Public Comments & Testimonies

Scholarly analysis of the potential effects of particular rulemakings from federal agencies, and advice to Congress on how to improve the rulemaking process by GW Regulatory Studies Center scholars.


"Your input and expertise during the drafting of the Early Participation in Regulations Act of 2019 and SMART Act of 2019 was invaluable."

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Senator James Lankford (R-OK)

Joint statement


Benefit-Cost Analysis at the EPA

“The EPA is “soliciting comment on whether and how EPA should promulgate regulations that provide a consistent and transparent interpretation relating to the consideration of weighing costs and benefits in making regulatory decisions in a manner consistent with applicable authorizing statutes.” I will comment on three issues raised in the proposed EPA rule.

EPA's Benefit-Cost Analysis

In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), EPA seeks to codify procedures that will ensure adequate consistency and transparency in applying Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) to rulemakings under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

DEA's Mobile Narcotic Treatment Program

Practitioners who want to administer methadone, a schedule II controlled substance, to treat opioid use disorder must first obtain a registration from DEA to operate as a Narcotic Treatment Program (NTP). The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) requires that each person registered with the DEA to dispense controlled substances must obtain a separate registration “at each principal place of business or professional practice.” This requirement generally extends to NTPs. However, the statute also gives DEA the authority to waive this requirement if “consistent with the public health and safety."

DOT's Proposed Rule for Air Travel with Service Animals

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing amendments to its Air Carrier Access Act regulation on the transportation of service animals by air. Multiple parties from a variety of perspectives have called for greater regulatory clarity on what qualifies as a service animal, how airlines should classify emotional support animals (ESAs) for air travel, whether uncommon species should be allowed aboard planes, and how to mitigate health and safety risks caused by animal behavior.

FDA & USDA Food Identity Standards

Both FDA and USDA promulgate food identity standards that require foods sold under particular names to have certain characteristics or ingredients that consumers might expect. In 2005, the agencies jointly proposed a rule to establish general principles for evaluating food identity standards.

Reply Comment on Benefit-Cost Analysis at the STB

On November 4, 2019, the STB solicited further information from the public about specific methods that could be used for benefit-cost analysis of rules related to economic regulation of freight railroads.

CEQ's Proposed Update to NEPA

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is proposing an update to its regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. The purposes of NEPA include establishing a national policy toward the environment and promoting “efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man.”

OMB's Request for Comment on Marginal Excess Tax Burden & EO 13771

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has requested advice on incorporating a measure of “marginal excess tax burden” (METB) as a potential cost under the regulatory cost accounting system mandated by Executive Order (E.O.) 13771.

OMB's Request for Comment on Marginal Excess Tax Burden and EO 13771

Executive Order (EO) 13771 of January 30, 2017 imposed new regulatory procedures on executive branch agencies by directing them to (1) eliminate two existing rules for each new rule issued and (2) offset costs imposed by new rules through compliance with an incremental regulatory budget.

Fake It Till They Make It: How Bad Actors Use Astroturfing to Manipulate Regulators, Disenfranchise Consumers and Subvert the Rulemaking Process

For the past several years, along with colleagues at GW, I have been conducting research on mass comment campaigns in agency rulemaking. By mass comment campaigns, we mean collections of identical and near-duplicate comments sponsored by organizations and submitted by group members and supporters