Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Phosphorus Mitigation in the Everglades

Description: This report discusses the FY2004 appropriations provisions that condition federal funding for Everglades restoration on compliance with water quality standards, provides a side-by-side analysis of pending appropriations legislation, and provides background and a timeline of efforts to address Everglades phosphorus pollution (from Summary).
Date: January 13, 2004
Creator: Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Johnson, Barbara
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Everglades Restoration: The Federal Role in Funding

Description: In 2000, Congress approved a 30-year, $7.8 billion restoration plan, termed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), for the Everglades ecosystem in southern Florida, and authorized an initial set of projects at a cost of $1.4 billion. This report provides information on federal appropriations for Everglades restoration, and discusses some issues related to the authorization and appropriations for restoration projects.
Date: August 23, 2005
Creator: Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aging Infrastructure: Dam Safety

Description: To help inform discussions on the federal role in dam safety, this report provides background information on the nation’s dam safety activities and funding mechanisms.
Date: September 29, 2005
Creator: Powers, Kyna
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Great Lakes Water Withdrawal: Legal and Policy Issues

Description: Report discussing the legal and policy issues regarding the Great Lakes region of the United States. According to the Summary: "This report describes the characteristics of the Great Lakes, the interests they support, and possible threats to lake levels. It analyzes the current laws and policies that regulate the diversion, withdrawal, and consumptive use of water from the Great Lakes. Also included is a discussion of the draft Agreement and Compact and the various positions voiced by interest groups. This report concludes with a general discussion on the relationship between compacts, federal law, and the Congress."
Date: June 20, 2005
Creator: Viña, Stephen R. & Sheikh, Pervaze A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flood Risk Management: Federal Role in Infrastructure

Description: This report discusses federal investment decisions on flood control infrastructure, such as levees, floodwalls, and dams. The report also analyzes flood risk as a composite of flood threat, consequence, and vulnerability. The report illustrates that federal policy focuses attention on only some aspects of flood risk and summarizes the options being discussed for addressing other aspects of flood risk in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Date: October 26, 2005
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Everglades Restoration: The Federal Role in Funding

Description: In 2000, Congress approved a 30-year, $7.8 billion restoration plan, termed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), for the Everglades ecosystem in southern Florida, and authorized an initial set of projects at a cost of $1.4 billion. This report provides information on federal appropriations for Everglades restoration, and discusses some issues related to the authorization and appropriations for restoration projects.
Date: October 24, 2005
Creator: Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration

Description: This report introduces the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration program, and discusses whether it might have muted the impacts of hurricanes of the magnitude and paths of Katrina or Rita and whether the devastation caused by both hurricanes might cause the Corps to consider different restoration options.
Date: November 18, 2005
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey
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 recycling and treatment. These projects and programs are found primarily within the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Commerce, Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Date: March 14, 2005
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. Resources, Science, and Industry Division.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FEMA's Flood Hazard Map Modernization Initiative

Description: This report discusses the the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which required the Flood Insurance Administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development to produce countywide “Flood Insurance Rate Maps,” or FIRMs, to set federal flood insurance premiums based on flood risk.
Date: February 3, 2006
Creator: Morrissey, Wayne A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Implementing the Conservation Security Program

Description: This report discusses the Conservation Security Program (CSP), which is a agricultural conservation program created in the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171, §2001). It provides incentives for farmers to pursue conservation and helps pay for conservation practices. Unlike some other NRCS programs, it pays for conservation on land that remains in production and makes eligible a wide range of farm lands (cropland, pastureland, rangeland, grassland, prairie land, tribal lands, and forested lands incidental to an agricultural operation)
Date: November 23, 2004
Creator: Johnson, Barbara
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Rights Related to Oil Shale Development in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Description: Concerns over fluctuating oil prices and declining petroleum production worldwide have revived interest in oil shale as a potential resource. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58) identified oil shale as a strategically important domestic resource and directed the Department of the Interior to promote commercial development. Oil shale development would require significant amounts of water, however, and water supply in the Colorado River Basin, where several oil shale reserves are located, is limited. This report will provide a brief overview of water rights in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, including changes that may be made to currently held water rights and the possibility for abandonment of unused water rights.
Date: November 18, 2008
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management

Description: The nation's energy choices embody many tradeoffs. Water use is one of those tradeoffs. The energy choices before Congress represent vastly different demands on domestic freshwater. The energy sector's water consumption is projected to rise 50% from 2005 to 2030. This rising water demand derives from both an increase in the amount of energy demanded and shifts to more water-intense energy sources and technologies. This report discusses this issue as well as related issues that may arise for the 112th Congress.
Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures

Description: In 1986, the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) was enacted to fund U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE or the Corps) activities related to the routine operation and maintenance (O&M) of harbors, namely the dredging of harbor channels to their authorized depths and widths. Economic and equity issues related to HMT expenditures and collections are the main focus of this report. Before analyzing these issues, the report reviews the legislative history of the tax and legal challenges to it, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of alternative funding mechanisms, and describes the commercial context of current dredging activity. The last section identifies legislation related to harbor maintenance funding.
Date: January 10, 2011
Creator: Frittelli, John
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

Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress

Description: This brief discusses the major issues for Congress which include whether to increase inland waterway funding in the future (and by what amount); the appropriate type of revenue stream (e.g., fuel taxes or lockage fees) for the user-required portion of these projects; division of the cost-share responsibilities between the federal government and commercial users (e.g., 50/50 or some other division); and whether to initiate process-based recommendations that some argue will improve the delivery and efficiency of Corps-led IWTF projects.
Date: January 20, 2011
Creator: Stern, Charles V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments

Description: Permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorize various types of development projects in wetlands and other waters of the United States. The Corps' regulatory process involves two types of permits: general permits for actions by private landowners that are similar in nature and will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. The Corps uses general permits to minimize the burden of its regulatory program: they authorize landowners to proceed with a project without the time-consuming need to obtain standard individual permits in advance. About 90% of the Corps' regulatory workload is processed in the form of general permits.
Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments

Description: Congressional interest in wetlands permit regulatory programs has been evident in the past in oversight hearings and in connection with bills to fund the Corps' regulatory programs. For some time, there has been a stalemate over legislation that would revise wetlands regulatory law and that could, if enacted, modify the nationwide permit program. During this time, no consensus has emerged on whether or how to reform overall wetlands policy legislatively. Recently, Obama Administration initiatives and actions intended to restrict harmful effects of surface coal mining activities in Appalachia have drawn congressional attention and criticism that is likely to continue in the 112th Congress and that could include oversight of the Corps' regulatory program generally.
Date: December 28, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues

Description: This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Water Drinking Ace, the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of, and issues associated with, enactment of legislation authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this statute.
Date: April 10, 2012
Creator: Tiemann, Mary & Vann, Adam
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

Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure

Description: This report addresses several options being considered by Congress to address the financing needs of local communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects and to decrease or close the gap between available funds and projected needs. Six options that are reflected in current or recent legislative proposals, including budgetary implications, are discussed.
Date: April 3, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Mallett, William J. & Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress

Description: This brief discusses the major issues for Congress which include whether to increase inland waterway funding in the future (and by what amount); the appropriate type of revenue stream (e.g., fuel taxes or lockage fees) for the user-required portion of these projects; division of the cost-share responsibilities between the federal government and commercial users (e.g., 50/50 or some other division); and whether to initiate process-based recommendations that some argue will improve the delivery and efficiency of Corps-led IWTF projects.
Date: July 14, 2011
Creator: Stern, Charles V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department