Research Guides List | Databases List

Introduction
Environmental law encompasses all legal efforts to modify and hopefully improve the relationships between people and the environment. It concerns itself with the quality of water and air, with the preservation of species and habitats, with the use of toxic chemicals, and even with the production of noise. On the federal level, environmental law is a patchwork of intersecting laws that govern various aspects of environmental protection and remediation, and are overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency and various departments. This guide provides resources for learning about and practicing environmental law in the U.S.
Quick Resources

General Introductory Resources:

Understanding Environmental Law
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KF 3775 .W45

Environmental Law in a Nutshell
LAW COURSE RESERVE 2nd floor  KF 3775 .Z9 F56

Environmental Law: Examples and Explanations
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KF 3775 .Z9 F45
 

Major Treatises on Environmental Law

Rodgers, Environmental Law
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KF 3775 .R59 also available on Westlaw

Grad, Treatise on Environmental Law
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3775 .G7 also available on Lexis
 

Information for Colorado Practitioners

Environmental Compliance in Colorado (looseleaf)
LAW REFERENCE 2nd floor  KFC 2154 .A6 E68

Colorado Environmental Law Handbook
LAW REFERENCE 2nd floor  KFC 2154 .C658
 
Environmental law has a tremendous amount of jargon related to the various laws and regulations, and also incorporates scientific terminology to refer to pollutants. Consult a specialized dictionary for clarifications.

Dictionary of Environmental Legal Terms
LAW REFERENCE 2nd floor  KF 3775 .A68 L44
FEDERAL RESOURCES
The federal government has passed many statutes intended to protect the natural environment and remediate any harm that has already occurred. Many of these statutes give authority to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate various actions related to the environment. Other federal departments and agencies have their own environmental regulations as well.
The EPA
The EPA’s website has a tremendous amount of information related to environmental law, including summaries and links to federal statutes, technical and scientific data, environmental news, compliance information, and subject guides intended to make the law more comprehensible.
Other Federal Regulators
While the EPA is the largest player in environmental law, many other departments and agencies have the authority to regulate environmental policy or collect important environmental data.  These include:
 
Federal Regulations
Regulations.gov allows visitors to view and comment on regulations that are under consideration, as well as those whose comment period has closed. Regulations can be searched by agency, document type, and subject matter, as well as by keyword.

If you are interested in commenting on proposed legislation, the following is a useful guide to maximizing your impact:

The Art of Commenting: How to Influence Environmental Decisionmaking with Effective Comments
LAW COURSE RESERVE 2nd floor  KF 3775 .Z9 M85 2013
Major Federal Laws
The EPA site includes a list of the laws and executive orders that grant the EPA authority, and gives summaries of each. Some of the most important laws are outlined below.
 
Act Citation Purpose
Clean Air Act (CAA) 42 U.S.C. §7401 et seq. (1970) Regulates air emissions
Clean Water Act (CWA) 33 U.S.C. §1251 et seq. (1972) Regulates discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund) 42 U.S.C. §9601 et seq. (1980) Provides a federal "Superfund" to clean up uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous-waste sites
Endangered Species Act (ESA) 16 U.S.C. §1531 et seq. (1973) Protects threatened and endangered plants and animals and their habitats
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 42 U.S.C. §4321 et seq. (1969) Requires all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major federal action that significantly affects the environment
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 42 U.S.C. §6901 et seq. (1976) Governs the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) 42 U.S.C. §300f et seq. (1974) Regulates the quality of drinking water in the U.S.
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) 15 U.S.C. §2601 et seq. (1976) Regulates testing, record-keeping, reporting, and use of chemical substances.
Proposed Legislation
Congressional Committees are great sources of information about current and proposed environmental legislation:
 
STATE AND LOCAL RESOURCES
Colorado Resources
The State of Colorado has enacted regulations in a variety of environmental areas. The official code of regulations is organized by department/agency at the CO Secretary of State’s website, and this is a good place to start researching state regulations. For more help researching Colorado regulations, please see the Locating Colorado Regulations guide.

The Colorado Department of Natural Resources website has information on Colorado regulations, scientific information about natural resources in Colorado, links to the various environmental boards and commissions, and a variety of other information that will be of interest to both Colorado practitioners and those interested in environmental issues in Colorado.

Please see the Colorado Administrative Law guide for more information on resources and research methods for locating Colorado regulations, administrative law decisions, and attorney general opinions. See the Colorado Statutory Research guide for information about finding Colorado statutes.
City/Municipal Resources
Many cities and municipalities enact their own environmental statutes, from bans on littering to wastewater permitting. Often, the best place to start is on the city’s or municipality’s website.
SECONDARY SOURCES
Print Resources
Dictionary of Environmental Legal Terms
LAW REFERENCE 2nd floor  KF 3775 .A68 L44
 

For Students

Understanding Environmental Law
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KF 3775 .W45  Concise treatise

Environmental Law in a Nutshell
LAW COURSE RESERVE 2nd floor  KF 3775 .Z9 F56  Subject overview

Environmental Law: Examples and Explanations
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KF 3775 .Z9 F45   Subject study guide

Environmental Law: Statutory Supplement and Internet Guide
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3775 .A29 E577
 

Major Treatises

Rodgers, Environmental Law
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KF 3775 .R59  also available on Westlaw

Grad, Treatise on Environmental Law
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3775 .G7  also available on Lexis
 

For Practitioners and Researchers

Environmental Law Handbook
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3775 .E5  A quick reference guide for practitioners of environmental law

Colorado Environmental Law Handbook
LAW REFERENCE 2nd floor  KFC 2154 .C658

Environmental Compliance in Colorado (Looseleaf)
LAW REFERENCE 2nd floor  KFC 2154 .A6 E68  Practice guide for Colorado environmental law

Master Index: Environmental Law Series
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3775 .M3762  Index to materials in Thomson/West’s practice guide series

      Materials in the Environmental Law Series include:
Environmental Law Deskbook
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3775 .E47 A desk reference to environmental statutes

      Other books in the Deskbook Series by ELR include:
Legal Compilation
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3775 .L42 Published by EPA, contains environmental statutes and legislative history (also available from HeinOnline)

Environmental Administrative Decisions: Decisions of the United States Environmental Protection Agency
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3775 .A554 Also available from HeinOnline, LLMC Digital, the GPO, and the EPA

Specific Topic Treatises

Rodgers, Environmental Law in Indian Country
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 8210 .N37 R63

The Clean Air Act Handbook
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3812 .C542

The Clean Water Act Handbook
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3790 .C53 2011

The NEPA Litigation Guide
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3775 .A315 N47

Cooke, The Law of Hazardous Waste
LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3946 .L39

Articles

Index to Legal Periodicals
LAW PERIODICALS basement  K 33 .I42
Finding Articles Online
Resource   Description
SSRN Legal Scholarship Network Unrestricted Resource   The Social Science Research Network includes abstracts and articles that have been submitted for publication
FindLaw - Environmental Law Unrestricted Resource   FindLaw's collection of Environmental Law articles, part of the Corporate Counsel Center Law Library
Google Scholar Unrestricted Resource Some full text available   A source for articles and research related to the environment and environmental law
LegalTRAC (1980 - Date) Restricted Resource
 
  Major law reviews, legal newspapers, bar association journals and international legal journals
Bepress Environmental Law Commons Unrestricted Resource   Free access to full-text scholarly articles and other research from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide

 
Keeping Up to Date
Resource   Description
Environment News Service Unrestricted Resource   A Daily international wire service that provides news about environmental issues
Environment Reporter (BNA) Restricted Resource   Covers developments in courts, Congress, federal agencies, state legislatures, industry and environmental organizations (also available as a looseleaf at LAW STACKS 1st floor  KF 3775 .A15 E582)
Environmental Defense Fund Unrestricted Resource   An environmental advocacy group and a source of news in environmental law
Environmental Law Institute Unrestricted Resource   ELI is an environmental law policy group that provides policy analysis and news
Environmental Law Reporter Unrestricted Resource   Provides news and analysis, expert summaries of important developments, and extensive environmental law and policy research tools
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Unrestricted Resource   An independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to advance strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change
National Resources Defense Council Unrestricted Resource   An environmental advocacy group that provides policy analysis and news
National Wildlife Federation Unrestricted Resource   An environmental advocacy group that provides policy analysis and news
The Environmental Law Net Unrestricted Resource   Provides access to laws and regulations, court and agency decisions, agency documents and databases, and legal news
The Virtual Chase - Environmental Law Links Unrestricted Resource   A collection of environmental law online resources
E&E Daily Restricted Resource   Comprehensive, daily coverage of environmental and energy policy and markets
ClimateWire Restricted Resource   Coverage of the debate over climate policy and its effects on business, the environment and society
Energy Wire Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images Resource contains video Resource contains audio   EnergyWire focuses on the business, environmental and political issues surrounding the rapidly expanding unconventional energy industry and the numerous factors -- from expanding natural gas use to renewables and more -- that are altering the traditional electric utility industry
GreenWire Restricted Resource   ​Comprehensive, objective, daily coverage of environmental and energy policy, politics and markets
Environmental Law Prof Blog Unrestricted Resource   News and commentary from environmental law professors
Non-Legal Research
In addition to understanding the law, practitioners of environmental law often need to be able to access and use a variety of scientific information. These are some of the important sources for science related to environmental law.
 
Resource   Summ​ary​
Academic Search Premier Restricted Resource   Useful general search for scientific information
ASTDR ToxFAQs Unrestricted Resource   Information about contaminants found at hazardous waste sites (overview)
ATSDR ToxPROFILES Unrestricted Resource   Information about contaminants found at hazardous waste sites (more depth)
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications Unrestricted Resource   Federal publications that include descriptive records for historical and current publications and provide direct links to those that are available online
EPA ECOTOX Unrestricted Resource   Single chemical toxicity data for aquatic life, terrestrial plants and wildlife
EPA Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Unrestricted Resource   Data on disposal or other releases of over 600 toxic chemicals from thousands of U.S. facilities and information about how facilities manage those chemicals
Federal Environmental Data Finders Unrestricted Resource   List of Data Finders found across the federal government that provide downloadable data that is relevant to environmental analyses
Google Scholar Unrestricted Resource Some full text available   Articles and research related to the environment and environmental law
National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) Unrestricted Resource   Agricultural chemical usage reports, chemical use information, as well as links to the Census of Agriculture
National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Unrestricted Resource   Government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information
NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards Unrestricted Resource   Information on several hundred chemicals/classes for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals
Science.gov Unrestricted Resource   Over 45 databases and over 2000 selected websites from 14 federal agencies, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information including research and development results
The Encyclopedia of Earth Unrestricted Resource   A free, expert-reviewed collection of content contributed by scholars, professionals, educators, practitioners and other experts in environmental sciences
TOXNET Unrestricted Resource   Databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases
CU University Libraries Guide to Environmental Issues -- Science and Policy   A guide to researching environmental science and policy within the CU University Library System 
Subject Specialist
Google Environmental Law Search
Feeling lucky? This search box will give you results from all the publicly available sites in this guide.
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