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 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seeks comment by August 7 on a proposed rule which would streamline the sale process of forest products. Conservationists worry that streamlining BLM’s processes could result in unchecked resource extraction, especially given other recent environmental regulatory rollbacks. Read more from NPR.
  • The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) seeks comment by August 10 on proposed amendments to the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations to reduce regulatory burdens on the construction and maintenance of pipeline systems. Read more from the National Law Review.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks comment by August 10 on a proposed rule which includes four reforms to the immigration system relating to public health emergencies. The proposed rule would allow DHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to consider public health threats relating to communicable diseases when determining whether to grant asylum. Read more from The Washington Post and The Associated Press.
  • The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seeks comment by August 10 on a proposal to allow certain Alaskan Native veterans to apply for land allotment under the Dingell Conservation Act. Read more about the Alaskan Native Veteran program here, and more about public land liquidation from the Center for American Progress.
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeks comment by August 10 on a proposed rule to imposes an excise tax on remuneration over $1,000,000 and any excess payments paid by an applicable tax-exempt organization. While the proposed regulations provide some relief to nonprofit volunteers, they still may impose significant disincentives for businesses to contribute the time of highly compensated executives to nonprofit affiliates. Read more from Morgan Lewis.
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeks comment by August 17 on its five year review of changes to the oil pipeline index. Since the last review in 2015, FERC revised its policy concerning the treatment of income taxes and Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes (ADIT). Read more from FERC.
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seeks comment by August 20 on proposed amendments to a rule requiring companies collecting health information to publicly report data breaches within 60 days. This rule has not been used frequently in the past, but poses new justification as more people turn to telehealth during the pandemic. Read more from Law360.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks comment by August 24 on a proposed amendment to the current dust-lead clearance levels (DLCL). These levels determine the maximum amount of lead permitted in dust on a surface after abatement. Read more from NWI.com.
  • National Park Service (NPS) seeks comment before August 31, 2020 on a proposed rule to renew an information collection in regards to issuing permits for public gatherings, including special events and demonstrations. Written comments should be submitted here: www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain. Please provide a copy of your comments to Phadrea Ponds, NPS Information Collection Clearance Officer, 1201 Oakridge Drive Fort Collins, CO 80525; or by email at phadrea_ponds@nps.gov and reference OMB Control Number 1024-0021 in the subject line of your comments.
  • The Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeks comment by September 14 on a proposed rule to allow for increased private investment in rural communities through changes to four primary loan programs. The guaranteed loan programs are; Community Facilities, Water and Waste Disposal, Business and Industry, and Rural Energy. Read more from Grand Forks Herald.
  • The Department of Labor seeks comment by September 15 on a proposed rule amending the implementation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Surveys have shown that employees lack awareness of their rights under the FMLA. Read more from FMLA Insights.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) seeks comment by September 22 on a proposed rule that would allow single-sex homeless shelters to exclude transgender people from their facilities. Read more from The New York Times.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) seeks comment by September 30 on a proposed rule updating flood guidelines, including Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Read more from NPR and Community Impact.

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

State Opportunities

  • The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority seeks comment on a proposal to implement a Clean Energy Development and Incentives Program to facilitate the development of renewable energy generation. See pages 40-41 for more details. Comments may be submitted to secretary@dps.ny.gov.
  • The District of Columbia Court of Appeals seeks comment by August 12 on a proposed rule that would allow law school graduates to be admitted to the DC bar or broaden the circumstances in which law school graduates can practice law without requiring them to pass a bar exam. Comments may be submitted to rules@dcappeals.gov or in writing, addressed to the Clerk, D.C. Court of Appeals, 430 E Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.
  • The New York Department of Financial Services seeks comment by August 16 on a proposed rule to establish a risk assessment mechanism for those applying for immediate relief to pay COVID-19 claims associated with precautionary or mandatory quarantine. See pages 15-17 for more details. Comments may be submitted to Eamon.Rock@dfs.ny.gov.
  • The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department seeks comment by August 17 on a proposed rule to reduce civil restitution penalties for hunters who hunt trophy wildlife species. See pages 4950-4951 for more details. Comments may be submitted to kevin.davis@tpwd.texas.gov.
  • The New York Division of Housing and Community Renewal seeks comment by August 31 on a proposed rule regulating proposed rent increases and evictions during the pandemic. See pages 9-11 for more details. Comments may be submitted to Michael.berrios@nyshcr.org.
  • The Illinois Department of Employment Security seeks comment by August 31 on a proposed rule to remove more stringent requirements for those receiving extended unemployment benefits during the pandemic. See pages 11738-11740 for more details. Comments may be submitted to Kevin.Lovellette@illinois.go.
  • The New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services seeks comment by September 13 on a proposed rule amending the state’s Patient Rights bill. The amendment would ensure all providers must implement policies to ensure provision of culturally competent services, consistent with the patient’s sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. See pages 1-2 for more details. Comments may be submitted to Kelly.Grace@oasas.ny.gov.
  • The New York State Department of Economic Development seeks comment by September 21 on a proposed rule to update the regulations of the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development. For more details see pages 1-2. Comments may be submitted to bella.satra@esd.ny.gov.

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.