Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

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

Aging Infrastructure: Dam Safety

Description: To help inform discussions on the federal role in dam safety, this report provides background information on the nation’s dam safety activities and funding mechanisms.
Date: September 29, 2005
Creator: Powers, Kyna
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis of H.R. 5781, California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014

Description: This report provides a description and analysis of H.R. 5781, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014, which passed the House December 9, 2014. It includes a summary of key provisions of the bill, and compares it with two other bills from the 113th Congress aiming to address different aspects of drought and water management in California.
Date: December 11, 2014
Creator: Cody, Betsy A.; Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Stern, Charles V.
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

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

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

Appropriations for FY2004: Energy and Water Development

Description: 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.
Date: January 30, 2000
Creator: Behrens, Carl & Humphries, Marc
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

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

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

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

California Drought: Hydrological and Regulatory Water Supply Issues

Description: 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.
Date: August 14, 2015
Creator: Cody, Betsy A.; Folger, Peter & Brown, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

Description: This report discusses the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program which regulates pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained; section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. The report focuses on new challenges facing the TMDL program, including more complex TMDLs, larger scale impairments, and nonpoint sources.
Date: January 17, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

Description: This report discusses the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program which regulates pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained; section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. The report focuses on new challenges facing the TMDL program, including more complex TMDLs, larger scale impairments, and nonpoint sources.
Date: September 21, 2012
Creator: 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

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

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

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

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

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