Government Information

Earl Gregg Swem Library

Effectiveness of Virginia’s Water Resource Planning and Management 2016

Categories: Environment,Natural Resources,Virginia Issues

Concludes that there is currently insufficient groundwater in eastern Virginia to accommodate any major, new permit requests (for example, industries seeking to locate in the region).  Criticizes the state’s state and local water plans as lacking in addressing sustainability challenges.  Offers recommendations for improved state and regional planning.  From the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission


Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2015

Categories: Agriculture/Rural Issues,Energy,Foreign Trade/Investment,Manufacturing,Natural Resources,Statistics

Reviews U.S. trade performance during the year with a focus on changes in exports and imports of key natural resources, agricultural, and manufacturing products.  Also examines changes in trade relations with 4 key partners and country groups.  Also has special topic: the impact of declining energy prices on U.S. sectoral trade flows.  From the U.S. International Trade Commission.


Global Implications of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing

Categories: Climate Change,Crime/Justice,Environment,Food/Nutrition,Natural Resources,Treaties

Defines the nature of illegal and unregulated fishing, describes the threat to legitimate fishing and ocean health posed by such activities, and prospects for alleviation of the problem through such actions as the Port State Measures Agreement that came into force in June 2016.  From the Office of the Director of National Intelligence


Sea-Level Rise and U.S. Coasts: Science and Policy Considerations

Categories: Climate Change,Environment,Headlines,Natural Resources,Science/Technology

Although the extent and pace of future sea-level rise remains uncertain, the phenomenon is expected to contribute to floods, erosion, saltwater intrusion into coastal freshwaters, and changes in coastal terrestrial and estuarine ecosystems.  Considers the causes, the effects on U.S. coasts, and the policy questions for Congress.   From the Congressional Research Service, posted by the Federation of American Scientists


Presidential Proclamation, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Expansion

Categories: Environment,Headlines,Natural Resources,Presidency

Expands a National Monument area off the northwestern Hawaiian Islands to become the world’s largest marine protected area.  From the White House



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

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

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

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


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