Although many people use the terms "statute" and "regulation" interchangeably, they aren't the same. Governing bodies, such as the United States Congress or a state legislature, enact statutes. On a local level, the statutes enacted by municipalities are known as ordinances. Regulations put those statutes to work, fleshing out the details.
How it Works
Once a governing body enacts a statute, the administrative agency responsible for carrying out that statute's provisions adopts regulations to enforce the statute. Those agencies also have the authority to amend or repeal these regulations. For example, Congress passed the federal Clean Water Act in 1972 to address pollution in the nation's waterways. The CWA's statutes give regulatory authority to the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection for protection of water resources. The EPA devises regulations that industries must follow in order to be in compliance with the CWA.