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Federal Register Highlights – 4/15/15

April 15, 2015

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for April 15, 2015:

PROPOSED RULE: This proposed rule would change the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program EHR reporting period in 2015 to a 90-day period aligned with the calendar year, and also would align the EHR reporting period in 2016 with the calendar year. In addition, this proposed rule would modify the patient action measures in the Stage 2 objectives related to patient engagement. Finally, it would streamline the program by removing reporting requirements on measures which have become redundant, duplicative, or topped out through advancements in EHR function and provider performance for Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. To be assured consideration, comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on June 15, 2015. (To submit comments, visit http://www.regulations.gov. Click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

TEMPORARY RULE: The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Sara M. Long Bridge, mile 2.5, across the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine. This deviation is necessary to facilitate bridge construction. This deviation allows the secondary draw at the Sara M. Long Bridge to remain closed to marine traffic during construction. This  deviation is effective from May 15, 2015 through October 31, 2015.

TEMPORARY RULE: The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone on the navigable waters of the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River in support of the Old Dominion University (ODU) versus University of Virginia (UVA) Baseball Game fireworks event. This safety zone will restrict vessel movement in the specified area during the fireworks display. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life and property on the surrounding navigable waters during the fireworks display. This rule is effective and enforced from 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on April 28, 2015.

PROPOSED RULE: The Department of Labor (Department) is proposing to amend its regulations governing certification of the employment of nonimmigrant workers in temporary or seasonal agricultural employment under the H–2A program to codify certain procedures for employers seeking to hire foreign temporary agricultural workers for job opportunities in sheepherding, goat herding and production of livestock on the open range. Such procedures must be consistent with the Secretary’s statutory responsibility to ensure that there are no able, willing, qualified and available U.S. workers to perform these jobs, and that the employment of foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working  conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed. Before the current rulemaking, variances from the general H–2A regulatory requirements were established and revised for these occupations through sub-regulatory guidance, i.e. “special procedures,” that were issued in the form of separate Field Memoranda or Training and Employment Guidance Letters. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently ruled that the existing special procedures for sheepherding, goat herding and open range production of livestock are not interpretive rules but rather include substantive departures from established regulatory requirements necessitating notice and comment rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act. This proposed rule provides the public with the notice and opportunity to comment on proposed procedures to be followed in the filing and processing of applications involving herding and production of livestock on the open range. Among the issues addressed are the qualifying criteria for employing  foreign workers in the applicable job opportunities, preparing job orders, program obligations of  employers, filing of H–2A applications requesting temporary labor certification, recruiting U.S. workers, determining the minimum offered wage rate, and the minimum standards for mobile housing on the open range. The Department’s goal is to establish a single set of regulations enabling employers seeking to hire foreign temporary agricultural workers for both herding and production of livestock on the open range to comply with their obligations under the H–2A program given the unique characteristics of these job opportunities in their industry. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed rule on or before May 15, 2015. (To submit comments, visit http://www.regulations.gov. Click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

PROPOSED RULE: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to add 1-bromopropane to the list of toxic chemicals subject to  reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) of 1990. 1-Bromopropane has been classified by the National Toxicology Program in their 13th Report on Carcinogens as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” EPA believes that 1-bromopropane meets the EPCRA section 313(d)(2)(B) criteria because it can reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer in humans. Based on a review of the available production and use information, 1-bromopropane is expected to be manufactured, processed, or otherwise used in quantities that would exceed the EPCRA section 313 reporting thresholds. Comments must be received on or before June 15, 2015. (To submit comments, visit http://www.regulations.gov. Click here to be taken directly to the commenting page.)

PROPOSED RULE: The Commission has before it a petition for rulemaking filed by TDS Broadcasting LLC (‘‘TDS’’), the licensee of KOHD, channel 51, Bend, Oregon, requesting the substitution of channel 18 for channel 51 at Bend. While the Commission instituted a freeze on the acceptance of full power television rulemaking petitions requesting channel substitutions in May 2011, it subsequently announced that it would lift the freeze to accept such petitions for rulemaking seeking to relocate from channel 51 pursuant to a voluntary relocation agreement with Lower 700 MHz A Block licensees. TDS has entered into such a voluntary relocation agreement with T-Mobile USA, Inc. and states that operation on channel 18 would remove any potential interference with authorized wireless operations in the adjacent Lower 700 MHZ A Block. Comments must be filed on or before April 30, 2015. (Submit comments in writing to: Federal Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. In addition to filing comments with the FCC, interested parties should serve counsel for petitioner as follows: F. William LeBeau, Esq., Holland & Knight LLP, 800 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20006.)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Click here to see today’s updated CFR document: Title 10 (Volume 2).

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