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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.

Designing Marine Spatial Planning Legislation for Implementation: A Guide for Le

Designing Marine Spatial Planning Legislation for Implementation: A Guide for Legal Drafters

Environmental Law Institute & Animals | Environment PLLC (for the Blue Prosperity Coalition)
May 2020

Ocean and coastal states around the world are increasingly seeking to better utilize and benefit from their ocean environments, which can be vast in comparison to their land areas. Conflicting human uses, a changing climate, and a desire to ensure long-term sustainability compound the challenge to grow a robust “blue economy.” Consequently, countries are turning to marine spatial planning as a comprehensive management tool to assess and organize present uses of their ocean environments and map for future uses. Read More >

Climate Science in the Courts: A Review of U.S. and International Judicial Prono

Climate Science in the Courts: A Review of U.S. and International Judicial Pronouncements

Maria L. Banda
April 2020

Climate change has been the subject of considerable political controversy in the United States, and climate skepticism—or doubts about the basics of climate science—have not been uncommon in the public debate. At the same time, U.S. courts in several recent high-profile cases, including Juliana v. United States and City of Oakland v. Read More >

Practitioners' Guide to Proposed NEPA Regulations

Practitioners’ Guide to the Proposed NEPA Regulations

James M. McElfish, Jr.
February 2020

On January 10, 2020, the Council on Environmental Quality published its proposal for a comprehensive rewrite of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations that govern how federal agencies identify, analyze, and mitigate for the anticipated environmental impacts of major federal actions. Comments are due on the proposal by March 10, 2020. This brief guide is in the nature of an issue-spotter to assist commenters and others in determining what changes have been proposed and how they may relate to familiar NEPA regulatory concepts. Read More >

Whose Water? A Comparative Analysis of National Laws and Regulations Recognizing

Whose Water? A Comparative Analysis of National Laws and Regulations Recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Rights to Freshwater (Summary Brief)

Rights and Resources Initiative & Environmental Law Institute
February 2020

Clearly defined and legally secure freshwater tenure rights are essential to Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ livelihoods and food security, as well as to countries’ efforts to achieve sustainable development priorities and ensure climate resilience. However, the extent of the legal recognition of these rights to water remains largely unknown and unmonitored. Read More >

Reducing Indoor Exposure to Particle Pollution from Outdoor Sources: Policies and Programs for Improving Air Quality in Homes

Tobie Bernstein
January 2020

Particulate matter is one of the most significant air pollutants in terms of public health impacts. Exposure to particle pollution is associated with a range of respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms and diseases, as well as premature death. While the U.S. has achieved notable progress in reducing ambient air pollution over the past several decades, communities throughout the country still experience levels of particle pollution that put people at risk. Read More >