Environmental monitoring (11 - 20 of 88 items)
Environmental Contamination: Lessons Learned from the Cleanup of Formerly Used Defense and Military Munitions Sites
GAO-09-779T: Published: Jun 10, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2009.
Under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), the Department of Defense (DOD) has charged the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) with cleaning up 4,700 formerly used defense sites (FUDS) and active sites that were under its jurisdiction when they were initially contaminated. The 661-acre Spring Valley site in Washington, D.C is one such site. Like many other FUDS, the U.S. Army used...
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...
Federal Land Management: Use of Stewardship Contracting Is Increasing, but Agencies Could Benefit from Better Data and Contracting Strategies
GAO-09-23: Published: Nov 13, 2008. Publicly Released: Nov 13, 2008.
The Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have stewardship contracting authority, which allows the agencies to trade goods--such as timber--for services (e.g., thinning forests or rangelands) that the agencies would otherwise pay for with appropriated dollars, and to enter into stewardship contracts lasting up to 10 years. T...
Nuclear Waste: Action Needed to Improve Accountability and Management of DOE's Major Cleanup Projects
GAO-08-1081: Published: Sep 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.
The Department of Energy (DOE) spends billions of dollars annually to clean up nuclear wastes at sites that produced nuclear weapons. Cleanup projects decontaminate and demolish buildings, remove and dispose of contaminated soil, treat contaminated groundwater, and stabilize and dispose of solid and liquid radioactive wastes. Ten of these projects meet or nearly meet DOE's definition of major: cos...
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...
Climate Change: Agencies Should Develop Guidance for Addressing the Effects on Federal Land and Water Resources
GAO-07-863: Published: Aug 7, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 2007.
Climate change has implications for the vast land and water resources managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service (FS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and National Park Service (NPS). These resources generally occur within four ecosystem types: coasts and oceans, forests, fresh waters, and grasslands and shrublands....
Wildland Fire Rehabilitation and Restoration: Forest Service and BLM Could Benefit from Improved Information on Status of Needed Work
GAO-06-670: Published: Jun 30, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 2006.
Since 2001, Congress and federal agencies, including the Forest Service and Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), have recognized the importance of rehabilitating and restoring lands unlikely to recover on their own after wildland fires. However, while funding has increased for fire prevention, suppression, and first-year emergency stabilization, it has decreased for rehabi...
Superfund: Better Financial Assurances and More Effective Implementation of Institutional Controls Are Needed to Protect the Public
GAO-06-900T: Published: Jun 15, 2006. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2006.
Under the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program, parties responsible for pollution bear the cost of cleaning it up. However, these parties sometimes no longer exist, leaving the problem for others, typically the federal government, to address. Furthermore, many sites' cleanup remedies leave some waste in place, relying on institutional controls--legal or administrative restrict...
Environmental Liabilities: Hardrock Mining Cleanup Obligations
GAO-06-884T: Published: Jun 14, 2006. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 2006.
Key federal environmental statutes, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), which established the Superfund program, require that parties statutorily responsible for pollution bear the cost of cleaning up contaminated sites. In many cases, liable parties meet their cleanup responsibilities. Ho...