New regs for Tuesday: Mines, migraines, money and the minimum wage

Tuesday’s post-holiday installment of the Federal Register includes 198 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions.

Among the highlights:

Mine Safety: The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is weighing requests from a pair of West Virginia coal mine operators who want to change the way they meet mandatory safety standards.

Requests from McElroy Coal Co. and the Consolidation Coal Co. lodged separate applications with the agency under a provision of the 1977 Federal Mine Safety and Health Act allowing companies to petition to modify the application of the standards, as long as they present alternatives that accomplish the law’s aims.

The agency is opening a 30-day comment period.

Medical Devices: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is adding a “special controls” classification for transcranial magnetic stimulators designed to treat headaches.

The FDA describes transcranial magnetic stimulators as devices that deliver “brief duration, rapidly alternating, or pulsed, magnetic fields that are externally directed at spatially discrete regions of the brain to induce electrical currents for the treatment of headache.”

Currently, they are listed as Class III devices, meaning they require premarket approval. Seeking to lift that restriction the firm eNeura Therapeutics LLC filed a request in 2013 seeking a “Class II” designation for its product.

The FDA is agreeing to the change, though the agency will require various stipulations, including mandatory analyses and clinical and nonclinical testing before the products are brought to market.

“FDA believes these special controls, in addition to general controls, will provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device,” the agency says.

Government Securities: Treasury is issuing final regulations amending the 1986 Government Securities Act.

The action, required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, involves purging all financial regulations of “any reference to or requirement of reliance on credit ratings.” Dodd-Frank mandates that agencies instead rely on more direct standards for creditworthiness in their rules.

Minimum Wage: The Labor Department is extending the comment period for draft regulations establishing a $10.10 minimum hourly wage for employees of companies who do business with the government.

President Obama ordered up the rule via executive order in February, after Republicans beat back an effort in Congress to raise the minimum wage for all employees.

The Labor Department issued a rule-making notice on June 17, and the original comment period was set to expire one month later.

“The Department has received requests to extend the period for filing public comments from government and business organizations,” the agency said in explaining the extension. “Because of the interest that has been expressed in this matter, the Department has decided to provide an extension of the period for submitting public comment until July 28, 2014.”