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GW Law Library
Research Guides

U.S. Environmental Law

A basic guide to U.S. environmental law research.

About Environmental Law

Environmental Law:

"The field of law dealing with the maintenance and protection of the environment, including preventive measures such as the  requirements of preparing environmental-impact  statements, as well as measures to assign liability and provide cleanup for incidents that harm the environment. Because most environmental litigation involves disputes with governmental agencies, environmental law is heavily intertwined with administrative law."

[Source: Black's Law Dictionary, 11th ed., 2019 )

Acronyms, Abbreviations, Terminology

Search Methods

Suggested terms for searching library catalogs, databases, and websites on U.S. environmental law and related topics include:

  • "carbon finance" / "carbon tax" / "greenhouse gases" / GHG
  • "chemical safety" / TSCA
  • "clean air" / "air pollution"
  • "clean water" / "drinking water"
  • "climate change" / "global warming"
  • "endangered species"
  • "environmental crimes"
  • "environmental justice"
  • "fossil fuels"
  • "hazardous waste" / "solid waste" / Superfund / CERCLA / RCRA
  • "National Environmental Policy Act" / NEPA
  • "navigable waters"
  • "renewable fuel standard" / "fuel economy"
  • "water pollution"
  • "waters of the US" / WOTUS
  • wetlands

Study Aids

The GW Law Library provides access to the Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aids Library, which includes the Examples & Explanations series and CrunchTime study guides, and the LexisNexis Digital Library, which includes the Q&A series and the Understanding series. For the Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aids Library, when prompted to login, sign in with your GW Law email address and password. For the LexisNexis Digital Library, when prompted to login, sign in with your Lexis credentials.

The following print study aids may be borrowed from the Reserve Collection at the Law Library's Circulation/Reserve Desk for up to 2 hours. Older editions may be found in the Law Library stacks. For more study aids in the Law Library's collection, please consult our Study Aids guide.

Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI)

CALI lessons are interactive online tutorials written by law professors at CALI member schools. They can be used for studying topics in environmental law.

Ask any Reference Librarian for the GW Law CALI code.



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