Reg Watch

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

 • The Office of Personnel Management issued a proposed rule that would classify same-sex domestic partners as family members to allow for certain noncompetitive appointment opportunities. This means that same-sex partners of employees who are returning from overseas assignments could be appointed by agencies without competing with the public for the position. The rule is open for comment through Sept. 26.

 • The Health and Human Services Department is continuing implementation of the Affordable Care Act by proposing new Affordable Insurance Exchanges. These exchanges are intended to “provide competitive marketplaces for individuals and small employers to directly compare available private health insurance options.” The rule, which would make exchanges “operational” by January 2014, is open for comment through Sept. 28.

 • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission have requested comments for a report and study on “swap regulation and clearinghouse regulation in the United States, Asia and Europe.” The commissions are seeking contributions “identify[ing] major dealers, exchanges, clearinghouses, clearing members [and] methods for clearing swaps,” among other issues. Submissions can be sent through Sept. 26.

 • The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule to maintain the nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide secondary national ambient air standards. Keeping the limits on these gases would protect vegetation from the “direct effects [of] exposure to gaseous oxides,” such as decreasing plants’ abilities to produce food and decreasing plants’ growth, according to the agency’s website. The rule, which would also establish health-based secondary standards, is open for comment through Sept. 30.

 • The National Credit Union Association created a proposed rule to tighten federally insured credit union regulations on credit union service organizations “to address certain safety and soundness concerns.” The association would add limits for how much “less than adequately capitalized … federally insured state-chartered credit unions” could invest in credit union service organizations. The rule, which would also require credit union service organizations to submit financial reports to state authorities and the association itself, is open for comment through Sept. 26.

• The Food Safety and Inspection Service proposed to “establish a common or usual name for raw meat and poultry products that do not meet standard of identity regulations and to which solutions have been added.” The rule would remove the “ready-to-cook poultry product to which solutions are added” standard and replace it with a requirement to print the new name “in a single font size, color and style of print [on] a single-color contrasting background.” The rule, which is intended to “prevent meat and poultry products from being misbranded,” is open for comment through Sept. 26.