New regs for Friday: Soda vending machines, emergency vehicle emissions, sea lions

Friday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for beverage vending machines, emergency vehicle emissions, endangered sea lions and a partial retirement program.

Here's what is happening:

Vending machines: The Department of Energy is considering new energy efficiency rules for refrigerated beverage vending machines.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced Thursday it is looking at new energy conservation standards for these vending machines. 

The agency will hold a public meeting on Sept. 16 to discuss the rules.

Emissions: The Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with new emissions rules for emergency vehicles, the agency said Thursday.

The new rules will require emergency vehicles to use a diesel exhaust fluid that helps reduce emissions, among other things. 

The rules go into effect in 30 days.

RFS: The Environmental Protection Agency is extending the deadline for companies to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires gas and diesel refiners to blend renewable fuels into their products.

The EPA announced the extension last week, but will make it official with a notice in Friday's Federal Register. This is the third time this year the EPA is pushing back the compliance date for last year's standard. Companies must show they comply with last year's standards only 30 days after the 2014 standards are published.

Sea lions: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is considering new protections for Steller sea lions, the agency announced Thursday.

The NMFS is looking at changes to the critical habitat for Steller sea lions to further protect them. This group of sea lions was originally added to the Endangered Species List in 1990, and received a critical habitat in 1993.

But the NMFS believes even more protections may be needed to prevent the Steller sea lion from going extinct.

The agency will hold a public meeting on Sept. 22 to discuss potential new protections for the Steller sea lion.

Retirement: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is moving forward with a phased retirement program that will allow federal government employees to cut back their work schedules to part-time while receiving partial retirement benefits.

"The final rule informs agencies and employees about who may elect phased retirement, what benefits are provided during phased retirement, how OPM intends to compute the annuity payable during and after phased retirement, and how employees may fully retire after a period of phased retirement," the agency wrote.

The rule goes into effect in 90 days.

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