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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.

A legislative history includes all of the documents produced while a bill is being considered by Congress. Possible materials include different bill versions, committee hearings, committee prints, House and Senate documents, committee reports, and floor debates contained in the Congressional Record. Researchers look into the legislative history of statutes in order to discern the intent of Congress. Sometimes, this information is used in court to help interpret statutes that are not clear. A compiled legislative history has all of the related documents pulled together in one place. If a compiled legislative history is available, it is always a good idea to use it since it will save you time in tracking down the needed documents.

Individual documents can be found on Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law, although not all date ranges are represented on these databases.Materials can also be found for free on govinfo.gov as well as Congress.gov. Documents are also available through the United States Congressional Serial Set available on microfiche in the Library.

An individual Lexis Advance username and password is needed to access the links below. These links include compiled legislative histories on Lexis Advance.Lexis Advance also contains the individual documents that can be searched separately.

An individual Westlaw username and password is needed to access the links below. These links include compiled legislative histories on Westlaw. Westlaw also contains the individual documents that can be searched separately.

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:

The following are amendments to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (as of June 13, 2018).

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