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Research Reports

ELI publishes Research Reports available for free download that present the analysis and conclusions of the policy studies ELI undertakes to improve environmental law and policy. These reports contribute to education of the profession and disseminate diverse points of view and opinions to stimulate a robust and creative exchange of ideas. Those publications, which express opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of the Institute, its Board of Directors, or funding organizations, exemplify ELI’s commitment to dialogue with all sectors.

Clearing the Path: Citizen Science and Public Decision Making in the United States

James McElfish, John Pendergrass, Talia Fox
April 2016

This report was prepared by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) with the Commons Lab at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. It examines laws and policies that affect public decision makers’ ability to use and rely on information generated by citizen science projects. The report addresses how citizen science programs can be organized, conducted, and communicated to improve public decisions. Read More >

Addressing Indoor Air Quality in School Energy Efficiency Upgrades: Review of Selected State Policies

Environmental Law Institute
January 2016

As efforts to address climate change accelerate, government policies and programs will continue to look to energy efficiency as a powerful and cost-effective strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency upgrades can help school districts advance their educational mission by reducing energy and other operating costs. Protecting and enhancing indoor air quality also supports the core mission of schools by promoting staff and student health, productivity, and attendance. Read More >

Drinking Water Quality in Child Care Facilities: A Review of State Policy

Environmental Law Institute
August 2015

A variety of chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants may affect drinking water supplies. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of contaminants in their water, because they drink more water, eat more food, and breathe more air relative to their size than do adults, and because their bodies are not fully developed and their growing organs can be more easily harmed. This paper describes how state laws and regulations across the U.S. Read More >

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulation of Offshore Aquaculture

Environmental Law Institute
March 2015

This white paper provides a detailed legal and practical overview of Corps regulation of offshore aquaculture, illustrated through case studies of three offshore aquaculture projects that have recently received Section 10 permits. In addition, it provides recommendations for steps to increase the consistency and timeliness of Section 10 permitting of offshore aquaculture while ensuring that all environmental impacts are effectively addressed. Read More >