Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Clean Air Act Issues in the 110th Congress: Implementation and Oversight

Description: This report provides a discussion of several interrelated air issues of interest in the 110th Congress, including revision of the particulate standards, the role of independent scientific review in the setting of air quality standards, multi-pollutant legislation for electric power plants, mercury from power plants, and New Source Review. This report provides an overview of these issues; CRS reports that contain additional information and detailed sources are referenced in the appropriate sections.
Date: January 3, 2007
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: Over time, Congress has included exemptions in several environmental statutes to ensure that requirements of those statutes would not restrict military training needs to the extent that national security would be compromised. This report discusses these exemptions and congressional disagreement over the need for broader exemptions in the absence of data on the overall impact of environmental requirements on training and readiness.
Date: January 3, 2007
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Base Closures: Role and Costs of Environmental Cleanup

Description: This report explains cleanup requirements for the transfer and reuse of properties on closed military bases, discusses property transfer status and cleanup costs on bases closed in prior rounds, and examines estimates of costs to clean up bases to be closed in the 2005 round to make these properties safe for civilian reuse.
Date: January 3, 2007
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Description: This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. Concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and members of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate.
Date: January 10, 2007
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Brownfields Tax Incentive Extension

Description: This report discusses the brownfields tax incentive, which expires on December 31, 2007. Enacted in 1997, the provision allowed a taxpayer to fully deduct the costs of environmental cleanup in the year the costs were incurred, rather than spreading the costs over a period of years.
Date: January 19, 2007
Creator: Reisch, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of Pollutants

Description: This report discusses the section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, which requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. For those waters, states must establish a total maximum daily load (TMDL) of pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained. Implementation was dormant until states and EPA were prodded by lawsuits. The TMDL program has become controversial, in part because of requirements and costs now facing states to implement this 35-year-old provision of the law, as well as industries, cities, farmers, and others who may be required to use new pollution controls to meet TMDL requirements. In July 2000, EPA issued revisions to strengthen the program. The rule was widely criticized, and congressional interest was high. The 2000 rule did not go into effect, and in March 2003, EPA withdrew the rule to consider whether to issue an entirely new rule or other options; no timetable has been announced. Consequently, the program continues to operate under regulations issued in 1992.
Date: April 6, 2007
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change: Action by States To Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Description: This report covers state actions that directly and explicitly address greenhouse gas emissions. First, the report describes the different types of state actions, both individual and cooperative efforts, that are either proposed or underway, and highlights several of the more significant developments. Second, the report examines state actions from a federal policymaking perspective, including both the potential effects of state-led actions and their limitations.
Date: April 27, 2007
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Description: This report discusses the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG’s) environmental activities, which focus on prevention programs, accompanied by enforcement and educational activities. An important component is maritime oil spill prevention, which includes inspection of U.S. and foreign-flagged ships to ensure compliance with U.S. laws and international agreements.
Date: August 31, 2007
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L. & Reisch, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Endangered Species Act and "Sound Science"

Description: This report provides a context for evaluating legislative proposals through examples of how science has been used in selected cases, a discussion of the nature and role of science in general, and its role in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) process in particular, together with general and agency information quality requirements and policies, and a review of how the courts have viewed agency use of science.
Date: September 27, 2007
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.; Corn, M. L.; Baldwin, Pamela & Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Description: Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products. Used mainly by the Department of Defense (DOD) and related industries, perchlorate also occurs naturally and is present in some organic fertilizer.This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and recent developments.
Date: November 9, 2007
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pipelines for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Control: Network Needs and Cost Uncertainties

Description: This report examines key uncertainties in CO2 pipeline requirements for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) by contrasting hypothetical pipeline scenarios in one region of the United States. The report summarizes the key factors influencing CO2 pipeline configuration for major power plants in the region, and illustrates how the viability of different sequestration sites may lead to enormous differences in pipeline costs.
Date: January 10, 2008
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W. & Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change: Federal Laws and Policies Related to Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Description: This report provides background on the evolution of U.S. climate change policy, from ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to the George W. Bush Administration's 2001 rejection of the Kyoto Protocol to the present. The report focuses on major regulatory programs that monitor or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with their estimated effect on emissions levels.
Date: January 28, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D. & Parker, Larry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Global Climate Change Policy: Evolving Views on Cost, Competitiveness, and Comprehensiveness

Description: This report discusses U.S. policy toward global climate change, which evolved from a "study only" to a more "study and action" orientation in 1992 with ratification of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Date: January 28, 2008
Creator: Parker, Larry B. & Blodgett, John E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)

Description: This report discusses carbon capture and sequestration (CSS), but not other types of carbon sequestration activities whereby CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and stored in vegetation, soils, or oceans.
Date: February 7, 2008
Creator: Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Open Ocean Aquaculture

Description: This report discusses four general areas related to open ocean aquaculture: (1) operational and business-related challenges; (2) potential economic impacts; (3) potential environmental impacts; and (4) the legal and regulatory environment. It summarizes recent executive and legislative branch actions.
Date: February 12, 2008
Creator: Upton, Harold F. & Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: Program Overview and Issues

Description: This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996, which authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to protect public health.
Date: February 22, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department