New regs for Friday: Railroads, BP oil spill, shipyards

Friday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for railroads that carry freight trains, the drug hydrocodone, worker safety at shipyards and sharing export information among federal agencies.

Here's what is happening:

Railroads: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is moving forward with new exemptions to certain safety requirements for railroads used by freight trains, the agency announced Thursday.

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Certain railroads are required to install positive train control systems intended to prevent trains from colliding and control their speeds on the tracks, but the FRA on Thursday revealed new exceptions to the rule for some railroads.

The changes go into effect in 60 days.

Hydrocodone: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is strengthening the restrictions against hydrocodone combination drugs, after finding they they are highly addictive and easily abused.

The DEA announced Thursday it is moving hydrocodone to Schedule II, which will provide for more regulatory controls.

The rule goes into effect in 45 days.

Shipyards: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is looking to expand its investigation into the workplace conditions at shipyards, which could lead to future rulemaking.

OSHA on Thursday requested permission from the White House's Office of Management and Budget to collect more information on conditions at shipyards that may be hazardous for workers. 

The public has 60 days to comment.

Exports: The U.S. Census Bureau is moving forward with a rule allowing federal agencies to share confidential information about private company exports with each other through the International Trade Data System.

The rule goes into effect immediately.

BP oil spill: The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council is moving forward with a plan to help Gulf Coast states clean up their surrounding waters following BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

Those states will be eligible for grants mostly funded by BP to clean up their waters through the RESTORE Act.

The program goes into effect immediately. 

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