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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
35 Years of Water Policy: The 1973 National Water Commission and Present Challenges

35 Years of Water Policy: The 1973 National Water Commission and Present Challenges

Date: May 11, 2009
Creator: Cody, Betsy A. & Carter, Nicole T.
Description: This report presents the National Water Commission's (NWC) recommendations and analyzes how issues targeted by the recommendations have evolved during the intervening years. The report focuses on key federal-level recommendations, thereby targeting what has been accomplished since 1973, what issues remain unresolved, and what additional concerns have developed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Aging Infrastructure: Dam Safety

Aging Infrastructure: Dam Safety

Date: September 29, 2005
Creator: Powers, Kyna
Description: To help inform discussions on the federal role in dam safety, this report provides background information on the nation’s dam safety activities and funding mechanisms.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agricultural Wetlands: Current Programs and Legislative Proposals

Agricultural Wetlands: Current Programs and Legislative Proposals

Date: January 4, 1996
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A & Copeland, Claudia
Description: Amending Federal laws to protect wetlands, especially agricultural wetlands, is a contentious issue for the 104th Congress. Critics contend that current programs are excessive in their reach and unfairly restrict private landowners. Supporters counter that these programs are critical if the Nation is to achieve the stated goal of no-net-loss of wetlands. The two major statutes under which agricultural wetlands are protected are swampbuster, enacted in the Agriculture, Food, Trade, and Conservation Act of 1985, and section 404, enacted in the 1972 Clean Water Act. This report describes both programs, emphasizing how they relate to each other. It explains how each program works, especially on agricultural wetlands, and the likely effect of proposed revisions to swampbuster. Also, it briefly considers other legislative proposals that would amend the section 404 program, which, if enacted, would further affect how agricultural wetlands are protected.
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Allocation of Wastewater Treatment Assistance: Formula and Other Changes

Allocation of Wastewater Treatment Assistance: Formula and Other Changes

Date: August 19, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report describes the formula and eligibility changes adopted by Congress since 1972 related to the allocation of wastewater treatment assistance. It focuses on the interplay and decision-making by Congress on factors to include in the formula.
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American Heritage Rivers

American Heritage Rivers

Date: August 3, 1998
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A & Cody, Betsy A
Description: This report discusses the American Heritage Rivers Initiative, implemented in 1998 by President Bill Clinton. The Initiative designed 14 rivers as "American Heritage Rivers," and declared that each "will receive help over the next five years tapping federal resources to carry out their plans for revitalizing their rivers and riverfronts." This report also discusses the reactions from both supporters and detractors of the initiative, and related legislation and appropriations.
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Analysis of H.R. 5781, California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014

Analysis of H.R. 5781, California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014

Date: December 11, 2014
Creator: Cody, Betsy A.; Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Stern, Charles V.
Description: This report provides a description and analysis of H.R. 5781, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014, which passed the House December 9, 2014. It includes a summary of key provisions of the bill, and compares it with two other bills from the 113th Congress aiming to address different aspects of drought and water management in California.
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Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA Regulation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA Regulation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

Date: August 31, 2007
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report provides background on the revised environmental rules, the previous Clean Water Act rules and the Clinton Administration proposal, and perspectives of key interest groups on the proposal and final regulations. It also identifies several issues that could be of congressional interest as implementation of the revised rules proceeds.
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Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA's Response to the Waterkeeper Alliance Court Decision on Regulation of CAFOs

Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA's Response to the Waterkeeper Alliance Court Decision on Regulation of CAFOs

Date: August 20, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses the Clean Water Act, which prohibits the discharge of pollutants from any "point source" to waters of the United States unless authorized under a permit that is issued by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a qualified state. The act also expressly defines confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) as point sources.
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Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Drought: Federal Water Management Issues

Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Drought: Federal Water Management Issues

Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.; Kaplan, Stan Mark; Buck, Eugene H.; Brougher, Cynthia & Kristina Alexander
Description: 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.
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Appropriations for FY2004: Energy and Water Development

Appropriations for FY2004: Energy and Water Development

Date: January 30, 2000
Creator: Behrens, Carl & Humphries, Marc
Description: This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant.
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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: 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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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: August 21, 2008
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 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Projects: Authorization and Appropriations

Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Projects: Authorization and Appropriations

Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Carter, Nicole T. & Hughes, H. S.
Description: 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.
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Arsenic in Drinking Water: Recent Regulatory Developments and Issues

Arsenic in Drinking Water: Recent Regulatory Developments and Issues

Date: November 16, 2001
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report discusses issues regarding the arsenic’s health effects and how to reduce the uncertainty in assessing health risks associated with exposure to low levels of arsenic. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the current standard of 50 parts per billion (ppb) in 1975. . This report reviews EPA efforts to develop a new arsenic rule and summarizes key provisions and subsequent events.
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Arsenic in Drinking Water: Recent Regulatory Developments and Issues

Arsenic in Drinking Water: Recent Regulatory Developments and Issues

Date: April 29, 2002
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report discusses issues regarding the arsenic’s health effects and how to reduce the uncertainty in assessing health risks associated with exposure to low levels of arsenic. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the current standard of 50 parts per billion (ppb) in 1975. . This report reviews EPA efforts to develop a new arsenic rule and summarizes key provisions and subsequent events.
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Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Develpoments and Issues

Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Develpoments and Issues

Date: February 7, 2005
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report discusses issues regarding the arsenic’s health effects and how to reduce the uncertainty in assessing health risks associated with exposure to low levels of arsenic. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the current standard of 50 parts per billion (ppb) in 1975. . This report reviews EPA efforts to develop a new arsenic rule and summarizes key provisions and subsequent events.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Develpoments and Issues

Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Develpoments and Issues

Date: October 20, 2005
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report discusses issues regarding the arsenic’s health effects and how to reduce the uncertainty in assessing health risks associated with exposure to low levels of arsenic. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the current standard of 50 parts per billion (ppb) in 1975. . This report reviews EPA efforts to develop a new arsenic rule and summarizes key provisions and subsequent events.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Auburn Dam on the American River: Fact Sheet

Auburn Dam on the American River: Fact Sheet

Date: June 6, 1996
Creator: Cody, Betsy A; Hughes, H. Steven & Price, Shelley
Description: For more than 30 years, Congress has debated constructing a dam on the American River near Auburn, California. The Army Corps of Engineers recently identified three alternatives for flood control, with the Division office's preferred plan calling for construction of a 508-foot-high detention dam. Currently, two bills address the issue: H.R. 3270 supports construction of the dam, while H.R. 2951 opposes construction of any structure on the North Fork of the American River.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Discount Rate for the Corps of Engineers' Water Resource Projects: Theory and Practice

Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Discount Rate for the Corps of Engineers' Water Resource Projects: Theory and Practice

Date: June 23, 2003
Creator: Powers, Kyna
Description: Construction of large water resource projects, such as those of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), can be controversial because they involve trade-offs among various river uses, and between current and future generations. Pursuant to federal water project planning guidelines, the Corps weighs these trade-offs using benefit-cost analysis. If its analysis shows that a project’s national economic development (NED) benefits exceed its NED costs, the Corps seeks project authorization from Congress. Congress authorizes the Corps to construct some of these large water projects through (usually) biennial Water Resource Development Acts. Since the Corps rarely recommends a project that does not have a benefit-cost ratio greater than 1.0, this report describes the decisions that influence this ratio, with a focus on the role of the discount rate.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
CALFED Bay-Delta Program: Overview of Institutional and Water Use Issues

CALFED Bay-Delta Program: Overview of Institutional and Water Use Issues

Date: July 26, 2004
Creator: Sheikh, Pervaze A & Cody, Betsy A
Description: The California Bay-Delta Program (CALFED) was initiated in 1995 to resolve water resources conflicts in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Rivers Delta and San Francisco Bay (Bay-Delta) in California. The program planning effort focused on developing a plan to address three main problem areas in the Bay-Delta: ecosystem health, water quality, and water supply reliability. CALFED was authorized to receive federal funding from FY1998 to FY2000, and is now being considered for reauthorization.
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CALFED Bay-Delta Program: Overview of Institutional and Water Use Issues

CALFED Bay-Delta Program: Overview of Institutional and Water Use Issues

Date: February 2, 2005
Creator: Sheikh, Pervaze A & Cody, Betsy A
Description: The California Bay-Delta Program (CALFED) was initiated in 1995 to resolve water resources conflicts in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Rivers Delta and San Francisco Bay (Bay-Delta) in California. The program planning effort focused on developing a plan to address three main problem areas in the Bay-Delta: ecosystem health, water quality, and water supply reliability. CALFED was authorized to receive federal funding from FY1998 to FY2000, and is now being considered for reauthorization.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
California Agricultural Production and Irrigated Water Use

California Agricultural Production and Irrigated Water Use

Date: June 30, 2015
Creator: Johnson, Renée & Cody, Betsy A.
Description: This report provides an overview of California's farm economy, specifically examining the current state of the water supply and the use of irrigation water.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
California Drought: Hydrological and Regulatory Water Supply Issues

California Drought: Hydrological and Regulatory Water Supply Issues

Date: December 7, 2009
Creator: Cody, Betsy A.; Folger, Peter & Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report discusses California's current hydrological situation and provides background on regulatory restrictions affecting California water deliveries, as well as on the long-established state water rights system, which also results in uneven water deliveries in times of shortages.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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