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Federal Register Highlights – 12/23/13

December 23, 2013

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for December 23, 2013:

PROPOSED RULE: This proposal invites comments on adding the State of Arkansas as a primary peanut-producing State under the Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the National Peanut Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, primary peanut-producing States must maintain a 3-year average production of at least 10,000 tons of peanuts. Arkansas’s peanut production meets this requirement. Primary peanut-producing States also have a seat on the Board, and this proposal would also add a seat on the Board for the State of Arkansas. The Board recommended this action to ensure that the Board’s representation reflects changes in the geographical distribution of the production of peanuts. Comments must be received by January 22, 2014. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number AMS–FV–13–0042.)

PROPOSED RULE: We are proposing to amend the regulations governing the importation of certain animals, meat, and other animal products by allowing, under certain conditions, the importation of fresh (chilled or frozen) beef from a region in Brazil (the States of Bahia, Distrito Federal, Espirito Santo, Goias, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Rondonia, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, and Tocantins). Based on the evidence in a recent risk assessment, we have determined that fresh (chilled or frozen) beef can be safely imported from those Brazilian States provided certain conditions are met. This action would provide for the importation of beef from the designated region in Brazil into the United States while continuing to protect the United States against the introduction of foot-and-mouth disease. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before February 21, 2014. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number APHIS–2009–0017.)

TEMPORARY RULE: The Coast Guard will enforce the City of Mobile New Year’s Eve Celebration safety zone in the Mobile Channel, Mobile, AL from 11:30 p.m. December 31, 2013 until 12:30 a.m. January 1, 2014. This safety zone has been implemented in past years but the fireworks display will move to a new location in the Mobile Channel beginning with the December 31, 2013 display. This safety zone is necessary for the safeguard of participants and spectators, including all crews, vessels, and persons on navigable waters during the City of Mobile New Year’s Eve Celebration fireworks display. During the enforcement period, entry into, transiting or anchoring in the Safety Zone is prohibited to all vessels not registered with the sponsor as participants or official patrol vessels, unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Mobile or a designated representative. The safety zone is effective from 11:30 p.m. December 31, 2013 until 12:30 a.m. January 1, 2014.

PROPOSED RULE: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is proposing to amend the rules regarding use and administration of Marshall Ford Dam (Mansfield Dam and Lake Travis), Colorado River, Texas. In 1997, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) completed repayment of the federal government’s contribution for acquisition and construction costs related to Mansfield Dam. Subsequently, the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) relinquished all rights and obligations to the project. However, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the USBR are referenced as project stakeholders in the Flood Control Regulations. Amending the referenced regulations to update project ownership will eliminate the current discrepancy between the regulations and associated project documents. The Fort Worth District of the Corps and LCRA are finalizing a revised water control plan for Lake Travis. There is no intent to publish the updated water control plan in the Federal Register. Amending the regulations to indicate that the water control plan has been superseded would eliminate the need to amend the regulations each time the water control plan is modified. Comments must be received by January 22, 2014. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number COE–2013–0013.)

PROPOSED RULE: Each year, NMFS implements regulations that set the annual quota and management measures for the Pacific sardine fishing year. NMFS proposes to change the starting date of the annual Pacific sardine fishery from January 1 to July 1. This would change the fishing season from one based on the calendar year to one based on a July 1 through the following June 30th schedule. No other changes to the annual allocation structure are being made and the existing seasonal allocation percentages will remain as specified in the FMP; as would the current quota roll-over provisions. The purpose of this change is to better align the timing of the research and science that is used in the annual stock assessments with the annual management schedule. To enable this transition in fishing years, this action also would establish a one-time interim harvest period for the 6 months from January 1, 2014, through June 30, 2014. Comments must be received by January 22, 2014. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number NOAA–NMFS–2013–0167.)

PROPOSED RULE: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to change some conditions under which Federal employees may change an enrollment status under the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program. OPM is proposing these changes to expand the opportunities for FEDVIP enrollment changes and therefore better align FEDVIP with the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. Comments are due on or before February 21, 2014. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference RIN 3206–AM57.)

PROPOSED RULE: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is proposing to amend the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) regulations to provide an election opportunity for employees enrolled in FEGLI Option B and Option C. This new procedure replaces the procedure by which FEGLI enrollees elect the allowable multiples of coverage they wish to continue during retirement or while receiving compensation. Comments are due on or before February 21, 2014. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference RIN 3206–AM96.)

PROPOSED RULE: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) proposes to revise the regulations for the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program concerning investments in passive businesses. SBICs are generally prohibited from investing in passive businesses under the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, as amended, as well as under SBIC program regulations. Currently these program regulations provide for exceptions that allow an SBIC to structure an investment utilizing a passive small business as a pass-through under certain limited circumstances. One such exception provides that an SBIC may make an investment in a passive small business that passes through the investment proceeds to one or more subsidiaries, each of which must be a non-passive small business. The proposed rule would modify this exception to allow an SBIC to structure an investment utilizing two passive small businesses as pass-through entities. This modification would place SBICs on an equal footing with their non-SBIC counterparts in the venture capital and private equity sectors, in which investments structured with two passive levels, are not uncommon. This proposed rule also includes several technical corrections. Specifically, the proposed rule would update the regulations by replacing obsolete Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes with their equivalents under the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS); correct erroneous paragraph cross-references; and modernize the options for meeting the record preservation requirements by removing the reference to ‘‘microfilm.’’ Comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before January 22, 2014. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference RIN 3245–AG57.)

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