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Open Recommendations

Earthquakes: Progress Made to Implement Early Warning System, but Actions Needed to Improve Program Management

GAO-21-129
Mar 25, 2021
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9 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Geological Survey The Director of USGS should develop a strategic plan for the Earthquake Hazard Program that articulates the fundamental mission of the entire program, lays out its long-term goals for implementing the plan, and identifies the strategies and resources that are needed to reach these goals. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Geological Survey The Director of USGS should develop performance measures for the strategy to determine whether the Earthquake Hazard Program has achieved the strategy's goals after it has drafted the strategic plan. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Geological Survey The Director of USGS should consult with relevant Congressional committees when developing its strategic plan for EHP. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Geological Survey The Director of USGS should complete a staffing gap analysis for the Earthquake Hazard Program that is clearly linked to the mission and long-term goals of the Natural Hazards Mission Area and Earthquake Hazard Program's strategic plans. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Geological Survey The Director of USGS should establish a Work Breakdown Structure with identified costs for ShakeAlert consistent with best practices in GAO's cost guide. (Recommendation 5)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Geological Survey The Director of USGS should establishing a schedule and milestones for ShakeAlert implementation consistent with best practices in GAO's schedule guide. (Recommendation 6)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Coastal Barrier Resources Act: Fish and Wildlife Service Should Better Ensure It Carries Out Required Consultation and Mapping Activities

GAO-21-258
Mar 10, 2021
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
United States Fish and Wildlife Service The Director of FWS should ensure that agency guidance at all levels directs FWS field offices to consistently provide opinions in response to CBRA consultation requests, including revising FWS's consultation template as needed. (Recommendation 1)
Open
The Department of the Interior concurred with this recommendation and described actions it plans to take to address it. These actions include completing an electronic system to streamline and standardize the consultation process and delivering consultation training to FWS field office staff.
United States Fish and Wildlife Service The Director of FWS should develop a strategy to guide FWS's efforts to review and, as necessary, update CBRS maps at least once every 5 years, as required by CBRA, including an assessment of needed resources and planned time frames. (Recommendation 2)
Open
The Department of the Interior concurred with this recommendation and described actions it plans to take to address it, which include developing a strategy assessing resource needs and goals to guide FWS's mapping efforts.

Chemical Assessments: Annual EPA Survey Inconsistent with Leading Practices in Program Management

GAO-21-156
Jan 19, 2021
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5 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator should direct the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and Development to provide more information publicly about where chemical assessments are in the development process, including internal and external steps in the process, and changes to assessment milestones. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator should direct the Assistant Administrators of program offices and Regional Administrators to develop and make available guidance for chemical assessment nominations. Such guidance could include information such as how to select chemicals for IRIS assessment nomination or for high priority needs, criteria explaining how Assistant and Regional Administrators determine which nominations to support and which they may choose not to support, and how to document these decisions. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator should direct the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and Development to issue criteria for how chemical assessment nominations are selected for inclusion in the IRIS Program's list of assessments in development and provide quality information about such topics as defining high-priority chemicals, prioritizing assessment work, and determining the IRIS Program's capacity to undertake work. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of EPA should direct the Office of Research and Development to continue evaluating the survey process used to solicit IRIS user needs and assess key elements, such as its purpose and timing, to facilitate the collection of quality information. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Environmental Protection Agency The Administrator of EPA should include in ORD's strategic plan (or subsidiary strategic plans) identification of EPA's universe of chemical assessment needs; how the IRIS Program is being resourced to meet user needs; and specific implementation steps that indicate how IRIS will achieve the plan's objectives, such as specific metrics to define progress in meeting user needs. (Recommendation 5)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Nuclear Waste: Congressional Action Needed to Clarify a Disposal Option at West Valley Site in New York

GAO-21-115
Jan 13, 2021
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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Congress Congress should consider taking action to indicate how DOE should proceed with the disposal of West Valley's transuranic waste and, if necessary, to amend the appropriate federal legislation to create a legal pathway for its disposal. (Matter for Consideration 1)
Open
As of April 2021, Congress has not taken action.
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