Congressional Research Service Reports - 172 Matching Results

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Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: Prevention and Cleanup

Description: This report addresses a nationwide water pollution problem caused by leaking underground storage tanks (USTs). The report discusses key issue that state resources have not met the demands of administering the underground storage tanks (UST) leak prevention program.
Date: July 10, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSR): 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. The program was intended to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects that were needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to meet the Act's health objectives. It includes an overview of funding, allotments and set-asides, drinking water infrastructure needs, program issues, and legislative activity.
Date: April 10, 2009
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues

Description: This report describes the several types of waste streams that cruise ships may discharge and emit. It identifies the complex body of international and domestic laws that address pollution from cruise ships. It then describes federal and state legislative activity concerning cruise ships in Alaskan waters and activities in a few other states, as well as current industry initiatives to manage cruise ship pollution.
Date: July 1, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Controversies over Redefining “Fill Material” Under the Clean Water Act

Description: This report discusses the Clean Water Act that contains two different permitting regimes: (1) Section 402 permits (called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, permit program) address the discharge of most pollutants, and (2) Section 404 permits address the discharge of dredged or fill material into navigable waters of the United States at specified sites. These permit programs differ in nature and approach.
Date: April 20, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act: A Summary of the Law

Description: This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute without discussing its implementation. Other CRS products do discuss implementation, including CRS Report RL33800, Water Quality Issues in the 110th Congress: Oversight and Implementation, and numerous products cited in that report.
Date: March 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Stormwater Permits: Status of EPA's Regulatory Program

Description: This report discusses the regulation of stormwater drainage. Stormwater discharge systems are the pipes and sewer lines that carry rainwater or snow melt, but not domestic sanitary wastes, away from urban areas and commercial and industrial facilities. For many years the focus of the nation's water quality programs was on controlling pollutants associated with industrial process wastewaters and municipal sewage discharges.
Date: May 27, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Quality Issues in the 111th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Description: This report discusses the water quality issues. Although much progress has been made in achieving the ambitious goals that Congress established more than 35 years ago to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters, long-standing problems persist, and new problems have emerged.
Date: March 16, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act Section 401: Background and Issues

Description: Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires that an applicant for a federal license or permit provide a certification that any discharges from the facility will comply with the Act, including water quality standard requirements. Disputes have arisen over the states' exercise of authority under Section 401. Until recently, much of the debate over the Section 401 certification issue has been between states and hydropower interests. A 1994 Supreme Court decision which upheld the states' authority in this area dismayed development and hydroelectric power interest groups. The Court revisited these issues in a 2006 ruling that unanimously upheld the states' authority to condition hydropower licenses. The dispute between states and industry groups about Section 401 authority has been a legislative issue on several occasions, but Congress has not responded by modifying the provision's scope. In addition, there has been interest in clarifying whether Section 401 certification applies to nonpoint source discharges, such as rainfall runoff, as well as point source discharges from pipes or ditches.
Date: October 5, 2006
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: January 30, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background and Governance

Description: This report provides background information regarding oil spills in U.S. coastal waters and identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup. Based on data between 1973 and 2009, the annual number and volume of oil spills have shown declines- in some cases, dramatic declines.
Date: January 11, 2012
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Highlighted Actions and Issues

Description: This report highlights actions taken and issues raised as a result of the April 20, 2010, explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, and the resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Readers can access more extensive discussions in various CRS reports, identified at the end of this report.
Date: May 13, 2011
Creator: Hagerty, Curry L. & Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Safeguarding the Nation's Drinking Water: EPA and Congressional Actions

Description: The events of September 11, 2001, focused heightened attention on the security status of the nation's drinking water supplies and the vulnerability of this critical infrastructure sector to attack. This report reviews governmental and water utility efforts to improve drinking water security.
Date: September 30, 2010
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oil Spill Legislation in the 111th Congress

Description: This report summarizes provisions of selected legislation - enacted and proposed - that address oil spill policy issues raised after the April 20, 2010, explosion and resulting oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. This report focuses primarily on oil spill policy matters that concern prevention, preparedness, response, and the liability and compensation framework.
Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Coastal Wetland and Wildlife Impacts and Response

Description: The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, and the resulting oil spill began a cascade of effects on the coastal areas of the Gulf and on the wealth of species that inhabit those areas. This report addresses the importance of wetlands in general, the ecology of the coastal wetlands in the Gulf, impacts of oil spills on wetland habitats, response options, the implications of hurricane season for the spill's impacts, and cleanup and recovery issues. The emphasis is on the nearshore environment, although a few species found in deeper waters will be mentioned. In addition, some lessons from past spills such as the Exxon Valdez in Alaska will be discussed, along with issues that may arise as response and recovery transition to restoration of the Gulf.
Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tax Issues and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Legal Analysis of Payments and Tax Relief Policy Options

Description: This report will briefly discuss existing disaster-related tax provisions and their application to the recent Depewater Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The report then provides an analysis of the tax treatment of the BP payments to the individuals and businesses impacted by the oil spill as well as various policy options for providing tax relief to oil spill victims, highlighting the circumstantial differences between previous natural disasters and the current oil spill. The report concludes with a brief summary of current legislative efforts.
Date: October 14, 2010
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F.; Lunder, Erika K. & Liu, Edward C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reorganization of the Minerals Management Service in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Description: This report provides background and context on the origins of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) in the Department of the Interior (DOI). The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill refocused attention on MMS, which had previously endured management challenges. The report also discusses Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar's handling of conflicts within MMS, potential congressional options regarding MMS reorganization, historical examples of similar reorganization efforts, and information on related legislative initiatives.
Date: November 10, 2010
Creator: Hogue, Henry B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Projects Designated in EPA Appropriations: Trends and Policy Implications

Description: This report discusses appropriations for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water infrastructure programs, focusing on congressional special project designations in the account that funds these programs. While some Members of Congress, interest groups, and Administration officials are critical of these types of congressional actions, there is little indication that the practice will cease. Information on the programmatic history of EPA involvement in assisting wastewater treatment and drinking water projects also is provided in two appendixes.
Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?

Description: This report provides background on the conflict over interpretation and implementation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act. A brief discussion of the two laws is followed by a review of the major litigation of interest. EPA's efforts to clarify its policy in this area and the November 2006 rule and the 2009 federal court ruling are discussed, as well as possible options for EPA and Congress to further address the FIFRA-CWA issues. In June, EPA proposed a draft general CWA permit that it intends to finalize by April 2011 in response to the court ruling.
Date: October 13, 2010
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

Federally Supported Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Programs

Description: This report provides background information on the types of water supply and wastewater treatment projects traditionally funded by the federal government and the several existing programs to assist communities with water supply and wastewater treatment.
Date: June 15, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Cody, Betsy A.; Tiemann, Mary; Carter, Nicole T. & Stubbs, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Acidification

Description: With increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the extent of effects on the ocean and marine resources is an increasing concern. One aspect of this issue is the ongoing process whereby seawater becomes acidified (i.e., ocean acidification) as more CO2 dissolves in it, causing hydrogen ion concentration in seawater to increase. While not yet fully understood, the ecological and economic consequences of ocean acidification could be substantial. Congress is beginning to focus attention on better understanding ocean acidification and determining how this concern might be addressed.
Date: July 2, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department