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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

Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Description: Much progress has been made in achieving the ambitious goals that Congress established more than 35 years ago in the Clean Water Act (CWA) to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters. However, long-standing problems persist, and new problems have emerged. Water quality problems are diverse, ranging from pollution runoff from farms and ranches, city streets, and other diffuse or "nonpoint" sources, to toxic substances discharged from factories and sewage treatment plants.
Date: November 7, 2011
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Description: This report identifies funding for water infrastructure programs and projects contained in the legislation, including amounts in the House- and Senate-passed versions that preceded the conference agreement. Among the purposes identified in the legislation are preservation and creation of jobs and promotion of U.S. economic recovery, and investment in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits.
Date: March 12, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia & Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Description: This report discusses water quality legislation. A number of Clean Water Act issues have been the subject of congressional oversight and legislation, including the environmental and economic impacts of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, federal promulgation of water quality standards in Florida, regulation of surface coal mining activities in Appalachia, and other CWA regulatory actions. Congressional interest in several of these issues has been reflected in debate over policy provisions of legislation providing FY2012 appropriations for EPA (P.L. 112-74).
Date: May 30, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Description: This report discusses water quality legislation. A number of Clean Water Act issues have been the subject of congressional oversight and legislation, including the environmental and economic impacts of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, federal promulgation of water quality standards in Florida, regulation of surface coal mining activities in Appalachia, and other CWA regulatory actions. Congressional interest in several of these issues has been reflected in debate over policy provisions of legislation providing FY2012 appropriations for EPA (P.L. 112-74).
Date: April 9, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Projects: Authorization and Appropriations

Description: This report explains how the congressional authorization and appropriations process overlays the Corps' project development process. Special attention is given to initiating a water resources study, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) process, civil works appropriations, and emergency response activities.
Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Carter, Nicole T. & Hughes, H. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Great Lakes Water Withdrawals: Legal and Policy Issues

Description: This report describes the characteristics of the Great Lakes, the interests they support, and possible threats to lake levels. It analyzes the federal laws and policies that regulate the diversion, withdrawal, and consumptive use of water from the Great Lakes. Also included is a discussion of the final Compact and Agreement and some of the issues raised by various interest groups. This report concludes with a general discussion on the relationship between compacts, federal law, and the Congress.
Date: September 4, 2009
Creator: Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment

Description: This report discusses the changing energy and economic landscape, as well as the roughly 25 bills introduced by the 112th Congress regarding hydropower (the use of flowing water to produce electricity). Congress is examining numerous energy sources to determine their contribution to the nation's energy portfolio and the federal role in supporting these sources, including hydropower.
Date: June 26, 2012
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi; Stern, Charles V. & Vann, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress

Description: This report defines drought and discusses its background and cause in the United States. It looks in detail at the 2007-2009 California drought as well as drought in the American West in general. Lastly, it discusses the future of U.S. drought and how congressional policy can affect drought.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Folger, Peter; Cody, Betsy A. & Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Drought: Federal Water Management Issues

Description: This report provides an introductory analysis of federal water management issues in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF), particularly during drought. The report underscores that decision makers are faced with the tradeoff of the current harm that reduced flows may cause aquatic species against the benefits of maintaining water in storage for future multipurpose use later. The first section briefly introduces the basin's water resources and related federal issues. The second section summarizes current federal reservoir operations. The third section discusses how the municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses of ACF waters affect federal reservoir management. The fourth section covers how species protections affect Corps operations and how Corps operations may affect protected species. The fifth section briefly discusses legislation in the 110th Congress related to the ACF and water supply and management issues in the Southeast. The report concludes with comments about the ACF in the broader context of federal CRS-2 water policies and projects.
Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.; Kaplan, Stan Mark; Buck, Eugene H.; Brougher, Cynthia & Kristina Alexander
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Proposed Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues

Description: This report covers two proposed permit drafts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Vessel General Permits (VGPs): one for large vessels to replace the 2008 VGP (draft VGP), and one for smaller vessels that currently are covered by a congressionally-enacted temporary moratorium (draft sVGP).
Date: June 18, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Description: This report looks at ways which the 112th Congress can introduce legislation to safeguard water quality in the U.S., and reasons for doing so. Although progress has been made in achieving the goals established in the Clean Water Act (CWA) to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters, long-standing problems persist, and new problems have emerged. Water quality problems are diverse, ranging from pollution runoff, to toxic substances discharged from factories and sewage treatment plants.
Date: July 11, 2011
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Proposed Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues

Description: In November 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed two Clean Water Act permits to regulate certain types of discharges from vessels into U.S. waters. This report is an overview of the proposed permits and two key issues: inclusion of numeric performance standards to limit ballast water discharges from vessels, and controversies about the role of states in regulating vessel discharges.
Date: June 18, 2012
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 Act, 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: July 12, 2012
Creator: Tiemann, Mary & Vann, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Firearms at Army Corps Water Resources Projects: Proposed Legislation and Issues for Congress

Description: This rport discusses issues for Congress regarding public safety and infrastructure security at water resource projects managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Proposed legislation would bar the Secretary of the Army from promulgating or enforcing regulations that prohibit individuals from possessing firearms (including assembled or functional firearms) at Corps projects and instead require that firearms possession comply with state law.
Date: July 12, 2012
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department