatory framework, limited capital and infrastructure, and varied tribal capacity—have hindered Indian energy development. Specifically, BIA's management has the following shortcomings:BIA does not have the data it needs to verify ownership of some Indian oil a...
Environmental Litigation: Information on Cases against EPA and FWS and on Deadline Suits on EPA Rulemaking
GAO-15-803T: Published: Aug 4, 2015. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2015.
As GAO reported in August 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faces legal challenges implementing the nation's key environmental laws. The number of environmental litigation cases brought against EPA each year for fiscal years 1995 through 2010 varied with no discernible trend. Data available from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, and EPA show that the costs as...
EPA's Science Advisory Board: Improved Procedures Needed to Process Congressional Requests for Scientific Advice
GAO-15-500: Published: Jun 4, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 2015.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) procedures for processing congressional requests for scientific advice from the Science Advisory Board (SAB) do not ensure compliance with the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 (ERDDAA) because these procedures are incomplete. For example, they do not clearly outline how the EPA Administrator, the SAB staff...