Skip to main content

Environmental Law Research Guide

URL: https://libguides.law.ucla.edu/environmental

Environmental Laws by State

The EPA has helped to create two online tools for locating state environmental agencies, regulations, and other resources:

Lexis, Westlaw, and HeinOnline all provide surveys of environmental laws by topic and state:

For specific information on environmental laws in states other than California, Google state name environmental law research guide to locate research guides created by law librarians in that state.

For specific information on environmental laws in California, see below.

California Environmental Statutes

Statutes passed by the California legislature are published in the California codes, which is divided into named subjects. Most environmental statutes are found in the Public Resources Code or Water Code.

You can browse and search the California codes at any of the following links:

If you have a citation to a specific statute, you can retrieve it by typing it in the main Lexis or Westlaw search box in the format Cal Subject Code 1 or using the Select Code menu on the California legislature's website.

California Environmental Regulations

Most environmental statutes delegate authority to agencies to pass regulations implementing the statutes. California regulations are published in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), which (like the Code of Federal Regulations) is divided into numbered titles. Most environmental regulations can be found in Title 27. Environmental Protection, Title 14. Natural Resources, and Title 23. Waters.

You can browse and search the CCR at any of the following links:

If you have a citation to a specific statute, you can retrieve it by typing it in the main Lexis or Westlaw search box in the format 1 CCR 1 or by selecting Search on the official website and then inputting the title and section.

Tracking Proposed California Statutes and Regulations and Researching California Legislative and Regulatory History

In some cases, you may want to track proposed California statutes or research the history of a California statute.

For information on these topics, please see the following guides:

You may also be interested in the California legislative scorecard prepared by the California League of Conservation Voters:

California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) coordinates environmental protection in California and includes a number of environmental departments and boards.

California Air Resources Board (CARB)

Department of Pesticide Regulation

Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Department of Toxic Substances Control

State Water Resources Control Board

California water is managed by a state-wide State Water Resources Control Board and by nine Regional Water Boards, all ten of which are collectively known as the water boards.

The water boards' website provides a map of the water board regions, along with background information:

The water boards' website also posts the boards' guidance documents and administrative decisions:

Lexis and Westlaw also provide access to California State Water Resources Control Board decisions:

California Energy Commission