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EPA Guidance Documents

On October 9, 2019, President Trump signed Executive Order 13891, “Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents.”  Among other things, the Executive Order directs federal agencies to make active guidance documents available via an online guidance document portal.  

On October 31, 2019, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued implementing guidance M-20-02 (PDF), which set deadlines and related information for establishing the searchable, indexed online database for all active guidance documents.

On October 19, 2020, EPA published its final rulemaking EPA Guidance; Administrative Procedures for Issuance and Public Petitions, providing further detail about the agency's development and issuance of guidance documents. Additionally, the rule provides the public the means to petition the agency with requests to modify or withdraw an active guidance document.

This portal contains only documents that meet the definition of “guidance document” in Section 2(b) of Executive Order 13891. Therefore, it does not contain documents that are excluded from that definition. For example, the Executive Order excludes, among others, internal guidance directed to the issuing agency or other agencies that is not intended to have substantial future effect on the behavior of regulated parties and internal executive branch legal advice or legal opinions addressed to executive branch officials. Because excluded documents are not “guidance documents” under the Executive Order, their omission from this portal does not imply that they are deemed rescinded under Section 3(b) of the Executive Order.

EPA's guidance documents lack the force and effect of law, unless expressly authorized by statute or incorporated into a contract. The agency may not cite, use, or rely on any guidance that is not posted on this web area, except to establish historical facts.

Explore our Documents

View all documents issued or otherwise managed by a particular headquarters or Regional office (you can also click on the Region-by-Region map to see a list of guidance documents managed by a specific Region). Omission of any EPA office from this list indicates the absence of relevant material. You may go directly to EPA's guidance petition page to request agency consideration of a guidance modification, withdrawal, or reinstatement.

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