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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
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
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
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
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
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
Controversies over Redefining “Fill Material” Under the Clean Water Act

Controversies over Redefining “Fill Material” Under the Clean Water Act

Date: April 20, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses the Clean Water Act that contains two different permitting regimes: (1) Section 402 permits (called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, permit program) address the discharge of most pollutants, and (2) Section 404 permits address the discharge of dredged or fill material into navigable waters of the United States at specified sites. These permit programs differ in nature and approach.
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
Stormwater Permits: Status of EPA's Regulatory Program

Stormwater Permits: Status of EPA's Regulatory Program

Date: May 27, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses the regulation of stormwater drainage. Stormwater discharge systems are the pipes and sewer lines that carry rainwater or snow melt, but not domestic sanitary wastes, away from urban areas and commercial and industrial facilities. For many years the focus of the nation's water quality programs was on controlling pollutants associated with industrial process wastewaters and municipal sewage discharges.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wastewater Treatment: Overview and Background

Wastewater Treatment: Overview and Background

Date: March 20, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The Clean Water Act prescribes performance levels to be attained by municipal sewage treatment plants in order to prevent the discharge of harmful wastes into surface waters.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Developments and Issues

Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Developments and Issues

Date: June 1, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996. These amendments directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update the standard for arsenic in drinking water.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: Prevention and Cleanup

Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: Prevention and Cleanup

Date: July 10, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report addresses a nationwide water pollution problem caused by leaking underground storage tanks (USTs). The report discusses key issue that state resources have not met the demands of administering the underground storage tanks (UST) leak prevention program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSR): Program Overview and Issues

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSR): Program Overview and Issues

Date: April 10, 2009
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996, which authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program. The program was intended to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects that were needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to meet the Act's health objectives. It includes an overview of funding, allotments and set-asides, drinking water infrastructure needs, program issues, and legislative activity.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Water Quality Issues in the 110th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Water Quality Issues in the 110th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Date: September 18, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses issues surrounding the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 and programs set up to meet the water quality standards that it outlined. The report focuses specifically on the legislative issues for the 110th Congress in relation to the CWA including the authorization of water infrastructure funding, regulatory protection of wetlands, and other CWA issues that may require separate oversight or legislation. It also includes a brief comparison of the expected appropriations for FY2008 and FY2009.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report discusses the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG's) environmental activities, which focus on the prevention of oil spills and pollution.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Safe Drinking Water Act: Selected Regulatory and Legislative Issues

Safe Drinking Water Act: Selected Regulatory and Legislative Issues

Date: September 2, 2009
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report provides an overview of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and examines recent issues such as infrastructure funding needs, regulatory compliance issues, and concerns caused by the detection of unregulated contaminants in drinking water.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Water Infrastructure Projects Designated in EPA Appropriations: Trends and Policy Implications

Water Infrastructure Projects Designated in EPA Appropriations: Trends and Policy Implications

Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses appropriations for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water infrastructure programs, focusing on congressional special project designations in the account that funds these programs. While some Members of Congress, interest groups, and Administration officials are critical of these types of congressional actions, there is little indication that the practice will cease. Information on the programmatic history of EPA involvement in assisting wastewater treatment and drinking water projects also is provided in two appendixes.
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
Ballast Water Management to Combat Invasive Species

Ballast Water Management to Combat Invasive Species

Date: September 2, 2009
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
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: August 27, 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