New regs for Friday: Lead-based paint, farmers and ranchers, electricity

Friday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for lead-based paint, farmers and ranchers seeking loans, and public utilities that are looking to transfer electricity around the country.

Here's what is happening:

Paint: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering new rules for identifying lead-based paint hazards in public and commercial buildings, the agency said Thursday.

The proposed rules would describe how to evaluate hazards created by renovations and repairs made on these buildings, and would look at how they might affect young children who are exposed to the lead-based paint in these buildings.

The public has 30 days to comment.

Ethics: The Farm Credit Administration is delaying an ethics rule that would establish new standards of conduct for people who work for a Farm Credit System institution.

The Farm Credit System, established by Congress in 1916, funds the U.S. agriculture industry by making loans to farmers and ranchers at competitive rates.

The Farm Credit Administration announced it was considering new ethics rules in February, but said Thursday it is extending the comment period on these standards of conduct through June 20 to give interested parties more time to comment.

Electricity: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is considering loosening the restrictions on public utilities that are currently required to file Open Access Transmission Tariffs. 

The Open Access Same-Time Information System is an Internet-based scheduling service for electric power transmission. This is the system public utilities use to reserve high-voltage transmission lines to transfer electricity across the country.

The public has 60 days to comment.

Veterinary: The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is moving forward with new rules for in vitro tests. The agency is removing a method of calculating the content of certain veterinary products.

The rule goes into effect immediately.

Fever: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is loosening the restrictions on certain devices that detect dengue fever in people.

The FDA announced Thursday it is reclassifying dengue virus serological reagents, which are devices consisting of antigens and antibodies that detect the virus that causes the fever.

Dengue fever is carried by mosquitoes that infect between 50 million and 528 million people around the world each year.