Congressional Research Service Reports - 171 Matching Results

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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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
Pesticide Policy Issues
No Description Available.
Pesticides Regulation: Current Issues
No Description Available.
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.
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.
Mercury in the Environment: Sources and Health Risks
No Description Available.
Mercury in the Environment: Sources and Health Risks
No Description Available.
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.
Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005 (H.R. 1360, 109th Congress)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Toxics Release Inventory: Do Communities Have a Right to Know More?
No Description Available.
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
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.
Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Senate and House Bills Compared with Current Law
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.).
Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange: Legislative History, Litigation, and Current Issues
This report provides an overview of how Congress and the judiciary have addressed the concerns of Vietnam-era veterans and briefly describes some of the current issues raised by Vietnam-era veterans.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements
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.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Implementation and New Challenges
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.
The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)
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.
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 Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary
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.
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.
Implementing International Agreements on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act
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.
Radioactive Tank Wastes: Disposal Authority in the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for FY2005
No Description Available.
Ethylene Dibromide: History, Health Effects, and Policy Questions
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.
The Delaney Clause: The Dilemma of Regulating Health Risk for Pesticide Residues
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.