EPA Rule Making Video Contest

Tuesday, May 18, AD 2010

2 Responses to EPA Rule Making Video Contest

  • Although the notion of having a video contest with prizes to sing the praises of federal rulemaking is a bit outlandish to say the least– the fact is that the average American SHOULD care, far more than they do, about the federal and state rulemaking process, because that is where the “rubber hits the road” when it comes to enforcing or fleshing out the laws passed by Congress or state legislatures. (Of course I am a wee bit biased on this issue because my day job requires me to be intimately familiar with the state rulemaking process.)

    Rulemakings can make the difference between a law being fairly and consistently enforced and a law being enforced selectively or unjustly. A law, for example, may establish a scholarship program but leave it up to an agency to determine through rule how much each scholarship will be, what the eligibility criteria are, how and when applications will be taken, etc.

    Also, at both the state and federal levels, proposed rulemakings are subject to a period of public comment (60 days for federal rulemakings; for state rulemakings the time limit varies by state) before they can take effect. This is where, for example, Catholic hospitals and pro-life groups can make their concerns heard about regulations governing abortion or emergency contraception, businesses affected by a proposed fee increase can make known how it will affect them, professionals can weigh in on proposed new requirements for being licensed, etc.

    So while educating the public about the importance of the rulemaking process is IMO a good idea, the execution in this case leaves much to be desired.