Congressional Research Service Reports - 171 Matching Results

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EPA and the Army Corps' Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

Description: This report describes the final revised rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA)--which the agencies refer to as the Clean Water Rule--and includes a table comparing the existing regulatory language that defines "waters of the United States" with the revisions.
Date: June 29, 2015
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
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
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gold King Mine Spill May Renew Interest in "Good Samaritan" Legislation

Description: This report discusses legislation related to an accidental spill from the Gold King Mine, a long-abandoned gold mine site in Colorado, which released acid mine drainage (AMD) wastewater into a tributary of the Animas River and downstream to the San Juan River. The proposed legislation would authorize Good Samaritan remediation, in which third parties who have no history of polluting at a particular site or legal responsibility for its pollution step forward to clean up AMD or other historic mine residue of pollution.
Date: August 27, 2015
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

EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options

Description: This report discusses four legislative options that Congress could consider to halt or redirect the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineer's proposed "waters of the United States" rule: the Congressional Review Act, appropriations bill limitations, targeted legislation, and broad amendments to the Clean Water Act. Each option faces a steep path to enactment.
Date: May 26, 2015
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

Description: This report describes the March 25, 2014 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
Date: March 20, 2015
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): 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 8, 2015
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
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 taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of rules not yet promulgated (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Date: January 8, 2015
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): 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. It includes an overview of funding, allotments and set-asides, drinking water infrastructure needs, program issues, and legislative activity.
Date: February 6, 2015
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
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

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

Description: 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.3 The emphasis is on the nearshore environment, though 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 in the years after the leak from the deepwater well is capped.
Date: August 5, 2010
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. Permit and enforcement provisions of the law are often referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act. The basic provisions of the act have remained virtually unchanged since 1972, when it was enacted to establish a comprehensive waste management system to regulate disposal or dumping of all materials into marine waters that are within U.S. jurisdiction, although a number of new authorities have been added. This report presents a summary of the law.
Date: December 15, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
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

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: September 13, 2010
Creator: Hagerty, Curry L. & Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

Description: This report describes the March 25, 2014 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
Date: November 21, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department