New regs for Friday: Patient information, public utility filing requirements, hazardous materials

Friday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules from the Department of Veterans Affairs for patient information, filing requirements for public utilities, and transportation requirements for hazardous materials. 

Here's what is happening.

Patient information: The Department of Veterans Affairs is moving forward with a rule that would establish sharing requirements for certain patient information. The new rules implement the agency's authority to participate in state prescription drug monitoring programs.

The Department of Veterans Affairs was already following an interim rule published in February 2013, which it is now adopting as final. The rule goes into effect immediately.

This rule allows the agency to provide these state prescription drug monitoring programs with demographic information about the veterans and their dependents who are prescribed a controlled substance and prescriber information.

Filing requirements: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is updating filing requirements for public utilities.

The new rules update the Electric Quarterly Report Data Dictionary. They will provide guidance on how market participants should enter information in certain fields of the new system to make sure that it accepts the filings.

Transportation of hazardous materials: The Department of Transportation is delaying a rule that would change hazardous materials regulations. 

The department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced Thursday it is extending the comment period on the rule it proposed last December through April 30 to give the public more time to respond.

The hazardous materials regulations apply to the construction, maintenance and continued use of pressure vessels for transporting certain hazardous materials by highway, rail, air and water.

USPS: The United States Postal Service is correcting an error in a final rule that it published earlier this month. 

The rule, published March 5, revised service standards for standard mail that is eligible for Destination Sectional Center Facility rates, but contained mistakes that the Postal Service is now fixing.

Assessment rates: The Agricultural Marketing Service is moving forward with several new rules, proposed rules and orders.

In an interim rule, the agency announced Thursday it is decreasing the 2014 assessment rate for the California Olive Committee to $15.21 from $21.16 per ton of assessable olives handled.

The agency also proposed a rule that would limit the amount of Far West Scotch and Native spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from or handle on behalf of the producers.

The agency is also considering orders for certain onions and walnuts