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Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs

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State and local agencies are continually grappling with environmental legislation and related policy, attempting to generate the most effective and efficient methods of protecting the environment. However, their struggles are often overlooked by efforts to support legal reform and improved environmental programs.

The Environmental Law Institute recognizes that state and local governments bear the primary responsibility for implementing and enforcing environmental protection laws. Since its inception in 1969, ELI has studied state programs, legal innovations, enforcement practices, and interrelationships with federal agencies. In 1986, funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ELI founded the Center for State, Local, and Regional Environmental Programs to promote this important agenda. This unique approach highlights ELI’s in-depth knowledge of state, local, and regional environmental law and programs, and supports the growing need for guidance and analysis of these protection efforts.

The State Center addresses these issues by advancing two goals. First, we focus on creating stronger state, local, and regional environmental programs. Secondly, we seek to support the role of state and local governments in environmental management and enforcement.

ELI pursues the goals of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs, through a variety of activities, including:


The work of ELI’s State Center is closely aligned with the State and Federal Biodiversity Program, the Water Resource Management Program, the Water Quality Program, the Sustainable Use of Land Program, the Gulf of Mexico Program, the Indoor Environments and Green Building Program, and the Brownfields Program.


Producing a wide range of publications to serve state agencies, the private bar, and the general public is central to the work of this program. These publications are a result of intense research and interpretation of data by experienced professionals at the Environmental Law Institute. They cover a variety of subjects pertinent to state, local, and regional issues. Please visit our Publications Page for a complete list.


Recent Publications

First-of-its-kind Regional Transport Program in Works for State Group

(September/October 2019)

Environmental Forum September-October Cover




Linda Breggin is the Director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs.

Cynthia R. Harris is the Director of Tribal Programs and the Deputy Director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs.