New regs for Friday: Train speed limits, energy efficiency, regulatory agendas

Friday's edition of the Federal Register contains new speed limits for public transportation trains, energy efficiency rules for mobile homes and ice-makers, the semiannual regulatory agendas of dozens of federal agencies.

Here's what is happening:

Trains: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is moving forward with new safety procedures for public transportation systems, such as subways and commuter rails, after a crash in Chicago that sent 33 people to the hospital.

The FTA wants public transportation officials in each city to test their subways to make sure there is enough stopping distance for trains and establish speed limits so they do not lose control.

Energy efficiency: The Department of Energy is establishing a new working group that will negotiate energy conservation standards at the regional level, the agency announced Thursday.

The working group will report to the Energy Department's Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee, and develop a proposed rule for energy efficiency requirements.

Mobile homes: The Department of Energy is also establishing a second working group that will negotiate federal energy efficiency standards for manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes.

Manufactured homes are built in factories and then transported to a property where they are pieced together.

Ice-makers: The Department of Energy will hold a public meeting on June 19 to discuss new proposed energy conservation standards for automatic commercial ice-makers, the agency announced Thursday.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is looking to revise the energy model the agency uses to measure efficiency.

The proposed rules announced in March would apply to continuous ice-making machines and establish standards for the maximum allowable energy use per 100 pounds of ice production.

The agency estimates that the new energy conservation standards will cost manufacturers $23.9 million, but save consumers even more on their energy bills. Some estimates put the consumer savings as high as $1.75 billion over a 30-year period.

Retirement: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is moving forward with new interest rates for pension benefit payments to retirees. The new rates go into effect July 1.

Upcoming regulations: The Obama administration is publishing the semiannual regulatory agendas of dozens of federal agencies, including the Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Health and Human Services, among others.

An agency's semiannual regulatory agenda lists the regulations it is planning to release in the coming months. The administration originally released this list last month, but it is just now hitting the Federal Register.