Pollutants (1 - 10 of 116 items) in Custom Date Range
Environmental Protection Agency: Status of Efforts to Address Nonpoint Source Water Pollution through the Section 319 Program
GAO-16-697R: Published: Jul 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 2016.
From fiscal years 2011 through 2014, the most recent years for which complete data were available, states awarded at least 3,080 projects under the section 319 program for addressing nonpoint source water pollution, which comes from such sources as runoff from farms, managed forests, and urban areas. Similar to what GAO found in May 2012, the two most common categories of nonpoint source water pol...
Clean Water Act: Changes Needed If Key EPA Program Is to Help Fulfill the Nation's Water Quality Goals
GAO-14-80: Published: Dec 5, 2013. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states each have responsibilities for developing and implementing pollution targets, known as total maximum daily loads (TMDL). EPA oversees states' TMDL efforts by establishing in regulations minimum requirements TMDLs need for approval, providing funding, and furnishing technical assistance. States develop TMDLs and generally take the lead in imp...
Funding for 10 States' Programs Supported by Four Environmental Protection Agency Categorical Grants
GAO-13-504R: Published: May 6, 2013. Publicly Released: May 21, 2013.
State environmental agencies use federal grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, in addition to their own funds, to help implement and enforce the nation's environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Under this approach the states have an important role as partners and co-regulators, and, among other things, issue and enforce perm...
Water Quality: EPA Faces Challenges in Addressing Damage Caused by Airborne Pollutants
GAO-13-39: Published: Jan 24, 2013. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 2013.
Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and mercury contributes to the impairment of the nation's waters, but the full extent is not known. For example, states provide EPA with data on the extent to which their waterbodies do not meet water quality standards, and some states have reported that some of their waterbodies are polluted because of atmospheric deposition....
Environmental Protection: EPA Should Develop a Strategic Plan for Its New Compliance Initiative
GAO-13-115: Published: Dec 10, 2012. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 2013.
Since introducing its Next Generation Compliance initiative in fiscal year 2012, EPA has taken four primary steps to increase transparency and accountability in enforcement and compliance. According to EPA documents and officials, these actions will provide greater access to data under EPA-regulated programs and make regulated entities more accountable to the public. In this regard, EPAformed an e...
Electricity: Significant Changes Are Expected in Coal-Fueled Generation, but Coal is Likely to Remain a Key Fuel Source
GAO-13-72: Published: Oct 29, 2012. Publicly Released: Nov 28, 2012.
Retirements of older units, retrofits of existing units with pollution controls, and the construction of some new coal-fueled units are expected to significantly change the coal-fueled electricity generating fleet, making it capable of emitting lower levels of pollutants than the current fleet but reducing its future electricity generating capacity. Two broad trends are affecting power companies'...
Water Pollution: EPA Has Improved Its Review of Effluent Guidelines but Could Benefit from More Information on Treatment Technologies
GAO-12-845: Published: Sep 10, 2012. Publicly Released: Oct 10, 2012.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses a two-phase process to identify industrial categories potentially needing new or revised effluent guidelines to help reduce their pollutant discharges. EPAs 2002 draft Strategy for National Clean Water Industrial Regulations was the foundation for EPAs process. In the first, or screening, phase, EPA uses data from two EPA datab...
Nonpoint Source Water Pollution: Greater Oversight and Additional Data Needed for Key EPA Water Program
GAO-12-335: Published: May 31, 2012. Publicly Released: Jul 2, 2012.
Under section 319 of the Clean Water Act, state-selected projects to reduce nonpoint source pollution have helped restore more than 350 impaired water bodies since 2000, but other projects have encountered significant challenges. According to GAO survey results, 28 percent of projects did not achieve all objectives originally identified in the project proposal (e.g., implementing the desired numbe...
Air Quality: Information on Tall Smokestacks and Their Contribution to Interstate Transport of Air Pollution
GAO-11-473: Published: May 11, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2011.
Tall smokestacks--stacks of 500 feet or higher, which are primarily used at coal power plants--release air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) high into the atmosphere to help limit the impact of these emissions on local air quality. Tall stacks can also increase the distance these pollutants travel in the atmosphere and harm air quality and the environment in downwin...
Afghanistan and Iraq: DOD Should Improve Adherence to Its Guidance on Open Pit Burning and Solid Waste Management
GAO-11-63: Published: Oct 15, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2010.
From the start of military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. military and its contractors have burned solid waste in open burn pits on or near military bases. According to the Department of Defense (DOD), burn pit emissions can potentially harm human health. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) guidance directs the military's use of burn pits, and the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) prov...