Administrative Procedure Act
P.L. 79-404 (July 11, 1946), as amended, establishes, among other things, minimum procedural requirements or models for federal agency rulemaking and certain types of hearings. For instance, the APA establishes procedures for informal rulemaking, which may include notice-and-comment requirements, or formal rulemaking, which includes trial-type hearings. Exemptions from rulemaking requirements are included in the Act. The APA provides standards for judicial review of final agency action. The provisions of the APA apply to USDA rulemaking, unless exempted under the provisions of another statute. For example, hearings conducted by the USDA’s National Appeals Division (NAD) are not governed by the APA. The final determination of the NAD is reviewable and enforceable by a U.S. District Court in accordance with the judicial review provisions of the APA.