New regs for Thursday: Cap guns and meat labels

Regulations on cap guns, meat labels and loan guarantees to Israel will come out in Thursday’s issue of the Federal Register. Another rule will let government workers in the District of Columbia run for local political office as independents.

Here’s a look at what’s happening:

Cap guns:

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission is adopting voluntary standards for cap guns and other toy guns

The safety agency’s current regulations on the toys “refer to obsolete equipment,” it said, whereas the new standards “allow the use of a broader array of more precise and more readily available test equipment for sound measurement.” It added that the regulations also make testing more efficient by relying on automated equipment.

Those old rules will be replaced by the new standards.

Food:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is changing the rules for meat and poultry inspections to allow it to approve labels in more cases. 

Specifically, the department is expanding the cases in which it can approve generic labels, which do not require meat producers and importers to submit the printer’s proof of labels for approval. Only labels for products with special claims and statements, such as organic meats or those produced under religious exemptions, will now need to be submitted for evaluation.

The department’s food office is also consolidating rules for meat labeling.

Federal workers:

Federal employees living in the District of Columbia will be allowed to run for local political office and donate to local candidates, under new rules issued by the Office of Personnel Management.

However, the government workers will only be allowed to run as or donate to independent candidates. They won’t be able to participate as representatives of a political party. 

Natural disasters:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is finalizing changes to its rules for providing financial aid to people whose homes were damaged during major disasters or emergencies.

FEMA’s changes were called for by a law that passed Congress in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. 

Foreign policy:

The U.S. Agency for International Development is changing its terms and conditions for the loan guarantees it issues to Israel.

The loan guarantees previously only applied to money borrowed from 2003 to 2006, but will now cover lending through 2016. 

Acquisitions:

The Energy Department wants to amend it acquisition rules to conform with federal standards and “update, clarify and streamline text” in some areas.

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Energy:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is delaying a rule on long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel to give more time for the public to comment.

The comment period was set to close on Nov. 27, but the nuclear agency said that the government shutdown in October, which shuttered its doors for a number of days, makes it necessary to give the public until Dec. 20 to weigh in.

Transportation:

The Federal Aviation Administration is dropping its intent to apply rest requirements to airline workers.

The agency originally sought to explore how requirements that workers rest occasionally during their shifts would apply to the industry in 2010, but a 2012 law prevented the agency from finalizing the effort.  

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Fishing:

National fishing regulators are proposing commercial quotas for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog through 2016. The quota would set a cap on the harvests in each of the next three years.

Additionally, commercial fishers in Maine are transferring some of their allotted 2013 quota for catching summer flounder to the state of Connecticut.