New regs for Monday: Chemicals, efficiency, audits

Monday's edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for certain chemical substances, audits by the Defense Department and energy conservation standards for residential wood heaters.

Here's what is happening:

Efficiency: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward with new energy conservation standards for residential wood heaters under the Clean Air Act.

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The EPA estimates the new energy conservation standards will produce more than $100 in public benefits for each additional dollar manufacturers spend complying with the rules.

The energy conservation standards would include new emissions limits and stronger test methods, and encompass a broader scope of wood heaters, the agency said.

"Residential wood smoke emissions are a significant national air pollution problem and human health issue," the EPA wrote. "These emissions occur in many neighborhoods across the country, including minority and low-income neighborhoods, and impact people in their homes."

Audits: The Department of Defense is doing away with certain regulations for auditing state and local governments, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations seeking grants.

The changes go into effect immediately.

Review: The Office of Science and Technology Police is reviewing its select agent regulations.

The agency is looking to determine what impact these regulations have on science, technology and national security and address any gaps in these regulations.

The public has until March 30 to comment.

Chemicals: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is delaying significant new use rules for certain chemicals.

The EPA proposed earlier this year new reporting requirements for manufacturers using long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonate (PFAS) substances.

But the agency announced Friday it is extending the comment period through June 26 to give the industry more time to comment.