Congressional Research Service Reports - 14 Matching Results

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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.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 106th Congress
The Clean Air Act and its 1990 amendments appear to have contributed to a marked improvement in air quality nationwide. Of nearly 100 metropolitan areas not meeting air quality standards for ozone in 1990, more than two-thirds now do so. Even greater progress has been achieved with carbon monoxide: 36 of 42 areas not in attainment in 1990 now meet the standard. Nevertheless, EPA remains concerned about air pollution. In 1997, the Agency promulgated major revisions to its air quality standards for ozone and particulates, an action that would require most states and urban areas to establish additional controls on a wide range of pollution sources. The revised standards were challenged by numerous parties and the courts have remanded the standards to EPA. Implementation is currently in limbo, pending resolution of appeals by the Supreme Court.
Environmental Protection Issues in the 106th Congress
This report discuses issues such as Reforming Superfund, defense cleanup compliance, funding measures, beach assessment, air-related risk management plans, and research received congressional attention in the 106th Congress, first session. In the remaining days, there may be action related on water quality programs involving specific water bodies, and funding of environmental programs.
Constitutional Constraints on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment
Federal protection of the environment must hew to the same constitutional strictures as any other federal actions. In the past decade, however, the Supreme Court has invigorated several of these strictures in ways that present new challenges to congressional drafters of environmental statutes. This report reviews six of these newly emergent constitutional areas, with special attention to their significance for current and future environmental legislation.
Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2001
The Department of Defense operates six environmental programs: cleanup of past contamination at military facilities, acceleration of cleanup at military bases designated for closure, compliance with environmental laws and regulations that apply to ongoing military operations, pollution prevention, natural resource conservation, and environmental technology. In addition to these activities, the Department of Energy is responsible for managing defense nuclear waste and remediating contaminated sites. This report discusses the federal laws that established these programs, describes their scope and purpose, provides a history of appropriations, indicates the President’s budget request for FY2001, examines authorization and appropriations legislation for FY2001, and discusses other relevant legislation considered in the 106th Congress.
EPA's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program: Highlights of the Final Revised Rule
This report discusses the final rule and the key modifications of the August 1999 proposal. The final rule builds on the current TMDL regulatory program and adds details, specific requirements, and deadlines. It retains the basic elements of the 1999 proposal for more comprehensive identification of impaired waters, schedules and minimum elements for TMDLs, and new public participation requirements. At the same time, dropped from the final rule are several provisions that were most controversial in the proposal, including some potentially affecting agriculture and forestry, one that would have required pollutant discharge offsets in some circumstances, and one that would have required states to identify waters threatened but not yet impaired by pollution
Overview of NEPA Requirements
No Description Available.
Noise Abatement and Control: An Overview of Federal Standards and Regulations
No Description Available.
Global Climate Change Treaty: The Kyoto Protocol
Negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were completed December 11, 1997, committing the industrialized nations to specified, legally binding reductions in emissions of six "greenhouse gases." This report discusses the major provisions of the Kyoto Protocol.
Water Quality Initiatives and Agriculture
No Description Available.
EPA's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program: Highlights of Proposed Changes and Impacts on Agriculture
In August 1999 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations to clarify and strengthen the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program under section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. Section 303(d) requires states to identify surface waters for which wastewater discharge limits are not stringent enough to achieve water quality standards and to allocate further required pollutant reductions among sources in order to attain those standards. This report discusses the major changes in EPA's proposals, compared with existing regulatory program requirements, and potential impacts on agriculture and forestry sources, which have been controversial.