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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Coastal Wetland and Wildlife Impacts and Response

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Coastal Wetland and Wildlife Impacts and Response

Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne & Copeland, Claudia
Description: The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, and the resulting oil spill began a cascade of effects on the coastal areas of the Gulf and on the wealth of species that inhabit those areas. This report addresses the importance of wetlands in general, the ecology of the coastal wetlands in the Gulf, impacts of oil spills on wetland habitats, response options, the implications of hurricane season for the spill's impacts, and cleanup and recovery issues. The emphasis is on the nearshore environment, although a few species found in deeper waters will be mentioned. In addition, some lessons from past spills such as the Exxon Valdez in Alaska will be discussed, along with issues that may arise as response and recovery transition to restoration of the Gulf.
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
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

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

Date: March 18, 2011
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
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations

Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations

Date: September 29, 2010
Creator: Carter, Nicole T. & Stern, Charles V.
Description: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attracts congressional attention because its projects can have significant local and regional economic benefits and environmental effects, in addition to their water resource development purposes. This report provides an overview of the Corps civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities. It also includes an Appendix on the evolution of Corps civil works missions and authorities and a description of the limits on the Corps' role in levee accreditation and improvements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
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: February 24, 2012
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
Global Climate Change: The Role of U.S. Foreign Assistance

Global Climate Change: The Role of U.S. Foreign Assistance

Date: November 21, 1997
Creator: Tarnoff, Curt
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Estimates of Carbon Mitigation Potential from Agricultural and Forestry Activities

Estimates of Carbon Mitigation Potential from Agricultural and Forestry Activities

Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renée; Gorte, Ross W.; Yacobucci, Brent D. & Schnepf, Randy
Description: Numerous theoretical and empirical studies estimate the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential of farm and forestry activities, and suggest that the potential for carbon uptake in agricultural soils and forest lands is much greater than current rates. Following a discussion of the estimated current emissions and carbon sequestration by the agricultural and forestry sectors, this report presents a brief overview of the available estimates from USDA and EPA carbon mitigation studies, and then discusses some of the limitations of the available data and modeling results. This report is organized into four parts, including a brief overview of the agriculture and forestry sectors within the broader climate change debate, as well as various data and information on potential for carbon storage and mitigation from farming and forestry activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Date: April 23, 2009
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report reviews the history and trends of oil spills in the United States; identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup; and examines the threats of future oil spills in U.S. coastal waters.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense

Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense

Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Description: Whether broader expansions from federal environmental laws are needed to preserve military readiness has been an issue. Questions have been raised as to whether environmental requirements have limited military training activities to the point that readiness would be compromised. The potential impacts of broader exemptions on environmental quality have raised additional questions. Although certain exemptions the Department of Defense (DOD) first requested in FY2003 have been enacted into law, Congress has opposed others. From FY2003 to FY2008, DOD requested exemptions from the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. To date, Congress has not enacted these three latter exceptions. The Administration's FY2009 defense authorization bill does not include these exemptions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Environmental Protection: Defense-Related Programs

Environmental Protection: Defense-Related Programs

Date: July 28, 1998
Creator: Bearden, David M
Description: The Department of Defense (DOD) operates six environmental programs that address cleanup of past contamination at military facilities, compliance with environmental laws and regulations that apply to current activities, cleanup at military bases being closed, pollution prevention, natural resource conservation, and environmental technology. In addition, the Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for managing defense nuclear waste generated from the past production of atomic materials used to construct nuclear weapons and for remediating contaminated sites. For FY1999, the Administration has requested a total of $10. 14 billion for DOD and DOE's defense-related environmental activities, which represents about 3.7% of the total request of $271.6 billion for national defense and is roughly 1.6% below the FY1998 funding level of $l0.30 billion.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department