Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard

Description: This report discusses the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG's) environmental activities, which focus on the prevention of oil spills and pollution.
Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
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.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: This report discusses the 2002 rule (the Clean Water Act), 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: August 21, 2013
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water: Summary of H.R. 961, As Passed

Description: The Clean Water Act, which was last amended in 1987, consists of two major parts: regulatory provisions that impose progressively more stringent requirements on industries and cities to abate pollution and meet the statutory goal of zero discharge of pollutants, and provisions that authorize Federal financial assistance for municipal wastewater treatment construction.
Date: May 30, 1995
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA Regulation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

Description: This report describes the revised environmental rules of the Clean Water Act, the background of previous Clean Water Act rules and the Clinton Administration proposal for revising these rules, and perspectives of key interest groups on the proposal and final regulations. It also identifies several issues likely to be of congressional interest as implementation of the revised rules proceeds.
Date: April 15, 2003
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oil and Chemical Spills: Federal Emergency Response Framework

Description: This report discusses the statutory authorities of the National Contingency Plan (NCP), and relevant executive orders; outlines the federal emergency response framework of the NCP to coordinate federal, state, and local roles; and identifies the funding mechanisms to carry out a federal response to a discharge of oil or a release of a hazardous substance.
Date: October 10, 2013
Creator: Bearden, David M. & Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Endocrine Disruption: An Introduction

Description: Exposure to certain chemicals in the environment could disrupt the hormone systems of animals and humans, according to some scientists who are concerned about potential risks to public health and ecosystems. Congress has mandated chemical screening to assess the potential of pesticides and drinking water contaminants to influence the normal functions of female, male and thyroid hormones. As conflicting scientific evidence accumluates on the hormone disruption hypothesis, legislators may consider proposals to increase or decrease funding for the endocrine disruption screening program, or to expand its requirements to include additional chemicals or hormone functions.
Date: January 11, 2001
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo & Buck, Eugene H
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
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.
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Microbeads: An Emerging Water Quality Issue

Description: This report discusses the debate over how to address growing environmental concerns regarding microbeads (synthetic particles made of either polyethylene or polypropylene plastic) and whether federal regulation to control or ban them is needed. A number of companies are voluntarily removing microbeads from their products, and some states--eight so far--have passed laws to ban manufacture and sale of products with microbeads.
Date: July 20, 2015
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Description: The Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to develop a regulatory response to a 2006 federal court ruling that vacated a long-standing rule that exempts discharges associated with the normal operation of vessels from permit requirements of the Clean Water Act. Concern that this ruling could require millions of recreational boaters to obtain permits has led to the introduction of legislation to exempt these and other types of vessels from water quality regulation. This report discusses background to the issue; bills introduced in response, two of which were passed by Congress on July 22; and draft permits proposed by EPA on June 17.
Date: June 19, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Description: The Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to develop a regulatory response to a 2006 federal court ruling that vacated a long-standing rule that exempts discharges associated with the normal operation of vessels from permit requirements of the Clean Water Act. Concern that this ruling could require millions of recreational boaters to obtain permits has led to the introduction of legislation to exempt these and other types of vessels from water quality regulation. This report discusses background to the issue; bills introduced in response, two of which were passed by Congress on July 22; and draft permits proposed by EPA on June 17.
Date: September 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act: A Summary of the Law

Description: This report presents a summary of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, or Clean Water Act, describing the essence of the statute without discussing its implementation.
Date: January 24, 2002
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

Description: This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of rules not yet promulgated (including related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables for rules under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Date: February 9, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role

Description: This report discusses the federal regulatory role in regards to drinking water, more specifically in the context of the Flint water crisis. Lead exposure is a major public health concern, particularly because low-level exposures can impair the neurodevelopment of children. The main source of lead in drinking water is the corrosion of plumbing materials in the distribution system.
Date: February 16, 2016
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Item Type: Report
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: August 30, 2007
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department