Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

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. This report explains the major events in the litigation as of the date of publication, including the Supreme Court stay, and the likely timetable of events in the near term.
Date: April 27, 2016
Creator: Wyatt, Alexandra M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act Issues in the 108th Congress

Description: This report discusses issues regarding the Clean Water Act. Prospects for legislative initiatives to comprehensively amend the Clean Water Act (CWA) have stalled for some time over whether and exactly how to change the law, and Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected CWA programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. For example, the 108th Congress enacted one bill amending the CWA, legislation to reauthorize the National Estuary Program (H.R. 4731, P.L. 108-399).
Date: December 6, 2004
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress

Description: This report discusses the Superfund program for cleaning up the nation's worst hazardous waste sites, created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA (P.L. 96-510, as amended). It includes recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program.
Date: October 27, 2004
Creator: Reisch, Mark
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, and describes how the EPA resolved these issues.
Date: June 15, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Leggett, Jane A.; Wyatt, Alexandra M. & Dolan, Alissa 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. 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.
Date: May 31, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
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

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.
Date: April 5, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Wyatt, Alexandra M. & Dolan, Alissa M.
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

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. Congress's 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: March 21, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
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. 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.
Date: March 25, 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 Clean Power Plan rule as it was finalized on August 3, 2015, before discussing how the ongoing litigation may potentially impact the rule and its deadlines. EPA faced a number of issues and questions while developing the regulations. This report describes how EPA answered these and other questions.
Date: March 9, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Leggett, Jane A.; Wyatt, Alexandra M. & Dolan, Alissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Description: This report summarizes, in chronological order, congressional activity to fund items in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account since 1987. 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.
Date: January 19, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Environmental Education Act of 1990: Overview, Implementation, and Reauthorization Issues

Description: This report presents an overview of the National Environmental Education Act of 1990, discusses appropriations, examines the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) implementation of the act, and analyzes reauthorization issues relevant to legislation introduced in recent Congresses.
Date: December 11, 2006
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Safe Drinking Water Act: Implementation and Issues

Description: This report discusses key drinking water issues in the 109th Congress, including problems caused by specific contaminants, such as methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and perchlorate, as well as the related issue of the appropriate federal role in providing financial assistance for water infrastructure projects.
Date: March 20, 2006
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
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 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: October 3, 2006
Creator: Bearden, David M.
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

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices

Description: This report discusses various proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues include changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, reducing conflicts with Department of Defense activities, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others.
Date: April 12, 2006
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.; Corn, M. Lynne; Sheikh, Pervaze A.; Baldwin, Pamela & Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses major decisions on clean air issues facing the courts and the executive branch in 2006. One focus will be EPA's recent proposal to strengthen air quality standards for fine particles. Other issues of continuing interest are EPA's 2005 decisions limiting interstate transport of air pollution and establishing cap-and-trade systems for emissions from coal fired power plants, and the agency's proposed changes to New Source Review.
Date: March 21, 2006
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
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

The National Environmental Policy Act: Streamlining NEPA

Description: This report discusses elements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321, et seq.) relevant to streamlining, issues associated with determining project delays attributed to NEPA, common streamlining methods, and recently proposed and enacted legislative and administrative streamlining activities.
Date: February 13, 2006
Creator: Luther, Linda
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