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Environmental Law Research Guide: Federal & State Statutes & Regulations

Federal Statutes

The United States Code is divided into titles. Each title contains the laws on a particular topic. Many environmental statutes can be found in Title 42 The Public Health and Welfare, but other environmental statutes can be found throughout other titles in the United States Code. For an overview of major federal environmental statutes visit the EPA Law and Executive Orders webpage.

The United States Code can be accessed on Westlaw and Lexis Advance, in print in the Law Library. It is also available for free from the following websites:

Office of Law Revision Council offers a browse-able and searchable United States Code with advance search options.

Cornell's Legal Information Institute offers a browse-able and searchable United States Code, but it the search features are limited.

For more information on statutory research, please visit our Finding Federal Statutes research guide.

Federal Administrative Law

Regulations play an integral role in implementing environmental protections. Most environmental regulations can be found Title 40: Protection of the Environment of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). The Code of Federal Regulations is available in most paid databases and is also available for free on FDsys (though this version of Title 40 is generally only updated in July) and Cornell's Legal Information Institute. To review a regularly updated version on the Code of Federal Regulations, visit e-CFR where you can browse and search regulations.

Occasionally, a researcher may need to review proposed regulations. Proposed regulations can be found in the Federal Register and also on

To learn more about the regulatory process and administrative law research, please visit our Federal Administrative Law research guide.

State Statutes and Regulations

State environmental agencies are often responsible for implementing federal environmental regulations. Thus, your environmental law research may require you to review not just federal statutes and regulations, but also state statutes and regulations along with the state agencies that implement the law. As a result this structure, the EPA offers a number of state related resources. 

EPA's list of state and territory agencies 

State-by-State Resource Locator allows you to look at state materials by topic such as air pollution, wetlands, and electronic waste.