The Administrative Procedure Act describes two kinds of rulemaking--formal and informal. "Formal rulemaking" calls for trial-like, on-the-record proceedings. Most federal agencies, however, develop rules through "informal rulemaking." The main requirements for informal rulemaking are:
- Publication of a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" (NPRM) in the Federal Register;
- Opportunity for public participation by submission of written comments;
- Consideration by the agency of the public comments and other relevant materials; and
- Publication of a final rule not less than 30 days before its effective date, with a statement explaining the purpose of the rule.