Government Information

Earl Gregg Swem Library

Evolution of the Meaning of “Waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act

Categories: Environment,Laws/Regulations,Natural Resources,Property Rights,Supreme Court/courts

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44585.pdf

Examines how widely to interpret the phrase “Waters of the U.S.” which has no clear definition in the Clean Water Act.  The Commerce Clause is cited as the constitutional basis for regulating water quality, but recent court decisions have cited limitations to that authority.  From the Congressional Research Service, posted by the Federation of American Scientists

 

Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap

Categories: Animals/Wildlife,Environment,Headlines,Natural Resources,Science/Technology

http://cetsound.noaa.gov/Assets/cetsound/documents/Roadmap/ONS_Draft_Roadmap_Complete_June1.pdf

Draft document on efforts to protect marine animals from rising levels of underwater noise created by human activities.  The noise levels lead to a reduced ability to navigate, find food and mates, avoid predators, and perform other critical functions.  Calls for an integrated approach to mitigating the effects of ocean noise over the next 10 years.  From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Commerce Department

 

Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co.

Categories: Environment,Headlines,Laws/Regulations,Natural Resources,Property Rights,Supreme Court/courts

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/15-290

Unanimous Supreme Court decision that limits the ability of federal regulators to determine what land is protected by the Clean Water Act.  At issue in the case was whether companies could take the regulators to court without having to first seek expensive permits.  From the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University

 

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Specific Industry Sectors

https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4607.pdf

Required report (788 pages) to Congress and the President which provides an overview of the TPP agreement, findings as to the likely economy-wide effects, and specific sectoral effects.  These include food and agricultural products, manufactured goods, energy, and services.  From the U.S. International Trade Commission

 

EPA Releases Report Showing Nearly Half of Nation’s Wetlands in Good Health

Categories: Environment,Headlines,Natural Resources

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-releases-report-showing-nearly-half-nations-wetlands-good-health

Press release about the first ever assessment of  the health of U.S. wetlands, part of a series of studies monitoring the condition of the nation’s waters.  From the Environmental Protection Agency

 

National Wetland Condition Assessment 2011: A Collaborative Survey of the Nation’s Wetlands

Categories: Environment,Headlines,Maps/Geography,Natural Resources,Statistics

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/documents/nwca_2011_public_report_20160510.pdf

Presents the results of the first national evaluation of the ecological condition of the nation’s wetlands.  Reveals that nearly half are in good health, while 20% are in fair health and about 32% are in poor health. From the Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

 

Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf—Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control

Categories: Energy,Headlines,Laws/Regulations,Natural Resources,Weather/Disasters

http://www.bsee.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/final-well-control-rule/

Text of 500+ page final rule relating to the risk of offshore oil or gas blowouts such as the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.  The final rule covers all aspects of well control, including design requirements and operational procedures for well control equipment used in offshore oil and gas drilling operations.  From the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement of the Interior Department

 

Well Control Final Rule Fact Sheet

Categories: Energy,Headlines,Laws/Regulations,Natural Resources,Weather/Disasters

https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/FACT%20SHEET-%20Well%20Control%20Final%20Rule%20-%20FINAL.pdf

Lists the major requirements in a final regulation designed to correct the problems that led to the Deep Water Horizon tragedy.  From the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement of the Interior Department

 

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