Reg Watch

The following final rule is undergoing review by the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This regulation would have an annual economic impact greater than $100 million.

• The Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency have a rule under review that would aim to “reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses.” The standards would be the first of their kind. They would divide trucks into three categories — combination tractors, heavy-duty pickup trucks or vans and vocational vehicles — and propose engine and vehicle standards for each. The rule would “reduce GHG emissions by nearly 250 million metric tons and save 500 million barrels of oil over the lives of the vehicles produced within the program’s first five years,” according to a statement. The administration says the technology upgrades would pay for themselves in less than a year. Although many comments seemed supportive during the public comment period, some groups requested changes. The International Association of Fire Chiefs, for instance, requested that emergency vehicles be excluded from vocational vehicle requirements including the “55 mph speed limitation, which would not be practical for emergency vehicles responding to an incident.”

Public comment periods are closing soon for the following proposed rules:

• The Farm Service Agency has proposed a rule that would allow the United States Agriculture Department to “place priority ratings on contracts, or orders of agriculture commodities up through wholesale levels” if there are food shortages during national emergencies. The Agriculture Priorities and Commodities Systems would be implemented to allow the department to direct agriculture commodities and others to “areas of hardship or potential hardship due to national emergencies” like a hurricane or earthquake. The proposed rule’s comment period ends July 18.

• The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule that would create national emission standards for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Copolymers production. The standards, which would create a limit for air toxins caused by polyvinyl chloride and copolymers production, would apply to “16 major and one area source of PVC production facilities in eight companies in the United States.” The proposed rule, which would require monitoring the toxins initially and continuously addressing facilities’ “process vents, stripped resin, equipment leaks, wastewater, heat exchangers, and storage vessels,” is open for comment through July 19.

• The Veterans Affairs Department has created a proposed rule that would “amend its regulations governing Federal grants for the establishment, expansion, and improvement of tribal organization veterans cemeteries.” The rule would create more criteria to help the department decide about grant endeavors to “establis[h], expan[d] or improv[e] veterans cemeteries that are or will be owned by a tribal organization.” The proposed rule has an open comment period through July 18.

• The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a rule that would “enable enhanced vehicular radar technologies in the 76-77 GHz band.” The improved radar allows vehicles to better determine “the exact distance and relative speed of objects” around them to lead to better visibility under poor conditions and of objects in blind spots. The proposed rule, which would “enable the automotive and fixed radar application industries to develop enhanced safety measures for drivers,” is open for comment through July 18.