Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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MTBE in Gasoline: Clean Air and Drinking Water Issues

Description: This report provides background information concerning the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), discusses air and water quality issues associated with it, and reviews options available to congressional and other policy-makers concerned about its continued use. It includes a discussion of legislation considered in the 106th Congress, which may serve as a starting point for legislation in the 107th.
Date: May 15, 2001
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Tiemann, Mary
Item Type: Report
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: September 2, 2010
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Protection: How Much it Costs and Who Pays

Description: This report discusses a recurring issue in environmental policy: the cost of pollution control imposed on individuals, businesses, and governments.
Date: April 16, 1997
Creator: Blodgett, John E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Regulation and Agriculture

Description: This report provides the background, status, and issues related to selected environmental regulations or initiatives possibly affecting agriculture that have drawn attention in and beyond Congress.
Date: June 16, 2014
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Item Type: Report
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 of this provision has been dormant until recently, when states and EPA were prodded by numerous lawsuits. The TMDL issue has become controversial, in part because of requirements and costs now facing states to implement a 25-year-old provision of the law. Congressional activity to reauthorize the Act, a possibility in the 2nd Session of the 105th Congress, could include TMDL issues, but the direction for any such action is unclear at this time.
Date: October 25, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
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: July 1, 2014
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Methane Capture: Options for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction

Description: This report discusses alternatives for addressing methane capture, sources of methane, opportunities and challenges for methane capture, and current federal programs that support methane recovery.
Date: January 7, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; McCarthy, James E.; Folger, Peter & Marples, Donald J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Protection Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: 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.
Date: March 25, 2005
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R. & Isler, Margaret M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oil Spills: Background and Governance

Description: This report reviews the history and trends of oil spills in the United States, and identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup.
Date: June 16, 2015
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Item Type: Report
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: January 3, 2005
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: 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.
Date: September 26, 2006
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress

Description: This report discusses the Superfund program designed for cleaning up the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites was created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA (P.L. 96-510, as amended). This report discusses recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program.
Date: October 22, 2003
Creator: Reisch, Mark
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress

Description: This report discusses recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program.
Date: October 13, 2004
Creator: Reisch, Mark
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Statutory Modifications of the Application of NEPA

Description: From time to time, Congress has considered the operation of the National Environmental Policy Act. While Congress has amended the statute itself only twice since its enactment, Congress has often enacted provisions that modify the application of the Act or specify the extent of the documents that need be prepared in particular instances or contexts. This report collects and lists examples of such provisions.
Date: May 1, 1998
Creator: Baldwin, Pamela
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Regulation and Agriculture

Description: 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.
Date: March 12, 2013
Creator: Lyke, Bob & Shorter, Gary
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department