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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Veterans Affairs: Health Care and Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

Veterans Affairs: Health Care and Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

Date: October 30, 2009
Creator: Panangala, Sidath V. & Weimer, Douglas R.
Description: 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.
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Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress

Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: September 3, 2009
Creator: Shea, Dana A.
Description: 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.
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Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Date: August 6, 2009
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: 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.
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Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress

Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Shea, Dana A.
Description: The statutory authority to regulate chemical facilities for security purposes, granted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by the 109th Congress, expires in October 2009. The 111th Congress is taking action to reauthorize this program, but the manner of its reauthorization remains an issue of congressional deliberation and debate. Key policy issues debated in previous Congresses are likely to be considered during the reauthorization debate. These issues include what facilities should be considered as chemical facilities; the appropriateness and scope of federal preemption of state chemical facility security activities; the availability of information for public comment, potential litigation, and congressional oversight; and the role of inherently safer technologies.
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Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange and U.S.-Vietnam Relations

Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange and U.S.-Vietnam Relations

Date: May 28, 2009
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: This report examines various estimates of the effects that the herbicide Agent Orange has had on Vietnam's people and environment, the history of U.S. policy on the issue, the current clean up 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.
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The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary

Date: March 4, 2009
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: 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.
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Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange and U.S.-Vietnam Relations

Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange and U.S.-Vietnam Relations

Date: November 21, 2008
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: According to various estimates, the U.S. military sprayed approximately 11-12 million gallons of Agent Orange over nearly 10% of Vietnamese territory between 1961 and 1971. 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 clean-up 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.
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
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements

Date: November 18, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: 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.
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