New regs for Tuesday: Guidelines for bank stress tests

Financial regulators are finalizing guidance for banks’ stress tests. Federal energy watchdogs are beefing up standards against cyberattacks to the country’s electric infrastructure. And 11 types of tarantula could be headed to the endangered species list.

Here’s a look at the new regulations slated to be published on Tuesday:

Finance:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is finalizing guidance for the scenarios that banks use to conduct annual stress tests.

The tests were a requirement of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and are intended to ensure that banks don’t collapse during a financial crisis.

Under the law, banks with more than $10 billion in assets need to test their resilience during hypothetical “baseline,” “adverse” and “severely adverse” scenarios. The guidelines that will be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday outline how the agency will develop those scenarios. 

Additionally, the National Credit Union Administration is expanding its rules for credit union service organizations. The effort is designed “to increase transparency and address certain safety and soundness concerns,” it said. 

Energy:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is approving a reliability standard designed to protect against cybersyattacks. 

The new standards “adopt new cybersecurity controls and extend the scope of the systems that are protected” by the critical infrastructure standards, the agency said. 

The Department of Energy is incorporating changes to a regulation’s language that were “erroneously omitted” when it finalized in October.

Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency wants to approve the Energy Department’s plan to implement a new panel closure system at a radioactive waste plant in New Mexico.

Animals:

The Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that there is “substantial scientific and commercial information” indicating that 11 types of tarantula should be added to the endangered species list.

The wildlife agency will conduct a formal review to determine whether the spiders should be declared endangered or threatened under federal law.

Social Security:

The Social Security Administration is taking steps to make sure it can continue to evaluate mental disorders. 

Veterans:

The Department of Veterans Affairs is changing the way it determines that a vet is “catastrophically disabled” and amending the rules for specially adapted housing

Acquisition:

The Defense Department, along with NASA and the General Services Administration, is proposing to amend the federal acquisition regulations to clarify when certain quality standards should be used. The standards “will be used to help minimize and mitigate counterfeit items or suspect counterfeit items in Government contracting,” the agencies said.

The Pentagon is also finalizing rules for contractors outside the U.S. 

Food:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reopening the comment period for new rules on meat tenderized by a mechanical blade

The process can break up muscle fibers and make the meat more tender, but can also spread pathogens and lead to outbreaks of foodborne illnesses.

Comments on the agency’s draft regulation closed during the 16-day government shutdown in October. To accommodate the public’s interest in the rule, the USDA is allowing new comments for 21 days.

Education:

The Department of Education is proposing priorities and requirements for national leadership grants for charter schools. 

Fishing:

The National Marine Fisheries Service is halting fishing for summer flounder in Virginia to prevent overfishing.

The agency is also changing its measures for managing groundfish in the Pacific to “allow fisheries to access more abundant groundfish stocks while protecting overfished and depleted stocks.” 

Government agencies:

The Commerce Department is formally changing the name of the Important Administration to Enforcement and Compliance