U.S. Infrastructure: Funding Trends and Federal Agencies' Investment Estimates

GAO-01-986T Published: Jul 23, 2001. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2001.
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This testimony discusses the (1) federal government's role in ensuring a sound public infrastructure and (2) estimates of future investment requirements developed by seven federal agencies: the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the General Services Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. GAO found that the federal government exerts an important influence on infrastructure investment and development. The seven agencies GAO reviewed each estimate billions of dollars for future investment in infrastructure. The estimates focused on investment in the areas of water resources, hydropower, water supply, wastewater treatment, airports, highways, mass transit, and public buildings. Although these estimates encompass major areas of public infrastructure, they cannot be easily compared or simply "added up" to produce a national estimate of infrastructure investment needs. GAO did not independently verify the seven agencies' investment estimates, but it did rely on past reviews of these data by GAO and others that examined the soundness and completeness of the methodology and data used to develop the estimates. This testimony summarized the July 2001 report (GAO-01-835) and the February 2000 report (RCED/AIMD-00-35).

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