Congressional Research Service Reports - 94 Matching Results

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Statutory Modifications of the Application of NEPA

Description: From time to time, Congress has considered the operation of the National Environmental Policy Act. While Congress has amended the statute itself only twice since its enactment, Congress has often enacted provisions that modify the application of the Act or specify the extent of the documents that need be prepared in particular instances or contexts. This report collects and lists examples of such provisions.
Date: May 1, 1998
Creator: Baldwin, Pamela
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Market-Based Environmental Management: Issues in Implementation

Description: Increasingly, efforts to protect integral features of the natural environment that are essential to human well being face a double challenge. First, the magnitude of some conventional and emerging threats to environmental quality is growing, despite solid progress in controlling some causes. This is particularly the concern on a global scale in terms of atmospheric changes and loss of biological diversity. Second, easily-implemented uniform control methods using feasible technologies or other direct regulatory approaches are already in place for many pollution and resource management problems in the United States. Additional progress with so-called command and control policies can be expensive and disruptive, and thus counter productive to overall economic well being. This type of dilemma is common where environmental deterioration results from diffuse and complex causes inherent in technically-advanced high-consumption industrial societies such as the U.S. Solutions to these types of environmental problems are complicated by the diffuse benefits which obscures the net gains of additional controls that have concentrated and highly visible costs. Given this double bind, many policy analysts and academics have for years advocated more cost-effective and flexible approaches relying on market forces to further some environmental management objectives. Although market-based theory and practical environmental policy are still far apart, the incremental approach to environmental policymaking since the late seventies has resulted in some market-type innovations within traditional regulatory frameworks at all levels of government. The most prominent examples are the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) air emissions trading program and the recently enacted sulfur dioxide allowance trading program under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.
Date: March 7, 1994
Creator: Moore, John L.; Blodgett, John E.; Copeland, Claudia; Gushee, David E.; Mayer, Susan L.; McCarthy, James E. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Endangered Species Act and Private Property

Description: If the 103rd Congress embarks upon an effort to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it will run into an old acquaintance: the property rights issue. As now written, the ESA has at least the potential to curtail property rights (whatever its actual impact as implemented may be). This report explores the legal repercussions of those impacts, especially whether they constitute takings of property under the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Date: March 7, 1993
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade and Environment: Treatment in Recent Agreements--GATT and NAFTA

Description: This report reviews some of the concerns surrounding the environment work program and other environmental issues. It briefly describes work underway in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and current thinking underlying development of U.S. positions on trade and the environment in the GATT.
Date: February 24, 1994
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R. & Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Issues in the 105th Congress

Description: For the 105th Congress, reauthorization of the Clean Water Act may be a priority in the second session. The Act was last amended in 1987 and authorizations expired on Sept. 30, 1990. Clean water was a priority for the last two Congresses, but no legislation was enacted. In the 104th Congress, the House passed a comprehensive reauthorization bill, but during House debate and subsequently, controversies arose over whether and how the Act should be made more flexible and less burdensome on regulated entities. Issues likely to be of interest again in the 105th Congress include funding, overall flexibility and regulatory reform of water quality programs, and measures to address polluted runoff from farms and city streets.
Date: August 21, 1997
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Issues in the 104th Congress

Description: For the 104th Congress, reauthorization of the Clean Water Act would seem likely to be a priority, since the Act was last amended in 1987 and authorizations expired on September 30, 1990. But legislative prospects in the 104th Congress are uncertain. Clean water also was a priority for the 103rd Congress, but, in 1994, Congress ran out of time and did not act on comprehensive amendments. Many of the issues proved to be too complex and controversial to be resolved easily, while Congress also was considering a large agenda of environmental and other bills. Controversies arose in connection with issues specific to the Clean Water Act and a trio of regulatory relief issues that became barriers to a number of bills in the 103rd Congress.
Date: December 1, 1994
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deforestation: An Overview of Global Programs and Agreements

Description: In recent years, global environmental concerns have figured prominently on the American political agenda. In particular, tropical deforestation and its implications for global climate change and biological diversity loss have prompted public outcry. Concerns have since grown to include other forest types as well. The Congress has considered a variety of legislation to stem the tide of increasing deforestation and the United States has supported a number of bilateral and multilateral initiatives to assist other countries in managing their forest resources.
Date: October 21, 1992
Creator: Lyke, Julie & Fletcher, Susan R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environment and the World Trade Organization (WTO) at Seattle: Issues and Concerns

Description: This meeting of the decision making body of the WTO was expected to make decisions that would lead to another round of negotiations on a wide variety of trade rules and related issues. Although the United States continues to assert the necessity of pursuing the twin goals of free trade and environmental protection and to argue that these need not be in conflict, controversy remains over how the multilateral trading system should address the specifics of environmental issues.
Date: December 21, 1999
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Brownfields Program: Cleaning Up Urban Industrial Sites

Description: The Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative is a pilot project to return idle or underused industrial and commercial facilities back to productive use, in situations where redevelopment is complicated by potential environmental contamination. The program is flexible, allowing cities to use a variety of approaches in utilizing grants of up to $200,000 to develop abandoned and underused sites, neighborhoods, and small regional areas. States and Indian tribes are eligible as well as local governments.
Date: April 3, 1995
Creator: Reisch, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Protection Agency FY1996 Appropriations: Analyses of House-Passed Riders

Description: On July 31, 1995, in passing H.R.2099, the VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriation Bill for FY1996, the House approved numerous legislative riders, or provisions in bill language, which would prohibit EPA from spending FY1996 funds on a number of regulatory and enforcement activities. In passing H.R. 2099 on September 27, 1995, the Senate did not accept the House-passed riders but did include several other riders. On November 2, 1995, the House approved a motion to instruct the House conferees to strike the 17 major House-passed riders.
Date: November 3, 1995
Creator: Lee, Martin R.; Copeland, Claudia; Mayer, Susan L.; McCarthy, James E.; Schierow, Linda-Jo; Tiemann, Mary et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department