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.
If U.S. roads aren't built to withstand changes in the climate, they may be unsafe routes for emergency evacuations and expensive to fix after a disaster. Climate-related damages to paved roads may cost up to $20 billion annually by the end of the century.
Hardrock minerals (e.g., gold and silver) play a significant role in U.S. and global economies. In 2018, hardrock minerals extracted worldwide were valued at about $981 billion.
We reviewed how some foreign countries, U.S. states, and tribal governments manage hardrock mining.
More than 10% of the U.S. population gets drinking water from privately-owned water utilities and most states regulate the rates these utilities can charge. The utilities are owned by for-profit or nonprofit water companies, or other companies as part of another business.
U.S. agencies provide training and equipment for park rangers overseas to combat wildlife trafficking and protect natural areas. However, media and non-governmental organization reports have alleged that U.S.
Armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continue to commit severe human rights abuses and to profit from the mining and trading of "conflict minerals," according to the State Department. These minerals include tin, gold, and others that are used to finance conflict in the area.
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.
Climate change has led to record low levels of ice in the U.S. Arctic—prolonging the shipping season and opening up shipping routes. This may expand economic opportunities, but harsh weather and ice conditions—plus the lack of maritime infrastructure—pose safety risks.
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.
Debris in the ocean—such as plastic bottles and abandoned fishing gear—is a global economic and environmental problem. Multiple U.S. federal agencies work together on the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee to address this issue.