state relations (1 - 10 of 66 items)
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...
Surface Coal Mining: Financial Assurances for, and Long-Term Oversight of, Mines with Valley Fills in Four Appalachian States
GAO-10-206: Published: Jan 14, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 2010.
Surface mining for coal in Appalachia has generated opposition because rock and dirt from mountaintops is often removed and placed in nearby valleys and streams. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) in the Department of the Interior and states with approved programs regulate these mines under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). The Army Corps of Engine...
Clean Air Act: Historical Information on EPA's Process for Reviewing California Waiver Requests and Making Waiver Determinations
GAO-09-249R: Published: Jan 16, 2009. Publicly Released: Feb 17, 2009.
Emissions from mobile sources, such as automobiles and trucks, contribute to air quality degradation and can threaten public health and the environment. Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates these emissions. The act generally allows one set of federal standards for new motor vehicle emissions and pre-empts states from adopting or enforcing their own standards...
Environmental Enforcement: EPA Needs to Improve the Accuracy and Transparency of Measures Used to Report on Program Effectiveness
GAO-08-1111R: Published: Sep 18, 2008. Publicly Released: Oct 21, 2008.
As part of its mission to protect human health and the environment, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) enforcement office maintains civil and criminal enforcement programs to help enforce the requirements of major federal environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. EPA's civil and criminal enforcement programs work with the Department of Justice (DOJ), and in som...
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: EPA Needs More Information and a Clearly Defined Strategy to Protect Air and Water Quality
GAO-08-1177T: Published: Sep 24, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 2008.
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) are large livestock and poultry operations that raise animals in a confined situation. CAFOs may improve the efficiency of animal production, but the large amounts of manure they produce can, if improperly managed, degrade air and water quality. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates CAFOs and requires CAFOs that discharge certain pollutan...
Hazardous Materials: EPA May Need to Reassess Sites Receiving Asbestos-Contaminated Ore from Libby, Montana, and Should Improve Its Public Notification Process
GAO-08-71: Published: Oct 12, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 2007.
Between 1923 and the early 1990s, a mine near Libby, Montana, shipped millions of tons of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite ore to sites throughout the United States. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began to clean up asbestos contamination at the Libby mine and evaluate those sites that received the ore to determine if they were contaminated. Under Superfund program regulations...
Environmental Protection: EPA-State Enforcement Partnership Has Improved, but EPA's Oversight Needs Further Enhancement
GAO-07-883: Published: Jul 31, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 2007.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces the nation's environmental laws through its Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA). OECA sets overall enforcement policies and through its 10 regions oversees state agencies authorized to implement environmental programs consistent with federal requirements. GAO was asked to (1) identify trends in federal resources to regions and st...
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: EPA Should Take Steps to Better Ensure the Effective Use of Public Funding for Cleanups
GAO-07-152: Published: Feb 8, 2007. Publicly Released: Feb 22, 2007.
Underground storage tanks that leak hazardous substances can contaminate nearby groundwater and soil. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), tank owners and operators are primarily responsible for paying to clean up releases from their tanks. They can demonstrate their financial responsibility by using, among other options, publicly funded state financial assurance funds. Such fu...
Environmental Information: EPA Actions Could Reduce the Availability of Environmental Information to the Public
GAO-07-464T: Published: Feb 6, 2007. Publicly Released: Feb 6, 2007.
U.S. industry uses billions of pounds of chemicals to produce the nation's goods and services. Releases of these chemicals during use or disposal can harm human health and the environment. The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 requires facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use more than specified amounts of nearly 650 toxic chemicals to report their releases t...
Hazardous Waste: EPA Needs to Clarify the Types of Mercury Waste That Can Be Treated and Disposed of Using the Debris Regulations
GAO-06-99: Published: Dec 16, 2005. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2006.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating hazardous wastes (such as mercury) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Under RCRA, mercury-containing hazardous waste must meet specific treatment standards before land disposal. But, certain difficult to manage waste due, in part, to its large particle size, can follow alternate "debris" standards that pr...