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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology

Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology

Date: August 29, 2013
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology

Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology

Date: May 1, 2012
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Date: December 16, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Date: August 16, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Responses to International Conflict and Terrorism: Property Rights Issues

Federal Responses to International Conflict and Terrorism: Property Rights Issues

Date: October 6, 2004
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Future of the Citizen Suit After Steel Co. and Laidlaw

The Future of the Citizen Suit After Steel Co. and Laidlaw

Date: January 5, 1999
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Innocent Landowners" and "Prospective Purchasers" in the Superfund Act

"Innocent Landowners" and "Prospective Purchasers" in the Superfund Act

Date: March 6, 2002
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Insurance and Climate Change: Do Governments Have a Duty to Protect Property Owners?

Insurance and Climate Change: Do Governments Have a Duty to Protect Property Owners?

Date: October 16, 2014
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
International Conflict and Property Rights: Fifth Amendment "Takings" Issues

International Conflict and Property Rights: Fifth Amendment "Takings" Issues

Date: December 5, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Key Historical Court Decisions Shaping EPA’s Program Under the Clean Air Act

Key Historical Court Decisions Shaping EPA’s Program Under the Clean Air Act

Date: August 22, 2014
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: This report provides a selective overview of court decisions that historically have most shaped EPA’s program under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)

The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)

Date: June 15, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)

The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)

Date: June 15, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Date: May 9, 2011
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Date: November 19, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Pendulum Swings Back: Standing Doctrine After

The Pendulum Swings Back: Standing Doctrine After

Date: March 14, 2000
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Preemption Language in Federal Environmental Statutes

Preemption Language in Federal Environmental Statutes

Date: July 29, 1999
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Property Rights" Bills Take a Process Approach: H.R. 992 and H.R. 1534

"Property Rights" Bills Take a Process Approach: H.R. 992 and H.R. 1534

Date: June 24, 1998
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Property Rights: Comparison of H.R. 9 as Passed and S. 605 as Reported

Property Rights: Comparison of H.R. 9 as Passed and S. 605 as Reported

Date: March 7, 1996
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Property Rights: House Judiciary Committee Reports H.R. 2372

Property Rights: House Judiciary Committee Reports H.R. 2372

Date: March 10, 2000
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Property Rights Implementation Act of 1998

The Property Rights Implementation Act of 1998

Date: July 10, 1998
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Property Rights Issue

The Property Rights Issue

Date: January 20, 1995
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Property Rights "Takings": Justice O'Connor's Opinions

Property Rights "Takings": Justice O'Connor's Opinions

Date: August 19, 2005
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Right to a Clean Environment Provisions in State Constitutions, and Arguments as to a Federal Counterpart

Right to a Clean Environment Provisions in State Constitutions, and Arguments as to a Federal Counterpart

Date: February 23, 1999
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department