Managing Ever-Changing Regulations

 
Federal regulations evolve over time, and it is rare that a regulation is proposed or finalized without being listed in the Semi-Annual Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. Reviewing this publication each Spring and Fall is therefore the foundation of a sound regulatory change management process.  See below for the review process we recommend, and contact us to learn more about managing your mountain of applicable regulations.

Step 1

Review the publication/listing, and for those proposed regulations that are of interest, drill down to see the proposed timeline.  The agency rarely meets these deadlines, but they will almost never act sooner than them.

Steps 1 and 2

 

 

Step 2

Once the timeline is known, periodically scan for what is actually published, perhaps as often as once per month.  In our example here, the EPA actually published a proposed rule within the month specified on the Semi-Annual Agenda.

Once a publication is identified, it should be reviewed for two reasons:

  1. To plan for changes that may be needed (especially where capital is involved); and
  2. To offer comments if your organization may be adversely impacted, or if there is a better way you’d like to propose.  To do that, it is critical that you meet the Agency’s comment deadline – this will always be on the first page of the Proposed Rule text.  JBE has found that the most persuasive comments offer alternatives and provide useful data.  We suggest your organization consider these elements as essential to developing a good comment.  More info in Step 4.

steps 3 and 4

 

 

 

Step 3

Rule preamble text is long and involved and your time is limited.  Often the regulation will summarize proposed changes and new provisions in a table – this should be the first place to look to see how the rule might affect your organization and how much time you might want to invest in reading the details.

The process of rule review is time-consuming and demands some experience to achieve the desired results.  JBE can help!

step 3

 

Step 4

Even if you don’t intend to comment, your organization can learn a lot from other comments submitted. The agencies use a Docket database to control all these transactions.  Use the Docket Number listed in the Federal Register to access this information.

Step 4