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Regulations and the Regulatory Process

Regulations in Effect

All LFS regulations that have been adopted and filed with the Secretary of State are published in the California Code of Regulations, Title 17 (Public Health), Division 1 (State Department of Health), Chapter 2 (Laboratories), Subchapter 1 (Service Laboratories), Group 2 (Clinical Laboratory Regulations), and Group 3 (County and Municipal Laboratories). This is available on the Office of Administrative Law website by searching under California Code of Regulations, Title 17.

Skip to:  Governing Legislation for LFS Operations  |  The Regulation Adoption Process (PDF)

The Process

Before a regulation adoption or change is ready for formal publication of a public notice for a 45 day public comment period, a draft proposal will have been processed through a series of internal reviews. The internal reviews within the Department of  Public Health (CDPH) are by the Office of Regulations, Office of Legal Affairs, and Financial Management Branch Budget Section. A summary of the proposal is also circulated to Division Chiefs within CDPH for comment. The proposal is submitted to the Health and Human Services Agency and, if there are any fiscal concerns, to the Department of Finance.

Following acceptance by these organizations, the proposal is formally noticed, and copies are distributed to individuals and organizations that have expressed interest in the subject matter. The proposed regulations have a 45-day public comment period. "Post-hearing" changes made in response to comments have a subsequent 15-day public comment period. Comments, which should include the regulation title and its regulation tracking number [e.g., DPH-XX-XXX], must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the date the public comment period closes, and should be directed to:

​CDPH Office of Regulations​

General Phone: (916) 558-1710
Fax: (916) 636-6220
Mailing & ​Physical address:
California Department of Public Health
Office of Regulations
1415 L Street, Ste. 500, MS 0507
Sacramento, CA 95814

A regulation's Notice of Rulemaking/Informative Digest provides further information on submitting comments. Procedural inquiries about rulemaking actions that have been formally noticed may be directed to the Office of Regulations.

Once CDPH completes the regulatory process and formally adopts the proposed regulation, it submits the regulation package, including responses to public comments, to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). OAL has 30 working days to review the regulation and approve or reject it. If approved by OAL, it is filed with the Secretary of State, becoming effective in 30 calendar days.

An emergency regulation, on the other hand, is submitted to OAL following all of the same internal reviews and approvals, but prior to formal public proceedings. OAL has 10 calendar days to review and render a decision on an emergency regulation. During the first five days of the OAL review, the public may submit comments regarding the emergency action directly to OAL. If approved by OAL, it may become effective immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State, and its public comment period usually occurs after the regulation is effective. An emergency regulation is effective for only 120 days unless it is replaced through the regular regulation adoption process or is extended for another 120 days.

Governing Legislation for LFS Operations

LFS administers state and federal laws and regulations. Some applicable sections are:

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