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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
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Acid Rain: Does it Contribute to Forest Decline?
This minibrief describes the major hypothesis explaining why acid rain may be contributing to forest decline, along with the major arguments against this hypothesis. For additional information on acid rain and current legislation for pollutant emissions controls, see IB83016 -- Acid Rain: Current Issues, and IB83005 -- Clean Air Act: An Overview. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9048/
Air Quality and Motor Vehicles: An Analysis of Current and Proposed Emission Standards
The extent to which emissions from motor vehicles and the amount of sulfur in commercial gasoline should be regulated has become a controversial issue. The EPA is proposing national limits on gasoline sulfur levels which would become effective in 2004. This report provides background information on the regulation of vehicle emissions in the United States, analyzes key elements of the National Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Tier 2 proposal, summarizes major views on the proposal that have been expressed by the automobile industry, the oil refining industry, and some environmental organizations, and discusses relevant legislative activity in the 106th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs849/
Air Quality and Transportation Enhancement Provisions in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991
Federal funding to assist states in addressing the environmental impacts of surface transportation is a major issue for the second session of the 105th Congress. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 (P.L. 102-240) authorized a total of $155 billion for transportation projects from FY1992 to FY1997. This report describes how the Congrestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) and enhancement programs function, examines the policy issues surrounding them, and summarizes relevant provisions in major legislation to reauthorize ISTEA in the 105th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs815/
Air Quality and Vehicle Emission Standards: An Overview of the National Low Emission Vehicle Program and Related Issues
This report provides background information on federal emission standards for motor vehicles under the Clean Air Act and stricter standards originally developed to address the severity of air quality problems in California, explains the low emission standards and flexible compliance mechanisms to which states and manufacturers have voluntarily agreed under the National Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Program, discusses the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) estimates of the program's air quality benefits and costs, and examines regulatory issues related to its implementation including sulfur levels in gasoline and the relative stringency of emission standards for light trucks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs845/
A Clean Air Option: Cash for Clunkers
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 encourage states to pursue market-based approaches to improve air quality. An Accelerated Vehicle Retirement (AVR) program, commonly referred to as "Cash for Clunkers," is designed to provide an economic incentive for the owners of highly polluting vehicles to retire their automobiles permanently from use and to provide greater flexibility for private industry to reduce emissions by sponsoring such a program. The implementation of AVR programs can be controversial. This report discusses the AVR program debate and includes information on completed AVR pilot projects in selected states. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs287/
EPA's Tier 2 Proposal for Stricter Vehicle Emission Standards: A Fact Sheet
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 established "Tier 1" standards to limit tailpipe emissions from new motor vehicles, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to determine if more stringent requirements are needed to attain or maintain National Ambient Air Quality Standards. EPA also must assess the availability and cost-effectiveness of technologies necessary to control emissions. In a report submitted to Congress in August 1998, EPA concluded that tougher standards are necessary and that essential technologies are available and cost-effective digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs850/
Highway Funding, the States, and New Air Quality Standards
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Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense
Whether broader expansions from federal environmental laws are needed to preserve military readiness has been an issue. Questions have been raised as to whether environmental requirements have limited military training activities to the point that readiness would be compromised. The potential impacts of broader exemptions on environmental quality have raised additional questions. Although certain exemptions the Department of Defense (DOD) first requested in FY2003 have been enacted into law, Congress has opposed others. From FY2003 to FY2008, DOD requested exemptions from the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. To date, Congress has not enacted these three latter exceptions. The Administration's FY2009 defense authorization bill does not include these exemptions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10640/
The Clean Coal Technology Program: Current Prospects
The Clean Coal Technology (CCT) program, started in the 1980's and funded generously in the early 1990's, has completed most of its surviving projects and has not funded any new ones since 1994. However, President Bush’s FY2002 budget outline proposed spending $2 billion over 10 years on a restructured CCT program. It is not clear what kind of projects would be included in the new program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1402/
Air Quality: EPA's Proposed New Ozone and Particulate Matter Standards
This report discusses the contentious issue of enforcing stringent national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone and particulate matter (PM), the opponents of which decry as harmful to the economy. The report discusses actions undertaken by the EPA, President Clinton's support of the NAAQSs, and the criticisms of opponents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs384/
Air Quality Standards: The Decisionmaking Process
The decisions by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1997 to revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and particulate matter refocused attention on the criteria and the process by which these decisions are made Tracing the steps of the decision pieces, this report identifies the statutory criteria established by the Congress and summarizes the administrative procedures the Agency follows in setting these standards and in reviewing them every 5 years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs521/
Global Climate Change: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Status, Trends, and Projections
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Global Climate Change: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Status, Trends, and Projections
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Global Climate Change: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Status, Trends, and Projections
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Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?
This report assesses the variables involved in determining whether or not biopower (i.e., electricity generated from biomass) is a carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels as a way to help meet meet U.S. energy demands and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It includes information about the biomass carbon cycle, GHG accounting for biopower production, recent developments affecting the assessment, and overview of whether or not it can be considered carbon neutral, and legislative implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97992/
Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?
This report assesses the variables involved in determining whether or not biopower (i.e., electricity generated from biomass) is a carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels as a way to help meet meet U.S. energy demands and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It includes information about the biomass carbon cycle, GHG accounting for biopower production, recent developments affecting the assessment, and overview of whether or not it can be considered carbon neutral, and legislative implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97991/
Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy
This report is intended as a primer on the policy issues, science, and governance of geoengineering technologies. The report will first set the policy parameters under which geoengineering technologies may be considered. It will then describe selected technologies in detail and discuss their status. The third section provides a discussion of possible approaches to governmental involvement in, and oversight of, geoengineering, including a summary of domestic and international instruments and institutions that may affect geoengineering projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272009/
Biochar: Examination of an Emerging Concept to Mitigate Climate Change
This report briefly describes biochar, its potential advantages and disadvantages, legislative support, and research and development activities underway in the United States and abroad. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86544/
Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy
This report is intended as a primer on the policy issues, science, and governance of geoengineering technologies. The report will first set the policy parameters under which geoengineering technologies may be considered. It will then describe selected technologies in detail and discuss their status. The third section provides a discussion of possible approaches to governmental involvement in, and oversight of, geoengineering, including a summary of domestic and international instruments and institutions that may affect geoengineering projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31472/
Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate: Marine Mammal Issues
After global warming became a concern in the mid-1950s, researchers proposed measuring deep ocean temperatures to reveal any significant trends in core ocean warming. Acoustic thermometry can detect changes in ocean temperature by receiving low-frequency sounds transmitted across an ocean basin because the speed of sound is proportional to water temperature. Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate, or ATOC, is an international program involving 11 institutions in seven nations. It is designed as a 30-month "proof-of-concept" project to provide data on possible global climate change, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Defense. A debate has arisen over ATOC's impact on marine mammals versus the benefits of better global warming information derived from ATOC. This report dicusses the ATOC program and related concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs176/
Ocean Acidification
With increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the extent of effects on the ocean and marine resources is an increasing concern. One aspect of this issue is the ongoing process whereby seawater becomes acidified (i.e., ocean acidification) as more CO2 dissolves in it, causing hydrogen ion concentration in seawater to increase. While not yet fully understood, the ecological and economic consequences of ocean acidification could be substantial. Congress is beginning to focus attention on better understanding ocean acidification and determining how this concern might be addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26133/
Increasing the Efficiency of Existing Coal- Fired Power Plants
This report focuses on efficiency improvements to power plants, and discusses retrofits, technologies, and other modifications to facility operations which offer the potential to improve power plant efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272073/
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A Primer
This report focuses on the environmental quality of water resources as affected by animal agriculture, specifically animal waste, which can harm water quality through surface runoff, direct discharges, spills, and leaching into soil and groundwater. This report also discusses the contribution of emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), enterprises where animals are raised in confinement, to air pollution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8641/
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A Primer
This report focuses on the environmental quality of water resources as affected by animal agriculture, specifically animal waste, which can harm water quality through surface runoff, direct discharges, spills, and leaching into soil and groundwater. This report also discusses the contribution of emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), enterprises where animals are raised in confinement, to air pollution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7792/
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement
In an effort to collect scientifically credible data regarding the effect of animal agriculture on water resources (specifically animal waste and emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2005 announced the Air Compliance Agreement. The agreement is intended to produce air quality monitoring data on AFO emissions during a two-year study, while at the same time protecting participants through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8640/
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement
In an effort to collect scientifically credible data regarding the effect of animal agriculture on water resources (specifically animal waste and emissons from animal feeding operations (AFO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2005 announced the Air Compliance Agreement. The agreement is intended to produce air quality monitoring data on AFO emissions during a two-year study, while at the same time protecting participants through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws. This report discusses the agreement and the perspectives of both its supporters and opponents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7791/
Clean Air Act Permitting: Status of Implementation
The 1990 Clean Air Act amendments established an operating permit system that is affecting many new and existing sources of air emissions, as well as state and local air pollution control agencies. After delays and early missteps, the operating permit program is moving ahead. All state and local programs have received interim or full approval, and permits are being issued, although at a slower rate than anticipated. However, a number of issues exist. These include the effect of key federal regulations, not yet promulgated, on permit programs and regulated sources; adequacy of state resources; gaining full approval for those permit programs that now have interim approval; and oversight. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs964/
Clean Air Permitting: Status of Implementation and Issues
This report describes the statutory background of the Title V program and the status of implementation, in terms of federal approval of state and local permitting authorities and permit issuance. It also discusses broad policy issues identified by various stakeholders, including program complexity and costs, and inconsistencies due to a lack of sufficient federal guidance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94071/
Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues
This report describes the several types of waste streams that cruise ships may discharge and emit. It identifies the complex body of international and domestic laws that address pollution from cruise ships. It then describes federal and state legislative activity concerning cruise ships in Alaskan waters and activities in a few other states, as well as current industry initiatives to manage cruise ship pollution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98054/
Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues
This report describes the several types of waste streams that cruise ships may discharge and emit. It identifies the complex body of international and domestic laws that address pollution from cruise ships. It then describes federal and state legislative activity concerning cruise ships in Alaskan waters and activities in a few other states, as well as current industry initiatives to manage cruise ship pollution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87283/
EPA's Vessel General Permit: Background and Issues
This report is an overview of the revised Vessel General Permit (VGP) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and two key issues: inclusion of numeric performance standards to limit ballast water discharges from vessels, and controversies about the role of states in regulating vessel discharges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276891/
2006 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5): Designating Nonattainment Areas
This report focuses primarily on the NAAQS implementation process for designating geographical nonattainment areas with respect to the tightening of the PM2.5 standards under the 2006 particulates NAAQS, including comparisons with the final designations under the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. Also included is a brief overview of states' subsequent obligations for developing and submitting implementation plans (SIPs) for attaining or maintaining compliance with the NAAQS. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122190/
Air Quality: EPA's 2012 Proposed Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard
This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) June 2012 proposed changes to the particulate matter (PM) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and includes comparisons with previous (1997) and current (2006) promulgated and proposed standards. Key actions leading up to the June 2012 proposal, and potential issues and concerns associated with the proposal to strengthen the PM2.5 annual standard, are also highlighted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122239/
Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?
This report provides an overview of the statutory framework, key players, infrastructure, resources, tools, and operations associated with enforcement and compliance of the major pollution control laws and regulations administered by EPA. It also outlines the roles of federal (including regional offices) and state regulators, as well as the regulated community. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96804/
Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?
This report provides an overview of the statutory framework, key players, infrastructure, resources, tools, and operations associated with enforcement and compliance of the major pollution control laws and regulations administered by EPA. It also outlines the roles of federal (including regional offices) and state regulators, as well as the regulated community. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272112/
Air Quality: Impacts of Trip Reduction Programs on States and Affected Employers
This report discusses employer trip reduction (ETR) programs, which would require large employers to implement certain transportation control measures as part of a national effort to combat air pollution, largely as a direct result of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs45/
Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change Treaty: Negotiations and Related Issues
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Global Climate Change Treaty: The Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change Treaty: The Kyoto Protocol
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