Natural resources (11 - 20 of 495 items)
Wildland Fire Management: Agencies' Efforts to Assess Program Effectiveness and Modernize the Firefighting Aviation Fleet
GAO-16-217T: Published: Nov 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 2015.
As GAO found in its September 2015 report, the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the Department of the Interior assess the effectiveness of their wildland fire management programs in several ways, including through performance measures, evaluations of particular activities, and reviews of specific wildland fires. Forest Service and Interior officials told GAO their performance measure...
Climate Change: HHS Could Take Further Steps to Enhance Understanding of Public Health Risks
GAO-16-122: Published: Oct 5, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 2015.
Federal agencies are enhancing understanding of climate-related risks to public health by (1) supporting and conducting research, (2) providing data and informational resources, and (3) communicating about risks. The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports a portfolio of research directly related to these risks. NIH reports awarding about $6 mi...
Superfund: Trends in Federal Funding and Cleanup of EPA's Nonfederal National Priorities List Sites
GAO-15-812: Published: Sep 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 2015.
Annual federal appropriations to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program generally declined from about $2 billion to about $1.1 billion in constant 2013 dollars from fiscal years 1999 through 2013. EPA expenditures—from these federal appropriations—of site-specific cleanup funds on remedial cleanup activities at nonfederal National Priorities List (NPL) sites declined fro...
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...
Chemicals Management: Observations on Human Health Risk Assessment and Management by Selected Foreign Programs
GAO-16-111R: Published: Oct 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 9, 2015.
The foreign programs GAO reviewed—Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan (CMP), Australia’s Inventory Multi-tiered Assessment and Prioritisation (IMAP) framework, and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs Programme and International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS)—assess the human health risks of chemicals using similar analyt...
Grants Management: EPA Has Opportunities to Improve Planning and Compliance Monitoring
GAO-15-618: Published: Aug 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 2015.
Of the 17 performance goals in its 2009–2013 grants management plan, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fully met 2, partially met 6, and did not meet 1. EPA did not measure its progress for the other 8 goals. EPA officials provided several reasons for meeting relatively few of the performance goals and not measuring the others. For example, according to officials, EPA did not measure pro...
Wildland Fire Management: Agencies Have Made Several Key Changes but Could Benefit from More Information about Effectiveness
GAO-15-772: Published: Sep 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2015.
Since 2009, the five federal agencies responsible for wildland fire management—the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service in the Department of the Interior—have made several key changes in their approach to wildland fire management. One key change was the issuance of a...
Technology Assessment: Water in the Energy Sector: Reducing Freshwater Use in Hydraulic Fracturing and Thermoelectric Power Plant Cooling
GAO-15-545: Published: Aug 7, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2015.
Waterless and water-efficient fracturing technologies such as gas-based fracturing or foams have been used to reduce the use of freshwater in hydraulic fracturing operations, although the main benefit is enhanced hydrocarbon recovery. The geologic formation characteristics of shale plays largely determine their use. According to experts GAO consulted, hydraulic fracturing operators are managing th...
State Revolving Funds: Improved Financial Indicators Could Strengthen EPA Oversight
GAO-15-567: Published: Aug 5, 2015. Publicly Released: Aug 5, 2015.
Multiple factors can limit states' abilities to sustain their Clean Water and Drinking Water state revolving funds (SRF), according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials, nine experts, and officials in the 21 states GAO reviewed. Under the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended, states are to create and maintain revolving funds to be eligible for federal grants. T...
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...