Congressional Research Service Reports - 54 Matching Results

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EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on EPA regulatory activity during the Obama Administration. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA from January 2009 to late 2016, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of rules not yet promulgated (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available.
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. Some general issues include Arctic territorial disputes; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic, which could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
EPA's Mid-Term Evaluation of Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
This report discusses the standards set by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for new light-duty vehicles (defined generally as passenger cars and light trucks).
Overview of Federal Real Property Disposal Requirements and Procedures
This report begins with an explanation of the central role played by the General Services Administration (GSA) in the disposal of federal real estate property at most agencies. It then provides a discussion of the unique disposal processes at Department of Defense and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), which each have independent statutory authority to dispose of their own properties. It concludes with an overview of the environmental and historic preservation requirements that apply to the disposal of properties at all federal agencies.
EPA Delays Decision on 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard to 2015
This report discusses the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that sets the annual minimum use requirements for biofuels in the nation's transportation fuel supply.
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration to help address these issues. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
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, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions.
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. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section.
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.
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance
This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
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.
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.
International Forestry Issues in Climate Change Bills: Comparison of Provisions of S. 1733 and H.R. 2454
This report discusses the allowances and emissions reductions from reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
Cars and Climate: What Can EPA Do to Control Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources?
This report discusses the debate surrounding proposed controls on greenhouse gas emissions. Not all parties are in agreement that controls on GHGs are desirable.
Status of the Copenhagen Climate Change Negotiations
This report discusses the negotiations among United States and 200 other countries under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) regarding the climate change. Parties agreed to complete the negotiations by the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) from December 7-18, 2009, in Copenhagen. However, some nations' leaders have indicated that the Copenhagen outcome is likely to be a political agreement providing a mandate for a later legally binding, comprehensive agreement.
A U.S.-centric Chronology of the International Climate Change Negotiations
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.
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.
Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
No Description Available.
National Environmental Education Act of 1990: Overview, Implementation, and Reauthorization Issues
This report presents an overview of the National Environmental Education Act of 1990, discusses appropriations, examines the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) implementation of the act, and analyzes reauthorization issues relevant to legislation introduced in recent Congresses.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies for the 109th Congress
This report discusses the ongoing debate about whether or not to approve energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Current law forbids energy leasing in the Refuge. This report addresses several legislative options on the issue, as well as policymakers' arguments for and against development, especially in the wake of increasing terrorism since 2000-2001.
Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2005
This report provides background information on each defense-related environmental program, discusses key funding issues, and examines relevant provisions in authorization legislation and appropriations for FY2005.
Safe Drinking Water Act: Implementation and Issues
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.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses issues regarding the Clean Water Act. Prospects for legislative initiatives to comprehensively amend the Clean Water Act (CWA) have stalled for some time over whether and exactly how to change the law, and Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected CWA programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. For example, the 108th Congress enacted one bill amending the CWA, legislation to reauthorize the National Estuary Program (H.R. 4731, P.L. 108-399).
Global Climate Change
No Description Available.
Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2003
The Department of Defense (DOD) administers five environmental programs in response to various requirements under federal environmental laws. These programs include environmental cleanup, environmental compliance, pollution prevention, environmental technology, and conservation. Additionally, the Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for managing defense nuclear waste and cleaning up contaminated nuclear weapons sites. The Administration requested a total of $11.17 billion for these programs in FY2003, about $390 million more than the FY2002 funding level of $10.78 billion. Some of the ongoing issues associated with these programs are the adequacy, cost, and pace of cleanup, whether DOD and DOE adequately comply with environmental laws and regulations, and the extent to which environmental requirements encroach upon military readiness.
Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
No Description Available.
Constitutional Bounds on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment
This report reviews five newly-emergent constitutional areas related to environmental issues, based on Supreme Court decisions. For each area, the focus is its significance for current and future federal environmental legislation.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 108th Congress
Clean air issues were discussed at length in the 107th Congress, but legislation was not enacted, leaving the same issues for possible consideration in the 108th. With new leadership in the Senate, the prospects for such legislation and its content are likely to change. Further, the Senate committee of jurisdiction (Environment and Public Works) will almost certainly focus first on consideration of highway and transit funding (the authorization for which, known as TEA21, expires at the end of FY 2003). Thus, although there is some interest in considering broad changes to the Clean Air Act, the more immediate prospect is for targeted proposals that might be attached to re-authorization of TEA21.
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.
Noise Abatement and Control: An Overview of Federal Standards and Regulations
No Description Available.
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.
The Environmental Protection Agency's FY2003 Budget
On April 9, 2001, the President requested $7.3 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for FY2002, $512.0 million (or 7%) less than the FY2001 funding level of $7.8 billion. The request would not have continued funding of about $500 million for activities earmarked for FY2001, and contained provisions shifting more enforcement responsibilities to the states. Popular wastewater infrastructure funding, state roles, and the future of Superfund were some of the predominant topics. On July 17, the House Appropriations Committee recommended $7.545 billion,$229 million more than requested (H.R. 2620, H. Rept. 107-159).
Clean Air Act Issues in the 107th Congress
In the 107th Congress, the most prominent air quality issue has been whether state and federal regulations designed to protect air quality are having a negative impact on energy production, and, if so, whether legislation should be enacted to reform such regulations. The early discussion focused primarily on California, but with the release of the Administration’s energy policy recommendations in May 2001 and subsequent congressional action, attention shifted to issues more national in scope.
Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations
No Description Available.
Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
This report discusses the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that was completed December 11, 1997, committing the industrialized nations to specified, legally binding reductions in emissions of six “greenhouse gases.”
Global Climate Change
This report discusses different perspectives used to consider issues related to the global climate change and issues related to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Agreement.
The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
No Description Available.
Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations
No Description Available.
Water Quality Initiatives and Agriculture
No Description Available.
Environmental Protection: New Approaches
This report summarizes briefly a number of "new approaches," grouped under the following categories: Information: Approaches to improve the quantity and quality of information to enhance the knowledge base underlying environ- mental decisions (e.g., risk assessment, cost-benefit analysis).Public Sector Processes: Approaches to restructure governmental processes for making environmental decisions (e.g., devolution). Incentives: Approaches that emphasize incentives as opposed to regulatory or financial penalties for achieving environmental ends. Approaches that rely on markets and common law for environmental decisions to the extent possible. Approaches to inculcate environmental values in public or private managerial decisions (e.g., sustainability).
Clean Air Standards: The Supreme Court Agrees to Review
In May, 2000, the Supreme Court agreed to review this decision, raising the prospect of a major pronouncement on the non-delegation doctrine, the enforceability of the revised ozone standard, and the role of compliance costs in setting nationwide air quality standards.
Environmental Protection Agency: FY2001 Budget Issues
The request for state and local wastewater and drinking water capital needs was a key issue. The request of $2.91 billion for State and Tribal Assistance Grants, which fund these needs, was about one-half billion less than in FY2000. The House passed $3.18 billion, the Senate $3.32 billion, and the conferees $3.62 billion. The request included $800 million for Clean Water State Revolving Funds, $550 million less than in FY2000. The House passed $1.20 billion, the Senate $1.35 billion and the conferees $1.35 billion. Conferees approved the $825 million requested for Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. Congress denied the Administration's request for a new Clean Air Partnership program. EPA requested $100 million for Mexican border water projects and $15 million for State of Alaska projects. Conferees approved $75 million and $35 million respectively. For state and tribal administrative grants, the conferees approved roughly the requested amount of $1.0 billion.
Environment and the World Trade Organization (WTO) at Seattle: Issues and Concerns
This meeting of the decision making body of the WTO was expected to make decisions that would lead to another round of negotiations on a wide variety of trade rules and related issues. Although the United States continues to assert the necessity of pursuing the twin goals of free trade and environmental protection and to argue that these need not be in conflict, controversy remains over how the multilateral trading system should address the specifics of environmental issues.
Superfund Act Reauthorization: Liability Provisions of Leading Congressional Proposals
No Description Available.
Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2000
Although Congress authorizes most federal programs for multiple years, it annually authorizes programs for national defense as well as appropriating funding for them each fiscal year. Of the activities traditionally authorized and funded, the Department of Defense (DOD) administers the following six environmental programs: environmental restoration, compliance, cleanup at base closure sites, pollution prevention, environmental technology, and natural resource conservation.
Environmental Protection Agency: An Analysis of Key FY1999 Budget Issues
On February 2, 1998, the President requested $7.8 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in FY1999. The Senate Appropriations Committee reported S. 2168 (S.Rept. 105-216) on June 12; the full Senate passed the bill on July 17. The House Committee reported H.R. 4194 (H.Rept. 105-610) on July 8, 1998; the full House passed it on July 29; and the Senate passed it on July 30 after incorporating S. 2168's provisions. During the week of October 6, the House and Senate approved the conference report, H.Rept. 105-769, which includes $7.5 billion, thus clearing the bill for the President's signature of October 21 (P.L. 105-276). The Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-277) added $30 million more in FY1999 funds.
The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
No Description Available.
Global Climate Change
This report discusses the effect of human activities on global climate change. Human activities, particularly burning of fossil fuels, have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and other trace gases, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), methane, and nitrous oxide.
Safe Drinking Water Act: Implementation and Reauthorization
No Description Available.
Clean Air Act Issues
The 104th Congress enacted four bills modifying provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and held numerous oversight hearings, as EPA and the states continued to implement requirements of the Act's 1990 Amendments. The Amendments set deadlines for issuance of new regulations and attainment of air quality standards.