Congressional Research Service Reports - 68 Matching Results

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Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: The statutory authority to regulate chemical facilities for security purposes, granted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by the 109th Congress, expires in October 2009. The 111th Congress is taking action to reauthorize this program, but the manner of its reauthorization remains an issue of congressional deliberation and debate. Key policy issues debated in previous Congresses are likely to be considered during the reauthorization debate. These issues include what facilities should be considered as chemical facilities; the appropriateness and scope of federal preemption of state chemical facility security activities; the availability of information for public comment, potential litigation, and congressional oversight; and the role of inherently safer technologies.
Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Shea, Dana A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues

Description: This report describes the provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, the Superfund law) and the 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 two House hearings are discussed. Bills intended to exempt animal manure from the requirements of Superfund and EPCRA were introduced in the 109th Congress. Similar bills were introduced in the 110th Congress (H.R. 1398 and S. 807), but no legislation has been enacted. Issues raised by the legislation are analyzed.
Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Concerns in Agricultural Trade

Description: This report categorizes, describes, and in some cases quantifies these barriers on a country-by-country basis. Sixty-two major trading partners are covered in the 2008 report.10 Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade (TBTs) are generally detailed in each country’s profile and, where feasible, their impacts on U.S. exports are quantified by U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
Date: December 15, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues

Description: This report identifies a number of issues that have received attention in connection with water infrastructure investment. It begins with a review of federal involvement, describes the debate about needs, and then examines key issues, including what is the nature of the problems to be solved; who will pay, and what is the federal role; and questions about mechanisms for delivering federal support, including state-by-state allotment of federal funds. Congressional and Administration activity on these issues from the 107th to the 110th Congresses also is reviewed.
Date: November 24, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia & Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Description: This report looks at the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), Yucca Mountain. Most of the current debate surrounding civilian radioactive waste focuses on highly radioactive spent fuel from nuclear power plants.
Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Holt, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program: Scope, Authorities, and Implementation

Description: The federal role in assisting states and communities to clean up brownfield sites -- real property affected by the potential presence of environmental contamination -- has been an ongoing issue for more than a decade. While there appears to be a broad consensus that a federal role in the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields is desirable, issues regarding the degree of financial assistance and overall program effectiveness have been raised.
Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Managing Disaster Debris: Overview of Regulatory Requirements, Agency Roles, and Selected Challenges

Description: This report addresses debris resulting from a “major disaster” or “emergency” declared by the President. First, it discusses the types of debris commonly generated during and after a disaster and selected factors that can make “debris removal” such a costly, complex operation. Second, it discusses the roles of federal, state, and local agencies after a disaster has been declared — with regard to both funding debris removal and the actual physical process of removal.
Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Luther, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense

Description: Whether broader expansions from federal environmental laws are needed to preserve military readiness has been an issue. Questions have been raised as to whether environmental requirements have limited military training activities to the point that readiness would be compromised. The potential impacts of broader exemptions on environmental quality have raised additional questions. Although certain exemptions the Department of Defense (DOD) first requested in FY2003 have been enacted into law, Congress has opposed others. From FY2003 to FY2008, DOD requested exemptions from the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. To date, Congress has not enacted these three latter exceptions. The Administration's FY2009 defense authorization bill does not include these exemptions.
Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Managing Electronic Waste: An Analysis of State E-Waste Legislation

Description: As more states propose e-waste legislation, potentially regulated stakeholders (particularly electronics manufacturers and retailers) have expressed concern that they will be required to comply with a patchwork of state requirements throughout the United States. This concern has led to an increased call for federal legislation regarding e-waste management. To help policy makers better understand the impact of state e-waste legislation, this report discusses issues that have led to state action, common elements in state-waste laws and proposals, and an overview of each enacted state law.
Date: September 10, 2007
Creator: Luther, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Managing Electronic Waste: An Analysis of State E-Waste Legislation

Description: In 2005, two congressional hearings were held to explore issues associated with e-waste, and the Congressional E-Waste Working Group was formed. One goal common to both the hearings and the establishment of the working group was to explore potential national solutions to the e-waste management issue. With increased legislative activity in the states, it is anticipated that stakeholders will increase their call for federal legislation regarding e-waste management. To illustrate the issues associated with individual state action, this report discusses the key issues that have led to state action, describes common elements in state waste laws and proposals, and provides an overview of each enacted state law.
Date: August 29, 2007
Creator: Luther, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Description: Management of civilian radioactive waste has posed difficult issues for Congress since the beginning of the nuclear power industry in the 1950s. Federal policy is based on the premise that nuclear waste can be disposed of safely, but proposed storage and disposal facilities have frequently been challenged on safety, health, and environmental grounds. Although civilian radioactive waste encompasses a wide range of materials, most of the current debate focuses on highly radioactive spent fuel from nuclear power plants. This report outlines issues regarding the management and disposal of civilian radioactive waste, as well as past and ongoing related legislation.
Date: August 8, 2006
Creator: Holt, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Description: The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) calls for disposal of spent nuclear fuel in a deep geologic repository that is unlikely to be disturbed for thousands of years. Low-level waste sites are a state responsibility under the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act of 1980. Pursuant to that act, 10 regional compacts for disposal of low level waste have been approved by Congress. Three commercial low-level waste sites are currently operating, in the states of South Carolina, Utah, and Washington.
Date: August 8, 2006
Creator: Holt, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Description: The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) calls for disposal of spent nuclear fuel in a deep geologic repository that is unlikely to be disturbed for thousands of years. Low-level waste sites are a state responsibility under the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act of 1980. Pursuant to that act, 10 regional compacts for disposal of low level waste have been approved by Congress. Three commercial low-level waste sites are currently operating, in the states of South Carolina, Utah, and Washington.
Date: August 8, 2006
Creator: Holt, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear Energy Policy

Description: This report discusses the nuclear energy policy issues facing Congress, which include the implementation of federal incentives for new commercial reactors, radioactive waste management policy, research and development priorities, power plant safety and regulation, and security against terrorist attacks.
Date: July 20, 2006
Creator: Holt, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radioactive Tank Waste from the Past Production of Nuclear Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: June 13, 2006
Creator: Andrews, Anthony & Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cleanup After Hurricane Katrina: Environmental Considerations

Description: This report aims to provide an overview of the immediate and intermediate cleanup tasks across the diverse communities in the affected region, and federal legal authorities and plans for tackling them. The report also discusses coordinated roles and activities among local, state, and federal agencies and officials. Finally, the report serves to reference other, more detailed CRS reports and other sources on particular Katrina cleanup activities.
Date: May 3, 2006
Creator: Esworthy, Robert; Schierow, Linda-Jo; Copeland, Claudia; Luther, Linda G. & Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hurricane-Damaged Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities: Impacts, Needs, and Response

Description: This report describes information that has been gathered about impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities and on ongoing efforts to assess damages and needs to repair and reconstruct damaged systems.
Date: March 22, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hurricane-Damaged Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities: Impacts, Needs, and Response

Description: This report describes information that has been gathered about impacts of the August 29 hurricane (Hurricane Katrina) on drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities, and on ongoing efforts to assess damages and needs to repair and reconstruct damaged systems.
Date: October 19, 2005
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cleanup After Hurricane Katrina: Environmental Considerations

Description: This report aims to provide an overview of the immediate and intermediate cleanup tasks across the diverse communities in the affected region, and federal legal authorities and plans for tackling them. The report also discusses coordinated roles and activities among local, state, and federal agencies and officials. Finally, the report serves to reference other, more detailed CRS reports and other sources on particular Katrina cleanup activities.
Date: October 13, 2005
Creator: Esworthy, Robert; Schierow, Linda-Jo; Copeland, Claudia & Luther, Linda G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department