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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Oil and Chemical Spills: Federal Emergency Response Framework

Oil and Chemical Spills: Federal Emergency Response Framework

Date: October 10, 2013
Creator: Bearden, David M. & Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report discusses the statutory authorities of the National Contingency Plan (NCP), and relevant executive orders; outlines the federal emergency response framework of the NCP to coordinate federal, state, and local roles; and identifies the funding mechanisms to carry out a federal response to a discharge of oil or a release of a hazardous substance.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Endocrine Disruption: An Introduction

Endocrine Disruption: An Introduction

Date: January 11, 2001
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo & Buck, Eugene H
Description: Exposure to certain chemicals in the environment could disrupt the hormone systems of animals and humans, according to some scientists who are concerned about potential risks to public health and ecosystems. Congress has mandated chemical screening to assess the potential of pesticides and drinking water contaminants to influence the normal functions of female, male and thyroid hormones. As conflicting scientific evidence accumluates on the hormone disruption hypothesis, legislators may consider proposals to increase or decrease funding for the endocrine disruption screening program, or to expand its requirements to include additional chemicals or hormone functions.
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.
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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: On May 3, 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) announced a regulation redefining two key terms, "fill material" and "discharge of fill material," in rules that implement Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. This report discusses the 2002 rule, focusing on how it changes which material and types of activities are regulated under Section 404 and the significance of these issues, especially for the mining industry.
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
Reorganization of the Minerals Management Service in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Reorganization of the Minerals Management Service in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Date: November 10, 2010
Creator: Hogue, Henry B.
Description: This report provides background and context on the origins of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) in the Department of the Interior (DOI). The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill refocused attention on MMS, which had previously endured management challenges. The report also discusses Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar's handling of conflicts within MMS, potential congressional options regarding MMS reorganization, historical examples of similar reorganization efforts, and information on related legislative initiatives.
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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
Microbeads: An Emerging Water Quality Issue

Microbeads: An Emerging Water Quality Issue

Date: July 20, 2015
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses the debate over how to address growing environmental concerns regarding microbeads (synthetic particles made of either polyethylene or polypropylene plastic) and whether federal regulation to control or ban them is needed. A number of companies are voluntarily removing microbeads from their products, and some states--eight so far--have passed laws to ban manufacture and sale of products with microbeads.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Date: June 19, 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
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
Clean Water Act: A Summary of the Law

Clean Water Act: A Summary of the Law

Date: January 24, 2002
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report presents a summary of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, or Clean Water Act, describing the essence of the statute without discussing its implementation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

Date: February 9, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of rules not yet promulgated (including related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables for rules under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
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Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role

Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role

Date: February 16, 2016
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report discusses the federal regulatory role in regards to drinking water, more specifically in the context of the Flint water crisis. Lead exposure is a major public health concern, particularly because low-level exposures can impair the neurodevelopment of children. The main source of lead in drinking water is the corrosion of plumbing materials in the distribution system.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Date: August 30, 2007
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA, P.L. 92-532) has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Date: August 25, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. Permit and enforcement provisions of the law are often referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act. The basic provisions of the act have remained virtually unchanged since 1972, when it was enacted to establish a comprehensive waste management system to regulate disposal or dumping of all materials into marine waters that are within U.S. jurisdiction, although a number of new authorities have been added. This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA, P.L. 92-532) has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Date: January 22, 1999
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act has two basic aims: to regulate international ocean disposal of materials, into authorized related research. Permit and enforcement provisions of the law are often referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act. The basic provisions of the act have remained virtually unchanged since 1972, when it was enacted to establish a comprehensive waste management system to regulate disposal or dumping of all materials into marine waters that are within U.S. jurisdiction, although a number of new authorities have been added. This report represents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Date: April 10, 2007
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. Permit and enforcement provisions of the law are often referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act. The basic provisions of the act have remained virtually unchanged since 1972, when it was enacted to establish a comprehensive waste management system to regulate disposal or dumping of all materials into marine waters that are within U.S. jurisdiction, although a number of new authorities have been added. This report presents a summary of the law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Water Act and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of Pollutants

Clean Water Act and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of Pollutants

Date: October 25, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses the section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, which requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. For those waters, states must establish a total maximum daily load (TMDL) of pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained. Implementation of this provision has been dormant until recently, when states and EPA were prodded by numerous lawsuits. The TMDL issue has become controversial, in part because of requirements and costs now facing states to implement a 25-year-old provision of the law. Congressional activity to reauthorize the Act, a possibility in the 2nd Session of the 105th Congress, could include TMDL issues, but the direction for any such action is unclear at this time.
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: August 21, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: On May 3, 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) announced a final rule redefining two key terms, “fill material” and “discharge of fill material,” in regulations that implement Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. This report discusses the revised rule, focusing on how it changes which material and types of activities are regulated under Section 404 and the significance of these issues, especially for the mining industry.
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: March 15, 2007
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. It also includes a brief comparison of the expected appropriations for FY2007 and FY2008.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Mountaintop Mining: Background on Current Controversies

Mountaintop Mining: Background on Current Controversies

Date: January 24, 2007
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report provides background on regulatory requirements, controversies, and legal challenges to Clean Water Act regulation of mountaintop mining. Congressional attention to these issues also is discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federally Supported Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Programs

Federally Supported Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Programs

Date: March 17, 2016
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Carter, Nicole T.; Cody, Betsy A.; Stubbs, Megan & Tiemann, Mary
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 recycling and treatment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role

Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role

Date: March 2, 2016
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report discusses the federal regulatory role in regards to drinking water, more specifically in the context of the Flint water crisis. EPA's current Flint responses include providing technical assistance for water testing and treatment, conducting water monitoring, and identifying lead service line locations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department