Congressional Research Service Reports - 238 Matching Results

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Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Description: This report discusses the environmental activities of the U.S. Coast Guard, which fall within the service's program for protection of natural resources, and consist of maritime oil spill prevention, marine debris, and pollution response preparedness. Protection of living marine resources and fisheries also falls in this category, but is not discussed here. Marine environmental protection is one of six "non-homeland security missions" specified in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
Date: May 7, 2009
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Acidification

Description: This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process.
Date: April 2, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training

Description: This report discusses laws related to the protection of marine mammals when using mid-frequency active sonar including the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The report discusses each of the laws generally, and then reviews the litigation surrounding the Navy's compliance with these laws in the context of using the sonar for training purposes off California's coast.
Date: February 18, 2009
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Description: This report identifies a number of issues related to establishing MPAs in the United States. It begins by defining the concept and administrative actions taken to provide spatial protection in marine areas. It then considers some of the key issues and potential benefits and costs of designating additional MPAs.
Date: February 6, 2009
Creator: Upton, Harold F. & Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Description: This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law, and describes the laws -- at both the state and federal levels -- governing the development of offshore oil and gas and related litigation. Additionally, it provides an outline of the changes to the regulating authorities by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, subsequent legislation and executive action, and a discussion of recent executive action and legislative proposals that would allow for further offshore exploration and production.
Date: January 30, 2009
Creator: Vann, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Description: Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas.
Date: January 12, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gas Hydrates: Resource and Hazard

Description: Solid gas hydrates are a potentially huge resource of natural gas for the United States. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated that there are about 85 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of technically recoverable gas hydrates in northern Alaska. Gas hydrates are both a potential resource and a risk, representing a significant hazard to conventional oil and gas drilling and production operations. This report addresses the issue of cost and method of recovering potential gas hydrates, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using gas hydrates as a potential energy source. Included is information on the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Date: November 26, 2008
Creator: Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA, P.L. 92-532) has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute.
Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Marine Protected Areas: An Overview

Description: This report identifies a number of issues related to establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) in the United States. It begins by defining the concept and administrative actions taken to provide spatial protection in marine areas. It then considers some of the key issues and potential benefits and costs of designating additional MPAs. It concludes by summarizing current congressional interest in the topic and legislation proposed during the 110th Congress.
Date: November 14, 2008
Creator: Upton, Harold F. & Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training

Description: This report discusses laws related to the protection of marine mammals when using mid-frequency active sonar including the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The report discusses each of the laws generally, and then reviews the litigation surrounding the Navy's compliance with these laws in the context of using the sonar for training purposes off California's coast.
Date: November 14, 2008
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Description: The U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG's) environmental activities focus on prevention programs, accompanied by enforcement and educational activities. An important component is maritime oil spill prevention, which includes inspection of U.S. and foreign-flagged ships to ensure compliance with U.S. laws and international agreements, as well as reduce the impact of oil and hazardous substances spills. Another prevention effort, minimizing marine debris, addresses commercial items as well as trash from recreational fishing and boating.
Date: November 3, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Description: Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas.
Date: October 8, 2008
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?

Description: Developments in wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technologies -- also referred to as hydrokinetic or marine energy -- are beginning to gain momentum. At the same time, their regulatory status is still evolving, as shown by recent changes in law aimed at clarifying hte federal role in ocean wave and renewable energy. Two federal agencies currently appear to have a lead role in offshore renewable energy projects -- the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Lane, Nic
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Royalty Relief for U.S. Deepwater Oil and Gas Leases

Description: The most common incentives for offshore oil and gas development include various forms of royalty relief. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to grant royalty relief to promote increased oil and gas production. The Deep Water Royalty Relief Act of 1995 (DWRRA) expanded the Secretary's royalty relief authority in the Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf (OCS). This report outlines the ongoing controversy over royalty relief, related legislation, and related court rulings.
Date: September 18, 2008
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Description: This report focuses on oil spills in U.S. coastal waters. The first section highlights background issues, including oil spill statistics and potential environmental impacts. The second section discusses the legal framework that governs oil spill prevention and response. The third section examines the threat of future oil spills in coastal waters and whether response personnel are prepared to respond to a major spill. The final section highlights recent legislative activity.
Date: September 2, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training Program

Description: This report discusses laws related to the protection of marine mammals when using mid-frequency active sonar including the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The report discusses each of the laws generally, and then reviews the litigation surrounding the Navy's compliance with these laws in the context of using the sonar for training purposes off California's coast.
Date: August 27, 2008
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. Permit and enforcement provisions of the law are often referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act. The basic provisions of the act have remained virtually unchanged since 1972, when it was enacted to establish a comprehensive waste management system to regulate disposal or dumping of all materials into marine waters that are within U.S. jurisdiction, although a number of new authorities have been added. This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute.
Date: August 25, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Endangered Species Act and Legal Issues Regarding Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead

Description: This report discusses the resident fish, such as bull trout and Kootenai River white sturgeon, which are listed as threatened and endangered respectively under the ESA are affected by the FCRPS. This report focuses on Endangered Species Act (ESA) actions and litigation related to these species.
Date: July 16, 2008
Creator: Lane, Nic; Alexander, Kristina & Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing

Description: Oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been an important issue in the debate over energy security and domestic energy resources. The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a comprehensive inventory of OCS resources in February 2006 that estimated reserves of 8.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Congress has imposed moratoria of the OCS since 1982 through the annual Interior appropriation bills. Proponents of the moratoria contend that offshore drilling would pose unacceptable environmental risks and threaten coastal tourism industries. This report analyzes this issue in-depth, including budgetary information and relevant legislation.
Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department