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Federal Register Highlights – 11/6/15

November 6, 2015

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for November 6, 2015:

PROPOSED RULE: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing amendments to the standards of performance for stationary compression ignition (CI) internal combustion engines to allow manufacturers to design the engines so that operators can temporarily override performance inducements related to the emission control system for stationary CI internal combustion engines operating during emergency situations where the operation of the engine or equipment is needed to protect human life, and to require compliance with Tier 1 emission standards during such emergencies. The EPA is also proposing to amend the standards of performance for certain stationary CI internal combustion engines located in remote areas of Alaska. Comments must be received on or before December 21, 2015. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0866.)

PROPOSED RULE: On August 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered EPA to respond to an administrative Petition to revoke all tolerances for the insecticide chlorpyrifos by October 31, 2015, by either denying the Petition or issuing a proposed or final tolerance revocation. At this time, the agency is unable to conclude that the risk from aggregate exposure from the use of chlorpyrifos meets the safety standard of section 408(b)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Accordingly, EPA is proposing to revoke all tolerances for chlorpyrifos. EPA is specifically soliciting comment on whether there is an interest in retaining any individual tolerances, or group of tolerances, and whether information exists to demonstrate that such tolerance(s) meet(s) the FFDCA section 408(b) safety standard. EPA encourages interested parties to comment on the tolerance revocations proposed in this document and on the proposed time frame for tolerance revocation. Issues not raised during the comment period may not be raised as objections to the final rule, or in any other challenge to the final rule. Comments must be received on or before January 5, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0653.)

PROPOSED RULE: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) proposes to extend its foreign ownership rules and procedures that apply to common carrier licensees to broadcast licensees, with certain modifications to tailor them to the broadcast context. The Commission also seeks comment on whether and how to revise the methodology a licensee should use to assess its compliance with the 25 percent foreign ownership benchmark in section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, in order to reduce regulatory burdens on applicants and licensees. Finally, the Commission makes several proposals to clarify and update existing foreign ownership policies and procedures for broadcast, common carrier and aeronautical licensees. Submit comments on or before December 21, 2015, and replies on or before January 20, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference GN Docket No. 15-236.)

PROPOSED RULE: Pursuant to the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd- Frank Act) and its authority under section 7 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDI Act), the FDIC proposes to impose a surcharge on the quarterly assessments of insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $10 billion or more. The surcharges would begin the calendar quarter after the reserve ratio of the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF or fund) first reaches or exceeds 1.15 percent—the same time that lower regular deposit insurance assessment (regular assessment) rates take effect— and would continue through the quarter that the reserve ratio first reaches or exceeds 1.35 percent. The surcharge would equal an annual rate of 4.5 basis points applied to the institution’s assessment base (with certain adjustments). The FDIC expects that these surcharges will commence in 2016 and that they should be sufficient to raise the reserve ratio to 1.35 percent in approximately eight quarters, i.e., before the end of 2018. If, contrary to the FDIC’s expectations, the reserve ratio does not reach 1.35 percent by December 31, 2018 (provided it is at least 1.15 percent), the FDIC would impose a shortfall assessment on insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of $10 billion or more on March 31, 2019. Since the Dodd-Frank Act requires that the FDIC offset the effect of the increase in the reserve ratio from 1.15 percent to 1.35 percent on insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion, the FDIC would provide assessment credits to insured depository institutions with total consolidated assets of less than $10 billion for the portion of their regular assessments that contributed to growth in the reserve ratio between 1.15 percent and 1.35 percent. The FDIC would apply the credits each quarter that the reserve ratio is at least 1.40 percent to offset part of the assessments of each institution with credits. Comments must be received by the FDIC no later than January 5, 2016. (Submit written comments to comments@fdic.gov. Include RIN 3064-AE40 in the subject line.)

PROPOSED RULE: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL or Department) is issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the equal opportunity regulations that implement the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937. These regulations prohibit discrimination in registered apprenticeship on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex, and require that sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in such programs. The proposed rule would revise regulations to reflect changes made in October 2008 to Labor Standards for Registration of Apprenticeship Programs; update equal opportunity standards to include age (40 or older), genetic information, sexual orientation, and disability among the list of protected bases upon which a sponsor must not discriminate; strengthen the affirmative action provisions for sponsors by detailing mandatory actions a sponsor must take to satisfy its affirmative action obligations, and by requiring affirmative action for individuals with disabilities; and improve the overall readability of through restructuring and clarification of the text. In addition, the proposed rule would make technical, conforming amendments to current regulations. Comments must be submitted by January 5, 2016. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference RIN 1205-AB59.)

PROPOSED RULE: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend its regulations governing the VA Veteran- Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Program. VA seeks to find an appropriate balance between preventing fraud in the Veterans First Contracting Program and providing a process that would make it easier for more VOSBs to become verified. The Verification Program has been the subject of reports from both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and VA’s Office of Inspector General stating that despite VA’s Verification Program, fraud still exists in the Veterans First Contracting Program. Some stakeholder feedback has been that the current regulations at 38 CFR part 74 are too open to interpretation and are unnecessarily more rigorous than similar certification programs run by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This proposed rule would clarify the eligibility requirements for businesses to obtain “verified” status, add and revise definitions, reorder requirements, redefine the definition of “control”, and explain examination procedure and review processes. This proposed rule would additionally implement new changes—references to community property restrictions, “unconditional” ownership, day-to-day requirements, and full-time requirements would be removed or revised and limited in scope; an exception for majority, supermajority, unanimous, or other voting provisions for extraordinary business decisions would be added. Comments must be received by VA on or before January 5, 2016.

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