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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/metadc847621/
The Endangered Species Act and "Sound Science"
This report provides a context for evaluating legislative proposals through examples of how science has been used in selected cases, a discussion of the nature and role of science in general, and its role in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) process in particular, together with general and agency information quality requirements and policies, and a review of how the courts have viewed agency use of science. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847791/
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/metadc847555/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847565/
Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: An Overview of Congressional Action
This report discusses the difficulty of assessing the impact of environmental requirements on military readiness, broader exemptions for military activities that Congress has enacted, and DOD's request for additional exemptions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847737/
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: Program Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996, which authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to protect public health. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847740/
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. Congress's 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/metadc847743/
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. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847749/
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the Clean Power Plan rule as it was finalized on August 3, 2015, before discussing how the ongoing litigation may potentially impact the rule and its deadlines. EPA faced a number of issues and questions while developing the regulations. This report describes how EPA answered these and other questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847767/
Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations
This report summarizes, in chronological order, congressional activity to fund items in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account since 1987. In appropriations legislation, funding for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) wastewater assistance is contained in the measure providing funds for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847776/
National Environmental Education Act of 1990: Overview, Implementation, and Reauthorization Issues
This report presents an overview of the National Environmental Education Act of 1990, discusses appropriations, examines the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) implementation of the act, and analyzes reauthorization issues relevant to legislation introduced in recent Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847780/
Safe Drinking Water Act: Implementation and Issues
This report discusses key drinking water issues in the 109th Congress, including 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847623/
Military Base Closures: Role and Costs of Environmental Cleanup
This report explains cleanup requirements for the transfer and reuse of properties on closed bases, discusses property transfer status and cleanup costs on bases closed in prior rounds, and examines estimates of costs to clean up bases to be closed in the 2005 round to make these properties safe for civilian reuse. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847635/
Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: Background and Issues for Congress
Over time, Congress has included exemptions in several environmental statutes to ensure that requirements of those statutes would not restrict military training needs to the extent that national security would be compromised. This report discusses these exemptions and congressional disagreement over the need for broader exemptions in the absence of data on the overall impact of environmental requirements on training and readiness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847636/
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
This report discusses various proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues include changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, reducing conflicts with Department of Defense activities, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847650/
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/metadc847663/
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/metadc847676/
The National Environmental Policy Act: Streamlining NEPA
This report discusses elements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321, et seq.) relevant to streamlining, issues associated with determining project delays attributed to NEPA, common streamlining methods, and recently proposed and enacted legislative and administrative streamlining activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847702/
Brownfields Tax Incentive Extension
This report discusses the brownfields tax incentive, which expires on December 31, 2007. Enacted in 1997, the provision allowed a taxpayer to fully deduct the costs of environmental cleanup in the year the costs were incurred, rather than spreading the costs over a period of years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847582/
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/
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 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/
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