Congressional Research Service Reports - 319 Matching Results

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Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA Regulation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
This report provides background on the revised environmental rules, the previous Clean Water Act rules and the Clinton Administration proposal, and perspectives of key interest groups on the proposal and final regulations. It also identifies several issues that could be of congressional interest as implementation of the revised rules proceeds.
Hurricane-Damaged Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities: Impacts, Needs, and Response
This report describes information that has been gathered about impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities and on ongoing efforts to assess damages and needs to repair and reconstruct damaged systems.
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. Concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and members of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate.
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. Concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and members of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate.
Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA): Effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on Implementation
This report discusses the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA), which enacted in 1990 and administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has funded wetland restoration projects for more than 10 years.
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Corps of Engineers Project Authorization Issues
WRDA is the main legislative vehicle for Corps civil works authorizations. This report considers the current status of WRDA and major issues shaping WRDA consideration in the 110th Congress, including changes to Corps project development practices and policies, coastal Louisiana wetlands restoration activities, Upper Mississippi River Illinois Waterway (UMR-IWW) investments, and Everglades restoration projects.
EPA and the Army Corps' Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
This report describes the revised rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) which defines the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Agencies refer to this final rule as the Clean Water Rule. This report includes a table comparing the existing regulatory language that defines "waters of the United States" with the revisions.
Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role
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.
Hurricane-Damaged Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities: Impacts, Needs, and Response
This report describes information that has been gathered about impacts of the August 29 hurricane (Hurricane Katrina) on drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities, and on ongoing efforts to assess damages and needs to repair and reconstruct damaged systems.
Water Infrastructure Financing: The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program
This report examines "Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act" (WIFIA), which details a program that would provide a way to help finance water infrastructure projects. This program was included in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA, P.L. 113-121). A five-year WIFIA pilot program was outlined in Title V, Subtitle C, of the legislation.
EPA and the Army Corps' "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options
This report discusses several options Congress had in order to respond to controversy caused by the May 27th, 2015 rule that was finalized by the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This finalized rule revised regulations that defined the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Congress' legislative options are reflected in bills in the 114th Congress.
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos v. United States
This report discusses the Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States, which addressed the asserted jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over wetlands adjacent to "waters of the United States," the problematic phrase used by the Clean Water Act (CWA) to define the geographic scope of the act's wetlands permitting program.
Drought Policy, Response, and Preparedness
This report examines the various ways Congress and other federal, state, and local policymakers are considering to prepare for and respond to drought; how to coordinate actions and assign responsibilities; and who bears the costs of impacts, disaster response, and long-term adjustment to drought.
Coast Guard Deepwater Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report discusses the Integrated Deepwater Systems (IDS) program, or Deepwater program which is the largest and most complex acquisition effort in Coast Guard history, encompassing 91 new cutters, 124 new small surface craft, and 244 new or converted airplanes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Overview of EPA and the Army Corps’ Rule to Define “Waters of the United States”
This report describes the revised rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) which defines the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Regulatory Issues
This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current SDWA provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of the enactment of legislation authorizing EPA to regulate hydraulic fracturing (beyond diesel) under this statute.
Wetland Issues
This report discusses various wetland policy topics, of particular interest are statements by the Bush Administration shortly after the 2004 election that restoration of 3 million wetland acres would be a priority.
Ballast Water Management to Combat Invasive Species
The arrival of zebra mussels in the Great Lakes and their subsequent damage to city water supplies and electric utilities has focused significant attention on ballast water discharge by cargo ships as a high-risk mechanism for species invasion. New management efforts attempt to address this concern. Congress is considering legislative proposals to amend and reauthorize the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act, including specific provisions that would modify how ballast water is managed. This report provides background on various approaches to ballast water management and reviews current ballast water management laws and programs.
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products. Used mainly by the Department of Defense (DOD) and related industries, perchlorate also occurs naturally and is present in some organic fertilizer.This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and recent developments.
Rural Water Supply and Sewer Systems: Background Information
This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act, which impose requirements regarding drinking water quality and wastewater treatment in rural areas. Approximately 27% of the U.S. population lives in areas defined by the Census Bureau as rural. Many rural communities need to complete water and waste disposal projects to improve the public health and environmental conditions of their citizens.
Water Resource Issues in the 113th Congress
This report provides an overview of the federal role in water resources development, management, and protection, including a discussion of the two major federal water resources agencies and related legislation. It also discusses overarching policy issues, such as flood and drought management and response; project funding and authorization priorities; and aquatic ecosystem restoration.
Safe Drinking Water Act: Background and Issues in the 109th Congress
This report examines the Safe Drinking Water Act, which is the key federal law for protecting public water supplies from harmful contaminants. First enacted in 1974 and broadly amended in 1986 and 1996, the act is administered through programs that regulate contaminants in public water supplies, provide funding for infrastructure projects, protect sources of drinking water, and promote the capacity of water systems to comply with SDWA regulations.
Irrigation in U.S. Agriculture: On-Farm Technologies and Best Management Practices
This report is intended to provide an overview of on-farm irrigation and does not cover storage and conveyance prior to the farm or how irrigation adoption may alter other farm practices, such as the use of fertilizers and pesticides or impacts off-farm (e.g., groundwater and surface water quality concerns).
Drought Legislation: Comparison of Selected Provisions in H.R. 2898 and S. 1894
This report summarizes the provisions of S. 1894, as introduced, and H.R. 2898, as passed by the House for conservation of fish species and their habitats in drought-stricken areas. It identifies comparable provisions between the two bills and discusses some of the ways in which those provisions overlap or differ. It also summarizes selected other major provisions in each bill.
Appropriations for FY2004: Energy and Water Development
This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant.
EPA and the Army Corps' "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options
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.
Western Water and Drought: Legislative Analysis of H.R. 2898 and S. 1894
This report summarizes and analyzes several key provisions in H.R. 2898 and S. 1894. It includes analysis of provisions specific to California, such as the management of threatened and endangered fish populations in relation to pumping operations of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP) as well as provisions that are broader in scope and might have nationwide implications.
EPA and the Army Corps' Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
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.
EPA and the Army Corps' "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options
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.
EPA Policies Concerning Integrated Planning and Affordability of Water Infrastructure
This report examines recent initiatives by EPA, an integrated planning policy and a framework policy for assessing a community's financial capability to meet objectives and requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Regulating Ballast Water Discharges: Current Legislative Issues
This report discusses different views on the measures to control ballast water discharges from vessels which are a major pathway for introduction of invasive species into U.S. waters.
California Agricultural Production and Irrigated Water Use
This report provides an overview of California's farm economy, specifically examining the current state of the water supply and the use of irrigation water.
Allocation of Wastewater Treatment Assistance: Formula and Other Changes
This report describes the formula and eligibility changes adopted by Congress since 1972 related to the allocation of wastewater treatment assistance. It focuses on the interplay and decision-making by Congress on factors to include in the formula.
Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA's Response to the Waterkeeper Alliance Court Decision on Regulation of CAFOs
This report discusses the Clean Water Act, which prohibits the discharge of pollutants from any "point source" to waters of the United States unless authorized under a permit that is issued by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a qualified state. The act also expressly defines confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) as point sources.
California Drought: Hydrological and Regulatory Water Supply Issues
This report provides a summary of California's 2012-2015 drought including: comparisons, where applicable, to previous droughts; a summary of the key regulatory requirements that at certain times limit water deliveries (or exports) from the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers' Delta; and a brief discussion of California water rights with their relation to different types of federal contracts and their associated water allocations.
Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
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.
Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment
This report explains how the federal government is involved directly in hydropower generation at federal facilities and in the regulation of nonfederal hydropower generation; the focus is on current roles and processes and common concerns and questions about changing those roles.
Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress
This report discusses how drought is defined, and why drought occurs in the United States. How droughts are classified, and what is meant by moderate, severe, and extreme drought classification, are also discussed. The report concludes with a description of policy challenges for Congress, such as the existing federal/non-federal split in drought response and management, and the patchwork of drought programs subject to oversight by multiple congressional committees.
35 Years of Water Policy: The 1973 National Water Commission and Present Challenges
This report presents the National Water Commission's (NWC) recommendations and analyzes how issues targeted by the recommendations have evolved during the intervening years. The report focuses on key federal-level recommendations, thereby targeting what has been accomplished since 1973, what issues remain unresolved, and what additional concerns have developed.
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options
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.
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
This report reviews perchlorate contamination issues and related developments. Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products. Used heavily by the Department of Defense (DOD) and related industries, perchlorate also occurs naturally and is present in some organic fertilizer. This soluble, persistent compound has been detected in drinking water supplies, especially in California. It also has been found in milk and many foods.
Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
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.
Using Army Corps of Engineers Reservoirs for Municipal and Industrial Water Supply: Current Issues
This report discusses the limited use of federal reservoir storage for Municipal and Industrial (M&I) Water and the M&I water storage at corps facilities supply .
California Drought: Hydrological and Regulatory Water Supply Issues
This report discusses California's current hydrological situation and provides background on regulatory restrictions affecting California water deliveries, as well as on the long-established state water rights system, which also results in uneven water deliveries in times of shortages.
Desalination: Status and Federal Issues
This report discusses desalination in the context of federal policy. Interest in desalination of seawater, brackish water, and contaminated freshwater has increased in the United States as the technology's costs have fallen and pressure to develop new water supplies has grown. Adoption of desalination, however, remains constrained by financial, environmental, and regulatory and social factors.
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
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.
Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report identifies funding for water infrastructure programs and projects included in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5). The legislation directs additional appropriations to a number of existing federal programs that either directly invest in water infrastructure projects or provide assistance to states and localities for such activities.
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Expenditures
This report reviews the legislative history of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) and legal challenges to it, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of alternative funding mechanisms, and describes the commercial context of current dredging activity.
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
This report presents an overview of the large and diverse sector of water infrastructure systems, describes security-related actions by the government and private sector since September 11, 2001, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
EPA's Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues
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).