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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Nuclear Energy Policy

Nuclear Energy Policy

Date: October 21, 2010
Creator: Holt, Mark
Description: This report discusses nuclear energy issues currently facing Congress, such as federal incentives for new commercial reactors, radioactive waste management policy, research and development priorities, power plant safety and regulation, nuclear weapons proliferation, and security against terrorist attacks.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Managing Electronic Waste: Issues with Exporting E-Waste

Managing Electronic Waste: Issues with Exporting E-Waste

Date: September 27, 2010
Creator: Luther, Linda
Description: Electronic waste (e-waste) is a term that is used loosely to refer to obsolete, broken, or irreparable electronic devices like televisions, computer central processing units (CPUs), and computer monitors. There are various issues of concern with regard to e-waste disposal and recycling. This report looks at issues specifically related to its export for recycling. Particularly, it discusses documented impacts to human health and the environment that have been tied to unsafe recycling practices in developing countries, as well as issues that have motivated certain stakeholders to divert e-waste from landfill disposal and, hence, increase recycling. It also provides an overview of various factors necessary to understand why e-waste disposal has become a concern in the United States, and it also discusses waste management requirements in the United States.
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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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Water Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues

Water Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues

Date: November 24, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia & Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report identifies a number of issues that have received attention in connection with water infrastructure investment. It begins with a review of federal involvement, describes the debate about needs, and then examines key issues, including what is the nature of the problems to be solved; who will pay, and what is the federal role; and questions about mechanisms for delivering federal support, including state-by-state allotment of federal funds. Congressional and Administration activity on these issues from the 107th to the 110th Congresses also is reviewed.
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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
Managing Disaster Debris: Overview of Regulatory Requirements, Agency Roles, and Selected Challenges

Managing Disaster Debris: Overview of Regulatory Requirements, Agency Roles, and Selected Challenges

Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Luther, Linda
Description: This report addresses debris resulting from a “major disaster” or “emergency” declared by the President. First, it discusses the types of debris commonly generated during and after a disaster and selected factors that can make “debris removal” such a costly, complex operation. Second, it discusses the roles of federal, state, and local agencies after a disaster has been declared — with regard to both funding debris removal and the actual physical process of removal.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense

Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense

Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Description: Whether broader expansions from federal environmental laws are needed to preserve military readiness has been an issue. Questions have been raised as to whether environmental requirements have limited military training activities to the point that readiness would be compromised. The potential impacts of broader exemptions on environmental quality have raised additional questions. Although certain exemptions the Department of Defense (DOD) first requested in FY2003 have been enacted into law, Congress has opposed others. From FY2003 to FY2008, DOD requested exemptions from the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. To date, Congress has not enacted these three latter exceptions. The Administration's FY2009 defense authorization bill does not include these exemptions.
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Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Date: August 8, 2006
Creator: Holt, Mark
Description: Management of civilian radioactive waste has posed difficult issues for Congress since the beginning of the nuclear power industry in the 1950s. Federal policy is based on the premise that nuclear waste can be disposed of safely, but proposed storage and disposal facilities have frequently been challenged on safety, health, and environmental grounds. Although civilian radioactive waste encompasses a wide range of materials, most of the current debate focuses on highly radioactive spent fuel from nuclear power plants. This report outlines issues regarding the management and disposal of civilian radioactive waste, as well as past and ongoing related legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Date: August 8, 2006
Creator: Holt, Mark
Description: The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) calls for disposal of spent nuclear fuel in a deep geologic repository that is unlikely to be disturbed for thousands of years. Low-level waste sites are a state responsibility under the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act of 1980. Pursuant to that act, 10 regional compacts for disposal of low level waste have been approved by Congress. Three commercial low-level waste sites are currently operating, in the states of South Carolina, Utah, and Washington.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Date: August 8, 2006
Creator: Holt, Mark
Description: The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) calls for disposal of spent nuclear fuel in a deep geologic repository that is unlikely to be disturbed for thousands of years. Low-level waste sites are a state responsibility under the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act of 1980. Pursuant to that act, 10 regional compacts for disposal of low level waste have been approved by Congress. Three commercial low-level waste sites are currently operating, in the states of South Carolina, Utah, and Washington.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department