The Chicago region spans the heartland of America. In addition to the Chicago office, the region boasts of a twin cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, office. In the areas of energy, food, transportation, tax administration, environmental protection, housing and community development, health care, and military preparation, the Chicago regional office has made major contributions to the work of GAO. Illinois has the largest reserves of bituminous coal of any state, is the Nation's leader in nuclear power development, and is a center for energy research in the production of gasohol and the development of coal gasification. The regional office has done a cost analysis of a major nuclear powerplant, and it has conducted agricultural reviews of grain reserves, crop disaster payments, erosion studies, and milk surplus studies. The office has also studied the recent shortage of rail freight cars, has reviewed the air traffic control system of two major airports, and has conducted a study of the problems of the domestic steel industry and its workers. Environmental protection, especially studies of pesticides and wastewater treatment, has been a major area of the regional office's concern. Additionally, the office has conducted a major study of hospital administration and Medicare payments, worked on tax administration, and studied the efficiency of antipoverty programs, as well as auditing the Government's largest manufacturing arsenal.
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