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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

Date: January 17, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program which regulates pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained; section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. The report focuses on new challenges facing the TMDL program, including more complex TMDLs, larger scale impairments, and nonpoint sources.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

Date: March 27, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report describes the March 25 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

Date: April 21, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report describes the March 25 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?

Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?

Date: March 19, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report provides background on the conflict over interpretation and implementation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). A brief discussion of the two laws is followed by a review of the major litigation of interest.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Coastal Wetland and Wildlife Impacts and Response

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Coastal Wetland and Wildlife Impacts and Response

Date: August 5, 2010
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne & Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report addresses the importance of wetlands in general, the ecology of the coastal wetlands in the Gulf, impacts of oil spills on wetland habitats, response options, the implications of hurricane season for the spill's impacts, and cleanup and recovery issues.3 The emphasis is on the nearshore environment, though a few species found in deeper waters will be mentioned. In addition, some lessons from past spills such as the Exxon Valdez in Alaska will be discussed along with issues that may arise in the years after the leak from the deepwater well is capped.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

Date: November 21, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report describes the March 25, 2014 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Tax Issues and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Legal Analysis of Payments and Tax Relief Policy Options

Tax Issues and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Legal Analysis of Payments and Tax Relief Policy Options

Date: July 15, 2010
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F.; Lunder, Erika K.; Liu, Edward C. & Klein, Heather S.
Description: This report provides analysis of various policy options for providing tax relief to oil spill victims, highlighting the circumstantial differences between previous natural disasters and the current oil spill. The report concludes with a brief summary of current legislative efforts.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Selected Issues for Congress

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Selected Issues for Congress

Date: July 30, 2010
Creator: Hagerty, Curry L. & Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report summarizes provisions of selected legislation - enacted and proposed - that address oil spill policy issues raised after the April 20, 2010, explosion and resulting oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. This report focuses primarily on oil spill policy matters that concern prevention, preparedness, response, and the liability and compensation framework.
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
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

Date: September 10, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report describes the March 25 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Potential Stafford Act Declarations for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill: Issues for Congress

Potential Stafford Act Declarations for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill: Issues for Congress

Date: May 13, 2010
Creator: McCarthy, Francis X.
Description: This report discusses the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, P.L. 93-288, which presents several options, and could provide a number of programs, to address the Gulf Coast oil spill. The Stafford Act authorizes the President to issue "major disaster" or "emergency" declarations before or after catastrophes occur. Emergency declarations trigger aid that protects property, public health, and safety and lessens or averts the threat of an incident becoming a catastrophic event.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

Date: March 20, 2015
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report describes the March 25, 2014 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Liability and Compensation Issues Raised by the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

Liability and Compensation Issues Raised by the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

Date: March 11, 2011
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: The first section of this report provides an overview of the existing liability and compensation framework as it relates to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The second section highlights many of the liability and compensation issues raised by the event. The third section discusses options for policymakers to adjust, amend, or supplement the current framework.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Phosphorus Mitigation in the Everglades

Phosphorus Mitigation in the Everglades

Date: January 13, 2004
Creator: Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Johnson, Barbara
Description: This report discusses the FY2004 appropriations provisions that condition federal funding for Everglades restoration on compliance with water quality standards, provides a side-by-side analysis of pending appropriations legislation, and provides background and a timeline of efforts to address Everglades phosphorus pollution (from Summary).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Gulf of Mexico Fishing Industry

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Gulf of Mexico Fishing Industry

Date: February 17, 2011
Creator: Upton, Harold F.
Description: This report summarizes information related to damages caused by the Deepwater oil spill to Gulf fisheries and efforts to mitigate these damages.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Water Issues in the 104th Congress

Clean Water Issues in the 104th Congress

Date: December 1, 1994
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: For the 104th Congress, reauthorization of the Clean Water Act would seem likely to be a priority, since the Act was last amended in 1987 and authorizations expired on September 30, 1990. But legislative prospects in the 104th Congress are uncertain. Clean water also was a priority for the 103rd Congress, but, in 1994, Congress ran out of time and did not act on comprehensive amendments. Many of the issues proved to be too complex and controversial to be resolved easily, while Congress also was considering a large agenda of environmental and other bills. Controversies arose in connection with issues specific to the Clean Water Act and a trio of regulatory relief issues that became barriers to a number of bills in the 103rd Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Water Issues in the 105th Congress

Clean Water Issues in the 105th Congress

Date: August 21, 1997
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: For the 105th Congress, reauthorization of the Clean Water Act may be a priority in the second session. The Act was last amended in 1987 and authorizations expired on Sept. 30, 1990. Clean water was a priority for the last two Congresses, but no legislation was enacted. In the 104th Congress, the House passed a comprehensive reauthorization bill, but during House debate and subsequently, controversies arose over whether and how the Act should be made more flexible and less burdensome on regulated entities. Issues likely to be of interest again in the 105th Congress include funding, overall flexibility and regulatory reform of water quality programs, and measures to address polluted runoff from farms and city streets.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Water Issues in the 107th Congress: An Overview

Clean Water Issues in the 107th Congress: An Overview

Date: January 5, 2001
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: Key water quality issues that may face the 107th Congress include: actions to implement existing provisions of the Clean Water Act, whether additional steps are necessary to achieve overall goals of the Act, and the appropriate federal role in guiding and paying for clean water activities. This Act is the principal law that deals with polluting activity in the nation’s lakes, rivers, and coastal waters and authorizes funds to aid construction of municipal wastewater treatment plants. Legislative prospects for comprehensively amending it have been stalled over whether and exactly how to change 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: January 4, 2005
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act 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
Clean Water Act Section 401: Background and Issues

Clean Water Act Section 401: Background and Issues

Date: October 4, 1998
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 dispute between states and industry groups was a legislative issue in the 104th Congress through an amendment to a House-passed Clean Water Act re-authorization bill; the Senate did not act on that bill.
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
Toxic Pollutants and the Clean Water Act: Current Issues

Toxic Pollutants and the Clean Water Act: Current Issues

Date: September 21, 1993
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Stormwater Permits: Status of EPA's Regulatory Program

Stormwater Permits: Status of EPA's Regulatory Program

Date: June 10, 1998
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Water Quality Initiatives and Agriculture

Water Quality Initiatives and Agriculture

Date: February 16, 2000
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department