New regs for Friday: Gypsy moths, cyber security, foreign aid

In Friday’s edition of the Federal Register, the Department of Agriculture adds new regions to its list of areas infested with gypsy moths, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission asks for the public to comment on draft cybersecurity regulations and the U.S. Agency for International Development gives the public more time to comment on changes to rules governing religious organizations that receive federal funds.

Gypsy moths: The Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding areas in Minnesota, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin to its list of places that are generally infested with gypsy moths.

The additions are part of final regulations from APHIS that prohibit the interstate movement of regulated articles from those restricted areas to prevent the artificial spread of gypsy moths. Regulated articles include Christmas trees, logs, posts, pulpwood, bark, mobile homes, nursery stock and outdoor household articles.

The gypsy moth is one of North America’s most devastating pests of shade, fruit and ornamental trees, as well as hardwood forests. The added restricted areas include Cook and Lake Counties in Minnesota; Tazewell County in Virginia; McDowell, Mercer, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming Counties in West Virginia; and Iowa County in Wisconsin.

Cybersecurity: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is asking for the public to weigh in on draft regulations that would require certain nuclear fuel cycle facilities to adopt cybersecurity programs.

Licensed fuel cycle facilities affected would include those authorized to possess special nuclear material in category I, II or III quantities. The NRC has asked the public to comment on whether there are any regulatory concerns related to this rulemaking effort, how the rules would impact licensed facilities and whether there are other regulatory approaches the agency should consider.

The public has 30 days to comment.

Foreign aid: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is giving the public more time to comment on a proposal to amend its regulation for religious groups that receive financial assistance from the government agency that administers civilian foreign aid.

The proposed rule would clarify that religious organizations that receive USAID funds under a larger sponsored award must comply with any restrictions on what the federal financial assistance can be used for. This rule would also require decisions about federal financial assistance awards to be made without any political interference or even the appearance of interference.

Comments were due Aug. 6, but the agency is giving the public until Oct. 5 to weigh in.