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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.



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