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Sections of the CFR or US Code labelled 'Reserved'

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  • Sections of the CFR or US Code labelled 'Reserved'

    People often write to us wondering why there is no content in these sections, or whether 'reserved' has some special meaning in law or government (people in this latter category usually imagine it is something quite important or ominous). As it is used to label a section of the US Code or Code of Federal Regulations, the word 'reserved' does have a special meaning, but it is hardly important: it just means that the section has been saved as 'empty space' to be used later --that is, that the section has been 'reserved' for later use. It is the equivalent of a page in a technical manual labelled "this space intentionally left blank."

  • #2

    Our company manufacturers a line of specialized / niche agricultural equipment. The machines use diesel engines that meet Tier 3, Tier 4 Interim and Tier 4 Final emissions standards. I am inquiring about getting a clear explanation concerning the Federal EPA codes: 40 CFR 1039.104 and 40 CFR 1039.625.

    If you could respond to my inquiry to start this dialog, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
    Dan Martin
    Oxbo International Corporation


    • #3
      Dan: There are a couple of options to get more information on a regulation in the CFR.
      If you look at the bottom of (for example) 40 CFR 1039.104 on LII's website,, you'll see a line that looks like this:

      [69 FR 39213, June 29, 2004, as amended at 70 FR 40462, July 13, 2005; 72 FR 53130, Sept. 18, 2007; 75 FR 22988, Apr. 30, 2010; 75 FR 68461, Nov. 8, 2010; 79 FR 7083, Feb. 6, 2014]

      This line tells you the history of the CFR section. An agency has to publish a regulation in the Federal Register (the daily newsletter of federal administrative activity) before it can become binding law. The CFR compiles the regulations that agencies have passed over the years and tells you what regulations are in effect as of the CFR's publication date. The line above tells us that this CFR section was originally created by a rule passed on June 29, 2004, then amended four times; the line tells us that the newest amendment passed on February 6, 2014.

      The nice thing about the Federal Register is that it doesn't just have the rule that will show up in the CFR, it also includes background information on the rule -- things like why the agency felt it needed to pass the rule. Sometimes this background information might give you more details on what they had in mind when writing certain terms. You can go to these Federal Register entries by clicking on the links in that line at the end of the CFR section, or you can take the cite (like 79 FR 7083) and search for the Federal Register entry using the Government Publishing Office's free FDSys website at

      Even if the Federal Register entry doesn't have the information you need, the beginning of the entry will have a "For Further Information Contact:" section. This will give you the name of a person you can ask if you have questions about the regulation. Even if that person no longer works there, you have the name of the person's position, so you can try asking the person now in that position.