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National Environmental Policy Act Legal Research: Legislative History

A legal resource guide for information relating to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) including primary and secondary source materials, quick links, and database resources.

HeinOnline Legislative Histories

CEQ Legislative History Documents

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) maintains a selection of NEPA legislative history documents as part of its CEQ Online Reading Room.  Available documents listed here, include PDF versions of the following:


Within NEPA's role as the federal procedural environmental statute, issues of statutory interpretation come into play on a fairly regular basis in order to to assist in clarifying the various terminology used in the statute.  However, because of this need there are numerous compiled legislative histories that are available in both print and electronic formats for the original Act.  These compiled histories are typically indexed, sometimes searchable and are incredibly efficient.  For the purposes of conducting NEPA legislative history research, the following Public Law Numbers and Statutes at Large citations are required:  

Westlaw Legislative Histories

Lexis Legislative Histories

Legislative History materials are currently only available on  To access select the "View More" link next to the "Federal Legal - U.S." header.  Once selected, scroll down to the "Find Statutes, Regulations, Administrative Materials & Court Rules" header.  At the bottom click on the link for "Legislative History Materials;" next scroll down to view. 

Print Legislative Histories