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Federal Regulatory Trackers

As part of their compliance efforts, local governments may be interested in tracking and, in some cases, commenting on proposed regulations as they progress through the rulemaking process. Several government and non-governmental entities maintain online tracking tools that monitor federal regulatory developments. To date, there are no regulatory trackers specifically dedicated to local government environmental compliance. The broader regulatory trackers listed below, however, can help local governments and other users identify and retrieve rules that pertain to environmental compliance.

More generally, updates on proposed and new federal environmental regulations that affect local governments are available via the resources listed on the LGEAN News and Events tab. In addition, Harvard's Energy and Environmental Law Program has developed a curated list of resources intended to help member of the public understand how they can participate in agency rulemaking.

The following regulatory trackers are categorized by their focus and scope; they are categorized as "Comprehensive," "Environment Specific," "Compliance Specific," or "Other." Each of the trackers below has its own format with distinct search function capabilities.

Regulatory Trackers—Comprehensive

  • Federal Register
    • Catalogs on a daily basis proposed and adopted administrative rules, notices, executive orders, and other Presidential documents.
    • Tips:
      • Filter results to retrieve entries that affect local governments by selecting "Small Entities Affected" and "governmental jurisdictions."
      • To view all rulemaking developments related to a specific environmental topic, navigate to the "Sections" tab in the upper menu and select "Environment," and a subcategory (e.g., Toxic Substances Control).
      • For more information on how to use the Federal Register, click here.
  • Justia Tracker
    • Enables users to search the Federal Register with alternative and more specific search filters, such as browsing by regulations filed within a certain date range.
  • Regulations.gov Tracker and Comment Platform
    • Provides opportunity to comment on regulatory issues and to access comments filed by the public and organizations. To comment on a proposed rule, navigate to the "Comment" tab in the upper menu and enter a keyword, title, or document ID.
    • Tips:
      • To access documents (such as proposed rules, final rules, and Federal Register notices) that contain regulatory information that could affect local governments, select "refine results" and check the box "Governmental Jurisdictions."
      • For more information on how to use Regulations.gov, click here.

Regulatory Trackers—Environment Specific

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Register Subsite
    • Presents a curated list from the Federal Register of: "documents on public inspection" that are pending publication; documents designated as "significant"; and "recently published" documents.
  • Columbia Law Climate Reregulation Tracker
    • Tracks steps taken by the Biden-Harris administration to "reinstate and expand federal climate mitigation and adaptation measures" rolled back by the prior administration.
    • The tracker also encompasses new policies to address areas of climate law that have been previously unregulated.
    • Tracker allows users to filter by Agency, "Explanation," and key word.
  • Harvard Law School Environmental & Energy Program Regulatory Tracker
    • Tracks steps taken by the Biden-Harris administration to reinstate and expand federal environmental regulation rolled back by the prior administration. The Harvard Law tracker focuses on clean energy and environmental protection.
    • Tracker provides current status, consequences, and history of each rulemaking.
  • Harvard Law School Federal Environmental Justice Tracker
    • Provides information on federal rulemaking the Biden-Harris administration has enacted pertaining to environmental justice. It presents agency-specific updates as well as the administration's whole-of-government initiatives, such as the Justice40 Initiative and the Climate & Economic Justice Screening Tool.
    • Tips:
    • The lower section of the webpage provides descriptions of how each agency is responding to environmental justice mandates.
    • Subscribe to receive tracker updates via email.

Regulatory Tracker—Compliance Specific

  • 3E Regulatory Compliance Change Tracker
    • Tracks changes to key product safety and chemical compliance regulations internationally and domestically.
    • Some of the proposals and regulations are accompanied by blogs that provide more details.
    • Tips:
      • Users should begin by narrowing search to the Americas, as the tracker is not strictly domestic.
      • Search by year, level of government (US EPA, State, etc.), and category of regulation (banned/restricted substances, chemicals & materials, etc.).

Regulatory Tracker—Other