Notice and Comment

Get involved in the federal regulatory process

About

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.

Federal Opportunities

Top Notice and Comment Opportunities

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks comment by February 19 on its proposal to eliminate a requirement that new coal-fired power plants incorporate carbon capture technology. The 2015 policy sought to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Read more from The National Law Journal and The Regulatory Review.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services seeks comment by February 19 on a proposal that would, among other things, base the premium adjustment percentage on estimates from the CMS Office of the Actuary instead of using employer-sponsored insurance premiums as a baseline. The proposal may increase both the share of income that individuals pay in premiums and their maximum out-of-pocket limits. Read more from the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms and MedPage Today.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeks comment by March 7 on proposed rules which establish requirements for the medical device De Novo classification process. The rules would set a 120-day review period for De Novo classification requests. Read more from Forbes and MD+DI.
  • The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board seeks comment by March 7 on an interim rule that would amend the Thrift Savings Plan to allow participants to request a loan during government shutdowns without regard to pay status. Read more from Federal News Network.
  • The Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeks comment by April 2 on a proposal to tighten restrictions on who is eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the assistance program commonly known as food stamps. The rule focuses on “able bodied adults without dependents” from ages 18-49 and would strip the food assistance from 755,000 Americans over three years. Read more from Vox, Salon, and ThinkProgress.
  • The Social Security Administration seeks comment by April 2 on a proposal to block people that speak limited or no English from getting benefits through the system’s disability insurance program. Read more from Splinter.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeks comment by April 8 on a proposal that would eliminate certain drug rebates. The rule is intended to lower patient costs on prescription drugs, but could lead to higher health insurance premiums for Medicare beneficiaries. Read more from The New York Times, its Health Section, and The National Law Review.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency seeks comment by April 15 on a proposal revising the definition of “waters of the United States” to clarify the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act. The proposal eliminates a 2015 rulemaking that was designed to limit pollution in about 60 percent of the nation’s bodies of water. Read more from The New York Times, The Hill, and NPR.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) extends the public comment period to April 30 on a proposal that would use a risk adjustment model that would take into account the number of conditions an individual beneficiary may have. Critics say that changing the risk adjustment model would reduce risk scores for dual-eligible patients and reduce payment to Medicare Advantage plans. Read more from Health Affairs and Healthcare Finance.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeks comment by May 2 on a proposal that would amend “fund of funds” rules. The rules would allow a company to invest shares of another fund without being subject to regulations that cap the amount of voting stock and total assets the fund can acquire. Read more from JD Supra.
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) seek comment by May 7 on whether its decades-old rules regarding deposit insurance to banks that have more than 10% of their total deposits in “brokered deposits.” Critics claim that loosening restrictions would allow banks to use brokered deposits to fund risky loans, or “gambling for resurrection.” Read more from American Banker.

Members can also search the Federal Register for other comment opportunities.

State Opportunities

  • The California Air Resources Board seeks comment by 5 p.m. PST on February 19 on a regulation to amend the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission standards for certain heavy-duty vehicles in order to meet California’s air quality goals. See pages 2-10 of the California Regulatory Notice Register for further information. Read more from Bloomberg and the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • The Maryland Secretary of Health seeks comment by February 19 on a proposal that allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to act as primary care providers and issue medical orders for medical day care services. Comments may be sent by email to mdh.regs@maryland.gov. See pages 57-58 of the Maryland Register for more information.
  • The California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection seeks comment by 5 p.m. PST on February 25 on a proposal to revise the Safety Element Review regulations. The proposed action would require an amendment to the safety element of a county or city’s general plan be reviewed by the Board for how well it addresses wildland fire risk reduction and mitigation in the planning area. Comments may be submitted by email to PublicComments@BOF.ca.gov. See pages 52-56 of the California Regulatory Notice Register for more information.
  • The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery seeks comment by 5 p.m. PST on March 4 on a proposal to reduce landfill disposal of organic waste in order to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions required by California law. The regulations implement a regulatory framework which, among other things, requires jurisdictions to provide residential and commercial organic waste collection services and procure minimum levels of compost or renewable natural gas. Comments may be sent by email to SLCP.Organics@calrecycle.ca.gov. See pages 109-116 of the California Regulatory Notice Register for more information.
  • The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) seeks comment by March 9 on proposed rules establishing the minimum requirements for crisis intervention training for law enforcement officers. Comments may be submitted by email to speterson@cjtc.state.wa.us. See pages 24-29 of the Washington State Register (Issue 18-23) for more information.

Webinar

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.

Featuring

Jill Dash, American Constitution Society, moderator
Emily Hogin, Perkins Coie
Raj Nayak, National Employment Law Project
Karl Sandstrom, Perkins Coie

Listen here

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.