New regs for Thursday: Greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear cooperation with Vietnam

Thursday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear cooperation with Vietnam, and the disposal of federal electronic assets.

Here's what is happening:

Emissions: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is delaying a rule that would provide new performance standards for greenhouse gas emissions from new stationary sources, such as electric utility generating units.

The EPA proposed the rules on Jan. 8, but is extending the comment period by two months, until May, to provide the public more time to comment on the issue.

Industry groups have assailed the rule, which they say would make it nearly impossible for coal companies to build new plants.

Nuclear: The Obama administration plans to cooperate with the Vietnamese government on nuclear energy, according to a presidential document to be published in Thursday's Federal Register.

The White House released the presidential determination Wednesday, even as the Obama administration and other Western powers negotiate with Iran over the country's nuclear program.

“I have determined that the performance of the agreement will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defense and security,” the document reads.

Truck drivers: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is correcting a rule it proposed last month that would establish a database of truck and bus drivers that fail drug or alcohol tests.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 20.

The rule would "establish the Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a database under the agency's administration that will contain controlled substances and alcohol test result information for the holders of commercial driver's licenses," the agency wrote.

Construction: The EPA is moving forward with new guidelines and standards for construction and development. The new effluent limitations will go into effect in two months.

Disposal: The General Services Administration (GSA) is considering a rule that would change the procedures for disposing of federal electronic assets. The agency said the rule would provide for the safe handling and disposal of this equipment.