Natural resources (31 - 40 of 495 items)
Spent Nuclear Fuel Management: Outreach Needed to Help Gain Public Acceptance for Federal Activities That Address Liability
GAO-15-141: Published: Oct 9, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 2014.
Spent nuclear fuel—the used fuel removed from nuclear power reactors—is expected to accumulate at an average rate of about 2,200 metric tons per year in the United States. This spent nuclear fuel is mostly stored wet, submerged in pools of water. However, since pools have been reaching their capacities, owners and generators of spent nuclear fuel (typically utilities and reactor operators) hav...
Natural Gas: Federal Approval Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Exports
GAO-14-762: Published: Sep 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 2014.
Since 2010, of 35 applications it has received that require a public interest review, the Department of Energy (DOE) has approved 3 applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 6 applications are conditionally approved with final approval contingent on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) issuance of a satisfactory environmental review of the export facility. DOE considers a...
Drinking Water: Characterization of Injected Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production
GAO-14-857R: Published: Sep 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program, including oversight and regulation of injection wells associated with oil and gas production called class II wells. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, these wells are subject to regulation to protect underground drinking water sources. EPA has approved 39 states to manage their own class II well pro...
Fish Stock Assessments: Prioritization and Funding
GAO-14-794R: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2014.
In summary, GAO found that differences exist in the number and frequency of regional fish stock assessments conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). For example, GAO’s analysis of NMFS data from 2005 through 2013 found that the Alaska Fisheries Science Center conducted 467 fish stock assessments, the Southeast Fisheries Science Center conducted 158 assessments, and the Pacific...
EPA Regulations and Electricity: Update on Agencies' Monitoring Efforts and Coal-Fueled Generating Unit Retirements
GAO-14-672: Published: Aug 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 2014.
The Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) have taken initial steps to implement a recommendation GAO made in 2012 that these agencies develop and document a joint process to monitor industry's progress in responding to four proposed or finalized EPA regulations affecting coal-fueled generating units. GAO concluded...
Missouri River Flood and Drought: Experts Agree the Corps Took Appropriate Action, Given the Circumstances, but Should Examine New Forecasting Techniques
GAO-14-741: Published: Sep 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 2014.
Experts who participated in a GAO-sponsored meeting agreed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) made appropriate release decisions during the 2011 flood and 2012 and 2013 drought affecting the Missouri River basin, given the severity of these events. These experts acknowledged that the flood was primarily due to extreme rain in eastern Montana in May and June 2011. The experts agreed that...
Drinking Water: EPA Program to Protect Underground Sources from Injection of Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production Needs Improvement
GAO-14-555: Published: Jun 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) role in the Underground Injection Control (UIC) class II program is to oversee and enforce fluid injection into wells associated with oil and gas production, known as class II wells. EPA has approved 39 states to manage their own class II programs, and EPA regions are responsible for managing the programs in remaining states. EPA regions and states use a...
Helium Program: BLM's Implementation of the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013
GAO-14-751T: Published: Jul 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2014.
The Department of the Interior's (Interior) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has taken a number of actions to begin implementing the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, including (1) estimating volumes of helium that can be produced from the federal helium reserve each year, (2) preparing for and conducting helium sales under the act's Phase A transition period, and (3) initiating planning for the act'...
Arctic Issues: Better Direction and Management of Voluntary Recommendations Could Enhance U.S. Arctic Council Participation
GAO-14-435: Published: May 16, 2014. Publicly Released: May 19, 2014.
The Arctic Council (Council) is a voluntary intergovernmental forum for Arctic States, with involvement of indigenous organizations and other stakeholders, to address various environmental and economic issues through projects and reports targeting a variety of subjects. The eight Arctic States guide the work of the Council through consensus decisions and rotate the chairmanship of the Council ever...
National Environmental Policy Act: Little Information Exists on NEPA Analyses
GAO-14-370: Published: Apr 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 2014.
Governmentwide data on the number and type of most National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses are not readily available, as data collection efforts vary by agency. NEPA generally requires federal agencies to evaluate the potential environmental effects of actions they propose to carry out, fund, or approve (e.g., by permit) by preparing analyses of different comprehensiveness depending on t...