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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.

Natural Resource Damages, Mitigation Banking, and the Watershed Approach

Natural Resource Damages, Mitigation Banking, and the Watershed Approach

James McElfish, Cynthia Harris, Azi Akpan, Thien Chau, and Rebecca Kihslinger
March 2018

The Oil Pollution Act and CERCLA allow for the recovery of more than just cleanup costs following an oil spill or the release of hazardous substances. These laws also provide for recovery of damages to restore or replace natural resources to the conditions that would have existed prior to the spill or release, as well as to compensate for interim losses of ecological services. Read More >

Step-by-Step Guide to Integrating Community Input into Green Infrastructure Projects

Teresa Chan; Rebecca Kihslinger; John Hare-Grogg; Michael Jensen; Rachel Conn
March 2018

ELI and its partner Amigos Bravos drafted this Guide to help local governments integrate community input into their green infrastructure projects. It sets out eight steps that local governments can take and, for each step, provides details and tips to help local governments as they move through the process. Read More >

When Software Rules: Rule of Law in the Age of Artificial Intellegence

When Software Rules: Rule of Law in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Dave Rejeski, Lovinia Reynolds, and Sarah Wright
February 2018

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing how our society operates. AI now helps make judiciary decisions, medical diagnoses, and drives cars. The use of AI in our society also has important environmental implications. AI can help improve resource use, improve energy efficiency, predict extreme weather events, and aid in scientific research. But while AI has the potential to improve human interaction with the environment, AI can also exacerbate existing environmental issues. Some form of governance is needed to ensure that AI is deployed in a manner that is beneficial for our environment. Read More >

Ethane Cracking in the Upper Ohio Valley

Ethane Cracking in the Upper Ohio Valley: Potential Impacts, Regulatory Requirements, and Opportunities for Public Engagement

Environmental Law Institute
January 2018

The ongoing boom in shale gas production has created a market for shale gas byproducts, including ethane, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. "Cracker" facilities convert ethane into usable chemical products, and several of these cracker facilities are proposed or already under construction in this region. However, many residents want to know more about the potential impacts of these facilities. Read More >

Fast Tracking Restoration: Addressing Resource Constraints in Federal Agencies

Benjamin Solomon-Schwartz, Teresa Chan, Amy Streitwieser, Jay Austin, Azi Akpan
December 2017

In general, federal agencies can only expend funds allocated to them through the Congressional appropriations process. Under some circumstances, however, federal agencies are allowed to accept outside funds or share personnel with other entities. This report highlights some of these circumstances. Appropriately applied, these provisions may assist federal agencies overseeing Gulf restoration in addressing at least some of their resource constraints related to environmental compliance. Read More >