Notice & Comment: How Agencies Use Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking Open Access

On June 4, 2015, Susan E. Dudley appeared before a Roundtable Discussion of the Senate Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management and gave testimony on practical solutions for improving the federal regulatory process. During the discussion, members of the subcommittee mentioned the possibility of using advance notices of proposed rulemaking (ANPRMs) to improve public participation in the rulemaking process. For example, Congress is considering legislation that would require ANPRMs for all major regulations and rules that raise novel legal and policy issues. The Administrative Procedure Act does not require, or even mention, ANPRMs. ANPRMs are different from proposed rules in that they don’t typically present a particular policy proposal on which the public can comment. Instead, they might seek comments from the public on more general topics, such as what type of information hydraulic fracturing operations should report or how to subject grocery stores to implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. These ANPRMs are intended to gather data or perspectives from the public before the agency has settled on a specific policy solution or group of specific policy solutions.

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