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REGULATORY PROCESSES

Regulation Index A list and links to the text of the current VMRC regulations

The Marine Resources Commission, is a State agency charged with the management and regulation of marine resources. Almost all aspects of the Commission's Management Programs are authorized or mandated by State law. In some circumstances, federal law may play a role in the actions of the Commission. Currently, laws related to the Commission are either approved by the General Assembly directly on an annual basis or are developed by the Commission throughout the year when so authorized by the General Assembly. Laws developed by the General Assembly directly are often referred to as "statutes" and are a part of the Code of Virginia. Laws developed by the Commission are usually referred to as "regulations" and are part of the Administrative Code of Virginia. Use the [Code of Virginia Table of Contents] or if you know the statute number use the [Code of Virginia Search Database]. Use the [Administrative Code of Virginia Table of Contents] or if you know the regulation number use the [Administrative Code of Virginia Search Database]. Refer to the [Agency News] page for the most recent regulation changes.

Any regulation created in Virginia is developed according to rules prescribed by law. Please visit the Department of Legislative Service's [General Assembly] web site to learn more about how laws are developed. You are also able to obtain texts of all Virginia Statutes and Regulations at this site.

Most regulations created by the Commission involve fisheries. The Agency's Fisheries Management Division is responsible for developing regulatory proposals that are then considered by the full Commission. Normally, regulations are proposed by citizens, private companies or other groups involved with marine fisheries, or from the Fisheries Division, itself, in response to General Assembly mandates or fisheries conservation plans. Proposals are usually reviewed by [Citizen Advisory Committees] before being brought to the Commission for approval for public hearings. If the Commission agrees to consider a proposal, a public notice is prepared to schedule a public hearing and to request public input. (See [Public Notices] for recent regulatory notices). Public Hearings are usually held at one or more public locations (schools, courthouses, etc.) in areas affected by the proposal. A final hearing is held at the Commission's monthly meeting, after which the Commission votes on whether or not to make the proposal a regulation. Follow the [Commission Agenda] link to see recent cases considered by the Commission. In some special circumstances, the Commission is authorized by statute to bypass the public notice/public hearing process and promulgate an Emergency Regulation. All Emergency Regulations must go through the public notice/public hearing process if the effect of the regulation extends beyond 30 days. Visit the [Regulation Index] link to see a summary list of the current VMRC regulations.

If you would like to know more about the development of regulations at the Commission, refer to Chapters I and II of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia (Sections 28.2-100 through 28.2-221); you can use the [Code of Virginia Title 28.2] link to research these Code Sections. Also feel free to contact Commission staff, if you have a question.

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