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An Overview of Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas: Resources and Federal Actions

Description: This report focuses on the growth in U.S. oil and natural gas production driven primarily by tight oil formations and shale gas formations. It also reviews selected federal environmental regulatory and research initiatives related to unconventional oil and gas extraction, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed hydraulic fracturing rule and EPA actions.
Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Ratner, Michael & Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA): Liability of Responsible Parties

Description: The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) establishes a framework that addresses the liability of responsible parties in connection with the discharge of oil into the navigable waters of the United States, adjoining shorelines, or the exclusive economic zone. Among other provisions, OPA limits certain liabilities of a responsible party in connection with discharges of oil into such areas. This report addresses liability under OPA for removal costs and damages, and the basic procedure for recovering removal costs and damages from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in the event that the responsible party fails to settle such claims.
Date: June 2, 2010
Creator: Nichols, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Senate and House Bills Compared with Current Law

Description: On April 15, 2010, Senator Lautenberg introduced legislation (S. 3209) to amend the core provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title I. Representatives Waxman and Rush introduced comprehensive legislation to amend TSCA (H.R. 5820) on July 22, 2010. This report compares key provisions of S. 3209, as introduced, H.R. 5820, as introduced, and current law (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.).
Date: August 12, 2010
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Regulating Coal Combustion Waste Disposal: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of the current rulemaking for Coal combustion waste (CCW) and relevant background information that applies to that rulemaking. In particular, the report describes the nature of the waste itself and primary methods of managing it; discusses potential risks associated with its mismanagement, particularly as supported by new data EPA has gathered to support the proposed rulemaking; and provides an overview of EPA's current regulatory proposal.
Date: September 21, 2010
Creator: Luther, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Description: 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.
Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Description: Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20, 2010, Congress has given much attention to the compensatory liability provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and, to a lesser extent, those of the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. However, federal laws possibly relevant to the oil spill also impose civil and criminal money penalties, which may reach dollar amounts in connection with the Gulf spill greater than those for compensatory liability. This report summarizes selected federal civil and criminal penalty provisions that may be found violated in connection with the Gulf spill and related worker fatalities.
Date: August 16, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?

Description: This report focuses on enforcement of federal environmental pollution control requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA); the Clean Water Act (CWA); the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund); and other statutes for which EPA is the primary federal implementing agency.1 The report provides a brief synopsis of the statutory framework that serves as the basis for pollution control enforcement, including an overview of the key players responsible for correcting violations and maintaining compliance. Implementation and enforcement of pollution control laws are interdependent and carried out by a wide range of actors including federal, state, tribal, and local governments; the regulated entities themselves; the courts; interest groups; and the general public.
Date: October 7, 2014
Creator: Esworthy, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Supreme Court Accepts Five Environmental Cases During Its 2008-2009 Term

Description: In the Supreme Court's 2008-2009 term, which likely will conclude in late June, 2009, the Court has accepted for argument five environmental cases--an unusually large number out of the roughly 85 cases accepted for argument. The reason for this interest in environmental cases at this particular time is speculative; the Court generally does not explain why it accepts cases. This report reviews the cases, decided and undecided, and then briefly comments.
Date: February 27, 2009
Creator: Meltz, Robert
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

Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for Disaster Response, Recovery, and Mitigation Projects

Description: This report discusses the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) as it applies to projects for which federal funding to recover from or prepare for a disaster has been requested by local, tribal, or state grant applicants. Specifically, the report provides an overview of the NEPA process as it applies to such projects, identifies the types of projects (categorized by federal funding source) likely to require environmental review, and delineates the types of projects for which no or minimal environmental review is required (i.e., those for which statutory or regulatory exemptions apply) and those likely to require more in-depth review.
Date: September 8, 2008
Creator: Luther, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

Description: 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.
Date: March 19, 2014
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Implementation and New Challenges

Description: This report provides an overview of basic Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) provisions, briefly examines the history of TSCA implementation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and describes the legal, scientific, and technological developments that are being used to provide support to calls for TSCA reform.
Date: July 18, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Liability for Flood Damage Related to Army Corps of Engineers Projects

Description: This report examines selected issues of the federal government's liability depending on the theory of the levee failures, and analyzes legal defenses available to the federal government. The report uses flood damage related to Hurricane Katrina as an illustration of these legal issues regarding federal liability, but the general principles in the analysis would apply to flood damage resulting from any such flood control project.
Date: July 11, 2008
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change: Comparison of S. 2191 as Reported (now S. 3036) with Proposed Boxer Amendment

Description: This report discusses S. 2191 (the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008), which was reintroduced as S. 3036 with a deficit reduction amendment. In particular, it provides a comparison of five key differences between the bill and the proposed Boxer Amendment.
Date: May 30, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D. & Parker, Larry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Insurance and Climate Change: Do Governments Have a Duty to Protect Property Owners?

Description: This legal sidebar discusses the climate change in context of federal and private insurers. One of the many insurance company concerns is whether the government can be held liable for not putting in place adequate infrastructure to protect against property damage from climate-change-related extreme weather.
Date: October 16, 2014
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change: Federal Laws and Policies Related to Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Description: This report provides background on the evolution of U.S. climate change policy, from ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to the George W. Bush Administration's 2001 rejection of the Kyoto Protocol to the present. The report focuses on major regulatory programs that monitor or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with their estimated effect on emissions levels.
Date: January 28, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D. & Parker, Larry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The National Environment Policy Act: Streamlining NEPA

Description: This report discusses elements of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) relevant to streamlining, issues associated with determining project delays attributed to NEPA, common streamlining methods, and recently proposed and enacted legislative and administrative streamlining activities.
Date: February 8, 2006
Creator: Luther, Linda G
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The National Environment Policy Act: Streamlining NEPA

Description: This report discusses elements of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) relevant to streamlining, issues associated with determining project delays attributed to NEPA, common streamlining methods, and recently proposed and enacted legislative and administrative streamlining activities.
Date: February 13, 2006
Creator: Luther, Linda G
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Considerations in Federal Procurement: An Overview of the Legal Authorities and Their Implementation

Description: This report discusses issues about the role of environmental considerations in federal procurement. These include: to what extent do agencies consider environmental factors when procuring goods or services? What legal authorities presently require or allow agencies to take environmental factors into account when acquiring goods or services?
Date: June 21, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M. & Halchin, L. Elaine
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Description: This report focuses on oil spills in U.S. coastal waters. The first section highlights background issues, including oil spill statistics and potential environmental impacts. The second section discusses the legal framework that governs oil spill prevention and response. The third section examines the threat of future oil spills in coastal waters and whether response personnel are prepared to respond to a major spill.
Date: April 30, 2010
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department