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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.

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 >

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 >

Food Waste Co-Digestion at Water Resource Recovery Facilities: Business Case Analysis

Carol Adaire Jones, Craig Coker, Ken Kirk, and Lovinia Reynolds
December 2019

Co-digestion of food wastes with wastewater solids at water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) can provide financial benefits to WRRFs as well as a broad range of environmental and community benefits. Co-digestion is a core element of the wastewater sector’s “Utility of the Future” initiative, which envisions a new business approach for pioneering WRRFs to create valuable energy and nutrient products via the recovery and reuse of residuals from the wastewater treatment process. Read More >

Digital Technology Opportunities for the Colorado River Basin

Digital Technology Opportunities for the Colorado River Basin

Environmental Law Institute & Water Foundry
November 2019

The American West, including the cities of Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; Phoenix, Arizona; and Denver, Colorado, falling under the reaches of the greater Colorado River Basin (CRB), is now among the world's water stressed regions facing the environmental, economic, and social challenges of increased water scarcity. The CRB supplies more than 1 in 10 Americans with some, if not all, of their water for municipal use, including drinking water. 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
August 2019

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 >