New regs for Tuesday: Greenhouse gas emissions, military child abuse, prescription drugs

Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for greenhouse gas emissions, phone calls, prescription drugs that were illegally imported into the U.S., and child abuse within the military. 

Here's what is happening:

Drug: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering a rule that would allow the agency to destroy illegal prescription drugs valued at $2,500 or less that have been imported into the United States.

The manufacturers of the drugs would be provided with a written notice of the FDA's intent to destroy the drugs and given a hearing to plead their case.

Afterwards, the FDA would have the authority to destroy the drugs, rather than allow the manufacturer to export them to another country where they are legal.

"Once finalized, this proposed regulation will allow FDA to better protect the public health by providing an administrative process for the destruction of certain refused drugs, thus increasing the integrity of the drug supply chain," the agency wrote.

The FDA estimates the rule will save taxpayers between $228,000 and $618,000 in public health costs.

The public has 60 days to comment.

Child abuse: The Department of Defense in moving forward with a rule intended to crack down on child abuse within the military.

The rule would give the Defense Department's Family Advocacy Command Assistance Team the authority to investigate allegations of abuse by both families and childcare providers.

The rule goes into effect in 30 days.

Health insurance: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has decided not to add cardiovascular disease to a list of conditions that are covered by the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program.

The WTC Health Program provides health coverage to survivors of the Sept. 11 attack who have developed health problems. But the CDC is rejecting a request to add cardiovascular disease, because it has determined there is not enough scientific evidence that the terrorist attacks continue to cause heart attacks more than a decade later.

Emissions: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is correcting two rules.

The first is a greenhouse gas reporting rule it published in the Federal Register last November. The correction fixes three equations used to calculate greenhouse gas emissions.

The second rule corrects an equation used to measure the new source performance standard for nitric acid plants, which was published in August 2012.

Calls: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering a new rule that would redefine how telecommunication companies determine whether a call should be classified as "answered" or "ring no answer."

The FCC noted that Verizon and others have reported some confusion with the current definition of the rule. 

Currently, calls are considered answered when the person receiving the call picks up, or if the caller reaches that person's voicemail or call-forwarding system. But the FCC is consider how to classify calls in which the person receiving a call picks up only after the caller has already hung up.

The public has seven days to comment.

Acquisitions: The Department of Defense is moving forward with changes to a rule designed to help the military detect and avoid counterfeit electronic parts.

The Defense Department's Defense Acquisitions Regulations System announced the new rule Monday. The rule revises the definitions of "counterfeit part" and "suspect counterfeit part," and establishes new contractor responsibilities.

The rule goes into effect immediately.