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.
In 2010, an explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in 11 deaths and the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
Responders applied chemical dispersants to the surface oil slick—to break oil into smaller droplets.
Facilities that produce, use, or store hazardous chemicals could be targeted by terrorists. The Department of Homeland Security identifies and regulates high-risk facilities that contain certain quantities of these chemicals.
Extreme weather related to climate change potentially threatens utilities that produce drinking water and treat wastewater.
We examined federal technical and financial assistance to make such infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather and asked experts about additional options.
Environmental justice seeks to address the disproportionately high health and environmental risks found among low-income and minority communities by seeking their fair treatment and involvement in environmental policy.
There were 14 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events in the U.S. in 2018—with a total cost of at least $91 billion. These costs will likely rise as the climate changes, researchers say.
Activities, such as hydropower and agricultural practices, have impaired water quality in parts of the Columbia River Basin. This has put human health at risk and threatened the existence of some species, such as salmon.
Can the chemistry behind medicines, personal care products, and other everyday items be improved? We examined “sustainable chemistry.”
Stakeholders generally didn't agree on how to define or assess sustainable chemistry.
EPA estimates that addressing the nation's water infrastructure needs will take about $655 billion over the next 20 years. We looked at programs in 8 federal agencies that help communities plan for these needs, or provide funding to help address them.