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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Environmental Law - Pollution and Sustainability : Home

This LibGuide serves as a reference aid for Illinois Statutory Law regarding environmental and pollution regulations, sustainability initiatives, and energy efficiency standards. Commercial groups are encouraged to use guide to meet state requirements.


This guide was created by Jessica Tieman for LIS 525 -- Government Information at the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Spring 2014. She graciously allowed it to be republished in the University of Illinois Library's LibGuides community so that it can be continuously updated.

The original guide is available at

Understanding the Illinois Legislative Process

Understanding the Legislative Process

Illinois law can be accessed online through the Illinois General Assembly's website at

What is the difference between a statute and a public act?

Written bills or resolutions under consideration within the legislative process by the Illinois General Assembly are referred to as Statutes. After being passed by the Illinois legislature, statutes are signed and approved as enforceable laws by the Governor of Illinois, and then become known as Public Acts. The compiled collection of all Public Acts are then arranged by functional topic, known as codification. Codified Public Acts can then officially become indexed within the Illinois Compiled Satutues (ILCS), the comprehensive framework of Illinois Law maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau. The online ILCS database is updated on an ongoing basis and at times, may not reflect very recent changes or additions.

What is the difference between a law/statute and a regulation/rule?

Laws/statutes are written and passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. They provide the authority for regulatory agencies (e.g. Illinois EPA, the Illinois Pollution Control Board) to write regulations/rules. Regulations/rules explain the technical, operational, and legal details necessary to implement laws.

Finding State Laws & Regulations on the UIUC Campus

Online Illinois Legislation

Illinois Compiled Statutes Complete online, government-maintained database of Public Acts and Statutes

Bills and Resolutions Current General Assembly legislation

Database Services:

Lexis Academic  Contains Public Acts as well as an annotated Compiled Statutes. The annotated Statutes contains notes for each section of law that provide information about the history of the statute and any courts that may have interpreted the law. Searchable database contains Public Acts and annotated Compiled Statutes with details and further information about the history and any judicial proceedings relating the implementation and interpretation of the law

Hein Online Session Laws made available from the year 1809

LoisLaw  Public Acts and the Illinois Compiled Statutes

Law Library Resources

Visit UIUC's Illinois Statutory Law Libguide for details on services provided at the UIUC Law Library as well as citation references and how to find regulations by name

Other Sources for Environmental Law (some may only be accessible with subscription)

Environmental Due Diligence Guide Report A comprehensive and frequently updated information resource on state statutes particularly pertaining to legal issues, cost recovery, and liability risks

Bloombreg Environment and Safety Resource Center Searchable federal and state environmental statutes, also tracks green incentives, and analyses for strategic planning (Right-to-Know planning, etc.)

Environmental Law Review Articles, Combined    Law review articles

Environmental Law Reviews   And index of law reviews

Digest of Environmental Law    Nation-level environmental law cases