New regs for Tuesday: Organic produce, perennials, wine coolers and endangered species

Tuesday’s edition of the Federal Fegister contains new rules for organic produce from the Agriculture Marketing Service, a Department of Agriculture rule for perennial flowers coming from Turkey, new test procedures for wine coolers from the Energy Department, new flood insurance suspensions from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and new animals for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to add to the threatened and endangered species lists. 

Here’s what is happening: 

Organic produce: The Agriculture Marketing Service is considering a rule that would exempt all certified organic growers, sellers and handlers from having to pay for product promotions under the commodity promotion law. 

The exemption would cover all “organic” and “100 percent organic” products certified under the National Organic Program regardless of whether the person requesting the exemption also produces, handles, markets, or imports conventional or nonorganic products. 

Now, only people who exclusively produce and market products certified as 100 percent organic are eligible for an exemption from having to pay into the commodity promotion program. The rule would take effect in 30 days. 

Perennials: The Department of Agriculture has issued a final rule banning Turkey from exporting mums, giant daisies and Montauk daisies to the U.S. for planting. 

Chrysanthemums, leucanthemella serotinas and nipponanthemum nipponicums from Turkey are banned from coming to the U.S. because of the presence of white rust, which is a fungal disease recognized by small white to yellow spots that form on the surface of the leaves. 

The rule also requires countries to obtain a permit before exporting any seeds that are coated. The rule will take effect in 30 days. 

Wine coolers: The Department of Energy is considering a rule that would require manufacturers of wine coolers to follow certain test procedures to ensure their products comply with the energy conservation standards under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act 

The rule would apply to wine chillers, including those that use vapor compression refrigerator systems, and any other refrigeration products that maintain warmer compartment temperatures than refrigerators. 

Set-up, temperature control adjustment, volume and energy use will need to be measured. The procedures are almost identical to the current test procedures used by the state of California to measure wine cooler efficiency. 

The public has 75 days to comment. 

Flood insurance: Several communities in Virginia, Indiana and Iowa will lose their flood insurance come January.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency is suspending certain communities from receiving coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program for failing to meet the program’s floodplain management requirements. 

The National Flood Insurance Program allows homeowners in certain flood-prone areas who can’t purchase flood insurance from a private provider the ability to purchase coverage from the federal government. In return, communities must adopt and administer floodplain management measures aimed at protecting residents and infrastructure from future flooding. 

Impacted communities include Floyd County and Charles City in Iowa; the towns of Clinchport and Duffield, and Gate City in Virginia; and the towns of Worthington and Carthage, Green and Rush counties, and the cities of Linton and Rushville in Indiana. 

The rule will take effect Jan. 7. 

Endangered marine life: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is considering adding the banggai cardinalfish and the Harrison’s dogfish to the threatened species list, and the dusty sea snake and three types of corals to the endangered species list.

Though the Eastern Taiwan Strait Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin was one of the marine animals WildEarth Guardians asked to be included, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) decided it didn’t need to be protected. The wildlife preservation organization originally petitioned for 81 marine species to be listed as either threatened or endangered. The NMFS has decided that 27 of those 81 species warrant status review. This rule only applies to seven of those species. The remaining 20 will be addressed in subsequent filings. 

The endangered corals are the cantharellus noumeae found in the Indian Ocean, the siderastrea glynni found near Panama, and tubastraea floreana found in waters by the Galápagos Islands.

The public has 45 day to comment.