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

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

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

Flood Risk Management: Federal Role in Infrastructure

Description: This report discusses federal investment decisions on flood control infrastructure, such as levees, floodwalls, and dams. The report also analyzes flood risk as a composite of flood threat, consequence, and vulnerability. The report illustrates that federal policy focuses attention on only some aspects of flood risk and summarizes the options being discussed for addressing other aspects of flood risk in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Date: October 26, 2005
Creator: 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

Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Discount Rate for the Corps of Engineers' Water Resource Projects: Theory and Practice

Description: Construction of large water resource projects, such as those of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), can be controversial because they involve trade-offs among various river uses, and between current and future generations. Pursuant to federal water project planning guidelines, the Corps weighs these trade-offs using benefit-cost analysis. If its analysis shows that a project’s national economic development (NED) benefits exceed its NED costs, the Corps seeks project authorization from Congress. Congress authorizes the Corps to construct some of these large water projects through (usually) biennial Water Resource Development Acts. Since the Corps rarely recommends a project that does not have a benefit-cost ratio greater than 1.0, this report describes the decisions that influence this ratio, with a focus on the role of the discount rate.
Date: June 23, 2003
Creator: Powers, Kyna
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

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

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

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

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

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