Monday, October 15, 2007

Literary Warrant [20]

Continuing to catch up here with some aging reports and the like...
  • Richard F. Anderson, Senior Advisor, Mayors Water Council, United States Conference of Mayors, National City Water Survey 2007: The Status of Asset Management Programs in Public Water and Sewer Infrastructure in America’s Major Cities (September 2007)

    "With cities responsible for the lion’s share of maintaining quality water and wastewater services, The U.S. Conference of Mayors released today a national survey that examines the status of asset management programs in water and sewer services in major cities. The report was released at the Mayor’s Annual Water Summit in San Francisco and shows how cities use asset management programs, which offer cost-efficient ways to acquire, operate, maintain and rehabilitate water and sewer systems."—Press release (September 27, 2007)

  • beSpacific, Repair and Replacement of Affordable Housing Lags in Mississippi's Post-Katrina Recovery (October 1, 2007)

    "Affordable housing recovery in three coastal counties in Mississippi heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina lags behind the pace of the rest of the housing market in the region, according to a RAND Corporation study released today. While construction permits had been issued as of July for approximately 60 percent of the housing damaged by the hurricane, repair and replacement of multi-unit housing significantly lags behind repair and replacement of single-family homes, according to this study from the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute."—Press release (September 27, 2007)

  • Blacksmith Institute, The World's Most Polluted Places: The Top Ten of the Dirty Thirty (September 2007)

    Vapi, India"U.S.-based Blacksmith Institute, an independent environmental group, in partnership with Green Cross Switzerland, today issued their Top Ten list of the world's most severely polluted places. Overall, the Top Ten sites lie in seven countries and affect a total of more than 12 million people."—Press release (September 12, 2007)

  • President George W. Bush, The White House, Fact Sheet: Toward a New Global Approach to Climate Change and Energy Security (September 28, 2007)

    "Today, President Bush will address the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change and urge a new path forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that does not undermine economic growth or prevent nations from delivering greater prosperity for their people. Today's meeting launches President Bush's major economies initiative to work with all of the world's largest users of energy and largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions, including both developed and developing nations, to establish a new international approach on energy security and climate change in 2008 that will contribute to a global agreement by 2009 under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change."—Press release.

  • Todd Davis & Monica Hale, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Public Transportation’s Contribution to U.S. Greenhouse Gas Reduction (September 2007)

    "This report addresses four questions.

    1. How much net CO2 is public transportation saving in the U.S .from the current level of services being offered?

    2. How much additional CO2 savings are possible if incremental public transportation passenger loads are increased?

    3. What is the significance of non-public transportation commuter use at a household level and what can households do to save additional CO2?

    4. Are there favorable land use impacts that public transportation contributes to that result in positive environmental and social benefits?

    Answers to these questions show that public transportation is a highly valuable asset for reducing global warming."—Executive Summary.

  • Arthur Laffer & Wayne Winegarden, Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics, The Adverse Economic Impacts of Cap-and-Trade Regulations (September 2007)

    "A cap-and-trade scheme for controlling greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) would impose significant economic costs on the U.S. economy and, consequently, are an inappropriate policy response to current concerns about global warming."—Executive Summary.

  • Sarah A. Lister, Specialist in Public Health and Epidemiology, Domestic Social Policy Division & Holly Stockdale, Analyst in Health Care Financing, Domestic Social Policy Division, Congressional Research Service (CRS), Pandemic Influenza: An Analysis of State Preparedness and Response Plans (CRS Report for Congress, Order Code RL34190) (September 24, 2007)

    "This report, which will not be updated, describes an approach to the analysis of state pandemic plans, and presents the findings of that analysis. State plans that were available in July 2006 were analyzed in eight topical areas: (1) leadership and coordination; (2) surveillance and laboratory activities; (3) vaccine management; (4) antiviral drug management; (5) other disease control activities; (6) communications; (7) healthcare services; and (8) other essential services. A history of federal funding and requirements for state pandemic planning is provided in an Appendix. This analysis is not intended to grade or rank individual state pandemic plans or capabilities. Rather, its findings indicate that a number of challenges remain in assuring pandemic preparedness, and suggest areas that may merit added emphasis in future planning efforts."—Summary.

  • Clare Ribando Seelke, Analyst in Latin American Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division & Brent D. Yacobucci, Specialist in Environmental and Energy Policy, Resources, Science, and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service (CRS), Ethanol and Other Biofuels: Potential for U.S.-Brazil Energy Cooperation (CRS Report for Congress, Order Code RL34191) (September 27, 2007)

    "On March 9, 2007, the United States and Brazil, which together produce almost
    70% of the world’s ethanol, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote greater cooperation on ethanol and other biofuels in the Western Hemisphere. The countries agreed to (1) advance research and development bilaterally, (2) help build domestic biofuels industries in third countries, and (3) work multilaterally to advance the global development of biofuels.

    "Many analysts maintain that the United States would benefit from having more energy producers in the region, while Brazil stands to further its goal of developing ethanol into a globally traded commodity. In addition to these economic benefits, some analysts think that an ethanol partnership with Brazil could help improve the U.S. image in Latin America and lessen the influence of oil-rich Venezuela under Hugo Chávez. However, obstacles to increased U.S.-Brazil cooperation on biofuels exist, including current U.S. tariffs on most Brazilian ethanol imports."—Summary.

  • Southern Education Foundation (SEF), Education After Katrina: Time for a New Federal Response (August 29, 2007)

    "The report chronicles the need for a strengthened federal response to the educational challenges faced both in the Gulf Coast and nationwide, as a result of the 2005 hurricanes. SEF examines declining student enrollments, lost school time among K-12 and college students, as well as the severe impact of the storms on regional child care systems. It documents the inadequate federal response to the relief and recovery related to education after Katrina, and calls for a 'new federal response' to restore struggling educational institutions on the Gulf Coast and to assist students whose education remains disrupted by the storms."

  • T.M.C. Asser Instituut, European Environmental Law Cases (database)

    "The case law section of the EEL website provides you with the full text of the most relevant decisions, including those delivered by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Court of First Instance (CFI), the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), and some national courts.

    "Beside the most relevant cases, a link will be given to the home page and, where possible, a link to the search engine of the court concerned."

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ENERGY STAR® and Other Climate Protection Partnerships: 2006 Annual Report (September 2007)

    "The measures adopted by EPA’s partners through 2006 have resulted in the following major environmental and economic benefits:

    • The prevention of 70 million metric tons (in MMTCE2) of greenhouse gases, equivalent to the emissions from 45 million vehicles, and net savings to consumers and businesses of more than $14 billion in 2006 alone.

    • Prevention of more than 980 MMTCE and net savings to consumers and businesses of about $160 billion over the lifetime of their investments.

    • Investment of more than $50 billion in energy-efficient and climate-friendly technologies."—Executive Summary.

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NOx Budget Trading Program: 2006 Program Compliance and Environmental Results (September 2007)

    "The NOx Budget Trading Program (NBP) is a market-based cap and trade program created to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from power plants and other large combustion sources in the eastern United States. NOx is a prime ingredient in the formation of ground-level ozone, a pervasive air pollution problem in many areas in the East. The NBP was designed to reduce NOx emissions during the warm summer months, referred to as the ozone season, when ground-level ozone concentrations are highest. This report provides background on ozone formation and effects and evaluates progress under the NBP in 2006. The report examines reductions, reviews compliance results and market activity, and compares changes in emissions to changes in ozone concentrations."

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Portfolio Manager

    EPA, Durham, NC"Estimating the carbon footprint of commercial buildings has just become easier. Portfolio Manager, EPA's on-line energy rating system for commercial buildings, now includes greenhouse gas emission factors. The updated ratings show that Energy Star buildings, which use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings, also emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."—Press release (September 28, 2007)

  • United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Nuclear Energy: NRC’s Workforce and Processes for New Reactor Licensing Are Generally in Place, but Uncertainties Remain as Industry Begins to Submit Applications (Report to Congressional Committees, GAO-07-1129) (September 2007)

    "Nearly three decades after the last order for a new nuclear power reactor in the United States, electric power companies plan to submit 20 applications in the next 18 months to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for licenses to build and operate new reactors. Since 1989, NRC has developed a new license review process that allows a power company to obtain a construction permit and an operating license through a single combined license (COL) based on one of a number of standard reactor designs. NRC expects its new process to enhance the efficiency and predictability of its reviews. GAO reviewed NRC’s readiness to evaluate these applications by examining the steps NRC has taken to (1) prepare its workforce and manage its workload and (2) develop its regulatory framework and review process for new reactor activities. GAO reviewed NRC documents for new reactor workforce staffing and training, examined NRC’s guidance for the review of license applications, interviewed NRC managers and representatives of nearly all of the COL applicants, and observed NRC’s public meetings."—Why GAO Did This Study.

  • United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Prairie Pothole Region: At the Current Pace of Acquisitions, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Is Unlikely to Achieve Its Habitat Protection Goals for Migratory Birds (Report to the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, GAO-07-1093) (September 2007)

    "The 64-million-acre Prairie Pothole Region in the north-central United States provides breeding grounds for over 60 percent of key migratory bird species in the United States. During much of the 20th century, the draining of wetlands and the conversion of prairie to cropland has reduced bird habitat. Under the Small Wetlands Acquisition Program, the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) aims to sustain remaining migratory bird populations by permanently protecting high priority habitat. Some habitat is temporarily protected under the Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program.

    "In this context, GAO examined (1) the status of the Service’s acquisition program in the region, (2) the Service’s habitat protection goals for the region, and (3) challenges to achieving these goals. To answer these objectives, GAO examined Service land acquisition data and projected rates of habitat loss."—Why GAO Did This Study.

  • David G. Wood, Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment, United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Disaster Housing: Implementation of FEMA’s Alternative Housing Pilot Program Provides Lessons for Improving Future Competitions (August 31, 2007)

    "Congress, in the Fiscal Year 2006 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery,2 provided for alternative housing pilot programs in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina and the other hurricanes of the 2005 season, and appropriated $400 million to DHS for this purpose. To implement this provision of law, FEMA announced a competitive grant program—the Alternative Housing Pilot Program (AHPP)—inviting the five Gulf Coast states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) to submit proposals for projects that would demonstrate alternatives for housing disaster victims. FEMA convened a panel of officials to evaluate and score the projects. In December 2006, FEMA announced that it was awarding Mississippi up to $281.3 million for two projects, Louisiana up to $74.5 million for one project, Texas up to $16.5 million for one project, and Alabama up to $15.7 million for one project."

    This document is GAO's review of FEMA's implementation of AHPP.


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