Pollution monitoring (1 - 10 of 136 items)
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...
Drinking Water: Unreliable State Data Limit EPA's Ability to Target Enforcement Priorities and Communicate Water Systems' Performance
GAO-11-381: Published: Jun 17, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 2011.
The nation's drinking water is among the safest in the world, but contamination has occurred, causing illnesses and even deaths. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authorized most states, territories, and tribes to take primary responsibility for ensuring that community water systems provide safe water. EPA needs complete and accurate data on sy...
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...
Air Pollution: Air Quality and Permitting of New Coal-Burning, Electricity-Generating Units in Central Texas
GAO-09-787R: Published: Aug 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2009.
Burning coal generates about 50 percent of the nation's electricity and produces air pollution that can pose a significant threat to human health and ecosystems. The Department of Energy (DOE) predicts that demand for electricity will increase nationally by 26 percent between 2007 and 2030, and DOE's Energy Information Administration projects that Texas's electricity demand will steadily increase...
Air Pollution: Air Quality, Visibility, and the Potential Impacts of Coal-Fired Power Plants on Great Basin National Park, Nevada
GAO-09-788R: Published: Jul 27, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 2009.
Great Basin National Park encompasses over 77,000 acres of White Pine County in east-central Nevada and is home to diverse geologic, topographic, and wildlife resources--including ancient bristlecone pines, the world's longest living tree species. The park was created to preserve a representative segment of the Great Basin Region and receives about 80,000 visitors annually. The park features numer...
Aviation and Climate Change: Aircraft Emissions Expected to Grow, but Technological and Operational Improvements and Government Policies Can Help Control Emissions
GAO-09-554: Published: Jun 8, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 2009.
Aircraft emit greenhouse gases and other emissions, contributing to increasing concentrations of such gases in the atmosphere. Many scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)--a United Nations organization that assesses scientific, technical, and economic information on climate change--believe these gases may negatively affect the earth's climate. Given forecasts of growth...
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...
International Climate Change Programs: Lessons Learned from the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme and the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism
GAO-09-151: Published: Nov 18, 2008. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2008.
International policies to address climate change have largely relied on market-based programs; for example, under the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) phase I (2005 to 2007) carbon dioxide emissions reductions were sought by setting a cap on each member state's allowable emissions and distributing tradable allowances to covered entities, such as power plants. Beginning operation in...
Environmental Justice: Measurable Benchmarks Needed to Gauge EPA Progress in Correcting Past Problems
GAO-07-1140T: Published: Jul 25, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 2007.
A 1994 Executive Order sought to ensure that minority and low-income populations are not subjected to disproportionately high levels of environmental risk. Studies have shown that these groups are indeed disproportionately exposed to air pollution and other environmental and health problems. The Order sought to address the problem by requiring EPA and other federal agencies to make achieving envir...
The BEACH Act of 2000: EPA and States Have Made Progress Implementing the Act, but Further Actions Could Increase Public Health Protection
GAO-07-1073T: Published: Jul 12, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 2007.
Waterborne pathogens can contaminate water and sand at beaches and threaten human health. Under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides grants to states to develop water quality monitoring and public notification programs. This statement summarizes the key findings of GAO's May 2007 report, Great Lakes: EPA and States...