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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.

New Tools for Responsible Shipping in the Great Lakes: Using Financial Responsib

New Tools for Responsible Shipping in the Great Lakes: Using Financial Responsibility Policies to Prevent Ballast-Borne Biological Pollution

Read D. Porter and Jordan Diamond
July 2009

This white paper identifying financial responsibility tools that could be used to protect the Great Lakes economy and environment from biological pollution introduced in ballast water. The white paper introduces the legal framework governing ballast water discharge, discusses liability for discharge of untreated ballast water, and illustrates how financial responsibility mechanisms can be applied to address the potential liabilities and environmental damage arising from ballast water discharge. Read More >

Expanding the Use of Ecosystem-Based Management in the Coastal Zone Management A

Expanding the Use of Ecosystem-Based Management in the Coastal Zone Management Act

Adam Schempp, Kathryn Mengerink, Jay Austin
January 2009

This ELI research report focuses on expanding the role of ecosystem-based management (EBM) in the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), which arguably is the most influential federal law on marine and coastal resources in the U.S., but with few provisions that reflect EBM. This paper identifies sections of the Act poised to adopt EBM and suggests language that could be added to the CZMA. As reauthorization of the CZMA has raised interest in its structure and objectives, this simple idea could have far-reaching effects on the health of this country’s marine and coastal areas. Read More >

Wetland Avoidance and Minimization in Action: Perspectives from Experience

Wetland Avoidance and Minimization in Action: Perspectives from Experience

Sandra S. Nichols and James M. McElfish
January 2009

The first two steps in the CWA section 404 sequencing process have received far less attention at a national level. This study looks at how the avoidance and minimization requirements are applied by permitting officials in state and federal regulatory and resource agencies, where they find weaknesses, and how the process could be improved. Read More >

An Action Plan on Invasive Species

An Action Plan on Invasive Species

National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species
December 2008

In An Action Plan on Invasive Species, the Environmental Law Institute and its partners in the National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species have identified priority actions for both the Obama administration and the 111th Congress related to invasive species prevention and management. By taking these simple steps, the federal government can make substantial progress toward addressing animal and plant invasive species threats. Read More >