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.
Since the 1960s, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has allowed the offshore oil and gas industry to leave 97% of pipelines (18,000 miles) on the seafloor when no longer in use. Pipelines can contain oil or gas if not properly cleaned in decommissioning.
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.
Shellfish aquaculture projects—the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of oysters, clams, and mussels—may require authorization from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Among other things, the Corps examines compliance with navigation and environmental laws.
Harmful overgrowths of algae—called algal blooms—are a problem in all 50 states. These blooms can hurt aquatic plants and animals by producing toxins, consuming oxygen, and limiting light penetration in the water.
What GAO Found The 13 federal member agencies of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (Task Force) estimated expending an average of about $260 million annually for fiscal years 2012 through 2014 to address aquatic invasive species.