Reg Watch

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

• The Drug Enforcement Administration has proposed classifying methylone as a Schedule I controlled substance. Last year, the agency announced it would study whether to permanently ban the substance, commonly known as “bath salts.” The notice says the American Association of Poison Control Centers took more than 8,000 calls in the last three years from individuals who have come in contact with the synthetic drug, which it has deemed to have a high rate of addiction and potential harm with no medical benefits. It is currently on a temporary Schedule I classification. Comments are due by Dec. 17. 

• The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has proposed adjusting the 2013 annual catch limits of Atlantic herring, due to a “catch overage” in 2011. Rather than being allowed to catch 26,546 metric tons, the catch limit within the inshore section of the Gulf of Maine would be reduced to 25,121 metric tons — a deduction of the same amount as the catch overage. Comments are due by Dec. 13.

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is requesting comments, data and information regarding influenza viruses that contain “the Hemagglutinin from the Goose/Guangdong/1/96 Lineage,” referring to the species of bird known to carry and pass on “bird flu.” The proposal asks whether the H5N1 strain should be listed as a “select agent,” a classification system established by an executive order to determine which viruses present “the greatest risk of deliberate misuse with the most significant potential for mass casualties or devastating effects to the economy, critical infrastructure or public confidence.” Comments are due by Dec. 17.

• The Federal Communications Commission has proposed to amend the “amateur radio service rules” to, among other things, “grant examination credit for expired and beyond-the-grace-period-for renewal amateur radio operator licenses, shorten the grace period during which an expired amateur license may be renewed to 180 days” and “reduce the number of volunteer examiners needed to administer an amateur license examination.” Comments are due by Dec. 24.

• The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a rule to review and change its “rules governing licensing and operation of space stations and earth stations” to eliminate “unnecessary technical and information filing requirements,” take “evolving technology” into account and “simplify existing requirements.” The goal would be to “streamline our regulations, facilitating more rapid deployment of services to the public, greater investment and new innovations in satellite services.” Comments are due by Dec. 24.