Congressional Research Service Reports - 172 Matching Results

Search Results

Radioactive Tank Waste from the Past Production of Nuclear Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress
How to safely dispose of wastes from producing nuclear weapons has been an ongoing issue. The most radioactive portion of these wastes is stored in underground tanks at Department of Energy (DOE) sites in Idaho, South Carolina, and Washington State. There have been concerns about soil and groundwater contamination from some of the tanks that have leaked. This report provides background information on the disposal of radioactive tank waste, analyzes waste disposal authority in P.L. 108-375, and examines potential implications for environmental cleanup.
Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety - Federal Program and Legislative Issues
No Description Available.
Security Threat Assessments for Hazmat Drivers
No Description Available.
Hazardous Materials Transportation: Vulnerability to Terrorists, Federal Activities, and Options to Reduce Risks
This report discusses the scope and nature of the vulnerability of hazardous materials (hazmats) transportation and its potential relations to terrorists attacks.
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA): Compensation Related to Exposure to Radiation from Atomic Weapons Testing and Uranium Mining
This report discusses the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), which provides one-time benefit payments to persons who may have developed cancer or other specified diseases after being exposed to radiation from atomic weapons testing or uranium mining, milling, or transporting.
Chemical Facility Security
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.
Chemical Facility Security
The potential for United States hazardous chemical facilities to become the targets of terrorist attacks is a concern which Congress has begun to address in earnest. While the likelihood of such attacks is low at present, Congress enacted legislation that requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to analyze such facilities and suggest enhancements in security and infrastructure. Such legislation--and future like legislation--could include requiring certain environmental and security standards in the future construction of new hazardous chemical facilities. Congress is focusing on educating the public and holding facility owners accountable to increase security, rather than simply restricting terrorists' access to information about the United States' chemical facility infrastructure.
Chemical Facility Security
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.
Pesticide Residue Regulation: Analysis of Food Quality Protection Act Implementation
No Description Available.
Pesticide Residue Regulation: Analysis of Food Quality Protection Act Implementation
No Description Available.
Pesticide Residue Regulation: Analysis of Food Quality Protection Act Implementation
No Description Available.
Chemical Facility Security
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.
Chemical Facility Security
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.
Federal Programs Related to Indoor Pollution by Chemicals
This report describes common indoor pollutants, discusses federal statutes that have been used to address indoor pollution, and analyzes key issues surrounding some general policy options for federal policy makers. The focus is on indoor chemical contaminants, rather than on temperature, humidity, or pollution from animals, fungal or bacterial organisms, or plant pests.
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA): Compensation Related to Exposure to Radiation from Atomic Weapons Testing and Uranium Mining
This report discusses the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), which provides one-time benefit payments to persons who may have developed cancer or other specified diseases after being exposed to radiation from atomic weapons testing or uranium mining, milling, or transporting.
S. 1961 and H.R. 4024: Legislative Responses to a Chemical Storage Facility Spill
This report describes and analyzes the Chemical Safety and Preparedness Act and H.R. 4024, the Ensuring Access to Clean Water Act of 2014.
Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 113th Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and implementing regulation. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security and identifies policy options for congressional consideration.
Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004 (S. 2290, 108th Congress)
This report provides an overview of S. 2290, 108th Congress, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004 (or FAIR Act of 2004). The bill is a revised version of S. 1125, 108th Congress, and would create the Office of Asbestos Disease Compensation to award damages to asbestos claimants on a no-fault basis. Asbestos claims could no longer be filed or pursued under state law, except for the enforcement of judgments no longer subject to any appeal or judicial review before the date of enactment of the bill.
The Japanese Nuclear Incident: Technical Aspects
The Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 caused extensive damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). This damage has released some radioactive materials, and there are widespread fears about the health effects of current and possible future releases. These fears, and public concern about radiation in general, have attracted the world’s attention. This report presents scientific and technical aspects of these issues in order to provide a basis for understanding the risks associated with this event.
The Japanese Nuclear Incident: Technical Aspects
Japan’s nuclear incident has engendered much public and congressional concern about the possible impact of radiation on the Japanese public, as well as possible fallout on U.S. citizens. This report provides information on technical aspects of the nuclear incident, with reference to human health.
Legislative Approaches to Chemical Facility Security
This report discusses current chemical facility security efforts, issues in defining chemical facilities, policy challenges in developing chemical facility security legislation, and the various policy approaches.
Mercury in the Environment: Sources and Health Risks
No Description Available.
Mercury in the Environment: Sources and Health Risks
No Description Available.
Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005 (H.R. 1360, 109th Congress)
No Description Available.
Pesticide Policy Issues
No Description Available.
Agent Orange: Veterans' Complaints Concerning Exposure to Herbicides in South Vietnam
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.
Proposed Reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the 113th Congress: S. 1009 Compared with S. 696 and Current Law
This report compares key provisions of S. 696 and S. 1009 with provisions of TSCA Title I (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) that would be affected if either bill became law. These provisions are summarized in Tables 1 through 6 of this report.
Dioxin: Environmental Impacts and Potential Human Health Effects
This issue brief presents a short background on the physical/chemical properties of dioxin, describes several existing sources of possible human exposure, and highlights what is currently known about its environmental impacts and human health effects. Congressional interest is intense at this time because of large numbers of Vietnam veterans' claims for benefits associated with use of herbicides in that war as well as because of certain incidents of potential significance to health involving disposal of wastes containing dioxin.
Ethylene Dibromide
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.
Ethylene Dibromide: Regulatory Background
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.
Asbestos Litigation: Prospects for Legislative Resolution
This report summarizes H.R. 1283, 106th Congress, the Asbestos Compensation Act of 2000, as ordered to be reported with amendments by the House Committee on the Judiciary on March 16, 2000. The bill would create an administrative procedure for asbestos liability claims. Also, This report discusses such issues thematically, and will be updated to reflect major legislative actions. A section-by-section analysis of S. 852 may be found in CRS Report RS22081, S. 852: The Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005.
Ethylene Dibromide (EDB)
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.
Pesticides Regulation: Current Issues
No Description Available.
Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues
This report describes the provisions of the Superfund law and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and enforcement actions under these laws that have increasingly been receiving attention. Congressional scrutiny in the form of legislative proposals and a House hearing in the 109th Congress are discussed.
Regulation of Fertilizers: Ammonium Nitrate and Anhydrous Ammonia
This report focuses on some of the federal regulatory programs overseeing storage of ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia by retailers. It discusses federal occupational safety, environmental, and security statutes and regulations applicable to each chemical. Select policy issues regarding these federal regulatory programs will be highlighted.
Regulation of Fertilizers: Ammonium Nitrate and Anhydrous Ammonia
This report focuses on some of the federal regulatory programs overseeing storage of ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia by retailers. It discusses federal occupational safety, environmental, and security statutes and regulations applicable to each chemical. Select policy issues regarding these federal regulatory programs will be highlighted.
Hydraulic Fracturing: Chemical Disclosure Requirements
This report provides an overview of current and proposed laws at the state and federal levels that require the disclosure of the chemicals added to the fluid used in hydraulic fracturing.
Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention: Summary of Federal Mandates and Financial Assistance for Reducing Hazards in Housing
This report discusses the federal strategy to reduce childhood exposure to lead-based paint (LBP). The federal Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (LBPPPA), as amended, establishes requirements and authorizes funding for the detection and control of LBP hazards in federally assisted housing.
Hydraulic Fracturing: Chemical Disclosure Requirements
This report provides an overview of current and proposed laws at the state and federal levels that require the disclosure of the chemicals added to the fluid used in hydraulic fracturing.
The Japanese Nuclear Incident: Technical Aspects
This report presents scientific and technical aspects of human health issues related to the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. It includes an appendix of useful links.
Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues
This report describes the provisions of Superfund and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and enforcement actions under these laws that have increasingly been receiving attention. Congressional scrutiny in the form of legislative proposals and a House hearing in the 109th Congress are discussed.
Title I of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): A Summary of the Statute
This report summarizes selected statutory provisions of Title 1 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) but does not discuss agency regulations and guidance that may provide more detailed direction for conducting risk evaluation and selecting regulatory options to prevent unreasonable risks of specific chemicals.
Asbestos Litigation: Prospects for Legislative Resolution
This report summarizes H.R. 1283, 106th Congress, the Asbestos Compensation Act of 2000, as ordered to be reported with amendments by the House Committee on the Judiciary on March 16, 2000. The bill would create an administrative procedure for asbestos liability claims. Also, This report discusses such issues thematically, and will be updated to reflect major legislative actions. A section-by-section analysis of S. 852 may be found in CRS Report RS22081, S. 852: The Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005.
Toxics Release Inventory: Do Communities Have a Right to Know More?
No Description Available.
Federal and State Authority to Regulate Radioactive Waste Disposal and Transportation
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.
Marine Security of Hazardouse Chemical Cargo
No Description Available.
Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role
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.
The Toxic Substances Control Act: A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements
This report summarizes the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the major regulatory programs dealing with chemical production and distribution in U.S. commerce.
Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role
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.
Congressional Efforts to Amend Title I of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
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.