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Laws & Regulations

Definitions of Guidance Documents

This page provides three definitions for categories of guidance documents as described in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Final Bulletin for Agency Good Guidance Practices (GGP Bulletin) (23 pp, 158K, About PDF) published on January 18, 2007:

Guidance document - an agency statement of general applicability and future effect, other than a regulatory action (as defined in Executive Order 12866, as further amended, § 3(g)), that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory or technical issue or an interpretation of a statutory or regulatory issue. (Section I(3), GGP Bulletin.)

Significant guidance document - as defined in the Section I(4)(a) of the GGP Bulletin, a guidance document disseminated to regulated entities or the general public that may reasonably be anticipated to:

  • Lead to an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities;
  • Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;
  • Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or
  • Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in Executive Order 12866, as further amended.

Section I(4)(b) of the GGP Bulletin further explains what the definition of "significant guidance documents" excludes.

Economically significant guidance document - a significant guidance document that may reasonably be anticipated to lead to an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy or a sector of the economy, except that economically significant guidance documents do not include guidance documents on Federal expenditures and receipts. (Section I(5), GGP Bulletin.)