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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Date: September 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to develop a regulatory response to a 2006 federal court ruling that vacated a long-standing rule that exempts discharges associated with the normal operation of vessels from permit requirements of the Clean Water Act. Concern that this ruling could require millions of recreational boaters to obtain permits has led to the introduction of legislation to exempt these and other types of vessels from water quality regulation. This report discusses background to the issue; bills introduced in response, two of which were passed by Congress on July 22; and draft permits proposed by EPA on June 17.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification

Date: July 2, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Description: With increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the extent of effects on the ocean and marine resources is an increasing concern. One aspect of this issue is the ongoing process whereby seawater becomes acidified (i.e., ocean acidification) as more CO2 dissolves in it, causing hydrogen ion concentration in seawater to increase. While not yet fully understood, the ecological and economic consequences of ocean acidification could be substantial. Congress is beginning to focus attention on better understanding ocean acidification and determining how this concern might be addressed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Date: April 23, 2009
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report reviews the history and trends of oil spills in the United States; identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup; and examines the threats of future oil spills in U.S. coastal waters.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Date: August 19, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The principal federal program to aid municipal wastewater treatment plant construction is authorized in the Clean Water Act (CWA). In appropriations legislation, funding for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) wastewater assistance is contained in the measure providing funds for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. This report summarizes, in chronological order, congressional activity to fund items in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account since 1987.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federally Supported Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Programs

Federally Supported Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Programs

Date: June 15, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Cody, Betsy A.; Tiemann, Mary; Carter, Nicole T. & Stubbs, Megan
Description: This report provides background information on the types of water supply and wastewater treatment projects traditionally funded by the federal government and the several existing programs to assist communities with water supply and wastewater treatment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Water Act Section 401: Background and Issues

Clean Water Act Section 401: Background and Issues

Date: October 5, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires that an applicant for a federal license or permit provide a certification that any discharges from the facility will comply with the Act, including water quality standard requirements. Disputes have arisen over the states' exercise of authority under Section 401. Until recently, much of the debate over the Section 401 certification issue has been between states and hydropower interests. A 1994 Supreme Court decision which upheld the states' authority in this area dismayed development and hydroelectric power interest groups. The Court revisited these issues in a 2006 ruling that unanimously upheld the states' authority to condition hydropower licenses. The dispute between states and industry groups about Section 401 authority has been a legislative issue on several occasions, but Congress has not responded by modifying the provision's scope. In addition, there has been interest in clarifying whether Section 401 certification applies to nonpoint source discharges, such as rainfall runoff, as well as point source discharges from pipes or ditches.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Water Quality Issues in the 111th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Water Quality Issues in the 111th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Date: March 16, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses the water quality issues. Although much progress has been made in achieving the ambitious goals that Congress established more than 35 years ago to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters, long-standing problems persist, and new problems have emerged.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Water Act: A Summary of the Law

Clean Water Act: A Summary of the Law

Date: March 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute without discussing its implementation. Other CRS products do discuss implementation, including CRS Report RL33800, Water Quality Issues in the 110th Congress: Oversight and Implementation, and numerous products cited in that report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ballast Water Management to Combat Invasive Species

Ballast Water Management to Combat Invasive Species

Date: June 10, 2008
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: This report provides background on various approaches to ballast water management and reviews current ballast water management laws and programs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues

Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues

Date: July 1, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report describes the several types of waste streams that cruise ships may discharge and emit. It identifies the complex body of international and domestic laws that address pollution from cruise ships. It then describes federal and state legislative activity concerning cruise ships in Alaskan waters and activities in a few other states, as well as current industry initiatives to manage cruise ship pollution.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department