Congressional Research Service Reports - 816 Matching Results

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Environmental Regulation and Agriculture
This report discusses the impact of environmental regulation on agriculture. Most environmental regulations, in terms of permitting, inspection, and enforcement, are implemented by state and local governments, often based on federal EPA regulatory guidance. In some cases, agriculture is the direct or primary focus of the regulatory actions. In other cases, agriculture is one of many affected sectors. Traditionally, farm and ranch operations have been exempt or excluded from many environmental regulations.
Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs.
Environmental Risk Analysis: A Review of Public Policy Issues
This report describes and analyzes key issues and legislative options related to risk analysis and risk management at EPA and considers the potential impact of proposed legislative approaches on EPA's rule-making process and final regulations. The report describes the history of EPA's use of risk analysis and then summarizes and analyzes issues and legislative proposals for increasing such use. Legislative activities in the 105th Congress are described. A list of selected references and an appendix where key terms are defined conclude the report.
Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013
Report that looks at appropriations for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) FY 2013.
Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for Disaster Response, Recovery, and Mitigation Projects
Report that discusses the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as it applies to projects for which federal funding to recover from or prepare for a disaster has been requested by local, tribal, or state grant applicants.
Noise Abatement: Summary of the Issues
This report discusses the issue of noise abatement in public places and residential areas and legislation and research regarding safe noise levels.
Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs.
Accident Prevention under the Clean Air Act Section 112(r): Risk Management Planning by Propane Users and Internet Access to Worst-Case Accident Scenarios
This report briefly describes two issues associated with EPA implementation of risk management planning requirements in the Clean Air Act Section 112(r): whether dealers and distributors of propane and other flammable fuels should be covered by the law, and whether electronic access to off-site consequence analyses (OCA), and especially worst-case analyses, should be restricted to avoid misuse by terrorists or criminals. These issues are addressed by S. 880, as reported, and H.R. 1301 in the 106th Congress. The statutory requrrements and EPA implementation to date also are described. Covered facilities must submit risk management plans by June 21, 1999. This product will be updated when events warrant. For information on the status of legislation, see CRS Issue Brief lB10004, Clean Air Act Issues in the 106th Congress.
EPA's Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues
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).
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Appropriations for FY2014 in P.L. 113-76
This report presents a discussion of the FY2014 enacted appropriations for selected EPA programs and activities highlighted in the congressional debate.
Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for Disaster Response, Recovery, and Mitigation Projects
This report discusses the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as it applies to projects for which federal funding to recover from or prepare for a disaster has been requested by local, tribal, or state grant applicants.
Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?
This report provides an overview of the statutory framework, key players, infrastructure, resources, tools, and operations associated with enforcement and compliance of the major pollution control laws and regulations administered by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It also outlines the roles of federal (including regional offices) and state regulators, as well as the regulated community.
Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: Status and Current Issues
This report describes several scientifically emerging animal biotechnologies that are raising a variety of questions concerning risks to humans, animals, and the environment, as well as ethical concerns. The report examines applications of the technologies and discusses major issues that may arise.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): FY2016 Appropriations
This report presents a discussion of the FY2015 enacted appropriations and requested funding for FY2016 for selected EPA programs and activities highlighted in the congressional debate.
Environmental Services Markets in the 2008 Farm Bill
This report gives an overview of issues involved in the provisions of the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-234, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act). It includes a brief overview describing environmental services markets, benefits and barriers, recent Congressional action related to the topics, and possible considerations.
Constitutional Bounds on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment
This report reviews five newly-emergent constitutional areas related to environmental issues, based on Supreme Court decisions. For each area, the focus is its significance for current and future federal environmental legislation.
Military Base Closures: Role and Costs of Environmental Cleanup
This report provides an overview of cleanup requirements for the transfer and reuse of base closure properties, discusses the status of property transfer on bases closed under prior rounds, examines costs to clean up bases closed under these prior rounds, and discusses cleanup costs and issues for the 2005 round.
Global Climate Change
This report briefly reviews the status of climate science, international negotiations, and congressional activity focused specifically on climate change.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report provides background and analysis on several issues related to the Clean Air Act, including: Clear Skies / Multi-Pollutant Legislation, Mercury from Power Plants, New Source Review (NSR), MTBE and Ethanol, Ozone Nonattainment Area Deadlines, and Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs. It also discusses the most recent developments.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 108th Congress
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).
Environmental Protection: How Much it Costs and Who Pays
This report discusses a recurring issue in environmental policy: the cost of pollution control imposed on individuals, businesses, and governments.
Clean Air Act: A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements
This report summarizes the Clean Air Act and its major regulatory requirements.
Polar Bears: Proposed Listing Under the Endangered Species Act
This report discusses the polar bear status and they are affected by climate change, contaminants, and subsistence and sport hunting.
Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: Background and Issues for Congress
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.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
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.
Climate Change: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Bills in the 110th Congress
This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the major provisions of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, and includes a glossary of common terms.
Environmental Protection Issues in the 109th Congress
This report provides an overview of key environmental issues that are receiving or may receive attention in the 109th Congress. The sections on specific issues contain references to more detailed and extensive CRS reports on the subjects covered.
EPA's Mid-Term Evaluation of Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
This report discusses the standards set by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for new light-duty vehicles (defined generally as passenger cars and light trucks).
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
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.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report provides an overview of seven prominent air issues of interest in the 109th Congress: revision of the particulate standards; multi-pollutant (or Clear Skies) legislation for electric power plants; mercury from power plants; New Source Review; the gasoline additives MTBE and ethanol; ozone nonattainment area deadlines; and the “conformity” of transportation and clean air planning.
Polar Bears: Proposed Listing Under the Endangered Species Act
This report discusses the proposed listing of polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA; 16 U.S.C. §§1531 et seq.), which highlights the intersection of two significant issues currently before Congress — climate change and species protection.
Climate Change: Action by States To Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions
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.
Climate Change Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which climate change bills are based, and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research; emissions reduction technologies; U.S. actions pursuant to international emission reduction agreements; adaptation to the effects of climate change; GHG reporting and registration; and GHG emissions reduction programs.
The 2016 Olympic Games: Health, Security, Environmental, and Doping Issues
This report discusses a variety of issues might pose risks to the health, safety, and general well-being of athletes and their families, team personnel, and spectators participating in or attending the 2016 Olympic Games. Chief among these are the Zika virus, public safety threats, security concerns, and environmental conditions. The report also discusses the possible implications of hosting the Olympics for Brazil and the issue of doping.
Climate Change: Frequently Asked Questions about the 2015 Paris Agreement
This report discusses the frequently asked questions about the 2015 Paris Agreement (PA). The PA opened for signature by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on April 22, 2016, at U.N. headquarters in New York City.
Paris Agreement: United States, China Move to Become Parties to Climate Change Treaty
This report discusses the Paris agreement, which was negotiated under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and where President Obama and China's President Xi Jinping synchronously deposited their nations' signed instruments with U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon.
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on EPA regulatory activity during the Obama Administration. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA from January 2009 to late 2016, 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.
EPA Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants: Many Questions, Some Answers
This report discusses the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) proposals for electric generating units (EGU) Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future
This report discusses climate change and surveys existing law for legal issues that have arisen, or may arise in the future, on account of climate change and government responses thereto.
Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: An Overview of Congressional Action
Several environmental statutes contain national security exemptions, which the Department of Defense (DOD) can obtain on a case-by-case basis. Since FY2003, DOD has sought broader exemptions that it argues are needed to preserve training capabilities and ensure military readiness. There has been disagreement in Congress over the need for broader exemptions in the absence of data on the overall impact of environmental requirements on training and readiness. There has also been disagreement over the potential impacts of broader exemptions on environmental quality. This report outlines this issue and relevant legislation in detail.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 106th Congress
In the 106th Congress, no comprehensive activity on reauthorizing the Clean Water Act occurred, although a number of individual clean water bills were enacted. Other issues have been debated recently, such as reforming the law to provide regulatory relief for industry, states and cities, and individual landowners. The debate over many of these issues highlights differing views of the Act and its implementation by some who seek to strengthen existing requirements and others who believe that costs and benefits should be more carefully weighed before additional control programs are mandated.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 107th Congress
Revisions to the air quality standards for ozone and particulates, promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1997, may also command renewed attention in the 107th Congress. The standards were challenged in the courts, and implementation is currently in limbo, pending resolution of appeals to the Supreme Court. The Court heard oral arguments November 7, 2000, and a decision is expected in spring 2001. The decision is likely to stimulate congressional oversight, and perhaps legislation.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 107th Congress
In the early months of the 107th Congress, the most prominent air quality issue has been whether state and federal regulations designed to protect air quality have had a negative impact on energy production, and, if so, whether legislation should be enacted to temporarily or permanently relax such regulations. The early discussion focused primarily on California, but with the release of the Administration's energy policy recommendations in mid-May and subsequent congressional action, it has shifted to issues more national in scope.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 107th Congress
Key water quality issues that may face the 107th Congress include: actions to implement existing provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA), whether additional steps are necessary to achieve overall goals of the Act, and the appropriate federal role in guiding and paying for clean water activities. Legislative prospects for comprehensively amending the Act have for some time stalled over whether and exactly how to change the law. If clean water issues receive attention in the 107th Congress, consideration of specific issues will depend in part on the CWA policy agenda of the new Bush Administration and on priorities of the key committees that have major jurisdiction over the Act.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 107th Congress
Key water quality issues that may face the 107th Congress include: actions to implement existing provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA), whether additional steps are necessary to achieve overall goals of the Act, and the appropriate federal role in guiding and paying for clean water activities. Legislative prospects for comprehensively amending the Act have for some time stalled over whether and exactly how to change the law. If clean water issues receive attention in the 107th Congress, consideration of specific issues will depend in part on the CWA policy agenda of the new Bush Administration and on priorities of the key committees that have major jurisdiction over the Act.
The Environmental Protection Agency's FY2002 Budget
On April 9, 2001, the President requested $7.3 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for FY2002, $512.0 million (or 7%) less than the FY2001 funding level of $7.8 billion. The request would not have continued funding of about $500 million for activities earmarked for FY2001, and contained provisions shifting more enforcement responsibilities to the states. Popular wastewater infrastructure funding, state roles, and the future of Superfund were some of the predominant topics. On July 17, the House Appropriations Committee recommended $7.545 billion,$229 million more than requested (H.R. 2620, H. Rept. 107-159).
The Environmental Protection Agency's FY2003 Budget
On April 9, 2001, the President requested $7.3 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for FY2002, $512.0 million (or 7%) less than the FY2001 funding level of $7.8 billion. The request would not have continued funding of about $500 million for activities earmarked for FY2001, and contained provisions shifting more enforcement responsibilities to the states. Popular wastewater infrastructure funding, state roles, and the future of Superfund were some of the predominant topics. On July 17, the House Appropriations Committee recommended $7.545 billion,$229 million more than requested (H.R. 2620, H. Rept. 107-159).
The Environmental Protection Agency's FY2003 Budget
On April 9, 2001, the President requested $7.3 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for FY2002, $512.0 million (or 7%) less than the FY2001 funding level of $7.8 billion. The request would not have continued funding of about $500 million for activities earmarked for FY2001, and contained provisions shifting more enforcement responsibilities to the states. Popular wastewater infrastructure funding, state roles, and the future of Superfund were some of the predominant topics. On July 17, the House Appropriations Committee recommended $7.545 billion,$229 million more than requested (H.R. 2620, H. Rept. 107-159).
The Environmental Protection Agency's FY2003 Budget
On April 9, 2001, the President requested $7.3 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for FY2002, $512.0 million (or 7%) less than the FY2001 funding level of $7.8 billion. The request would not have continued funding of about $500 million for activities earmarked for FY2001, and contained provisions shifting more enforcement responsibilities to the states. Popular wastewater infrastructure funding, state roles, and the future of Superfund were some of the predominant topics. On July 17, the House Appropriations Committee recommended $7.545 billion,$229 million more than requested (H.R. 2620, H. Rept. 107-159).