Notice and Comment
Get involved in the federal regulatory process
Submitting a comment for a federal or state notice of proposed rulemaking is one of the simplest and essential ways for the public to participate in the rulemaking process. ACS’s Notice and Comment initiative identifies opportunities to comment on key regulations put forth by federal and state agencies. ACS monitors the federal register for notices of proposed regulatory changes and highlights select opportunities that may be of interest to our members. ACS encourages our members to write and submit comments, but we are also looking for volunteers to research comments and provide expert talking points to guide comment writing. For more information, check out our Notice and Comment Webinar.
Please email LCEmails@acslaw.org with the subject line “Notice and Comment” for more information.
State Regulation Monitors
Seeking Volunteers for Monitoring Proposed Regulatory Changes in the States
ACS is expanding its Notice and Comment Project, which monitors regulations and policy-making and then highlights select opportunities that may be of interest to our members, to include all 50 states. There is currently no single location to find proposed regulatory changes for all 50 states. Not only that, but many state proposed regulatory changes are difficult to monitor and not easily accessible to the general public. ACS is looking for volunteers to monitor, on a weekly basis, state notices of proposed rulemaking. Please email LCEmails@acslaw.org for more information.
Top Notice and Comment Opportunities
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) seeks comment by October 18 on a proposed rule regarding the application of the disparate impact standard under the Fair Housing Act. The proposed rule would limit the applicability of disparate impact liability and heighten the burden of proof for plaintiffs. This would affect any group of individuals who are at risk of housing discrimination in the U.S. Read more from The Washington Post, Slate, and Take Care.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) seeks comment by October 18 on a demonstration program related to a newly proposed inspection regime for property maintenance in HUD housing. The proposed inspection process aims to engage property managers in the process and would affect residents and owners of HUD housing. Read more from Multi Housing Pro.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks comment by October 25 on a proposed rule changing the emissions standards for the oil and natural gas sector. This rule would rescind methane emissions limits for oil and gas production and processing. The rule could significantly increase methane emissions which play a major role in global warming. Read more from NPR, The NYTimes, and Forbes.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks comment by November 1 on a proposal to repeal the “once in, always in” policy that required facilities emitting hazardous air pollutants to permanently comply with the standards set forth. This would formalize a January 2018 memorandum which is currently being challenged in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Read more from The National Law Review.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks comment by November 4 on a proposed rule that would add a $10 fee for filing H-1B visa applications. This would especially affect companies applying for large numbers of visas, posing a potentially restrictive monetary burden. Read more from The National Law Review.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks comment by November 8 on a plan to rescind a rule guaranteeing an asylum applicant a decision on whether they will receive work authorization within 30 days. The adjudication of such claims can take up to five years, and the rescinding of the 30 day guarantee would deny immigrants waiting for a decision the ability to support themselves.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks comment by November 12 on a final rule amending regulations which determine whether an immigrant is ineligible for a visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act because they are likely at any time to become a public charge. This proposed rule would consider health factors, education, and income in determining which immigrants receive visas, disadvantaging those with health issues and lower income. Read more from CBS.
- The Census Bureau seeks comment by November 15 on a proposal for continued information collection of state’s administrative records. The proposed information collection would allow the bureau to receive citizen’s demographic information collected by various state agencies. The proposal could potentially give the bureau information regarding citizenship status in order to fulfill the president’s July 11, 2019 Executive Order.
- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeks comment by November 22 on a proposed rule establishing that students who perform services for compensation at private colleges and universities, in connection with their studies, are not “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act. This would prohibit such students from unionizing or being protected by various unfair labor practices. Read more from The Washington Post and Bloomberg Law.
- The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) seeks comment by December 2 on a proposal to revise the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to change the way in which heating costs are calculated. The proposed rule would cut $4.5 billion from the program over 5 years and cut benefits for 19% of households on SNAP. Read more from The New York Times.
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeks comment by December 30 on a proposed rule clarifying employer shared responsibility provisions and nondiscrimination rules under the Internal Revenue Code, for Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). The proposal is an expansion of Trump’s Executive Order 13813 to expand HRAs. This expansion could lead to divergent health insurance markets, creating cheaper care for healthier Americans and costlier care for the sick. Read more from The Atlantic and CNN Business.
Members can also search the Federal Register for other comment opportunities.
- The Fair Political Practices Commission seeks comment by October 17 on a proposal to require recipient committees, which receive contributions to use for political purposes, to file a statement of organization, and sponsor names if applicable. The rule intends to promote transparency in the political process. See pages 1251-1252 for more details. Comments may be mailed to 1102 Q St., Suite 3000, Sacramento, CA 95811.
- The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) seeks comment by October 21 on a proposal requiring presenters to notify POST Basic Training Bureau of any officers who fail any required testing, before they are given a retest. The proposed rule would increase the effectiveness of law enforcement standards for peace officers in California, enabling police departments to better identify officers who fail. See pages 2012-2014 for more details. Comments may be emailed to Steve.Harding@post.ca.gov.
- The Department of Fair Employment and Housing seeks comment by October 23 on a proposed rule to codify and clarify how new statues which prohibit employers from seeking criminal history information fit into the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This would clarify how “ban-the-box” regulations affect applicants and employers who are covered by the FEHA. See pages 1203-1206 for more details. Comments may be emailed to FEHCouncil@dfeh.ca.gov.
- The California Air Resources Board seeks comment by November 18 on a proposed amendment to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The amendment seeks to strengthen low carbon fuel standards (LCFS) in order to meet 2030 goals. See pages 1325-1332 for more details.
- The California Department of Justice seeks comment by November 19 on a proposed rule to require new CA residents to apply for a unique serial number within 60 days for any firearms brought into CA which do not already have a unique serial number. The proposal aims to reduce the number of untraceable firearms entering CA. See pages 1320-1323 for more details. Comments may be emailed to FirearmsIDregs@doj.ca.gov.
On September 19, ACS hosted a webinar on notice and comment procedure. Whether you care about environmental regulations, conditions for millions of workers across the country, financial controls, or any number of regulatory issues, this valuable training seminar covers the basics of the process that underlies all regulatory action with two seasoned experts. Notice and comment is a key oversight tool for agency activity, particularly in the current political environment, and it’s also a great way to develop knowledge in a particular area of the law. Whether you are an experienced practitioner or a law student still developing your experience, you can participate in notice and comment procedure to bring about change.
Get involved in the federal regulatory process. Submitting a comment for a federal or state notice of proposed rulemaking is one of the simplest and essential ways for the public to participate in the rulemaking process. ACS’s Notice and Comment initiative identifies opportunities to comment on key regulations put forth by federal and state agencies.