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Citizen Participation

Delaware citizens and other interested parties may participate in the process by which administrative regulations are adopted, amended or repealed, and may initiate the process by which the validity and applicability of regulations is determined.

Pursuant to 29 Del.C. §10115 whenever an agency proposes to formulate, adopt, amend or repeal a regulation, it shall file notice and full text of such proposals, together with copies of the existing regulation being adopted, amended or repealed, with the Registrar for publication in the Register of Regulations pursuant to 29 Del.C.§1134 of this title.

The notice shall describe the nature of the proceedings including a brief synopsis of the subject, substance, issues, possible terms of the agency action, a reference to the legal authority of the agency to act, and reference to any other regulations that may be impacted or affected by the proposal, and shall state the manner in which persons may present their views; if in writing, of the place to which and the final date by which such views may be submitted; or if at a public hearing, the date, time and place of the hearing. If a public hearing is to be held, such public hearing shall not be scheduled less than 20 days following publication of notice of the proposal in the Register of Regulations. If a public hearing will be held on the proposal, notice of the time, date, place and a summary of the nature of the proposal shall also be published in at least 2 Delaware newspapers of general circulation. The notice shall also be mailed to all persons who have made timely written requests of the agency for advance notice of its regulation-making proceedings.

The opportunity for public comment shall be held open for a minimum of 30 days after the proposal is published in the Register of Regulations. At the conclusion of all hearings and after receipt, within the time allowed, of all written materials, upon all the testimonial and written evidence and information submitted, together with summaries of the evidence and information by subordinates, the agency shall determine whether a regulation should be adopted, amended or repealed and shall issue its conclusion in an order which shall include:

  1. A brief summary of the evidence and information submitted;
  2. A brief summary of its findings of fact with respect to the evidence and information, except where a rule of procedure is being adopted or amended;
  3. A decision to adopt, amend or repeal a regulation or to take no action and the decision shall be supported by its findings on the evidence and information received;
  4. The exact text and citation of such regulation adopted, amended or repealed;
  5. The effective date of the order;
  6. Any other findings or conclusions required by the law under which the agency has authority to act; and
  7. The signature of at least a quorum of the agency members.

The effective date of an order which adopts, amends or repeals a regulation shall be not less than 10 days from the date the order adopting, amending or repealing a regulation has been published in its final form in the Register of Regulations, unless such adoption, amendment or repeal qualifies as an emergency under 29 Del.C. §10119.

Any person aggrieved by and claiming the unlawfulness of any regulation may bring an action in the Court for declaratory relief.

No action of an agency with respect to the making or consideration of a proposed adoption, amendment or repeal of a regulation shall be subject to review until final agency action on the proposal has been taken.

When any regulation is the subject of an enforcement action in the Court, the lawfulness of such regulation may be reviewed by the Court as a defense in the action.

Except as provided in the preceding section, no judicial review of a regulation is available unless a complaint therefor is filed in the Court within 30 days of the day the agency order with respect to the regulation was published in the Register of Regulations.