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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision: A Chronology
This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions taken in the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA. In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Court held that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute "air pollutants" as that phrase is used in the Clean Air Act (CAA). As a result, said the Court, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had improperly denied a petition seeking CAA regulation of GHGs from new motor vehicles by saying the agency lacked authority over such emissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490869/
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court’s Climate Change Decision: A Chronology
This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions related to environmental concerns following the decision of Massachusetts v. EPA; it particularly looks at actions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court held that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute “air pollutants” as that phrase is used in the Clean Air Act (CAA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99015/
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision: A Chronology
This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions, mainly by the Environmental Protection Agencey (EPA), in the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA. In this case, the Court held that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute “air pollutants” as that phrase is used in the Clean Air Act (CAA). As a result, said the Court, the U.S. EPA had improperly denied a petition seeking CAA regulation of GHGs from new motor vehicles by saying the agency lacked authority over such emissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103082/
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology
This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions related to environmental concerns following the decision of Massachusetts v. EPA; it particularly looks at actions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court held that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute "air pollutants" as that phrase is used in the Clean Air Act (CAA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463370/
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology
This report offers a chronology of major federal agency actions, mainly by EPA, that involve GHGs or climate change and that occurred in the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA, a ruling that greenhouse gases are "air pollutants" via the Clean Air Act. As such, they are not under the EPA's jurisdiction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85381/
Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill that began on April 20, 2010 lead Congress to give attention to the compensatory liability provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and, to a lesser extent, those of the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. However, federal laws possibly relevant to the oil spill also impose civil and criminal money penalties, which may reach dollar amounts in connection with the Gulf spill greater than those for compensatory liability. This report summarizes selected federal civil and criminal penalty provisions that may be found violated in connection with the Gulf spill and related worker fatalities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491353/
Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20, 2010, Congress has given much attention to the compensatory liability provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and, to a lesser extent, those of the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. However, federal laws possibly relevant to the oil spill also impose civil and criminal money penalties, which may reach dollar amounts in connection with the Gulf spill greater than those for compensatory liability. This report summarizes selected federal civil and criminal penalty provisions that may be found violated in connection with the Gulf spill and related worker fatalities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490934/
Federal Responses to International Conflict and Terrorism: Property Rights Issues
This report reveals that based on case law to date, Takings Clause limits on federal response to international threats appear to be few, but most certainly do exist – chiefly when private property is impressed into military service not in the theater of actual war. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822593/
The Future of the Citizen Suit After Steel Co. and Laidlaw
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"Innocent Landowners" and "Prospective Purchasers" in the Superfund Act
The Superfund Act contains several devices that eliminate the liability or reduce the transaction costs normally incurred under the Act by persons that acquire contaminated land. This report focuses on three of them, two addressed in the recently enacted brownfields law (P.L. 107-118). The first device is the innocent-landowner defense, available to persons who acquire land after the hazardous substance is put there, and who (among other things) find no contamination before acquisition despite “all appropriate inquiry.” The second device allows use of innocent-landowner status as a basis for early de minimis settlement with EPA. The third exempts the “bona fide prospective purchaser” from “owner” and “operator” liability despite pre-acquisition awareness of contamination on the property, if certain conditions are met. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3392/
Insurance and Climate Change: Do Governments Have a Duty to Protect Property Owners?
This legal sidebar discusses the climate change in context of federal and private insurers. One of the many insurance company concerns is whether the government can be held liable for not putting in place adequate infrastructure to protect against property damage from climate-change-related extreme weather. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795696/
International Conflict and Property Rights: Fifth Amendment "Takings" Issues
This report discusses the international conflict and property rights. After the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon has raised the possibility of responses by the United States that impinge on private property, and, in turn, the possibility of claims under the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6996/
Key Historical Court Decisions Shaping EPA’s Program Under the Clean Air Act
This report provides a selective overview of court decisions that historically have most shaped EPA’s program under the Clean Air Act (CAA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820846/
The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)
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The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)
This report deals solely with the liability provisions of S. 350, found in Title II of the bill. (The manager’s amendment does not concern these.) These provisions cover three types of innocent parties: (1) owners of properties contaminated from contiguous properties, (2) prospective purchasers, and (3) innocent landowners. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10009/
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance
This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491395/
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance
There are five common law/nuisance suits addressing climate change now or formerly active. Of the three no longer active, none were successful. Of the two still-active cases, one has recently leaped to center stage because the Supreme Court agreed to hear it. In Connecticut v. American Electric Power Co., Inc., eight states sued five utility companies alleged to be emitting the most GHGs in the nation through their coal-fired electric power plants. Following a Second Circuit decision, the Supreme Court agreed on December 6, 2010, to resolve threshold issues in this case. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40110/
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance
This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29637/
The Pendulum Swings Back: Standing Doctrine After
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Preemption Language in Federal Environmental Statutes
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"Property Rights" Bills Take a Process Approach: H.R. 992 and H.R. 1534
In the 105th Congress, the property rights agenda has shifted from "compensation" to "process" bills. While the former would ease the standards for when property owners harmed by government action are compensated, the new approach simply streamlines how federal courts handle such claims. This report examines the three leading process bills -- H.R. 992, House-passed H.R. 1534, and Senate-reported H.R. 1534. The bills embody two process approaches: allowing property owners suing the United States to bring invalidation and compensation claims in the same court, and lowering abstention and ripeness barriers when suing local governments in federal court for property rights violations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs571/
Property Rights: Comparison of H.R. 9 as Passed and S. 605 as Reported
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Property Rights: House Judiciary Committee Reports H.R. 2372
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The Property Rights Implementation Act of 1998
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The Property Rights Issue
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Property Rights "Takings": Justice O'Connor's Opinions
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Right to a Clean Environment Provisions in State Constitutions, and Arguments as to a Federal Counterpart
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Superfund Act Reauthorization: Liability Provisions of Leading Congressional Proposals
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The Supreme Court Accepts Five Environmental Cases During Its 2008-2009 Term
In the Supreme Court's 2008-2009 term, which likely will conclude in late June, 2009, the Court has accepted for argument five environmental cases--an unusually large number out of the roughly 85 cases accepted for argument. The reason for this interest in environmental cases at this particular time is speculative; the Court generally does not explain why it accepts cases. This report reviews the cases, decided and undecided, and then briefly comments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462077/
The Supreme Court Accepts Five Environmental Cases During Its 2008-2009 Term
In the Supreme Court's 2008-2009 term, which likely will conclude in late June, 2009, the Court has accepted for argument five environmental cases—an unusually large number out of the roughly 85 cases accepted for argument. The reason for this interest in environmental cases at this particular time is speculative; the Court generally does not explain why it accepts cases. This report reviews the cases, decided and undecided, and then briefly comments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87140/
Takings Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court: A Chronology
This report is a reverse chronological listing of U.S. Supreme Court decisions addressing claims that a government entity has "taken" private property, as that term is used in the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271986/
Takings Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court: A Chronology
This report is a reverse chronological listing of U.S. Supreme Court decisions addressing claims that a government entity has "taken" private property, as that term is used in the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. A scattering of related, non-takings decisions is also included. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83830/
Takings Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court: A Chronology
This report is a reverse chronological listing of U.S. Supreme Court decisions addressing claims that a government entity has "taken" private property, as that term is used in the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743562/
Wetlands Regulation and the Law of Property Rights "Takings"
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When Congressional Legislation Interferes with Existing Contracts: Legal Issues
This report surveys the legal theories invoked when laws enacted by Congress interfere with contracts entered into before enactment, prompting suits against the United States by disappointed contract parties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122231/
The Supreme Court Addresses Corps of Engineers Jurisdiction Over "Isolated Waters": The SWANCC Decision
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The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos and Carabell
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The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos and Carabell
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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 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/
Clean Air Standards: The Supreme Court Agrees to Review
In May, 2000, the Supreme Court agreed to review this decision, raising the prospect of a major pronouncement on the non-delegation doctrine, the enforceability of the revised ozone standard, and the role of compliance costs in setting nationwide air quality standards. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1128/
The D.C. Circuit Remands the Ozone and Particulate Matter Clean-Air Standards:
On May 14, 1999, in American Trucking Ass'ns v. EPA, a U.S. court of Appeals ruled that deficiencies in EPA's promulgation of new primary and secondary air quality standards required that they be remanded to the agency for further consideration. The decision is controversial, in part because the two-judge majority opinion relied principally on a long-moribund legal doctrine known as the nondelegation doctrine. The decision, if it survives appeal, will thus have implications for all delegations of congressional authority to agencies. In addition, its holding that the revised ozone ambient standard cannot be enforced has sparkled debate. By itself, however, the decision is unlikely to have major short-term effects on the ozone and particulate matter control programs digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs937/
The Supreme Court Upholds EPA Standard-Setting Under the Clean Air Act:
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Concurrent Enrollment Programs
Initiated in part as a proposal to reform U.S. high schools, concurrent enrollment programs enable high school aged students to take college level course work and receive college credit while enrolled in high school. Concurrent enrollment programs can be best described as a secondary/postsecondary school hybrid. This report provides a brief history of these programs and a description of the different types of programs, including participation data. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10197/
Federal Pell Grants: Implications of Increasing the Maximum Award
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Federal Student Aid Need Analysis System: Background, Description, and Legislative Action
A federal need analysis system underlies the annual allocation of billions of dollars (more than $73 billion in FY2005) in student financial aid supported by Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) (P.L. 89-329, as amended). The system has regularly been characterized by many as too complex, creating a barrier for students seeking financial assistance, especially low-income students. This report provides an overview of the federal need analysis system, including a discussion of recent legislative changes and proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8278/
Issues Raised by Hurricane Katrina: A Focus On Education and Training
This report provides a general overview of the federally funded programs administered by the Department of Education (ED) that can be used to help those affected by this disaster, and the existing statutory and regulatory authorities available to assist individuals who have been affected by a major disaster, where applicable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7903/
Medicare Beneficiary Access to Care: The Effects of New Prospective Payment Systems on Outpatient Hospital Care, Home Health Care, and Skilled Nursing Facility Care
This report discusses the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA 97), which required that prospective payment systems replace retrospective cost-based reimbursement systems for Medicare beneficiaries receiving care in hospital outpatient departments, from home health care agencies, and in skilled nursing facilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1047/
Medicaid Reimbursement Policy
This report begins with a summary of basic federal requirements applicable to payments for all services and an overview of major developments in federal Medicaid reimbursement policy over the last 20 years. This overview provides a historical context for current policies and highlights some issues that have been perennial concerns for federal and state policymakers. The next four sections of the report provide a detailed discussion of Medicaid reimbursement for four basic categories of services or providers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821969/
Brazil: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current political and economic situation in Brazil, and examines the U.S.'s commercial relationship with the country. The United States traditionally has enjoyed robust economic and political relations with Brazil, which is the seventh-largest economy in the world and is recognized by the Obama Administration as a "major global player" and an "indispensable partner" on issues ranging from international development to climate change. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770630/