Environmental protection (51 - 100 of 102 items)
Grants Management: EPA Has Made Progress in Grant Reforms but Needs to Address Weaknesses in Implementation and Accountability
GAO-06-625: Published: May 12, 2006. Publicly Released: May 18, 2006.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has faced challenges for many years in managing its grants, which constitute over one-half of the agency's budget, or about $4 billion annually. EPA awards grants through 93 programs to such recipients as state and local governments, tribes, universities, and nonprofit organizations. In response to concerns about its ability to manage grants effectively, E...
National Park Service: Major Operations Funding Trends and How Selected Park Units Responded to Those Trends for Fiscal Years 2001 Through 2005
GAO-06-431: Published: Mar 31, 2006. Publicly Released: Apr 5, 2006.
In recent years, some reports prepared by advocacy groups have raised issues concerning the adequacy of the Park Service's financial resources needed to effectively operate the park units. GAO was asked to identify (1) funding trends for Park Service operations and visitor fees for fiscal years 2001-2005; (2) specific funding trends for 12 selected high visitation park units and how, if at all, th...
Environmental Protection: More Complete Data and Continued Emphasis on Leak Prevention Could Improve EPA's Underground Storage Tank Program
GAO-06-45: Published: Nov 30, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2005.
Leaking underground storage tanks that contain hazardous products, primarily gasoline, can contaminate soil and groundwater. To address this problem, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under its Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program, required tank owners to install leak detection equipment and take measures to prevent leaks. In 1986, the Congress created a federal trust fund to assist sta...
Indian Tribes: EPA Should Reduce the Review Time for Tribal Requests to Manage Environmental Programs
GAO-06-95: Published: Oct 31, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 2005.
The Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, and Clean Air Acts authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to treat eligible Indian tribes in the same manner as a state (referred to as TAS) for implementing and managing environmental programs on Indian lands. Some states are concerned that tribes receiving authority to manage these programs may set standards that exceed the state standards and h...
Endangered Species Act: Successes and Challenges in Agency Collaboration and the Use of Scientific Information in the Decision Making Process
GAO-05-732T: Published: May 19, 2005. Publicly Released: May 19, 2005.
The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to conserve endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. This law currently protects more than 1,260 animal and plant species. Within the Department of the Interior, the Fish and Wildlife Service implements and enforces the act. In addition, all federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Land Ma...
Climate Change Assessment: Administration Did Not Meet Reporting Deadline
GAO-05-338R: Published: Apr 14, 2005. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 2005.
For many years, scientists have observed a warming trend in the earth's climate and have projected additional changes in the coming decades, with potential implications for human society. To provide for the development and coordination of a comprehensive and integrated U.S. research program that will assist the nation and the world in understanding, assessing, predicting, and responding to such ch...
Grants Management: EPA Needs to Strengthen Efforts to Provide the Public with Complete and Accurate Information on Grant Opportunities
GAO-05-149R: Published: Feb 3, 2005. Publicly Released: Feb 3, 2005.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has faced persistent challenges for many years in managing its grants, which constitute over one-half of the agency's budget, or about $4 billion annually. Among other things, EPA has been criticized for not always promoting competition in awarding grants, including not completely and accurately announcing grant opportunities to the public and potential ap...
Great Lakes: Organizational Leadership and Restoration Goals Need to Be Better Defined for Monitoring Restoration Progress
GAO-04-1024: Published: Sep 28, 2004. Publicly Released: Oct 4, 2004.
The Great Lakes remain environmentally vulnerable, prompting the United States and Canada to agree on actions to preserve and protect them. As requested, this report (1) determines the extent to which current EPA monitoring efforts provide information for assessing overall conditions in the Great Lakes Basin, (2) identifies existing restoration goals and whether monitoring is done to track goal pr...
Environmental Disclosure: Briefing on GAO's Findings and Recommendations
GAO-04-1019R: Published: Aug 4, 2004. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2004.
The Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) primary mission is to protect investors and the integrity of securities markets. Among other things, SEC regulations require companies to file reports with SEC disclosing information that would be considered "material" to a reasonable investor. A matter is material if there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable person would consider it importa...
Superfund Program: Updated Appropriation and Expenditure Data
GAO-04-475R: Published: Feb 18, 2004. Publicly Released: Feb 20, 2004.
This report contains GAO's update of the appropriation and expenditure data for the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program since a July 2003 report.Total Superfund program appropriations decreased from fiscal year 1993 to fiscal year 2004, in constant 2003 dollars, from $1,903 million to $1,241 million, respectively. Since fiscal year 2000, the Superfund program has increasingly relie...
Grants Management: EPA Needs to Strengthen Oversight and Enhance Accountability to Address Persistent Challenges
GAO-04-122T: Published: Oct 1, 2003. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 2003.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has faced persistent challenges in managing its grants, which, at about $4 billion annually constitute over one-half of the agency's total budget. EPA awards grants to thousands of recipients to implement its programs to protect human health and the environment. Given the size and diversity of EPA's programs, its ability to efficiently and effectively acco...
Grants Management: EPA Needs to Strengthen Efforts to Address Persistent Challenges
GAO-03-846: Published: Aug 29, 2003. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2003.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long faced problems managing its grants, which constitute over one-half of the agency's annual budget, or about $4 billion. EPA uses grants to implement its programs to protect human health and the environment and awards grants to thousands of recipients, including state and local governments, tribes, universities, and nonprofit organizations. EPA's ab...
Environmental Protection: Recommendations for Improving the Underground Storage Tank Program
GAO-03-529T: Published: Mar 5, 2003. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 2003.
Nationwide, underground storage tanks (UST) containing petroleum and other hazardous substances are leaking, thereby contaminating the soil and water, and posing health risks. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which implements the UST program with the states, required tank owners to install leak detection and prevention equipment by the end of 1993 and 1998 respectively. The Congress aske...
Water Quality: Improved EPA Guidance and Support Can Help States Develop Standards That Better Target Cleanup Efforts
GAO-03-308: Published: Jan 30, 2003. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 2003.
Water quality standards are composed of designated uses and criteria. These standards are critical in making accurate, scientifically based determinations about which of the nation's waters are in need of cleanup. To assess EPA and states' actions to improve standards, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment asked GAO to determine the extent to which (1) states are chan...
Environmental Cleanup: Better Communication Needed for Dealing with Formerly Used Defense Sites in Guam
GAO-02-423: Published: Apr 11, 2002. Publicly Released: Apr 16, 2002.
Chemical testing kits from World War II containing diluted mustard gas and other chemicals have been discovered on Guam. The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for identifying and cleaning up contaminated military sites throughout the United States and its territories. In the mid-1990s, DOD scaled back its identification efforts nationally and focused its attention on Guam. It now relies o...
Environmental Protection: Observations on Elevating the Environmental Protection Agency to Cabinet Status
GAO-02-552T: Published: Mar 21, 2002. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 2002.
This testimony comments on legislation that would elevate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Cabinet status. Today, EPA's mission, size, and scope of responsibilities place it on a par with many Cabinet departments. The United States is the only major industrial power without a Cabinet-level environmental organization. It is important to consider that (1) environmental policy be given ap...
Environmental Protection: Improved Inspections and Enforcement Would Ensure Safer Underground Storage Tanks
GAO-02-176T: Published: Nov 1, 2001. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 2001.
Contaminated soil or water resulting from leaks at underground storage tanks can pose serious health risks. In 1984, Congress created the Underground Storage Tank (UST) program to protect the public from potential leaks. Under the program, the Environmental Protection Agency required tank owners to install new leak detection equipment and new spill-, overfill-, and corrosion-prevention equipment....
Hazardous Waste: EPA's National and Regional Ombudsmen Do Not Have Sufficient Independence
GAO-01-813: Published: Jul 27, 2001. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2001.
Through the impartial and independent investigation of citizens' complaints, federal ombudsmen provide the public with an informal and accessible avenue of redress. Ombudsmen help federal agencies be more responsive to persons who believe that their concerns have not been dealt with fully or fairly through normal problem-solving channels. A national hazardous waste ombudsman was established at the...
Environmental Protection: Improved Inspections and Enforcement Would Better Ensure the Safety of Underground Storage Tanks
GAO-01-464: Published: May 4, 2001. Publicly Released: May 9, 2001.
The states and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot ensure that all active underground storage tanks have the required leak-, spill-, and overfill-protection equipment installed, nor can they guarantee that the installed equipment is being properly operated and maintained. Although the states and EPA regions focus most of their limited resources on monitoring active tanks, empty or ina...
Environmental Protection: Information on EPA Project Grants and Use of Waiver Authority
GAO-01-359: Published: Mar 9, 2001. Publicly Released: Mar 9, 2001.
This report provides information on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) management and oversight of project grants. Specifically, GAO examines (1) the dollar amounts of project grants EPA awarded in fiscal years 1996 through 1999 and the program activities they funded, by grantee type; (2) how the activities funded by the project grants align with the Government Performance and Results Act...
Superfund: EPA's Contract Cost-Estimating Initiatives Show Promise and Should Be Monitored
GAO-01-302: Published: Mar 2, 2001. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2001.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which manages the cleanup of the nation's most hazardous abandoned sites through the Superfund program, relies heavily on contractors to conduct its cleanup activities. Currently, EPA spends about 50 percent of its approximately $1.5 billion annual Superfund budget on contractors. With so much at stake, it is critical that the government get the best cont...
Environmental Research: STAR Grants Focus on Agency Priorities, but Management Enhancements Are Possible
RCED-00-170: Published: Sep 11, 2000. Publicly Released: Sep 11, 2000.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants program, focusing on: (1) whether funding amounts awarded for the grants align with EPA's strategic goals, EPA's Office of Research and Development's (ORD) research priorities, and program office priorities; (2) the extent to which the completed focu...
Superfund: Extent to Which Most Reforms Have Improved the Program Is Unknown
RCED-00-118: Published: May 12, 2000. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 2000.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program administrative reforms, focusing on the: (1) reforms' demonstrated results and the performance measures EPA uses to gauge these results; and (2) legislative changes to the program that either EPA or key stakeholders--including, among others, officials representing parties responsible for...
Air Pollution: EPA's Actions to Resolve Concerns with the Fine Particulate Monitoring Program
RCED-99-215: Published: Aug 12, 1999. Publicly Released: Aug 27, 1999.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the National Academy of Sciences March 1998 report on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) plans to monitor particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5), focusing on: (1) EPA's actions in response to the Academy's concerns with the planned PM2.5 monitoring program; and (2) the challenges that state and local agencies face in establish...
Environmental Information: EPA Could Better Address Concerns About Disseminating Sensitive Business Information
RCED-99-156: Published: Jun 25, 1999. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 1999.
Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO: (1) provided information on the usefulness of publicly available environmental information to competitive intelligence professionals; and (2) assessed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to address industries' concerns about providing the public with access to sensitive business information.GAO noted that: (1) competitive intelligence pro...
Superfund: EPA Can Improve Its Monitoring of Superfund Expenditures
RCED-99-139: Published: May 11, 1999. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 1999.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund Program expenditures, focusing on: (1) the relative shares of Superfund expenditures for contractor cleanup work, site-specific support, and non-site-specific support; (2) the activities carried out with the EPA's cleanup support spending, particularly its non-site-specific spendi...
Environmental Protection: Funds Obligated for Completed Superfund Projects
RCED-98-232: Published: Jul 21, 1998. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 1998.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to deobligate and recover funds for completed Superfund projects, focusing on: (1) the progress that EPA has made to recover the unspent funds on the inactive Superfund contracts and assistance agreements that GAO identified; and (2) whether any additional funds that expired during 1997 for Superf...
Hazardous Waste: Progress Under the Corrective Action Program Is Limited, but New Initiatives May Accelerate Cleanups
RCED-98-3: Published: Oct 21, 1997. Publicly Released: Dec 5, 1997.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Corrective Action Program, focusing on: (1) the progress made in cleaning up facilities under the program; (2) factors affecting progress; and (3) any initiatives that EPA, the states, and industry have taken to accomplish cleanups.GAO noted that: (1) only about 8 pe...
Regulatory Reinvention: EPA's Common Sense Initiative Needs an Improved Operating Framework and Progress Measures
RCED-97-164: Published: Jul 18, 1997. Publicly Released: Jul 18, 1997.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the progress of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Common Sense Initiative toward its goal of finding "cleaner, cheaper, smarter" ways of reducing or preventing pollution and the methods EPA uses to measure progress.GAO noted that: (1) in the almost 3 years the Initiative has been under way, it has produced three formal recommendations to...
Superfund: Stronger EPA-State Relationship Can Improve Cleanups and Reduce Costs
RCED-97-77: Published: Apr 24, 1997. Publicly Released: May 28, 1997.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on: (1) the lessons learned from five states that have had significant experience in leading Superfund cleanups; and (2) how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can help to ensure that interested states are successful in their efforts to take on increased Superfund responsibilities.GAO noted that: (1) on the basis of GAO's review...
Environmental Protection Issue Area--Active Assignments
AA-97-20(1): Published: Jan 2, 1997. Publicly Released: Jan 2, 1997.
GAo provided information on its active assignments in the Environmental Protection issue area as of January 2, 1997...
Environmental Protection Issue Area: Active Assignments
AA-96-20(4): Published: Sep 3, 1996. Publicly Released: Sep 3, 1996.
GAO presented information on its active assignments in the Environmental Protection issue area as of September 3, 1996...
Department of Energy: National Priorities Needed for Meeting Environmental Agreements
RCED-95-1: Published: Mar 3, 1995. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 1995.
GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) progress in cleaning up its nuclear weapons complex, focusing on: (1) its use of environmental agreements with state and federal regulators; and (2) the effectiveness of its cleanup strategy.GAO found that: (1) DOE has focused on collecting data and investigating sites, rather than the actual cleanup of sites; (2) DOE has only put a small amount of eff...
[Comments on EPA Authority to Exempt Clean-Fuel Vehicles from Transportation Control Measures]
B-255548: Published: Oct 18, 1994. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 1994.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO commented on whether the Clean Air Act authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to: (1) exempt clean fuel fleet vehicles from state-imposed high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane restrictions; and (2) establish standards for Inherently Low Emission Vehicles (ILEV) for the purpose of giving ILEV relief from HOV restrictions.GAO found that EPA is: (1)...
Environmental Issues in Central and Eastern Europe: U.S. Efforts to Help Resolve Institutional and Financial Problems
RCED-94-41: Published: May 31, 1994. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 1994.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on environmental protection efforts in central and eastern Europe, focusing on: (1) central and eastern European governments' institutional capacities for addressing environmental problems; (2) the extent and use of U.S. environmental assistance to each region; and (3) the problems in developing and implementing a U.S. environmental pro...
Hazardous Materials: Upgrading of Underground Storage Tanks Can Be Improved to Avoid Costly Cleanups
NSIAD-92-117: Published: May 13, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 10, 1992.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense (DOD) program for handling its underground storage tanks, focusing on: (1) the type and number of tanks owned by DOD; and (2) DOD efforts to comply with both federal and state requirements, identify and prevent leaks and spills, and correct environmental damage from leaking tanks.GAO found that: (1) in 1989, DOD owned 30,6...
Environmental Enforcement: Alternative Enforcement Organizations for EPA
RCED-92-107: Published: Apr 14, 1992. Publicly Released: May 22, 1992.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) current and alternative organizational structures for enforcement responsibilities.GAO found that: (1) while the current organizational structure promotes the integration of enforcement with other agency functions, it also requires enforcement to compete with other pro...
Hazardous Waste: Management of Maquiladoras' Waste Hampered by Lack of Information
RCED-92-102: Published: Feb 27, 1992. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 1992.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO compared U.S. and Mexican hazardous waste laws and regulations, resources, and enforcement practices, to determine how the generation and disposal of hazardous wastes from maquiladoras, companies that use materials imported into Mexico to produce finished goods for export, is being managed.GAO found that: (1) although U.S. and Mexican laws and regulations p...
Nuclear Waste: Problems and Delays With Characterizing Hanford's Single-Shell Tank Waste
RCED-91-118: Published: Apr 23, 1991. Publicly Released: May 30, 1991.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the status of Department of Energy (DOE) efforts to characterize single-shell tank wastes at its Hanford, Washington site, focusing on impediments such as: (1) technological limitations; and (2) safety considerations.GAO found that: (1) due to the number of unresolved issues, DOE was unlikely to complete the first-phase characterization of the sing...
Water Pollution: Serious Problems Confront Emerging Municipal Sludge Management Program
RCED-90-57: Published: Mar 5, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 1990.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) development of a mandated municipal sludge management program, focusing on: (1) the status of EPA and state municipal sludge management efforts; (2) potential obstacles to permanent program implementation; and (3) key issues concerning EPA development of technical sludge standards.GAO found that: (1) few...
Hazardous Waste: Attention to DOD Inventories of Hazardous Materials Needed
NSIAD-90-11: Published: Nov 6, 1989. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 1989.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to minimize hazardous waste generation through hazardous materials inventory controls; and (2) Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and General Services Administration (GSA) efforts as DOD purchasing agencies.GAO found that 40 percent of hazardous materials designated for disposal was unused, because: (1) lengthy...
Environmental Protection: Bibliography of GAO Documents, January 1985 - August 1988
RCED-89-23: Published: Jan 1, 1989. Publicly Released: Jan 1, 1989.
This bibliography includes information on documents directly or indirectly related to environmental protection that GAO released between January 1985 and August 1988. The documents included represent the broad relationship which exists between the environmental area and other areas of interest addressed by GAO such as health, energy, transportation, agriculture, and natural resources...
Toxic Substances: PCB Enforcement in Kansas City Region Substantiates Need for Further Program Improvements
RCED-88-72: Published: Feb 26, 1988. Publicly Released: May 3, 1988.
In response to a congressional request, GAO: (1) reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Kansas City regional office's oversight of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) storage and disposal companies; and (2) identified improvements needed in the EPA nationwide PCB enforcement program.GAO found that: (1) EPA has not directed its regional offices to assign special priority to the inspection...
Closure Status of RCRA Hazardous Waste Land Disposal Facilities
T-RCED-88-13: Published: Dec 5, 1987. Publicly Released: Dec 5, 1987.
GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) compliance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's requirements for closure of hazardous waste land disposal facilities. GAO found that: (1) the estimate of the number of disposal facilities requiring closure has increased from 995 to 1,161; (2) the increases occurred because some facilities which had planned to continue operation...
Toxic Substances: Abandonment of PCBs Demonstrates Need for Program Improvements
RCED-87-127: Published: May 20, 1987. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 1987.
In response to a congressional request, GAO examined the circumstances that led a polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) handling firm to abandon PCB at two sites, focusing particularly on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulatory practices and enforcement efforts related to the abandonment.GAO found that EPA: (1) has inadequate controls over PCB, particularly regarding headquarters oversigh...
Hazardous Waste: DOD Installations in Guam Having Difficulty Complying With Regulations
NSIAD-87-87: Published: Apr 22, 1987. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 1987.
In response to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to manage, store, and dispose of the hazardous waste generated at installations in Guam.GAO found that: (1) DOD installations in Guam were not in compliance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's requirements; (2) most of the violations were serious, and many were repetitive; (3) the most com...
EPA's Region VII PCB Enforcement Actions Concerning PCB Treatment, Inc. and Environmental Resources Management, Inc.
T-RCED-87-13: Published: Apr 6, 1987. Publicly Released: Apr 6, 1987.
In response to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) enforcement activities regarding polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), focusing on two companies operating in one EPA region. EPA regulatory activities concerning PCB include: (1) approving PCB disposal and destruction processes developed by private companies; (2) inspecting the companies for compliance wi...
Comments on Interior's Surface Mining Regulations
CED-81-145: Published: Aug 5, 1981. Publicly Released: Aug 5, 1981.
GAO has been reviewing the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) regulations implementing the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.GAO identified several issues which OSM should consider while it is revising its regulations. OSM needs to review its support for its revised blasting regulations concerning the use of explosives. Also, a legislative change may be nee...
Marine Sanctuaries Program Offers Environmental Protection and Benefits Other Laws Do Not
CED-81-37: Published: Mar 4, 1981. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 1981.
Title III of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act established the Marine Sanctuaries Program, which preserves or restores ocean areas for their conservation, recreational, ecological, or esthetic values. A review was performed to determine whether the program is providing marine environmental protection over and above that which is provided under other federal statutory authorities...
Costly Wastewater Treatment Plants Fail To Perform as Expected
CED-81-9: Published: Nov 14, 1980. Publicly Released: Dec 15, 1980.
Wastewater treatment plants are considered to be the frontline of the Nation's battle to eliminate water pollution and restore water quality to the thousands of miles of contaminated rivers, lakes, streams, and ocean shorelines throughout the country.GAO found that over $25 billion in Federal funds and several billion in State and local moneys have been spent to construct new wastewater treatment...