Environmental Law Research Module


This module was prepared pursuant to a grant from the North Carolina Alliance of Environmental Studies Programs. The module was written by Robert H. Cutting, JD, UNC Wilmington Environmental Studies Program and the web work was done by Ben Snyder, Student Assistant.

Purpose: The purpose of this module is to collect an outline of the legal system and the environmental law scheme in one site, with links to primary and secondary legal and reference materials. The site is designed to be utilized by students of environmental law or policy courses who want a concise outline along with direct references for more detail.

Design: The site is designed as an outline and is generally divided into Section I, The Legal System, and Section II, the Environmental Law. Additions are planned for case law and international materials. A site outline appears below. A topical outline of the Environmental Law section (Section II) is contained here. The site is searchable using the search engine here and in the upper right hand corner of each page.

All sections contain some annotations by the author along with links to summaries and primary or secondary references.

How To Use This Site

The Legal System: This portion of the site is organized as an outline represented by the site index below, and my be used by reference to the outline (below), the diagram of the legal system or the search engine. There are annotations for many of the references. North Carolina is the state selected as a representative for state materials. A selection of legal materials for all states is available at Findlaw and Washlaw.

The Environmental Law Section: This section is organized by categories. The statutes generally have an annotation or a reference to the EPA summary. The name of the statute (eg, Clean Air Act) is a link to an index of the sections of the actual law, from which you can reach the text of the section. Remember, the federal government assigns section numbers to the Act involved (eg, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act) as well as section citations to the US Code (eg, 33 U.S. Code Section 1251 et seq.). Below the Statutes appear Regulations usually issued by EPA to implement the statute, with complete links, and key regulations highlighted (references are to the Code of Federal Regulations). The daily newspaper of the federal government, in which proposed changes to regulations and other actions of government appear, is called the Federal Register.

Links: We make every effort to use current links and have linked both the text within the site and the site itself to many other links we think useful in the study of environmental law and policy. Please report any problems with the links to us at cuttingr@uncwil.edu and as the subject please put: broken links.

Site OutlineFederal Court of AppealsUS Supreme CourtExecutive BranchCongress

  1. The Legal System - General
    1. Government
      1. Federal
      2. State
    2. Classifications of Law
    3. Legal Procedure
    4. International Law Sources
    5. Private Sector Initiatives
  2. Environmental Law and Regulations
    1. Disclosure
      1. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
      2. Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA)
      3. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
    2. Gateway
      1. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
      2. Federal Insecticide Rodenticide and Fungicide Act (FIFRA)
    3. Media Specific
      1. Clean Air Act
      2. Clean Water Act
      3. Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899
      4. Safe Drinking Water Act
      5. Noise Abatement
    4. Waste Stream
      1. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
      2. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund)
      3. The Emergency Planning & Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA)
    5. Resource Management
      1. Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972
      2. Endangered Species Act
      3. Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977
      4. Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960
      5. Federal Land Policy Management Act
      6. Marine Mammal Protection Act
      7. Reclamation of Irrigation of Lands by Federal Government
  3. Key Decisions
  4. Forensic Environmental Science
  5. References

Next: The Legal System