New regs for Monday: Protecting eagles and whales

Regulations affecting protected animals and lamps’ energy conservation are on the way.

Here’s what’s waiting for Monday’s edition of the Federal Register:

Animals:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is eliminating the expiration date for regulations limiting ships’ speeds, designed to prevent collisions with North Atlantic right whales.

The regulations were set to expire on Dec. 9.

The wildlife service is also revising the regulation that allows for some industries to unintentionally disturb or kill protected golden and bald eagles.

The permits formerly lasted up to five years, but the new rule will allow for permits as long as 30. 

Separately, the Air Force is asking the National Marine Fisheries Service for permission to unintentionally harm some seals during its operations. 

Energy efficiency:

The Department of Energy is starting to consider whether it should issue new energy conservation rules for general service lamps.

The department is releasing a framework document outlining how the public should submit comments about whether new standards are justified. 

Worker safety:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is asking the public whether it should update its standards to protect workers from explosive and harmful chemicals.

“OSHA will use the information received in response to this [request for information] to determine what action, if any, it may take,” it said.

Safety:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is updating its safety standards for infant bath seats and toddlers’ cribs. 

Environment:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is vacating some of its rules designed to prevent significant deterioration, as ordered by a January ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The agency is also denying a petition to exempt the chemical chlorsulfuron from some reporting rules. According to the EPA, the substance is toxic to aquatic plants.

Housing:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is issuing a rule to streamline its guaranteed housing loan program. 

“This action is taken to reduce regulations, improve customer service, achieve greater efficiency, flexibility, and effectiveness in managing the program,” the agency said.

Additionally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is changing the federal standards for manufactured homes.

The new rules incorporate suggestions from the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee. 

Government workers:

The General Services Administration is creating some test programs for government employees’ telework travel expenses. 

Taxes:

The Internal revenue Service is proposing new rules for start-ups that would determine when expenses can be deducted. 

Drugs:

The Food and Drug Administration is amending its rules for animal drugs to reflect the fact that some applications were approved during October.