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.
The EPA uses National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to regulate wastewater discharges. However, nearly 11,000 facilities significantly exceeded their permit limits and illegally discharged pollutants into nearby waters in 2018.
Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.
To see the version of this page in English, see GAO-21-268.
El Departamento de Defensa continúa los esfuerzos de limpieza de municiones y sustancias peligrosas en las antiguas áreas militares en Vieques y Culebra, Puerto Rico, pero queda mucho que hacer.
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.
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.
Lead in drinking water comes primarily from corrosion of service lines that connect the water main to a building. The total number of lead service lines in the United States is unknown.
Through our statistical analysis of 4 water systems' geospatial lead data and U.S.
Why is less than 25% of U.S. waste collected for recycling?
For decades, the U.S. recycling industry relied on selling recyclables in international markets. In 2018, trade restrictions significantly reduced international demand.