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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Flood Insurance Requirements for Stafford Act Assistance

Flood Insurance Requirements for Stafford Act Assistance

Date: September 5, 2008
Creator: Liu, Edward C.
Description: 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.
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Water Rights Related to Oil Shale Development in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Water Rights Related to Oil Shale Development in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Date: November 18, 2008
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: 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.
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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.
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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.
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Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Date: March 12, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia & Carter, Nicole T.
Description: 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.
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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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Great Lakes Water Withdrawals: Legal and Policy Issues

Great Lakes Water Withdrawals: Legal and Policy Issues

Date: September 4, 2009
Creator: Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Brougher, Cynthia
Description: 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.
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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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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.
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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.
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Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Date: November 17, 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, 2001, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
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: May 26, 2009
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, 2001, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
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.
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Desalination: Status and Federal Issues

Desalination: Status and Federal Issues

Date: December 30, 2009
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.
Description: This report discusses desalination in the context of federal policy. Interest in desalination of seawater, brackish water, and contaminated freshwater has increased in the United States as the technology's costs have fallen and pressure to develop new water supplies has grown. Adoption of desalination, however, remains constrained by financial, environmental, and regulatory and social factors.
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Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Date: August 6, 2009
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report reviews perchlorate contamination issues and related developments. Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products. Used heavily by the Department of Defense (DOD) and related industries, perchlorate also occurs naturally and is present in some organic fertilizer. This soluble, persistent compound has been detected in drinking water supplies, especially in California. It also has been found in milk and many foods.
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Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Date: August 19, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Carter, Nicole T. & Stubbs, Megan
Description: 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.
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Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress

Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress

Date: March 2, 2009
Creator: Folger, Peter; Cody, Betsy A. & Carter, Nicole T.
Description: This report discusses how drought is defined, and why drought occurs in the United States. How droughts are classified, and what is meant by moderate, severe, and extreme drought classification, are also discussed. The report concludes with a description of policy challenges for Congress, such as the existing federal/non-federal split in drought response and management, and the patchwork of drought programs subject to oversight by multiple congressional committees.
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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.
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Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Date: February 17, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia & Carter, Nicole T.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Regulating Ballast Water Discharges: Current Legislative Issues

Regulating Ballast Water Discharges: Current Legislative Issues

Date: August 28, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses different views on the measures to control ballast water discharges from vessels which are a major pathway for introduction of invasive species into U.S. waters.
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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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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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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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Safe Drinking Water Act: Background and Issues in the 109th Congress

Safe Drinking Water Act: Background and Issues in the 109th Congress

Date: January 10, 2007
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report examines the Safe Drinking Water Act, which is the key federal law for protecting public water supplies from harmful contaminants. First enacted in 1974 and broadly amended in 1986 and 1996, the act is administered through programs that regulate contaminants in public water supplies, provide funding for infrastructure projects, protect sources of drinking water, and promote the capacity of water systems to comply with SDWA regulations.
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