Congressional Research Service Reports - 169 Matching Results

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

Description: This report provides analysis of 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: July 15, 2010
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F.; Lunder, Erika K.; Liu, Edward C. & Klein, Heather S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ballast Water Management to Combat Invasive Species

Description: The 111th Congress may elect to consider legislation (H.R. 500 and S. 237) that has been introduced to amend and reauthorize the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 to further study vessel ballast water management standards and modify how ballast water is handled. This report provides background on various approaches to ballast water management and reviews current ballast water management laws and programs.
Date: July 8, 2010
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
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: July 7, 2010
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The 2010 Oil Spill: Criminal Liability Under Wildlife Laws

Description: In April 2010 an explosion occurred on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, reportedly killing 11 people, and, according to federal experts, causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Millions of barrels of oil are believed to have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico. As the oil spreads, the implications for harm to wildlife grow. The United States has many laws that protect wildlife from harm. This report discusses three: the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Date: June 28, 2010
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Potential Stafford Act Declarations for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, P.L. 93-288, which presents several options, and could provide a number of programs, to address the Gulf Coast oil spill. The Stafford Act authorizes the President to issue "major disaster" or "emergency" declarations before or after catastrophes occur. Emergency declarations trigger aid that protects property, public health, and safety and lessens or averts the threat of an incident becoming a catastrophic event.
Date: May 13, 2010
Creator: McCarthy, Francis X.
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.
Date: April 30, 2010
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
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

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

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

Controversies over Redefining "Fill Material" Under the Clean Water Act

Description: On May 3, 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) announced a regulation redefining two key terms, "fill material" and "discharge of fill material," in rules that implement Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. This report discusses the 2002 rule, focusing on how it changes which material and types of activities are regulated under Section 404 and the significance of these issues, especially for the mining industry.
Date: April 20, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
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

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

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

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: November 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Quality Issues in the 110th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Description: This report discusses issues surrounding the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 and programs set up to meet the water quality standards that it outlined. The report focuses specifically on the legislative issues for the 110th Congress in relation to the CWA including the authorization of water infrastructure funding, regulatory protection of wetlands, and other CWA issues that may require separate oversight or legislation. It also includes a brief comparison of the expected appropriations for FY2008 and FY2009.
Date: September 18, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department