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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the Superfund program for cleaning up the nation's worst hazardous waste sites, created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA (P.L. 96-510, as amended). It includes recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855812/
The Toxic Substances Control Act: A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements
This report summarizes the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the major regulatory programs dealing with chemical production and distribution in U.S. commerce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847568/
Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role
This report discusses the federal regulatory role in regards to drinking water, more specifically in the context of the Flint water crisis. EPA's current Flint responses include providing technical assistance for water testing and treatment, conducting water monitoring, and identifying lead service line locations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847622/
Congressional Efforts to Amend Title I of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
This report examines selected differences between the House and the Senate legislation that would amend Title I of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA; 15 U.S.C. 2601-2629). Title I of TSCA is the principal federal statute that applies to the regulation of the lifecycle of commercial chemicals from their manufacture (defined to include importation) to disposal if elements of the lifecycle are found to present unreasonable risks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847602/
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. Concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and members of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847501/
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. Concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and members of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847512/
Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004 (S. 2290, 108th Congress)
This report provides an overview of S. 2290, 108th Congress, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004 (or FAIR Act of 2004). The bill is a revised version of S. 1125, 108th Congress, and would create the Office of Asbestos Disease Compensation to award damages to asbestos claimants on a no-fault basis. Asbestos claims could no longer be filed or pursued under state law, except for the enforcement of judgments no longer subject to any appeal or judicial review before the date of enactment of the bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824667/
Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role
This report discusses the federal regulatory role in regards to drinking water, more specifically in the context of the Flint water crisis. Lead exposure is a major public health concern, particularly because low-level exposures can impair the neurodevelopment of children. The main source of lead in drinking water is the corrosion of plumbing materials in the distribution system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824488/
The Japanese Nuclear Incident: Technical Aspects
The Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 caused extensive damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). This damage has released some radioactive materials, and there are widespread fears about the health effects of current and possible future releases. These fears, and public concern about radiation in general, have attracted the world’s attention. This report presents scientific and technical aspects of these issues in order to provide a basis for understanding the risks associated with this event. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc812229/
The Japanese Nuclear Incident: Technical Aspects
Japan’s nuclear incident has engendered much public and congressional concern about the possible impact of radiation on the Japanese public, as well as possible fallout on U.S. citizens. This report provides information on technical aspects of the nuclear incident, with reference to human health. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820943/
Legislative Approaches to Chemical Facility Security
This report discusses current chemical facility security efforts, issues in defining chemical facilities, policy challenges in developing chemical facility security legislation, and the various policy approaches. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822595/
Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822387/
Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the Superfund program designed for cleaning up the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites was created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA (P.L. 96-510, as amended). This report discusses recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821995/
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products. Used mainly by the Department of Defense (DOD) and related industries, perchlorate also occurs naturally and is present in some organic fertilizer.This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and recent developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822682/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. Nevertheless, critics view this system as lacking the organization and resources to adequately combat foodborne illness, which sickens an estimated 76 million people and kills an estimated 5,000 each year in this country. The 110th Congress may face calls for a review of federal food safety agencies and authorities, and proposals for reorganizing them. Among the issues likely to arise are whether reform can improve oversight, and the cost to industry, consumers, and taxpayers. This report provides a brief introduction to the system and the debate on whether reorganization is needed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821477/
U.S. Agent Orange/Dioxin Assistance to Vietnam
This report discusses U.S. assistance to Vietnam for the environmental and health damage attributed to a dioxin contained in Agent Orange and other herbicides sprayed over much of the southern portion of the country during the Vietnam War, which remains a major issue in bilateral relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795551/
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary
This report summarizes the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the major regulatory programs that mandate reporting by industrial facilities of releases of hazardous chemicals to the environment, as well as local planning to respond in the event of significant, accidental releases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700693/
Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the 114th Congress: S. 697, S. 725, and a House Discussion Draft
This report tracks the legislative status in the 114th Congress of proposals to amend Title I of the Toxic Substances Control Act and includes a discussion of selected issues that have received more attention. This report does not present a comprehensive analysis of all provisions of relevant legislation, nor is this report intended to provide a detailed analysis of precise language and its legal or regulatory interpretation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689112/
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
This report reviews perchlorate contamination issues and related developments. Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products. Used heavily by the Department of Defense (DOD) and related industries, perchlorate also occurs naturally and is present in some organic fertilizer. This soluble, persistent compound has been detected in drinking water supplies, especially in California. It also has been found in milk and many foods. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689496/
Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority of the Department of Homeland Security to regulate chemical facilities and the regulation implementing this authority. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security and identifies policy options that might resolve components of these issues. Finally, legislation introduced in the 111th Congress is discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626958/
Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority of the Department of Homeland Security to regulate chemical facilities and the regulation implementing this authority. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security and identifies policy options that might resolve components of these issues. Finally, legislation introduced in the 111th Congress is discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627123/
Veterans Affairs: Health Care and Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
This report provides an overview of health care services and disability compensation benefits available to Vietnam veterans, Children of Vietnam Era veterans, and non-Vietnam veterans exposed to herbicides. This is followed by a discussion of the recent litigation pertaining to Navy veterans of the Vietnam Era who served offshore and were never physically present on Vietnamese soil. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627054/
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA): Compensation Related to Exposure to Radiation from Atomic Weapons Testing and Uranium Mining
This report discusses the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), which provides one-time benefit payments to persons who may have developed cancer or other specified diseases after being exposed to radiation from atomic weapons testing or uranium mining, milling, or transporting. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627072/
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary
This report summarizes the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the major regulatory programs that mandate reporting by industrial facilities of releases of hazardous chemicals to the environment, as well as local planning to respond in the event of significant, accidental releases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503549/
North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications
This report discusses the implications of North Korea's May 25, 2009, underground nuclear test, related issues such as the the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), containment of radioactive materials, and other concerns for Congress, such as improving nuclear monitoring capability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501847/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
This report discusses Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is used to produce certain types of plastic that are used in thousands of formulations for myriad products. Containers made with these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Medical devices and other more ubiquitous products, such as thermal paper coatings, also may contribute significantly to human exposure. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491289/
Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Senate and House Bills Compared with Current Law
On April 15, 2010, Senator Lautenberg introduced legislation (S. 3209) to amend the core provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title I. Representatives Waxman and Rush introduced comprehensive legislation to amend TSCA (H.R. 5820) on July 22, 2010. This report compares key provisions of S. 3209, as introduced, H.R. 5820, as introduced, and current law (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491108/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. This report discusses various food safety proposals in Congress, as well as agencies with food safety related responsibilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491097/
Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange: Legislative History, Litigation, and Current Issues
This report provides an overview of how Congress and the judiciary have addressed the concerns of Vietnam-era veterans and briefly describes some of the current issues raised by Vietnam-era veterans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491655/
Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and the regulation implementing this authority. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security and identifies policy options that might resolve components of these issues. Finally, legislation introduced in the 111th Congress is discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491636/
Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has statutory authority to regulate chemical facilities for security purposes. This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and the regulation implementing this authority. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security and identifies policy options that might resolve components of these issues. Finally, legislation introduced in the 111th Congress is discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491397/
Regulation of Fertilizers: Ammonium Nitrate and Anhydrous Ammonia
This report focuses on some of the federal regulatory programs overseeing storage of ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia by retailers. It discusses federal occupational safety, environmental, and security statutes and regulations applicable to each chemical. Select policy issues regarding these federal regulatory programs will be highlighted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462099/
Regulation of Fertilizers: Ammonium Nitrate and Anhydrous Ammonia
This report focuses on some of the federal regulatory programs overseeing storage of ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia by retailers. It discusses federal occupational safety, environmental, and security statutes and regulations applicable to each chemical. Select policy issues regarding these federal regulatory programs will be highlighted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461951/
Veterans Affairs: Health Care and Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
This report provides an overview of health care services and disability compensation benefits available to Vietnam veterans, Children of Vietnam Era veterans, and non-Vietnam veterans exposed to herbicides. This is followed by a discussion of litigation pertaining to Navy veterans of the Vietnam Era who served offshore and were never physically present on Vietnamese soil. The report concludes with a discussion of epidemiologic research conducted to study the health effects of Agent Orange and dioxin exposure on Vietnam veterans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462214/
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements
This report defines key terms, provides a brief history of toxic substances control law, and describes key provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In addition, this report lists several references for more detailed information about the act and provides a table that cross references sections of the U.S. Code with corresponding sections of the act. The report is descriptive rather than analytic, highlights key provisions rather than providing a comprehensive inventory of the act's numerous sections, and addresses authorities and limitations imposed by statute, rather than the status of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implementation or other policy issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462716/
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Implementation and New Challenges
This report provides an overview of basic Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) provisions, briefly examines the history of TSCA implementation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and describes the legal, scientific, and technological developments that are being used to provide support to calls for TSCA reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463187/
Chemical Facility Security: Regulation and Issues for Congress
This report describes the statutory authority granted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with regards to chemical facility security regulation and the interim final rule promulgated by DHS, and identifies select issues of contention related to the interim final rule. Finally, this report discusses several possible policy options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462489/
Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?
This report provides background on the conflict over interpretation and implementation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). A brief discussion of the two laws is followed by a review of the major litigation of interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332950/
S. 1961 and H.R. 4024: Legislative Responses to a Chemical Storage Facility Spill
This report describes and analyzes the Chemical Safety and Preparedness Act and H.R. 4024, the Ensuring Access to Clean Water Act of 2014. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284529/
Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues
This report describes the provisions of the Superfund law and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and enforcement actions under these laws that have increasingly been receiving attention. Congressional scrutiny in the form of legislative proposals and a House hearing in the 109th Congress are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284481/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
This report discusses concerns about food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276872/
Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 113th Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and implementing regulation. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security and identifies policy options for congressional consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272038/
Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 112th Congress
Report that describes several policy issues regarding chemical facility security and identifies policy options for congressional consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227709/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Report concerning food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228151/
Proposed Reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the 113th Congress: S. 1009 Compared with S. 696 and Current Law
This report compares key provisions of S. 696 and S. 1009 with provisions of TSCA Title I (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) that would be affected if either bill became law. These provisions are summarized in Tables 1 through 6 of this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227880/
Federal Programs Related to Indoor Pollution by Chemicals
This report describes common indoor pollutants, discusses federal statutes that have been used to address indoor pollution, and analyzes key issues surrounding some general policy options for federal policy makers. The focus is on indoor chemical contaminants, rather than on temperature, humidity, or pollution from animals, fungal or bacterial organisms, or plant pests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122230/
Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange and U.S.-Vietnam Relations
This report examines various estimates of the effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam's people and environment, the history of U.S. policy on the issue, the current cleanup efforts in Vietnam, the various forms of assistance—including U.S. assistance—provided to people with medical conditions associated with dioxin exposure, and the implications for bilateral relations. It concludes with a brief discussion of possible congressional responses to the issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122330/
Effects of Radiation from Fukushima Daiichi on the U.S. Marine Environment
The massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, caused extensive damage in northeastern Japan, including damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power installation, which resulted in the release of radiation. This report discusses concerns about the potential effects of this released radiation on the U.S. marine environment and resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99054/
The Japanese Nuclear Incident: Technical Aspects
This report presents scientific and technical aspects of human health issues related to the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. It includes an appendix of useful links. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99036/
Fukushima Nuclear Crisis
This report briefly discusses the March 11, 2001 earthquake off the east coast of Honshu, Japan's largest island. The earthquake caused an automatic shutdown of eleven of Japan's fifty-five operating nuclear power plants, though the plants closest to the earthquake's epicenter, Fukushima and Onagawa, were damaged by the earthquake and resulting tsunami. This report also discusses efforts by the United States and other countries to provide assistance to Japan to deal with the nuclear crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98969/
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