New regs for Friday: Regulators pull back controversial endangered species proposal

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“Based on comments received during the public comment period, we find that substantial disagreement exists regarding the sufficiency and accuracy of the data and analyses relevant to the 68 proposed listing determinations,” the agency said in its notice. “Accordingly, we are extending the deadline for the final listing decisions for 6 months to solicit additional data.” 

The action, proposed in 2012, has been opposed by Republicans who have worried that the agency is basing its determination on an estimate about the future impacts of climate change. They have claimed that the “sweeping proposal would set dangerous precedents” for using climate change estimates to set regulations. 

Same-sex marriage:
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which manages retirement savings for federal employees, is formally publishing its rule to declare that people of the same sex who are married in states that recognize their weddings will be consider married.

Under the new regulation, when two people are married the agency “will look to the jurisdiction of celebration to determine a participant’s marital status.”

The regulation comes after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, regardless of the state.

In addition, the agency is proposing new limits for beneficiaries filing forms for thrift savings plans. 

Buses:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing regulations on commercial buses that are being contracted out to other companies.

The agency said that the rules will help regulators identify carriers moving passengers from state and state and punish those who fail to meet compliance standards.

“This action is necessary to ensure that unsafe passenger carriers cannot evade FMCSA oversight and enforcement by operating under the authority of another carrier that exercises no actual control over those operations,” the agency wrote in its proposal. 

Wool:
The Federal Trade Commission is proposing new rules for labels on wool. 

Finance:
Six financial regulators are proposing new credit risk requirements for holders of securities.

The 504-page rule implements a portion of the Dodd-Frank Act and would revise a 2011 proposal. 

Wine:
Vineyards in parts of San Luis Obispo County, Calif., will be able to label their wines more precisely to indicate where the grapes originated.

Those vineyards currently are within the Paso Robles area, but the new proposal would let wine makers designate whether they are from the San Juan Creek, Adelaida District or other regions in the region. 

Consumer safety:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission wants to change the way that its employees participate in setting voluntary industry standards.

Employees of the commission are currently allowed to help develop those voluntary standards as long as they do not vote or hold leadership roles in the groups. Under the new proposal, those restrictions would be gone and workers at the safety office would be able to fully participate in groups setting voluntary standards. 

Superfund:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking back its notice to take a site off of the national Superfund list.

The EPA said that it would take the California site off of its list of priorities in June. After that, however, it received “adverse comments” and is pulling back its plan.

Medicare:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is proposing methodology and payment rates for some health center services under Medicare Part B. Under the proposal, rural clinics would be allowed to contract with nurse practitioners and physician assistants instead of physicians when various conditions are met. 

Additionally, the agency is laying out the process and timeline to expand its web portal for people with pending liability insurance or workers’ compensations settlements to access their detailed claims information.

Fishing and hunting:
National fishing regulators are declaring that the annual limit for king mackerel in the western portion of the Gulf of Mexico will be reached on Friday. As a result, the National Marine Fisheries Service is prohibiting fishing for the mackerel. 

Additionally, the Fish and Wildlife Service is publishing a framework for states to select dates and limits for the 2013-2014 bird hunting seasons. 

Trade:
The Commerce Department is changing its time limits for proceedings to settle trade cases. 

Education:
The Department of Education is making “technical amendments” to 2010 regulations on higher education programs.