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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management

Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management

Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.
Description: The nation's energy choices embody many tradeoffs. Water use is one of those tradeoffs. The energy choices before Congress represent vastly different demands on domestic freshwater. The energy sector's water consumption is projected to rise 50% from 2005 to 2030. This rising water demand derives from both an increase in the amount of energy demanded and shifts to more water-intense energy sources and technologies. This report discusses this issue as well as related issues that may arise for the 112th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures

Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures

Date: January 10, 2011
Creator: Frittelli, John
Description: In 1986, the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) was enacted to fund U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE or the Corps) activities related to the routine operation and maintenance (O&M) of harbors, namely the dredging of harbor channels to their authorized depths and widths. Economic and equity issues related to HMT expenditures and collections are the main focus of this report. Before analyzing these issues, the report reviews the legislative history of the tax and legal challenges to it, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of alternative funding mechanisms, and describes the commercial context of current dredging activity. The last section identifies legislation related to harbor maintenance funding.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Safeguarding the Nation's Drinking Water: EPA and Congressional Actions

Safeguarding the Nation's Drinking Water: EPA and Congressional Actions

Date: September 30, 2010
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: The events of September 11, 2001, focused heightened attention on the security status of the nation's drinking water supplies and the vulnerability of this critical infrastructure sector to attack. This report reviews governmental and water utility efforts to improve drinking water security.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress

Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress

Date: January 20, 2011
Creator: Stern, Charles V.
Description: This brief discusses the major issues for Congress which include whether to increase inland waterway funding in the future (and by what amount); the appropriate type of revenue stream (e.g., fuel taxes or lockage fees) for the user-required portion of these projects; division of the cost-share responsibilities between the federal government and commercial users (e.g., 50/50 or some other division); and whether to initiate process-based recommendations that some argue will improve the delivery and efficiency of Corps-led IWTF projects.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments

The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments

Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: Permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorize various types of development projects in wetlands and other waters of the United States. The Corps' regulatory process involves two types of permits: general permits for actions by private landowners that are similar in nature and will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. The Corps uses general permits to minimize the burden of its regulatory program: they authorize landowners to proceed with a project without the time-consuming need to obtain standard individual permits in advance. About 90% of the Corps' regulatory workload is processed in the form of general permits.
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The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments

The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments

Date: December 28, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: Congressional interest in wetlands permit regulatory programs has been evident in the past in oversight hearings and in connection with bills to fund the Corps' regulatory programs. For some time, there has been a stalemate over legislation that would revise wetlands regulatory law and that could, if enacted, modify the nationwide permit program. During this time, no consensus has emerged on whether or how to reform overall wetlands policy legislatively. Recently, Obama Administration initiatives and actions intended to restrict harmful effects of surface coal mining activities in Appalachia have drawn congressional attention and criticism that is likely to continue in the 112th Congress and that could include oversight of the Corps' regulatory program generally.
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Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues

Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues

Date: April 10, 2012
Creator: Tiemann, Mary & Vann, Adam
Description: This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Water Drinking Ace, the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of, and issues associated with, enactment of legislation authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this statute.
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Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure

Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure

Date: April 3, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Mallett, William J. & Maguire, Steven
Description: This report addresses several options being considered by Congress to address the financing needs of local communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects and to decrease or close the gap between available funds and projected needs. Six options that are reflected in current or recent legislative proposals, including budgetary implications, are discussed.
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Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress

Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress

Date: July 14, 2011
Creator: Stern, Charles V.
Description: This brief discusses the major issues for Congress which include whether to increase inland waterway funding in the future (and by what amount); the appropriate type of revenue stream (e.g., fuel taxes or lockage fees) for the user-required portion of these projects; division of the cost-share responsibilities between the federal government and commercial users (e.g., 50/50 or some other division); and whether to initiate process-based recommendations that some argue will improve the delivery and efficiency of Corps-led IWTF projects.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Hydraulic Fracturing and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Selected Issues

Hydraulic Fracturing and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Selected Issues

Date: April 25, 2012
Creator: Murrill, Brandon J.
Description: This report provides an overview of two situations in which agencies are arguing that they do not need to conduct a comprehensive environmental review of hydraulic fracturing under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Date: November 7, 2011
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: Much progress has been made in achieving the ambitious goals that Congress established more than 35 years ago in the Clean Water Act (CWA) to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters. However, long-standing problems persist, and new problems have emerged. Water quality problems are diverse, ranging from pollution runoff from farms and ranches, city streets, and other diffuse or "nonpoint" sources, to toxic substances discharged from factories and sewage treatment plants.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Date: May 30, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses water quality legislation. A number of Clean Water Act issues have been the subject of congressional oversight and legislation, including the environmental and economic impacts of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, federal promulgation of water quality standards in Florida, regulation of surface coal mining activities in Appalachia, and other CWA regulatory actions. Congressional interest in several of these issues has been reflected in debate over policy provisions of legislation providing FY2012 appropriations for EPA (P.L. 112-74).
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Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Date: April 9, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses water quality legislation. A number of Clean Water Act issues have been the subject of congressional oversight and legislation, including the environmental and economic impacts of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, federal promulgation of water quality standards in Florida, regulation of surface coal mining activities in Appalachia, and other CWA regulatory actions. Congressional interest in several of these issues has been reflected in debate over policy provisions of legislation providing FY2012 appropriations for EPA (P.L. 112-74).
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Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment

Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment

Date: June 26, 2012
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi; Stern, Charles V. & Vann, Adam
Description: This report discusses the changing energy and economic landscape, as well as the roughly 25 bills introduced by the 112th Congress regarding hydropower (the use of flowing water to produce electricity). Congress is examining numerous energy sources to determine their contribution to the nation's energy portfolio and the federal role in supporting these sources, including hydropower.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress

Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress

Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Folger, Peter; Cody, Betsy A. & Carter, Nicole T.
Description: This report defines drought and discusses its background and cause in the United States. It looks in detail at the 2007-2009 California drought as well as drought in the American West in general. Lastly, it discusses the future of U.S. drought and how congressional policy can affect drought.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA's Proposed Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues

EPA's Proposed Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues

Date: June 18, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report covers two proposed permit drafts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Vessel General Permits (VGPs): one for large vessels to replace the 2008 VGP (draft VGP), and one for smaller vessels that currently are covered by a congressionally-enacted temporary moratorium (draft sVGP).
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Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Date: July 11, 2011
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report looks at ways which the 112th Congress can introduce legislation to safeguard water quality in the U.S., and reasons for doing so. Although progress has been made in achieving the goals established in the Clean Water Act (CWA) to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters, long-standing problems persist, and new problems have emerged. Water quality problems are diverse, ranging from pollution runoff, to toxic substances discharged from factories and sewage treatment plants.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
EPA's Proposed Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues

EPA's Proposed Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues

Date: June 18, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: In November 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed two Clean Water Act permits to regulate certain types of discharges from vessels into U.S. waters. This report is an overview of the proposed permits and two key issues: inclusion of numeric performance standards to limit ballast water discharges from vessels, and controversies about the role of states in regulating vessel discharges.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues

Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues

Date: July 12, 2012
Creator: Tiemann, Mary & Vann, Adam
Description: This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Water Drinking Act, the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of, and issues associated with, enactment of legislation authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this statute.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Firearms at Army Corps Water Resources Projects: Proposed Legislation and Issues for Congress

Firearms at Army Corps Water Resources Projects: Proposed Legislation and Issues for Congress

Date: July 12, 2012
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.
Description: This rport discusses issues for Congress regarding public safety and infrastructure security at water resource projects managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Proposed legislation would bar the Secretary of the Army from promulgating or enforcing regulations that prohibit individuals from possessing firearms (including assembled or functional firearms) at Corps projects and instead require that firearms possession comply with state law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Locally Operated Levees: Issues and Federal Programs

Locally Operated Levees: Issues and Federal Programs

Date: April 5, 2011
Creator: Keegan, Natalie; King, Rawle O.; Carter, Nicole T. & Stubbs, Megan
Description: The report discusses the role of levees in flood risk reduction, the shared responsibilities for levees in the United States, and the role of three agencies: FEMA, the Corps, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It also discusses federal assistance for levees, describes the debate about whether levees investments have a role in federal flood mitigation programs, and compares Corps, FEMA, and NRCS activities and authorities. Finally, the report outlines policy options for locally-operated levees that might be considered by the 112th Congress. Legislative proposals in the 111th Congress are discussed in an Appendix.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Energy and Water Development: FY2011 Appropriations

Energy and Water Development: FY2011 Appropriations

Date: February 25, 2011
Creator: Behrens, Carl E.
Description: This report discusses key budgetary issues for FY2011 involving the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy, and a number of independent agencies.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress

Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress

Date: August 15, 2012
Creator: Folger, Peter; Cody, Betsy A. & Carter, Nicole T.
Description: This report describes the physical causes of drought, drought history in the United States, and policy challenges related to drought. It also provides examples of recurrent regional drought conditions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

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

Date: September 21, 2012
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
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