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October 1997, Vice President Gore directed federal agencies to develop a Clean Water Initiative to improve and strengthen water pollution control efforts. The multi-agency plan was released on Feb. 19, 1998, and identifies more than 100 key actions. Most are existing activities, now labeled as part of the Initiative. The President's FY1999 budget requested $2.2 billion for five departments and agencies ($568 million more than in FY1998) to fund implementation. By October 1998, Congress passed bills to fund the plan, but appropriations provided $1.8 billion, or less than 15%, of the requested increases. In the meantime, however, federal agencies are beginning or accelerating activities to carry out the actions under the Plan.
The European Union’s (EU’s) Emissions Trading System (ETS) is a cornerstone of the EU’s efforts to meet its obligation under the Kyoto Protocol. It covers more than 11,500 energy intensive facilities across the 25 EU member countries, including oil refineries, power plants over 20 megawatts (MW) in capacity, coke ovens, and iron and steel plants, along with cement, glass, lime, brick, ceramics, and pulp and paper installations. Covered entities emit about 45% of the EU’s carbon dioxide emissions. The trading program does not cover emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases, which account for about 20% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions. A final consideration for the ETS is its suitability for directing long-term investment toward a low-carbon future — the ultimate goal of any climate change program.
In response to the 9/11 Commission’s aviation security-related recommendations, two bills — H.R. 5121 and H.R. 10 — introduced in the House contain several provisions to enhance aviation security. Additionally, floor amendments to S. 2845, the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, contain numerous aviation security provisions, many of which address 9/11 Commission recommendations related to aviation safety. S. 2845 was passed (96-2) by the Senate on October 6, 2004. The House passed H.R. 10 on October 8 by a vote of 282-134. A conference has been requested to resolve numerous differences between H.R. 10 and S. 2845.
The report discusses the issues regarding the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135), which contains provisions to arm pilots of passenger aircraft and gives deputized pilots the authority to use force, including lethal force, to defend the flight deck against criminal and terrorist threats. The report includes the legislative Background, implementation issues, equipment, training, operational procedures and costs.
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.
Key water quality issues that may face the 107th Congress include: actions to implement existing provisions of the Clean Water Act, whether additional steps are necessary to achieve overall goals of the Act, and the appropriate federal role in guiding and paying for clean water activities. This Act is the principal law that deals with polluting activity in the nation’s lakes, rivers, and coastal waters and authorizes funds to aid construction of municipal wastewater treatment plants. Legislative prospects for comprehensively amending it have been stalled over whether and exactly how to change the law.
Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, there is intense congressional interest in improving the security screening process for airline passengers and their baggage. In the United States, screening is the responsibility of the airlines, which generally contract the work out to screening companies. The Federal Aviation Administration has regulatory authority, deploys security equipment in airports, and conducts research and development on security technology. Congress has begun to consider several bills in this area that have been introduced since the September 11 attacks, as well as Administration proposals and actions.
The report discusses the issues regarding the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135), which contains provisions to arm pilots of passenger aircraft and gives deputized pilots the authority to use force, including lethal force, to defend the flight deck against criminal and terrorist threats. The report includes the legislative Background, implementation issues, equipment, training, operational procedures and costs.
The 9/11 Commission issued several recommendations designed to strengthen aviation security by: enhancing passenger pre-screening; improving measures to detect explosives on passengers; addressing human factors issues at screening checkpoints; expediting deployment of in-line baggage screening systems; intensifying efforts to identify, track, and screen potentially dangerous cargo; and deploying hardened cargo containers on passenger aircraft. In addition to these specific recommendations, an overarching recommendation for transportation security policy asserts that priorities should be set based on risk, and the most practical and cost effective deterrents should be implemented assigning appropriate roles and missions to federal, state, and local authorities, as well as private stakeholders.
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