Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Evolution of the Meaning of "Waters of the United States" in the Clean Water Act

Description: This report examines the changing definition of the phrase, "waters of the United States." The scope of waters that are properly the subject of federal water pollution legislation has been the subject of long-standing consideration by all three branches of the federal government, particularly in the aftermath of the 1972 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act.
Date: August 8, 2016
Creator: Mulligan, Stephen P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Policies Concerning Integrated Planning and Affordability of Water Infrastructure

Description: This report examines two recent initiatives by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which the agency works with states to develop and implement new approaches for water quality goals that will be more cost-effective and address the most pressing water infrastructure problems first. The examples include 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).
Date: May 2, 2016
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Safe Drinking Water Act: Implementation and Issues

Description: This report discusses key drinking water issues in the 108th Congress involving water infrastructure funding and problems caused by specific contaminants, such as the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), perchlorate, and lead in drinking water. Congress last reauthorized the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1996, and although funding authority for most SDWA programs expired in FY2003, broad reauthorization efforts were not pursued as EPA, states, and water utilities continued implementing the 1996 amendments.
Date: December 8, 2004
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS)

Description: This report briefly discusses the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS), which is the principal mechanism for accomplishing the flood risk management policies established by President Obama in Executive Order (E.O.) 13690. The FFRMS is a flood resilience standard that is required for "federally funded projects."
Date: May 25, 2016
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.; Brown, Jared T. & McCarthy, Francis X.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Review of Fluoridation and Regulation Issues

Description: This report discusses the documented benefits and potential adverse effects associated with the fluoridation of drinking water supplies. It also discusses the regulation of fluoride in drinking water to protect against adverse health effects from exposure to higher levels of fluoride, and it reviews the status of federal efforts to update the health risk assessment for fluoride.
Date: February 22, 2006
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
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.
Date: March 31, 2006
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. Resources, Science, and Industry Division.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: 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 to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to protect public health.
Date: February 22, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rural Water Supply and Sewer Systems: Background Information

Description: 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.
Date: August 25, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
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. EPA's current Flint responses include providing technical assistance for water testing and treatment, conducting water monitoring, and identifying lead service line locations.
Date: March 2, 2016
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act Is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos v. United States

Description: 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.
Date: April 22, 2008
Creator: Meltz, Robert & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Western Water Resource Issues

Description: This report discusses the debate over western water resources, which revolves around the issue of how best to plan for and manage the use of this renewable, yet sometimes scarce and increasingly sought after, resource.
Date: October 18, 2006
Creator: Cody, Betsy A. & Sheikh, Pervaze A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mexico: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of political and economic conditions in Mexico, followed by assessments of some key issues of congressional interest in Mexico: security and foreign aid, extraditions, human rights, trade, migration, energy, education, and water issues.
Date: March 30, 2016
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: 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.
Date: August 31, 2007
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hurricane-Damaged Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities: Impacts, Needs, and Response

Description: 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.
Date: March 22, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Description: 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.
Date: January 10, 2007
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Description: 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.
Date: February 3, 2006
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Corps of Engineers Project Authorization Issues

Description: 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.
Date: October 4, 2007
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.; Hughes, H. S.; Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Zinn, Jeffrey A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: 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.
Date: January 4, 2016
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
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
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hurricane-Damaged Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities: Impacts, Needs, and Response

Description: 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.
Date: October 19, 2005
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Financing: The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program

Description: 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.
Date: February 9, 2016
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department