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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress

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

Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Shea, Dana A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications

North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications

Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress

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

Date: November 15, 2010
Creator: Shea, Dana A.
Description: This report discusses the efforts undertaken since even prior to September 11, 2001, to increase safety and security measures for facilities possessing certain amounts of hazardous chemicals. The 109th congress passed legislation in 2006 providing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) statutory authority to regulate chemical facilities for security purposes. This statutory authority expires in December 2010. 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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: October 28, 2010
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?

Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?

Date: October 13, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: 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. A brief discussion of the two laws is followed by a review of the major litigation of interest. EPA's efforts to clarify its policy in this area and the November 2006 rule and the 2009 federal court ruling are discussed, as well as possible options for EPA and Congress to further address the FIFRA-CWA issues. In June, EPA proposed a draft general CWA permit that it intends to finalize by April 2011 in response to the court ruling.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Date: September 22, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: The combined efforts of the food industry and the regulatory agencies often are credited with making the U.S. food supply among the safest in the world. Nonetheless, many food-related health issues persist. At issue is whether the current U.S. regulatory system has the resources and structural organization to protect consumers from these dangers. Also at issue is whether the 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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: September 22, 2010
Creator: Panangala, Sidath Viranga & Weimer, Douglas Reid
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 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Date: August 18, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects

Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects

Date: August 13, 2010
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo & Lister, Sarah A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Senate and House Bills Compared with Current Law

Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Senate and House Bills Compared with Current Law

Date: August 12, 2010
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: 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.).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications

North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications

Date: April 2, 2010
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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: February 2, 2010
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.
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: February 2, 2010
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: This report summarizes the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the major regulatory programs dealing with chemical production and distribution in U.S. commerce.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress

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

Date: November 10, 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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