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Each agency document in the Federal Register begins with a preamble, which includes:

  • Agency name;
  • Action (notice of proposed rulemaking, notice of proposed policy, final rule, etc.);
  • Summary of proposal;
  • Information about possible hearings and related materials that are available to the public;
  • Date by which comments must be received and the person and address to which comments should be sent;
  • Agency contact with telephone number and email address.

The preamble is followed by the actual document. Though the preamble is not part of the regulatory text, and therefore not legally enforceable, it generally provides insight into an agency’s actions. The preamble is also part of the informal record for the rulemaking, and may be used in a judicial review.


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