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Topic Descriptions

Air Quality—Indoor

Legislation related to carbon monoxide, radon, mold and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Legislation related to specific chemicals may also be found in the relevant Toxics and Chemicals categories.

Air Quality—Outdoor

Legislation related to criteria pollutants included in national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), ground-level ozone and vehicle emissions. May include bills related to toxic chemical releases. For legislation on methane emissions and other emissions related to energy production, see the Energy Database).

Disaster Resilience

Legislation related to state efforts to lessen the impact of natural disasters. May include references to any and all hazard types: floods, seismic, high winds, wildfires, heat/drought. May include select appropriations bills.


Legislation related to flood management and flood control. May include select appropriations bills.


Legislation related to forest management and wildfire mitigation. May include select appropriations bills.

Disaster—Heat and Drought

Legislation related to management and mitigation of extreme heat and drought events. May include select appropriations bills.

Disaster—High Winds

Legislation related to tornadoes, hurricanes, nor'easters, and other high wind events. May include select appropriations bills.


Legislation related to the structural integrity of buildings, seismic hazard mapping and seismic safety (non-oil and gas related). May include select appropriations bills.

Environmental Cleanup

Legislation related to state environmental cleanup programs and activities such as Superfund sites, federal facilities, brownfields, oil spills, and hazardous waste management facilities with a spill or release. Does not include bills on air pollutants or water cleanup. 

Food Safety

Legislation related to food safety throughout the supply chain, from source safety and contamination to retail and distribution. Also includes cottage foods; food handling and preparation; sanitation and inspection; food donation.


Legislation related to the health and management of forests including carbon sequestration and storage, biomass and the timber industry.

Outdoor Recreation

Legislation related to outdoor recreation infrastructure and access, as well as the outdoor economy. Includes state offices of outdoor recreation; state parks; funding mechanisms.

Toxics and Chemicals

Legislation related to the management, release and disposition of toxics and chemicals included in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as well as emerging chemicals and biomonitoring. May be cross-referenced with bills also found under the specific categories of lead, PFAS and pesticides.

Toxics and Chemicals—Lead

Legislation related to the management, release and disposition of lead.

Toxics and Chemicals—PFAS

Legislation related to PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination and releases. Includes, but not limited to firefighting foam, consumer products, drinking water, soil, and other.

Toxics and Chemicals—Pesticides

Legislation related to pesticide management and use.

Waste and Recycling

Legislation related to the collection, processing and management of solid waste, recyclables, and organics, both generally and including the subtopics below. 

Waste Recycling—Ext. Producer Responsibility

Legislation related to extended producer responsibility (EPR) or product stewardship for products such as paint, electronics, packaging, batteries, tires, mattresses, carpet, solar panels, pharmaceuticals, etc.   

Waste and Recycling—Market Development

Legislation related to enhancing domestic markets for recyclables through market development centers, minimum recycled content, infrastructure improvements, funding/financing mechanisms, public education, data collection, etc. 

Waste and Recycling—Food

Legislation related to the decomposition of organic material, including food scraps and yard debris. Also includes bills prescribing other means to reduce food waste, such as donations, tax incentives, date labeling, organic waste bans, statewide goals, etc. 

Waste and Recycling—Plastic

Legislation related to single-use plastics, including bags, straws, polystyrene, packaging materials, food service ware, hotel toiletries, beverage containers, helium balloons.  


Legislation related to wastewater utilities, treatment, and septic systems. May include bills related to stormwater.

Water Allocation and Supply Planning

Legislation related to supply management and the use of water including groundwater and surface water. Includes general statewide, regional or local planning efforts for supply and watershed health, and legislation related to dams and reservoirs.

Water Conservation and Efficiency

Legislation related to the efficient use of water by agriculture, municipalities, residential and state buildings. Includes indoor and outdoor practices, xeriscape, water reuse and other efficiency and conservation measures. See NCSL’s Energy Database for legislation on energy efficiency.

Water Infrastructure

Legislation related to broad water and wastewater infrastructure planning, lead pipe replacement, and other related projects. Includes both green and gray infrastructure, some water reuse bills, and legislation related to the development, maintenance or removal of dams and reservoirs.

Water Quality—Bodies of Water

Legislation related to the standards and regulations for water resource quality, including surface water and groundwater. Includes wetlands, and state implementation of Clean Water Act standards and nonpoint source laws.

Water Quality—Drinking Water

Legislation related to drinking water standards and quality, including testing, private wells, contaminants, water reuse, water resource quality and protection (Clean Water Act protections, nonpoint source, watershed protections).


Legislation related to wildlife, including protected and invasive species, habitat restoration, migration corridors, trafficking, disease, etc. 

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