Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Transportation Conformity Under the Clean Air Act

Description: This report explains the Clean Air Act requirement that federal departments and agencies demonstrate that their activities--including projects that they fund--"conform" to state plans for achieving air quality standards. The report explains the statutory requirements, reviews the recent history of their implementation, and examines how conformity requirements might affect areas designated "nonattainment" for a revised ozone air quality standard.
Date: May 21, 2015
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air Issues in the 114th Congress: An Overview

Description: This report discusses regulatory actions that have recently received attention in the 114th Congress including EPA's proposed regulations on the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from power plants, and a proposed revision of the ambient air quality standard for ozone.
Date: May 12, 2015
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?

Description: This report discusses some factors taken into account when considering whether biopower is carbon neutral. It does not discuss carbon accounting for other bioenergy pathways.
Date: February 19, 2015
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

Description: This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration. It examines 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 rules not yet promulgated (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Date: January 8, 2015
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality: EPA's 2013 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard

Description: This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) January 15, 2013, final and June 2012 proposed changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and includes comparisons with previous (1997 and 2006) promulgated and proposed standards. Key actions leading up to the agency's determination, and potential issues and concerns associated with changing the Particulate Matter annual standard, are also highlighted.
Date: January 7, 2015
Creator: Esworthy, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision

Description: This report discusses the standard-setting process, the specifics of the current and most recent reviews, and issues that may be raised as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brings the current review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to completion.
Date: January 5, 2015
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Description: This report discusses the basic methodology of life-cycle assessments and compares several of the publicly-available studies of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data for Canadian oil sands crudes against each other and against those of other global reference crudes.
Date: December 30, 2014
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Recent Trends and Factors

Description: A question for policy makers is whether U.S. GHG emissions will remain at current levels, decrease to meet the President's 2020 and 2025 goals, or increase to former (or even higher) levels. Multiple factors, including socioeconomics, technology, and climate policies, may impact GHG emission levels. The first section of this report provides current levels and recent trends in U.S. GHG emissions. The second section takes a closer look at some of the key factors that influence emission levels. The third section discusses the challenges in making GHG emission projections by comparing observed emissions with pre-observed emission estimates.
Date: November 24, 2014
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Lessons Learned and Issues for Policy Makers

Description: The first section of this report provides an overview of the RGGI cap-and-trade program and the participating RGGI states. The subsequent sections discuss selected issues raised by RGGI that may be of interest to policy makers. The final section provides some final observations that may be instructive to policy makers.
Date: November 14, 2014
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Upcoming Ozone Standard: How Much Will Compliance Cost?

Description: This report briefly discusses upcoming changes in climate policy and cost associated with them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under a court order to complete a review of its ambient air quality standard for ozone (the "ozone NAAQS") by October 1, 2015. The agency must propose any change to the standard by December 1 of [2014].
Date: October 15, 2014
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision

Description: This report discusses the standard-setting process, the specifics of the current and most recent reviews, and issues that may be raised as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brings the current review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to completion.
Date: October 3, 2014
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA’s Air Compliance Agreement

Description: This report discusses a plan announced by EPA in January 2005, called the Air Compliance Agreement, that would produce air quality monitoring data on animal agriculture emissions from a small number of farms, while at the same time protecting all participants (including farms where no monitoring takes place) through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws.
Date: August 18, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

President Obama's Climate Action Plan

Description: This report discusses President Obama's Climate Action Plan (CAP) to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG), and to encourage adaptation to expected climate change.
Date: May 28, 2014
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards

Description: This report discusses the gas emission and fuel standards for tier 3 motor vehicle. Emission requirements for new motor vehicles have been strengthened numerous times since the first federal rulemaking took effect in 1968.
Date: April 28, 2014
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K. & McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department