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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress

Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress

Date: September 22, 2005
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: In the Summer of 2005, Congress focused on several Clean Air Act Issues before the August recess. Although the Congressional agenda stated that attention would be given to the needed amendments of the Clear Skies/Multi-Pollutant Legislation, this progress was stalled, and the committee failed to approve the bill due to a tied vote. This otherwise stagnated debate was given some attention due to the discussions over mercury regulations as they apply to power plants. The outcome of the decision concerning these regulations has stirred controversy in at least fifteen states. Perhaps the most debated issue that Congress covered concerned MTBE and Ethanol, which have been used to meet the Clean Air Act requirements that reformulated gasoline (RFG), sold in the nation’s worst ozone nonattainment areas, contain at least 2% oxygen, to improve combustion. Air quality standard deadlines and provisions, specifically in the most severe ozone nonattainment areas, were discussed by Congress. Discussions over the Clean Air Act also sparked discussions over environmental regulations concerning related issues, including the Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs, and Hurricane Katrina.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress

Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress

Date: November 25, 2005
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: The courts and the executive branch face major decisions on clean air issues in 2006, with Congress more likely playing an oversight role. One focus is EPA's Jan. 17 2006 proposal to strengthen air quality standards for fine particles, which are estimated to cause tens of thousands of premature deaths annually. Whether the proposal is supported by the available science and what impact its implementation would have likely issues of concern. Other issues of continuing interest are EPA's 2005 decisions limiting interstate transport of air pollution and establishing cap-and-trade systems for emissions from coal-fired power plants, and the agency's proposed changes to New Source Review.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: April 6, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The Coast Guard's proposed FY2013 budget includes $8 million in acquisition funding to initiate survey and design activities for a new polar icebreaker. The Coast Guard's Five Year Capital Investment Plan includes an additional $852 million in FY2014-FY2017 for acquiring the ship. The Coast Guard anticipates awarding a construction contract for the ship "within the next five years" and taking delivery on the ship "within a decade." The project to design and build a polar icebreaker is a new acquisition project initiated in the FY2013 budget.
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EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

Date: April 25, 2012
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report examines 40 major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule and provides the EPA's estimates of costs and benefits where available. It provides background information on recent EPA regulatory activity to help address issues raised by this activity, as well as factors that will affect the timeframe in which these regulations will take place.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Calculation of Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the Renewable Fuel Standard

Calculation of Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the Renewable Fuel Standard

Date: June 25, 2009
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D. & Bracmort, Kelsi
Description: The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), significantly expanded the renewable fuel standard (RFS) established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005, P.L. 109-58). The RFS requires the use of 9.0 billion gallons of renewable fuel in 2008, increasing to 36 billion gallons in 2022.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: February 7, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report gives an overview of the situation in the Arctic region. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: Status and Current Issues

Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: Status and Current Issues

Date: February 11, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Cowan, Tadlock
Description: This report describes several scientifically emerging animal biotechnologies that are raising a variety of questions concerning risks to humans, animals, and the environment, as well as ethical concerns. The report examines applications of the technologies and discusses major issues that may arise.
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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.
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Nanotechnology and Environmental, Health, and Safety: Issues for Consideration

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

Date: February 9, 2009
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr.
Description: This report identifies the potential environmental, health, and safety opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology; explains the importance of addressing nanotechnology 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.
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Agriculture Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Agriculture Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Date: February 13, 2009
Creator: Cowan, Tadlock & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses issues regarding the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Underlying these issues is the question of whether U.S. regulation and oversight of biotechnology—with responsibilities spread primarily among the U.S.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department