New regs for Monday: Endangered turtles, oil and gas development, workplace safety

Monday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for endangered African turtles, oil and gas development on national wildlife refuge lands, and workplace safety for miners.

Here's what is happening:

Endangered: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is considering new protections for three animals, including a couple of African turtles and a Panamanian sloth, the agency announced Friday.

The FWS said it is considering designating as endangered the flat-tailed tortoise, spider tortoise, and pygmy three-toed sloth, after receiving petitions from animal rights groups requesting such protections for these animals.

The agency said it is looking for more scientific information before it makes a decision, including information about the animals' habitat requirements, historical range, current range, population levels, and other conservation measures intended to protect them.

The public has 90 days to comment.

Oil and gas: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is delaying an environmental impact statement that will guide new rules it is considering for oil and gas development within the National Wildlife Refuge System, the agency said.

The rules would only apply to non-federal oil and gas development on these lands. The FWS proposed the rules in February, but announced Friday it is extending the comment period by another 30 days to give interested parties more time to comment.

"Non-federal oil and gas development refers to oil and gas activities associated with any private, state, or tribally owned mineral interest where the surface estate is administered by the service as part of the refuge system," the agency wrote.

Scales: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is correcting errors made in a rule requiring farmers to weigh the animals they are selling for food with standardized scales, the agency said Friday.

The USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration published the rule in April, which requires farmers to use a certain process to weigh livestock, livestock carcasses, live poultry, and feed. But the agency forgot to include several requirements in the rule, which it is now adding.

Workplace safety: The Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration is examining how it can improve workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses, the agency announced Friday.

The Labor Department is seeking approval from the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to continue collecting information from industry that the agency can use to improve safety and health enforcement programs.

This information helps the Labor Department spot hazardous trends that arise in mines, industry sectors, and geographical areas, the agency said.

The public has 30 days to comment.

Art: The State Department is lifting the import restrictions on culturally significant pieces of art to allow them to be temporarily displayed at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

The Chicago-based museum will display the "Charlotte Salomon: Life? or Theater?" exhibition from June 19 through Sept. 21.