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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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
The Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program: Scope, Authorities, and Implementation

The Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program: Scope, Authorities, and Implementation

Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: The federal role in assisting states and communities to clean up brownfield sites -- real property affected by the potential presence of environmental contamination -- has been an ongoing issue for more than a decade. While there appears to be a broad consensus that a federal role in the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields is desirable, issues regarding the degree of financial assistance and overall program effectiveness have been raised.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Implementation and New Challenges

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Implementation and New Challenges

Date: September 18, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: This report provides an overview of basic Toxic Supstances 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.
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: September 8, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo & Lister, Sarah A.
Description: Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. 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. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA.
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: August 25, 2008
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
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects

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

Date: July 23, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo & Lister, Sarah A.
Description: Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. 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. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Implementation and New Challenges

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Implementation and New Challenges

Date: July 18, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: 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.
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: June 30, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo & Lister, Sarah A.
Description: Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. 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. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention: Summary of Federal Mandates and Financial Assistance for Reducing Hazards in Housing

Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention: Summary of Federal Mandates and Financial Assistance for Reducing Hazards in Housing

Date: June 12, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: This report discusses the federal strategy to reduce childhood exposure to lead-based paint (LBP). The federal Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (LBPPPA), as amended, establishes requirements and authorizes funding for the detection and control of LBP hazards in federally assisted housing.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Fact Sheet on Three International Agreements

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Fact Sheet on Three International Agreements

Date: June 12, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that do not break down easily in the environment, tend to accumulate as they move up the food chain, and may be harmful to people and wildlife. Between 1998 and 2001, the United States signed tow international treaties and one executive agreement to reduce the production and use of POPs and to regulate the trade and disposal of them. This report discusses these treaties in detail, as well as their ratification process and U.S. statutes that are inconsistent with these treaties.
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: May 22, 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
Chemical Facility Security: Regulation and Issues for Congress

Chemical Facility Security: Regulation and Issues for Congress

Date: April 28, 2008
Creator: Shea, Dana A. & Tatelman, Todd B.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues

Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues

Date: January 25, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report describes the provisions of Superfund 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.
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: November 9, 2007
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Date: February 7, 2007
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Porter, Donna V.
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. 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.
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: January 10, 2007
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Toxic Substances Control Act: A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements

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

Date: January 3, 2007
Creator: Linda-Jo, Schierow
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

Chemical Facility Security

Date: October 11, 2006
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Chemical Facility Security

Chemical Facility Security

Date: October 11, 2006
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Chemical Facility Security

Chemical Facility Security

Date: August 2, 2006
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Chemical Facility Security

Chemical Facility Security

Date: August 2, 2006
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department