Congressional Research Service Reports - 56 Matching Results

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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.
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.
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.
Military Base Closures: Role and Costs of Environmental Cleanup
This report provides an overview of cleanup requirements for the transfer and reuse of base closure properties, discusses the status of property transfer on bases closed under prior rounds, examines costs to clean up bases closed under these prior rounds, and discusses cleanup costs and issues for the 2005 round.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected Clean Water Act (CWA) programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. In the 109th Congress, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved S. 1400, a bill authorizing $20 billion in federal grants to capitalize state clean water infrastructure loan programs. Also, a House committee has approved bills to reauthorize several Clean Water Act programs: H.R. 624 would provide $1.5 billion in grants over six years for sewer overflow projects; H.R. 1359 would extend a pilot program for alternative water source projects; H.R. 1721 would reauthorize coastal water quality programs; and H.R. 3963 would extend the Long Island Sound Program.
Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Develpoments and Issues
This report discusses issues regarding the arsenic’s health effects and how to reduce the uncertainty in assessing health risks associated with exposure to low levels of arsenic. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the current standard of 50 parts per billion (ppb) in 1975. . This report reviews EPA efforts to develop a new arsenic rule and summarizes key provisions and subsequent events.
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.
Emergency Waiver of EPA Regulations: Authorities and Legislative Proposals in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
This report reviews some of the environmental laws that could affect response and recovery actions, discusses existing waiver authority, and identifies issues raised by proposals to grant new waiver authority. The focus of the report is on regulatory programs administered by EPA, including the Clean Water Act, Superfund, and the Clean Air Act. In the short term, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, environmental regulations do not appear to have posed an obstacle to local, state, federal, or private response efforts, in part because existing waiver or flexibility provisions were used in certain cases.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected Clean Water Act (CWA) programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. In the 109th Congress, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved S. 1400, a bill authorizing $20 billion in federal grants to capitalize state clean water infrastructure loan programs. Also, a House committee has approved bills to reauthorize several Clean Water Act programs: H.R. 624 would provide $1.5 billion in grants over six years for sewer overflow projects; H.R. 1359 would extend a pilot program for alternative water source projects; H.R. 1721 would reauthorize coastal water quality programs; and H.R. 3963 would extend the Long Island Sound Program.
NEPA and Hurricane Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding Efforts
No Description Available.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
In the Summer of 2005, Congress focused on several Clean Air Act Issues before the August recess. Although the Congressional agenda stated that attention would be given to the needed amendments of the Clear Skies/Multi-Pollutant Legislation, this progress was stalled, and the committee failed to approve the bill due to a tied vote. This otherwise stagnated debate was given some attention due to the discussions over mercury regulations as they apply to power plants. The outcome of the decision concerning these regulations has stirred controversy in at least fifteen states. Perhaps the most debated issue that Congress covered concerned MTBE and Ethanol, which have been used to meet the Clean Air Act requirements that reformulated gasoline (RFG), sold in the nation’s worst ozone nonattainment areas, contain at least 2% oxygen, to improve combustion. Air quality standard deadlines and provisions, specifically in the most severe ozone nonattainment areas, were discussed by Congress. Discussions over the Clean Air Act also sparked discussions over environmental regulations concerning related issues, including the Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs, and Hurricane Katrina.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
In the Summer of 2005, Congress focused on several Clean Air Act Issues before the August recess. Although the Congressional agenda stated that attention would be given to the needed amendments of the Clear Skies/Multi-Pollutant Legislation, this progress was stalled, and the committee failed to approve the bill due to a tied vote. This otherwise stagnated debate was given some attention due to the discussions over mercury regulations as they apply to power plants. The outcome of the decision concerning these regulations has stirred controvery in at least fifteen states. Perhaps the most debated issue that Congress covered concerned MTBE and Ethanol, which have been used to meet the Clean Air Act requiremnets that reformulated gasoline(RFG), sold in the nation’s worst ozone nonattainment areas, contain at least 2% oxygen, to improve combustion. Air quality standard deadlines and provisions, specifically in the most severe ozone nonattainment areas, were discussed by Congress. Dsicussions over the Clean Air Act also sparked discussions over environmental regulations concerning related issues, including the Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs, and Hurricane Katrina.
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.
Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs.
Global Climate Change
No Description Available.
Environmental Protection Agency: Appropriations for FY2006
The 109th Congress moved funding jurisdiction for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from the Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development (VA-HUD), and Independent Agencies appropriations subcommittee to the Interior subcommittee. Title II of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-54, H.R. 2361) provides $7.73 billion for EPA, subject to an across-the-board rescission of 0.476%. Section 439 of Title IV indicates that the rescission is to be applied proportionately among each account, program, project, and activity specified in the law, accompanying reports, and the President’s budget request.
Grazing Regulations: Changes by the Bureau of Land Management
This report discusses the two-pronged approach to grazing reform the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking by proposing changes to grazing regulations and considering other changes to grazing policies. BLM asserts that regulatory changes are needed to increase flexibility for grazing managers and permittees, to improve rangeland management and grazing permit administration, to promote conservation, and to comply with court decisions.
Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2006 Appropriations
The annual consideration of appropriations bills (regular, continuing, and supplemental) by Congress is part of a complex set of budget processes that also encompasses the consideration of budget resolutions, revenue and debt-limit legislation, other spending measures, and reconciliation bills. This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies. It summarizes the status of the Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant.
Environmental Protection Agency: FY2006 Appropriations and Highlights
Title II of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-54, H.R. 2361) provides $7.73 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), subject to an across-the-board rescission of 0.476%. Section 439 of Title IV indicates that the rescission is to be applied proportionately among each account, program, project, and activity specified in the law, accompanying reports, and the President’s budget request. The total FY2006 EPA appropriation includes an additional $80 million in unobligated funds “rescinded” from past appropriations, as noted in the following table. P.L. 109-54 provides more funding for EPA than the Administration’s FY2006 request of $7.52 billion, but less than the FY2005 appropriation of $8.03 billion.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Major amendments to the Clean Air Act were among the first items on the agenda of the 109th Congress, with S. 131 (the Clear Skies Act) scheduled for markup by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee March 9. The most prominent air quality issues discussed in this report are; Clear Skies / Multi-Pollutant Legislation, Mercury from Power Plants, New Source Review (NSR), MTBE and Ethanol, Ozone Nonattainment Area Deadlines, Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs.
Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
No Description Available.
Climate Change: Federal Expenditures for Science and Technology
This report identifies and discusses direct climate-focused scientific and research programs of the federal government, as well as an array of energy programs that relate indirectly to climate change.
Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs.
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.
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement
In an effort to collect scientifically credible data regarding the effect of animal agriculture on water resources (specifically animal waste and emissons from animal feeding operations (AFO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2005 announced the Air Compliance Agreement. The agreement is intended to produce air quality monitoring data on AFO emissions during a two-year study, while at the same time protecting participants through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws. This report discusses the agreement and the perspectives of both its supporters and opponents.
Vieques and Culebra Islands: An Analysis of Cleanup Status and Costs
No Description Available.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Major amendments to the Clean Air Act were among the first items on the agenda of the 109th Congress, with S. 131 (the Clear Skies Act) scheduled for markup by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee March 9. The most prominent air quality issues discussed in this report are; Clear Skies / Multi-Pollutant Legislation, Mercury from Power Plants, New Source Review (NSR), MTBE and Ethanol, Ozone Nonattainment Area Deadlines, and Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs.
Military Base Closures: Role and Costs of Environmental Cleanup
No Description Available.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected Clean Water Act (CWA) programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. In the 109th Congress, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved S. 1400, a bill authorizing $20 billion in federal grants to capitalize state clean water infrastructure loan programs. Also, a House committee has approved bills to reauthorize several Clean Water Act programs: H.R. 624 would provide $1.5 billion in grants over six years for sewer overflow projects; H.R. 1359 would extend a pilot program for alternative water source projects; H.R. 1721 would reauthorize coastal water quality programs; and H.R. 3963 would extend the Long Island Sound Program.
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A Primer
This report focuses on the environmental quality of water resources as affected by animal agriculture, specifically animal waste, which can harm water quality through surface runoff, direct discharges, spills, and leaching into soil and groundwater. This report also discusses the contribution of emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), enterprises where animals are raised in confinement, to air pollution.
Global Climate Change
No Description Available.
Military Base Closures: Role and Costs of Environmental Cleanup
No Description Available.
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.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected Clean Water Act (CWA) programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. In the 109th Congress, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved S. 1400, a bill authorizing $20 billion in federal grants to capitalize state clean water infrastructure loan programs. Also, a House committee has approved bills to reauthorize several Clean Water Act programs: H.R. 624 would provide $1.5 billion in grants over six years for sewer overflow projects; H.R. 1359 would extend a pilot program for alternative water source projects; H.R. 1721 would reauthorize coastal water quality programs; and H.R. 3963 would extend the Long Island Sound Program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Major amendments to the Clean Air Act were among the first items on the agenda of the 109th Congress, with S. 131 (the Clear Skies Act) scheduled for markup by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee March 9. The most prominent air quality issues discussed in this report are; Clear Skies / Multi-Pollutant Legislation, Mercury from Power Plants, New Source Review (NSR), MTBE and Ethanol, Ozone Nonattainment Area Deadlines, and Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected Clean Water Act (CWA) programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. In the 109th Congress, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved S. 1400, a bill authorizing $20 billion in federal grants to capitalize state clean water infrastructure loan programs. Also, a House committee has approved bills to reauthorize several Clean Water Act programs: H.R. 624 would provide $1.5 billion in grants over six years for sewer overflow projects; H.R. 1359 would extend a pilot program for alternative water source projects; H.R. 1721 would reauthorize coastal water quality programs; and H.R. 3963 would extend the Long Island Sound Program.
Global Climate Change
No Description Available.
Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
The agencies that implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regard the designation of critical habitat (CH) as providing only very limited benefits beyond those achieved through the listing of species and the avoidance of jeopardy to them. Several courts have now held that the relevant regulation and interpretation that result in this conclusion are erroneous and do not carry out the intent of Congress.
Military Base Closures: Role and Costs of Environmental Cleanup
No Description Available.
Environmental Laws: Summaries of Statutes Administered by the Environmental Protection Agency
A dozen major statutes form the legal basis for the programs of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many of these have been amended several times. The current provisions of each are briefly summarized in this report. The Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) seeks to prevent pollution through reduced generation of pollutants at their point of origin. The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to set mobile source limits, ambient air quality standards, hazardous air pollutant emission standards, standards for new pollution sources, and significant deterioration requirements; and to focus on areas that do not attain standards.
Environmental Protection Issues in the 109th Congress
This report 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.
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 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA's) implementation of the act, and analyzes potential issues for reauthorization that may be considered in the 109th Congress.
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.
The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
No Description Available.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report provides background and analysis on several issues related to the Clean Air Act, including: Clear Skies / Multi-Pollutant Legislation, Mercury from Power Plants, New Source Review (NSR), MTBE and Ethanol, Ozone Nonattainment Area Deadlines, and Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs. It also discusses the most recent developments.
Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol
No Description Available.