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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
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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
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 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: 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.
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
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