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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
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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.
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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: April 16, 2008
Creator: Holt, Mark
Description: This report discusses the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), which calls for disposal of spent nuclear fuel in a deep geologic repository.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Managing Electronic Waste: An Analysis of State E-Waste Legislation

Managing Electronic Waste: An Analysis of State E-Waste Legislation

Date: September 10, 2007
Creator: Luther, Linda
Description: As more states propose e-waste legislation, potentially regulated stakeholders (particularly electronics manufacturers and retailers) have expressed concern that they will be required to comply with a patchwork of state requirements throughout the United States. This concern has led to an increased call for federal legislation regarding e-waste management. To help policy makers better understand the impact of state e-waste legislation, this report discusses issues that have led to state action, common elements in state-waste laws and proposals, and an overview of each enacted state law.
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Managing Electronic Waste: An Analysis of State E-Waste Legislation

Managing Electronic Waste: An Analysis of State E-Waste Legislation

Date: August 29, 2007
Creator: Luther, Linda
Description: In 2005, two congressional hearings were held to explore issues associated with e-waste, and the Congressional E-Waste Working Group was formed. One goal common to both the hearings and the establishment of the working group was to explore potential national solutions to the e-waste management issue. With increased legislative activity in the states, it is anticipated that stakeholders will increase their call for federal legislation regarding e-waste management. To illustrate the issues associated with individual state action, this report discusses the key issues that have led to state action, describes common elements in state waste laws and proposals, and provides an overview of each enacted state law.
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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
Radioactive Tank Waste from the Past Production of Nuclear Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress

Radioactive Tank Waste from the Past Production of Nuclear Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: June 13, 2006
Creator: Andrews, Anthony & Bearden, David M.
Description: How to safely dispose of wastes from producing nuclear weapons has been an ongoing issue. The most radioactive portion of these wastes is stored in underground tanks at Department of Energy (DOE) sites in Idaho, South Carolina, and Washington State. There have been concerns about soil and groundwater contamination from some of the tanks that have leaked. This report provides background information on the disposal of radioactive tank waste, analyzes waste disposal authority in P.L. 108-375, and examines potential implications for environmental cleanup.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department