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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Global Climate Change: Three Policy Perspectives

Global Climate Change: Three Policy Perspectives

Date: November 26, 2008
Creator: Parker, Larry & Blodgett, John
Description: The 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change requires that signatories, including the United States, establish policies for constraining future emission levels of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2). The George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush Administrations each drafted action plans in response to requirements of the convention. These plans have raised significant controversy and debate. This report examines three starting points from which a U.S. response to the convention is being framed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund (CTF)

The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund (CTF)

Date: November 24, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A. & Logan, Jeffrey
Description: The United States Treasury has led efforts to create a $10 billion Clean Technology Fund (CTF), located at the World Bank, to help fund deployment of clean technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing economies. The Bush administration has asked Congress to authorize and appropriate U.S. funding of $2 billion over three years (FY2009 to FY2011). While many Members of Congress have expressed support for the CTF, others have raised concerns, primarily with respect to whether the CTF should finance carbon-based energy projects. To date, Congress has not passed legislation authorizing or appropriating U.S. contributions to the Fund.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Base Closures: Cleanup of Contaminated Properties for Civilian Reuse

Military Base Closures: Cleanup of Contaminated Properties for Civilian Reuse

Date: November 19, 2008
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Description: In 2005, the 109th Congress approved a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. As the Department of Defense (DOD) implements the new round, issues for Congress include the pace and costs of closing and realigning the selected installations and the impacts on surrounding communities. The disposal of surplus property has stimulated interest among affected communities in how the land can be redeveloped to replace jobs lost as a result of the planned closures. Environmental contamination can limit the potential for economic redevelopment if the availability of funding or technological capabilities constrains the degree of cleanup needed to make the land suitable for its intended use.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Date: November 3, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: The U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG's) environmental activities focus on prevention programs, accompanied by enforcement and educational activities. An important component is maritime oil spill prevention, which includes inspection of U.S. and foreign-flagged ships to ensure compliance with U.S. laws and international agreements, as well as reduce the impact of oil and hazardous substances spills. Another prevention effort, minimizing marine debris, addresses commercial items as well as trash from recreational fishing and boating.
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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.
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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
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.
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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
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.
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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