Congressional Research Service Reports - 60 Matching Results

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Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future.
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. The Coast Guard's proposed FY2017 budget requests $150 million in acquisition funding for a new polar icebreaker that the Coast Guard wants to begin building in FY2020. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Administration's FY2017 acquisition funding request for a new polar icebreaker, and, more generally, whether to approve, reject, or modify the Coast Guard's overall plan for sustaining and modernizing the polar icebreaking fleet.
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides a series of frequently-asked questions with answers regarding the Clean Power Plan and related litigation. On August 3, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing fossil-fuel-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA); the rule, known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), appeared in the Federal Register on October 23, 2015.
EPA Policies Concerning Integrated Planning and Affordability of Water Infrastructure
This report examines two recent initiatives by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which the agency works with states to develop and implement new approaches for water quality goals that will be more cost-effective and address the most pressing water infrastructure problems first. The examples include an integrated planning policy and a framework policy for assessing a community's financial capability to meet objectives and requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options
This report discusses four legislative options that Congress could consider to halt or redirect the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineer's proposed "waters of the United States" rule: the Congressional Review Act, appropriations bill limitations, targeted legislation, and broad amendments to the Clean Water Act. Each option faces a steep path to enactment.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Waiver Authority and Modification of Volumes
This report discusses the process and criteria for the Environmental Protection Agency to waive various portions of the renewable fuel standard (RFS), and the modification of applicable volumes.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an in-depth overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics.
Everglades Restoration: CERP and the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP)
This report provides definition for everglades, describes what is the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), and discusses the restoration of everglades project.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Lessons Learned and Issues for Policymakers
This report discusses recent actions taken by state and local governments to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The first section of this report provides an overview of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap-and-trade program and the participating RGGI states. The second section discusses selected issues raised by RGGI that may be of interest to policymakers who are considering developing a federal program. The final section provides some final thoughts concerning the RGGI program.
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
This report summarizes congressional authorization and appropriations processes for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It also discusses agency activities under general authorities.
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology
This report offers a chronology of major federal agency actions, mainly by EPA, that involve GHGs or climate change and that occurred in the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA, a ruling that greenhouse gases are "air pollutants" via the Clean Air Act. As such, they are not under the EPA's jurisdiction.
International Environmental Financing: The Global Environment Facility (GEF)
This report provides an overview of one of the oldest international financial institutions for the environment-the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-and analyzes its structure, funding, and objectives in light of the many challenges within the contemporary landscape of global environmental finance.
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions.
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
This report summarizes congressional authorization and appropriations processes for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It also discusses agency activities under general authorities.
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions.
Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America: An Overview and Selected Issues
The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) is a trilateral initiative that was launched in March 2005 for the purpose of increasing and enhancing security and prosperity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This initiative promoted communication and cooperation across several key policy areas of mutual interest, such as improving certain sectors of the economy, developing higher health and safety standards, and addressing environmental concerns. This report describes this initiative in brief detail, including summaries of several SPP-related meetings between the three countries' leaders.
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard
This report discusses the environmental activities of the U.S. Coast Guard, which fall within the service's program for protection of natural resources, and consist of maritime oil spill prevention, marine debris, and pollution response preparedness. Protection of living marine resources and fisheries also falls in this category, but is not discussed here. Marine environmental protection is one of six "non-homeland security missions" specified in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG's) environmental activities focus on prevention programs, accompanied by enforcement and educational activities. An important component is maritime oil spill prevention, which includes inspection of U.S. and foreign-flagged ships to ensure compliance with U.S. laws and international agreements, as well as reduce the impact of oil and hazardous substances spills. Another prevention effort, minimizing marine debris, addresses commercial items as well as trash from recreational fishing and boating.
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
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.
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Activities: Authorization and Appropriations
This report provides an overview of the Corps civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities.
Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense
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.
U.S. Disposal of Chemical Weapons in the Ocean: Background and Issues for Congress
No Description Available.
U.S. Disposal of Chemical Weapons in the Ocean: Background and Issues for Congress
No Description Available.
Environmental Protection Issues in the 109th Congress
Environmental protection concerns span a wide variety of issues, including clean air, water quality, chemical security, and environmental aspects of other major issue areas such as transportation and defense. This issue brief provides an overview of key environmental issues that are receiving or may receive attention in the 109th Congress. The sections on specific issues contain references to more detailed and extensive CRS reports on the subjects covered.
Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: An Overview of Congressional Action
Several environmental statutes contain national security exemptions, which the Department of Defense (DOD) can obtain on a case-by-case basis. Since FY2003, DOD has sought broader exemptions that it argues are needed to preserve training capabilities and ensure military readiness. There has been disagreement in Congress over the need for broader exemptions in the absence of data on the overall impact of environmental requirements on training and readiness. There also has been disagreement over the potential impacts of broader exemptions on environmental quality.
Superfund: Overview and Selected Issues
No Description Available.
Global Climate Change
This report briefly reviews the status of climate science, international negotiations, and congressional activity focused specifically on climate change.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
The courts and the executive branch face major decisions on clean air issues in 2006, with Congress more likely playing an oversight role. One focus is EPA's Jan. 17 2006 proposal to strengthen air quality standards for fine particles, which are estimated to cause tens of thousands of premature deaths annually. Whether the proposal is supported by the available science and what impact its implementation would have likely issues of concern. Other issues of continuing interest are EPA's 2005 decisions limiting interstate transport of air pollution and establishing cap-and-trade systems for emissions from coal-fired power plants, and the agency's proposed changes to New Source Review.
Cleanup After Hurricane Katrina: Environmental Considerations
This report aims to provide an overview of the immediate and intermediate cleanup tasks across the diverse communities in the affected region, and federal legal authorities and plans for tackling them. The report also discusses coordinated roles and activities among local, state, and federal agencies and officials. Finally, the report serves to reference other, more detailed CRS reports and other sources on particular Katrina cleanup activities.
Safe Drinking Water Act: Implementation and Issues
This report discusses key drinking water issues in the 109th Congress, which have included problems caused by specific contaminants, such as methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and perchlorate, as well as the related issue of the appropriate federal role in providing financial assistance for water infrastructure projects. Congress last reauthorized the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1996, and although funding authority for most SDWA programs expired in FY2003, broad reauthorization bills have not been proposed, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states, and water systems remain busy implementing the 1996 amendments.
Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: An Overview of Congressional Action
Several environmental statutes contain national security exemptions, which the Department of Defense (DOD) can obtain on a case-by-case basis. Since FY2003, DOD has sought broader exemptions that it argues are needed to preserve training capabilities and ensure military readiness. There has been disagreement in Congress over the need for broader exemptions in the absence of data on the overall impact of environmental requirements on training and readiness.
Legal Analysis and Background on the EPA's Proposed Rules for Regulating Mercury Emissions from Electric Utilities
No Description Available.
Safe Drinking Water Act: State Revolving Fund Program
No Description Available.
Environmental Streamlining Provisions in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century: Status of Implementation
At the state and local level, many observers have expressed long-standing concerns over delays, duplication of effort, and additional costs frequently associated with the environmental review process for highway projects that must be completed under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA, P.L. 91-190). To address these concerns, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA21, P.L. 105-178), enacted in 1998, requires the Federal Highway Administration(FHWA) to streamline the environmental review process for highway projects.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 108th Congress
In this report several other Clean Water Act issues are likely to receive congressional attention, through oversight hearings and possibly in legislative proposals. Among the topics of interest is whether and how the Administration will revise the current program for restoration of pollution-impaired waters (the Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL program), in view of controversy over regulatory changes made during the Clinton Administration and continuing disagreement among states, cities, industry, and environmental advocates about program effectiveness and efficiency.
The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
No Description Available.
Safe Drinking Water Act: Implementation and Issues
No Description Available.
Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress
The Superfund program for cleaning up the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites was created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA (P.L. 96-510, as amended). This report discusses recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program.
Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations
No Description Available.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Background and Issues
This report discusses the ongoing debate about whether or not to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for energy development. The report discusses arguments for and against such development and related pieces of legislation. It does not analyze specific proposals to develop or protect the Refuge. Rather, it provides basic material for analyzing possibilities and implications of the major issues that have been the focus of the legislative debate over its fate.
Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
No Description Available.
Global Climate Change: Market-Based Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gases
This report discusses global climate change and the market-based strategies to reduce greenhouse gases.
Environmental Protection Issues in the 108th Congress
The 108th Congress has acted on a variety of disparate environmental measures; some of these represent proposals or issues that had been under consideration in the 107th Congress and earlier. Environmental issues considered by Congress tend to fall into several major categories: (1) funding issues — whether funding levels are adequate and focused on appropriate priorities; (2) expanding, renewing, or refocusing specific environment programs; (3) environmental issues that are important “subsets” of other major areas of concern, such as energy, defense, or transportation programs; and more recently, (4) terrorism and infrastructure protection in areas such as wastewater and chemical facilities.
MTBE in Gasoline: Clean Air and Drinking Water Issues
No Description Available.
Safe Drinking Water Act: Implementation and Issues
No Description Available.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 107th Congress
Key water quality issues that may face the 107th Congress include: actions to implement existing provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA), whether additional steps are necessary to achieve overall goals of the Act, and the appropriate federal role in guiding and paying for clean water activities. Legislative prospects for comprehensively amending the Act have for some time stalled over whether and exactly how to change the law. If clean water issues receive attention in the 107th Congress, consideration of specific issues will depend in part on the CWA policy agenda of the new Bush Administration and on priorities of the key committees that have major jurisdiction over the Act.
Global Climate Change
This report briefly reviews the status of climate science, international negotiations, and congressional activity focused specifically on climate change.
Environmental Protection Issues in the 107th Congress
This report discuss issues that received congressional attention in the 107th Congress, such as The impact of air quality regulations, key water quality issues, superfund, solid/hazardous wastes, multibillion dollar cleanup and compliance programs, climate change, pesticides, EPA budget, and Science and Technology.
MTBE in Gasoline: Clean Air and Drinking Water Issues
No Description Available.