Congressional Research Service Reports - 205 Matching Results

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Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Description: The possibility of damage to or destruction of the nation's water supply and water quality infrastructure by terrorist attack has gained substantial attention since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Policymakers are considering a number of initiatives, including enhanced physical security, better communication and coordination, and research. A key issue is how such security measures will be funded. Committees in the 109th Congress have approved legislation to support vulnerability assessments in federal and non-federal wastewater treatment plants and utility systems.
Date: May 24, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia & Cody, Betsy A.
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: September 12, 2006
Creator: Meltz, Robert & Copeland, Claudia
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

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

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

Safe Drinking Water Act: Background and Issues in the 109th Congress

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

Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA): Effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on Implementation

Description: 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.
Date: January 24, 2007
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.
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: April 12, 2007
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Deepwater Program: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: 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).
Date: April 30, 2007
Creator: O’Rourke, Ronald
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

Ballast Water Management to Combat Invasive Species

Description: 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.
Date: October 1, 2007
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
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

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Description: 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.
Date: November 9, 2007
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
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

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

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

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

Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities

Description: Congress has on several occasions delegated its power of eminent domain to entities outside the federal government -- public and private corporations, interstate compact agencies, state and local governments, and even individuals. The constitutionality of such delegation, and of the exercise of such power by even private delegates, is today beyond dispute. However, among delegates with both federal and private characteristics, there is some subjectivity to deciding which to list in a report limited to "nonfederal entities." For delegatees of federal eminent domain power listed here, delegations since 1920 have primarily been to Amtrak, hydroelectric facilities (for dams and reservoirs), and entities engaged in the movement of electricity, gas, and petroleum (the last one expired), and for interstate bridges.
Date: May 20, 2008
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Description: Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products and is used heavily by the Department of Defense (DOD) and other industries. Perchlorate also occurs naturally. This compound has been detected in drinking water supplies, especially in California. It also has been found in milk and many foods. Because of this widespread occurrence, concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and Member of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate. This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments.
Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector

Description: 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, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
Date: July 28, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department