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.
Dangerous radioactive material is used in many medical and industrial applications. But, if it ends up in the wrong hands, it could be used in a dirty bomb.
Replacing technologies that use radioactive materials with safer alternatives can protect people and reduce potential financial costs.
The U.S. Postal Service has more than 32,000 facilities. We reviewed damages to them from recent weather-related natural disasters, what USPS is doing to make them more resilient to climate change, and more.
In 2017, USDA announced a major initiative to provide better customer service to U.S. farmers, ranchers, and foresters by modernizing its IT operations. A key IT project was the 2018 launch of Farmers.gov to provide online self-service applications, like a farm loan eligibility tool.
There are about 86,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors stored at 75 U.S. sites. This amount continues to grow. Policymakers have been at an impasse over what to do with the spent fuel since the licensing of the Yucca Mountain repository stopped in 2010.
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.
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.
Plastic waste—overflowing landfills and polluting oceans—has grown tenfold in the U.S. from 1970-2018, as recycling rates have remained low.
Chemical recycling is an alternative or complementary technology to current mechanical recycling processes (like sorting and shredding).
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.