If a state agency issues, enforces, or attempts to enforce a rule without following the APA when it is required to, the rule is called an “underground regulation.” State agencies are prohibited from enforcing underground regulations.

The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) is responsible for reviewing administrative regulations proposed by over 200 state agencies for compliance with the standards set forth in California’s Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Generally, there are two types of rulemaking procedures that a state agency can pursue: regular or emergency.