Congressional Research Service Reports - 419 Matching Results

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Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future.
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues in the 109th Congress
The Corps is a federal agency in the Department of Defense with military and civilian responsibilities. At the direction of Congress, the Corps plans, builds, operates, and maintains a wide range of water resources facilities in U.S. states and territories.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
This report discusses various proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues include changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, reducing conflicts with Department of Defense activities, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
Grazing Regulations: Changes by the Bureau of Land Management
This report discusses the two-pronged approach to grazing reform the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking by proposing changes to grazing regulations and considering other changes to grazing policies. BLM asserts that regulatory changes are needed to increase flexibility for grazing managers and permittees, to improve rangeland management and grazing permit administration, to promote conservation, and to comply with court decisions.
Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest
The Midwestern Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008 is intended to assist with the recovery from the severe weather that affected the Midwest during the summer of 2008. The Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008 includes some similar provisions, but these are not limited to the Midwest disaster. The disaster relief in the three bills is similar to that provided to assist with the recovery from the 2005 hurricanes and the 2007 Kansas tornadoes. This report broadly discusses the disaster relief provisions in other relevant legislation.
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration
This report introduces the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration program, and discusses whether it might have muted the impacts of hurricanes of the magnitude and paths of Katrina or Rita and whether the devastation caused by both hurricanes might cause the Corps to consider different restoration options.
Forestry Assistance Programs
This report describes the current forestry assistance programs funded through the State and Private Forestry (S&PF) branch of the Forest Service. Following a brief overview, the report presents basic information on the programs to assist forestry practices, forest protection, and rural economies — purposes of the programs, types of activities funded, eligibility requirements, and authorized program duration and funding level, with recent program appropriations.
Funding Plant and Animal Health Emergencies: Transfers from the Commodity Credit Corporation
This report examines the Secretary of Agriculture's authority to transfer funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for emergency control programs. The Secretary’s use of this authority has increased in recent years, and has become an issue within government concerning the method for funding plant and animal health programs.
An Overview of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE)
No Description Available.
The Department of Energy's Tritium Production Program
Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen used to enhance the explosive yield of every thermonuclear weapon. Tritium has a radioactive decay rate of 5.5% per year and has not been produced in this country for weapons purposes since 1988.
The Federal Helium Program: The Reaction Over an Inert Gas
No Description Available.
Biological Diversity Treaty: Fact Sheet
As human activity continues to change and modify natural areas, widespread extinctions of plants, animals, and other types of species result. In 1992, negotiations conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) were completed on a comprehensive global treaty to protect biological diversity (biodiversity). In June 1993, President Clinton signed the treaty and sent it to the Senate for advice and consent. It is not pending in the Senate. The treaty entered into force on December 29, 1993. As of May 15, 1995, 118 nations had ratified the treaty.
The Endangered Species Act: A Primer
The Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 receives significant congressional attention. The associated power and reach of its comprehensive protection for species identified as endangered or threatened with extinction has ignited concern that there be appropriate bounds on this power. The following discussion provides an overview and background on the various features of the ESA that contribute to its stature and yet spark an ongoing debate over its implementation.
The Endangered Species Act: A Primer
The Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 receives significant congressional attention. The associated power and reach of its comprehensive protection for species identified as endangered or threatened with extinction has ignited concern that there be appropriate bounds on this power. The following discussion provides an overview and background on the various features of the ESA that contribute to its stature and yet spark an ongoing debate over its implementation.
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos and Carabell
No Description Available.
Biotechnology, Indigenous Peoples, and Intellectual Property Rights
This report examines intellectual property right in pharmaceuticals in a particular context, namely, medicinal products and processes derived from the biodiversity resources of areas inhabited by indigenous peoples. This report discusses the international law regarding intellectual property rights in traditional knowledge and the American laws regarding traditional knowledge.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
The 109th Congress is considering proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated enacting as law some ESA regulations promulgated during the Clinton Administration. This report identifies other bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address specific concerns related to how the ESA is implemented and how endangered species are managed.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
The 109th Congress is considering proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated enacting as law some ESA regulations promulgated during the Clinton Administration. This report identifies other bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address specific concerns related to how the ESA is implemented and how endangered species are managed.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
The 109th Congress is considering proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated enacting as law some ESA regulations promulgated during the Clinton Administration. This report identifies other bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address specific concerns related to how the ESA is implemented and how endangered species are managed.
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos and Carabell
No Description Available.
Mercury Emissions from Electric Power Plants: States are Setting Stricter Limits
No Description Available.
Survey of Recent State Policies to Manage Growth and Protect Open Space
No Description Available.
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been seeking congressional approval for a $1.1 billion multi-year program to both construct five projects that would help to restore specified sites in the coastal wetland ecosystem in Louisiana, and to continue planning several other related projects. The state of Louisiana and several federal agencies have participated in the development of this program. This report introduces this program and restoration options that are being discussed in the wake of the hurricanes. It also discusses whether this program, if completed, might have muted the impacts of these hurricanes.
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been seeking congressional approval for a $1.1 billion multi-year program to both construct five projects that would help to restore specified sites in the coastal wetland ecosystem in Louisiana, and to continue planning several other related projects. The state of Louisiana and several federal agencies have participated in the development of this program. This report introduces this program and restoration options that are being discussed in the wake of the hurricanes. It also discusses whether this program, if completed, might have muted the impacts of these hurricanes.
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration: The Recommended Corps Plan
The Corps estimates that this entire package of recommended activities would cost a total of $1,996 million. Included in this package are recommendations for immediate authorization ($1,123 million), further authorized investigation ($145 million), and projects that could be authorized in the future ($728 million). This CRS short report is limited to a summary of this Corps report and the next steps in implementation.
Hurricane Katrina and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration
No Description Available.
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration
No Description Available.
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues
No Description Available.
U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction
No Description Available.
U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction
No Description Available.
Regulation of Plant-Based Pharmaceuticals
No Description Available.
Measuring and Monitoring Carbon in the Agricultural and Forestry Sectors
Proposals to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases often include the use of forestry and agricultural practices and lands for carbon sequestration. However, uncertainty about the accuracy of measuring carbon from these activities has led some to question this potential. Basic approaches for measuring forest and agricultural carbon include on-site measurement; indirect measurement from off-site tools; and estimation using models or inferences. Because of challenges associated with balancing the cost and accuracy of these measurement tools, any practicable system for measuring forest and agricultural carbon might require a mix of these approaches.
Reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act
No Description Available.
International Forest Agreements: Current Status
No Description Available.
Mahoganies: International Protection?
No Description Available.
The Rural Abandoned Mine Program - A Fact Sheet
No Description Available.
Mining in National Parks and Wilderness Areas: Policy, Rules, Activity
No Description Available.
Deforestation: An Overview of Global Programs and Agreements
In recent years, global environmental concerns have figured prominently on the American political agenda. In particular, tropical deforestation and its implications for global climate change and biological diversity loss have prompted public outcry. Concerns have since grown to include other forest types as well. The Congress has considered a variety of legislation to stem the tide of increasing deforestation and the United States has supported a number of bilateral and multilateral initiatives to assist other countries in managing their forest resources.
The Salvage Timber Sale Rider: Overview and Policy Issues
No Description Available.
Marine Dead Zones: Understanding the Problem
No Description Available.
The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA, P.L. 95-87), enacted in 1977, established reclamation standards for all coal surface mining operations, and for the surface effects of underground mining. It also established the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program to promote the reclamation of sites mined and abandoned prior to the enactment of SMCRA. To finance reclamation of abandoned mine sites, the legislation established fees on coal production. These collections are divided into federal and state shares; subject to annual appropriation, AML funds are distributed annually to states with approved reclamation programs. This report describes the distribution of these funds and the various issues that arise from said distribution.
Acid Rain: Does it Contribute to Forest Decline?
This minibrief describes the major hypothesis explaining why acid rain may be contributing to forest decline, along with the major arguments against this hypothesis. For additional information on acid rain and current legislation for pollutant emissions controls, see IB83016 -- Acid Rain: Current Issues, and IB83005 -- Clean Air Act: An Overview.
Agreements to Promote Fishery Conservation and Management in International Waters
Declining fish populations threaten an important food source. Natural catastrophes, pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing contribute to the depletion of fish stocks. Overexploitation of fishery resources often occurs when management allows expanding and increasingly efficient fishing fleets to continue harvesting dwindling supplies. Although prevalent, overexploitation is not universal and its extent varies among areas, species, and fisheries. This report discusses the issue of overfishing and its possible consequences, as well as domestic and international efforts to combat overfishing.
The Role of Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act
No Description Available.
The Role of Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
No Description Available.
Federal Land Management: Appeals and Litigation
No Description Available.
The Endangered Species Act and Private Property
If the 103rd Congress embarks upon an effort to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it will run into an old acquaintance: the property rights issue. As now written, the ESA has at least the potential to curtail property rights (whatever its actual impact as implemented may be). This report explores the legal repercussions of those impacts, especially whether they constitute takings of property under the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
The agencies that implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regard the designation of critical habitat (CH) as providing only very limited benefits beyond those achieved through the listing of species and the avoidance of jeopardy to them. Several courts have now held that the relevant regulation and interpretation that result in this conclusion are erroneous and do not carry out the intent of Congress.