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Posts Tagged ‘United States Government Accountability Office’

Railroad Financing: Changes to the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program

Friday, July 22nd, 2016
Figure 1: Number and Dollar Amount of Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program Loans Approved, Fiscal Years 1998 through 2015, by Loan Type

Financing the various rail infrastructure projects will be challenging. Congress has not funded the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program—a program used to fund passenger rail projects—since fiscal year 2010 and appropriations to Amtrak have remained relatively steady at about $1.4 billion over the last 5 years. One potential source of funding is FRA’s Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program, which is a $35 billion loan and loan guarantee program to finance, among other things, freight and passenger rail facilities. Since program inception in 1998 about $2.7 billion in loans have been executed, and no loan guarantees have been made.

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Transportation Infrastructure: Information on Bridge Conditions

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015
Table 1: Overall Deficient Bridges

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
In summary, based on 2014 NBI data, the nation has 610,749 bridges. Of those bridges, 23 percent are on the NHS, and this 23 percent comprise 58 percent of the nation’s total deck area. Nearly 25 percent of all bridges are deficient, with 10 percent categorized as structurally deficient and 14 percent categorized as functionally obsolete. Of bridges on the NHS, 4 percent are categorized as structurally deficient while 17 percent are categorized as functionally obsolete. State agencies own about half of all bridges and over 90 percent of NHS bridges.

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Next Generation Air Transport: Improved Risk Analysis Could Bring Success

Friday, September 11th, 2015
Figure 1: Flight Profile in the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Environment Envisioned by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
Aviation industry stakeholders GAO interviewed described various factors that may affect the interoperability of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)—a complex, long-term initiative to modernize the U.S. air-traffic management (ATM) system—with other countries’ ATM modernization efforts. Interoperability allows different ATM systems and procedures to accept and use each other’s information and services for technical or operational purposes…GAO recommends that FAA conduct a comprehensive assessment of risks to NextGen’s global interoperability and identify how this information will be used to mitigate risks and prioritize resources. In responding to a draft of the report, FAA agreed with the recommendations and discussed some of its ongoing risk assessment activities.

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Army Corps of Engineers: Efforts to Assess the Impact of Extreme Weather Events

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Systematic, National Infrastructure Risk Assessments, 2006- June 2015

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
The Corps plans, designs, and constructs water resources infrastructure, such as dams and levees. According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events are increasing. Much of the Corps’ infrastructure was built over 50 years ago and may not be designed to operate within current climate patterns, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Airport Finance: Information on Funding Sources and Planned Capital Development

Thursday, June 4th, 2015
Figure 1: Categories and Numbers of U.S. Airports (as of September 2014)

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
Airports’ planned capital development costs for fiscal years 2015 through 2019 are estimated at $13 billion annually (in 2013 dollars). Larger airports account for 65 percent of the planned development. For AIP-eligible projects, the largest shares of planned development costs are for projects to reconstruct facilities ($2.2 billion), meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) airport design standards ($2.1 billion), and enhance airfield capacity ($977 million).

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Transportation for Older Adults

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
Table 1: Older Americans Act Title III Part B Transportation Spending and Rides 2010 through 2012 (Spending and Rides in Millions)

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
State and local transportation agencies and aging organizations in the four states GAO visited used a variety of mechanisms to coordinate transportation services for older adults. For example, many state and local activities are currently focused on mobility management approaches—such as travel training programs—to help older adults identify and access the various transportation resources available. Some organizations GAO interviewed have also implemented more extensive approaches to coordination that are intended to help older adults access transportation services, such as offering a wide range of volunteer transportation.

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EPA Program to Protect Underground Drinking Water Needs Improvement

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
Figure 1: Injection Wells for Enhanced Production and Wastewater Disposal

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
Every day in the United States, at least 2 billion gallons of fluids are injected into over 172,000 wells to enhance oil and gas production, or to dispose of fluids brought to the surface during the extraction of oil and gas resources. These wells are subject to regulation to protect drinking water sources under EPA’s UIC class II program and approved state class II programs. Because much of the population relies on underground sources for drinking water, these wells have raised concerns about the safety of the nation’s drinking water.

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Extreme Weather Events: Increasing the Nation’s Resilience

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Figure 1: Louisiana State Highway 1 Leading to Port Fourchon (Source: NOAA)

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
According to the United States Global Change Research Program, the costs and impacts of weather disasters resulting from floods, drought, and other events are expected to increase in significance as previously “rare” events become more common and intense. These impacts pose financial risks to the federal government. While it is not possible to link any individual weather event to climate change, these events provide insight into the potential climate-related vulnerabilities the United States faces.

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NextGen Air Transportation System

Monday, April 15th, 2013

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is pursuing key operational improvements to implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) in the “midterm,” which is 2013 through 2018. These improvements focus on establishing Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures at key airports, but benefits could be limited in the midterm. PBN uses satellite-based guidance to improve air-traffic control routes (known as “procedures”). These procedures can deliver benefits to airlines, such as fuel savings and increased efficiency, particularly in congested airspace.

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Highway Trust Fund: All States Received More Funding Than They Contributed in Highway Taxes from 2005 to 2009

Friday, October 14th, 2011
HIGHWAY TRUST FUND All States Received More Funding Than They Contributed in Highway Taxes from 2005 to 2009

US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE What GAO Found From 2005 to 2009, every state received more funding for highway programs than they contributed to the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund. This was possible because more funding was authorized and apportioned than was collected from the states, and the fund was augmented with about $30 […]

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