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GC 320: Environmental Policy & Regulation

Westlaw Next – Provides access to a variety of legal information, including federal and state case law, the United States Code Annotated, the Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Register, state statutes and administrative codes, and more. Also included are 900 law journals and reviews. For environmental law, select the Topics tab, then Environmental Law, and then you can select Environmental Law Cases, Statutes & Court Rules, Regulations, and Secondary Sources. Within this database are a number of primary and secondary publications that will help you.

LegalTrac is another legal database, although it is not at the same level as Westlaw. You can narrow your search by subject.

Popular Names of Acts in the U.S. Code. From Cornell's Legal Information Institute.

The US Environmental Protection Agency, Laws & Regulations. And their National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP).

The Federal Register. Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. Environment has its own section. In Michigan, it's the Michigan Register.

Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports on the environment. These reports, created by the investigative arm of Congress (usually for pending legislation--on any topic), provide an excellent background for a topic. They are not easy to obtain nor are they available from one source and they cover any topic you could think of. From the Federation of American Scientists (Miscellaneous Topics might be the best place to look there), University of North Texas, Fulltextreports, Every CRS Report, and a new one from Congress.gov.

Congress.gov from the Library of Congress. The official source for federal legislative information. Track what's happening in Congress now and see what has happened in the past (back to 1995).

At our state level is the Michigan Legislative Website.

Two Congressional Committees you might want to follow: The House Committee on Natural Resources and the Senate Committee on the Environment & Public Works. At the state level, the House Committee on Natural Resources and in the Senate, the Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee.

USA.gov is the official government search portal. A search here is only going to return government resources (at all levels). Or you can narrow your search from the start with a topic on the environment.

OneSearch might return too many resources on your topic. You might consider a subject-specific database (Business & Economics, for example).

Additional Library Resources
The Congressional Quarterly Almanac - KF 49 C652 (Reference Collection, 1942-present and online back to the 79th Congress [1945]). An excellent resource that provides some of the background behind the issues for each Congress. Publication is laid out by topic and Congress (Environment, Climate and Natural Resources is one of the topics).

Free resources concerning politics: RollCall, Politico, The Hill. Covers politics in Washington, D.C. Follow bills, people, actions, etc. A companion to these freely available sources (which is a subscription database) is CQ Researcher (which delves into the background of an issue).

Congressional Digest (Pro & Con Online). Offering an "impartial view of controversial issues" since 1921. Requires your NMU username and password. This also delves into the background of an issue. Once inside this resource, I recommend using the Index (chronological or by topic) to obtain your topic.

The Environmental Law Reporter. NMU does not subscribe to this journal, but you can get a peek at it through the publisher's website. Articles can be requested via interlibrary loan.

You will no doubt use your favorite search engine to locate resources. What have you really found? Is it worthwhile for your research? Give the resource a closer look using these internet evaluation questions. Use every trick you know to determine the validity of a website you find. There are going to be some very strong opinions (as opposed to fact) and deep pockets behind these websites.

From Harvard is a Think Tank search engine. They have selected over 1200 of them for inclusion.

News sources: Environment News Service, Earth Times, Society of Environmental Journalists,

Environmental Law resources from Justia's Virtual Chase.

MLA citation styleguide. For legal citations, MLA recommends The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. CUNY has a .pdf to assist with this.

Most of you took GC205: Research Methods in Geography. Much of what was taught then is relevant now (annotated bibliography, your same topics [if you're using them] and the research techniques).

Further Assistance
If you need help with any of these resources (or think another needs to be added), ask for assistance at the Library's Reference Desk (227-2294), use the live chat, or contact Bruce Sarjeant, Reference Librarian (227-1580).

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