Congressional Research Service Reports - 46 Matching Results

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Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense

Description: Whether broader expansions from federal environmental laws are needed to preserve military readiness has been an issue. Questions have been raised as to whether environmental requirements have limited military training activities to the point that readiness would be compromised. The potential impacts of broader exemptions on environmental quality have raised additional questions. Although certain exemptions the Department of Defense (DOD) first requested in FY2003 have been enacted into law, Congress has opposed others. From FY2003 to FY2008, DOD requested exemptions from the Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. To date, Congress has not enacted these three latter exceptions. The Administration's FY2009 defense authorization bill does not include these exemptions.
Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Base Closures: Cleanup of Contaminated Properties for Civilian Reuse

Description: In 2005, the 109th Congress approved a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. As the Department of Defense (DOD) implements the new round, issues for Congress include the pace and costs of closing and realigning the selected installations and the impacts on surrounding communities. The disposal of surplus property has stimulated interest among affected communities in how the land can be redeveloped to replace jobs lost as a result of the planned closures. Environmental contamination can limit the potential for economic redevelopment if the availability of funding or technological capabilities constrains the degree of cleanup needed to make the land suitable for its intended use.
Date: November 19, 2008
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Environmental Education Act of 1990: Overview, Implementation, and Issues for Congress

Description: This report summarizes major provisions of the National Environmental Education Act of 1990, discusses appropriations for activities authorized in that statute, examines the implementation of these activities, and analyzes key issues and relevant legislation.
Date: September 22, 2008
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Description: The Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to develop a regulatory response to a 2006 federal court ruling that vacated a long-standing rule that exempts discharges associated with the normal operation of vessels from permit requirements of the Clean Water Act. Concern that this ruling could require millions of recreational boaters to obtain permits has led to the introduction of legislation to exempt these and other types of vessels from water quality regulation. This report discusses background to the issue; bills introduced in response, two of which were passed by Congress on July 22; and draft permits proposed by EPA on June 17.
Date: June 19, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats

Description: The Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to develop a regulatory response to a 2006 federal court ruling that vacated a long-standing rule that exempts discharges associated with the normal operation of vessels from permit requirements of the Clean Water Act. Concern that this ruling could require millions of recreational boaters to obtain permits has led to the introduction of legislation to exempt these and other types of vessels from water quality regulation. This report discusses background to the issue; bills introduced in response, two of which were passed by Congress on July 22; and draft permits proposed by EPA on June 17.
Date: September 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cruise Ship Pollution: Background, Laws and Regulations, and Key Issues

Description: This report describes the several types of waste streams that cruise ships may discharge and emit. It identifies the complex body of international and domestic laws that address pollution from cruise ships. It then describes federal and state legislative activity concerning cruise ships in Alaskan waters and activities in a few other states, as well as current industry initiatives to manage cruise ship pollution.
Date: July 1, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Description: The principal federal program to aid municipal wastewater treatment plant construction is authorized in the Clean Water Act (CWA). In appropriations legislation, funding for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) wastewater assistance is contained in the measure providing funds for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. This report summarizes, in chronological order, congressional activity to fund items in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account since 1987.
Date: August 19, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Projects Designated in EPA Appropriations: Trends and Policy Implications

Description: This report discusses appropriations for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water infrastructure programs, focusing on congressional special project designations in the account that funds these programs. While some Members of Congress, interest groups, and Administration officials are critical of these types of congressional actions, there is little indication that the practice will cease. Information on the programmatic history of EPA involvement in assisting wastewater treatment and drinking water projects also is provided in two appendixes.
Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Global Climate Change: Status of Negotiations

Description: In December 2007, the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held their 13th annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia, and began the process of working toward an agreement/treaty that would succeed the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC when it expires in 2012. The Protocol includes a mandate for a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 developed/industrialized nations to an average of some 5% below their 1990 levels over the commitment period 2008-2012. The broad array of these issues, briefly discussed in this report, has been described by some as comprising perhaps the most complex negotiations ever undertaken internationally.
Date: June 17, 2008
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)

Description: This report discusses carbon capture and sequestration (CSS), but not other types of carbon sequestration activities whereby CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and stored in vegetation, soils, or oceans.
Date: February 7, 2008
Creator: Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Do Not Mail Initiatives and Their Potential Effects: Possible Issues for Congress

Description: This report examines the state level initiatives to create Do Not Mail (DNM) registries, and analyzes their potential effects on the environment and the economy should they be implemented. It also notes, but does not exhaustively analyze, possible constitutional impediments to state DNM registries. In addition, the report reviews existing methods to reduce or eliminate the delivery of unsolicited advertising mail. This report concludes with federal legislative options that could affect direct mail marketing.
Date: September 24, 2008
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Services Markets in the 2008 Farm Bill

Description: This report gives an overview of issues involved in the provisions of the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-234, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act). It includes a brief overview describing environmental services markets, benefits and barriers, recent Congressional action related to the topics, and possible considerations.
Date: June 10, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A U.S.-centric Chronology of the International Climate Change Negotiations

Description: This document provides a U.S.-centric chronology of the international policy negotiations to address climate change. It covers the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the Marrakesh Accords of 2001, and the Bali Action Plan of 2007 that mandates the current negotiations toward a new agreement by the end of 2009 on commitments for the period beyond 2012. Today's negotiations under the Bali Action Plan focus on four elements: mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions; adaptation to impacts of climate change; financial assistance to low income countries; and technology development and transfer. For U.S. legislators, important issues include the compatibility of any international agreement with U.S. domestic policies and laws; the adequacy of appropriations, fiscal measures and programs to achieve any commitments under the agreement; and the desirable form of the agreement and related requirements for potential Senate ratification and federal implementing legislation.
Date: December 23, 2008
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

California's Waiver Request to Control Greenhouse Gases Under the Clean Air Act

Description: This report reviews the nature of Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) authority, as well as that of California and other states, to regulate emissions from mobile sources. It includes a discussion fo the applicability of that authority to greenhouse gases (GHGs) and issues related to the California waiver request.
Date: March 4, 2008
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air After the CAIR Decision: Back to Square One?

Description: This report discusses three Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) long-term options in regard to Clean Air: (1) starting anew with a new strategy with respect to mitigating transported air pollution based on the decision; (2) allowing the states to sort out the issue through Section 126 petitions; and (3) seeking new legislation providing EPA with the statutory authority to implement either CAIR in some form, or an alternative.
Date: July 22, 2008
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Parker, Larry B. & Meltz, Robert
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