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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
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/
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/
Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships
This report provides information regarding pollution from ships and port facilities; discusses some of the measures being implemented and considered by local, state, and federal regulatory agencies; discusses the efforts to ratify and to strengthen Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); and describes legislation in Congress to control emissions from ships by amending the Clean Air Act (CAA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87348/
Air Quality and Electricity: Initiatives to Increase Pollution Controls
This report discusses air quality initiatives (such as the Ozone Transport Rule) that primarily focus on reducing and enforcing emissions from coal-fired electric generating utilities in the Midwest and South. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1401/
Air Quality and Electricity: Initiatives to Increase Pollution Controls
This report discusses air quality initiatives (such as the Ozone Transport Rule) that primarily focus on reducing and enforcing emissions from coal-fired electric generating utilities in the Midwest and South. The report also addresses various legislative activity that focuses on multi-pollutant strategies as an alternative to these piecemeal initiatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2142/
Air Quality and Electricity: Initiatives to Increase Pollution Controls
This report discusses air quality initiatives (such as the Ozone Transport Rule) that primarily focus on reducing and enforcing emissions from coal-fired electric generating utilities in the Midwest and South. The report also addresses various legislative activity that focuses on multi-pollutant strategies as an alternative to these piecemeal initiatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2141/
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 the New Ozone NAAQS: The OTAG Process
The Ozone Transport Assessment Group (OTAG) represented a cooperative effort between states, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and numerous stakeholders to address teh complex issue of ozone transport. However, opponents of the new ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) argue that the OTAG recommendations are far too vague and ambiguous to be cited by EPA as a basis for implementation. This report provides background on the effort, and summarizes OTAG's assessment and recommendations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs522/
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/
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/
Air Quality: EPA's 2013 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard
This report summarizes Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) January 15, 2013, final and June 2012 proposed changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and includes comparisons with previous (1997 and 2006) promulgated and proposed standards. Key actions leading up to the agency's determination, and potential issues and concerns associated with changing the Particulate Matter annual standard, are also highlighted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462542/
Air Quality: EPA's Ozone Transport Rule, OTAG, and Section 216 Petitions - A Hazy Situation?
The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments provided the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states with new tool to address the problem of interstate transport of air pollutants. This report discusses the actions undertaken as a direct result of this act, additional pollution reduction enforcement measures pursued by the EPA, and actions undertaken by states to reduce offending emissions not in compliance with these measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs935/
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: EPA's Proposed Ozone Transport Rule, OTAG, and Section 216 Petitions - A Hazy Situation?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently engaged in a series of regulatory actions to address the transport of ozone pollution in the eastern United States. This report reviews this situation with respect to an EPA-proposed Ozone Transport Rule and other activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs601/
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/
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/
Air Quality: Multi-Pollutant Legislation
One approach being proposed to more cost-effectively achieve national air quality goals is a "multi-pollutant" strategy -- a framework based on a consistent set of emissions caps, implemented through emissions trading. This report discusses this strategy and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2139/
Air Quality: Multi-Pollutant Legislation
One approach being proposed to more cost-effectively achieve national air quality goals is a "multi-pollutant" strategy -- a framework based on a consistent set of emissions caps, implemented through emissions trading. This report discusses this strategy and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2140/
Air Quality: Multi-Pollutant Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report discusses air pollutants (petroleum, natural gas, and coal), which account for about two-thirds of U.S. electricity generation. These gases include several pollutants that directly pose risks to human health and welfare. The report also discusses the utilities that are subject to an array of environmental regulations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99108/
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/
Are Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rising More Rapidly Than Expected?
At least one recent report and numerous news articles suggest that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are rising more rapidly than expected. While CO2 emissions associated with human activities continue to rise -- and may be worthy of alarm because of their influence on climate change -- any short-term comparisons between actual emissions and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios miss the mark. This report analyzes this issue and the issues associated with IPCC scenarios and trajectories. It also describes the importance of monitoring CO2 emissions and analyzing the factors and forces behind increasing CO2 emissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10807/
Automobile and Light Truck Fuel Economy: The CAFE Standards
This report discusses the current corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard of 35 miles per gallon (mpg), and the major issues on the CAFE debate. The report also offers an overview of Congressional interest in CAFE (1991-2005), and explains the CAFE and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94034/
Automobile and Truck Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Greenhouse Gas Standards
Report that looks at vehicle fuel costs, fuel consumption in the United States, and examines the estimated costs to new vehicles that may arise from the Obama Administration's new passenger vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for vehicle model years (MY) 2017-2025. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227810/
Aviation and Climate Change
This report provides background on aviation emissions and the factors affecting them; it discusses the tools available to control emissions, including existing authority under the Clean Air Act and proposed economy-wide cap-and-trade legislation; and it examines international regulatory developments that may affect U.S. commercial airlines. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462125/
Aviation and Climate Change
This report provides background on aviation emissions and the factors affecting them; it discusses the tools available to control emissions, including existing authority under the Clean Air Act and proposed economy-wide cap-and-trade legislation; and it examines international regulatory developments that may affect U.S. commercial airlines. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462465/
Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme
This report looks at how the European Union Emission Trading Scheme's coverage of carbon emission from commercial flights affects air carriers from the United States and other countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87222/
Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme
This report looks at how the European Union Emission Trading Scheme's coverage of carbon emission from commercial flights affects air carriers from the United States and other countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87221/
Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme
This report looks at how the European Union Emission Trading Scheme's coverage of carbon emission from commercial flights affects air carriers from the United States and other countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86601/
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/
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/metadc462807/
Calculation of Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the Renewable Fuel Standard
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) significantly expanded the renewable fuel standard (RFS) established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. EISA requires an increasing amount of the 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022 mandate be met with "advanced biofuels." This report defines the classification "biofuels," discusses the ongoing debate regarding several aspects of biofuels endeavors, and discusses related legislative efforts on climate change policy and low-carbon fuel standards. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26141/
California Air Quality FIP - A Fact Sheet
On April 10, 1995, President Clinton signed P.L. 104-6, which contained a provision that rescinds the Federal air quality implementation plan (FIP) for the South Coast, Ventura, and Sacramento areas of California.(1) As a result, the FIP issued by EPA has no further force and effect, and California will continue pursuing approval of its own State implementation plan (SIP) in lieu of the FIP. Promulgation of the FIP was perceived by some within the State as having a detrimental effect on California's industries and economy resulting from costly and burdensome air pollution control measures contained in the plan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs175/
California's Waiver Request Under the Clear Air Act to Control Greenhouse Gases From Motor Vehicles
This report reviews the nature of EPA's, California's, and other states' authority to regulate emissions from mobile sources, the applicability of that authority to GHGs, and issues related to the California waiver request. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87329/
Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Recent congressional interest in U.S. energy policy has focused in part on ways through which the United States could secure more economical and reliable crude oil resources both domestically and internationally. Many forecasters identify petroleum refined from Canadian oil sands as one possible solution. This report discusses conclusions revealed from a survey of available literature on the matter, particularly in regards to Greenhouse Gas and Well-to-Tank emissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85434/
Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
This report discusses basic methodology of life-cycle assessments and compares several publicly-available assessments of life-cycle emissions data for Canadian oil sands crudes against each other and against those of other global reference crudes. It also includes a survey of the scientific literature and the findings of the State Department's Keystone XL Project Envoronmental Impact Statement, and concludes with a discussion of tools for policymakers who are interested in using the assessments to investigate the potential impacts of U.S. energy policy choices onthe environment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96723/
Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
This report discusses the basic methodology of life-cycle assessments and compares several of the publicly available studies of GHG emissions data for Canadian oil sands crudes against each other and against those of other global reference crudes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463091/
Capturing CO2 from Coal-Fired Power Plants: Challenges for a Comprehensive Strategy
This report examines the current effort to develop technology that would capture CO2. First, the paper outlines the current status of carbon capture technology. Second, the paper examines the role of government in developing that technology, both in terms of creating a market for carbon capture technology and encouraging development of the technology. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of implications of capture technology for climate change legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87353/
Capturing CO2 from Coal-Fired Power Plants: Challenges for a Comprehensive Strategy
This report examines the current effort to develop technology that would capture CO2. First, the paper outlines the current status of carbon capture technology. Second, the paper examines the role of government in developing that technology, both in terms of creating a market for carbon capture technology and encouraging development of the technology. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of implications of capture technology for climate change legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463181/
Carbon Capture: A Technology Assessment
This report is a brief summary of what carbon capture and storage (CCS) is, how it is supposed to work, why it has gained the interest and support of some members of Congress, and what some of the challenges are to its implementation and deployment across the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272007/
Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)
Carbon capture and sequestration (or storage) - known as CCS - has attracted interest as a measure for mitigating global climate change because large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from fossil fuel use in the United States are potentially available to be captured and stored underground or prevented from reaching the atmosphere. Congressional interest has grown in CCS as part of legislative strategies to address climate change. The large and rapid influx of funding for industrial-scale CCS projects may accelerate development and deployment of CO2 capture technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26253/
Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)
This report discusses carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), but not other types of carbon sequestration activities whereby CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and stored in vegetation, soils, or oceans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94086/
Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS): A Primer
This report is a brief summary of what CCS is, how it is supposed to work, why it has gained the interest and support of some members of Congress, and what some of the challenges are to its implementation and deployment across the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85431/
Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS): A Primer
Report describing Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS), how it is supposed to work, why it has gained the interest and support of some members of Congress, and what some of the challenges are to its implementation and deployment across the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227766/
The Carbon Cycle: Implications for Climate Change and Congress
This report puts the human contribution of carbon to the atmosphere into the larger context of the global carbon cycle. The report focuses almost entirely on carbon dioxide (CO2), which alone is responsible for over half of the change in Earth's radiation balance. Moreover, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas released to the atmosphere from human activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463135/
Carbon Tax and Greenhouse Gas Control: Options and Considerations for Congress
This report begins with an overview of the fundamental choices involved between a cost (tax) and a quantity (cap) control instrument. This includes a discussion of policy tools that could be employed to bridge the gap between a carbon tax and a cap-and-trade program. Following this overview, the report analyzes the potential advantages and disadvantages of a carbon tax. In many cases, carbon tax attributes are compared with those of a cap-and-trade program. The next section discusses implementation issues for a carbon tax, including where to apply the tax, at what level to set the tax, and options for distributing the tax revenues. The final section provides conclusions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87137/
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