New regs for Monday: Nuclear power plants, gas pipelines, endangered species

Monday's edition of the Federal Register contains new energy conservation standards, protections for endangered and threatened species, safeguards for nuclear power plants and rules for interstate natural gas pipelines.

Here's what is happening:

Efficiency: The Department of Energy is delaying a review of the energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial fans and blowers.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy last month released a provisional analysis estimating the energy savings and economic impact that would result from new energy conservation standards for industrial fans and blowers. While the agency did not propose efficiency rules at the time, it noted this review could lead to future rulemaking.

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But the Energy Department said Friday it is extending the comment period through Feb. 25 to give stakeholders more time to consider the potential changes.

Gas: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is delaying new rules for interstate natural gas pipelines and public utilities.

FERC announced Friday it is extending the comment period for a review it was conducting of the scheduling processes for interstate natural gas pipelines. 

The agency sent a data request to gas line operators in December, but said Friday it is pushing the deadline to respond back to Jan. 22.

Endangered: The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is delaying new protections for dozens of endangered species.

The FWS proposed classifying 21 plant and animal species as endangered and two other plant species as threatened in October, but the agency said Friday it is reopening the comment period.

The endangered and threatened species come from the Mariana Islands, the agency said.

The public now has an additional 30 days to comment, and the agency will hold two public hearings to discuss the proposed protections.

Nuclear: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering new safeguards at nuclear power plants.

The NRC announced Friday it will review a petition that requests the agency check to the structure of nuclear power plants for concrete degradation. The petitioner suggests better identification techniques.

The public has 75 days to comment.