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 Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking comment by April 15 on a proposed rule to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 that requires offerors to certify that they will not provide fuel from a prohibited source and that they will comply with certain export control and anticorruption regulations and statutes for contracts awarded for the acquisition of fuel in support of overseas contingency operations. Comments may be submitted electronically at https://www.regulations.gov, or by email to osd.dfars@mail.mil.
  • FinCEN, a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is seeking comment by April 15 on a proposed rule to include certain investment advisers in the definition of “financial institution” under the Bank Secrecy Act, prescribe minimum standards for anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism programs to be established by covered investment advisers, require covered investment advisers to report suspicious activity to FinCEN pursuant to the BSA, and make several other related changes to FinCEN regulations. The proposed regulations will apply to investment advisers that may be at risk for misuse by money launderers, terrorist financiers, or other actors who seek access to the U.S. financial system for illicit purposes via investment advisers and threaten U.S. national security. Comments may be submitted electronically at https://www.regulations.gov, or mailed to Policy Division, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, P.O. Box 39, Vienna, VA 22183. Refer to Docket Number FINCEN–2024–0006 and RIN 1506–AB58.
  • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is seeking comment by April 15 on a proposed rule to increase the transparency of the standards that apply to the agency’s review of business combinations involving national banks and Federal savings associations. In particular, the proposed rule would amend the procedures and would add a policy statement that summarizes the principles the OCC uses when it reviews proposed bank merger transactions under the Bank Merger Act. Comments may be submitted electronically at https://www.regulations.gov, or mailed to the Chief Counsel’s Office, Attention: Comment Processing, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 400 7th Street SW, Suite 3E–218, Washington, DC 20219.
  • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is seeking comment by April 22 on a proposed rule to amend its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations. The proposal would amend the OCC’s FOIA regulations to provide for expedited processing of FOIA requests and establish procedures for requestors to appeal denials of expedited processing and fee waiver requests. The proposal also would remove the competitive harm standard for information provided to the government on an involuntary basis and make a conforming amendment to the OCC’s FOIA regulations to be consistent with FOIA. Comments may be submitted electronically at https://www.regulations.gov, or mailed to Chief Counsel’s Office, Attention: Comment Processing, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 400 7th Street SW, Suite 3E–218, Washington, DC 20219.
  • The Department of Commerce is seeking comment  by April 29 on a proposed rule to implement two Executive orders. The first executive order, “Taking Additional Steps To Address the National Emergency With Respect to Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities,” directs the Secretary of Commerce to propose regulations requiring U.S. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers of IaaS products to verify the identity of their foreign customers, along with procedures for the Secretary to grant exemptions; and authorize special measures to deter foreign malicious cyber actors’ use of U.S. IaaS products. The second executive order, “Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence,” requires providers of certain IaaS products to submit a report to the Secretary when a foreign person transacts with that provider to train a large Artificial Intelligence model with potential capabilities that could be used in malicious cyber-enabled activity. Comments may be submitted electronically at https://www.regulations.gov, or by email to IaaScomments@bis.doc.gov.
  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking comment by May 21 on a proposed amendment to the rules regarding admission to practice before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in proceedings under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act to give parties the option to designate non-registered practitioners who are recognized pro hac vice ( i.e., granted recognition in a specific PTAB proceeding) as lead counsel; excuse parties from the requirement to designate back-up counsel upon a showing of good cause such as a lack of resources to hire two counsel; establish a streamlined alternative procedure for recognizing counsel pro hac vice that is available when counsel has previously been recognized pro hac vice in a different PTAB proceeding; and clarify that those recognized pro hac vice have a duty to inform the Board of subsequent events that render inaccurate or incomplete representations they made to obtain pro hac vice recognition. Comments may be submitted electronically at https://www.regulations.gov.
  • The Rural Housing Service, a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is seeking comment by May 28, 2024 on a proposed rule to update its regulations on how credit reports are obtained for the purposes of determining eligibility and feasibility for Multifamily Housing (MFH) Programs. Comments may be submitted electronically at https://www.regulations.gov.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking comment by May 28, 2024 on a proposed rule to ban electrical stimulation devices intended for self-injurious behavior or aggressive behavior. FDA has determined these devices present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury that cannot be corrected or eliminated by labeling. Comments may be submitted electronically at https://www.regulations.gov, or mailed to Dockets Management Staff (HFA–305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Read more from CNN.
  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking comment by May 28, 2024 on a  proposed rule to set and adjust trademark fees, as authorized by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, as amended by the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success Act of 2018. The proposed fee adjustments will provide the USPTO sufficient aggregate revenue to recover the aggregate costs of trademark operations in future years (based on assumptions and estimates found in the agency’s Fiscal Year 2025 Congressional Justification), including implementing the USPTO 2022–2026 Strategic Plan. Comments may be submitted electronically at https://www.regulations.gov.

 

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

State Opportunities

  • The Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission will hold a public meeting on April 8, 2024, at 11:30 am EST, to discuss cases of racially motivated lynching with the public. More information about the meeting can be found here.
  • The Iowa City Council has established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to bear witness to the truth of racial injustice in Iowa City and to carry out restorative justice, through the collection of testimony and public hearings. The public can attend in-person hearings or remotely, by signing up for meetings on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 7 PM in Emma J. Harvat Hall, City Hall, 410 E. Washington Street, Iowa City. More information about the next meeting can be found here.

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.