New regs for Wednesday: Energy conservation standards published

Energy conservation:
The Department of Energy is publishing new draft energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment and walk-in coolers and freezers

The rules were first announced in August after being stalled for nearly two years under review at the White House Office of Management and Budget. They should cut consumers’ energy bills and carbon emissions alike, according to the Obama administration. 

They come as part of the president’s larger second-term effort to clamp down on pollution that leads to climate change. 

Republicans have opposed the new rules, arguing that they put too great a burden on businesses.

The Food and Drug Administration is extending the comment period for the public to weigh in as it takes a closer look at menthol cigarettes

The agency announced in July that it was starting the process of expanding its oversight of the flavored tobacco by reaching out to the American public for more information.

Since then, it received comments worrying that the current 60-day period for comments “does not allow sufficient time to develop meaningful or thoughtful responses to questions” raised in the notice. As such, it is extending the comment period for another 60 days.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing to fill a legal requirement that it care for veterans who may have been exposed to toxins in the water at Camp Lejeune, N.C. 

From at least 1957 to 1987, that base’s drinking water system was contaminated by industrial chemicals. Members of the military who served at the station for at least 30 days during that time would be eligible for care from the department under its new proposal.

The Department of Commerce is proposing new rules that would require exporters to file new records when they ship some products out of the country.

The department said that the changes “enhance the U.S. Government’s ability” to oversee the movement of the goods and ensure they are abiding by relevant rules and standards. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is setting a tolerance for limits of residues of the pesticide prometryn on some leaves and beans. The agency is also setting limits for some polymers used in pesticide formulas and creating an exemption in certain cases. 

Businesses that intend to manufacture, import or process three chemicals will have new restrictions under a determination by the EPA. Companies that deal with the substances need to notify the agency before they begin the activity. 

Endangered species:
The Fish and Wildlife Service is declaring one type of plant to be endangered and another to be threatened. The agency is also protecting critical habitat for the plants under the Endangered Species Act. 

Additionally, the agency has determined that the southern white rhino is distinct from other types of rhino and should be considered threatened. 

The EPA wants to amend the rules for a greenhouse gas reporting and record keeping program. 

The Department of Homeland Security is exempting some portions of its records from privacy rules

The Federal Aviation Administration is finalizing safety standards for unusual airplane safety belts

The Federal Communications Commission is announcing that the White House has approved its information collection programs.