New regs for Friday: Seat belts on buses

Some new regulations will be published in the Federal Register on Friday, including new rules requiring seat belts on buses.

Here’s what to look forward to:

Bus seat belts:

Bus lines will have to start providing all of their passengers with seat belts that go over their laps and shoulders.

The new Department of Transportation regulation will apply to all new buses built after November 2016 but not to buses already on the road. 

According to the department, the regulation will save up to nine lives a year and prevent as many as 858 injuries annually.  It is expected to cost bus companies as much as $7 million per year to install the new belts. 

Energy:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is updating its rules for natural gas pipelines and utility companies. 

The new rules allow pipelines and utilities that own or operate energy transmission facilities to share some of their operational information with each other.

“The revised regulations will help maintain the reliability of pipeline and public utility transmission service by permitting transmission operators to share information with each other that they deem necessary to promote the reliability and integrity of their systems,” the commission said.

Endangered species:

The Fish and Wildlife Service is delaying new rules that created special protections for two types of plants. 

The rules were originally set to go into effect on Nov. 22, but are being delayed for four weeks to give the agency time “to address additional public comments” it received.

Additionally, the wildlife service is updating its list of plants and animals native to the U.S. that it thinks are candidates for the endangered species list. 

Animals:

The Food and Drug Administration is amending the rules for animal drugs to reflect the fact that three applications have been withdrawn. The drugs are no longer manufactured or marketed, the agency said. 

Additionally, the FDA is terminating an advisory committee it used for guidance on veterinary medicine. 

Fishing:

Fishers for Atlantic herring will have a new catch limit in 2014 under a proposal from the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The agency said that the limit is necessary to account for overages and underharvest in 2012.

Also, the FDA is releasing a guide to help seafood processors minimize the risk of a type of fish poisoning from their fish. 

Agriculture:

The Department of Agriculture is decreasing the fee for potatoes grown in Colorado.

Pesticides:

The Environmental Protection Agency has received a request for changes to limits of a pesticide chemical residue. 

Privacy:

The Department of Homeland Security is exempting some portions of its record systems on immigrants from some parts of the Privacy Act.