Congressional Research Service Reports - 237 Matching Results

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Rural Water Supply and Sewer Systems: Background Information

Description: This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act, which impose requirements regarding drinking water quality and wastewater treatment in rural areas. Approximately 27% of the U.S. population lives in areas defined by the Census Bureau as rural. Many rural communities need to complete water and waste disposal projects to improve the public health and environmental conditions of their citizens.
Date: August 25, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments

Description: Permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorize various types of development projects in wetlands and other waters of the United States. The Corps' regulatory process involves two types of permits: general permits for actions for private landowners that will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. Interest groups have a number of specific criticisms of the permits. For some time, there has been a stalemate in Congress over legislation related to this issue.
Date: August 21, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Description: The principal federal program to aid municipal wastewater treatment plant construction is authorized in the Clean Water Act (CWA). In appropriations legislation, funding for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) wastewater assistance is contained in the measure providing funds for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. This report summarizes, in chronological order, congressional activity to fund items in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account since 1987.
Date: August 19, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Description: This report presents an overview of the large and diverse sector of water infrastructure systems, describes security-related actions by the government and private sector since September 11, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
Date: July 28, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Community Development Block Grants: Legislative Proposals to Assist Communities Affected by Home Foreclosures

Description: In response to the rising number of home mortgage foreclosures, several bills have been introduced during the 110th Congress that would provide additional federal assistance to state and local governments with high concentrations of foreclosed homes, subprime mortgage loans, and delinquent home mortgages. At least one of these proposals, H.R. 3221, as passed by the Senate, includes provisions that would use the framework of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to channel an additional $4 billion in assistance to state and local governments. This provision faces an uncertain future; objections to it have been raised by the Bush Administration and others, contending that the assistance will result in the rescue of lenders and speculators.
Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Boyd, Eugene & Gonzales, Oscar R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Highway Bridges: Conditions and the Federal/State Role

Description: This report examines the federal and state roles in the maintenance, inspection, reconstruction, and replacement of the nation's highway bridge infrastructure, as well as the emergency response and reconstruction role of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The report first describes what is known about the condition of the nation's bridges and whether the problem of structural deficiency is improving or worsening. It then briefly describes the programmatic and budgetary context, including federal efforts to reduce the number of deficient bridges, and examines highway bridge spending. The report discusses issues Congress is facing face in light of the I-35W bridge collapse and the emergence of questions about the appropriateness and effectiveness of related federal infrastructure policies, programs, and spending. Finally, the report describes a number of legislative initiatives that have been proposed.
Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Kirk, Robert S. & Mallett, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Infrastructure Security: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of industry and federal activities related to LNG security. The report describes U.S. LNG infrastructure, the industry's safety record and security risks, and the industry's security initiatives since September 11, 2001. It summarizes recent changes in federal LNG and maritime security law and related changes in the security roles of federal agencies. The report discusses several policy concerns related to federal LNG security efforts: 1) public costs of marine security, 2) uncertainty regarding LNG terrorism risks, and 3) security implications of promoting U.S.-flagged LNG tankers and U.S. crews.
Date: May 13, 2008
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: Program Overview and Issues

Description: This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996, which authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to protect public health.
Date: February 22, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy

Description: This report examines policy issues the Davis-Bacon Act has sparked through the years and which remain a part of the Davis-Bacon debate of the 1990s. These include such questions as: wage rate determination procedures, reporting requirements under the Copeland Act, an appropriate threshold for activation of the statute, interagency relationships with respect to Davis-Bacon enforcement and compliance activity, administrative or judicial appeals procedures, the use of "helpers" and other low-skilled workers on covered projects, and the right of a President to suspend the statute as well as the conditions under which such a suspension may occur. That the fundamental premise of the Act remains in contention after 60 years may be, itself, part of the public policy debate.
Date: November 30, 2007
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rural Water Supply and Sewer Systems: Background Information

Description: This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act, which impose requirements regarding drinking water quality and wastewater treatment in rural areas. Approximately 27% of the U.S. population lives in areas defined by the Census Bureau as rural. Many rural communities need to complete water and waste disposal projects to improve the public health and environmental conditions of their citizens.
Date: April 12, 2007
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Western Water Resource Issues

Description: This report discusses the debate over western water resources, which revolves around the issue of how best to plan for and manage the use of this renewable, yet sometimes scarce and increasingly sought after, resource.
Date: October 18, 2006
Creator: Cody, Betsy A. & Sheikh, Pervaze A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electric Reliability: Options for Electric Transmission Infrastructure Improvements

Description: The electric utility industry is inherently capital intensive. At the same time, the industry must operate under a changing and sometimes unpredictable regulatory system at both the federal and state level. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has set in place government activities intended to relieve congestion on the transmission system. Several factors have contributed to the lack of new transmission capacity; these are outlined within this report. This report also discusses earlier pieces of energy legislation.
Date: September 20, 2006
Creator: Abel, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electric Reliability: Options for Electric Transmission Infrastructure Improvements

Description: The electric utility industry is inherently capital intensive. At the same time, the industry must operate under a changing and sometimes unpredictable regulatory system at both the federal and state level. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has set in place government activities intended to relieve congestion on the transmission system. Several factors have contributed to the lack of new transmission capacity; these are outlined within this report. This report also discusses earlier pieces of energy legislation.
Date: September 20, 2006
Creator: Abel, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electric Reliability: Options for Electric Transmission Infrastructure Improvements

Description: The electric utility industry is inherently capital intensive. At the same time, the industry must operate under a changing and sometimes unpredictable regulatory system at both the federal and state level. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has set in place government activities intended to relieve congestion on the transmission system. Several factors have contributed to the lack of new transmission capacity; these are outlined within this report. This report also discusses earlier pieces of energy legislation.
Date: September 20, 2006
Creator: Abel, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Critical Infrastructure: The National Asset Database

Description: The purpose of this report is to discuss the National Asset Database: what is in it, how it is populated, what the Database apparently is, what it is not, and how it is intended to be used. The report also discusses some of the issues on which Congress could focus its oversight, including appropriation bill language.
Date: September 14, 2006
Creator: Moteff, John D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force

Description: The increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce has been and continues to be of concern to some in the scientific community. Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs. In addition to the number of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs, a significant number of university faculty in the scientific disciplines are foreign, and foreign doctorates are employed in large numbers by industry. This report examines these issues and discusses their policy implications.
Date: September 14, 2006
Creator: Matthews, Christine M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Capitol Visitor Center: An Overview

Description: This report presents the cost of the center, the most extensive addition to the Capitol since the Civil War, and the largest in the structure’s more than 200-year history, is now estimated to be at least $555 million. The project is being financed with appropriated funds, and a total of $65 million from private donations and revenue generated by the sale of commemorative coins.
Date: July 5, 2006
Creator: Stathis, Stephen W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Description: The possibility of damage to or destruction of the nation's water supply and water quality infrastructure by terrorist attack has gained substantial attention since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Policymakers are considering a number of initiatives, including enhanced physical security, better communication and coordination, and research. A key issue is how such security measures will be funded. Committees in the 109th Congress have approved legislation to support vulnerability assessments in federal and non-federal wastewater treatment plants and utility systems.
Date: May 24, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia & Cody, Betsy A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

Description: The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is an interagency committee that serves the President in overseeing the national security implications of foreign investment in the economy. Since it was established by an Executive Order of President Ford in 1975, the committee has operated in relative obscurity.1 According to a Treasury Department memorandum, the Committee originally was established in order to placate Congress, which had grown concerned over the rapid increase in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) investments in American portfolio assets (Treasury securities, corporate stocks and bonds), and to respond to concerns of some that much of the OPEC investments were being driven by political, rather than by economic, motives.
Date: May 17, 2006
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department