WASHINGTON - To help expand public involvement in the regulatory process, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will hold a series of meetings called "Forum on Public Access to Federal Rulemaking Through the Internet" in August 2004.

EPA is the managing partner for E-Rulemaking, an e-government initiative designed to foster greater participation in federal rulemaking by the public and regulated entities with a better, easier way to read and comment on rules electronically, says the agency. EPA will hold four public meetings seeking input on this cross-agency initiative established under the President's Management Agenda.

The first component, "Regulations.gov," was launched in January 2003, consolidating government rules open for public comment from over 160 agencies into a single Web site. When a rulemaking is announced in the Federal Register, a docket is also created to hold related documents, such as reports and public comments. The second component now being developed is E-Dockets, a government-wide centralized docket management system. E-Dockets will allow the public to access and search all publicly available regulatory material. During the meetings, EPA will ask for feedback on the usability, features, and capabilities of the existing Regulations.gov and the planned E-Dockets. The public meetings are scheduled for:

  • Aug. 2, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at EPA Region 9 Offices, San Francisco

  • Aug. 3, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at EPA Region 5 Offices, Chicago

  • Aug. 9, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

  • Aug. 12, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the Department of Labor, Washington

    To use Regulations.gov, visit www.regulations.gov. For further information on the meetings, contact Kristin Tensuan at tensuan.kristin@epa.gov.

    Publication date: 07/26/2004