Notice of action: The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the public participation guidelines to be used for the regulatory adoption process by the DEQ, State Air Pollution Control Board, State Water Control Board and Waste Management Board.
Background: The Administrative Process Act (Act) requires all entities with authority to adopt regulations to establish, by regulation, Public Participation Guidelines to be used for soliciting the input of interested persons in the formation and development of regulations. The existing guidelines were adopted by each of the Boards in 1994 and are essentially identical.
These guidelines apply to the development, amendment or repeal of regulations that are not exempt from the public participation requirements of the Administrative Process Act.
Chapter 321, 2008 Acts of the Assembly, requires that the Department of Planning and Budget (in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office) develop model public participation guidelines meeting the requirements of §2.2-4007.02 of the Code of Virginia. This legislation came out of the Attorney General’s Regulatory Reform Task Force.
The goals of the model guidelines are to promote uniformity and consistency among state agencies and to standardize the public participation process so that interested persons know how and when to comment and/or participate in various topics of interest.
This legislation requires that agencies repeal the current public participation guidelines and adopt new public participation guidelines by December 1, 2008.
The DEQ, State Air Pollution Control Board and State Water Control Board have adopted the model public participation guidelines, effective January 1, 2009. As part of their action each requested comment on the model public participation guidelines. The Waste Management Board is scheduled to adopt the guidelines at its December 2008 meeting.
Regulations affected: The regulations of the board affected by this action are as follows: 9VAC5-5 (State Air Pollution Control Board), 9VAC15-11 (DEQ), 9VAC20-11 (Waste Management Board) and 9VAC25-11 (State Water Control Board).
Purpose of notice: DEQ is seeking comment on the model guidelines including what, if any, recommended changes to the guidelines and whether the changes should be set forth in regulation or Board policy.
This public comment period is being held at the request of the boards and is not required to satisfy any public participation requirement or other legal requirement of federal or state statutes.
Public comment period: October 20, 2008 to November 19, 2008.
Description of proposal: In essence, the model public participation guidelines (i) provide for the appointment of negotiated rulemaking panels and regulatory advisory panels, (ii) provide for the establishment and maintenance of notification lists of interested persons, (iii) provide for notification via electronic means or postal carrier, and (iv) specify the information to be sent to persons on the notification lists.
The model public participation guidelines apply to regulatory actions for which a notice of intended regulatory action is filed with the Registrar of Regulations on or after January 1, 2009.
How to comment: DEQ accepts written comments by e-mail, facsimile transmission and postal mail. In order to be considered, comments must include the full name, address and telephone number of the person commenting and be received by DEQ by 5:00 p.m. on the last day of the comment period. All comments, exhibits and documents received are part of the public record.
To review regulation documents:
A copy of Chapter 321, 2008 Acts of the Assembly, the model public participation guidelines that become effective January 1, 2009, and the public participation guidelines in effect until January 1, 2009 are posted on the Department's public notice web page at: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/info/publicnotices.html