New regs for Thursday: Preventing airplane crashes

Communications:
The Federal Communications Commission is designating a frequency band to be used for airport surface detection equipment to prevent collisions, known in the industry as vehicle “squitters.”

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The rule was requested by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, with support from the Federal Aviation Administration, which had wanted to expand the use of the equipment to prevent crashes on airport tarmacs. 

Additionally, the FCC is asking the public to submit new comments on ways to prevent “cramming” on landline phones, in which customers are unknowingly charged for multiple services on their phone bills. 

Endangered species:
The Fish and Wildlife Service is declaring that the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly and the blue-throated macaw are endangered species. The service has also determined that the streaked horned lark butterfly is a threatened species. 

The two types of butterflies will also have protected habitat in Washington and Oregon. 

Additionally, the agency is proposing to add the Florida brickell-bush and Carter’s small-flowered flax, two types of plants, to the Endangered Species List and set aside critical habitat for them in Florida. The Fish and Wildlife Service is also proposing to protect the yellow-billed cuckoo and has determined that the Kittlitz’s murrelet bird does not deserve species protections. 

Transportation:
The Transportation Department is beginning the process of issuing new public transportations safety rules. 

Agriculture:
The Department of Agriculture is issuing a rule continuing an allowance for multiple substances to be used on organic produce

Emergencies:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is proposing to implement a new method to estimate costs to larger nonprofits in emergencies.

“Under the Public Assistance Program, FEMA awards grants to State and local governments, Indian tribes, and certain private nonprofit organizations to assist them in responding to and recovering from Presidentially-declared emergencies and other disasters,” the agency explains in its draft regulation.

Finance:
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reopening a comment period for a proposal requiring new forms and notices after some transactions.

The Office of Government Ethics is removing exemptions of some rules for senior staffers at the Securities and Exchange Commission after they leave government. 

Acquisition:
The Patent and Trademark Office is updating its acquisition guidelines