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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
Report that is written in response to the Coast Guard's budget request for a new polar ice breaker, of which the Coast Guard currently has none in operation. Polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. Issues for Congress include what to do with decommissioned ice breakers, the impact of having no ice breakers, how to budget for new ice breakers, and how future ice breakers should be obtained. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228070/
Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for Disaster Response, Recovery, and Mitigation Projects
Report that discusses the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as it applies to projects for which federal funding to recover from or prepare for a disaster has been requested by local, tribal, or state grant applicants. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228081/
EPA Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants: Many Questions, Some Answers
This report discusses the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) proposals for electric generating units (EGU) Greenhouse Gas Emissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227877/
Regulation of Fertilizers: Ammonium Nitrate and Anhydrous Ammonia
This report will focus on some of the federal regulatory programs overseeing storage of ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia by retailers. The report will not address federal regulation of material in transport. It will discuss federal occupational safety, environmental, and security statutes and regulations applicable to each chemical. Select policy issues regarding these federal regulatory programs will be highlighted. It does not address various law enforcement activities related to tracking of anhydrous ammonia used for illegal drug synthesis (e.g., methamphetamine). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227858/
Background on and Implementation of the Bevill and Bentsen Exclusions in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act: EPA Authorities to Regulate "Special Wastes"
This report discusses waste excluded from the regulatory definition of hazardous waste pursuant to amendments to Subtitle C in the Solid Waste Disposal Act Amendments of 1980. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227885/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227666/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the diminishment of Arctic sea ice, the ensuing increase in human activities in the Arctic, and concerns about the region's future. It provides overviews of: Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122198/
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity to help address concerns surrounding its power. It examines 45 major or controversial regulatory actions taken by, or under development at, the EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule, and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report also discusses factors that affect the timeframe in which regulations take effect, including statutory and judicial deadlines, public comment periods, judicial review, and permitting procedures, the net results of which are that existing facilities are likely to have several years before being required to comply with most of the regulatory actions under discussion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122204/
Shale Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing: CRS Experts
This report contains tables that provide names and contact information for CRS experts on major issues associated with hydraulic fracturing and unconventional oil and gas resource development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122242/
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/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103088/
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
This report provides an overview of the Army Corps of Engineers civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities. It also includes an Appendix on the evolution of Corps civil works missions and authorities and a description of the limits on the Corps' role in levee accreditation and improvements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103096/
Nanotechnology and Environmental, Health, and Safety: Issues for Consideration
This report: identifies the potential environmental, health, and safety opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology; explains the importance of addressing nanotechnology EHS concerns; identifies and discusses nanotechnology EHS issues; and summarizes options for Congressional action, including the nanotechnology EHS-related provisions of selected legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103226/
The 2010 Oil Spill: MMS/BOEMRE and NEPA
This report reviews the environmental procedures required following the explosion of an oil well on a tract leased by BP from the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103097/
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemaking to help address dissenting concerns from critics and the EPA. It examines 43 major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009. The report also discusses factors that affect the timeframe in which regulations take effect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98962/
Oil Spill Legislation in the 112th Congress
This report focuses primarily on oil spill policy matters that concern prevention, preparedness, response, liability and compensation, and Gulf restoration. For the most part, the underlying statutes for these provisions are found in either the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the Clean Water Act (CWA) and its amendments, or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and its amendments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98967/
Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?
This report assesses the variables involved in determining whether or not biopower (i.e., electricity generated from biomass) is a carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels as a way to help meet meet U.S. energy demands and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It includes information about the biomass carbon cycle, GHG accounting for biopower production, recent developments affecting the assessment, and overview of whether or not it can be considered carbon neutral, and legislative implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97992/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, including sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered species; and increased military operations in the region. It includes background information on the region and on a variety of issues for which Congress may want to consider legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97986/
The National Environmental Policy Act: Background and Implementation
This report discusses the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) including its history, its provisions, and the evolution of its implementation; it also provides an overview of how agencies implement NEPA's requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98060/
Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?
This report provides an overview of the statutory framework, key players, infrastructure, resources, tools, and operations associated with enforcement and compliance of the major pollution control laws and regulations administered by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It also outlines the roles of federal (including regional offices) and state regulators, as well as the regulated community. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98096/
Open Ocean Aquaculture
This report discusses four general areas related to open ocean aquaculture: (1) operational and business-related challenges; (2) potential economic impacts; (3) potential environmental impacts; and (4) the legal and regulatory environment. It summarizes recent executive and legislative branch actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98056/
Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)
This report discusses carbon capture and sequestration (CSS), but not other types of carbon sequestration activities whereby CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and stored in vegetation, soils, or oceans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98087/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98097/
Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?
This report assesses the variables involved in determining whether or not biopower (i.e., electricity generated from biomass) is a carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels as a way to help meet meet U.S. energy demands and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It includes information about the biomass carbon cycle, GHG accounting for biopower production, recent developments affecting the assessment, and overview of whether or not it can be considered carbon neutral, and legislative implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97991/
Pipelines for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Control: Network Needs and Cost Uncertainties
This report examines key uncertainties in CO2 pipeline requirements for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) by contrasting hypothetical pipeline scenarios in one region of the United States. The report summarizes the key factors influencing CO2 pipeline configuration for major power plants in the region, and illustrates how the viability of different sequestration sites may lead to enormous differences in pipeline costs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96797/
California's Waiver Request to Control Greenhouse Gases Under the Clean Air Act
This report reviews the nature of Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) authority, as well as that of California and other states, to regulate emissions from mobile sources. It includes a discussion fo the applicability of that authority to greenhouse gases (GHGs) and issues related to the California waiver request. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96785/
Polar Bears: Proposed Listing Under the Endangered Species Act
This report discusses the polar bear status and they are affected by climate change, contaminants, and subsistence and sport hunting. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96770/
Environmental Services Markets in the 2008 Farm Bill
This report gives an overview of issues involved in the provisions of the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-234, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act). It includes a brief overview describing environmental services markets, benefits and barriers, recent Congressional action related to the topics, and possible considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94106/
Clean Air After the CAIR Decision: Back to Square One?
This report discusses three Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) long-term options in regard to Clean Air: (1) starting anew with a new strategy with respect to mitigating transported air pollution based on the decision; (2) allowing the states to sort out the issue through Section 126 petitions; and (3) seeking new legislation providing EPA with the statutory authority to implement either CAIR in some form, or an alternative. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94165/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report is written in response to the Coast Guard's budget request for a new polar ice breaker, of which the Coast Guard currently has none in operation. Polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. Issues for Congress include what to do with decommissioned ice breakers, the impact of having no ice breakers, how to budget for new ice breakers, and how future ice breakers should be obtained. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94137/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94136/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93835/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93832/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93831/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93834/
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attracts congressional attention because its projects can have significant local and regional economic benefits and environmental effects, in addition to their water resource development purposes. This report provides an overview of the Corps civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities. It also includes an Appendix on the evolution of Corps civil works missions and authorities and a description of the limits on the Corps' role in levee accreditation and improvements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93839/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of the situation in the Arctic region. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93836/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93833/
Stormwater Permits: Status of EPA's Regulatory Program
This report discusses the EPA's federally-mandated program for controlling stormwater discharges from industrial plants and municipalities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93808/
Environmental Laws: Summaries of Major Statutes Administered by the Environmental Protection Agency
This report summarizes several federal statutes providing legal authority for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) programs and activities. These include: the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Ocean Dumping Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA), the Emergency Planning Act, and the Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93953/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of the situation in the Arctic region. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87154/
Nanotechnology and Environmental, Health, and Safety: Issues for Consideration
This report identifies the potential environmental, health, and safety opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology; explains the importance of addressing nanotechnology EHS concerns; identifies and discusses nanotechnology EHS issues; and summarizes options for Congressional action, including the nanotechnology EHS-related provisions of selected legislation. The report also includes two appendices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87352/
Calculation of Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the Renewable Fuel Standard
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), significantly expanded the renewable fuel standard (RFS) established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005, P.L. 109-58). The RFS requires the use of 9.0 billion gallons of renewable fuel in 2008, increasing to 36 billion gallons in 2022. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87141/
Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: Status and Current Issues
This report describes several scientifically emerging animal biotechnologies that are raising a variety of questions concerning risks to humans, animals, and the environment, as well as ethical concerns. The report examines applications of the technologies and discusses major issues that may arise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87304/
Agriculture Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues
This report discusses issues regarding the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Underlying these issues is the question of whether U.S. regulation and oversight of biotechnology—with responsibilities spread primarily among the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87293/
Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues
This report describes the several types of waste streams that cruise ships may discharge and emit. It identifies the complex body of international and domestic laws that address pollution from cruise ships. It then describes federal and state legislative activity concerning cruise ships in Alaskan waters and activities in a few other states, as well as current industry initiatives to manage cruise ship pollution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87283/
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report examines 40 major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule and provides the EPA's estimates of costs and benefits where available. It provides background information on recent EPA regulatory activity to help address issues raised by this activity, as well as factors that will affect the timeframe in which these regulations will take place. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85388/
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
In the Summer of 2005, Congress focused on several Clean Air Act Issues before the August recess. Although the Congressional agenda stated that attention would be given to the needed amendments of the Clear Skies/Multi-Pollutant Legislation, this progress was stalled, and the committee failed to approve the bill due to a tied vote. This otherwise stagnated debate was given some attention due to the discussions over mercury regulations as they apply to power plants. The outcome of the decision concerning these regulations has stirred controversy in at least fifteen states. Perhaps the most debated issue that Congress covered concerned MTBE and Ethanol, which have been used to meet the Clean Air Act requirements that reformulated gasoline (RFG), sold in the nation’s worst ozone nonattainment areas, contain at least 2% oxygen, to improve combustion. Air quality standard deadlines and provisions, specifically in the most severe ozone nonattainment areas, were discussed by Congress. Discussions over the Clean Air Act also sparked discussions over environmental regulations concerning related issues, including the Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs, and Hurricane Katrina. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85367/
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
The courts and the executive branch face major decisions on clean air issues in 2006, with Congress more likely playing an oversight role. One focus is EPA's Jan. 17 2006 proposal to strengthen air quality standards for fine particles, which are estimated to cause tens of thousands of premature deaths annually. Whether the proposal is supported by the available science and what impact its implementation would have likely issues of concern. 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/metadc85366/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
The Coast Guard's proposed FY2013 budget includes $8 million in acquisition funding to initiate survey and design activities for a new polar icebreaker. The Coast Guard's Five Year Capital Investment Plan includes an additional $852 million in FY2014-FY2017 for acquiring the ship. The Coast Guard anticipates awarding a construction contract for the ship "within the next five years" and taking delivery on the ship "within a decade." The project to design and build a polar icebreaker is a new acquisition project initiated in the FY2013 budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85474/