Now that you’ve fully described your standing, major issues and specific concerns with the proposal and provided your cost consequences and alternatives, it’s time to submit these to the docket. The docket is a publicly viewable database of all comments submitted responding to a particular regulatory proposal.
The government has centralized its regulatory development process and now tracks all proposed changes for every government agency through a single web site, www.regulations.gov. This web site will allow you to submit your comments online. You also may choose to submit your comments via U.S. postal mail at the address provided in the proposal.
A key piece of information you’ll need to ensure that you submit your comments to the correct location is the regulatory docket number. The government includes this number in its proposal and you will use it to find the docket on the web site. Each agency has a slightly different system for identifying its regulatory proposals, so be sure to use the exact information provided in the proposal.
Once you have identified the correct docket, you will have the option of providing all the necessary information (name, company, address, etc.) needed in case the agency needs to follow up with you regarding information provided in your comments. Most of the time, you’ll never hear from the agency, but sometimes your information may require additional clarification. The government has the authority to reach out for additional clarifying information once the comment period has closed.
You can choose to submit either the text of your comments or upload a file, such as a PDF or Word document, to ensure the government receives your comments in the form you desire. PDF files tend to work best because they remove the chance that anything could alter your comments after submission.
After uploading your comments, the system will issue you an electronic receipt acknowledging your submission. It may take two to three days before you find your comments on the docket.