Category Archives: Natural Resources and Environment

Who’s Watching What You Eat?

Although the U.S. food supply is generally considered safe, foodborne illness remains a costly, common public health problem. The safety and quality of the food supply is governed by a highly-complex system—involving 16 federal agencies administering over 30 federal laws. … Continue reading

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Residential Solar Electricity and Other Energy Saving Technologies (podcast)

Rooftop solar panels, smart thermostats, and other residential technologies increasingly allow customers to generate and store electricity, and better manage its use. While these technologies may allow people to more efficiently manage their power use—and lower their bills—too much customer-generated … Continue reading

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What’s in Your Water?

In honor of today’s World Water Day, we are taking a look at our work on combined sewer overflows in cities with declining populations—and the serious wastewater problem they pose. Combined sewer systems collect stormwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial … Continue reading

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Transportation Security of Radioactive Sources (podcast)

Since September 11, 2001, concerns have been raised that medical, industrial, and research related radioactive materials could be stolen by terrorists and used to create a “dirty bomb.” As such, transportation security of high-risk radioactive materials is particularly important, and … Continue reading

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Fighting to Protect Wildlife

Today is World Wildlife Day. To commemorate, the WatchBlog takes a look at the illegal trafficking of animals—like elephants and rhinos—that are on the brink of extinction. What’s it worth? The trade in illegal wildlife brings in anywhere from $7 … Continue reading

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Do the Oscars Make You Think of Federal Policy? Yeah, Us Too.

We think about our reports all the time—even when we watch movies. As a tribute to our single-mindedness, today’s WatchBlog is all about how our work relates to this year’s Oscar-nominated films. So, get some popcorn, put your feet up, … Continue reading

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2017 High Risk List – U.S. Government’s Environmental Liability (video)

This year, we added the federal government’s environmental liability to our High Risk List—our biennial report highlighting areas particularly susceptible to fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement, or needing a fundamental transformation. When federal government activities contaminate the environment, the government’s on … Continue reading

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Mining for Gold and Other Minerals on Federal Lands

It’s Valentine’s Day and while some people may shop for flowers and chocolate, others may be seeking a longer-lasting gift like gold jewelry. But it’s not just Valentine’s Day that can lead to a gold rush. Mine operators can submit … Continue reading

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Meet the Beetles

Long before John, Paul, George, and Ringo hit our shores on this day, February 7, in 1964, the American Burying Beetle was already present in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. However, in 1989, these beetles were listed … Continue reading

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Securing Anthrax (and Other Dangerous Pathogens)—the Risk of “Incomplete Inactivation”

In 2015, the Department of Defense discovered that one of its laboratories had inadvertently sent live anthrax to almost 200 other labs worldwide over 12 years. Labs routinely inactivate samples of dangerous pathogens so they can be shipped to other … Continue reading

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