Congressional Research Service Reports - 320 Matching Results

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Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA's Response to the Waterkeeper Alliance Court Decision on Regulation of CAFOs

Description: 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.
Date: August 20, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
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 for private landowners that will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. Interest groups have a number of specific criticisms of the permits. For some time, there has been a stalemate in Congress over legislation related to this issue.
Date: August 21, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
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

Flood Insurance Requirements for Stafford Act Assistance

Description: The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act) imposes flood insurance requirements upon eligibility for disaster assistance in two general cases: (1) if the entity seeking disaster assistance has received disaster assistance in the past, or (2) if the entity seeking disaster assistance is a state or local government or private nonprofit located in a federally designated special flood hazard area (SFHA) as determined under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The requirements imposed by the Stafford Act operate independently of each other, and a potential applicant for disaster assistance may fall into both categories. This report will discuss the specific requirements imposed in each situation after briefly discussing the history of flood insurance and the relevant types of disaster assistance.
Date: September 5, 2008
Creator: Liu, Edward C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wave, Tidal, and In-Stream Energy Projects: Which Federal Agency Has the Lead?

Description: Developments in wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technologies -- also referred to as hydrokinetic or marine energy -- are beginning to gain momentum. At the same time, their regulatory status is still evolving, as shown by recent changes in law aimed at clarifying hte federal role in ocean wave and renewable energy. Two federal agencies currently appear to have a lead role in offshore renewable energy projects -- the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Date: October 7, 2008
Creator: Lane, Nic
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Perchlorate Conatmination 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: October 16, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): Program Overview and Issues

Description: The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 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. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) latest (2003) survey of capital improvement needs for public water systems found that water systems need to invest $276.8 billion on infrastructure improvements over 20 years to ensure the provision of safe water. Key issues include the gap between estimated needs and funding, SDWA compliance costs, and the need for cities to update and maintain water infrastructure, apart from SDWA compliance.
Date: October 24, 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, 2001, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
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

Water Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues

Description: This report identifies a number of issues that have received attention in connection with water infrastructure investment. It begins with a review of federal involvement, describes the debate about needs, and then examines key issues, including what is the nature of the problems to be solved; who will pay, and what is the federal role; and questions about mechanisms for delivering federal support, including state-by-state allotment of federal funds. Congressional and Administration activity on these issues from the 107th to the 110th Congresses also is reviewed.
Date: November 24, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia & Tiemann, Mary
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: February 17, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia & Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: March 2, 2009
Creator: Folger, Peter; Cody, Betsy A. & Carter, Nicole T.
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

35 Years of Water Policy: The 1973 National Water Commission and Present Challenges

Description: 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.
Date: May 11, 2009
Creator: Cody, Betsy A. & Carter, Nicole T.
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, 2001, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
Date: May 26, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Description: 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.
Date: August 6, 2009
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
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: August 19, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Carter, Nicole T. & Stubbs, Megan
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

California Drought: Hydrological and Regulatory Water Supply Issues

Description: 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.
Date: December 7, 2009
Creator: Cody, Betsy A.; Folger, Peter & Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Desalination: Status and Federal Issues

Description: 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.
Date: December 30, 2009
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.
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, 2001, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
Date: January 6, 2010
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 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.
Date: January 11, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Carter, Nicole T.; Cody, Betsy A. & Stubbs, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department