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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future

Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future

Date: August 28, 2013
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report discusses climate change and surveys existing law for legal issues that have arisen, or may arise in the future, on account of climate change and government responses thereto.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Climate Change Litigation: A Survey

Climate Change Litigation: A Survey

Date: April 15, 2009
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report focuses on the legal debate surrounding climate change. Though the first court decision related to climate change appeared 19 years ago, such litigation has proliferated in just the past six.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Commerce Clause as a Limit on Congressional Power to Protect the Environment

The Commerce Clause as a Limit on Congressional Power to Protect the Environment

Date: March 12, 1999
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: Several times during the 1990s the Supreme Court struck down federal enactments as exceeding Congress' power under the Commerce Clause or Tenth Amendment. This report briefly reviews three of these decisions -- United States v. Lopez, New York v. United States, and Printz v. United States. Its focus, however, is how these cases have played out in subsequent lower-court challenges to federal environmental laws. The report shows that Supreme Court rulings in favor of these states notwithstanding, such laws have generally, though not always, been found within Commerce Clause and Tenth Amendment limits.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Constitutional Bounds on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment

Constitutional Bounds on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment

Date: December 18, 2002
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report reviews five newly-emergent constitutional areas related to environmental issues, based on Supreme Court decisions. For each area, the focus is its significance for current and future federal environmental legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Constitutional Constraints on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment

Constitutional Constraints on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment

Date: September 8, 2000
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: Federal protection of the environment must hew to the same constitutional strictures as any other federal actions. In the past decade, however, the Supreme Court has invigorated several of these strictures in ways that present new challenges to congressional drafters of environmental statutes. This report reviews six of these newly emergent constitutional areas, with special attention to their significance for current and future environmental legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Endangered Species Act and Private Property

The Endangered Species Act and Private Property

Date: March 7, 1993
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: If the 103rd Congress embarks upon an effort to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it will run into an old acquaintance: the property rights issue. As now written, the ESA has at least the potential to curtail property rights (whatever its actual impact as implemented may be). This report explores the legal repercussions of those impacts, especially whether they constitute takings of property under the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Environmental Opinions of Judge Samuel Alito

The Environmental Opinions of Judge Samuel Alito

Date: January 6, 2006
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report is based on a review of all the reported environmental decisions of the Third Circuit in which Judge Alito was on the three-judge panel that initially decided the case, or in the en banc group of judges that heard the case on review of the panel decision. It does not confine itself, as did the recently reported Washington Post study, to Third Circuit opinions in which there was a dissent.2 We construe “environmental” broadly to include insurance coverage, Fourth Amendment, and other issues arising in an environmental context — and included 34 decisions in our review.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology

Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology

Date: May 1, 2012
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report offers a chronology of major federal agency actions, mainly by EPA, that involve GHGs or climate change and that occurred in the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA, a ruling that greenhouse gases are "air pollutants" via the Clean Air Act. As such, they are not under the EPA's jurisdiction.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Date: August 16, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20, 2010, Congress has given much attention to the compensatory liability provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and, to a lesser extent, those of the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. However, federal laws possibly relevant to the oil spill also impose civil and criminal money penalties, which may reach dollar amounts in connection with the Gulf spill greater than those for compensatory liability. This report summarizes selected federal civil and criminal penalty provisions that may be found violated in connection with the Gulf spill and related worker fatalities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Future of the Citizen Suit After Steel Co. and Laidlaw

The Future of the Citizen Suit After Steel Co. and Laidlaw

Date: January 5, 1999
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)

The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)

Date: June 15, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)

The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)

Date: June 15, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report deals solely with the liability provisions of S. 350, found in Title II of the bill. (The manager’s amendment does not concern these.) These provisions cover three types of innocent parties: (1) owners of properties contaminated from contiguous properties, (2) prospective purchasers, and (3) innocent landowners.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Date: November 19, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Preemption Language in Federal Environmental Statutes

Preemption Language in Federal Environmental Statutes

Date: July 29, 1999
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Right to a Clean Environment Provisions in State Constitutions, and Arguments as to a Federal Counterpart

Right to a Clean Environment Provisions in State Constitutions, and Arguments as to a Federal Counterpart

Date: February 23, 1999
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Superfund Act Reauthorization: Liability Provisions of Leading Congressional Proposals

Superfund Act Reauthorization: Liability Provisions of Leading Congressional Proposals

Date: December 21, 1999
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Supreme Court Addresses Corps of Engineers Jurisdiction Over "Isolated Waters": The SWANCC Decision

The Supreme Court Addresses Corps of Engineers Jurisdiction Over "Isolated Waters": The SWANCC Decision

Date: February 16, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert & Copeland, Claudia
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act Is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos v. United States

The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act Is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos v. United States

Date: April 22, 2008
Creator: Meltz, Robert & Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States, which addressed the asserted jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over wetlands adjacent to "waters of the United States," the problematic phrase used by the Clean Water Act (CWA) to define the geographic scope of the act's wetlands permitting program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos v. United States

The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos v. United States

Date: September 12, 2006
Creator: Meltz, Robert & Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States, which addressed the asserted jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over wetlands adjacent to "waters of the United States," the problematic phrase used by the Clean Water Act (CWA) to define the geographic scope of the act's wetlands permitting program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Air Standards: The Supreme Court Agrees to Review

Clean Air Standards: The Supreme Court Agrees to Review

Date: December 5, 2000
Creator: Meltz, Robert & McCarthy, James E
Description: In May, 2000, the Supreme Court agreed to review this decision, raising the prospect of a major pronouncement on the non-delegation doctrine, the enforceability of the revised ozone standard, and the role of compliance costs in setting nationwide air quality standards.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The D.C. Circuit Remands the Ozone and Particulate Matter Clean-Air Standards:

The D.C. Circuit Remands the Ozone and Particulate Matter Clean-Air Standards:

Date: June 10, 1999
Creator: Meltz, Robert & McCarthy, James E
Description: On May 14, 1999, in American Trucking Ass'ns v. EPA, a U.S. court of Appeals ruled that deficiencies in EPA's promulgation of new primary and secondary air quality standards required that they be remanded to the agency for further consideration. The decision is controversial, in part because the two-judge majority opinion relied principally on a long-moribund legal doctrine known as the nondelegation doctrine. The decision, if it survives appeal, will thus have implications for all delegations of congressional authority to agencies. In addition, its holding that the revised ozone ambient standard cannot be enforced has sparkled debate. By itself, however, the decision is unlikely to have major short-term effects on the ozone and particulate matter control programs
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Polar Research: U.S. Policy and Interests

Polar Research: U.S. Policy and Interests

Date: July 1, 1996
Creator: Mielke, James E
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Antarctica: Environmental Protection, Research, and Conservation of Resources

Antarctica: Environmental Protection, Research, and Conservation of Resources

Date: April 5, 1995
Creator: Mielke, James E & Browne, Marjorie Ann
Description: This report discusses protocols and treaties designed and implemented to protect Antarctica as a haven for environmental research, preservation, and conservation, as well as related legislation and Congressional efforts.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department