GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Federal lands are a major source of hardrock minerals such as gold, silver, and copper. These minerals have an important role in the U.S. and global economies, but mining them can create public health, safety, and environmental hazards.
Hardrock minerals, like gold and copper, are crucial for modern technology. But mining can create lasting health hazards and contamination.
This report describes, among other things, stakeholder views on management of hardrock mining on federal lands.
Individuals have long sought to excavate and steal Native American pottery, tools, and other objects for their own collections or to sell.
We reviewed 7 federal agencies' efforts to protect these cultural resources and roadblocks they've encountered.
The Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River waterway supports multiple users in the U.S. and Canada that live, visit, or conduct business in the region. Representatives of both countries serve on a commission that implements Plan 2014, which governs water releases from the lake into the river.
Mining on federal lands can produce minerals such as gold, copper, coal, and phosphate. Several laws govern such mining. Depending on the type of federal land and what kind of mineral is produced, mine operators may or may not have to pay the government a royalty.
A large 2017 wildfire in southwest Oregon destroyed 6 homes and threatened thousands more. Its smoke also contributed to respiratory and other health problems in nearby communities and hurt businesses and workers.
The Department of Labor’s Job Corps program helps low-income youth gain job skills at 118 centers across the country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service operates 24 of the centers.
In May 2019, both agencies proposed to return operation of the USDA centers to Labor.
Until the 1970s, mine operators could mine for valuable hardrock minerals—i.e., gold or copper—then abandon the land. On lands they oversee, federal agencies identified about 140,000 remnants of these hardrock mines, including unsecured tunnels and toxic waste piles.