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ENSP 400: Capstone in Environmental Science and Policy

Research guide for ENSP 400: Capstone in Environmental Science and Policy

Legislative and Executive Materials

Types of Government Information Resources
*Produced by government agencies (local, state-wide, national, or international) 
*Intended to report on agency activities, assist policy makers, keep citizens informed, etc.
*Government agencies around the United States and the World publish vast quantities of statistics and papers on all issues
*Publications include: studies, reports, hearings, legislation, regulations...
*The UM libraries are an official depository of government information so you will find many publications here and many are available online.

Brief Summary:
After a bill has been approved by both the House and Senate in identical form, it is sent to the President. 
If the President approves of the legislation he/she signs it and it becomes law.

Federal laws are published in two formats - a chronological format (U.S. Statutes at Large) and a topical format (U.S. Code).

Once laws have been passed, regulatory agencies create the rules and regulations necessary to implement and enforce the law.

Proposed rules are published chronologically in the Federal Register before they take affect and are open for comment.

Once rules are adopted, they are compiled in a topical arrangement (issuing agency and subject) in the Code of Federal Regulations.

To find proposed legislative information, visit

The default is to search current legislation. If you want to search all legislation, make sure to change it using the drop down menu.


Once you do your search, click on a bill number to see more


Note that you can see the progress of the bill in your search results.

Once you've clicked into your search results, use the tabs below the summary to access the full text, and see more information about the bill.

How do I cite this?

If the bill passed, it should be cited as a statute (public law) unless the bill is being cited as part of a legislative history.

Title [if relevant], bill or resolution number, xxx Cong. (year).

Reference List:

     Presidential Funding Act of 2010, S. 3681, 111th Cong. (2010).   OR   S. 3681, 111th Cong. (2010).


     Senate Bill 3681 (2010)   OR   (S. 3681, 2010)

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

  • The CFR is a codification of the rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
  • The CFR is divided into 50 titles which represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation, with environmental regulations contained mainly in Title 40 - Protection of Environment.
  • Each volume of the CFR is revised once each calendar year and updated on a quarterly basis, Title 40 is issued every July 1.
  • The official legal edition of the CFR is available from the Government Printing Office Website.
  • Other titles that are relevant to Environmental Law:

The Federal Register

Proposed regulations dealing with environmental issues and comments on those regulations, can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency's website.
EPA Regulatory information by topic.

To find a proposed rule, visit and enter your search terms into the search box.


On the search results page, you can narrow the results so that you only see proposed rules.


How Do I Cite This?

If a proposed rule has passed, the citation for regulations should include:

  • The title number followed by a space and "C.F.R." (for "Code of Federal Regulations)
  • The section number preceded by the section symbol and a space
  • the year of the most recent compilation of that title


40 C.F.R. § 122.2 (2010).

If the regulation does not yet appear in the C.F.R. , cite to the Federal Register:

Proposed rules, new rules, and presidential papers, proclamations, and executive orders are published daily in The Federal Register -
If a rule has not yet been published in the C.F.R., cite to the Federal Register.
Include the title of the regulation, the volume of the Federal Register __Fed. Reg.__followed by the issue. Enclose the date in parentheses.  Note: To find the volume and issue, open the pdf to view the header of the published Register.
Examinations of Work Areas in Underground Coal Mines for Violations of Mandatory Health or Safety Standards, 77 Fed. Reg. 67 (April 6, 2012). Federal Register: The Daily Journal of the United States. Web. 6 April 2012.