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Federal Register Highlights – 8/4/15

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for August 4, 2015:

TEMPORARY RULE: The Coast Guard is establishing temporary safety zones around Royal Dutch Shell’s (Shell) contracted vessel FENNICA, which is participating in Shell’s planned Arctic oil drilling and exploration operations, while it is located in the U.S. Territorial and Internal Waters of the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port Zone. In addition, the Coast Guard is establishing a regulated navigation area to designate a Voluntary First Amendment Area for individuals that desire to exercise their First Amendment free speech rights with regards to Shell’s operations. The safety zones and regulated navigation area created by this rule are necessary to ensure the mutual safety of all waterways users including the FENNICA and those individuals that desire to exercise their First Amendment rights. This rule is effective without actual notice from August 4, 2015 until August 22, 2015.

RULE: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model ATP airplanes. This AD requires a one- time inspection for solder deposited on the frangible plug of certain engine and auxiliary power unit (APU) fire extinguishers. This AD was prompted by reports of a fire extinguisher that failed to discharge due to solder deposited on the frangible plug of the fire extinguisher. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct solder deposited on the frangible plug of the fire extinguisher, which could result in failure of the fire extinguisher to discharge, and consequent inability to put out a fire in an engine or in the APU. This AD becomes effective August 19, 2015.

PROPOSED RULE: This proposed rule sets out the Department of the Treasury’s (Treasury) rules for implementing the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended (the Act). The Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The Act, which applies to persons of all ages, permits the use of certain age distinctions and factors other than age that meet the Act’s requirements. The Act and the related general, government-wide regulations require all agencies that extend federal financial assistance to issue agency-specific regulations implementing the Act. Treasury recipients have been subject to the Act and the government-wide regulations since their effective date in 1979. Accordingly, today’s proposed rule does not substantially change Treasury recipients’ existing duty to refrain from discrimination on the basis of age. This proposal fulfills the obligation on Treasury to issue agency- specific rules under the Act, clarifies the responsibilities of Treasury recipients under the Act, and describes the Treasury investigation, conciliation, and enforcement procedures to ensure compliance. Written comments must be received on or before October 5, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

Federal Register Highlights – 8/3/15

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for August 3, 2015:

PROPOSED RULE: DoD is proposing to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 that requires the issuance of guidance on the use of the authority to require the submission of other than cost or pricing data. Comments on the proposed rule should be submitted in writing on or before October 2, 2015, to be considered in the formation of the final rule. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

RULE: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes modified by a particular supplemental type certificate (STC). This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found during inspections of the in-flight entertainment system radome assembly. This AD requires repetitive detailed inspections for cracks in the radome assembly, and replacement of the radome if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the radome assembly, which could result in the radome (or pieces) separating from the airplane and striking the tail, consequently reducing the controllability of the airplane. This AD is effective September 8, 2015.

RULE: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A319 series airplanes; Model A320–211, –212, –214, –231, –232, and –233 airplanes; and Model A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of cracks that could be initiated at the waste water service panel area and the potable water service panel area. This AD requires modification of the potable water service panel and waste water service panel, including doing applicable related investigative and corrective actions. We are issuing this AD to prevent any cracking at the waste water service panel area and the potable water service panel area, which could affect the structural integrity of the airplane. This AD becomes effective September 8, 2015.

RULE: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 777–200, 777–200LR, 777–300ER, and 777F series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that sealant might not have been applied in production to the wing skin panel gaps above certain underwing fittings. This AD would require an inspection for missing sealant, and applicable other specified, related investigative, and corrective actions. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct missing sealant from the wing skin panel gaps above the underwing fittings, which could result in corrosion and fatigue cracking in the wing skin panel, and consequent loss of limit load capability of the wing skin and potential subsequent structural failure of the wings. This AD is effective September 8, 2015.

PROPOSED RULE: This document proposes, at the request of Katherine Pyeatt (“Pyeatt”), the allotment of FM Channel 286A at Grant, Oklahoma. The document also treats a conflicting application (File No. BPH– 20141028AAK) filed by Liberman Broadcasting of Dallas Licensee LLC (“Liberman”), licensee of Station KZMP–FM, Pilot Point, Texas, for a construction permit to implement a previously granted upgrade in KZMP’s channel class from Channel 285C1 to 285C0 (“Pilot Point Application”) as a counterproposal. Finally, to accommodate Pyeatt’s proposal, an Order to Show Cause is issued to Liberman as to why KZMP’s channel class should not be involuntarily downgraded. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, supra. Comments must be filed on or before August 31, 2015, and reply comments on or before September 15, 2015. Submit comments in writing to: Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 Twelfth Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. In addition to filing comments with the FCC, interested parties should serve the rule making petitioner and the counter proponent as follows: Katherine Pyeatt, 2215 Cedar Springs Rd., #1605, Dallas, Texas 75201; James R. Bayes, Esq., Mark N. Lipp, Esq., and Marnie K. Sarver, Esq., Wiley Rein LLP, 1776 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006 (Counsel to Liberman).

PROPOSED RULE: In this document, the Wireline Competition Bureau seeks to refresh the record on pending issues related to Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designations and obligations in areas served by price cap carriers. Comments are due on or before September 2, 2015 and reply comments are due on or before September 17, 2015. To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

PROPOSED RULE: This document contains proposed regulations regarding the determination of a partner’s distributive share of certain allocable cash basis items and items attributable to an interest in a lower-tier partnership during a partnership taxable year in which a partner’s interest changes. These proposed regulations affect partnerships and their partners. Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by November 2, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov. Click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

PROPOSED RULE: We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), propose regulations to amend the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regarding experimental populations. The CFR would be amended to establish definitions and procedures for: establishing and/or designating certain populations of species otherwise listed as endangered or threatened as experimental populations; determining whether experimental populations are “essential” or “nonessential;” and promulgating appropriate protective measures for experimental populations. We seek public comment on this proposal. To allow us adequate time to consider your comments on this proposed rule, they must be received no later than October 2, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

Federal Register Highlights – 7/31/15

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for July 31, 2015:

PROPOSED RULE: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to amend and expand its test procedures for medium base compact fluorescent lamps (MBCFLs). DOE proposes to replace references to ENERGY STAR requirements with references to the latest versions of industry standard test methods, which, with certain modifications, would replace the existing MBCFL test procedures. DOE is proposing to make these amendments in the existing appendix W to subpart B (Appendix W), renamed as “Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Compact Fluorescent Lamps.” In addition, DOE proposes to establish test procedures that would support the ongoing energy conservation standards rulemaking for general service lamps (GSLs) (GSL standards rulemaking), including test methods for new performance metrics and for additional compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) categories, including non- integrated CFLs and integrated CFLs that are not MBCFLs. DOE also proposes to revise its sampling plan for manufacturers to certify that their CFLs comply with the applicable energy conservation standards. DOE proposes to incorporate measures of standby mode power consumption in its test procedures. DOE also proposes various other conforming amendments. DOE also announces a public meeting to receive comments on these proposed amendments to the test procedures. DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) before and after the public meeting, but no later than October 14, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number EERE–2015–BT–TP–0014. Commenting page was not available at the time of this posting.)

PROPOSED RULE: This proposed regulation would restate and update the requirements for eligibility for Peace Corps Volunteer service, and the factors considered in the assessment and selection of eligible applicants for training and service. The requirements and factors for eligibility and selection were last published in 1984. A revision of the regulation is necessary to conform to changes in Federal laws and regulations, particularly with respect to those prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, and to reflect policy changes made by the Peace Corps. Comments due on or before August 31, 2015. (Address all comments to Anthony F. Marra, Associate General Counsel, Peace Corps, 1111 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20526. Comments may also be sent electronically to the following email address: pcfr@ peacecorps.gov.)

PROPOSED RULE: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a proposed rule that would redefine the geographic boundaries of the Harrisburg, PA, and Scranton-Wilkes- Barre, PA, appropriated fund Federal Wage System (FWS) wage areas. The proposed rule would redefine Montour County, PA, from the Harrisburg wage area to the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre wage area. This change is based on a recent consensus recommendation of the Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee (FPRAC) to best match the county proposed for redefinition to a nearby FWS survey area. We must receive comments on or before August 31, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference RIN 3206–AN18. Commenting page was not available at the time of this posting.)

 

Federal Register Highlights – 7/30/15

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for July 30, 2015:

PROPOSED RULE: This proposed rule would address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following their October 2014 meeting. These recommendations pertain to the 2015 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would remove two non-organic agricultural substances from the National List for use in organic handling, fortified cooking wines—marsala wine and sherry wine. This proposed rule would also remove two listings for synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production on the National List, streptomycin and tetracycline, as their use exemptions expired on October 21, 2014. Comments must be received by August 31, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number AMS–NOP–15–0015. Commenting page was not available at the time of this posting.)

PROPOSED RULE: The Coast Guard proposes to amend its regulations to implement Section 901(c) of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 that grants the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) the authority to issue a waiver allowing a documented vessel with only a registry endorsement or a foreign-flagged vessel to be used in certain aquaculture operations. Specifically, those operations include the treatment and/or protection of aquaculture fish from disease, parasitic infestation, or other threats to their health. The proposed part would establish the requirement for an owner or operator of a vessel who is issued a waiver by the Secretary of DOT to notify the Coast Guard that the vessel owner or operator has been issued a waiver that allows the vessel to conduct certain aquaculture support operations. The proposed part would also establish operational and geographic requirements for vessels that are issued such a waiver. DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted on or before October 28, 2015 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number USCG–2015–0086. Commenting page was not available at the time of this posting.)

PROPOSED RULE: The General Services Administration (GSA) is issuing a proposed rule amending the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) coverage on Construction and Architect-Engineer Contracts, including provisions and clauses for solicitations and resultant contracts, to remove unnecessary regulations. Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat on or before September 28, 2015 to be considered in the formation of the final rule. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference GSAR Case 2015–G508. Commenting page was not available at the time of this posting.)

Federal Register Highlights – 7/29/15

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for July 29, 2015:

PROPOSED RULE: In this action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to revise the Guideline on Air Quality Models (“Guideline”). The Guideline has been incorporated into EPA’s regulations, satisfying a requirement under the Clean Air Act (CAA) section 165(e)(3) for the EPA to specify, with reasonable particularity models to be used in the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. It provides EPA-preferred models and other recommended techniques, as well as guidance for their use in predicting ambient concentrations of air pollutants. The proposed revisions to the Guideline include enhancements to the formulation and application of the EPA’s AERMOD near-field dispersion modeling system and the incorporation of a tiered demonstration approach to address the secondary chemical formation of ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) associated with precursor emissions from single sources. Additionally, the EPA proposes various editorial changes to update and reorganize information throughout the Guideline to streamline the compliance assessment process. Within this action, the EPA is also announcing the Eleventh Conference on Air Quality Modeling and invites the public to participate in the conference. The conference will focus on the proposed revisions to the Guideline and part of the conference will also serve as the public hearing for these revisions. Comments must be received on or before October 27, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov. Click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

PROPOSED RULE: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing to revise the rule for the African elephant promulgated under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), to increase protection for African elephants in response to the alarming rise in poaching of the species to fuel the growing illegal trade in ivory. The African elephant was listed as threatened under the ESA effective June 11, 1978, and at the same time a rule issued under section 4(d) of the ESA (a “4(d) rule”) was promulgated to regulate import and use of specimens of the species in the United States. This proposed rule would update the current 4(d) rule with measures that are appropriate for the current conservation needs of the species. We are proposing measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the African elephant as well as appropriate prohibitions from section 9(a)(1) of the ESA. Among other things, we propose to incorporate into the 4(d) rule certain restrictions on the import and export of African elephant ivory contained in the African Elephant Conservation Act (AfECA) as measures necessary and advisable for the conservation of the African elephant. We are not, however, revising or reconsidering actions taken under the AfECA, including our determinations in 1988 and 1989 to impose moratoria on the import of ivory other than sport-hunted trophies from both range and intermediary countries. We are proposing to take these actions under section 4(d) of the ESA to increase protection and benefit the conservation of African elephants, without unnecessarily restricting activities that have no conservation effect or are strictly regulated under other law. In preparing the final decision on this proposed rule, we will consider comments received or postmarked on or before September 28, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov. Click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

PROPOSED RULE: The Secretary proposes to amend the Vaccine Injury Table (Table) by regulation. These proposed regulations will have effect only for petitions for compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) filed after the final regulations become effective. The Secretary is seeking public comment on the proposed revisions to the Table. Written comments must be submitted on or before January 25, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov. Click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

PROPOSED RULE: OSHA is proposing to amend its recordkeeping regulations to clarify that the duty to make and maintain accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses is an ongoing obligation. The duty to record an injury or illness continues for as long as the employer must keep records of the recordable injury or illness; the duty does not expire just because the employer fails to create the necessary records when first required to do so. The proposed amendments consist of revisions to the titles of some existing sections and subparts, and changes to the text of some existing provisions. The proposed amendments add no new compliance obligations; the proposal would not require employers to make records of any injuries or illnesses for which records are not currently required to be made. Written comments to this proposed rule must be submitted (postmarked, sent or received) by September 28, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov. Click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

Federal Register Highlights – 7/28/15

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for July 28, 2015:

PROPOSED RULE: The Coast Guard proposes a safety zone around the Turritella FPSO system, Walker Ridge 551 on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of the safety zone is to protect the facility from all vessels operating outside the normal shipping channels and fairways that are not providing services to or working with the facility. Placing a safety zone around the facility will significantly reduce the threat of allisions, collisions, security breaches, oil spills, releases of natural gas, and thereby protect the safety of life, property, and the environment. Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before August 27, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number USCG-2015-0318. Commenting page was not available at the time of this posting.)

RULE: We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2015–10–01 for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC–8–400 series airplanes. AD 2015–10–01 required inspection for correct assembly of the main landing gear (MLG) alternate extension system reservoir lid, and corrective action if necessary. This new AD revises the applicability. This AD was prompted by the discovery of two errors in the applicability of AD 2015–10–01. We are issuing this AD to, in the event of a failure of the primary MLG extension system, prevent failure of the alternate MLG extension system to fully extend the MLG into a down-and-locked position, which could result in collapse of both left-hand and right-hand MLG sides during touchdown. This AD becomes effective August 12, 2015.

RULE: We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013–14–05 for certain The Boeing Company Model 747–400 and 747–400F series airplanes. AD 2013–14–05 required repetitive inspections of the longeron extension fittings for cracking, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This new AD would continue to require the actions specified in AD 2013–14–05, and would add new repetitive high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections of any modified, repaired, or replaced longeron extension fitting for cracking, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This AD was prompted by reports of cracking in the outboard flange of the longeron extension fittings, and our determination that more work is necessary on airplanes on which a permanent repair, longeron extension fitting replacement, or modification was accomplished. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the longeron extension fittings, which can become large and adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane. This AD is effective September 1, 2015.

RULE: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 747–100B, 747–100B SUD, 747–200B, 747–200C, 747–200F, 747–300, 747–400, 747–400D, 747–400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of skin cracks and subsequent findings of hidden corrosion found on the mating surfaces between certain skin and stringers at circumferential skin splices. This AD requires general visual inspections of the fuselage skin at certain lower circumferential splices for the presence of existing external doublers, repetitive inspections of the fuselage skin, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct hidden corrosion due to compromised fillet seals, which can result in skin cracking and consequent loss of capability to support limit loads. This AD is effective September 1, 2015.

RULE: We are superseding airworthiness directive (AD) 2014–19–05 for all Turbomeca S.A. Arriel 1A1, 1A2, 1B, 1C, 1C1, 1C2, 1D, 1D1, 1E2, 1K1, 1S, 1S1, 2B, 2B1, 2C, 2C1, 2C2, 2S1, and 2S2 turboshaft engines. AD 2014–19–05 required an initial one-time vibration check of the engine accessory gearbox (AGB) on certain Arriel 1 and Arriel 2 model engines, and repetitive vibration checks for all Arriel 1 and Arriel 2 engines. This AD was prompted by our determination that we incorrectly identified technical references in AD 2014–19–05. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the engine AGB, which could lead to in-flight shutdown and damage to the engine, which may result in damage to the aircraft. This AD is effective September 1, 2015.

PROPOSED RULE: The Commission is proposing rules which establish the Commission’s process for developing views to the Secretary of State on certain international mail matters. The proposed rules focus on those proposals concerning international mail that could affect a market dominant rate or classification. The Commission invites public comment on the proposed rules. Comments are due: August 27, 2015. (Information for submitting comments on this proposal was not included in the Federal Register. For further information, contact David A Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.)

PROPOSED RULE: The Department of State proposes to revise its regulations of November 3, 2004 and October 11, 2007 governing the availability to the public of information that is under the control of the Department. There have been several changes in the law and regulations governing disclosure of such information, including the OPEN Government Act of 2007 and the OPEN FOIA Act of 2009. This proposed rule reflects changes in the FOIA and other statutes and consequent changes in the Department’s procedures since the last revision of the Department’s regulations on this subject. The Department will consider comments from the public that are received within September 28, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference RIN 1400-AD44. Commenting page was not available at the time of this posting.)

PROPOSED RULE: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend the portion of the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD or rating schedule) that addresses dental and oral conditions. The purpose of these changes is to incorporate medical advances that have occurred since the last amendment, update current medical terminology, and provide clear evaluation criteria for application of this portion of the rating schedule. The proposed rule reflects advances in medical knowledge, recommendations from the Dental and Oral Conditions Work Group (Work Group), which is comprised of subject matter experts from both the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and comments from experts and the public gathered as part of a public forum. The public forum, focusing on revisions to the dental and oral conditions section of the VASRD, was held on January 25 – 26, 2011. Comments must be received by VA on or before September 28, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference RIN 2900-AP08. Commenting page was not available at the time of this posting.)

Federal Register Highlights – 7/27/15

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for July 27, 2015:

TEMPORARY RULE: The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone in the navigable waters of Mt. Hope Bay and the Taunton River in the vicinity of Fall River, MA, during the Fall River Grand Prix marine event from August 14–16, 2015. This safety zone is intended to safeguard mariners from the hazards associated with high-speed, high-performance motorboats competing in the event. Vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, mooring, or anchoring within this safety zone during periods of enforcement unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP), Southeastern New England or the COTP’s designated representative. This rule is effective from 9 a.m., Friday, August 14, 2015 to 5 p.m., Sunday, August 16, 2015.

RULE: We are revising Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012–11–09 for certain transport category airplanes. AD 2012–11–09 required either activating all chemical oxygen generators in the lavatories until the generator oxygen supply is expended, or removing the oxygen generator(s); and, for each chemical oxygen generator, after the generator is expended (or removed), removing or restowing the oxygen masks and closing the mask dispenser door. AD 2012–11–09 also required installing a supplemental oxygen system in affected lavatories, which terminated the requirements of AD 2012–11–09. This AD clarifies a certain restriction by providing a broader method of compliance. This AD was prompted by the discovery that the requirement to change the instructions for continued airworthiness under certain conditions may impose an unnecessary burden on operators. We are issuing this AD to eliminate a hazard that could jeopardize flight safety, and to ensure that all lavatories have a supplemental oxygen supply. This AD is effective July 27, 2015.

PROPOSED RULE: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is proposing to amend its regulation on Annual Financial and Actuarial Information Reporting to codify provisions of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and the Highway Transportation and Funding Act of 2014 and related guidance that affect reporting under ERISA section 4010. In addition, PBGC is proposing to limit the reporting waiver under the current regulation tied to aggregate plan underfunding of $15 million or less to smaller plans and to add reporting waivers for plans that must file solely on the basis of either a statutory lien resulting from missed contributions over $1 million or outstanding minimum funding waivers exceeding the same amount (provided the missed contributions or funding waivers were previously reported to PBGC). The proposed rule also makes some technical changes. Comments must be submitted on or before September 25, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference RIN 1212-AB30. Commenting page was not available at the time of this posting.)

PROPOSED RULE: We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE or OSM), are proposing to revise our regulations, based on, among other things, advances in science, to improve the balance between environmental protection and the Nation’s need for coal as a source of energy. This proposed rule would better protect streams, fish, wildlife, and related environmental values from the adverse impacts of surface coal mining operations and provide mine operators with a regulatory framework to avoid water pollution and the long-term costs associated with water treatment. We propose to revise our regulations to clearly define “material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area” and require that each permit specify the point at which adverse mining-related impacts on groundwater and surface water would reach that level of damage; collect adequate pre-mining data about the site of the proposed mining operation and adjacent areas to establish an adequate baseline for evaluation of the impacts of mining and the effectiveness of reclamation; adjust monitoring requirements to enable timely detection and correction of any adverse trends in the quality or quantity of surface water and groundwater or the biological condition of streams; ensure protection or restoration of perennial and intermittent streams and related resources; ensure that permittees and regulatory authorities make use of advances in science and technology; ensure that land disturbed by mining operations is restored to a condition capable of supporting the uses that it was capable of supporting before mining; and update and codify the requirements and procedures for protection of threatened or endangered species and designated critical habitat. The proposed changes would apply to both surface mines and the surface effects of underground mines. The majority of the proposed revisions update our regulations to incorporate or reflect the best available science and experience gained over the last 30 years. Approximately thirty percent of the proposed rule consists of editorial revisions and organizational changes intended to improve consistency, clarity, accuracy, and ease of use. We will accept electronic or written comments on the proposed rule, the draft environmental impact statement, and the draft regulatory impact analysis on or before September 25, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number OSM-2010-0018. Commenting page was not available at the time of this posting.)

PROPOSED RULE: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its medical regulations that govern reimbursement of emergency treatment provided by non-VA medical care providers. VA proposes to clarify its regulations insofar as it involves the reimbursement of medications prescribed or provided to the veteran during the episode of non-VA emergency treatment. Comments must be received by VA on or before September 25, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regualtions.gov, reference RIN 2900-AP34. Commenting page was not available at the time of this posting.)

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