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EMS 3050 Environmental Regulations and Compliance

EMS 3050 Environmental Regulations and Compliance


Government Documents are very important for your work in this class as you are looking at environmental regulations, the role of the regulatory agencies creating the regulations, as well as the enforcement and compliance with those regulations produced. 

For assistance in navigating the rulemaking process and resources on both the federal and state level, please reach out to Hayley Johnson @


What is a regulation?

Regulations are mandatory requirements that can apply to individuals, businesses, state or local governments, non-profit institutions, or others. Regulations set specific requirements about what is legal and what isn't.

Why are regulations important?

Regulations are important because a law doesn't include all the necessary details to explain how entities might follow the law. Regulatory agencies step in to make the laws work on a day-to-day level.

What is a regulatory agency?

A regulatory agency, like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is a government entity that is authorized, in this case by Congress, to write regulations that explain the technical, operational, and legal details necessary to implement laws.

How Does EPA Create Regulations?

Step 1: EPA Proposes A Regulation

  • The EPA researches the issue(s) and if necessary, proposes a regulation which is also known as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
  • The proposal is listed in the Federal Register so that members of the public can review, consider, and send comments to the EPA.
  • The proposed rule and supporting documents are also filed on the EPA's official docket on

Step 2: EPA Considers Comments and Issues a Final Rule

  • EPA considers the comments received on the proposed regulation and will revise the regulation accordingly and issue a final rule.
  • The final rule is also published in the Federal Register (FR) and in EPA's official docket on

Step 3: The regulation is codified in the Code of Federal Regulations

Once the completed regulation has been printed in the Federal Register (FR) as a final rule, it is then codified when it is added to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The CFR is the official record of all regulations created by the federal government. It has 50 volumes, called titles, each of which focuses on a particular area. Almost all environmental regulations appear in Title 40. The CFR is revised yearly with Title 40 revised every July 1st.

Get Involved

Comment on EPA Regulations

  • This multi-agency website is EPA's official on-line comment system and serves as a clearinghouse for materials related to EPA rulemakings. You may submit comments on proposed regulations via this website.
    • If you know only the title or subject of the regulation, the easiest way to search is to enter the full title or keywords in the "Keyword or ID" field on the home page. Be as specific as possible to help narrow your search results.

    • If you know the Docket or Document ID number, enter it in the "Keyword or ID" field. One of these tracking numbers are likely to yield more targeted results than a title search.

    • Once you locate the regulation you want to comment on, you can open the document to find other ways to comment (i.e., via mail or e-mail) in addition to the on-line comment form.  Look for a section of the regulation called "ADDRESSES," which will specify other ways to comment.
  • GovInfo- Use govinfo as an alternate to This website is maintained by the U.S. Government Publishing Office and provides access to every regulation published in the Federal Register since 1936, as well as many other federal government publications. Navigate to the proposed regulation you are interested in; to do so, it is best if you know the date the proposed regulation was published or the citation. Once you reach the regulation, you will find instructions on how to submit comments in a section called "ADDRESSES."

Keep Tabs on Rulemakings This is EPA's official on-line commenting system. Any rule that is open for comment with a docket number in the Federal Register notice directs you to so you may submit a comment. Also,from, you can sign up for email alerts.

Read Regulatory Agendas and Plans

EPA contributes an annual Regulatory Plan and Semiannual Regulatory Agenda to the U.S. government's Unified Agenda, which is published in the Federal Register. EPA Regulatory Plans and Agendas broadly describe the regulatory activities that EPA will be undertaking over the next year; the Plan describes EPA's core priorities for the next fiscal year.

Access EPA Docket Centers

The EPA Docket Center collects and publicizes information related to EPA regulations, such as Federal Register notices, public comments, and background documentation about rulemakings. In accordance with Federal law, the Docket Center makes regulatory materials available electronically on and in hardcopy form at the Docket Center Reading room. Please see Access EPA Dockets for more information about accessing and commenting on rulemakings.

Regulations on the State Level

The process through which the EPA creates regulations is mirrored on the state level.

In Louisiana, the Department of Environmental Quality develops, proposes, and promulgates regulations that pertain to the environment and public health.

Step 1

DEQ submits documents to the Office of the State Register for publication in the Louisiana Register. The Louisiana Register is the official state publication for notifying the public of a state agency's intent to propose new or amended regulations. The Louisiana Register is published on the twentieth of each month.

Step 2

Publication of the following documents initiates the rulemaking clock:

Notice of Intent-announcement to the public that a change to the DEQ regulations is being considered.

Fiscal and Economic Impact Statement-estimate of the cost to the state and to those affected if the regulation is implemented.

Proposed Rule-document which adds new regulations or revises or removes existing text.

Step 3

DEQ conducts a public hearing on the proposed rule 35-50 days after publication of the Notice of Intent. The comment period opens when the Notice of Intent is published and normally closes seven days after the public hearing is held, approximately 42-47days.

Step 4

After the close of the comment period, DEQ prepares the following documents (collectively called the "Summary Report"):

Summary of the comments received and DEQ's response to the comments;

Concise statement of the pros and cons of comment suggestion;

list of technical amendments; and

proposed rule with technical amendments incorporated.

Step 5

DEQ submits the Summary Report to the Legislative Oversight Committee composed of the House Committee on the Environment and the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality.

Step 6

The Legislative Oversight Committees have 30 days to consider the proposed rule. The committees may or may not hold a hearing.

Step 7

If the regulation is not disapproved by the Legislative Oversight Committees, DEQ submits it to the Office of the State Register for publication in the upcoming issue of the Louisiana Register.

Step 8

The rule becomes codified into the Louisiana Administrative Code.

Step 9

The rule is also codified by DEQ into its Environmental Regulatory Code, which is updated quarterly.


Visit the DEQ Rules and Regulations page for links to relevant documents and resources




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