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Federal Register Highlights – 2/4/14

February 4, 2014

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for February 4, 2014:

PROPOSED RULE: The Coast Guard proposes to establish special local regulations during the ‘‘Oxford-Bellevue Sharkfest Swim’’, a marine event to be held on the waters of the Tred Avon River on May 10, 2014. These special local regulations are necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during the event. This action is intended to temporarily restrict vessel traffic in a portion of the Tred Avon River during the event. Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before March 6, 2014. The Coast Guard anticipates that this proposed rule will be effective on May 10, 2014. (To submit comments, visit, reference docket number USCG–2013–1059.)

PROPOSED RULE: Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture comprised of the Rural Housing Service (RHS), Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereafter referred to as the Agency, is proposing to unify and update environmental policies and procedures covering all Agency programs by consolidating two existing Agency regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable environmental requirements. These rules supplement the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), associated environmental statutes, Executive orders and Departmental Regulations. The majority of the proposed changes relate to the categorical exclusion provisions in the Agency’s procedures for implementing NEPA. These proposed changes are intended to better align the Agency’s regulations, particularly for those actions listed as categorical exclusions, to the Agency’s current activities and recent experiences and to the CEQ’s Memorandum for Heads of Federal Departments and Agencies entitled ‘‘Establishing, Applying, and Revising Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act’’ issued on November 23, 2010, and to consolidate the provisions of the Agency’s two current NEPA rules at 7 CFR parts 1794 and 1940, subpart G. Comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before April 7, 2014. Comments on the reporting and recordkeeping aspects of this rule in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 continue through April 7, 2014. (To submit comments, visit, reference RIN 0575–AC56.)

PROPOSED RULE: On March 25, 2011, the Board published a notice of proposed rulemaking (‘‘2011 proposal’’) intended to facilitate the banking industry’s ongoing transition to fully electronic interbank check collection and return. Based on its analysis of the comments received in response to the 2011 proposal, the Board is revising its proposed amendments to subparts C and D of Regulation CC and is requesting comment on a revised proposed rule that would, among other things, encourage depositary banks to receive and paying banks to send returned checks electronically. The Board is requesting comment on two alternative frameworks for return requirements. Under Alternative 1, the expeditious-return requirement currently imposed on paying banks and returning banks for returned checks would be eliminated; a paying bank returning a check would be required to provide the depositary bank with a notice of nonpayment of the check—regardless of the amount of the check being returned—only if the paying bank sends the returned check in paper form. Under Alternative 2, the current expeditious-return requirement—using the current two-day test—would be retained for checks being returned to a depositary bank electronically via another bank, but the notice-of- nonpayment requirement would be eliminated. The Board is proposing to retain, without change, the regulation’s current same-day settlement rule for paper checks. In addition, the Board is also requesting comment on applying Regulation CC’s existing check warranties to checks that are collected electronically and on new warranties and indemnities related to checks collected electronically and to electronically-created items. Comments must be submitted by May 2, 2014. (To submit comments, visit, reference RIN 7100–AD68.)

PROPOSED RULE: This proposed rule would establish minimum professional standards for school nutrition personnel who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The proposed rule would also institute hiring standards for the selection of State and local school nutrition program directors; and require all personnel in these programs to complete annual continuing education/training. These proposed changes respond to amendments made by section 306 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), which require USDA to establish professional standards for school nutrition personnel. The HHFKA also requires each State to provide at least annual training to local educational agency and school nutrition personnel. This proposed rule is expected to provide consistent, national standards for school nutrition professionals and staff. The principal benefit of this proposed rule is to ensure that key school nutrition personnel are meeting minimum professional standards in order to adequately perform the duties and responsibilities of their positions. To be assured of consideration, written comments on this proposed rule must be received by the Food and Nutrition Service on or before April 7, 2014. (To submit comments, visit, reference RIN 0584–AE19.)



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