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Selected Internet Sources for Environmental Law Research

Updated March 30, 2015.
Prepared by Cheryl Nyberg; updated by Mary Thurston, law librarianship intern (2015).

Environmental law is a complex topic with many print and online sources. This guide focuses on selected free Internet sources.


Starting Points

National Library for the Environment
Links to a wide array of environment-related sources, including Congressional Research Service briefing books and reports; environmental journals on the web (full-text, abstracts, and indexes); environmental laws and treaties; bibliographies, catalogs, databases, government agencies, maps, news, photographs, and other resources.

Ecolex
This database  "includes information on treaties, international soft-law and other non-binding policy and technical guidance documents, national legislation, judicial decisions, and law and policy literature. Users have direct access to the abstracts and indexing information about each document, as well as to the full text of most of the information provided."

Environmental Law Research Sources
Vermont Law School Library's " collection of free environmental legal research resources, selected in consultation with VLS environmental faculty and students, for use in environmental law research. VLS's Environmental Law Research Sources links to carefully selected Internet resources that inform the practice of environmental law. It has been developed for law students and professionals and is continually expanding, linking to both broad (Environmental News, Organizations, International Environmental, Science Sources, etc.) and specific (Water Law, Climate Change, Energy, Agricultural Law, etc.) web sites."


Research Guides

Environmental Law
A research guide on environmental law by Duke's Law School's Goodson Law Library.

Environmental Law
A research guide on environmental law by Lewis & Clark Law School's Paul L. Boley Law Library.

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Key Federal Government Agencies

EPA Small Logo U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
A well-organized government site with thousands of documents. Includes a search feature for locating specific publications or information. Offers sections for concerned citizens, with zip code searches to find out about environmental trends and hazardous releases in the area.

Council on Environmental Quality
This government agency "coordinates Federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives. CEQ was established within the Executive Office of the President by Congress as part of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)"

Fish and Wildlife Services U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Provides information on endangered species, national wildlife refuges, and  policy and management guidelines and regulatory policy guidance for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency.

Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice
"The Environment and Natural Resources Division, which is organized into ten sections, has primary responsibilities for litigation as well as appellate and policy work on behalf of the United States regarding: Prevention and Clean Up of Pollution,Environmental Challenges to Federal Programs and Activities, Stewardship of Public Lands and Natural Resources, Property Acquisition for Federal Needs, Wildlife Protection, Indian Rights and Claims. With offices across the United States, the Division is the nation's environmental lawyer, and the largest environmental law firm in the country."

NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
This government agency is responsible for a host of tasks including: "providing timely and precise weather, water and climate forecasts, to monitoring the environment, to managing fisheries and building healthy coastlines, to making our nation more competitive through safe navigation and examining changes in the oceans. . ."

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Key Washington State Government Agencies

WADEPTECOLOGY Washington Department of Ecology
A collection of laws, regulations, publications, policies, guidance documents, and other information on topics including the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), air quality, hazardous wastes, nuclear wastes, permits, sediments, shorelines and wetlands, solid wastes, toxic spills, water quality and resources, and watershed management.

WADNR logo Washington State Department of Natural Resources
The mission of this agency is to "provide innovative leadership and expertise to ensure environmental protection, public safety, perpetual funding for schools and communities, and a rich quality of life." The site provides links to the agency's rule-making activity, publications including regulations, and to SEPA, the State Environmental Policy Act.

WSDOT Washington State Department of Transportation, Environmental Stewardship
This agency is directed to "follow sound environmental protection practices in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of WSDOT’s transportation systems and facilities. This includes, but is not limited to, pollution prevention, energy conservation, environmental impact avoidance and mitigation, and compliance with environmental laws." This website provides links to the agency's environmental policy statement and summarizes the agency's responsibilities relating to the environment.

Growth Management Hearings Board
Contains the text of relevant laws and regulations, publications, and decisions of the Growth Management Hearing Boards. See also the Gallagher guide on Washington Administrative Agency Decisions, Guidance & Resources: Environment & Natural Resources.

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Legal Indexes & Meta-Sites

These sites contain selective lists of links on environmental law.

Cornell's Legal Information Institute - Environmental Law

FindLaw - Environmental Law

Hieros Gamos - Environmental Law - Guide to Environmental and Natural Resources Law

The Virtual Chase - Environmental Law

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Comparative, Foreign & International Environmental Law

Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators (ENTRI)
An excellent collection of full-text agreements, conventions, and treaties.

GlobaLex - Update: A Basic Guide to International Environmental Legal Research
A guide with information on general starting points, treaty research, sub-topics, indexes and finding aids, treaty research, national laws, Lexis and Westlaw resources, environmental periodicals, comprehensive websites, environmental organizations, blogs and current awareness tools.

American Society of International Law Electronic Research Guide on International Environmental Law
This guide provides an overview of international environmental law, general search strategies, a list of primary and secondary sources, related sites and online discussion lists.

International Environmental Law Research Guide
Georgetown's in-depth guide to researching international environmental law.

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