New regs for Wednesday: Clothing labels, data exchange

Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for clothing manufacturers and data exchange. Here's what is happening:

Washing clothes: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering new labeling rules for clothing manufacturers. 

The Care Labeling Rule would establish new standards for clothing manufacturers and importers. It would also require companies to give instructions about how to wash some apparel.

The FTC, which first proposed the rule in July 2011 and has since made changes, will hold a public roundtable on March 28 to discuss the new standards.

Regulators originally proposed allowing clothing manufacturers to voluntarily give instructions about professional wet cleaning, but now it is considering making this a requirement. The rule would also update the definition of "dry cleaning." 

The public roundtable will discuss the cost of requiring wet cleaning instruction labels, the content provided on those labels, the availability of wet cleaning services and consumer awareness of wet cleaning. 

The FTC is considering the economic impact and the benefits of such a rule. 

"Rule prohibits manufacturers and importers from selling textile wearing apparel and certain piece goods without attaching labels stating the care needed for their ordinary use," the agency wrote.

Data exchange: The Department of Labor is moving forward with a data exchange plan. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA), a division of the Labor Department that is issuing the final rule, is looking to establish standards for data exchanges. 

The new rules establish data exchange standards for real-time applications on the Interstate Connection Network (ICON) and the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES).

The ETA issued the rule after consulting with an interagency group put together by the Office of Management and Budget.

Penalty: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is revising procedures for how it files Notices of Penalty against companies. The agency announced it is delegating this authority to the director of the office of electric reliability at FERC. This used to be the responsibility of the director of the office of enforcement at FERC.

"These revisions are necessary to enable the Commission to process routine, non-controversial Notices of Penalty in a timely and efficient manner," the agency wrote.

The rule goes into effect immediately.

Infant formula: The Food and Drug Administration is correcting a minor error in an infant formula rule it issued last week. 

The infant formula rule revised the agency's regulations to establish good manufacturing practices for the industry.

"FDA took the action to improve the protection of infants who consume infant formula products," the agency wrote.

FOIA: NASA is revising its Freedom of Information Act policies. The changes will reflect new developments in case law and update the cost figures.