Keys to Making Effective Public Comment

These tips are meant to help the public understand how to submit effective comments to rulemaking agencies in the state of Utah.
Overview

Some public comments are made at public meetings, others contain one-sentence or one-paragraph comments, while others contain thousands of pages with detailed analysis, with supporting documents submitted as attachments.

However, a constructive, information-rich comment that clearly communicates and supports its claims is more likely to have an impact on rulemaking.

Form Letters

Organizations often encourage their members to submit form letters designed to address issues common to their membership. However, a single, well-supported comment may carry more weight than a thousand form letters.

Although public support or opposition may help guide important public policies, agencies make determinations for rulemaking based on sound reasoning and scientific evidence rather than a majority of votes (form letters). 

Summary
  • Read and understand the regulatory document you are commenting on
  • Feel free to reach out to the agency with questions
  • Be concise but support your claims
  • Base your justification on sound reasoning, scientific evidence, and/or how you will be impacted
  • Address trade-offs and opposing views in your comment
  • There is no minimum or maximum length for an effective comment
  • The comment process is not a vote – one well supported comment is often more influential than a thousand form letters
  • Attempt to fully understand each issue; if you have questions or do not understand a part of the regulatory document, you may ask for help from the agency contact listed in the document.

The above tips are meant to be a guide only, and were taken from  the regulations.gov "Tips for submitting effective comments", which can be found online by clicking here.

For the full text of the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act, please click here.

For the full text of the Utah Adminsitrative Rulemaking Act, please click here.