Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Reg Stat

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource. This website will be removed on December 31, 2014.

Development Time of Administrator-Signed Rules

Statistics on the time it takes from initiation to publication of a final rule

Tables, Charts, and Histograms


The public often wants to know how long it takes EPA to develop a rule from beginning to end. Therefore, the data found in this section of the website shows the average amount of time it takes to develop Administrator-Signed rule from the point the rule is initiated and a workgroup commences any type of activity on that rule to the point that the rule is finalized, signed by the Administrator and published in the Federal Register. The development time is broken down into three categories: from initiation to proposed rule stage (Initiation NPRM), proposed rule to publication of the final rule stage (NPRM Final) and the overall development time of initiation to publication of final rule stage (Initiation Final). The average development time for the Administrator-Signed rules is also presented across program offices for each of the five calendar years.

The development time (i.e., time from initiation or commencement of a rulemaking to final rule stage) for publication of a Administrator-Signed rule varied between roughly two to three years (625-1,084 days) for the period 2005-2010, with a total average development time of two years and six months (930 days).

There was some variation in the development time across the five main offices with published Administrator-Signed rules, with the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), Office of Environmental Information (OEI), and Office of Water (OW) posting the shortest average durations for the period 2005-2010.

Average durations were greater than the median duration, suggesting the presence of outliers. Each office has its characteristic set of rules and it is important to note that the development time can be greatly influenced by a variety of internal and external factors. These factors include the complexity of the rulemaking, whether the rulemaking is under a court-schedule or legislative mandate, the interests of other program offices, and the extent of public involvement during the rule development process, as well as other factors. In that regard, the average and median development time was largely similar across years for each office.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an official agency position or interpretation of applicable legal requirements.

A-Z Index About This Site How We Write Regulations Laws & Regulations Regulations.gov View the Data View the Graphs

Jump to main content.