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Environmental and Energy Law

A research guide containing helpful resources for patrons conducting environmental and energy law research.

Federal Regulations

Environmental and Energy Law is an area of law that is heavily regulated by administrative agencies.  Regulations governing environmental protection can be found in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).  Regulations governing energy can be found in Titles 10, 18, 43, and 30 of the CFR.

The Code of Federal Regulations is available electronically via and  For older versions of the CFR, visit HeinOnline.  The CFR on Westlaw Edge contains annotations, meaning it contains citations to relevant cases, statutes, and secondary sources.

Before a final rule is published in the CFR, administrative agencies publish notices, proposed rules, and final regulations in the Federal Register.  The Federal Register is available electronically via and  For older versions, visit HeinOnline.

Federal Administrative Agencies & Materials

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)The EPA's website contains information regarding environmental laws, regulations, compliance and enforcement, and policy and guidance.  The site has information for a variety of environmental topics, such as air, chemicals and toxins, environmental information by location, greener living, health, land, waste, and cleanup, science, and water.  There is also an A-Z index to help users find information.  The website also has a page on regulations, where you can find information about EPA regulations, tracking regulations, and information about state regulations.

Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE was established in 1977 by the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 USC § 7101).

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC is an independent regulatory agency within the DOE. FERC regulates interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity, as well as natural gas and hydropower projects.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC was established by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974. It regulates commercial nuclear power plants and nuclear materials.

Department of the Interior (DOI). Within the DOI, there are a number of bureaus.  These include the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

North Carolina Regulations

Title 15 of the North Carolina Administrative Code (NCAC) contains many of the environmental regulations in North Carolina.  These regulations can be found on the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings' (NC OAH) website.

Westlaw Edge and Lexis+ also contain current versions of the NCAC.  The print version, now published by West, is available in the law library [KFN7435 1998 .A26].

Administrative agencies publish notices, proposed rules, and final actions in the North Carolina Register, which is available via the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings website.

Visit our North Carolina Administrative Law research guide for additional information.

North Carolina Administrative Agencies & Materials

North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ). NCDEQ's website contains information regarding what the department does, permit information, rules and regulations (divided by division), and proposed rules. The site also contains research resources, such as GIS Online, as well as a number of other resources for research regarding air quality, coastal management, geological survey, environmental assistance and customer service, marine fisheries, mitigation, waste management, and water resources.  NCDEQ also has a division on energy, mineral, and land resources.

North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC). This agency regulates both investor-owned and privately-owned entities, such as, electric companies, natural gas companies, wastewater companies, water resellers, household goods movers, busses, transportation brokers, and ferryboat companies. Click here for additional information about NCUC. NCUC has its rules and regulations posted on the site as well.