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Environmental Law Research Guide: Primary Law

Last Updated: Mar 4, 2019 1:44 PM

Legislative Branch Materials

Bills, Hearings, and Reports

Legislative Branch Materials

Legislative Branch Materials

Public Laws & Codified Laws

Executive Branch

Federal Administrative Process

The Federal Register

Each agency must publish its rules in the Code of Federal Regulations.  Before that publication, any changes or additions to any rules must be included for a certain time period (usually 90 days) in the Federal Register.  The Federal Register is a daily publication (not including weekends or holidays) which includes notices of proposed rules or amendments, final rules,  executive orders, and agency notices. 

There are many ways to access the Federal Register:

Executive Branch

The Code of Federal Regulations

After a rule is finalized, it is published in the Code of Federal Regulations.  The CFR is the playbook of the administrative agencies, and it outlines procedures and definitions used by the agency.

Administrative Decisions

Agency Decisions

Agency decisions may be found in a few ways.  There are various reporters published by private companies, or you can contact the agency directly. 

Environmental law reporters:

  • BNA Environment Reporter (log-in required if accessing off-campus)(also available on Westlaw)
  • BNA Chemical Regulation Reporter (Westlaw, "BNA-CHEM")

Databases of Decisions:

Westlaw:

(In Westlaw, search the directory for the names or search the database directory in the left hand toolbar.)

database search WL

  • E.P.A. Administrative Law Judge Decisions (FENV-EPAALJ)
  • E.P.A. Environmental Appeals Board Decisions (FENV-EPAEAB)
  • E.P.A. Office of Grants and Debarment (FENV-EPAOGD)
  • E.P.A. Regional Decisions (FENV-EPARJO)
  • Environmental Protection Agency Documents (EPADOCS)
  • Federal Environmental Law - E.P.A. Decisions (FENV-EPA)
  • US Environmental Protection Agency Title V Final Orders (FENV-EPA-AIR)

LexisNexis:


Agency Websites:

Environmental Appeals Board Decisions

Judicial Branch

New York State Courts:

Appellate Division:

  Search appellate decisions in the following databases:

  • Westlaw (log-in required)
  • LexisNexis (log-in required)
  • LexisNexis Academic (log-in required)

Court of Appeals:

Search Court of Appeals decisions in the following databases:

  • Westlaw (log-in required)
  • LexisNexis (log-in required)
  • LexisNexis Academic (log-in required)

Judicial Branch

Federal Courts

Appellate Courts:

  Search appellate decisions in the following databases:

  • Westlaw (log-in required)
  • LexisNexis (log-in required)
  • LexisNexis Academic (log-in required)

Supreme Court

Search Supreme Court decisions in the following databases:

  • Westlaw (log-in required)
  • LexisNexis (log-in required)
  • LexisNexis Academic (log-in required)

Note well

Many of your primary federal and state sources will reference each other.  Make note of these references, and always be sure to update any citations to be sure they are good law.