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.
Coast Guard regulations require tankers and other large vessels to have plans for responding to incidents that caused or could cause an oil spill. Plans must identify response resources, such as the equipment needed for spill cleanup, salvage, and firefighting.
Facilities that produce, use, or store hazardous chemicals could be targeted by terrorists. The Department of Homeland Security identifies and regulates high-risk facilities that contain certain quantities of these chemicals.
For at least 7 years, EPA’s Office of Inspector General and its Office of Homeland Security—set up after 9/11 to address terrorism threats—have clashed over responsibility for certain national security matters.
In 2017 and 2018, wildfires in California killed 159 people and destroyed more than 32,000 structures, including many homes. In response, the Federal Emergency Management Agency put about $2 billion toward housing, debris removal, and other assistance.
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway serves more than 100 ports and supplies drinking water for millions of people. To protect it, federal law requires foreign commercial vessels to use local registered pilots for navigation.
In the hands of terrorists, radioactive material could be used for a dirty bomb. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers the health risks from short-term radiation exposure when determining how to safeguard radioactive material.
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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have made little progress in implementing key national levee-safety-related activities required in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014.