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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Endangered Species Act (ESA), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), and Department of Defense (DOD) Readiness Activities: Current Law and Legislative Proposals
This report provides a brief overview of how the Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA)2 and their relevant regulations may apply to military training and readiness activities of the Department of Defense (DOD). Military activities may “take” protected creatures directly (e.g,. killing with ordnance during rifle, gunnery or assault drills), or might destroy habitat (e.g., artillery or bombing practices), even if these results are not the purpose of the activities. The applicability of the MBTA and ESA to military readiness activities has been controversial recently and legislation has been enacted in both the 107th and 108th Congresses on these topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3772/
The Endangered Species Act and Private Property
If the 103rd Congress embarks upon an effort to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it will run into an old acquaintance: the property rights issue. As now written, the ESA has at least the potential to curtail property rights (whatever its actual impact as implemented may be). This report explores the legal repercussions of those impacts, especially whether they constitute takings of property under the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26028/
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
The 109th Congress is considering proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated enacting as law some ESA regulations promulgated during the Clinton Administration. This report identifies other bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address specific concerns related to how the ESA is implemented and how endangered species are managed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10138/
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
The 109th Congress is considering proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated enacting as law some ESA regulations promulgated during the Clinton Administration. This report identifies other bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address specific concerns related to how the ESA is implemented and how endangered species are managed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10137/
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
The 109th Congress is considering proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated enacting as law some ESA regulations promulgated during the Clinton Administration. This report identifies other bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address specific concerns related to how the ESA is implemented and how endangered species are managed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8379/
Green Payments in U.S. and European Union Agricultural Policy
This report compares current United States and European Union (EU) efforts in the area of green payments. Green payments refer to "payments made to agricultural producers as compensation for environmental benefits that accrue at levels beyond what producers might otherwise achieve under existing market and regulatory conditions" (summary). The report gives an overview of policies, programs, financing, and various other aspects of comparison related to the topic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9126/
The Lacey Act: Protecting the Environment by Restricting Trade
This report looks at the history and applications of the Lacey Act. As it stands now the Act, via a 2008 amendment, allows the U.S. to enforce the laws of other countries as well. One currently proposed legislation would limit application of the law to specific wood products, while another would eliminate any reference to violations of foreign laws and end criminal prosecutions for violating the act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85395/
Hurricane Katrina and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7557/
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7558/
Phosphorus Mitigation in the Everglades
This report discusses the FY2004 appropriations provisions that condition federal funding for Everglades restoration on compliance with water quality standards, provides a side-by-side analysis of pending appropriations legislation, and provides background and a timeline of efforts to address Everglades phosphorus pollution (from Summary). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7374/
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Background and Issues
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has been ratified by 167 nations, including the United States. It regulates the international trade in animals and plants that may be threatened by trade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9261/
Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
The agencies that implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regard the designation of critical habitat (CH) as providing only very limited benefits beyond those achieved through the listing of species and the avoidance of jeopardy to them. Several courts have now held that the relevant regulation and interpretation that result in this conclusion are erroneous and do not carry out the intent of Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10094/
Biotechnology, Indigenous Peoples, and Intellectual Property Rights
This report examines intellectual property right in pharmaceuticals in a particular context, namely, medicinal products and processes derived from the biodiversity resources of areas inhabited by indigenous peoples. This report discusses the international law regarding intellectual property rights in traditional knowledge and the American laws regarding traditional knowledge. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8176/
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been seeking congressional approval for a $1.1 billion multi-year program to both construct five projects that would help to restore specified sites in the coastal wetland ecosystem in Louisiana, and to continue planning several other related projects. The state of Louisiana and several federal agencies have participated in the development of this program. This report introduces this program and restoration options that are being discussed in the wake of the hurricanes. It also discusses whether this program, if completed, might have muted the impacts of these hurricanes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8785/
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been seeking congressional approval for a $1.1 billion multi-year program to both construct five projects that would help to restore specified sites in the coastal wetland ecosystem in Louisiana, and to continue planning several other related projects. The state of Louisiana and several federal agencies have participated in the development of this program. This report introduces this program and restoration options that are being discussed in the wake of the hurricanes. It also discusses whether this program, if completed, might have muted the impacts of these hurricanes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9020/
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration: The Recommended Corps Plan
The Corps estimates that this entire package of recommended activities would cost a total of $1,996 million. Included in this package are recommendations for immediate authorization ($1,123 million), further authorized investigation ($145 million), and projects that could be authorized in the future ($728 million). This CRS short report is limited to a summary of this Corps report and the next steps in implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9108/
International Forest Agreements: Current Status
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs194/
NASA's Earth Science Enterprise
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Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689373/
Marine Dead Zones: Understanding the Problem
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs740/
The Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is one of the largest energy conservation programs in the nation. The DOE program is implemented in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Native American Tribes. It weatherizes an average of 70,000 dwellings per year. The program strives to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings occupied by low-income persons in order to reduce their energy consumption and lower their fuel bills. It targets vulnerable groups including the elderly, people with disabilities, and families with children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1678/
The Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is one of the largest energy conservation programs in the nation. The DOE program is implemented in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Native American Tribes. It weatherizes an average of 70,000 dwellings per year. The program strives to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings occupied by low-income persons in order to reduce their energy consumption and lower their fuel bills. It targets vulnerable groups including the elderly, people with disabilities, and families with children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2681/
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs
This report describes federal programs that provide grants, loans, loan guarantees, and other direct or indirect incentives for energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy. For each program, the report provides the administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and the program expiration date. The appendixes provide summary information in a tabular format and also list recently expired programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267824/
Acid Rain: Does it Contribute to Forest Decline?
This minibrief describes the major hypothesis explaining why acid rain may be contributing to forest decline, along with the major arguments against this hypothesis. For additional information on acid rain and current legislation for pollutant emissions controls, see IB83016 -- Acid Rain: Current Issues, and IB83005 -- Clean Air Act: An Overview. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9048/
Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues
Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9392/
Agreements to Promote Fishery Conservation and Management in International Waters
Declining fish populations threaten an important food source. Natural catastrophes, pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing contribute to the depletion of fish stocks. Overexploitation of fishery resources often occurs when management allows expanding and increasingly efficient fishing fleets to continue harvesting dwindling supplies. Although prevalent, overexploitation is not universal and its extent varies among areas, species, and fisheries. This report discusses the issue of overfishing and its possible consequences, as well as domestic and international efforts to combat overfishing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs341/
The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA, P.L. 95-87), enacted in 1977, established reclamation standards for all coal surface mining operations, and for the surface effects of underground mining. It also established the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program to promote the reclamation of sites mined and abandoned prior to the enactment of SMCRA. To finance reclamation of abandoned mine sites, the legislation established fees on coal production. These collections are divided into federal and state shares; subject to annual appropriation, AML funds are distributed annually to states with approved reclamation programs. This report describes the distribution of these funds and the various issues that arise from said distribution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs398/
The Department of Energy's Tritium Production Program
Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen used to enhance the explosive yield of every thermonuclear weapon. Tritium has a radioactive decay rate of 5.5% per year and has not been produced in this country for weapons purposes since 1988. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs752/
Mining in National Parks and Wilderness Areas: Policy, Rules, Activity
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs353/
Deforestation: An Overview of Global Programs and Agreements
In recent years, global environmental concerns have figured prominently on the American political agenda. In particular, tropical deforestation and its implications for global climate change and biological diversity loss have prompted public outcry. Concerns have since grown to include other forest types as well. The Congress has considered a variety of legislation to stem the tide of increasing deforestation and the United States has supported a number of bilateral and multilateral initiatives to assist other countries in managing their forest resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs35/
Mahoganies: International Protection?
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs144/
The Federal Helium Program: The Reaction Over an Inert Gas
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs343/
An Overview of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE)
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs232/
The Rural Abandoned Mine Program - A Fact Sheet
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs236/
The "Timber Rider": Section 2001 of the Rescissions Act
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs347/
The Salvage Timber Sale Rider: Overview and Policy Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs348/
Federal Land Management: Appeals and Litigation
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs473/
Survey of Recent State Policies to Manage Growth and Protect Open Space
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8627/
Trade and Environment: Treatment in Recent Agreements--GATT and NAFTA
This report reviews some of the concerns surrounding the environment work program and other environmental issues. It briefly describes work underway in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and current thinking underlying development of U.S. positions on trade and the environment in the GATT. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26036/
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are generally defined as areas reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment. This report identifies a number of issues related to establishing MPAs in the United States. It begins by defining the concept and administrative actions taken to provide spatial protection in marine areas. It then considers some of the key issues and potential benefits and costs of designating additional MPAs. It concludes by considering potential areas of congressional interest for the 111th Congress. Existing federal laws related to the use of MPAs are summarized in the Appendix. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29650/
Mercury Emissions from Electric Power Plants: States are Setting Stricter Limits
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9476/
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos and Carabell
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9991/
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos and Carabell
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9967/
The Weatherization Assistance Program: A Fact Sheet
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10007/
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues
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Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10136/
Upper Mississippi River - Illinois Waterway Navigation Expansion: An Agricultural Transportation and Environmental Context
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9657/
Upper Mississippi River - Illinois Waterway Navigation Expansion: An Agricultural Transportation and Environmental Context
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9654/
U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9639/
U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9643/