Congressional Research Service Reports - 94 Matching Results

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Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA

Description: This report provides legal background on the Clean Power Plan rule (CPP) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), its Clean Air Act (CAA) framework under Section 111, and climate-related lawsuits that have preceded the present litigation over the CPP. It then gives an overview of the participants in the current litigation, including two groups of Members of Congress, who have offered briefs in support of the petitioners and the respondents, respectively.
Date: January 10, 2017
Creator: Tsang, Linda & Wyatt, Alexandra M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: 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. Some general issues include Arctic territorial disputes; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic, which could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
Date: January 5, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA and the Army Corps' Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

Description: This report describes the final revised rule--which the agencies refer to as the Clean Water Rule--announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It includes a table comparing the existing regulatory language that defines "waters of the United States" with the revisions.
Date: January 5, 2017
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA and the Army Corps' "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options

Description: This report discusses several options Congress had in order to respond to controversy caused by the May 27th, 2015 rule that was finalized by the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This finalized rule revised regulations that defined the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Congress' legislative options are reflected in bills in the 114th Congress.
Date: January 20, 2016
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress such as: Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic that could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
Date: January 19, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. Coast Guard polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Administration's plans for sustaining and modernizing the polar icebreaking fleet.
Date: January 15, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report summarizes the issues the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered when developing regulations for "carbon pollution" from existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan. The report describes how the EPA resolved these issues. In addition to discussing details of the Clean Power Plan, the report addresses the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the EPA's previous experience using that authority, and other background questions. The report discusses the ongoing litigation in which a number of states and other entities have challenged the rule, while other states and entities have intervened in support of the rule. It also discusses challenges to the rule under the Congressional Review Act and other options that Congress has to influence the EPA's action.
Date: January 13, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Leggett, Jane A.; Wyatt, Alexandra M. & Dolan, Alissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA and the Army Corps' Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

Description: This report describes the revised rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) which defines the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Agencies refer to this final rule as the Clean Water Rule. This report includes a table comparing the existing regulatory language that defines "waters of the United States" with the revisions.
Date: January 4, 2016
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues

Description: This report covers two proposed permit drafts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Vessel General Permits (VGPs): one for large vessels to replace the 2008 VGP (draft VGP), and one for smaller vessels that currently are covered by a congressionally-enacted temporary moratorium (draft sVGP).
Date: January 29, 2015
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The Coast Guard's proposed FY2015 budget requests $6 million to continue initial acquisition activities for a new polar icebreaker. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify Coast Guard plans for sustaining and modernizing its polar icebreaking fleet. Congressional decisions on this issue could affect Coast Guard funding requirements, the Coast Guard's ability to perform its polar missions, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: January 9, 2015
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
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

Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorizations, Appropriations, and Activities

Description: This report summarizes congressional authorization and appropriations processes for the Army Corps of Engineers. It also discusses agency activities under general authorities. Congress directs the Corps through authorizations, appropriations, and oversight of its studies, construction projects, and other activities.
Date: January 29, 2014
Creator: Carter, Nicole T. & Stern, Charles V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gulf Coast Restoration: RESTORE Act and Related Efforts

Description: This report provides information on environmental damage and restoration activities related to the Deepwater Horizon spill. An overview of how the RESTORE Act is being implemented and a discussion of multiple funding sources and plans to recover and restore the Gulf Coast environment are discussed. Further, potential issues for Congress related to this restoration initiative are presented.
Date: January 27, 2014
Creator: Stern, Charles V.; Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Overview of Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas: Resources and Federal Actions

Description: This report focuses on the growth in U.S. oil and natural gas production driven primarily by tight oil formations and shale gas formations. It also reviews selected federal environmental regulatory and research initiatives related to unconventional oil and gas extraction, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed hydraulic fracturing rule and EPA actions.
Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Ratner, Michael & Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

Description: This report discusses the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program which regulates pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained; section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. The report focuses on new challenges facing the TMDL program, including more complex TMDLs, larger scale impairments, and nonpoint sources.
Date: January 17, 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. The report outlines pledged actions under the plan and possible issues for Congress.
Date: January 14, 2014
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Vessel General Permit: Background and Issues

Description: This report is an overview of the revised Vessel General Permit (VGP) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and two key issues: inclusion of numeric performance standards to limit ballast water discharges from vessels, and controversies about the role of states in regulating vessel discharges.
Date: January 8, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Description: The principal federal program to aid municipal wastewater treatment plant construction is authorized in the Clean Water Act (CWA). In appropriations legislation, funding for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) wastewater assistance is contained in the measure providing funds for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. This report summarizes, in chronological order, congressional activity to fund items in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account since 1987.
Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background and Governance

Description: This report provides background information regarding oil spills in U.S. coastal waters and identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup. Based on data between 1973 and 2009, the annual number and volume of oil spills have shown declines- in some cases, dramatic declines.
Date: January 11, 2012
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?

Description: This report assesses the variables involved in determining whether or not biopower (i.e., electricity generated from biomass) is a carbon-neutral alternative to fossil fuels as a way to help meet meet U.S. energy demands and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It includes information about the biomass carbon cycle, GHG accounting for biopower production, recent developments affecting the assessment, and overview of whether or not it can be considered carbon neutral, and legislative implications.
Date: January 25, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department