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.
Regulatory Reform in the Trump Era
Senior Attorneys Jay Austin, Tobie Bernstein, and James M. McElfish, Jr., and Public Interest Law Fellow Benjamin Solomon-Schwartz
March 2017

In response to the growing demand for unbiased answers and analysis on how deregulatory initiatives by the new Administration and Congress will impact environmental protection, governance, and the rule of law, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) has released Regulatory Reform in the Trump Era. The report explains the legal mechanisms and processes that may get deployed, how they work, and the effect on the current regulatory landscape.

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Strategic Partnerships and Floodplain Buyouts - Report Cover
University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment; Environmental Law Institute
February 2017

This Handbook summarizes key considerations for wetland and conservation agencies or organizations interested in playing a role in the floodplain buyout process. These organizations can be valuable partners for local governments while advancing their interest in ecosystem and habitat conservation or restoration.

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Blindsided by Change: Slow Threats and Environmental Policy
Robert L. Olson, Senior Fellow, Institute for Alternative Futures, and David Rejeski, Director, Technology, Innovation and the Environment Project, Environmental Law Institute
January 2017

Some threats to the environment, like acid rain and stratospheric ozone depletion, emerged fairly rapidly, and abrupt threats like an oil or toxic chemical spill demand an immediate response. But most environmental problems have the opposite character: they involve slow threats where small, hardly noticeable changes add up over time to produce large impacts.

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Stream Mitigation: Science, Policy, and Practice
Environmental Law Institute, Stream Mechanics, The Nature Conservancy
January 2017

ELI, Stream Mechanics, and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have partnered to provide a wide-ranging view of the state of stream compensatory mitigation. This report examines how stream compensatory mitigation has evolved in policy and practice and was based on a series of white papers, which can be found on the State of Stream Compensatory Mitigation page.

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Developing Wetland Restoration Priorities for Climate Risk Reduction and Resilie
James McElfish, Rebecca Kihslinger and Jessye Waxman
December 2016

Working with New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia — the five members of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) — the Environmental Law Institute prepared a detailed assessment of methods to identify, conserve, and restore wetlands for protection of communities and ecosystems in the face of rapid climate change. ELI in collaboration with an expert panel designed an approach that can accommodate continuous improvement by resource managers, legislators, and policy makers. The approach relies on:

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