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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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
Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues for Congress

Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues for Congress

Date: August 5, 2013
Creator: Stern, Charles V.
Description: This report 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
Global Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation: U.S. and International Programs

Global Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation: U.S. and International Programs

Date: September 10, 2012
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Description: Report that focuses on bilateral water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) schemes authorized by the Water for the Poor Act. This report identifies some issues that donors and U.S. agencies face while carrying out global drinking water and sanitation projects.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Reallocation of Water Storage at Federal Water Projects for Municipal and Industrial Water Supply

Reallocation of Water Storage at Federal Water Projects for Municipal and Industrial Water Supply

Date: October 31, 2012
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia & Carter, Nicole T.
Description: Report that analyzes the legal and policy issues associated with reallocation of water under the Water Supply Act of 1958 (WSA) and industrial (M&I) water supply use at Lake Lanier as an example.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-Mexico Water Sharing: Background and Recent Developments

U.S.-Mexico Water Sharing: Background and Recent Developments

Date: November 19, 2013
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.; Seelke, Clare Ribando & Shedd, Daniel T.
Description: This report is a primer on U.S. and Mexican water-sharing topics. It focuses on surface water quantity sharing and recent developments, including drought conditions. Due to Mexico's recent below-target deliveries of Rio Grande water to the United States, particular attention is given to the status, underlying causes, and responses to the Rio Grande water debt. This report describes: legal obligations and processes under the 1944 Water Treaty; drought conditions from 2010 to 2013; water sharing and developments in the Colorado River Basin; water sharing in the Rio Grande Basin and Mexico's water debt; and stakeholder, diplomatic, and legislative responses to Mexico's Rio Grande water debt.
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: 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
Energy-Water Nexus: The Water Sector's Energy Use

Energy-Water Nexus: The Water Sector's Energy Use

Date: January 3, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report provides background on energy for facilities that treat and deliver water to end users and also dispose of and discharge wastewater. This report first discusses water-related energy use broadly and then energy for facilities that treat and deliver water to end users and also dispose of and discharge wastewater.
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
Emergency Water Assistance During Drought: Federal Non-Agricultural Programs

Emergency Water Assistance During Drought: Federal Non-Agricultural Programs

Date: February 26, 2014
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.; Cowan, Tadlock & Barrett, Joanna
Description: This report discusses droughts in relation to several issues for Congress, including how to measure and predict drought, how to prepare, and how to coordinate federal agency actions responding to drought.
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
Water Infrastructure Financing: Proposals to Create a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program

Water Infrastructure Financing: Proposals to Create a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program

Date: May 16, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses the "Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act," or WIFIA, program, which is one legislative option to finance water infrastructure projects.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues for Congress

Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues for Congress

Date: May 3, 2013
Creator: Stern, Charles V.
Description: This report 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
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Date: July 28, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report presents an overview of the large and diverse sector of water infrastructure systems, describes security-related actions by the government and private sector since September 11, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment

Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment

Date: January 22, 2013
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi; Stern, Charles V. & Vann, Adam
Description: This report explains how the federal government is involved directly in hydropower generation at federal facilities and in the regulation of nonfederal hydropower generation; the focus is on current roles and processes and common concerns and questions about changing those roles.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Water Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues

Water Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues

Date: November 24, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia & Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report identifies a number of issues that have received attention in connection with water infrastructure investment. It begins with a review of federal involvement, describes the debate about needs, and then examines key issues, including what is the nature of the problems to be solved; who will pay, and what is the federal role; and questions about mechanisms for delivering federal support, including state-by-state allotment of federal funds. Congressional and Administration activity on these issues from the 107th to the 110th Congresses also is reviewed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Date: November 28, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report examines the possibility of damage to or destruction of the nation's water supply and water quality infrastructure by terrorist attack or natural disaster, which could disrupt the delivery of vital human services in this country, threatening public health and the environment, or possibly causing loss of life. Interest in such problems increased after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Mexico: Background and U.S. Relations

Mexico: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: January 16, 2013
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando
Description: This report provides an overview of political and economic conditions in Mexico followed by assessments of some key issues of congressional interest in Mexico: migration, trade, security, human rights, energy, and water issues. The report summarizes legislative action that has occurred related to these topics and refers to other CRS products and experts that can be consulted for further information.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department