All Topics » Natural Resources and Environment
Natural Resources and Environment (111 - 120 of 3,475 items) in Custom Date Range
NOAA's Observing Systems: Additional Steps Needed to Achieve an Integrated, Cost-Effective Portfolio
GAO-15-96: Published: Nov 17, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 2014.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Department of Commerce operates 41 ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observing systems. NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and National Ocean Service manage 25 of these observing systems, with management of the remaining 16 systems split among four other NOAA offices. The majority of NOAA's ocean, coastal, and Great Lak...
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...
Food Safety: FDA and USDA Should Strengthen Pesticide Residue Monitoring Programs and Further Disclose Monitoring Limitations
GAO-15-38: Published: Oct 7, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 6, 2014.
The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) most recent data from 2008 through 2012 show that pesticide residue violation rates in 10 selected fruits and vegetables were low, but FDA's approach to monitoring for violations, which targets commodities it has identified as high risk, has limitations. Among other things, GAO found that FDA tests relatively few targeted (i.e., non-generalizable) samples f...
Chemical Assessments: Agencies Coordinate Activities, but Additional Action Could Enhance Efforts
GAO-14-763: Published: Sep 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 2014.
The federal agencies GAO reviewed—the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)—undertake distinct chemical toxicity assessment activities that differ in type and purpose...
Managing for Results: Selected Agencies Need to Take Additional Efforts to Improve Customer Service
GAO-15-84: Published: Oct 24, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2014.
GAO reviewed the customer service standards at Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Forest Service, Federal Student Aid (FSA), the National Park Service (NPS), and two services in the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)—disability compensation and Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI). GAO found that none of the agencies' standards included all of the key elements of customer service standard...
Climate Change: USDA's Ongoing Efforts Can Be Enhanced with Better Metrics and More Relevant Information for Farmers
GAO-14-755: Published: Sep 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 2014.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) climate change priorities for agriculture include, among other things, providing better information to farmers on future climate conditions. These priorities generally align with national priorities set by the Administration, which include promoting actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, advancing climate science, developing tools for decision mak...
Specialty Metals: DOD Dissemination of National Security Waiver Information Could Enhance Awareness and Compliance with Restrictions
GAO-15-133: Published: Oct 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 2014.
The Department of Defense (DOD) typically relies on its prime contractors to plan for the procurement of specialty metals and ensure compliance with specialty metals' restrictions for the five weapon systems programs that GAO reviewed. For these programs, GAO found that DOD plays a limited role—primarily monitoring the availability of specialty metals and conducting periodic reviews of prime con...
Ocean Acidification: Federal Response Under Way, but Actions Needed to Understand and Address Potential Impacts
GAO-14-736: Published: Sep 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2014.
Ocean acidification could have a variety of potentially significant effects on marine species, ecosystems, and coastal communities, according to six summary reports that GAO reviewed. The reports were developed by federal agencies and others and were based on extensive reviews of the scientific literature. The scientific understanding of these effects, however, is still developing, and uncertainty...
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...