Understanding Legal References

Throughout this EJ Green Book, we refer repeatedly to four primary sources of environmental laws:


This resource also sometimes refers to “cases,” or decisions in lawsuits that tell people what the law is. A typical case citation is Bean v. Southwestern Waste Management Corp., 482 F. Supp. 673 (S.D. Texas 1979):

    • The names identify the parties involved in the suit;
    • “482 F. Supp. 673” tells where the case was first published, in this case page 673 of volume 482 of the Federal Supplement (although cases are most often accessed through online sources);
    • “S.D. Texas” identifies the court making the decision—here, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, a federal court in Houston, Texas; and
    • 1979 is the year the case was decided.


You will also see the citation Id. used in the EJ Green Book. This means that the citation is the same as the one immediately before it.