Natural resources (1 - 10 of 58 items) in Custom Date Range
Surface Coal Mining: Information on Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit Reviews under Enhanced Coordination Procedures in Appalachia, Focusing on West Virginia
GAO-11-101R: Published: Oct 19, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2010.
In 2009, West Virginia accounted for about 43 percent of the surface coal mining production in Appalachia. Surface coal mining in the mountainous areas of Appalachia--a process often referred to as mountaintop mining--has generated opposition in recent years because of its impact on landscapes, streams, ecosystems, and communities. In mountaintop mining, before the underlying coal can be extracted...
Oil and Gas Bonds: Bonding Requirements and BLM Expenditures to Reclaim Orphaned Wells
GAO-10-245: Published: Jan 27, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2010.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 directs the Department of the Interior (Interior) to manage lands for multiple uses while also taking any action to prevent "unnecessary or undue degradation" of the land. To do this, Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), among other things, requires oil and gas operators to reclaim the land they disturb and post a bond to help ensure they d...
Wildland Fire Management: Federal Agencies Have Taken Important Steps Forward, but Additional Action Is Needed to Address Remaining Challenges
GAO-09-906T: Published: Jul 21, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2009.
The nation's wildland fire problems have worsened dramatically over the past decade, with more than a doubling of both the average annual acreage burned and federal appropriations for wildland fire management. The deteriorating fire situation has led the agencies responsible for managing wildland fires on federal lands--the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Indian A...
Climate Change: Observations on Federal Efforts to Adapt to a Changing Climate
GAO-09-534T: Published: Mar 25, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 2009.
Changes in the climate attributable to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases may have significant environmental and economic impacts in the United States. For example, climate change could threaten coastal areas with rising sea levels, alter agricultural productivity, and increase the intensity and frequency of floods and storms. Federal, state, and local agencies are tasked with a wide arr...
Oil and Gas Leasing: Interior Could Do More to Encourage Diligent Development
GAO-09-74: Published: Oct 3, 2008. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 2008.
In 2007, the Department of the Interior (Interior) collected about $10.5 billion in revenues from companies that hold federal oil and gas leases. Interior's Minerals Management Service manages offshore leases, while its Bureau of Land Management manages onshore leases and leases in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Acquiring a federal lease gives the lessee the rights to explore for and de...
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...
Alaska Native Allotments: Alternatives to Address Conflicts with Utility Rights-of-way
GAO-06-1107T: Published: Sep 13, 2006. Publicly Released: Sep 13, 2006.
In 1906, the Alaska Native Allotment Act authorized the Secretary of the Interior to allot individual Alaska Natives (Native) a homestead of up to 160 acres. The validity of some of Copper Valley Electric Association's (Copper Valley) rights-of-way within Alaska Native allotments is the subject of ongoing dispute; in some cases the allottees assert that Copper Valley's electric lines trespass on t...
Environmental Protection: More Complete Data and Continued Emphasis on Leak Prevention Could Improve EPA's Underground Storage Tank Program
GAO-06-45: Published: Nov 30, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2005.
Leaking underground storage tanks that contain hazardous products, primarily gasoline, can contaminate soil and groundwater. To address this problem, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under its Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program, required tank owners to install leak detection equipment and take measures to prevent leaks. In 1986, the Congress created a federal trust fund to assist sta...
Indian Tribes: EPA Should Reduce the Review Time for Tribal Requests to Manage Environmental Programs
GAO-06-95: Published: Oct 31, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 2005.
The Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, and Clean Air Acts authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to treat eligible Indian tribes in the same manner as a state (referred to as TAS) for implementing and managing environmental programs on Indian lands. Some states are concerned that tribes receiving authority to manage these programs may set standards that exceed the state standards and h...