Congressional Research Service Reports - 797 Matching Results

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Constitutional Constraints on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment

Description: Federal protection of the environment must hew to the same constitutional strictures as any other federal actions. In the past decade, however, the Supreme Court has invigorated several of these strictures in ways that present new challenges to congressional drafters of environmental statutes. This report reviews six of these newly emergent constitutional areas, with special attention to their significance for current and future environmental legislation.
Date: September 8, 2000
Creator: Meltz, Robert
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

The Environmental Opinions of Judge Samuel Alito

Description: This report is based on a review of all the reported environmental decisions of the Third Circuit in which Judge Alito was on the three-judge panel that initially decided the case, or in the en banc group of judges that heard the case on review of the panel decision. It does not confine itself, as did the recently reported Washington Post study, to Third Circuit opinions in which there was a dissent.2 We construe “environmental” broadly to include insurance coverage, Fourth Amendment, and other issues arising in an environmental context — and included 34 decisions in our review.
Date: January 6, 2006
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: May 1, 2012
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: August 16, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: June 15, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: November 19, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos v. United States

Description: 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.
Date: September 12, 2006
Creator: Meltz, Robert & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act Is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos v. United States

Description: 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.
Date: April 22, 2008
Creator: Meltz, Robert & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air Standards: The Supreme Court Agrees to Review

Description: 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.
Date: December 5, 2000
Creator: Meltz, Robert & McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The D.C. Circuit Remands the Ozone and Particulate Matter Clean-Air Standards:

Description: 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
Date: June 10, 1999
Creator: Meltz, Robert & McCarthy, James E.
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

Global Climate Change: A Concise History of Negotiations and Chronology of Major Activities Preceding the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention

Description: This report discusses the ongoing international policy debate regarding Global Climate Change and U.S. involvement in the issue of global climate change.The report provides an historical context of the current debate, which is important in understanding the fundamental issues about global climate change.
Date: May 5, 1998
Creator: Morrissey, Wayne A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department