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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Legislative Approaches to Defining "Waters of the United States"

Legislative Approaches to Defining "Waters of the United States"

Date: April 30, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report seeks to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in the wake of Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 that interpreted the law's jurisdiction more narrowly than prior case law.
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
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
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Date: December 15, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report examines recent congressional interest in the security of wastewater utilities, and whether or not to include water utilities in chemical plant security regulations implemented by Department of Homeland Security. Damage to or destruction of the nation's water supply and water quality infrastructure by terrorist attack or natural disaster 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 has increased greatly since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.
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: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Legislative Approaches to Defining "Waters of the United States"

Legislative Approaches to Defining "Waters of the United States"

Date: December 29, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report seeks to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in the wake of Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 that interpreted the law's jurisdiction more narrowly than prior case law.
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
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
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
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