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.
More severe and frequent extreme weather events threaten U.S. infrastructure. In 2020, 22 natural disasters caused over $100 billion in damages. Reducing the vulnerability of buildings, roads, and other federal assets can reduce costs to the government.
Nearly 700 military installations have had a known or suspected release of PFAS—chemicals found in firefighting foam that can have adverse effects on human health. DOD is in the early phases of environmental investigations at these locations.
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.
The Upper Mississippi river system provides about $1 billion in economic benefits annually through commercial boating and fishing. It's home to over 2.5 million acres of habitats, like wetlands, across 5 states.
Sea level rise due to climate change threatens areas where millions of Americans live. In all but the lowest projections, retreat or relocation of communities from coastal areas will be unavoidable, according to the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
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.