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Trump administration withdraws 23 rules from Federal Register

Trump administration withdraws 23 rules from Federal Register
© Federal Register

President Trump’s regulatory moratorium is trickling down to the Federal Register, where agencies on Tuesday posted nearly two dozen notices that they intend to withdraw regulations from the government’s rulebook.

The Federal Register attached 23 editorial notes to regulations published in recent weeks, indicating the agencies requested these rules be withdrawn. This includes an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that limits mercury discharges from dentists, the Energy Department’s efficiency standards for federal buildings, and poverty guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services.

On Friday, Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus warned federal agencies not to issue any more regulations until the new administration has a chance to review the rules. He also told agencies to withdraw rules that had been sent to, but not yet published in the Federal Register.

Tuesday’s withdrawals, however, seem to include various rules, proposed rules and guidelines that have already been published.

The editorial notes read: “EPA requested the withdrawal of this document after it was on public inspection. It will remain on public inspection until the close of business on January 24. A copy of the withdrawal request is available at the Office of the Federal Register.”

Trump’s regulatory moratorium has slowed the pace of rulemaking in Washington, but it hasn’t entirely killed regulations.

The regulatory moratorium also carved out an exemption for rules that address emergency situations pertaining to public health or safety. In Trump’s first edition of the Federal Register, several agencies take advantage of this loophole. The moratorium also does not extend to independent agencies like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, over which the president has less control.

The Federal Register will publish nine final rules and five proposed rules in Wednesday’s edition. Keep an eye on these rules:

—The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reviewing mattress flammability standards.

The flammability standards apply to mattresses, mattress pads and mattress sets, and include testing and recordkeeping requirements. The CPSC proposed Tuesday to extend an information collect request so it can review these standards.

The public has 60 days to comment.

—The Department of Transportation (DOT) will not require car manufacturers to install automatic emergency brakes.

The Transportation Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received a petition last year to require “forward crash warning, crash imminent braking, and dynamic brake support” in new cars. But the agency said Tuesday those rules are not necessary, because “more than 99 percent of light motor vehicle” already include these braking technologies.

“First, NHTSA has expanded its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) so that the NCAP information for a vehicle notes whether the vehicle is equipped with one or more of these technologies,” the agency said. “Second, it has sought public comment on its plans to revise NCAP so that the presence and level of performance of these technologies affects the overall rating of light motor vehicles.”

The decision goes into effect immediately.

—The CFTC is proposing new swap data rules.

The proposed rules would address “access to swap data held by swap data repositories.”

The public has 60 days to comment.