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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.

Legal Risk Analysis for Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies in San Diego: Execu

Legal Risk Analysis for Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies in San Diego: Executive Summary

David Roche, Teresa Chan, Rebecca Kihslinger
June 2017

Sea level rise raises significant legal questions for local governments, especially in California. On the one hand, taking action could decrease risk to the community, but increase litigation risk from aggrieved property owners or public interest groups, depending on the nature of the action. On the other hand, a local government could decide not to act, exposing people and infrastructure to excess risk, while potentially exposing itself to litigation if the lack of action causes harm to individuals or public trust property. Risk is thus unavoidable. Read More >

Good Projects Checklist

David Roche, Teresa Chan, Azi Akpan
May 2017

Our Good Projects Checklist is intended to help members of the public determine whether a restoration project is good or not. It includes seven different elements of what to look for in a project. For each element, we provide: (1) a list of questions to determine whether a project adequately includes that element; (2) guidance on how to apply the element; and (3) an example of a Gulf project that satisfies the element. Read More >

Floodplain Buyouts: An Action Guide for Local Governments (Cover)

Floodplain Buyouts: An Action Guide for Local Governments on How to Maximize Community Benefits, Habitat Connectivity, and Resilience

Environmental Law Institute, University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment
April 2017

This Action Guide is designed to help local governments across the country leverage hazard mitigation buyouts to protect, restore, and connect habitats in local communities. Read More >

A Guide to Participating in the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assess

A Guide to Participating in the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Process

March 2017

When an oil spill occurs, natural resources like fish, birds, and marshes may be injured. A natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) is a process focused on figuring out what those injuries are, coming up with a plan to fix those injuries, and then fixing them. This document is intended to help guide you as you determine how to engage in the Deepwater Horizon NRDA process. Following some brief background, the document is divided into two parts. Read More >

Regulatory Reform in the Trump Era

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. Read More >