Disposal of Disaster Debris, and More from CRS

09.07.17 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Dealing with the debris left by a major disaster such as Hurricane Harvey is a challenge that requires skilled management to overcome, a new report from the Congressional Research Service explains.

“In the aftermath of a major disaster, a potential threat to safety and obstacle to recovery is the presence of significant amounts of disaster debris.”

“Improperly managing debris can have detrimental long-term repercussions. During or after a disaster, some debris will likely become mixed with hazardous constituents. For example, under flooding conditions, household hazardous waste or sewage may contaminate otherwise benign personal property or building materials, such as drywall or carpeting. Improper disposal of contaminated debris may lead to future environmental, health, or safety problems, such as groundwater contamination.”

The CRS report provides an overview of the legal and regulatory frameworks for addressing disposal of post-disaster debris. See Disaster Debris Management: Requirements, Challenges, and Federal Agency Roles, September 6, 2017.

Other notable new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

Floodplain Management and Flood Resilience: Current Policy and Considerations for CongressCRS Insight, September 6, 2017

Issues in Autonomous Vehicle Deployment, September 1, 2017

Retirement Benefits for Federal Law Enforcement Personnel, updated September 5, 2017

Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, updated September 1, 2017

Paraguay: In Brief, August 31, 2017

New Financial Sanctions on Venezuela: Key IssuesCRS Insight, September 1, 2017

Since 2002, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system has reportedly achieved 36 successful missile intercepts out of 44 attempts. Lately, Japan has indicated that it will purchase and deploy an Aegis Ashore system to bolster its own defense against North Korean missiles. See Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress, updated September 1, 2017.