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U.S. Regulations

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Regulations are a form of delegated legislation. Legislatures delegate the power to issue regulations, also called administrative rules or administrative law, to administrative agencies. For instance, Congress passes new environmental legislation and then the EPA proposes regulations to implement the details of the legislation. This happens both at the federal level and the state level.

Regulations have the force and effect of law when an administrative agency issues them within its authority and according to appropriate procedures. Publication of regulations provides notice of the contents of the provisions and opportunity to comment.

Sources for Regulations

Federal Register: (1936 to present) is the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as Executive Orders and other Presidential Documents. It contains promulgated regulations, but it also contains the rule making activities, i.e. the "legislative history," of a regulation. The usual rule making process includes publication of a notice of intent, proposed rules, requests for comments, and final rules. Also included are explanations of the rule makers' intent, including summaries of comments received and how those comments affected the regulations. Federal Register has its own daily, monthly and annual indexes. The primary access through these indexes is the issuing agency and type of activity (e.g. Proposed Rules).

LSA: List of Sections Affected: (1949/1963 to present) is the monthly reference to Federal Register pages containing new and amended regulations published since any CFR volume was last reprinted. For the latest changes to any CFR section, also check the "CFR Parts Affected" in the Reader Aids section in the back of the latest Federal Register issue for each month since the publication of the LSA.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): (1936 to present) is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The CFR is revised annually according to the following schedule:
Title 1 - 16 (as of January 1), Title 17 - 27 (as of April 1), Title 28 - 41 (as of July 1), Title 42 -50 (as of October 1).

Finding Guide to Regulations on the Internet


The Federal Register, LSA: List of Sections Affected and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are available through the FDsys

You can also go directly to the specialized search pages for these databases:

SEARCHING FOR CURRENT REGULATIONS:
  1. Search the Code of Federal Regulations. Identify the relevant CFR title(s) and part(s). Note the date of the CFR issue (given as the revision date in the upper left corner of the document).
  2. Browse the latest issue of the List of Sections Affected (LSA) for references to the CFR title(s) and part(s) identified above. The numbers are the pages in the Federal Register which contain changes to the particular CFR title(s) and part(s).
  3. Go to the Current List of CFR Parts Affected to identify changes made since the last monthly issue of the LSA. Note that bringing the information up to date without gaps, may also require that you search Last Month's List of CFR Parts Affected.
  4. Search the Federal Register for the page numbers identified in steps 2 and 3 above. To search a particular page number, enter the search as a phrase. (E.g.,"page 12345" INCLUDING the quotation marks)
GOING FROM THE LAW TO THE CFR:
The Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules gives the following cross-references:
  • United States Code (USC) to CFR
  • Statutes at Large (Stat.) to CFR
  • Public Law (PL) to CFR
  • Presidential Documents to CFR
GOING FROM THE CFR TO THE LAW:
In the table of contents to the subparts of each CFR title you will find the following citations:
  • Authority: Gives Statutes at Large, United States Code, and Public Law citations for enabling legislation.
  • Source: Federal Register volume, page and date.
Finding Guide for Regulations in Print

SOURCES:
Federal Register, AE 2.106:
Middleton Reference (Government Documents Section) current year; prior years in Middleton Documents (GPO Microfiche)
Code of Federal Regulations, AE 2.106/3:
Middleton Reference (Government Documents Section) current year; prior years in Middleton Documents (GPO Microfiche)
CFR index and finding aids, AE 2.106/3-2:
Middleton Reference (Government Documents Section) current year; prior years in Middleton Documents (GPO Microfiche)
LSA: List of Sections Affected, AE2.106/2:
Middleton Reference (Government Documents Section) current year; prior years in Middleton Documents (GPO Microfiche)
CIS Federal Register Index, KF 70 A34
Middleton Reference
FINDING CURRENT RULES AND REGULATIONS:
  1. Use the Code of Federal Regulations Index volume to find the appropriate title(s) and part(s). Note the date of the CFR volume containing the regulations.
  2. Update the information by using the "Index by CFR Section Numbers" in each of the subsequent monthly and weekly issues of the CIS Federal Register Index or the officially produced List of Sections Affected.
  3. Update that information by using the "CFR Parts Affected" table in the "Reader Aids" section of the most recent issue of the Federal Register. (This table covers only the current month. If you need to check changes made in earlier months, go to the last Federal Register issued for that month.)
GOING FROM THE LAW TO THE CFR:

Use the index volume of the CFR, labeled "CFR Index and Finding Aids." The "Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules" gives the following cross-references:
  • United States Code (USC) to CFR
  • Statutes at Large (Stat.) to CFR
  • Public Law (PL) to CFR
  • Presidential Documents to CFR
GOING FROM THE CFR TO THE LAW:

In the table of contents to the subparts of each CFR title you will find the following citations:
  • Authority: Gives Statutes at Large, United States Code, and Public Law citations for enabling legislation.
  • Source: Federal Register volume, page and date.
GOING FROM THE FEDERAL REGISTER TO THE CFR AND VICE VERSA:

Each rule and proposed rule in the Federal Register gives CFR citation. CFR sections will give a reference to the Federal Register.

Louisiana Regulations

Louisiana regulations are published in monthly in the Louisiana Register. The contents of the Louisiana Register affect and ultimately update the appropriate titles into the Louisiana Administrative Code. Both of these sources are located in print in Middleton and Hill Memorial Libraries.

Citation Formats
60 FR 41578 volume 60 of the Federal Register, page 41578
42 CFR 102.34 title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 102, subsection 34
46 USC 346 title 46 of the United States Code, section 346


For more in depth information on citations to regulations click here for the Legal Information Institute's online style guide.

This guide requires special thanks for the American Library Association/Government Documents Roundtable Education Committee's Handout Exchange