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Federal Regulation Research

Federal Regulation research is divided into two separate areas: (1) administrative law, which deals with the validity and creation of agency created law; and (2) the research of the agency law itself. This series of research guides deals with the latter.

Notes

The 2012 amendment to 50 CFR §16.15 includes three python species and one anaconda species in the definition of injurious reptiles. The 9 steps of the Reg Map describe the process of creating a regulation.*

Listed below are the steps or stages in the "life cycle" of the regulation. For each step, I have described the work product available to the later researcher that is generated as an artifact of that step, or stage, of the process of regulation described in the Reg Map.

Step 1: Initiating Event

An initiating event is an action that starts an Agency’s creation of a regulation. The initiating event for the 2012 amendment to 50 CFR §16.15 was a petition. The rulemaking was first published in the spring 2008 Unified Agenda.

RegInfo.gov: Unified Agenda
How to find:

  • Without RIN (Regulatory Information Number):
    • Unified Agenda > Current Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan > Choose agency > Click submit > Sort by Agenda Stage of Rulemaking.
      • Since I am using an example that has gone though the whole process, these steps cannot be done for the example.
  • With RIN (Regulatory Information Number):
    • Unified Agenda > Search> Put in RIN > Click Search.
      • Put in RIN "1018-AV68." Find that the rulemaking for 50 CFR §16.15 first appeared in the spring 2008 Unified Agenda.

Information to put in your research log:

  • Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Interior (DOI).
  • Agency Contact Information: Craig Martin, Chief, Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species, Division of Fisheries and Habitat Conservation, Department of the Interior, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Mail Stop 770, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203, Phone:703 358-1932, Fax:703 358-2298, Email: craig_martin@fws.gov.
    • NOTE: This information is different than what was published in the Federal Register "Notice of inquiry" in January 2008 (see below)
  • Legal Authority: "18 USC 42," note link to 18 USC 42 (2008) on Government Printing Office site.
  • Unified Agenda: Information not noted elsewhere.
    • Title: Injurious Wildlife Evaluation: Constrictor Species From Python, Boa, and Eunectes Genera.
    • Abstract: We will review biological and economic information for several species of constrictor snakes in the Python, Boa, and Eunectes genera for possible addition to the list of injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act. An injurious wildlife listing would prohibit the importation into, or transportation between, States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any U.S. territory or possession by any means, except by permit for zoological, educations, medical, or scientific purposes.
    • RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda.
    • Major: Undetermined.
    • Legal Deadline: None.
    • Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant.
    • Agenda State of Rulemaking: Long-Term Actions.
    • Unfunded Mandates: No.
    • Timetable:
    ACTION DATE FR CITE
    Notice 01/31/2008 73 FR 5784
    Comment Period End 04/30/2008  
    Final Action To Be Determined  
    • Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    • Federalism: No.
    • Included in the Regulatory Plan: No.
    • RIN Information URL: www.fws.gov/contaminants/ANA/ANSinjurious.cfm (this link does not work).
    • RIN Date Printed in the FR: No.
    • Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
  • RIN: 1018-AV68.
  • Code of Federal Regulations information: "50 CFR 16," note link to 50 CFR part 16 (2008) on Government Printing Office site.

Federal Register:
How to find:

  • Use the Government Printing Office's Table of Contents service or Federal Register page link to "Today's Issue of the Federal Register."
  • Scan the Proposed Rules section.
    • Scanning January 31, 2008's table of contents you would find under the Fish and Wildlife, Proposed Rules,  a "Notice of inquiry" starting on page 5784.

Information to put in your research log:

  • Agency: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.
  • Agency Contact Information:  Erin Williams, Branch of Invasive Species at (703) 358-2034 or erin—williams@fws.gov.
    • NOTE: This information is different than that published in the Unified Agenda spring 2008 (above)
  • Initiating Event: "On September 21, 2006, we received a petition from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) requesting that Burmese pythons be considered for inclusion in the injurious wildlife regulations pursuant to the Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42). SFWMD is concerned about the number of Burmese pythons found in Florida, particularly in the Everglades National Park. We are looking at obtaining information on constrictor species in the Python, Boa and Eunectes genera for possible addition to the injurious wildlife list under the Lacey Act." 73 FR 5784, Jan. 31, 2008. (See, Step 3, Preparation of Proposed Rule, for discussion of other information in the notice of inquiry).
  • Authority: Lacey Act (18 U.S.C.42).
  • RIN: 1018-AV68
  • Code of Federal Regulations information: 50 CFR 16.11 - 16.15.
  • Federal Register cites:
    • Notice of Inquiry: 73 FR 5784, January 31, 2008.
  • Docket ID: FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015
  • Comment Deadlines:
    • Notice of inquiry request for comments: April 30, 2008 (asks specific questions).

Regulations.govDocument
How to find:

  • Advanced Search > By Document Type Other, Notice, and Proposed > Choose dates for "Posted Date falls in the range From" > Choose Agency.
    • Choose "Fish and Wildlife Service."
    • Find: Supporting & Related Material: document FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015-00616, Burmese python posted 2/20/2008.

Information to put in your research log:

  • Document ID FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015-00616
    • Date on document is 6/23/2006.
    • This is a petition is by South Florida Water Management District. (Initiating event).

 

Step 2: Determination Whether a Rule Is Needed

When the Agency is petitioned, it will have a choice as to whether or not to create a regulation. The Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Interior determined that the rule which became the 2012 amendment to 50 CFR §16.15 was needed, and so the petition was not denied.

Federal Register:
How to find:

  • Use the Government Printing Office's Table of Contents Service or Federal Register page link to "Today's Issue of the Federal Register." Scan for Action: Denial of Petition.
    • Found no denial of petition.

 

Step 3: Preparation of Proposed Rule

During the preparation of a proposed rule,  reports about the impact of the regulation will be done. Also, the agency may solicit information from specific companies or from the general public.  A request for information will be published in the Federal Register, with "Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" (ANPR) listed as the "Action." In preparation for the proposed rule that became the 2012 amendment to 50 CFR §16.15, there was a "Notice of Inquiry" (aka "Advanced Notice of Purposed Rulemaking) and several reports.

RegInfo.gov: Unified Agenda
How to find:

  • Unified Agenda > Search > Put in RIN > Search
  • Put in RIN "1018-AV68." Find:
    1. Fall 2008 - Long-Term Action
      • Information changed since Spring 2008:
        • Unified Agenda: RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda.
    2. Spring 2009 - Prerule Stage
      • Information changed since Fall 2008:
        • Unified Agenda: International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investments effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
        • Unified Agenda: Agency Contact: (Additional contact) Art Roybal, Senior Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Department of the Interior, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Ecological Services Field Office, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960, Phone:772 562-3909, Email: art_roybal@fws.gov.
          • NOTE: This information is different than that published in the Federal Register Notice of inquiry published in January 2008 (see above, Step 1).
    3. Fall 2009 - Prerule Stage
      • Information changed since Spring 2009:
        • Unified Agenda: Major: No
        • Unified Agenda: Timetable: (bold information is new)
        ACTION DATE FR CITE
        ANPRM 01/31/2008 73 FR 5784
        ANPRM Comment Period End 04/30/2008 73 FR 5784
        Second ANPEM 12/00/2009  

Federal Register:
How to find:

  • Use the Government Printing Office's Table of Contents service or Federal Register page link to "Today's Issue of the Federal Register." Scan for "Notices of inquiry" or " Notice of  advance rule making."
    • Scanning January 31, 2008's table of contents you would find under the Fish and Wildlife a notice of inquiry starting on page 5784.

Information to put in your research log:

  • See, Federal Register (above, Step 1)

Regulations.gov:
How to find:

  • Put docket number in search box > search.
    • Put "FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015" in search box.
    • Find, 4 Supporting Documents:
  • Information to put in your research log:
    1. USG's Risk Assessment for Large Constrictor Snakes posted 3/12/2010, there is no document attached to this entry.
    2. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis posted 3/12/2010.
      • Document ID FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015-1398.
      • Date on document is 2/1/2010.
      • Contains information on (1) reasons that action by agency is being considered, (2) objects and legal basis of proposed rule, (3) description and number of small entities which the rule will apply, (4) description of reporting, record keeping, and other compliance requirements and type of professional skills need to prepare reports, records, and other compliance documents, (5) duplication with other Federal rules,(6) significant alternative to the proposed rule, and (7)reference cited.
        • NOTE: The first five are required by The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-354, §603(b)).
    3. Draft Environmental Assessment posted on 3/12/2010
      • Document ID FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015.
      • Date on the document is 2/2010.
      • Evaluates impact of the proposed rule and significant alternatives in regard (1) ecology, (2) native species, (3) threatened and endangered species, (4) humans, (5) economy, and (6) cumulative. NOTE: contains listing of state large constrictor snake regulations.
    4. Draft Economic Analysis posted on 3/12/2010
      • Document ID
      • FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015-1400.
      • Date on document 03/01/2010.
      • Evaluated the impact of the proposed rule and significant alternatives in terms of the economic impact and environmental benefits.

 

Step 4: Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review of Proposed Rule

The OMB reviews significant proposed regulations before publication to ensure compliance with Executive Order 12866. The OMB conducted a review of the proposed rule that became the 2012 amendment to 50 CFR §16.15.

Reginfo.gov: Regulatory Review
How to find:

  • Regulatory Review > Search > Put in RIN (try both "Pending Review" and "Concluded").
  • Put in RIN "1018-AV68." Find review was concluded on March 2, 2010.

Information to put in your research log:

  • Review of Proposed Rule was concluded on March 2, 2010.

 

Step 5: Publication of Proposed Rule

Proposed Rules are published in the Federal Register. This is required by the Administrative Procedure Act and serves to give the public notice that a regulation is being created. As part of the Federal Register document the public is given information about how to comment on the proposed regulation. The Proposed Rule that became the 2012 amendment to 50 CFR §16.15 was published in 75 FR 11808, March 12, 2010.

RegInfo.gov:
How to find:

  • Unified Agenda > Search > Put in RIN > Search.
    • Put in RIN "1018-AV68." Find Proposed Rule Stage, Spring 2010.

Information changed since Fall 2009:

  • Agency Contact: Removed Craig Martin.
  • Unified Agenda: Priority: Other Significant.
  • Unified Agenda: Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage.
  • Unified Agenda: Timetable: (changes are in bold)
ACTION DATE FR CITE
ANPRM 01/31/2008 73 FR 5784
ANPRM Comment Period End 04/30/2008  
NPRM 03/12/2010 75 FR 11808
NPRM Comment Period End 05/11/2010  
Final Action 03/00/2011  

Federal Register:
How to find:

  • Use the Government Printing Office's Table of Contents service or Federal Register page link to "Today's Issue of the Federal Register." Scan for Proposed Rule.
    • Scanning March 12, 2012's table of contents, you would find under the Fish and Wildlife, Proposed Rules, 75 FR 11808, March 12, 2010.
  • Information changed since Notice of Inquiry:
    • Agency Contact information: Changed - Supervisor, South Florida Ecological Services Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1339 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960-3559; telephone 772-562-3909 ext. 256.
    • Code of Federal Regulation information: Amends: 50 CFR 16.15 "Importation of live reptiles or their eggs" amending paragraph (a).
    • Comment deadline: May 11, 2010. (Proposed Rule)

 

Step 6: Public Comments

Comments received due to the notice given in with the publication of the proposed rule or requested in other Federal Register documents. There were approximately 4550 comments made during the rulemaking process for the 2012 amendment to 50 CFR §16.15.

  • NOTE: There will be a summary of responses to comments in the prelim of the final rule.
    • Information to put in your research log: Summaries of interest such as:
      • "(3) Comment: Boa constrictors should be removed from the rule. These snakes have never killed their keepers, nor have they killed anyone else. There has never been a documented human death by a boa constrictor. Our Response: Taking full account of public comments and relevant factors, we have not listed boa constrictors at this time. We will address this comment in more detail when we publish a determination of whether this species should be listed as injurious." 77 FR 3330, 3347 (January 23, 2012)

Regulations.gov:
How to find:

  • Put Docket Number into search box and search.
    • Put "FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015" in search box and click "search" and find documents. If you click Open Docket Folder at the end of one of the lines within the docket, you can then limit to Public Submission. There are 4,550 public submissions in this docket.

Information to put in your research log:

  • Public Submissions: This will depend on the focus of the research.
    • The research may focus on company submission, like:
    • or those by state and local government submissions, like:
      • The Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Document ID FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015-1706.

Comment extensions and re-openings:

Federal Register:
How to find:

  • Use the Government Printing Office's Table of Contents service or Federal Register page link to "Today's Issue of the Federal Register."
    • Scan for notice re-opening comments.
      • Scanning the July 1, 2010 Federal Register notice the Department of the Interior published "Proposed rule; reopening of comment period" entitled "Injurious Wildlife Species; Listing the Boa Constrictor, Four Python Species, and Four Anaconda Species as Injurious Reptiles." 75 FR 38069, July 1, 2010.

    Information changed since Proposed Regulation:

    • Comment deadline: August 2, 2010 (re-opening comments on proposed rule).

Regulations.gov:
How to find:

  • Put Docket ID in the  "search" box  and click "search."
    • Put "FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015" in the "Search" box > Click search. Find "Proposed Rule" document, Federal Register, 75 FR 38069, July 1, 2010.

Information to put in your research log:

  • See, Federal Register (above).

 

Step 7: Preparation of Fill Rule, Interim Final Rule, or Direct Final Rule

The agency reviews comments and final reports. This may lead to changes in the regulatory language. It may also result in the withdrawal of the proposed regulation. In preparation for the proposed rule that became the 2012 amendment to 50 CFR §16.15 several reports were written.

RegInfo.gov:: Unified Agenda:
How to find:

  • Unified Agenda > Search > Put in RIN > Search.
  • Put in RIN "1018-AV68." Find:
    1. Fall 2010 - Final Rule Stage.
      Information changed since Spring 2010:
      • Unified Agenda: Agenda State of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage.
      • Unified Agenda: Timetable: (changes are in bold)
      ACTION DATE FR CITE
      ANPRM 01/31/2008 73 FR 5784
      ANPRM Comment Period End 04/30/2008  
      NPRM 03/12/2010 75 FR 11808
      NPRM Comment Period End 05/11/2010  
      NPRM Comment Period Reopened 07/01/2010 75 FR 38069
      NPRM Comment Period End 08/02/2010  
      Final Action 12/00/2011  
    2. Spring 2011 - Final Rule Stage
      • Information changed since Fall 2010:
    3. Fall 2011 - Final Rule Stage
      • Information changed since Spring 2011: None.

Federal Register:
How to Find:

  • Use the Government Printing Office's Table of Contents service or Federal Register page link to "Today's Issue of the Federal Register."
    • Scan for Unified Agenda and find:
      • Semiannual Regulatory Agenda: Department of the Interior, 76 FR 40082 (July 7, 2011).Information to put in your research log:
        ACTION DATE FR CITE
        ANPRM 01/31/2008 73 FR 5784
        ANPRM Comment Period End 04/30/2008  
        NPRM 03/12/2010 75 FR 11808
        NPRM Comment Period End 05/11/2010  
        NPRM Comment Period Reopened 07/01/2010 75 FR 38069
        NPRM Comment Period End 08/02/2010  
        Final Action 12/00/2011  
        • Note: This is the first time the rulemaking as been published in the Federal Register Semiannual Regulatory Agenda.
      • Semiannual Regulatory Agenda: Department of the Interior, 77 FR 7968 (February 13, 2012).
        • Information changed from July 7, 2011 semiannual regulatory agenda: None.

Regulations.gov:
How to find:

  • Put docket number in search box > search.
    • Put "FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015" in search box.
    • Find 6 Supporting Documents:

Information to put in your research log:

  1. Reference Used in the Evaluation of Nine Species of Large Constrictor, Four Python Species, and Four Anaconda Species as Injurious Reptiles posted 1/23/2012.
  2. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis posted 1/23/2012.
    • Information to put in your research log:
      • Document ID FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015-1398.
      • Date on document is January 2012.
      • Contains information on (1) statement of need for and objects of final rule, (2) summary of significant issues raised by public comments and changes made in response to, (3) description and number of small entities which the rule will apply, (4) description of reporting, record keeping, and other compliance requirements and type of professional skills need to prepare reports, records, and other compliance documents, (5) description of steps taken to minimize significant adverse economic impact on small entities,(6) reference cited.
  3. Section 7 Intra-Service Consultation: Injurious Wildlife Listing of Four Large Constrictor Snakes posted on 1/23/2012
    • Information to put in your research log:
      • Document ID http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015-4566.
      • Date on the document is 1/6/2012.
      • From Chief, Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species To Assistant Directory, Fisheries and Habitat Conservation: "The listing action will not likely adversely affect any federally listed species or to adversely modify critical habitation in the U.S... ."
  4. Finding of No Significant Impact Listing Four Large Constrictor Snakes as Injurious Wildlife under the Lacey Act posted on 1/23/2012.
    • Information to put in your research log:
  5. Final Economic Analysis for Rulemaking to List Four Constrictor Snake Species under the Lacey Act posted on 1/23/2012.
    • Information to put in your research log:
      • Document ID FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015-4563.
      • Date on document 1/12/2012.
      • Evaluated the impact of the proposed rule and significant alternatives as to economic impacts and environmental benefits.
  6. Final Environmental Assessment for Listing Large Constrictor Snakes As Injurious Wildlife Under the Lacey Act posted on 1/23/2012.
    • 1/23/2012.Information to put in your research log:
      • Document ID FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015-4565.
      • Date on document 03/01/2010.
      • Evaluated the impact of the proposed rule and significant alternatives as to economic impacts and environmental benefits.

 

Step 8: Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review of Final Rule, Interim Final Rule, or Direct Final Rule

The OMB reviews significant proposed regulations before publication to ensure compliance with Executive Order 12866. The OMB conducted a review of the final rule that became the 2012 amendment to 50 CFR §16.15.

Reginfo.gov:
How to find:

  • Regulatory Review > Search > Put RIN in RIN box (try both "Pending Review" and "Concluded.")
  • Put "1018-AV68" in "RIN" search box. Find review was concluded on January 17, 2012.

Information to put in your research log:

  • Review of Final Rule was concluded on January 17, 2012.

 

Step 9: Publication of Final Rule, Interim Final Rule, or Direct Final Rule

Final Rules, Interim Final Rules, and Direct Final Rules are published in the Federal Register to give the public notice of a new regulation. The Final Rule that became the 2012 amendment to 50 CFR §16.15 was published in Final Rule, 77 FR 3330, January 23, 2012.

Federal Register:
How to Find:

  • Use the Government Printing Office's Table of Contents service or Federal Register page link to "Today's Issue of the Federal Register."
    • Scan for Final. Find "Final Rule," 77 FR 3330 (January 23, 2012).

Information changed since extension of comment period:

  • Effective Date: March 23, 2012
  • Notes on comparison: Text of the regulations as proposed compared to the text as finalized.
    • 5 species were removed and the section renumbered:
      • (3) Broghammerus reticulatus or Python reticulatus (reticulated python),
      • (6) Boa constrictor (boa constrictor),
      • (8) Eunectes deschauenseei (DeSchauensee's anaconda),
      • (9) Eunectes murinus (green anaconda, and
      • (10) Eunectes beniensis (Beni anaconda).

 

*In this example I have only used sources that are non-ephemeral. When following the creation of a Federal Regulation ephemeral sources, such as an agency page, may be one of the best sources for information. If you are interested in invasive species, you would probably monitor the Fish & Wildlife Services' Invasive Species site. If you are interested specifically in this rulemaking you will find information on the subsite for Fisheries, Injurious Wildlife (scroll down to find heading Constrictor Snakes).