New regs for Friday: Blind soldiers, hazardous materials, home loans

Friday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for blind soldiers and veterans, government-sponsored home loans, hazardous materials and transportation acquisitions.

Here's what is happening:

Blind: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is expanding a program that provides members of the military and veterans who are blind with grants to make adaptions to their homes, the agency said Thursday.

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Soldiers with severe vision impairments will be eligible for money to fix up their homes in ways that accommodate their disability. To qualify, they must either be completely blind or have vision that is no better than 20/200 when using a corrective lens.

The changes will allow more soldiers to qualify for the grants. Previously, their vision had to be even worse (5/200) to qualify.

The rule goes into effect immediately.

Medical: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is making small changes to its medical regulations, the agency said Thursday.

The changes go into effect immediately.

Mortgages: The Federal Housing Finance Agency is considering new rules for government-sponsored financial institutions that are part of the Federal Home Loan Bank system.

The new rules would require these banks to offer more home mortgage loans and residential mortgage loans.

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rules.

Acquisitions: The Department of Transportation is moving forward with changes to its transportation acquisition regulations, the agency said Thursday.

The changes go into effect immediately.

Hazardous materials: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is correcting mistakes made in a hazardous materials regulations.

The public has until Oct. 14 to comment.

FOIA: The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission is moving forward with new procedures for people to submit Freedom of Information Act requests.

The rule goes into effect on Sept. 15.