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Natural Resources and Environment (41 - 50 of 52 items) in Past Year
Polar Satellites: NOAA Faces Challenges and Uncertainties that Could Affect the Availability of Critical Weather Data
GAO-16-773T: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
As highlighted in a May 2016 report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program has continued to make progress in developing the JPSS-1 satellite for a March 2017 launch. However, the program has experienced technical challenges which have resulted in delays in interim milestones. In addition, NOAA faces the potential for a near-term ga...
Unauthorized Grazing: Actions Needed to Improve Tracking and Deterrence Efforts
GAO-16-559: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
The frequency and extent of unauthorized grazing on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service lands are largely unknown because according to agency officials, the agencies prefer to handle most incidents informally (e.g., with a telephone call) and do not record them. The agencies' databases contained information on nearly 1,500 incidents of unauthorized grazing where formal action w...
Environmental Protection: Status of GAO Recommendations to EPA
GAO-16-722T: Published: Jun 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 2016.
As of May 23, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had implemented 174 of the 325 recommendations GAO made in fiscal years 2006 through 2015. EPA had not yet implemented the remaining 151 recommendations. The figure below shows the status of the 325 recommendations, which fall into six broad categories that relate to EPA programs and operations. These are: (1) management and operat...
Indian Energy Development: Interior Could Do More to Improve Its Process for Approving Revenue-Sharing Agreements
GAO-16-553: Published: Jun 13, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 2016.
The Department of the Interior (Interior) recently issued guidance intended to streamline the review process and reduce the approval times of oil and gas revenue-sharing agreements—called a communitization agreement (CA)—that include Indian resources. Under the revised guidance, for example, oil and gas operators are to provide simplified, less detailed information in their CA applications. In...
Climate Change: Selected Governments Have Approached Adaptation through Laws and Long-Term Plans
GAO-16-454: Published: May 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 2016.
Selected governments have approached enhancing resilience through climate change adaptation, and some have aligned adaptation with broader resilience efforts (see figure). All five selected governments have enacted laws and developed long-term plans as a part of their approaches to climate change adaptation. These plans established frameworks for addressing climate risks. For example, the European...
Midway Atoll: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Faces Many Competing Priorities
GAO-16-382: Published: Jun 2, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2016.
According to officials in the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), operations funding for Midway Atoll (Midway) has decreased in recent years and project-specific funding has varied. Specifically, budget officials said that FWS, after increasing the funding allocated to Midway's operations to more than $4 million by fiscal year 2011, decreased Midway's allocation by m...
Polar Weather Satellites: NOAA Is Working to Ensure Continuity but Needs to Quickly Address Information Security Weaknesses and Future Program Uncertainties
GAO-16-359: Published: May 17, 2016. Publicly Released: May 17, 2016.
The $11.3 billion Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program has continued to make progress in developing the JPSS-1 satellite for a March 2017 launch. However, the program has experienced recent delays in meeting interim milestones, including a key instrument on the spacecraft that was delivered almost 2 years later than planned. In addition, the program has experienced cost growth ranging from...
Municipal Freshwater Scarcity: Survey of Technology Adoption by Municipal Water Utilities (GAO-16-588SP, April 29, 2016), an E-supplement to GAO-16-474
GAO-16-588SP: Published: Apr 29, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2016.
This is an e-supplement to GAO-16-474. This e-supplement presents the results of GAO's web-based survey of 1,303 U.S. municipal water utilities. The survey asked questions about: (1) the technologies utilities use to improve water distribution efficiency; (2) the technologies they use to treat nontraditional water sources; (3) the challenges they face in using such technologies; and (4) the basic...
Technology Assessment: Municipal freshwater scarcity: Using technology to improve distribution system efficiency and tap nontraditional water sources
GAO-16-474: Published: Apr 29, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2016.
Water scarcity occurs when the demand for water in a given area approaches or exceeds available water supplies. A water utility facing scarcity may attempt to address it by reducing its demand on existing water supplies, increasing its water supplies, or both. Many mature technologies are available to address both of these areas. For example, a utility could try to improve the efficiency of its di...
Tongass National Forest: Forest Service's Actions Related to Its Planned Timber Program Transition
GAO-16-456: Published: Apr 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 2016.
The Forest Service has initiated some steps to assess whether its planned transition to young-growth harvest on the Tongass National Forest will support a viable timber industry in southeast Alaska—a goal the Department of Agriculture (USDA) established as part of the transition. For example, the Forest Service reported refining the data it uses to estimate the amount of young-growth timber to b...