Natural resources (11 - 20 of 160 items)
Climate Change: Various Adaptation Efforts Are Under Way at Key Natural Resource Management Agencies
GAO-13-253: Published: May 31, 2013. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 2013.
Since 2007, the Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service have taken steps to establish strategic directions for addressing climate change adaptation. For example, the Forest Service developed a strategic framework document that established climate change adaptation as a central agency priority and anoth...
Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Observations on States' Role, Liabilities at DOD and Hardrock Mining Sites, and Litigation Issues
GAO-13-633T: Published: May 22, 2013. Publicly Released: May 22, 2013.
States, in consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), participate in the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in several ways. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, sites that meet certain risk thresholds are eligible for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL)--a list that includes some of the nation's most contamin...
Payments to Counties: Shortcomings in Oversight and Implementation of Key Parts of the Secure Rural Schools Act May Be Addressed by Recent Agency Guidance
GAO-13-475T: Published: Mar 19, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 19, 2013.
In July 2012 GAO reported that the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had taken few actions to oversee county spending under Title III of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, and that the guidance they provided was limited and in some cases did not appear consistent with the act. GAO also reported that some expenditures by selected counties may have been i...
Renewable Energy: Agencies Have Taken Steps Aimed at Improving the Permitting Process for Development on Federal Lands
GAO-13-189: Published: Jan 18, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2013.
Since passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), federal land management agencies--primarily the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM)--have received hundreds of applications for utilityscale renewable energy projects and authorized 25 projects: 7 wind, 10 solar, and 8 geothermal projects. Applications for the majority of projects were withdrawn by the applicants...
Helium Program: Urgent Issues Facing BLM's Storage and Sale of Helium Reserves
GAO-13-351T: Published: Feb 14, 2013. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2013.
Since GAO's reports in the early 1990s, the Helium Privatization Act of 1996 has caused considerable changes to the helium program and addressed or altered GAO's prior concerns. In 1992, GAO reported on various aspects of the federal helium program including the helium debt, pricing, and alternatives for meeting federal helium needs.Helium debt. In 1992, GAO recommended that Congress cancel the he...
Payment to Counties: More Clarity Could Help Ensure County Expenditures Are Consistent with Key Parts of the Secure Rural Schools Act
GAO-12-775: Published: Jul 16, 2012. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2012.
Both the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have provided limited oversight of county spending under Title III of the Secure Rural Schools Act. Neither agency has issued regulations, and guidance available from these agencies is limited and sometimes unclear about which types of expenditures are allowable under the act. In addition, their guidance appears to be inconsistent wit...
Arizona Border Region: Federal Agencies Could Better Utilize Law Enforcement Resources in Support of Wildland Fire Management Activities
GAO-12-73: Published: Nov 8, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 22, 2011.
Wildland fires can result from both natural and human causes. Human-caused wildland fires are of particular concern in Arizona--especially within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border because this is a primary area of entry for illegal border crossers and GAO has previously reported that illegal border crossers have been suspected of igniting wildland fires. Over half of the land in the Arizona bord...
Abandoned Mines: Information on the Number of Hardrock Mines, Cost of Cleanup, and Value of Financial Assurances
GAO-11-834T: Published: Jul 14, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2011.
The General 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 land. 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...
Oil and Gas: Interior's Restructuring Challenges in the Aftermath of the Gulf Oil Spill
GAO-11-734T: Published: Jun 2, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2011.
The Department of the Interior oversees oil and gas activities on leased federal lands and waters. Revenue generated from federal oil and gas production is one of the largest nontax sources of federal government funds, accounting for about $9 billion in fiscal year 2009. Since the April 2010 explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon, Interior has been in the midst of restructuring the bureaus that...
Federal Land Management: Availability and Potential Reliability of Selected Data Elements at Five Agencies
GAO-11-377: Published: Apr 20, 2011. Publicly Released: May 20, 2011.
The federal government manages about 650 million acres, or 29 percent, of the 2.27 billion acres of U.S. land. Four land management agencies--the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the National Park Service (NPS) in the Department of the Interior (Interior) and the Forest Service, in the Department of Agriculture--manage about 95 percent of these federal acres. I...