New regs for Thursday: Mortgage counseling and Uruguayan sheep

New regulations on mortgage lenders, television ownership and sheep meat from Uruguay will hit the books on Thursday.

Here's what's happening:

Finance:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is issuing instructions for mortgage lenders to provide counseling options for their borrowers.

As part of the Dodd-Frank Act, financial institutions are required to give borrowers a “reasonably complete or updated list of homeownership counselors” in the area. 

Additionally, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is publishing a 604-page regulation for some futures traders.

According to the agency, the new rules “require enhanced customer protections, risk management programs, internal monitoring and controls, capital and liquidity standards, customer disclosures, and auditing and examination programs” for traders known as futures commissioner merchants. 

Food and agriculture:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is allowing fresh or frozen sheep meat from Uruguay to enter the U.S. under certain conditions.

“A risk assessment that we have prepared indicates that fresh (chilled or frozen) ovine meat can safely be imported from Uruguay under these conditions,” the department said.

Television:

The Federal Communications Commission is considering eliminating a way to calculate rules on national television ownership.

The transition to digital television has made a different methodology for calculating ownership of so-called ultra high frequency signals “obsolete,” according to the agency, “and it should be eliminated.”

The ownership levels are used to measure compliance with federal law, which limits broadcasters to reaching 39 percent of households in the country. 

Animals:

The Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the Gunnison’s prairie dog is not an endangered or threatened species and does not deserve federal protections.

The agency said that all subspecies of the animal “are stable and that there are no threats causing or projected to cause either subspecies to be at risk of extinction.” 

Energy:

The Department of Energy is excluding a type of incandescent lamp used in pools and spas from federal energy efficiency requirements. The department’s decision comes in response to a request from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. 

Healthcare:

The Department of Veterans Affairs is delaying new rules to change the way it bills home healthcare providers and hospice centers now in its own system. The rules were originally set to take effect on Nov. 15, but will not go into effect on April 1, 2014. 

Acquisition:

NASA wants to get rid of procedures for delegating authority and closing out grants and cooperative agreements. 

Fishing:

The National Marine Fisheries Service wants to implement new measures for catching groundfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.