REG WATCH

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

• The Department of Defense is gathering comments on a proposed rule that would “establish a smoking cessation program” under Tricare, the military’s healthcare program. The initiative to help people stop smoking would provide access to drugs, counseling and a toll-free help line but would not be available to Medicare-eligible beneficiaries. The proposed rule is open for comment through Nov. 21.

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• The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board is proposing a regulation that would create “accessibility guidelines for the design, construction and alteration of pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way.” The standards would “ensure that sidewalks, pedestrian street crossings, pedestrian signals and other facilities for pedestrian circulation ... are readily accessible to and usable by pedestrians with disabilities.” If adopted, these standards would be mandatory. The rule that would affect “state and local transportation departments” is open for comment through Nov. 23.

• The Transportation Department has proposed a rule that would “provide greater accommodations for individuals with disabilities in air travel.” The regulation would require U.S. and foreign airlines, for the U.S. portion of their websites, to “make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities and to ensure their ticket agents do the same.”  The proposed rule is open for comment through Nov. 25.

• The Federal Trade Commission has proposed a regulation to “amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule” in response “to changes in online technology, including in the mobile marketplace.” The commission intends to change certain definitions “and to update the requirements set forth in the notice, parental consent, confidentiality and security and safe harbor provisions.” For instance, “collects or collection” would be expanded as a definition to include “requesting, prompting or encouraging children to submit personal information online.” The broader definition is intended to increase children’s security in “interactive communities” where children can join without parental consent. Operators must “take reasonable measures to delete all or virtually all children’s personal information before it is made public,” an FTC press release said. The proposed rule is open for comment “on or before” Nov. 28.