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Methodological Considerations for a Study of Pesticide Price Differentials in the United States and Canada

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the methodological issues related to carrying out a price comparison of agricultural pesticides in the United States and Canada. GAO noted that this letter does not advocate a methodology to carry out the U.S.-Canadian pesticide price comparison, nor does it recommend how to assess the causes of price differences. Rather, this letter highlights some issues and elements that experts agree are critical to this type of study."
Date: February 26, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Regulation: Observations on the Toxic Substances Control Act and EPA Implementation

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO reported in June 2005 that EPA has historically faced the following challenges in implementing the provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):"
Date: June 13, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Quality: Problems in the New River and Imperial County, California

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined a number of issues concerning water quality problems in the New River and Imperial County in southern California, focusing on the: (1) types and the sources of pollutants entering the New River; (2) agencies and the organizations responsible for monitoring and regulating pollution in the New River; (3) risks to human health and the environment from water pollution in Imperial County; (4) health advisories and the precautions in place to protect the public from pollution in the New River; and (5) actions being taken to reduce the flow of pollutants into the Salton Sea."
Date: August 5, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Cleanup: Transfer of Contaminated Federal Property and Recovery of Cleanup Costs

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Ammonium perchlorate (perchlorate) is a primary ingredient in solid rocket propellant and has been used for decades by the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the defense industry in the manufacturing, testing, and firing of rockets and missiles. Perchlorate has been found in the drinking water, groundwater, surface water, or soil in 35 states, the District of Columbia, and 2 commonwealths of the United States. Exposure to perchlorate affects the human thyroid, and certain levels of exposure may result in hyperthyroidism in adults and developmental delays in children. Although there is no specific federal requirement to clean up perchlorate, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state regulatory agencies have used various environmental laws and regulations to require cleanup of perchlorate by responsible parties. Between 1942 and 1945, new military uses for perchlorate led to an increase in the production of perchlorate in the United States. Between 1945 and 1967, the U.S. Navy, Western Electrochemical Company, and the American Potash and Chemical Company manufactured perchlorate at a facility in Henderson, Nevada. The United States owned part of the facility from 1953 to 1962. In 1967, the Kerr-McGee Corporation acquired the facility and continued to manufacture perchlorate until 1998, when it ceased production after the chemical was found in nearby groundwater. Kerr-McGee is presently cleaning up perchlorate contamination under a consent order with the Nevada state environmental agency. The American Pacific Corporation also manufactured perchlorate near Henderson from 1958 until 1988, when its facility was destroyed in an explosion. American Pacific relocated its perchlorate production to Utah and is currently the sole manufacturer of perchlorate in the United States. In a recent letter to GAO, Congress asked us to report on the costs, liability and ...
Date: September 16, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure: Approaches and Issues for Financing Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs are the largest sources of federal assistance to states and local communities for funding drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. In fiscal year 2012, EPA funded the Clean Water SRF program $1.5 billion and the Drinking Water SRF program $918 million from congressional appropriations. EPA grants capitalization funds to states, which in turn provide low- or no-interest loans to local communities or utilities to pay for water distribution pipelines, treatment plants, sewer lines, and other similar infrastructure."
Date: March 13, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Natural Resources: Status of Merchantable Material Contracting Pilot Program Authorized by the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, enacted October 30, 2000, mandated that we assess a merchantable material contracting pilot program authorized by the act and report on our assessment by September 30, 2003. The pilot program encompasses certain forest-related projects undertaken as a result of the act and mandates the use of separate contracts for the harvesting or collection of merchantable material, such as timber, and the sale of that material rather than a single contract for both activities."
Date: May 9, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Training at the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General (IG) provided training to its staff during fiscal years 1998 and 1999. GAO found that the training is part of a quality control system providing reasonable assurance that staff conform with professional standards. The reported cost of this training was about $630,000 in fiscal year 1998 and about $970,000 in fiscal year 1999. The courses covered topics such as leadership, quality, effectiveness, and performance. The IG plans to include additional management-related and technical training courses for the staff over the next two years and to conduct a skills inventory of the staff to identify any gaps that training can address."
Date: October 20, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Observations on the Environmental Protection Agency's Fiscal Year 1999 Performance Report and Fiscal Year 2001 Performance Plan

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) fiscal year (FY) 1999 performance report and FY 2001 performance plans."
Date: June 30, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Department of Transportation Report on Transporting Hazardous Materials

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Comptroller General, is required by the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2002 to study the transportation of hazardous and radioactive materials and its effects on public health and safety, the environment, and the economy. GAO has had no substantive consultation with the Department of Transportation on the study and only received a draft report one week prior to its scheduled delivery date to Congress. Consequently, GAO has not had the opportunity to perform a comprehensive review of the report's contents or to make timely suggestions for modifications."
Date: June 18, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recent Actions by the Chesapeake Bay Program Are Positive Steps Toward More Effectively Guiding the Restoration Effort, but Additional Steps Are Needed

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1983, the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission; and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have partnered to protect and restore the deteriorated Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The partners established the Chesapeake Bay Program (Bay Program) to manage and coordinate a variety of restoration activities and in their most recent agreement, Chesapeake 2000, which was signed in June 2000, they established 102 commitments for the Chesapeake Bay, which were organized under five broad restoration goals to be achieved by 2010. In October 2005, we issued a report in which we reviewed the management, coordination, and reporting mechanisms used by the Bay Program. Our review found that the Bay Program had (1) developed more than 100 measures of restoration but lacked an integrated approach for measuring the progress being made in restoring the bay, (2) reported on individual species and pollutants but lacked independent and credible mechanisms to report on overall bay health, and (3) developed numerous plans for accomplishing its restoration commitments but lacked a comprehensive strategy that could provide a roadmap for accomplishing the goals outlined in Chesapeake 2000, and (4) used its limited resources to develop plans that could not be implemented within available funding levels and was limited in its ability to target and direct funding to those restoration activities that will be the most cost effective and beneficial. To address these concerns, we recommended that the Bay Program take the following six actions: (1) develop and implement an integrated approach for measuring overall restoration progress, (2) revise its reporting approach to include an assessment of key ecological attributes that reflect the bay's health, (3) report separately on the health of the bay and the progress made in ...
Date: August 28, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Payments to Counties: Shortcomings in Oversight and Implementation of Key Parts of the Secure Rural Schools Act May Be Addressed by Recent Agency Guidance

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In July 2012 GAO reported that the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had taken few actions to oversee county spending under Title III of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, and that the guidance they provided was limited and in some cases did not appear consistent with the act. GAO also reported that some expenditures by selected counties may have been inconsistent with the act--which may have resulted in part from the limited guidance available from the agencies--and that reviewed counties did not consistently follow Title III's administrative requirements. Specifically, GAO found the following:"
Date: March 19, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mineral Revenues: Data Management Problems and Reliance on Self-Reported Data for Compliance Efforts Put MMS Royalty Collections at Risk

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of the Interior's (Interior) Minerals Management Service (MMS) collected the equivalent of over $9 billion in oil and gas royalties in fiscal year 2007, more than $5 billion of which it deposited in the U.S. Treasury; it dispersed the remaining approximately $4 billion to other federal, state, and tribal accounts. These royalties--payments made to the federal government for the right to produce oil and gas from federal lands and waters--represent one of the country's largest nontax sources of revenue. The amount of oil and gas royalties MMS collects may increase if the price of energy increases and industry's demand to drill on lands and in waters controlled by the federal government continues to trend upward. Companies that develop and produce oil and gas resources from federal lands and waters do so under leases obtained from and administered by Interior--BLM for onshore leases and MMS's OEMM for offshore leases. Together, BLM and OEMM are responsible for ongoing oversight of oil and gas operations on more than 28,000 producing leases to help ensure that oil and gas companies comply with applicable laws, regulations, and agency policies. Among other things, BLM (BLM) and OEMM (OEMM) staff inspect leases to verify that oil and gas production is accounted for as required by the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 and agency regulations and policies. These inspections typically include an examination of the meters and their calibration records."
Date: September 12, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aviation and the Environment: Federally Authorized Funding for Noise-Related Projects

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) funding for noise-related projects, focusing on: (1) the total historical funding of noise-related projects through both the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) programs, by FAA region; and (2) comparing the amount of AIP funds set aside for noise-related projects in the AIP appropriation for fiscal year (FY) 2000 and the authorized amounts for the AIP for fiscal years 2001 through 2003 with the projected costs of noise-related projects planned in the current National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS)."
Date: September 27, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Superfund Program: Breakdown of Appropriations Data

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "On February 18, 2004, we issued a report updating the appropriations and expenditure data for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program that we included in our July 2003 report on the status of the program. To supplement this information, Congress requested that we provide a breakdown of the appropriations data, showing the amounts for the Superfund program, amounts designated for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the Brownfields program. Superfund program operations are funded by appropriations from the general revenue fund and the Superfund trust fund. Historically, a tax on crude oil and certain chemicals and an environmental tax on corporations were the primary sources of revenues for the trust fund; however, the authority for these taxes expired in 1995. The trust fund continues to receive revenues in the form of cost recoveries, interest on the fund balance, fines and penalties, and general revenue fund appropriations that supplement the trust fund balance."
Date: May 14, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hazardous Waste: Time and Costs to Clean Up Superfund Sites Are Uncertain

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to clean up its Superfund sites, focusing on: (1) how long it will take to complete the construction of cleanup facilities at hazardous waste sites on the National Priorities List as of early 1999; and (2) how much it will cost."
Date: June 11, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Superfund: Information on Cost and Other Issues Related to the Cleanup of the Federal Creosote Site

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In the 1990s, creosote was discovered under a residential neighborhood in Manville, New Jersey. Creosote, a mixture of chemicals, is used to preserve wood products, such as railroad ties. Some of the chemicals in creosote may cause cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA found that creosote from a former wood-treatment facility (known as the Federal Creosote site) had contaminated soil and groundwater at the site. Under the Superfund program--the federal government's principal program to clean up hazardous waste--EPA assessed site risks, selected remedies, and worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clean up the site. As of May 2009, construction of EPA's remedies for the site had been completed; however, total site costs were almost $340 million and remedial construction costs had exceeded original estimates. In this context, GAO was asked to examine (1) how EPA assessed risks and selected remedies for the site, and what priority EPA gave to site cleanup; (2) what factors contributed to the difference between the estimated and actual costs; and (3) how EPA and the Corps divided responsibilities for site work. GAO analyzed EPA and Corps documents and data on the cleanup effort and its costs, and interviewed officials from these agencies. This report contains no recommendations. EPA generally agreed with GAO's findings on the agency's cleanup costs and actions, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had no comments."
Date: February 25, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Posthearing Questions Related to Strategic Human Capital Management and Endangered Species

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This letter contains GAO's response to questions for the record from the House Committee on Armed Services' May 1, 2003, hearing on "The Defense Transformation for the 21st Century Act." Congressmen Neil Abercrombie and Sylvestre Reyes submitted the questions."
Date: May 21, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Superfund: Funding and Reported Costs of Enforcement and Administration Activities

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in four Americans lives within 3 miles of a hazardous waste site. To clean up these highly contaminated sites, the Congress established the Superfund program under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980. EPA, the principal agency responsible for administering the Superfund program, has since identified more than 47,000 hazardous waste sites potentially requiring cleanup actions and has placed some of the most seriously contaminated sites on its National Priorities List (NPL). Through the end of fiscal year 2007, EPA had classified 1,569 sites as NPL sites. Cleanup efforts at NPL sites are typically expensive and can take many years. There are two basic types of cleanup actions: (1) removal actions--generally short-term or emergency cleanups to mitigate threats--and (2) remedial actions--generally long-term cleanup activities. Among other efforts, EPA may respond to and provide technical support for emergency actions, collect and analyze site data, and design and construct remedies, or oversee the work of others. However, the parties responsible for contributing to the contamination of a hazardous waste site are also primarily responsible for conducting or paying for the cleanup of the site. Responsible parties include current or former owners or operators of a site or the generators and transporters of the hazardous substances. CERCLA authorizes EPA to compel the responsible parties to clean up contaminated sites and also allows EPA to conduct cleanups and then seek reimbursement from the responsible parties. One of EPA's goals is ensuring that, to the extent possible, parties who are responsible for the contamination perform or pay for cleanup actions. In some cases, however, parties cannot be identified or may be unwilling or financially unable to perform the cleanup; we previously ...
Date: July 18, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Regulation: Approaches in the United States, Canada, and the European Union

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Chemicals are used to produce items widely used throughout society, including consumer products such as cleansers, paints, plastics, and fuels, as well as industrial solvents and additives. While chemicals play an important role in everyday life, some may be harmful to human health and the environment. Some chemicals, such as lead and mercury, are highly toxic at certain doses and need to be regulated because of health and safety concerns. In 1976, the Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in part to authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. TSCA addresses chemicals that are manufactured, imported, processed, distributed in commerce, used, or disposed of in the United States and authorizes EPA to assess chemicals before they enter commerce (new chemicals) and review those already in commerce (existing chemicals). TSCA excludes certain chemical substances, including among other things pesticides that are regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); and food; food additives; drugs; cosmetics or devices that are regulated under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). In this context, Congress asked that we provide comparative information on the following chemical control laws: TSCA, Canadian Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA), the current European Union legislation, and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) as proposed. Specifically, Congress asked that we provide information on the approaches of (1) controlling chemical risks, (2) reviewing existing chemicals used in commerce, (3) assessing new chemicals, and (4) handling confidential business information."
Date: November 4, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change: Observations on EPA's April 1999 Climate Change Report

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Climate Change Report, which was submitted to the Senate Committee on Appropriations in April 1999, focusing on the extent to which it: (1) provides a comprehensive explanation of the agency's climate change programs for fiscal year (FY) 2000; (2) justifies requested increases in funding for that fiscal year; (3) explains how the climate change activities are justified independently of the Kyoto Protocol; and (4) includes performance measures and goals and similar elements, as would be required by the Government Performance and Results Act."
Date: July 14, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Superfund: Interagency Agreements and Improved Project Management Needed to Achieve Cleanup Progress at Key Defense Installations

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Before the passage of federal environmental legislation in the 1970s and 1980s, Department of Defense (DOD) activities contaminated millions of acres of soil and water on and near DOD sites. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has certain oversight authorities for cleaning up contaminants on federal property, and has placed 1,620 of the most contaminated sites--including 141 DOD installations--on its National Priorities List (NPL). As of February 2009, after 10 or more years on the NPL, 11 DOD installations had not signed the required interagency agreements (IAG) to guide cleanup with EPA. GAO was asked to examine (1) the status of DOD cleanup of hazardous substances at selected installations that lacked IAGs, and (2) obstacles, if any, to cleanup at these installations. GAO selected and visited three installations, reviewed relevant statutes and agency documents, and interviewed agency officials."
Date: July 15, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Superfund: Better Financial Assurances and More Effective Implementation of Institutional Controls Are Needed to Protect the Public

Description: A statement of record issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Under the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program, parties responsible for pollution bear the cost of cleaning it up. However, these parties sometimes no longer exist, leaving the problem for others, typically the federal government, to address. Furthermore, many sites' cleanup remedies leave some waste in place, relying on institutional controls--legal or administrative restrictions on land or water use--to limit the public's exposure. GAO was asked to summarize the findings of its August 2005 report, Environmental Liabilities: EPA Should Do More to Ensure that Liable Parties Meet Their Cleanup Obligations (GAO-05-658) and its January 2005 report, Hazardous Waste Sites: Improved Effectiveness of Controls at Sites Could Better Protect the Public (GAO-05-163). GAO's statement addresses the actions EPA could take to better ensure that parties meet their cleanup obligations and the long-term effectiveness of institutional controls in protecting the public. GAO's reports recommended, among other things, that EPA (1) implement a financial assurance mandate for businesses handling hazardous substances; (2) enhance its oversight and enforcement of existing financial assurances and authorities; (3) ensure that the frequency and scope of monitoring of controls sufficiently maintain their effectiveness; and (4) ensure that information on controls reported in new tracking systems accurately reflects actual conditions."
Date: June 15, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Pollution: Proposed Pretreatment Standards for Industrial Laundries

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the dispute between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the industrial laundry industry regarding EPA's cost benefit analyses of its proposed pretreatment standards, focusing on: (1) EPA's implementation of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA); (2) the significant differences between EPA's and the industry's cost estimates of this proposed regulation; (3) ascertaining how EPA estimated the benefits of the proposed rule and disclosed the uncertainties associated with the accuracy of its estimates; and (4) how EPA's analysis supports its belief that the agency has chosen the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome regulatory alternative."
Date: January 20, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department