New regs for Monday: Safety groups want window blind cords banned

Window blinds:
A number of public safety groups have asked the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue a rule prohibiting cords on window blinds if there is a feasible alternative. 

The nine groups, including Parents for Window Blind Safety, Consumer Federation of America and Public Citizen, worry that the cords can be deadly, especially for children. They assert that 324 kids were killed by the cords between 1985 and 2012.

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Voluntary efforts to reduce the risks posed by the cords has failed, they said in their petition to the agency.

“The petition asserts that a mandatory rule is necessary because attempts to develop a voluntary standard that adequately mitigates the risk of injury associated with window covering cords have failed,” the federal safety commission said in its notice.

The agency is collecting comments from the public on the organizations’ request for 60 days.

Drug testing:
The Federal Aviation Administration is issuing a rule to allow airlines to combine their drug and alcohol tests. 

Currently, the companies must conduct drug and alcohol tests separately. The agency said in its rule that that “results in an unnecessary duplication of effort.”

The new rule should save money by allowing both tests to happen at once.

Inmate calls:
The Federal Communications Commission is asking the public about fees placed on phone calls made by inmates in jails and prison. The agency is concerned that inmates are charged fees for setting up and replenishing their accounts, as well as for inactivity and other reasons. 

Reservoirs:
The Army Corps of Engineers wants to change rules for some reservoirs at the source of the Mississippi River. 

Pensions:
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which protects private sector pension plans, is setting interest assumptions for benefits paid in plans the agency administers. 

Additionally, the Department of Labor is extending the comment period for a proposal on pensions including 401(k) plans. 

Prescription drugs:
The Food and Drug Administration is adding three animal drugs that were approved in May to its regulations list. 

The FDA is also proposing to implement the power to administratively detain certain drugs that are believed to be contraband.

According to the agency, that authority would allow it “to better protect the integrity of the drug supply chain.”

“This authority is intended to protect the public by preventing distribution or subsequent use of drugs encountered during inspections that are believed to be adulterated or misbranded, until FDA has had time to consider what action it should take concerning the drugs, and to initiate legal action, if appropriate,” the FDA said in its proposal

Fishing:
The National Marine Fisheries Service is temporarily suspending fishing for sharks in the Gulf of Mexico to prevent overfishing.