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Locating Federal Environmental Law The United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations Roy R. Carriker, Ph.D. Professor of Food and Resource Economics.

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Presentation on theme: "Locating Federal Environmental Law The United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations Roy R. Carriker, Ph.D. Professor of Food and Resource Economics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Locating Federal Environmental Law The United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations Roy R. Carriker, Ph.D. Professor of Food and Resource Economics University of Florida

2 Locating Federal Environmental Law Slip Lawfirst official published version of an approved act of Congress. Citation includes: –Public Law number (laws are numbered chronologically by date of approval). –The Congress (by number) in which law was enacted. –Date on which act became law.

3 Slip Law Citation: Example Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, approved on October 18, 1972, as the 500 th act to become law during the 92 nd Congress. Slip Law Citation: Pub. L , October 18, 1972.

4 United States Statutes at Large First permanent published version of approved acts fo Congress. Compiles verbatim copies of original acts in session law format (example to follow). Once it is available, legal writers will cite U.S. Statutes at Large, rather than the Slip Law.

5 Example of a Citation in U.S. Statutes at Large Federal Water Pollution control Act Amendments of 1972 –Appear in Volume 86 of U.S. Statutes at Large on pages 816 through 905. –Cited as: 86 Stat (1972). –Note: these bound volumes compile approved acts of Congress in chronological order of enactment.

6 Utility of U.s. Statutes at Large Legally (per U. S. Supreme Court), the session law compilation in U. S. Statutes at Large is best published evidence of approved acts of Congress. Functionally, U. S. Statutes at Large are difficult to use to determine what statutes, or parts of statutes, remain in force at the present.

7 Disadvantages of U. S. Statutes at Large for Legal Research Many approved acts of Congress are later repealed, amended, or allowed to expire, even though they will remain in the U. S. Statutes at Large. Session Laws are compiled chronologically, not by subject matter. Result: after only a few sessions of Congress, researchers using the Statutes at Large have increasing difficulty finding current, good, law.

8 United States Code: A User- Friendly Compilation Updated at frequent intervals. Deletes acts or parts of acts no longer in force. Incorporates amendments or additions as they are enacted. Arranges up-to-date versions of approved acts by subject matter.

9 U. S. Code Citation: Example Portions of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 that are still good law… –Are now incorporated in what is called the Clean Water Act. –Are codified at 33 U.S.C., Sections –This is read: Title 33, United States Code, Sections 1251 through Note: U. S. Code organizes public laws, by subject matter, under 49 Titles.

10 U.S. Code v. U.S. Statutes at Large Per U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Statutes at Large remain the official authority for U.S. laws. –If text of Code is inconsistent with text of Statutes, the latter version prevails. –However: Congress has re-enacted into positive law about 1/3 of titles in U.S. Code. Establishes them as governing version of law. Repeals original acts from which the titles derived.

11 Note on Citing Approved Acts of Congress In an article from 1977, an author cited the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 using all three froms of citation, as follows: –Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, Pub. L. No , 86 Stat , codified as amended at 33 U.S.C., Sections (Supp. V 1975).

12 Published Sources of Administrative Law Congress delegates some authority to executive branch agencies, empowering them to make and enforce rules and regulations to implement statutes. Per Federal Register Act of 1945 and the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946, rules must be published in the Federal Register before they have force of law.

13 The Federal Register Publishes literal text of administrative documents. Is published each day following a government working day. Is therefore a chronological compilation of administrative documents having the force of law.

14 The Code of Federal Regulations Bears same relationship to Federal Register as the U.S. Code bears with respect to the U.S. Statutes at Large. Codifies rules actually in force. Constantly updated. Divided into Titles arranged alphabetically by subject matter.

15 Citing the Code of Federal Regulations Example: the Corps of Engineers definition of waters of the United States (which the Corp regulates per the Clean Water Act) is published at 33 CFR 328.2(a). This reads as follows: Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, Subsection Number 2 of Part 328, Paragraph (a).

16 Locating Federal Environmental Law: A Recap United States Statutes at Large: official, chronological compilation of approved acts of Congress. United States Code: updated compilation of statutes organized by subject matter; most frequently cited source. Federal Register: real time publication of all administrative documents. Code of Federal Regulations: updated compilation of administrative laws, organized by subject.


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