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Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?

Description: This report provides an overview of the statutory framework, key players, infrastructure, resources, tools, and operations associated with enforcement and compliance of the major pollution control laws and regulations administered by EPA. It also outlines the roles of federal (including regional offices) and state regulators, as well as the regulated community.
Date: December 16, 2013
Creator: Esworthy, Robert
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Vessel General Permit: Background and Issues

Description: This report is an overview of the revised Vessel General Permit (VGP) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and two key issues: inclusion of numeric performance standards to limit ballast water discharges from vessels, and controversies about the role of states in regulating vessel discharges.
Date: January 8, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
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: December 12, 2013
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

President Obama's Climate Action Plan

Description: This report discusses President Obama's Climate Action Plan (CAP) to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG), and to encourage adaptation to expected climate change. The report outlines pledged actions under the plan and possible issues for Congress.
Date: January 14, 2014
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Delays Decision on 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard to 2015

Description: 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.
Date: December 1, 2014
Creator: McMinimy, Mark A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Recent Trends and Factors

Description: A question for policy makers is whether U.S. GHG emissions will remain at current levels, decrease to meet the President's 2020 and 2025 goals, or increase to former (or even higher) levels. Multiple factors, including socioeconomics, technology, and climate policies, may impact GHG emission levels. The first section of this report provides current levels and recent trends in U.S. GHG emissions. The second section takes a closer look at some of the key factors that influence emission levels. The third section discusses the challenges in making GHG emission projections by comparing observed emissions with pre-observed emission estimates.
Date: November 24, 2014
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Commissions: Ocean Policy Review and Outlook

Description: This report provides background and analysis on U.S. Commission on ocean policy and the Pew oceans commission.
Date: July 20, 2010
Creator: Upton, Harold F. & Buck, Eugene H.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The 2010 Oil Spill: MMS/BOEMRE and NEPA

Description: This report reviews the environmental procedures required following the explosion of an oil well on a tract leased by BP from the federal government.
Date: August 19, 2010
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Clean Power Plan Proposal: Are the Emission Rate Targets Front-Loaded?

Description: On June 18, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations (the "Clean Power Plan") addressing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units. This report briefly discusses this proposal.
Date: November 3, 2014
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nondiscrimination in Environmental Regulation: A Legal Analysis

Description: This report will examine the relevant legal authorities that may be asserted to address disproportionate impacts that result from how an agency implements environmental regulations, including the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and various environmental and conservation statutes. It will discuss administrative efforts to address "environmental justice," a term used by some advocates to refer to the distribution of environmental quality across various demographic groups, including the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Plan EJ 2014. It will also analyze the use of these authorities to prevent such impacts and the likelihood of success for future challenges under each legal theory.
Date: February 6, 2013
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A U.S.-centric Chronology of the International Climate Change Negotiations

Description: This document provides a U.S.-centric chronology of the international policy deliberations to address climate change from 1979-2009. It begins before agreement on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, and proceeds through the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the Marrakesh Accords of 2001, the Bali Action Plan of 2007, and the Copenhagen conference in 2009.
Date: March 30, 2010
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Item Type: Report
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
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Administering Green Programs in Congress: Issues and Options

Description: This report discusses "green" programs and the higher profile they have gained in the 110th Congress. "Green" programs are those designed to create an environmentally friendly work environment and conserve energy. This report discusses initiatives and policy options that would improve the "greening" process on Capitol Hill.
Date: October 6, 2008
Creator: Straus, Jacob R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Carbon Cycle: Implications for Climate Change and Congress

Description: This report puts the human contribution of carbon to the atmosphere into the larger context of the global carbon cycle. The report focuses almost entirely on carbon dioxide (CO2), which alone is responsible for over half of the change in Earth's radiation balance. Moreover, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas released to the atmosphere from human activities.
Date: March 13, 2008
Creator: Folger, Peter
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Role of Offsets in a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cap-and-Trade Program: Potential Benefits and Concerns

Description: This report discusses offsets in relation to a greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program. The first section of this report provides an overview of offsets by discussing different types of offset projects and describing how the offsets would likely be used in an emission reduction program. The next section discusses the supply of offsets that might be available in an emission trading program. The subsequent sections examine the potential offset benefits and the potential concerns associated with offsets. The final section offers considerations for Congress.
Date: September 22, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP): Status and Issues

Description: This report presents an overview of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible agricultural producers who wish to implement soil and water conservation practices. The purpose of EQIP is to promote agriculture production, forestry management, and environmental quality as compatible goals, and to optimize environmental benefits. The report also discusses select issues for Congress regarding tighter budget constraints that could potentially reduce funding levels for EQIP and a continuing backlog of unfunded applications. A change in income limitations along with a new waiver created in the 2008 farm bill could also raise issues for the program. EQIP will also continue to face challenges in measuring environmental and program accomplishments.
Date: February 5, 2009
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Item Type: Report
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. The final section highlights recent legislative activity.
Date: September 2, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Lessons Learned and Issues for Policymakers

Description: 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.
Date: May 21, 2013
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department