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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Brief Summaries of Federal Animal Protection Statutes
This report contains brief summaries of federal animal protection statutes, listed alphabetically. It includes statutes enacted to implement treaties, those that protect certain groups of animals (e.g., protection of "game" animals rather than predators), statutes to conserve fish, statutes that allow the disabled to use service animals, and statutes aimed at acts of animal rights advocates (the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, and the Recreational Hunting Safety and Preservation Act of 1994). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847604/
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. Concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and members of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847501/
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. Concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and members of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847512/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847514/
Climate Change: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Bills in the 110th Congress
This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the major provisions of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, and includes a glossary of common terms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847525/
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Waiver Authority and Modification of Volumes
This report discusses the process and criteria for the Environmental Protection Agency to waive various portions of the renewable fuel standard (RFS), and the modification of applicable volumes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824757/
EPA and the Army Corps' Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
This report describes the revised rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) which defines the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Agencies refer to this final rule as the Clean Water Rule. This report includes a table comparing the existing regulatory language that defines "waters of the United States" with the revisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824769/
Safe Drinking Water Act: Implementation and Issues
This report discusses key drinking water issues in the 109th Congress, which have included problems caused by specific contaminants, such as methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and perchlorate, as well as the related issue of the appropriate federal role in providing financial assistance for water infrastructure projects. Congress last reauthorized the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1996, and although funding authority for most SDWA programs expired in FY2003, broad reauthorization bills have not been proposed, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states, and water systems remain busy implementing the 1996 amendments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824805/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress such as: Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic that could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824663/
Constitutional Bounds on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment
This report reviews five newly-emergent constitutional areas related to environmental issues, based on Supreme Court decisions. For each area, the focus is its significance for current and future federal environmental legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824671/
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of rules not yet promulgated (including related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables for rules under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824683/
Clean Water Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report discusses various issues in the 109th Congress pertaining to water infrastructure and water quality standards. Legislative initiatives to comprehensively amend the Clean Water Act (CWA) have stalled for some time as interested parties have debated whether and exactly how to change the law. Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected CWA programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824707/
Military Base Closures: Role and Costs of Environmental Cleanup
This report provides an overview of cleanup requirements for the transfer and reuse of base closure properties, discusses the status of property transfer on bases closed under prior rounds, examines costs to clean up bases closed under these prior rounds, and discusses cleanup costs and issues for the 2005 round. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824570/
Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorizations, Appropriations, and Activities
This report provides an overview of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works program, including congressional authorization and appropriations. Its civil works responsibilities are principally to support navigation, reduce flood and storm damage, and protect and restore aquatic ecosystems. The report also covers the standard project development process for Corps projects and other Corps activities and authorities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824596/
Global Climate Change
This report briefly reviews the status of climate science, international negotiations, and congressional activity focused specifically on climate change. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824471/
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the issues the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered when developing regulations for "carbon pollution" from existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan. The report describes how the EPA resolved these issues. In addition to discussing details of the Clean Power Plan, the report addresses the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the EPA's previous experience using that authority, and other background questions. The report discusses the ongoing litigation in which a number of states and other entities have challenged the rule, while other states and entities have intervened in support of the rule. It also discusses challenges to the rule under the Congressional Review Act and other options that Congress has to influence the EPA's action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824476/
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Background and Issues
The report begins with background on the geography and history of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). It also discusses the most common legislative issues, such as energy development, and provides an extensive review of the resources of the 1002 area, including the current status, regulations, and potential effects of development of those resources.A glossary is included to define the key terms and acronyms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824483/
Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues
This report provides an overview of the rationale for the prompt global strike (PGS) mission and the possible deployment of conventional warheads on long-range ballistic missiles or boost-glide systems in support of this mission. It then reviews the Air Force and Navy efforts to develop these systems. It summarizes congressional reaction to these proposals, then provides a more detailed account of the issues raised by these concepts and programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824655/
EPA and the Army Corps' "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options
This report discusses several options Congress had in order to respond to controversy caused by the May 27th, 2015 rule that was finalized by the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This finalized rule revised regulations that defined the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Congress' legislative options are reflected in bills in the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824447/
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report provides background and analysis on several issues related to the Clean Air Act, including: Clear Skies / Multi-Pollutant Legislation, Mercury from Power Plants, New Source Review (NSR), MTBE and Ethanol, Ozone Nonattainment Area Deadlines, and Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs. It also discusses the most recent developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824462/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. Coast Guard polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Administration's plans for sustaining and modernizing the polar icebreaking fleet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824561/
MTBE in Gasoline: Clean Air and Drinking Water Issues
This report provides background information concerning the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), discusses air and water quality issues associated with it, and reviews options available to congressional and other policy-makers concerned about its continued use. It includes a discussion of legislation considered in the 106th Congress, which may serve as a starting point for legislation in the 107th. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821701/
Environmental Protection Issues in the 109th Congress
This report provides an overview of key environmental issues that are receiving or may receive attention in the 109th Congress. The sections on specific issues contain references to more detailed and extensive CRS reports on the subjects covered. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822554/
Clean Air Issues in the 110th Congress: Climate Change, Air Quality Standards, and Oversight
This report provides a brief overview of the climate change issue as well as other Clean Air Act issues the 110th Congress may consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822627/
Oil Spills: Background and Governance
This report reviews the history and trends of oil spills in the United States, and identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820249/
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress
This report reviews the history and trends of oil spills in the United States, and identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc809294/
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background and Governance
This report provides background information regarding oil spills in U.S. coastal waters and identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup. Based on data between 1973 and 2009, the annual number and volume of oil spills have shown declines- in some cases, dramatic declines. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820854/
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress
This report reviews the history and trends of oil spills in the United States, and identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc812667/
Environmental Protection: How Much it Costs and Who Pays
This report discusses a recurring issue in environmental policy: the cost of pollution control imposed on individuals, businesses, and governments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822360/
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard
This report discusses the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG’s) environmental activities, which focus on prevention programs, accompanied by enforcement and educational activities. An important component is maritime oil spill prevention, which includes inspection of U.S. and foreign-flagged ships to ensure compliance with U.S. laws and international agreements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822629/
Environmental Regulation and Agriculture
This report discusses the impact of environmental regulation on agriculture. Most environmental regulations, in terms of permitting, inspection, and enforcement, are implemented by state and local governments, often based on federal EPA regulatory guidance. In some cases, agriculture is the direct or primary focus of the regulatory actions. In other cases, agriculture is one of many affected sectors. Traditionally, farm and ranch operations have been exempt or excluded from many environmental regulations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822617/
Environmental Regulation and Agriculture
This report provides the background, status, and issues related to selected environmental regulations or initiatives possibly affecting agriculture that have drawn attention in and beyond Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc815454/
Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822387/
Clean Water Act and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of Pollutants
This report discusses the section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, which requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. For those waters, states must establish a total maximum daily load (TMDL) of pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained. Implementation of this provision has been dormant until recently, when states and EPA were prodded by numerous lawsuits. The TMDL issue has become controversial, in part because of requirements and costs now facing states to implement a 25-year-old provision of the law. Congressional activity to reauthorize the Act, a possibility in the 2nd Session of the 105th Congress, could include TMDL issues, but the direction for any such action is unclear at this time. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820978/
Clean Air Act: A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements
This report summarizes the Clean Air Act and its major regulatory requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821048/
Everglades Restoration: CERP and the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP)
This report provides definition for everglades, describes what is the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), and discusses the restoration of everglades project. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821415/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard’s polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The Coast Guard’s proposed FY2015 budget requests $6 million to continue initial acquisition activities for a new polar icebreaker. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify Coast Guard plans for sustaining and modernizing its polar icebreaking fleet. Congressional decisions on this issue could affect Coast Guard funding requirements, the Coast Guard’s ability to perform its polar missions, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821405/
Overview of EPA and the Army Corps’ Rule to Define “Waters of the United States”
This report describes the revised rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) which defines the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821396/
Clean Air Act Issues in the 110th Congress: Implementation and Oversight
This report provides a discussion of several interrelated air issues of interest in the 110th Congress, including revision of the particulate standards, the role of independent scientific review in the setting of air quality standards, multi-pollutant legislation for electric power plants, mercury from power plants, and New Source Review. This report provides an overview of these issues; CRS reports that contain additional information and detailed sources are referenced in the appropriate sections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821163/
Climate Change Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which climate change bills are based, and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research; emissions reduction technologies; U.S. actions pursuant to international emission reduction agreements; adaptation to the effects of climate change; GHG reporting and registration; and GHG emissions reduction programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820856/
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report discusses major decisions on clean air issues facing the courts and the executive branch in 2006. One focus will be EPA's recent proposal to strengthen air quality standards for fine particles. Other issues of continuing interest are EPA's 2005 decisions limiting interstate transport of air pollution and establishing cap-and-trade systems for emissions from coal fired power plants, and the agency's proposed changes to New Source Review. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822012/
Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the Superfund program designed for cleaning up the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites was created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA (P.L. 96-510, as amended). This report discusses recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821995/
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos v. United States
This report discusses the Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States, which addressed the asserted jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over wetlands adjacent to "waters of the United States," the problematic phrase used by the Clean Water Act (CWA) to define the geographic scope of the act's wetlands permitting program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821100/
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products. Used mainly by the Department of Defense (DOD) and related industries, perchlorate also occurs naturally and is present in some organic fertilizer.This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and recent developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822682/
Statutory Modifications of the Application of NEPA
From time to time, Congress has considered the operation of the National Environmental Policy Act. While Congress has amended the statute itself only twice since its enactment, Congress has often enacted provisions that modify the application of the Act or specify the extent of the documents that need be prepared in particular instances or contexts. This report collects and lists examples of such provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822681/
Climate Change: Action by States To Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions
This report covers state actions that directly and explicitly address greenhouse gas emissions. First, the report describes the different types of state actions, both individual and cooperative efforts, that are either proposed or underway, and highlights several of the more significant developments. Second, the report examines state actions from a federal policymaking perspective, including both the potential effects of state-led actions and their limitations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822485/
Polar Bears: Proposed Listing Under the Endangered Species Act
This report discusses the proposed listing of polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA; 16 U.S.C. §§1531 et seq.), which highlights the intersection of two significant issues currently before Congress — climate change and species protection. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821468/
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report provides an overview of seven prominent air issues of interest in the 109th Congress: revision of the particulate standards; multi-pollutant (or Clear Skies) legislation for electric power plants; mercury from power plants; New Source Review; the gasoline additives MTBE and ethanol; ozone nonattainment area deadlines; and the “conformity” of transportation and clean air planning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822413/
Methane Capture: Options for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction
This report discusses alternatives for addressing methane capture, sources of methane, opportunities and challenges for methane capture, and current federal programs that support methane recovery. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821498/
Clean Water Act and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of Pollutants
This report discusses the section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, which requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. For those waters, states must establish a total maximum daily load (TMDL) of pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained. Implementation was dormant until states and EPA were prodded by lawsuits. The TMDL program has become controversial, in part because of requirements and costs now facing states to implement this 35-year-old provision of the law, as well as industries, cities, farmers, and others who may be required to use new pollution controls to meet TMDL requirements. In July 2000, EPA issued revisions to strengthen the program. The rule was widely criticized, and congressional interest was high. The 2000 rule did not go into effect, and in March 2003, EPA withdrew the rule to consider whether to issue an entirely new rule or other options; no timetable has been announced. Consequently, the program continues to operate under regulations issued in 1992. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822431/