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.
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.
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.
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 Nearly all of the $1.68 billion of federal funds made available for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 had been allocated as of January 2015. Of the $1.