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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products and is used heavily by the Department of Defense (DOD) and other industries. Perchlorate also occurs naturally. This compound has been detected in drinking water supplies, especially in California. It also has been found in milk and many foods. Because of this widespread occurrence, concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and Member of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate. This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Environmental Services Markets in the 2008 Farm Bill

Environmental Services Markets in the 2008 Farm Bill

Date: June 10, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: This report gives an overview of issues involved in the provisions of the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-234, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act). It includes a brief overview describing environmental services markets, benefits and barriers, recent Congressional action related to the topics, and possible considerations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Open Ocean Aquaculture

Open Ocean Aquaculture

Date: June 12, 2008
Creator: Upton, Harold F. & Buck, Eugene H.
Description: This report discusses four general areas related to open ocean aquaculture: (1) operational and business-related challenges; (2) potential economic impacts; (3) potential environmental impacts; and (4) the legal and regulatory environment. It summarizes recent executive and legislative branch actions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Fact Sheet on Three International Agreements

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Fact Sheet on Three International Agreements

Date: June 12, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that do not break down easily in the environment, tend to accumulate as they move up the food chain, and may be harmful to people and wildlife. Between 1998 and 2001, the United States signed tow international treaties and one executive agreement to reduce the production and use of POPs and to regulate the trade and disposal of them. This report discusses these treaties in detail, as well as their ratification process and U.S. statutes that are inconsistent with these treaties.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Global Climate Change: Status of Negotiations

Global Climate Change: Status of Negotiations

Date: June 17, 2008
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R.
Description: In December 2007, the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held their 13th annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia, and began the process of working toward an agreement/treaty that would succeed the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC when it expires in 2012. The Protocol includes a mandate for a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 developed/industrialized nations to an average of some 5% below their 1990 levels over the commitment period 2008-2012. The broad array of these issues, briefly discussed in this report, has been described by some as comprising perhaps the most complex negotiations ever undertaken internationally.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Date: June 19, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to develop a regulatory response to a 2006 federal court ruling that vacated a long-standing rule that exempts discharges associated with the normal operation of vessels from permit requirements of the Clean Water Act. Concern that this ruling could require millions of recreational boaters to obtain permits has led to the introduction of legislation to exempt these and other types of vessels from water quality regulation. This report discusses background to the issue; bills introduced in response, two of which were passed by Congress on July 22; and draft permits proposed by EPA on June 17.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues

Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues

Date: July 1, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Air After the CAIR Decision: Back to Square One?

Clean Air After the CAIR Decision: Back to Square One?

Date: July 22, 2008
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Parker, Larry B. & Meltz, Robert
Description: This report discusses three Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) long-term options in regard to Clean Air: (1) starting anew with a new strategy with respect to mitigating transported air pollution based on the decision; (2) allowing the states to sort out the issue through Section 126 petitions; and (3) seeking new legislation providing EPA with the statutory authority to implement either CAIR in some form, or an alternative.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nanotechnology and Environmental, Health, and Safety: Issues for Consideration

Nanotechnology and Environmental, Health, and Safety: Issues for Consideration

Date: August 6, 2008
Creator: Sargent, John F.
Description: This report identifies the potential environmental, health, and safety opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology; explains the importance of addressing nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns; identifies and discusses nanotechnology EHS issues; and summarizes options for Congressional action, including the nanotechnology EHS-related provisions of selected legislation. The report also includes two appendices.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Date: August 19, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The principal federal program to aid municipal wastewater treatment plant construction is authorized in the Clean Water Act (CWA). In appropriations legislation, funding for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) wastewater assistance is contained in the measure providing funds for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. This report summarizes, in chronological order, congressional activity to fund items in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account since 1987.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Stormwater Permits: Status of EPA's Regulatory Program

Stormwater Permits: Status of EPA's Regulatory Program

Date: August 26, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses the EPA's federally-mandated program for controlling stormwater discharges from industrial plants and municipalities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: September 11, 2008
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Date: September 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to develop a regulatory response to a 2006 federal court ruling that vacated a long-standing rule that exempts discharges associated with the normal operation of vessels from permit requirements of the Clean Water Act. Concern that this ruling could require millions of recreational boaters to obtain permits has led to the introduction of legislation to exempt these and other types of vessels from water quality regulation. This report discusses background to the issue; bills introduced in response, two of which were passed by Congress on July 22; and draft permits proposed by EPA on June 17.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
National Environmental Education Act of 1990: Overview, Implementation, and Issues for Congress

National Environmental Education Act of 1990: Overview, Implementation, and Issues for Congress

Date: September 22, 2008
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Description: This report summarizes major provisions of the National Environmental Education Act of 1990, discusses appropriations for activities authorized in that statute, examines the implementation of these activities, and analyzes key issues and relevant legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Do Not Mail Initiatives and Their Potential Effects: Possible Issues for Congress

Do Not Mail Initiatives and Their Potential Effects: Possible Issues for Congress

Date: September 24, 2008
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: This report examines the state level initiatives to create Do Not Mail (DNM) registries, and analyzes their potential effects on the environment and the economy should they be implemented. It also notes, but does not exhaustively analyze, possible constitutional impediments to state DNM registries. In addition, the report reviews existing methods to reduce or eliminate the delivery of unsolicited advertising mail. This report concludes with federal legislative options that could affect direct mail marketing.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: October 3, 2008
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Administering Green Programs in Congress: Issues and Options

Administering Green Programs in Congress: Issues and Options

Date: October 6, 2008
Creator: Straus, Jacob R.
Description: This report discusses "green" programs and the higher profile they have gained in the 110th Congress. "Green" programs are those designed to create an environmentally friendly work environment and conserve energy. This report discusses initiatives and policy options that would improve the "greening" process on Capitol Hill.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA's Final Health and Safety Standard for Yucca Mountain

EPA's Final Health and Safety Standard for Yucca Mountain

Date: October 6, 2008
Creator: Gitlin, Bonnie C.
Description: This report discusses the awaited revision of the 2001 Public Health and Safety Standard for the proposed Yucca Mountain deep geologic repository, high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program: Scope, Authorities, and Implementation

The Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program: Scope, Authorities, and Implementation

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: The federal role in assisting states and communities to clean up brownfield sites -- real property affected by the potential presence of environmental contamination -- has been an ongoing issue for more than a decade. While there appears to be a broad consensus that a federal role in the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields is desirable, issues regarding the degree of financial assistance and overall program effectiveness have been raised.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Perchlorate Conatmination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Perchlorate Conatmination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Date: October 16, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products and is used heavily by the Department of Defense (DOD) and other industries. Perchlorate also occurs naturally. This compound has been detected in drinking water supplies, especially in California. It also has been found in milk and many foods. Because of this widespread occurrence, concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and Member of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate. This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Are Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rising More Rapidly Than Expected?

Are Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rising More Rapidly Than Expected?

Date: October 17, 2008
Creator: Leggett, Jane A. & Logan, Jeffrey
Description: This report discusses the recent emissions estimates with the greenhouse gas (GHG) and addresses the question, are carbon dioxide emissions rising more rapidly than expected?
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Natural Gas Passenger Vehicles: Availability, Cost, and Performance

Natural Gas Passenger Vehicles: Availability, Cost, and Performance

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: Higher gasoline prices and concerns over U.S. oil dependence have raised interest in natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Use of NGVs for personal transportation has focused on compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative to gasoline. Consumer interest has grown, both for new NGVs as well as for conversions of existing personal vehicles to run on CNG. This report finds that the market for natural gas vehicles will likely remain limited unless the differential between natural gas and gasoline prices remains high in order to offset the higher purchase price for an NGV. Conversions of existing vehicles will also continue to be restricted unless the Clean Air Act (CAA) is amended or if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) makes changes to its enforcement of the CAA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): Program Overview and Issues

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): Program Overview and Issues

Date: October 24, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to protect public health. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) latest (2003) survey of capital improvement needs for public water systems found that water systems need to invest $276.8 billion on infrastructure improvements over 20 years to ensure the provision of safe water. Key issues include the gap between estimated needs and funding, SDWA compliance costs, and the need for cities to update and maintain water infrastructure, apart from SDWA compliance.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department