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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
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/
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/
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/metadc795633/
EPA's New Ozone Standards: A Few Thoughts
This report discusses the EPA's review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). After several years of analysis, EPA proposed more stringent standards last November. This began a public comment period, leading toward the final decision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795631/
Are Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rising More Rapidly Than Expected?
This report discusses the recent emissions estimates with the greenhouse gas (GHG) and addresses the question, are carbon dioxide emissions rising more rapidly than expected? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795558/
Conservation Compliance and U.S. Farm Policy
This report discusses various provisions designed to reduce production and conserve soil and water resources. Many of the provisions remain in effect today, including the two compliance provisions--highly erodible land conservation (sodbuster) and wetland conservation (swampbuster). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795580/
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 11th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
This report discusses U.S. policy toward global climate change, which evolved from a "study only" to a more "study and action" orientation in 1992 with ratification of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795598/
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/metadc795814/
EPA and the Army Corps' "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options
This report discusses four legislative options that Congress could consider to halt or redirect the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineer's proposed "waters of the United States" rule. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795894/
U.S. Global Climate Change Policy: Evolving Views on Cost, Competitiveness, and Comprehensiveness
This report discusses U.S. policy toward global climate change, which evolved from a "study only" to a more "study and action" orientation in 1992 with ratification of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795805/
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/metadc795890/
International Climate Change Negotiations: What to Expect in Paris, December 2015
This report identifies critical issues regarding the expected Paris Agreement and a Decision that would give effect to the Agreement. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) draws on the draft negotiating texts, publicly available reports, and commentaries to suggest likely outcomes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795889/
EPA and the Army Corps' Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
This report describes the final revised rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA)--which the agencies refer to as the Clean Water Rule--and includes a table comparing the existing regulatory language that defines "waters of the United States" with the revisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795373/
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): FY2016 Appropriations
This report presents a discussion of the FY2015 enacted appropriations and requested funding for FY2016 for selected EPA programs and activities highlighted in the congressional debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795353/
EPA and the Army Corps' "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options
This report discusses four legislative options that Congress could consider to halt or redirect the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineer's proposed "waters of the United States" rule. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795909/
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/metadc795720/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795703/
Climate Change: Federal Laws and Policies Related to Greenhouse Gas Reductions
This report provides background on the evolution of U.S. climate change policy, from ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to the George W. Bush Administration's 2001 rejection of the Kyoto Protocol to the present. The report focuses on major regulatory programs that monitor or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with their estimated effect on emissions levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795746/
EPA Policies Concerning Integrated Planning and Affordability of Water Infrastructure
This report examines recent initiatives by EPA, an integrated planning policy and a framework policy for assessing a community's financial capability to meet objectives and requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795712/
Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues
This report provides an overview of the rationale for the 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, and summarizes congressional reaction to these proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795755/
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, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795739/
EPA's Final Health and Safety Standard for Yucca Mountain
This report discusses the awaited revision of the 2001 Public Health and Safety Standard for the proposed Yucca Mountain deep geologic repository, high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795781/
EPA's Clean Power Plan: Highlights of the Final Rule
This report provides an initial analysis of EPA's final rule -- a prepublication version, known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), pursuant to Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act -- summarizing highlights and identifying differences between the final and proposed rules. The topics discussed do not represent an exhaustive list of the differences from the proposed rule or the support or opposition that may be raised by various stakeholders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770529/
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 operational U.S. polar icebreaking fleet currently consists of one heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Star, and one medium polar icebreaker, Healy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770570/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on sustaining and modernizing 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/metadc743412/
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. Issues 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 could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743426/
Microbeads: An Emerging Water Quality Issue
This report discusses the debate over how to address growing environmental concerns regarding microbeads (synthetic particles made of either polyethylene or polypropylene plastic) and whether federal regulation to control or ban them is needed. A number of companies are voluntarily removing microbeads from their products, and some states--eight so far--have passed laws to ban manufacture and sale of products with microbeads. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743608/
Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorizations, Appropriations, and Activities
This report summarizes congressional authorization and appropriations processes for the Army Corps of Engineers and agency activities under general authorities. Congress directs the Corps through authorizations, appropriations, and oversight of its studies, construction projects, and other activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743640/
Gold King Mine Spill May Renew Interest in "Good Samaritan" Legislation
This report discusses legislation related to an accidental spill from the Gold King Mine, a long-abandoned gold mine site in Colorado, which released acid mine drainage (AMD) wastewater into a tributary of the Animas River and downstream to the San Juan River. The proposed legislation would authorize Good Samaritan remediation, in which third parties who have no history of polluting at a particular site or legal responsibility for its pollution step forward to clean up AMD or other historic mine residue of pollution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743541/
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/metadc743419/
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard
This report discusses the environmental activities of the U.S. Coast Guard, which fall within the service's program for protection of natural resources, and consist of maritime oil spill prevention, marine debris, and pollution response preparedness. Protection of living marine resources and fisheries also falls in this category, but is not discussed here. Marine environmental protection is one of six "non-homeland security missions" specified in the Homeland Security Act of 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700590/
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