Emergency Rules

An emergency rule is any legislative rule filed by an agency finding that the rule must be effective before completing the full Legislative cycle and is promulgated in accordance with W. Va. Code §29A-3-15.

This is an option when it has been determined that the promulgation is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare. Or it is necessary to comply with a statute or regulation, or to prevent substantial harm to the public interest.

It is not a stand-alone rule type. It is a condition of its companion legislative rule that is going through the rule-making process.

Emergency Rule-Making Steps and Time Frame

  • An emergency rule can be in effect as soon as it is filed with the Secretary of State or up to forty-two (42) days later.

  • The Secretary of State has 42 days to consider if an emergency truly exists and that the agency has statutory authority to promulgate the rule.

  • At any point during this time, the Secretary can approve or disapprove the rule.

  • If no action is taken, the rule automatically goes in to effect on the 42nd day.

  • If the emergency rule is proposed by the Secretary of State, the Attorney General reviews and either approves or disapproves it.

  • The rule can remain in effect for up to fifteen (15) months or until the companion legislative rule goes in to effect.

PLEASE NOTE
All needed forms become available in the Secretary of State’s eRules system when the rule is uploaded to the correct field.

Emergency Rule-Making Steps

Step 1

The agency files the emergency rule with the Secretary of State and LRMRC by filing a Notice of Emergency Rule with the Secretary of State’s office.

  • The entire rule must be filed. If it is an amendment to an existing rule, it will contain strike-troughs and underlines.

  • The form filed with the rule will contain all of the required information including the statement of facts and circumstances constituting the emergency, the specific statutory authority and a listing of identifiable interested parties affected by the proposed rule. Any necessary supporting documents may also be filed.

  • The Secretary of State or LRMRC may contact the agency if additional information or clarification is needed.

Step 2

The agency files a Notice of Public Comment Period for the companion legislative rule within thirty (30) days of filing the rule as an emergency.

  • Failure to do this will cause the emergency filing to expire, and it cannot be re-filed.

  • This step is not applicable if the Notice of Public Comment Period was filed before the emergency filing.

Step 3

The agency files a Notice of Agency Approval for the companion legislative rule within ninety (90) days of filing the rule as an emergency.

  • Failure to do this will cause the emergency filing to expire, and it cannot be re-filed.

  • This step is not applicable if the Notice of Agency Approval of a Proposed Rule was filed before the emergency filing.

Step 4

This is not a required step for every emergency filing.

  • If the legislative rule has substantial changes based on comments received, an amendment to the emergency rule can be filed by following the procedure described in Step 1 and using the Emergency Amendment field.


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