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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462085/
Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462519/
Water Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462593/
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462752/
Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463186/
Mexico: Background and U.S. Relations
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463192/
Mexico: Background and U.S. Relations
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462477/
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462853/
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306425/
Water Infrastructure Financing: Proposals to Create a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program
This report discusses the "Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act," or WIFIA, program, which is one legislative option to finance water infrastructure projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306486/
Energy-Water Nexus: The Water Sector's Energy Use
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284534/
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284463/
Emergency Water Assistance During Drought: Federal Non-Agricultural Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284466/
Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276865/
U.S.-Mexico Water Sharing: Background and Recent Developments
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267861/
Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227683/
Reallocation of Water Storage at Federal Water Projects for Municipal and Industrial Water Supply
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227820/
Global Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation: U.S. and International Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227806/
Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122326/
Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122259/
Energy and Water Development: FY2011 Appropriations
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103087/
Locally Operated Levees: Issues and Federal Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99055/
Firearms at Army Corps Water Resources Projects: Proposed Legislation and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98027/
EPA's Proposed Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98015/
Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97999/
EPA's Proposed Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96715/
Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96682/
Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Drought: Federal Water Management Issues
This report provides an introductory analysis of federal water management issues in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF), particularly during drought. The report underscores that decision makers are faced with the tradeoff of the current harm that reduced flows may cause aquatic species against the benefits of maintaining water in storage for future multipurpose use later. The first section briefly introduces the basin's water resources and related federal issues. The second section summarizes current federal reservoir operations. The third section discusses how the municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses of ACF waters affect federal reservoir management. The fourth section covers how species protections affect Corps operations and how Corps operations may affect protected species. The fifth section briefly discusses legislation in the 110th Congress related to the ACF and water supply and management issues in the Southeast. The report concludes with comments about the ACF in the broader context of federal CRS-2 water policies and projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96798/
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
This report explains how the congressional authorization and appropriations process overlays the Corps' project development process. Special attention is given to initiating a water resources study, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) process, civil works appropriations, and emergency response activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93975/
Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93943/
Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94164/
Great Lakes Water Withdrawals: Legal and Policy Issues
This report describes the characteristics of the Great Lakes, the interests they support, and possible threats to lake levels. It analyzes the federal laws and policies that regulate the diversion, withdrawal, and consumptive use of water from the Great Lakes. Also included is a discussion of the final Compact and Agreement and some of the issues raised by various interest groups. This report concludes with a general discussion on the relationship between compacts, federal law, and the Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94008/
Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report identifies funding for water infrastructure programs and projects contained in the legislation, including amounts in the House- and Senate-passed versions that preceded the conference agreement. Among the purposes identified in the legislation are preservation and creation of jobs and promotion of U.S. economic recovery, and investment in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87133/
Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87165/
Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87164/
Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85389/
Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85386/
Hydraulic Fracturing and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Selected Issues
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85412/
Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83959/
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83832/
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83831/
Clean Water Act Section 401: Background and Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83833/
Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40107/
Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31387/
Safeguarding the Nation's Drinking Water: EPA and Congressional Actions
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31400/
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31466/
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments
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 for private landowners that will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. Interest groups have a number of specific criticisms of the permits. For some time, there has been a stalemate in Congress over legislation related to this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26114/
Water Rights Related to Oil Shale Development in the Upper Colorado River Basin
Concerns over fluctuating oil prices and declining petroleum production worldwide have revived interest in oil shale as a potential resource. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58) identified oil shale as a strategically important domestic resource and directed the Department of the Interior to promote commercial development. Oil shale development would require significant amounts of water, however, and water supply in the Colorado River Basin, where several oil shale reserves are located, is limited. This report will provide a brief overview of water rights in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, including changes that may be made to currently held water rights and the possibility for abandonment of unused water rights. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10824/
Flood Insurance Requirements for Stafford Act Assistance
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act) imposes flood insurance requirements upon eligibility for disaster assistance in two general cases: (1) if the entity seeking disaster assistance has received disaster assistance in the past, or (2) if the entity seeking disaster assistance is a state or local government or private nonprofit located in a federally designated special flood hazard area (SFHA) as determined under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The requirements imposed by the Stafford Act operate independently of each other, and a potential applicant for disaster assistance may fall into both categories. This report will discuss the specific requirements imposed in each situation after briefly discussing the history of flood insurance and the relevant types of disaster assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10788/
Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities
Congress has on several occasions delegated its power of eminent domain to entities outside the federal government -- public and private corporations, interstate compact agencies, state and local governments, and even individuals. The constitutionality of such delegation, and of the exercise of such power by even private delegates, is today beyond dispute. However, among delegates with both federal and private characteristics, there is some subjectivity to deciding which to list in a report limited to "nonfederal entities." For delegatees of federal eminent domain power listed here, delegations since 1920 have primarily been to Amtrak, hydroelectric facilities (for dams and reservoirs), and entities engaged in the movement of electricity, gas, and petroleum (the last one expired), and for interstate bridges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10746/
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