Congressional Research Service Reports - 170 Matching Results

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Agent Orange: Veterans' Complaints Concerning Exposure to Herbicides in South Vietnam

Description: From 1962 to 1971, the United States Air Force (USAF) sprayed various herbicide mixtures (chemicals that kill plants) in South Vietnam. The purpose of the spraying was to defoliate jungle growth to deprive the Communist forces of ground cover, and to destroy enemy crops to restrict food supplies. The most extensively used of these herbicide mixtures was known as Agent Orange, a 50:50 mix of two common herbicides called 1,4,5-T and 2,4-D (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid). The third chemical present in the mixture in small amounts was TCDD, an inevitable by-product of the manufacture of 2,4,5-T. This chemical, called tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin or simply "dioxin," is highly toxic to laboratory animals when administered in its pure form. CRS has been unable to locate any report of a human death from exposure to pure TCDD. This report discusses the human health effects that have occurred from exposure to TCDD, as well as related Congressional concerns.
Date: June 25, 1982
Creator: Smith, Pamela W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal and State Authority to Regulate Radioactive Waste Disposal and Transportation

Description: There appears to be a growing controversy concerning whether a state has the authority to prevent the federal government from disposing of nuclear wastes within it and transporting nuclear wastes through it. Several states have statutes purporting to veto the federal government's action in these areas. This report investigates whether these state statutes may be unconstitutional and preempted by federal statutes and regulations.
Date: May 11, 1982
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects

Description: This report discusses Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is used to produce certain types of plastic that are used in thousands of formulations for myriad products. Containers made with these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Medical devices and other more ubiquitous products, such as thermal paper coatings, also may contribute significantly to human exposure. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people.
Date: August 13, 2010
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo & Lister, Sarah A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Senate and House Bills Compared with Current Law

Description: On April 15, 2010, Senator Lautenberg introduced legislation (S. 3209) to amend the core provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title I. Representatives Waxman and Rush introduced comprehensive legislation to amend TSCA (H.R. 5820) on July 22, 2010. This report compares key provisions of S. 3209, as introduced, H.R. 5820, as introduced, and current law (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.).
Date: August 12, 2010
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements

Description: This report defines key terms, provides a brief history of toxic substances control law, and describes key provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In addition, this report lists several references for more detailed information about the act and provides a table that cross references sections of the U.S. Code with corresponding sections of the act. The report is descriptive rather than analytic, highlights key provisions rather than providing a comprehensive inventory of the act's numerous sections, and addresses authorities and limitations imposed by statute, rather than the status of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implementation or other policy issues.
Date: November 18, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Implementation and New Challenges

Description: This report provides an overview of basic Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) provisions, briefly examines the history of TSCA implementation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and describes the legal, scientific, and technological developments that are being used to provide support to calls for TSCA reform.
Date: July 18, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)

Description: This report deals solely with the liability provisions of S. 350, found in Title II of the bill. (The manager’s amendment does not concern these.) These provisions cover three types of innocent parties: (1) owners of properties contaminated from contiguous properties, (2) prospective purchasers, and (3) innocent landowners.
Date: June 15, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role

Description: This report discusses the federal regulatory role in regards to drinking water, more specifically in the context of the Flint water crisis. Lead exposure is a major public health concern, particularly because low-level exposures can impair the neurodevelopment of children. The main source of lead in drinking water is the corrosion of plumbing materials in the distribution system.
Date: February 16, 2016
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary

Description: This report summarizes the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the major regulatory programs that mandate reporting by industrial facilities of releases of hazardous chemicals to the environment, as well as local planning to respond in the event of significant, accidental releases.
Date: February 2, 2010
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role

Description: This report discusses the federal regulatory role in regards to drinking water, more specifically in the context of the Flint water crisis. EPA's current Flint responses include providing technical assistance for water testing and treatment, conducting water monitoring, and identifying lead service line locations.
Date: March 2, 2016
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Efforts to Amend Title I of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

Description: This report examines selected differences between the House and the Senate legislation that would amend Title I of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA; 15 U.S.C. 2601-2629). Title I of TSCA is the principal federal statute that applies to the regulation of the lifecycle of commercial chemicals from their manufacture (defined to include importation) to disposal if elements of the lifecycle are found to present unreasonable risks.
Date: March 30, 2016
Creator: Yen, Jerry H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Implementing International Agreements on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act

Description: The focus of this report is on proposed amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This report does not constitute a legal analysis of the bills or of existing law. Instead, it begins by describing the three international agreements and relevant provisions of TSCA. The report then summarizes selected provisions of H.R. 4591 and H.R. 4800, as introduced, and compares them in a brief narrative and more detailed table.
Date: March 28, 2006
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ethylene Dibromide: History, Health Effects, and Policy Questions

Description: Much attention has recently been focused on the chemical ethylene dibromide (EDB). This chemical has been widely used in leaded gasoline, and has also been used to treat grains, citrus and other crops. It has been found in foods and in groundwater. This paper examines the possible health effects of exposure to EDB, as well as its regulation. The possible health effects and regulation of various chemical and physical alternatives to EDB are also examined. This paper concludes with some policy considerations pertinent to EDB.
Date: May 3, 1984
Creator: Simpson, Michael M
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Delaney Clause: The Dilemma of Regulating Health Risk for Pesticide Residues

Description: Under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for establishing tolerances for pesticide residues in or on foods and feeds. Tolerances are legal limits to the amount of pesticide residues that can be found on a raw agricultural commodity at the farm gate or in a processed food. The FFDCA has two sections, 408 and 409, which set up different and inconsistent criteria for setting tolerances for pesticide residues in foods.
Date: November 9, 1992
Creator: Vogt, Donna U
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Delaney Dilemma: Regulating Pesticide Residues in Foods -- Seminar Proceedings, March 16, 1993

Description: A provision in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Delaney Clause, appears to lower risks in the setting of tolerances for pesticide residues. It prohibits any substance from being added to processed foods if it induces cancer in man or animals. In reality, the provision created a dilemma because the zero-risk statute makes it difficult to regulate pesticides. Because of the prescription of Delaney, tolerances (legal limits) are established differently for carcinogens and non-carcinogens and in raw and processed foods.
Date: May 19, 1993
Creator: Vogt, Donna U
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Facility Security

Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes.
Date: August 2, 2006
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Facility Security

Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes.
Date: July 29, 2005
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Facility Security: A Comparison of S. 157 and S. 994

Description: The 108th Congress is considering legislation to reduce chemical facilities’ vulnerability to acts of terrorism, so as to protect critical sectors of the U.S. infrastructure and reduce risks to public health and the environment. Competing bills, S. 994 and S. 157, have been introduced into the Senate. Both would require chemical facilities to conduct vulnerability assessments and develop and implement site security plans, but the approaches of the bills differ with respect to the chemicals and facilities covered, planning requirements and mechanisms for federal and facility accountability.
Date: June 11, 2003
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Plant Security

Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemicals (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. Because few terrorist attacks have been attempted against chemical facilities in the United States, the risk of death and injury in the near future is estimated to be low, relative to the likelihood of accidents at such facilities or attacks on other targets using conventional weapons. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but risks may be increasing with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Available evidence indicates that many chemical facilities may lack adequate safeguards.
Date: January 20, 2004
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department