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Learn About Submitting Comments for Regulations

Public Participation in the Regulatory Process

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has passed several laws to protect the environment. To enforce and implement these laws, responsibility is often delegated to administrative agencies and rulemaking boards to develop and adopt regulations. The primary rulemaking board responsible for promulgating environmental regulations in Pennsylvania is the Environmental Quality Board (EQB). The Board of Coal Mine Safety (BCMS) develops regulations related specifically to mine safety.

Public participation is encouraged throughout the environmental regulatory process. Once a proposed regulation is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, the public comment period opens for at least 30 days. During the open comment period, anyone may comment on a proposed regulation by following the instructions below.

DEP considers all comments that are submitted and develops a comment and response document. The comment and response document is distributed to the EQB or BCMS and made available publicly prior to the EQB or BCMS meeting when the final rulemaking will be considered.

DEP's Citizens Guide to Regulations provides a step-by-step overview of the Environmental Regulatory Process in Pennsylvania and tips for submitting effective comments.

To view comments that have been submitted for Environmental Quality Board or Board of Coal Mine Safety regulations, please visit the Independent Regulatory Review Commission’s Regulations Search page. Using the Agency Name search field, select Environmental Quality Board or Board of Coal Mine Safety.

How to Submit Comments

There are three convenient methods for submitting comments to the EQB or BCMS. In addition to comments, a one-page summary of comments can be provided.

Online Comments

Comments, including the one page summary, may be submitted to the EQB or BCMS by accessing eComment.

Email Comments

Comments and summaries can also be emailed to EQB or BCMS at RegComments@pa.gov. A subject heading of the proposed rulemaking and a name and address must be included in each transmission.

All comments must be received by the EQB or BCMS on or before the close of the public comment period.

Written Comments

Written comments and summaries can also be mailed to Environmental Quality Board, P.O. Box 8477, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8477 or Board of Coal Mine Safety, P.O. Box 8477, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8477.

All comments must be received by the EQB or BCMS on or before the close of the public comment period.

Public Hearings

For some proposed regulations, public hearings will be held. Public hearings provide individuals with an opportunity to give verbal testimony regarding a proposed regulation. Hearings are not question and answer sessions.

Interested persons wishing to provide testimony at a hearing are requested to contact the EQB or BCMS at least one week in advance of the hearing to reserve time, by calling 717-787-4526. Witnesses are given a limited amount of time to provide verbal comments and are requested to submit three written copies of their testimony to the chairperson at the hearing. Organizations are limited to designating one witness to present testimony on their behalf at each hearing.

Individuals in need of accommodations as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the EQB or BCMS to discuss their needs at 717-787-4526 or make accommodations through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at 800-654-5984 (TDD) or 800-654-5988 (voice users)