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 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks comment by December 12 on a proposed rule allowing ethanol processing plants to emit greater emissions. This would alter the previous standards set forth in the 2007 Ethanol Rule. The rule was previously challenged in DC Circuit Court by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Read more from The Associated Press.
- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeks comment by December 16 on a proposed rule to exempt Alaska’s Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. This would open the country’s largest national park to logging and road construction. Tribal governments and conversation groups have raised concern. Read more from The New York Times and Alaska Public Media.
- The State Department seeks comment by December 23 on a proposed regulation requiring immigrant visa applicants to provide proof of health insurance coverage within 30 says. The rule would apply to all immigrants including those applying under the diversity visa lottery program. The proposed rule would potentially disincentivize immigrants from using benefits like Medicaid. 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.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks comment by December 30 on a proposed rule to adjust immigration and naturalization request fees. The adjustment would increase most fees by around 21%, with some increasing more. Citizenship fees would increase by 80% reaching a total of $1,170, and asylum seekers would be required to pay a $50 application fee. Read more from The San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks comment by January 13 on a proposed rule which would increase the time asylum seekers must wait before they can apply for work authorization, and prevent those who did not enter at a designated port of entry from applying.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks comment by January 13 on a proposed rule revising the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for lead and copper. The new rule would lower the “parts per billion” (PPB) necessary to trigger action from 15 ppb to 10 ppb. The rule would also decrease the annual percentage of lead service lines a company water system must replace when its tap water reaches the actionable level, from 7% annually to 3%. Read more from The National Law Review.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks comment by January 21 on a proposed rule which would scale back requirements around storing and releasing wastewater from coal-fired power plants. This new rule would loosen regulations which regulate how toxic wastewater and coal ash is stored, putting nearby drinking water at risk for contamination. Read more from CNN and The New York Times.
Members can also search the Federal Register for other comment opportunities.
- The California Department of Insurance seeks comment by December 11 on a proposed rule to ensure that it complies with the new Gender Non-Discrimination in Automobile Insurance Rating regulation. The regulation eliminates the use of a driver’s gender in private passenger automobile insurance ratings in California. See pages 1443-1495 for more detail. Comments may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The California Department of Corrections seeks comment by December 18 on a proposed rule to update outdated medical care regulations in accordance with the settlement agreement in Plata v Newsom. The proposed changes seek to clarify and strengthen policies relating to timely access to medical treatment and continuity of treatment for inmates. See pages 1468-1471 for more detail. Comments may be emailed to HealthCareRegulations@cdcr.ca.gov.
- The California Department of Corrections seeks comment by January 7 on a proposed rule repealing the public safety screening process for referral of non-violent offenders for parole hearings, in compliance with the court decision In re McGhee, 246 Cal. Rptr. 3d 834 (2019). The revised rule will allow for more non-violent offenders to participate in rehabilitation programs and service opportunities. See pages 1561-1564 for more detail. Comments may be emailed to email@example.com
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.