In some cases the government is required to provide public notice. They may use the listservs mentioned above or sometimes notice must be posted in a particular place, such as outside city hall or in a particular newspaper or city journal. Learn where your local government publishes such notices and keep an eye out. For examples, see below.
Be sure to watch for any permit applications or proposed regulations that could affect your environment. As a member of the public, you usually have a right to receive notice (that is, announcements) when government agencies use their power to create rules or issue permits to polluters.
Monitoring these notices is important. The law may only provide a short period (for example, 30 days) after an agency publishes a notice for public comment A public comment period is a length of time during which a government agency will accept feedback and input from the public about a proposed permit or regulation. Prompt notice allows you more time to review the permit application or proposed rule. Failure to comment within the comment period usually means that 1) the agency will not pay attention to your comments, and 2) you may not appeal the government’s decision to a court.
Government notices can include information on permit applications, renewals, and approvals. These permits allow polluters to discharge pollution into the air and water under certain conditions and pursuant to specific criteria. Some government agencies publish or distribute a notice that they have received a permit application. In addition, government agencies often provide notice of proposed permit decisions.
Government agencies create and amend rules to regulate environmental pollution. Usually, the agency will start by drafting a rule or an amendment. Then the agency will publish or distribute notice about the proposed rule and invite public comment.
In a notice of an opportunity for public comment, the government typically invites the public to comment on a permit application or a proposed rule. For example, state agencies like the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) often seek public comment about a permit application by publishing public notice of the proposed permit. The notice will include a deadline or set a time limit (for example, 15, 30, or 90 days from the date of notice) for public comment.