Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Asian Carp and the Great Lakes Region
Four species of non-indigenous Asian carp are expanding their range in U.S. waterways, resulting in a variety of concerns and problems. Three species—bighead, silver, and black carp—are of particular note, based on the perceived degree of environmental concern. This report examines current controversy relating to what measures might be necessary and sufficient to prevent movement of Asian carp from the Mississippi River drainage into the Great Lakes through the Chicago Area Waterway System. Movement of Asian carp into the Great Lakes is ultimately of concern because increased numbers of carp in the Great Lakes increases the risk that Asian carp will establish reproducing populations in these waters. Bills have been introduced in the 111th Congress to direct actions to avoid the possibility of carp becoming established in the Great Lakes.
Gray Wolves Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA): Distinct Population Segments and Experimental Populations
This report looks at the distinct population segments (DPSs) process as it is applied to the gray wolf. It also reviews experimental populations of wolves under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and their protections.
Gray Wolves Under the Endangered Species Act: Distinct Population Segments and Experimental Populations
This report looks at the distinct population segments (DPSs) process as it is applied to the gray wolf. It also reviews experimental populations of wolves under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and their protections.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies for the 109th Congress
This report discusses the ongoing debate about whether or not to approve energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Current law forbids energy leasing in the Refuge. This report addresses several legislative options on the issue, as well as policymakers' arguments for and against development, especially in the wake of increasing terrorism since 2000-2001.
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. Nevertheless, critics view this system as lacking the organization and resources to adequately combat foodborne illness, which sickens an estimated 76 million people and kills an estimated 5,000 each year in this country. The 110th Congress may face calls for a review of federal food safety agencies and authorities, and proposals for reorganizing them. Among the issues likely to arise are whether reform can improve oversight, and the cost to industry, consumers, and taxpayers. This report provides a brief introduction to the system and the debate on whether reorganization is needed.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Legislative Actions Through the 109th Congress
This report is intended to provide a summary of legislative attempts to address issues of energy development and preservation in the Refuge from the 95th Congress through the 109th Congress, with emphasis on the 107th through 109th Congresses.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
This report identifies additional bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address specific concerns related to how the Endangered Species Act (ESA is implemented and how endangered species are managed, and will be updated periodically to reflect legislative action.
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or “Mad Cow Disease”): Current and Proposed Safeguards
This report presents an overview of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow disease”) in the United States. Shortly after the first case of BSE was announced, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other officials announced measures to improve existing safeguards against the introduction and spread of BSE. This report discusses trade restrictions, the live-stock “feed ban”, as well as the BSE surveillance and testing in cattle.
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 109th Congress
Fish and marine mammals are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas; many federal laws and regulations guide their management. This report discusses a variety of laws and legislation pertaining to this issue.
The Endangered Species Act: A Primer
The discussion on this report is expanded for four aspects of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its implementation that have raised concerns and promoted debate—listing species, designating critical habitat, consulting on projects, and exempting projects.
Polar Bears: Proposed Listing Under the Endangered Species Act
This report discusses the proposed listing of polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA; 16 U.S.C. §§1531 et seq.), which highlights the intersection of two significant issues currently before Congress — climate change and species protection.
BSE (“Mad Cow Disease”): A Brief Overview
The appearance of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or “mad cow disease”) in North America in 2003 raised meat safety concerns and disrupted trade for cattle and beef producers. A major issue for Congress has been how to rebuild foreign confidence in the safety of U.S. beef and regain lost markets like Japan and Korea. Among other issues are whether additional measures are needed to further protect the public and cattle herd, and concerns over the relative costs and benefits of such measures for consumers, taxpayers and industry.
Proposed Changes to Regulations Governing Consultation Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
This report discusses the purpose of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which is threefold: to provide a means to conserve ecosystems upon which endangered and threatened species depend; to provide a program to protect those species; and to take steps to achieve the purposes of related treaties and conventions.
Endangered Species Act (ESA) Issues Regarding Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead
The construction and operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) have reduced salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia Basin. This report discusses the federal regulation of this system under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
International Illegal Trade in Wildlife: Threats and U.S. Policy
This report focuses on the international trade in terrestrial fauna, largely excluding trade in illegal plants, including timber, and fish. Potential issues for Congress include (1) determining funding for trade inspection and investigation; (2) evaluating effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid to combat wildlife trafficking; (3) developing ways to encourage regulation of the wildlife trade; (4) trade sanctions to penalize weak enforcement of wildlife laws; (5) incorporating wildlife trade provisions into free trade agreements; and (6) addressing the domestic and international demand for illegal wildlife.
Invasive Species: Issues in Brief
This report discusses issues for congress regarding whether new legislative authorities and funding are needed to address issues related to invasive species and their increasing economic and ecological impacts on such disparate matters as power plant operations, grazing lands, and coral reef fishes.
Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder
This report provides an overview of the importance of honey bee pollination to U.S. agricultural production, especially specialty crops. It describes the extent and symptoms of Colony Colapse Disorder (CCD) and how it differs from previous honey bee colony losses, describing some of the reasons why scientists believe honey bee colonies are being affected by CCD. Finally, the report discusses policy options and actions that Congress has taken to address this issue.
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets.
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets.
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets.
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Coastal Wetland and Wildlife Impacts and Response
The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, and the resulting oil spill began a cascade of effects on the coastal areas of the Gulf and on the wealth of species that inhabit those areas. This report addresses the importance of wetlands in general, the ecology of the coastal wetlands in the Gulf, impacts of oil spills on wetland habitats, response options, the implications of hurricane season for the spill's impacts, and cleanup and recovery issues. The emphasis is on the nearshore environment, although a few species found in deeper waters will be mentioned. In addition, some lessons from past spills such as the Exxon Valdez in Alaska will be discussed, along with issues that may arise as response and recovery transition to restoration of the Gulf.
Asian Carp and the Great Lakes Region
This report provides an overview of four species of non-indigenous Asian carp that are expanding their range in U.S. waterways, resulting in a variety of concerns and problems. This report details the environmental and economic threats from this invasion, as well as ways to combat the spread of Asian carp in U.S. water.
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. This report discusses various food safety proposals in Congress, as well as agencies with food safety related responsibilities.
Asian Carp and the Great Lakes Region
This report discusses four species of non-indigenous Asian carp that are expanding their range in U.S. waterways, resulting in a variety of concerns and problems. Three species--bighead, silver, and black carp--are of particular note, based on the perceived degree of environmental concern. Current controversy relates to what measures might be necessary and sufficient to prevent movement of Asian carp from the Mississippi River drainage into the Great Lakes through the Chicago Area Waterway System. Bills have been introduced in the 111th Congress to direct actions to avoid the possibility of carp becoming established in the Great Lakes.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 111th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
This report discusses oversight issues and legislation introduced in the 111th Congress to address Endangered Species Act (ESA) implementation and management of endangered and threatened species.
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview
This report identifies a number of issues related to establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) in the United States. It begins by defining the concept and administrative actions taken to provide spatial protection in marine areas. It then considers some of the key issues and potential benefits and costs of designating additional MPAs. It concludes by summarizing current congressional interest in the topic and legislation proposed during the 110th Congress.
International Illegal Trade in Wildlife: Threats and U.S. Policy
This report addresses illegal wildlife trade through several national and international venues and how this trade presents several potential environmental and national security threats to the United States. It also focuses on the international trade in terrestrial fauna, largely excluding trade in illegal plants, including timber, and fish.
Endangered Species Act and Legal Issues Regarding Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead
This report discusses the resident fish, such as bull trout and Kootenai River white sturgeon, which are listed as threatened and endangered respectively under the ESA are affected by the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). This report focuses on Endangered Species Act (ESA) actions and litigation related to these species.
Animal Drug User Fee Programs
This report discusses aspects of the Animal Drug User Fee Act of 2003 (ADUFA I), including funding and program performance; the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) ADUFA II and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act of 2008 (AGDUFA) proposals; congressional activity; and other relevant issues.
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
This report discusses concerns about food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
Asian Carp and the Great Lakes Region
This report provides an overview of four species of non-indigenous Asian carp that are expanding their range in U.S. waterways, resulting in a variety of concerns and problems. This report details the environmental and economic threats from this invasion, as well as ways to combat the spread of Asian carp in U.S. water.
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Report concerning food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
International Illegal Trade in Wildlife: Threats and U.S. Policy
Report that focuses on the international trade in terrestrial fauna, largely excluding trade in illegal plants, including timber, and fish.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the diminishment of Arctic sea ice, the ensuing increase in human activities in the Arctic, and concerns about the region's future. It provides overviews of: 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, competition, or conflict.
Asian Carp and the Great Lakes Region
Four species of non-indigenous Asian carp are expanding their range in U.S. waterways, resulting in a variety of concerns and problems. This report details the environmental and economic threats from this invasion, as well as ways to combat the spread of Asian carp in U.S. water.
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Gulf of Mexico Fishing Industry
This report summarizes information related to damages caused by the Deepwater oil spill to Gulf fisheries and efforts to mitigate these damages.
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.
Asian Carp and the Great Lakes Region
Four species of non-indigenous Asian carp are expanding their range in U.S. waterways, resulting in a variety of concerns and problems. This report details the environmental and economic threats from this invasion, as well as ways to combat the spread of Asian carp in U.S. water.
Humane Treatment of Farm Animals: Overview and Issues
This report provides an overview of the debate and legislation to modify or curtail some practices regarding animal care on the farm, during transport, or at slaughter.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, including sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered species; and increased military operations in the region. It includes background information on the region and on a variety of issues for which Congress may want to consider legislation.
Polar Bears: Listing Under the Endangered Species Act
This report discusses the protection of polar bears under the Endangered Species Act and how they are affected by climate change, contaminants, and subsistence and sport hunting.
Gray Wolves Under the Endangered Species Act: Distinct Population Segments and Experimental Populations
This report looks at the distinct population segments (DPS) process as it is applied to the gray wolf. It also reviews experimental populations of wolves under the ESA and their protections.
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.
Does the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Listing Provide More Protection of the Polar Bear?
This report discusses the polar bear that has been protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) since 1972. The polar bear was listed because the bear's primary habitat of sea ice was threatened with destruction due to global climate change.
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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section.
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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section.
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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section.
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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of the situation in the Arctic region. 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. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region.
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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section.