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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
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.
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
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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
U.S. Disposal of Chemical Weapons in the Ocean: Background and Issues for Congress

U.S. Disposal of Chemical Weapons in the Ocean: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: May 24, 2006
Creator: Bearden, David M
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Disposal of Chemical Weapons in the Ocean: Background and Issues for Congress

U.S. Disposal of Chemical Weapons in the Ocean: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: May 24, 2006
Creator: Bearden, David M
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department