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Natural Resources and Environment (21 - 28 of 28 items) in Past 6 Months
Superfund Sediment Sites: EPA Considers Risk Management Principles but Could Clarify Certain Procedures
GAO-16-777: Published: Sep 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2016.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established risk management principles and a consultation process to help provide national consistency in its management of Superfund sediment sites. Specifically, EPA developed a framework of 11 risk management principles, including assessing sources of contamination and ways to control them early in the cleanup process, that EPA regional officials are to...
Water Infrastructure: Information on Selected Midsize and Large Cities with Declining Populations
GAO-16-785: Published: Sep 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2016.
Midsize cities (with populations from 50,000 to 99,999) and large cities (with populations of 100,000 and greater) that have experienced a population decline are generally more economically distressed than growing cities. Specifically, GAO's review of American Community Survey data for 674 midsize and large cities showed that the 99 cities with declining population had higher poverty and unemploym...
Environmental Protection: Information on Federal Agencies' Expenditures and Coordination Related to Harmful Algae
GAO-17-119: Published: Oct 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2016.
Twelve federal agencies reported expending an estimated total of roughly $101 million from fiscal years 2013 through 2015 to fund various research, monitoring, and other activities related to harmful algae—overgrowths of algae that can create toxic “blooms” in marine or freshwater environments. The agencies provided a mix of actual and estimated expenditure data and used different methods fo...
Advanced Technologies: Strengthened Federal Approach Needed to Help Identify and Mitigate Supply Risks for Critical Raw Materials
GAO-16-699: Published: Sep 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 3, 2016.
Federal agencies are primarily focused on two areas of activity related to critical materials supply—assessing risk and supporting research. For example, the Department of Energy (DOE) has conducted two criticality assessments on materials important to clean energy applications and manages the Critical Materials Institute—a 5-year, $120 million investment aimed at mitigating risks by diversify...
Climate Change: Information on NOAA's Support for States' Marine Coastal Ecosystem Resilience Efforts
GAO-16-834: Published: Sep 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 2016.
The Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is taking a variety of actions to support states' efforts to make their marine coastal ecosystems more resilient to climate change, and states generally view NOAA's actions as positive steps. The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) provides a foundation for managing these ecosystems and partnering with states to wor...
Federal Fisheries Management: Additional Actions Could Advance Efforts to Incorporate Climate Information into Management Decisions
GAO-16-827: Published: Sep 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 2016.
The Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and eight Regional Fishery Management Councils (Council) have general information on the types of effects climate change is likely to have on federally managed fish stocks but limited information on the magnitude and timing of effects for specific stocks. They also face several challenges to better understand these effects, base...
Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Agencies Are Taking a Range of Actions, but the Task Force Lacks Performance Targets for Assessing Progress
GAO-16-717: Published: Sep 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 2016.
While criminal elements of all kinds, including some terrorist entities and rogue security personnel, engage in poaching and transporting ivory and rhino horn across Africa, transnational organized criminals are the driving force behind wildlife trafficking, according to reports GAO reviewed and agency officials GAO spoke with in the United States and Africa. Wildlife trafficking can contribute to...
Environmental Satellites: NOAA Needs to Ensure Its Timelines Are Accurate, Clear, and Fully Documented
GAO-16-767: Published: Sep 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2016.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) process for updating its flyout charts involves obtaining updated information on the health of operational satellites and schedules for new satellites, having relevant individuals review the updated charts, and obtaining approval from a senior NOAA official to publish the charts. This process is partially documented in a 2011 draft polic...