Natural resources (91 - 100 of 495 items)
Endangered Sea Turtles: Better Coordination, Data Collection, and Planning Could Improve Federal Protection and Recovery Efforts
GAO-12-242: Published: Jan 31, 2012. Publicly Released: Mar 1, 2012.
The services have coordinated some sea turtle protection efforts, including jointly developing recovery plans, and they established a memorandum of understanding in 1977 to define their roles in joint administration of their efforts. Nevertheless, neither the memorandum nor the services have clearly defined how and when the services are to coordinate; also, the services do not consistently share i...
Station Fire: Forest Service's Response Offers Potential Lessons for Future Wildland Fire Management
GAO-12-155: Published: Dec 16, 2011. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2011.
The Station Fire started on the afternoon of August 26, 2009, in steep terrain covered with highly flammable vegetation during very dry conditions. After escaping initial containment efforts, the Station Fire underwent periods of rapid growth and extreme fire behavior over the following several days, ultimately threatening thousands of homes in nearby communities. In response, the Forest Service a...
Mississippi River: Actions Are Needed to Help Resolve Environmental and Flooding Concerns about the Use of River Training Structures
GAO-12-41: Published: Dec 9, 2011. Publicly Released: Dec 9, 2011.
For more than 130 years the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has used dikes to "train" the Mississippi River channel and maintain adequate depth for navigation. The Corps relies heavily on these structures--including some with more recent designs--in the Middle Mississippi, between the confluences of the Missouri and Ohio Rivers. Over the past few decades, some researchers have raised concerns...
Green Building: Federal Initiatives for the Nonfederal Sector Could Benefit from More Interagency Collaboration
GAO-12-79: Published: Nov 2, 2011. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2011.
Economic, environmental, and health concerns have spurred interest in "green building"--construction and maintenance practices designed to make efficient use of resources, reduce environmental problems, and provide long-term financial and health benefits. Federal laws and executive orders direct agencies to meet green building standards in federal buildings and to foster green building in the nonf...
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...
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Actions Needed to Reduce Evolving but Uncertain Federal Financial Risks
GAO-12-86: Published: Oct 24, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2011.
On April 20, 2010, an explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig leased by BP America Production Company (BP) resulted in a significant oil spill. GAO was requested to (1) identify the financial risks to the federal government resulting from oil spills, particularly Deepwater Horizon, (2) assess the Coast Guard's internal controls for ensuring that processes and payments for spill-related cost rei...
EPA Health Risk Assessments: Oversight and Sustained Management Key to Overcoming Challenges
GAO-12-148T: Published: Oct 6, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 6, 2011.
This testimony discusses our prior work on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program and database. IRIS is one of the most significant tools that EPA has developed to support its mission to protect people and the environment from harmful chemical exposures. The IRIS database contains EPA's scientific position on the potential human health effects...
Hazardous Waste: Early Goals Have Been Met in EPA's Corrective Action Program, but Resource and Technical Challenges Will Constrain Future Progress
GAO-11-514: Published: Jul 22, 2011. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 2011.
Years of industrial development generated hazardous waste that, when improperly disposed of, poses risks to human health and the environment. To mitigate these risks, Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA). Subtitle C of RCRA, as amended, requires owners or operators to take corrective actions to clean up contamination at facilities that treat, store, or dispose...
Environmental Protection Agency: To Better Fulfill Its Mission, EPA Needs a More Coordinated Approach to Managing Its Laboratories
GAO-11-347: Published: Jul 25, 2011. Publicly Released: Aug 24, 2011.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) operates 37 laboratories to provide the scientific foundation for its mission. Over the past 20 years, independent evaluations have identified problems with the laboratories' operations and management and called for improved planning, coordination, and leadership, as well as consolidation of laboratories. In its 2012 budget, EPA requested $2 million for an...
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...