Environmental policies (11 - 20 of 83 items)
Hazardous Waste: EPA Needs to Clarify the Types of Mercury Waste That Can Be Treated and Disposed of Using the Debris Regulations
GAO-06-99: Published: Dec 16, 2005. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2006.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating hazardous wastes (such as mercury) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Under RCRA, mercury-containing hazardous waste must meet specific treatment standards before land disposal. But, certain difficult to manage waste due, in part, to its large particle size, can follow alternate "debris" standards that pr...
Wetlands Protection: Corps of Engineers Does Not Have an Effective Oversight Approach to Ensure That Compensatory Mitigation Is Occurring
GAO-05-898: Published: Sep 8, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 7, 2005.
Because wetlands provide valuable functions, the administration set a national goal of no net loss of wetlands in 1989. Section 404 of the Clean Water Act generally prohibits the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, which include certain wetlands, without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). To help achieve the goal of no net loss, the Corps ca...
Oil And Gas Development: Increased Permitting Activity Has Lessened BLM's Ability to Meet Its Environmental Protection Responsibilities
GAO-05-418: Published: Jun 17, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2005.
Rising U.S. energy consumption and concerns about dependency on foreign energy sources have prompted the administration to aggressively pursue domestic oil and gas production, including production on public lands, which in turn has generated concern that the impacts of this activity may compromise the use of public land for other purposes. GAO determined (1) the extent to which the level of oil an...
Storm Water Pollution: Information Needed on the Implications of Permitting Oil and Gas Construction Activities
GAO-05-240: Published: Feb 9, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2005.
To prevent pollutants from entering storm water runoff, the Clean Water Act's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Storm Water Program requires controls for construction activities that disturb land. Phase I of this program requires permitting for construction activities that disturb 5 acres or more, while Phase II requires permitting for activities disturbing between 1 and 5 acres. The...
Hazardous Waste Sites: Improved Effectiveness of Controls at Sites Could Better Protect the Public
GAO-05-163: Published: Jan 28, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2005.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) programs were established to clean up hazardous waste sites. Because some sites cannot be cleaned up to allow unrestricted use, institutional controls--legal or administrative restrictions on land or resource use to protect against exposure to the residual contamination--are placed on them. GAO...
Hazardous Waste: EPA's Cleanup of the Eagle-Picher Henryetta, Oklahoma, Site
GAO-03-1051R: Published: Sep 5, 2003. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2003.
From 1996 to 1997, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a cleanup action on a former zinc smelter operated by Eagle-Picher Mining and Smelting, Inc. and other areas contaminated by materials from this site near Henryetta, Oklahoma. EPA's cleanup focused on removing the immediate health threat posed by lead- and arsenic-contaminated soil transported from the Eagle-Picher site to...
Endangered Species: Despite Consultation Improvement Efforts in the Pacific Northwest, Concerns Persist about the Process
GAO-03-949T: Published: Jun 25, 2003. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2003.
The Endangered Species Act requires all federal agencies to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services) to determine the effect that the activities they conduct, permit, or fund may have on threatened or endangered species. In particular, federal agencies (action agencies) must ensure that their activities do not jeopardize the continued exist...
Great Lakes: An Overall Strategy and Indicators for Measuring Progress Are Needed to Better Achieve Restoration Goals
GAO-03-515: Published: Apr 30, 2003. Publicly Released: May 21, 2003.
The five Great Lakes, which comprise the largest system of freshwater in the world, are threatened on many environmental fronts. To address the extent of progress made in restoring the Great Lakes Basin, which includes the lakes and surrounding area, GAO (1) identified the federal and state environmental programs operating in the basin and funding devoted to them, (2) evaluated the restoration str...
National Forests: Information on the Process and Data Used to revise the Chugach Forest Plan
GAO-02-855: Published: Jul 26, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2002.
The Chugach National Forest in Alaska is the second largest of the 155 forests in the National Forest System and stretches across an immensely varied and scenic area. The Forest Service revised the Chugach National Forest Plan in accordance with planning regulations that require the Forest Service to solicit and respond to public concerns in (1) identifying issues to be considered in revising the...
Wildland Fire Management: Reducing the Threat of Wildland Fires Requires Sustained and Coordinated Effort
GAO-02-843T: Published: Jun 13, 2002. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2002.
The over accumulation of vegetation is a serious problem, particularly in the interior West, where it is causing an increasing number of uncontrollable and destructive wildfires. The policy response to this was the development of the National Fire Plan--a long-term multibillion dollar effort to address wildland fire threats. GAO's work on wildland fires identified three needs: (1) a cohesive strat...