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Federal Register Highlights – 2/5/13

February 5, 2013

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for February 5, 2013:

PROPOSED RULE: This rule would increase the assessment rate established for the South Texas Onion Committee (Committee) for the 2012–13 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.025 to $0.03 per 50-pound equivalent of onions handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order which regulates the handling of onions grown in South Texas. Assessments upon onion handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. Comments must be received by February 15, 2013. (To submit comments, visit, reference docket number AMS–FV–12–0039.)

PROPOSED RULE: This proposed rule would amend the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on November 5, 2009, and December 2, 2011. One recommendation addressed in this proposed rule pertains to amending the annotations for two exemptions (uses) for peracetic acid in organic crop production. Additional NOSB recommendations addressed in this proposed rule pertain to changing the annotations for three substances, potassium hydroxide, silicon dioxide, and beta-carotene extract color, which are currently allowed for use in organic handling. This proposed rule would also address the NOSB recommendation to remove the allowance on the National List for the use of nonorganic annatto extract color in organic handling. Comments must be received by March 7, 2013. (To submit comments, visit, reference docket number AMS–NOP–12–0016.)

RULE: The U.S. Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone around vessels involved in Coast Guard training exercises in Hood Canal, WA. This is necessary to ensure the safety of the maritime public during these exercises, which involve fast moving surface vessels, smoke machines, pyrotechnics, and other elements which could create safety concerns for waterway users. This safety zone ensures the safety of the maritime public by prohibiting any person or vessel from entering or remaining in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) or a Designated Representative. This rule is effective March 7, 2013.

PROPOSED RULE: The Coast Guard proposes to add three new fireworks events and to correct the location of five existing events to ensure public safety during annual firework displays at various locations in the Captain of the Port (COTP), Puget Sound Area of Responsibility (AOR). When these safety zones are activated and subject to enforcement, this rule would limit the movement of vessels within the established firework display areas. These additions and corrections are necessary to prevent injury and to protect life and property of the maritime public from hazards associated with firework displays. Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before April 8, 2013. (To submit comments, visit, reference docket number USCG–2012–1001.)

PROPOSED RULE: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a source-specific federal implementation plan (FIP) requiring the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), located on the Navajo Nation, to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOX) under the Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) provision of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) in order to reduce visibility impairment resulting from NGS at 11 National Parks and Wilderness Areas. NGS, which was built over 35 years ago, is the largest coal-fired power plant in the West in terms of generating capacity. It is central to the economies of the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe and supplies power to the states of Arizona, Nevada, and California. Electricity produced by NGS is also used to power the Central Arizona Project, which supplies surface water to three counties and numerous Indian tribes in Arizona. NGS is projected to continue operating at least until 2044. EPA is proposing to require NGS to achieve a nearly 80 percent reduction of its current overall NOX emission rate. Our analysis indicates that installation of controls to achieve this reduction would result in significant visibility improvement that is well-balanced with the cost of those controls. For a number of reasons, including the importance of NGS to numerous Indian tribes located in Arizona and the federal government’s reliance on NGS to meet the requirements of water settlements with several tribes, EPA is proposing an alternative to BART that would provide flexibility to NGS in the schedule for the installation of new control equipment. We also describe other compliance schedules for consideration and comment. We recognize that there may be other approaches that could result in equivalent or better visibility benefits over time and that there may be changes in energy demand, supply or other developments over the next several decades that may change electricity generation on the Navajo Nation. EPA encourages a robust public discussion of our proposed BART determination and alternative, the additional alternatives described herein, and other possible approaches. EPA is prepared to issue a supplemental proposal if approaches other than the proposed BART determination or proposed alternative articulated in this notice are identified as satisfying the requirements of the Clean Air Act and meeting the needs of the stakeholders. EPA is committed to continuing to engage with stakeholders to develop a final FIP that maintains benefits to tribes and the regional economy while improving visibility in many of our nation’s most treasured National Parks and Wilderness Areas. Comments must be submitted no later than May 6, 2013. (To submit comments, visit, reference docket number EPA–R09–OAR–2013–0009.)

PROPOSED RULE: Data used for comparison with the lead (Pb) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), must be collected using either a Federal Reference Method (FRM) or a Federal Equivalent Method (FEM) as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The EPA is proposing to establish a new FRM for measuring Pb in total suspended particulate matter (TSP) collected from ambient air. The proposed method is intended for use by analytical laboratories performing the analysis of Pb in TSP to support data collection for the Pb NAAQS. The EPA is also proposing to make the existing FRM for Pb a new FEM, and retain currently designated FEMs. This proposed action avoids any disruption to existing Pb monitoring networks and data collection and would also not affect the FRM for TSP sample collection (High-Volume Method). Comments must be received on or before March 7, 2013. (To submit comments. visit, reference docket number EPA–HQ–OAR–2012–0210.)

PROPOSED RULE: In this document, the Commission seeks comment on whether to make permanent, revise or eliminate its interim rules that: prohibit all referrals for rewards programs (as described in the synopsis below) and any other form of direct or indirect inducements, financial or otherwise, to subscribe to or use, or encourage subscription to or use of, Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS); require each IP CTS provider, in order to be eligible for compensation from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund (Fund or TRS Fund) for providing service to new IP CTS users, to register each new IP CTS user, and as part of the registration process, to obtain from the user a certification that the user has a hearing loss that necessitates IP CTS to communicate in a manner that is functionally equivalent to communication by conventional voice telephone users; and require IP CTS providers to ensure that equipment and software used in conjunction with their service have a default setting of captions off at the beginning of each call. The Commission also seeks comment on the following additional matters: the likely reasons that IP CTS has been experiencing unprecedented and unusually rapid growth; whether to prohibit all provider programs that give away or loan equipment to potential or existing IP CTS users at no cost or below some specified cost level; whether to require each IP CTS provider, as a condition of continuing to offer service to existing IP CTS users, to obtain registration and certification information from each such user; and whether to adopt any requirements for IP CTS equipment to have labels informing consumers that IP CTS may be used only by persons with hearing disabilities. The proposed rules are intended to address certain practices related to the provision and marketing of IP CTS that appear to be contributing to a recent and dramatic spike in reimbursement requests to the TRS Fund of sufficient magnitude to constitute a serious threat to the Fund if not promptly and decisively addressed. Comments are due on or before February 26, 2013, and reply comments on or before March 12, 2013. (Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), through the Commission’s Web site Filers should follow the instructions provided on the Web site for submitting comments.)

PROPOSED RULE: This document contains proposed regulations relating to the tax treatment of noncompensatory options and convertible instruments issued by a partnership. Specifically, the proposed regulations expand the characterization rule measurement events to include certain transfers of interests in the issuing partnership and other look-through entities, and provide additional guidance in determining the character of the grantor’s gain or loss as a result of a closing transaction with respect to, or a lapse of, an option on a partnership interest. The proposed regulations will affect partnerships that issue noncompensatory options, the partners of such partnerships, and the holders of such options. Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by May 6, 2013. (To submit comments, visit, reference docket number IRS REG–106918–08.)



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