[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 5 (Tuesday, January 8, 2013)]
[Unknown Section]
[Pages 1317-1519]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-31480]



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Vol. 78

Tuesday,

No. 5

January 8, 2013

Part II





Regulatory Information Service Center





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Introduction to the Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Federal 
Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 5 / Tuesday, January 8, 2013 / The 
Regulatory Plan

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REGULATORY INFORMATION SERVICE CENTER


Introduction to the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and 
Deregulatory Actions

AGENCY: Regulatory Information Service Center.

ACTION: Introduction to the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and 
Deregulatory Actions.

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SUMMARY: The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that agencies publish 
semiannual regulatory agendas in the Federal Register describing 
regulatory actions they are developing that may have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (5 U.S.C. 
602). Executive Order 12866 ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' signed 
September 30, 1993 (58 FR 51735), and Office of Management and Budget 
memoranda implementing section 4 of that Order establish minimum 
standards for agencies' agendas, including specific types of 
information for each entry.
    The Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions 
(Unified Agenda) helps agencies fulfill these requirements. All Federal 
regulatory agencies have chosen to publish their regulatory agendas as 
part of the Unified Agenda.
    Editions of the Unified Agenda prior to fall 2007 were printed in 
their entirety in the Federal Register. Beginning with the fall 2007 
edition, the Internet became the basic means for conveying regulatory 
agenda information to the maximum extent legally permissible. The 
complete 2012 Unified Agenda, which contains the regulatory agendas for 
60 Federal agencies, is available to the public at http://reginfo.gov.
    The 2012 Unified Agenda publication appearing in the Federal 
Register consists of agency regulatory flexibility agendas, in 
accordance with the publication requirements of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. Agency regulatory flexibility agendas contain only 
those Agenda entries for rules that are likely to have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and entries 
that have been selected for periodic review under section 610 of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act.

ADDRESSES: Regulatory Information Service Center (MVC), General 
Services Administration, One Constitution Square, 1275 First Street 
NE., 630, Washington, DC 20417.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about specific 
regulatory actions, please refer to the agency contact listed for each 
entry.
    To provide comment on or to obtain further information about this 
publication, contact: John C. Thomas, Executive Director, Regulatory 
Information Service Center (MVC), General Services Administration, One 
Constitution Square, 1275 First Street NE., 630, Washington, DC 20417, 
(202) 482-7340. You may also send comments to us by email at: 
RISC@gsa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction To The Unified Agenda Of Federal Regulatory And 
Deregulatory Actions

I. What Is the Unified Agenda?

    The Unified Agenda provides information about regulations that the 
Government is considering or reviewing. The Unified Agenda has appeared 
in the Federal Register each year since 1983 and has been available 
online since 1995. To further the objective of using modern technology 
to deliver better service to the American people for lower cost, 
beginning with the fall 2007 edition, the Internet became the basic 
means for conveying regulatory agenda information to the maximum extent 
legally permissible. The complete Unified Agenda is available to the 
public at http://reginfo.gov. The online Unified Agenda offers flexible 
search tools and access to the historic Unified Agenda database to 
1995.
    The 2012 Unified Agenda publication appearing in the Federal 
Register consists of agency regulatory flexibility agendas, in 
accordance with the publication requirements of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. Agency regulatory flexibility agendas contain only 
those Agenda entries for rules that are likely to have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and entries 
that have been selected for periodic review under section 610 of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act. Printed entries display only the fields 
required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Complete agenda information 
for those entries appears, in a uniform format, in the online Unified 
Agenda at http://reginfo.gov.
    These publication formats meet the publication mandates of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 12866, as well as move 
the Agenda process toward the goal of online availability, at a 
substantially reduced printing cost. The current online format does not 
reduce the amount of information available to the public. The complete 
online edition of the Unified Agenda includes regulatory agendas from 
60 Federal agencies. Agencies of the United States Congress are not 
included.
    The following agencies have no entries identified for inclusion in 
the printed regulatory flexibility agenda. An asterisk (*) indicates 
agencies that appear in The Regulatory Plan. The regulatory agendas of 
these agencies are available to the public at http://reginfo.gov.

Department of Housing and Urban Development *
Department of Justice *
Department of State
Department of Veterans Affairs *
Agency for International Development
Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely 
Disabled
Corporation for National and Community Service
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of 
Columbia
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission *
Export-Import Bank of the United States
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Institute of Museum and Library Services
National Archives and Records Administration *
National Endowment for the Humanities
National Science Foundation
Office of Government Ethics
Office of Management and Budget
Office of Personnel Management *
Peace Corps
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation *
Railroad Retirement Board
Social Security Administration *
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Consumer Product Safety Commission *
Farm Credit Administration
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Federal Housing Finance Agency
Federal Maritime Commission
Federal Trade Commission *
National Credit Union Administration
National Indian Gaming Commission *
National Labor Relations Board
Postal Regulatory Commission
Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
Surface Transportation Board

    The Regulatory Information Service Center compiles the Unified 
Agenda for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), 
part of the Office of Management and Budget. OIRA is responsible for 
overseeing the Federal Government's regulatory, paperwork, and 
information resource management activities, including implementation of 
Executive Order 12866. The Center also provides information about 
Federal regulatory activity to the President and his Executive Office, 
the Congress, agency officials, and the public.
    The activities included in the Agenda are, in general, those that 
will have a regulatory action within the next 12

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months. Agencies may choose to include activities that will have a 
longer timeframe than 12 months. Agency agendas also show actions or 
reviews completed or withdrawn since the last Unified Agenda. Executive 
Order 12866 does not require agencies to include regulations concerning 
military or foreign affairs functions or regulations related to agency 
organization, management, or personnel matters.
    Agencies prepared entries for this publication to give the public 
notice of their plans to review, propose, and issue regulations. They 
have tried to predict their activities over the next 12 months as 
accurately as possible, but dates and schedules are subject to change. 
Agencies may withdraw some of the regulations now under development, 
and they may issue or propose other regulations not included in their 
agendas. Agency actions in the rulemaking process may occur before or 
after the dates they have listed. The Unified Agenda does not create a 
legal obligation on agencies to adhere to schedules in this publication 
or to confine their regulatory activities to those regulations that 
appear within it.

II. Why is the Unified Agenda published?

    The Unified Agenda helps agencies comply with their obligations 
under the Regulatory Flexibility Act and various Executive orders and 
other statutes.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to identify those 
rules that may have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities (5 U.S.C. 602). Agencies meet that requirement 
by including the information in their submissions for the Unified 
Agenda. Agencies may also indicate those regulations that they are 
reviewing as part of their periodic review of existing rules under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 610). Executive Order 13272 
entitled ``Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency 
Rulemaking,'' signed August 13, 2002 (67 FR 53461), provides additional 
guidance on compliance with the Act.

Executive Order 12866

    Executive Order 12866 entitled ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' 
signed September 30, 1993 (58 FR 51735), requires covered agencies to 
prepare an agenda of all regulations under development or review. The 
Order also requires that certain agencies prepare annually a regulatory 
plan of their ``most important significant regulatory actions,'' which 
appears as part of the fall Unified Agenda. Executive Order 13497, 
signed January 30, 2009 (74 FR 6113), revoked the amendments to 
Executive Order 12866 that were contained in Executive Order 13258 and 
Executive Order 13422.

Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132 entitled ``Federalism,'' signed August 4, 
1999 (64 FR 43255), directs agencies to have an accountable process to 
ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the 
development of regulatory policies that have ``federalism 
implications'' as defined in the Order. Under the Order, an agency that 
is proposing a regulation with federalism implications, which either 
preempt State law or impose nonstatutory unfunded substantial direct 
compliance costs on State and local governments, must consult with 
State and local officials early in the process of developing the 
regulation. In addition, the agency must provide to the Director of the 
Office of Management and Budget a federalism summary impact statement 
for such a regulation, which consists of a description of the extent of 
the agency's prior consultation with State and local officials, a 
summary of their concerns and the agency's position supporting the need 
to issue the regulation, and a statement of the extent to which those 
concerns have been met. As part of this effort, agencies include in 
their submissions for the Unified Agenda information on whether their 
regulatory actions may have an effect on the various levels of 
government and whether those actions have federalism implications.

Executive Order 13563

    Executive Order 13563 entitled ``Improving Regulation and 
Regulatory Review,'' signed January 18, 2011, supplements and reaffirms 
the principles, structures, and definitions governing contemporary 
regulatory review that were established in Executive Order 12866, which 
includes the general principles of regulation and public participation, 
and orders integration and innovation in coordination across agencies; 
flexible approaches where relevant, feasible, and consistent with 
regulatory approaches; scientific integrity in any scientific or 
technological information and processes used to support the agencies' 
regulatory actions; and retrospective analysis of existing regulations.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, title II) 
requires agencies to prepare written assessments of the costs and 
benefits of significant regulatory actions ``that may result in the 
expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, 
or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more * * * in any 1 year * 
* *'' The requirement does not apply to independent regulatory 
agencies, nor does it apply to certain subject areas excluded by 
section 4 of the Act. Affected agencies identify in the Unified Agenda 
those regulatory actions they believe are subject to title II of the 
Act.

Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 entitled ``Actions Concerning Regulations 
That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,'' signed 
May 18, 2001 (66 FR 28355), directs agencies to provide, to the extent 
possible, information regarding the adverse effects that agency actions 
may have on the supply, distribution, and use of energy. Under the 
Order, the agency must prepare and submit a Statement of Energy Effects 
to the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, for ``those matters 
identified as significant energy actions.'' As part of this effort, 
agencies may optionally include in their submissions for the Unified 
Agenda information on whether they have prepared or plan to prepare a 
Statement of Energy Effects for their regulatory actions.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (Pub. L. 
104-121, title II) established a procedure for congressional review of 
rules (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), which defers, unless exempted, the 
effective date of a ``major'' rule for at least 60 days from the 
publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. The Act 
specifies that a rule is ``major'' if it has resulted, or is likely to 
result, in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or 
meets other criteria specified in that Act. The Act provides that the 
Administrator of OIRA will make the final determination as to whether a 
rule is major.

III. How is the Unified Agenda organized?

    Agency regulatory flexibility agendas are printed in a single daily 
edition of the Federal Register. A regulatory flexibility agenda is 
printed for each agency whose agenda includes entries for rules which 
are likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities or rules that have been selected for

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periodic review under section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. 
Each printed agenda appears as a separate part. The parts are organized 
alphabetically in four groups: Cabinet departments; other executive 
agencies; the Federal Acquisition Regulation, a joint authority; and 
independent regulatory agencies. Agencies may in turn be divided into 
sub-agencies. Each agency's part of the Agenda contains a preamble 
providing information specific to that agency. Each printed agency 
agenda has a table of contents listing the agency's printed entries 
that follow.
    The online, complete Unified Agenda contains the preambles of all 
participating agencies. Unlike the printed edition, the online Agenda 
has no fixed ordering. In the online Agenda, users can select the 
particular agencies whose agendas they want to see. Users have broad 
flexibility to specify the characteristics of the entries of interest 
to them by choosing the desired responses to individual data fields. To 
see a listing of all of an agency's entries, a user can select the 
agency without specifying any particular characteristics of entries.
    Each entry in the Agenda is associated with one of five rulemaking 
stages. The rulemaking stages are:
    1. Prerule Stage--actions agencies will undertake to determine 
whether or how to initiate rulemaking. Such actions occur prior to a 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and may include Advance Notices of 
Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRMs) and reviews of existing regulations.
    2. Proposed Rule Stage--actions for which agencies plan to publish 
a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as the next step in their rulemaking 
process or for which the closing date of the NPRM Comment Period is the 
next step.
    3. Final Rule Stage--actions for which agencies plan to publish a 
final rule or an interim final rule or to take other final action as 
the next step.
    4. Long-Term Actions--items under development but for which the 
agency does not expect to have a regulatory action within the 12 months 
after publication of this edition of the Unified Agenda. Some of the 
entries in this section may contain abbreviated information.
    5. Completed Actions--actions or reviews the agency has completed 
or withdrawn since publishing its last agenda. This section also 
includes items the agency began and completed between issues of the 
Agenda.
    Long-Term Actions are rulemakings reported during the publication 
cycle that are outside of the required 12-month reporting period for 
which the Agenda was intended. Completed Actions in the publication 
cycle are rulemakings that are ending their lifecycle either by 
Withdrawal or completion of the rulemaking process. Therefore, the 
Long-Term and Completed RINs do not represent the ongoing, forward-
looking nature intended for reporting developing rulemakings in the 
Agenda pursuant to Executive Order 12866, section 4(b) and 4(c). To 
further differentiate these two stages of rulemaking in the Unified 
Agenda from active rulemakings, Long-Term and Completed Actions are 
reported separately from active rulemakings, which can be any of the 
first three stages of rulemaking listed above. A separate search 
function is provided on http://reginfo.gov to search for Completed and 
Long-Term Actions apart from each other and active RINs.
    A bullet () preceding the title of an entry indicates that 
the entry is appearing in the Unified Agenda for the first time.
    In the printed edition, all entries are numbered sequentially from 
the beginning to the end of the publication. The sequence number 
preceding the title of each entry identifies the location of the entry 
in this edition. The sequence number is used as the reference in the 
printed table of contents. Sequence numbers are not used in the online 
Unified Agenda because the unique Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) is 
able to provide this cross-reference capability.
    Editions of the Unified Agenda prior to fall 2007 contained several 
indexes, which identified entries with various characteristics. These 
included regulatory actions for which agencies believe that the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act may require a Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis, actions selected for periodic review under section 610(c) of 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and actions that may have federalism 
implications as defined in Executive Order 13132 or other effects on 
levels of government. These indexes are no longer compiled, because 
users of the online Unified Agenda have the flexibility to search for 
entries with any combination of desired characteristics. The online 
edition retains the Unified Agenda's subject index based on the Federal 
Register Thesaurus of Indexing Terms. In addition, online users have 
the option of searching Agenda text fields for words or phrases.

IV. What information appears for each entry?

    All entries in the online Unified Agenda contain uniform data 
elements including, at a minimum, the following information:
    Title of the Regulation--a brief description of the subject of the 
regulation. In the printed edition, the notation ``Section 610 Review'' 
following the title indicates that the agency has selected the rule for 
its periodic review of existing rules under the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 610(c)). Some agencies have indicated completions of 
section 610 reviews or rulemaking actions resulting from completed 
section 610 reviews. In the online edition, these notations appear in a 
separate field.
    Priority--an indication of the significance of the regulation. 
Agencies assign each entry to one of the following five categories of 
significance.

(1) Economically Significant

    As defined in Executive Order 12866, a rulemaking action that will 
have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or will 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities. The definition of an ``economically significant'' rule is 
similar but not identical to the definition of a ``major'' rule under 5 
U.S.C. 801 (Pub. L. 104-121). (See below.)

(2) Other Significant

    A rulemaking that is not Economically Significant but is considered 
Significant by the agency. This category includes rules that the agency 
anticipates will be reviewed under Executive Order 12866 or rules that 
are a priority of the agency head. These rules may or may not be 
included in the agency's regulatory plan.

(3) Substantive, Nonsignificant

    A rulemaking that has substantive impacts but is neither 
Significant, nor Routine and Frequent, nor Informational/
Administrative/Other.

(4) Routine and Frequent

    A rulemaking that is a specific case of a multiple recurring 
application of a regulatory program in the Code of Federal Regulations 
and that does not alter the body of the regulation.

(5) Informational/Administrative/Other

    A rulemaking that is primarily informational or pertains to agency 
matters not central to accomplishing the agency's regulatory mandate 
but that the agency places in the Unified Agenda to inform the public 
of the activity.

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    Major--whether the rule is ``major'' under 5 U.S.C. 801 (Pub. L. 
104-121) because it has resulted or is likely to result in an annual 
effect on the economy of $100 million or more or meets other criteria 
specified in that Act. The Act provides that the Administrator of the 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will make the final 
determination as to whether a rule is major.
    Unfunded Mandates--whether the rule is covered by section 202 of 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4). The Act 
requires that, before issuing an NPRM likely to result in a mandate 
that may result in expenditures by State, local, and tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of more than 
$100 million in 1 year, agencies, other than independent regulatory 
agencies, shall prepare a written statement containing an assessment of 
the anticipated costs and benefits of the Federal mandate.
    Legal Authority--the section(s) of the United States Code (U.S.C.) 
or Public Law (Pub. L.) or the Executive order (E.O.) that authorize(s) 
the regulatory action. Agencies may provide popular name references to 
laws in addition to these citations.
    CFR Citation--the section(s) of the Code of Federal Regulations 
that will be affected by the action.
    Legal Deadline--whether the action is subject to a statutory or 
judicial deadline, the date of that deadline, and whether the deadline 
pertains to an NPRM, a Final Action, or some other action.
    Abstract--a brief description of the problem the regulation will 
address; the need for a Federal solution; to the extent available, 
alternatives that the agency is considering to address the problem; and 
potential costs and benefits of the action.
    Timetable--the dates and citations (if available) for all past 
steps and a projected date for at least the next step for the 
regulatory action. A date displayed in the form 12/00/12 means the 
agency is predicting the month and year the action will take place but 
not the day it will occur. In some instances, agencies may indicate 
what the next action will be, but the date of that action is ``To Be 
Determined.'' ``Next Action Undetermined'' indicates the agency does 
not know what action it will take next.
    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required--whether an analysis is 
required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 
because the rulemaking action is likely to have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined by the Act.
    Small Entities Affected--the types of small entities (businesses, 
governmental jurisdictions, or organizations) on which the rulemaking 
action is likely to have an impact as defined by the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. Some agencies have chosen to indicate likely effects 
on small entities even though they believe that a Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis will not be required.
    Government Levels Affected--whether the action is expected to 
affect levels of government and, if so, whether the governments are 
State, local, tribal, or Federal.
    International Impacts--whether the regulation is expected to have 
international trade and investment effects, or otherwise may be of 
interest to the Nation's international trading partners.
    Federalism--whether the action has ``federalism implications'' as 
defined in Executive Order 13132. This term refers to actions ``that 
have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship 
between the national government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.'' 
Independent regulatory agencies are not required to supply this 
information.
    Included in the Regulatory Plan--whether the rulemaking was 
included in the agency's current regulatory plan published in fall 
2011.
    Agency Contact--the name and phone number of at least one person in 
the agency who is knowledgeable about the rulemaking action. The agency 
may also provide the title, address, fax number, email address, and TDD 
for each agency contact.
    Some agencies have provided the following optional information:
    RIN Information URL--the Internet address of a site that provides 
more information about the entry.
    Public Comment URL--the Internet address of a site that will accept 
public comments on the entry. Alternatively, timely public comments may 
be submitted at the Governmentwide e-rulemaking site, http://www.regulations.gov.
    Additional Information--any information an agency wishes to include 
that does not have a specific corresponding data element.
    Compliance Cost to the Public--the estimated gross compliance cost 
of the action.
    Affected Sectors--the industrial sectors that the action may most 
affect, either directly or indirectly. Affected sectors are identified 
by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes.
    Energy Effects--an indication of whether the agency has prepared or 
plans to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for the action, as 
required by Executive Order 13211 ``Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,'' signed May 
18, 2001 (66 FR 28355).
    Related RINs--one or more past or current RIN(s) associated with 
activity related to this action, such as merged RINs, split RINs, new 
activity for previously completed RINs, or duplicate RINs.
    Some agencies that participated in the 2012 edition of The 
Regulatory Plan have chosen to include the following information for 
those entries that appeared in the Plan:
    Statement of Need--a description of the need for the regulatory 
action.
    Summary of the Legal Basis--a description of the legal basis for 
the action, including whether any aspect of the action is required by 
statute or court order.
    Alternatives--a description of the alternatives the agency has 
considered or will consider as required by section 4(c)(1)(B) of 
Executive Order 12866.
    Anticipated Costs and Benefits--a description of preliminary 
estimates of the anticipated costs and benefits of the action.
    Risks--a description of the magnitude of the risk the action 
addresses, the amount by which the agency expects the action to reduce 
this risk, and the relation of the risk and this risk reduction effort 
to other risks and risk reduction efforts within the agency's 
jurisdiction.

V. Abbreviations

    The following abbreviations appear throughout this publication:
    ANPRM--An Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is a preliminary 
notice, published in the Federal Register, announcing that an agency is 
considering a regulatory action. An agency may issue an ANPRM before it 
develops a detailed proposed rule. An ANPRM describes the general area 
that may be subject to regulation and usually asks for public comment 
on the issues and options being discussed. An ANPRM is issued only when 
an agency believes it needs to gather more information before 
proceeding to a notice of proposed rulemaking.
    CFR--The Code of Federal Regulations is an annual codification of 
the general and permanent regulations published in the Federal Register 
by the agencies of the Federal Government.

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The Code is divided into 50 titles, each title covering a broad area 
subject to Federal regulation. The CFR is keyed to and kept up to date 
by the daily issues of the Federal Register.
    EO--An Executive order is a directive from the President to 
Executive agencies, issued under constitutional or statutory authority. 
Executive orders are published in the Federal Register and in title 3 
of the Code of Federal Regulations.
    FR--The Federal Register is a daily Federal Government publication 
that provides a uniform system for publishing Presidential documents, 
all proposed and final regulations, notices of meetings, and other 
official documents issued by Federal agencies.
    FY--The Federal fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.
    NPRM--A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is the document an agency 
issues and publishes in the Federal Register that describes and 
solicits public comments on a proposed regulatory action. Under the 
Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553), an NPRM must include, at a 
minimum:
     A statement of the time, place, and nature of the public 
rulemaking proceeding;
     A reference to the legal authority under which the rule is 
proposed; and
     Either the terms or substance of the proposed rule or a 
description of the subjects and issues involved.
    Pulic Law (or Pub. L.)--A public law is a law passed by Congress 
and signed by the President or enacted over his veto. It has general 
applicability, unlike a private law that applies only to those persons 
or entities specifically designated. Public laws are numbered in 
sequence throughout the 2-year life of each Congress; for example, Pub. 
L. 112-4 is the fourth public law of the 112th Congress.
    RFA--A Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is a description and 
analysis of the impact of a rule on small entities, including small 
businesses, small governmental jurisdictions, and certain small not-
for-profit organizations. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 
et seq.) requires each agency to prepare an initial RFA for public 
comment when it is required to publish an NPRM and to make available a 
final RFA when the final rule is published, unless the agency head 
certifies that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities.
    RIN--The Regulation Identifier Number is assigned by the Regulatory 
Information Service Center to identify each regulatory action listed in 
the Unified Agenda, as directed by Executive Order 12866 (section 
4(b)). Additionally, OMB has asked agencies to include RINs in the 
headings of their Rule and Proposed Rule documents when publishing them 
in the Federal Register, to make it easier for the public and agency 
officials to track the publication history of regulatory actions 
throughout their development.
    Seq. No.--The sequence number identifies the location of an entry 
in the printed edition of the Unified Agenda. Note that a specific 
regulatory action will have the same RIN throughout its development but 
will generally have different sequence numbers if it appears in 
different printed editions of the Unified Agenda. Sequence numbers are 
not used in the online Unified Agenda
    U.S.C.--The United States Code is a consolidation and codification 
of all general and permanent laws of the United States. The U.S.C. is 
divided into 50 titles, each title covering a broad area of Federal 
law.

VI. How can users get copies of the Agenda?

    Copies of the Federal Register issue containing the printed edition 
of the Unified Agenda (agency regulatory flexibility agendas) are 
available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government 
Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. Telephone: 
(202) 512-1800 or 1-866-512-1800 (toll-free).
    Copies of individual agency materials may be available directly 
from the agency or may be found on the agency's Web site. Please 
contact the particular agency for further information.
    All editions of The Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions since fall 1995 are 
available in electronic form at http://reginfo.gov, along with flexible 
search tools.
    In accordance with regulations for the Federal Register, the 
Government Printing Office's GPO FDsys Web site contains copies of the 
Agendas and Regulatory Plans that have been printed in the Federal 
Register. These documents are available at http://www.fdsys.gov.

    Dated: December 21, 2012.
 John C. Thomas,
Executive Director.

Introduction to the 2012 Regulatory Plan

    Executive Order 12866, issued in 1993, requires the production of a 
Unified Regulatory Agenda and Regulatory Plan. Executive Order 13563, 
issued in 2011, reaffirmed the requirements of Executive Order 12866.
    Consistent with Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, we are providing 
the Unified Regulatory Agenda and the Regulatory Plan for public 
review. The Agenda and Plan are a preliminary statement of regulatory 
and deregulatory policies and priorities under consideration. The 
Agenda and Plan may include rules that are not issued in the following 
year and some that might never be issued. Indeed, at this point, 
executive agencies have finalized only 43 out of the 132 economically 
significant active rulemakings listed in the Fall 2011 agenda. 
Continuing last year's practice, OMB took several steps to clarify the 
purposes and uses of the Agenda and Plan, including focusing the list 
of ``active rulemakings'' on rules that have at least some possibility 
of issuance over the next year. OMB also worked with agencies to make 
it easier to understand which rules are truly active rulemakings rather 
than long-term actions or completed actions.
    We emphasize that rules listed on the agenda, designed among other 
things ``to involve the public and its State, local, and tribal 
officials in regulatory planning,'' must still undergo significant 
internal and external scrutiny before they are issued. No regulatory 
action can be made effective until it has gone through legally required 
processes, which generally include public review and comment. Any 
proposed or final action must also satisfy the requirements of relevant 
statutes, Executive Orders, and Presidential Memoranda. Those 
requirements, public comments, and new information may or may not lead 
an agency to go forward with an action that is currently under 
contemplation and that is included here. For example, the directives of 
Executive Order 13563, emphasizing the importance of careful 
consideration of costs and benefits, may lead an agency to decline to 
proceed with a previously contemplated regulatory action.
    Whether a regulation is listed on the Agenda as ``economically 
significant'' within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 (generally, 
having an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more) is not 
an adequate measure of whether it imposes high costs on the private 
sector. Economically significant actions may impose small costs or even 
no costs. For example, regulations may count as economically 
significant not because they impose significant costs, but because they 
confer large benefits or remove significant burdens. Moreover, many 
regulations count as economically significant not because they impose 
significant regulatory costs on the private sector, but because they 
involve

[[Page 1323]]

transfer payments as required or authorized by law. As an example, the 
Department of Health and Human Services issues regulations on an annual 
basis, pursuant to statute, to govern how Medicare payments are 
increased each year. These regulations effectively authorize transfers 
of billions of dollars to hospitals and other health care providers 
each year.
    The number of economically significant actions from Executive 
agencies listed as ''active rulemakings''--128--is lower than the 
corresponding figure for the last two editions of the Agenda, which 
contained 132 and 145 such rules, respectively. It is notable that the 
number of such rules has not grown even taking account of rules 
implementing the Affordable Care Act (Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152) 
and the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Public Law 111-
203). Moreover, it is worth noting that a number of the rulemakings 
stay on the agenda from year to year; compared to the last Agenda, for 
example, this agenda adds only 12 new active economically significant 
non-recurring rules from Executive Agencies.\1\ Also, the estimated net 
benefits of regulation have been remarkably high in this 
Administration; in total, net benefits over the first three fiscal 
years of this Administration were $91 billion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Out of the last Agenda's 132 economically significant active 
rulemakings from Executive Agencies, agencies finalized 24 non-
recurring rules as well as 19 rules that recur annually (and so 
appear in both the last Agenda and the current Agenda). Eight 
economically significant rules listed as long-term rulemakings in 
the last Agenda became active rulemakings in this Agenda, and 12 new 
active non-recurring rules were added to this Agenda--for a total of 
128 economically significant active rulemakings from Executive 
Agencies in this Agenda.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With these notes and qualifications, the Regulatory Plan provides a 
list of important regulatory actions that are now under contemplation 
for issuance in proposed or final form during the upcoming fiscal year. 
In contrast, the Unified Agenda is a more inclusive list, including 
numerous ministerial actions and routine rulemakings, as well as long-
term initiatives that agencies do not plan to complete in the coming 
year.
    OMB hopes that the public examination of the Regulatory Plan and 
the Unified Agenda will help ensure, in the words of Executive Order 
13563, a regulatory system that protects ``public health, welfare, 
safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, 
innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.''
    Executive Order 13563 explicitly points to the need for 
predictability and for certainty, as well as for use of the least 
burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. It indicates that 
agencies ``must take into account benefits and costs, both quantitative 
and qualitative.'' It explicitly draws attention to the need to measure 
and to improve ``the actual results of regulatory requirements''--a 
clear reference to the importance of retrospective evaluation.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles, structures, and 
definitions in Executive Order 12866, which has long governed 
regulatory review. In addition, it endorses, and quotes, a number of 
provisions of Executive Order 12866 that specifically emphasize the 
importance of considering costs--including the requirement that to the 
extent permitted by law, agencies should not proceed in the absence of 
a reasoned determination that the benefits justify the costs. 
Importantly, Executive Order 13563 directs agencies ``to use the best 
available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future 
benefits and costs as accurately as possible.'' This direction reflects 
a strong emphasis on quantitative analysis as a means of improving 
regulatory choices and increasing transparency.
    Among other things, Executive Order 13563 sets out five sets of 
requirements to guide regulatory decision making:
     Public participation. Agencies are directed to promote 
public participation, in part by making supporting documents available 
on Regulations.gov in order to promote transparency and public comment. 
Executive Order 13563 also directs agencies, where feasible and 
appropriate, to engage the public, including affected stakeholders, 
before rulemaking is initiated.
     Integration and innovation. Agencies are directed to 
attempt to reduce ``redundant, inconsistent, or overlapping'' 
requirements, in part by working with one another to simplify and 
harmonize rules. This important provision is designed to reduce 
confusion, redundancy, and excessive cost. An important goal of 
simplification and harmonization is to promote rather than to hamper 
innovation, which is a foundation of both growth and job creation. 
Different offices within the same agency might work together to 
harmonize their rules; different agencies might work together to 
achieve the same objective. Such steps can also promote predictability 
and certainty.
     Flexible approaches. Agencies are directed to identify and 
consider flexible approaches to regulatory problems, including 
warnings, appropriate default rules, and disclosure requirements. Such 
approaches may ``reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of 
choice for the public.'' In certain settings, they may be far 
preferable to mandates and bans, precisely because they maintain 
freedom of choice and reduce costs. The reference to ``appropriate 
default rules'' signals the possibility that important social goals can 
be obtained through simplification--as, for example, in the form of 
automatic enrollment, direct certification, or reduced paperwork 
burdens.
     Science. Agencies are directed to promote scientific 
integrity, and in a way that ensures a clear separation between 
judgments of science and judgments of policy.
     Retrospective analysis of existing rules. Agencies are 
directed to produce preliminary plans to engage in retrospective 
analysis of existing significant regulations to determine whether they 
should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed. Executive Order 
13610, Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens, issued in 2012, 
institutionalizes the ``look back'' mechanism set out in Executive 
Order 13563, by requiring agencies to report to OMB and the public 
twice each year (January and July) on the status of their retrospective 
review efforts, to ``describe progress, anticipated accomplishments, 
and proposed timelines for relevant actions.'' (See below for 
additional details on Executive Order 13610.)
    Executive Order 13563 addresses both the ``flow'' of new 
regulations that are under development and the ``stock'' of existing 
regulations that are already in place. With respect to agencies' review 
of existing regulations, the Executive Order calls for careful 
reassessment, based on empirical analysis. It is understood that the 
prospective analysis required by Executive Order 13563 may depend on a 
degree of speculation and that the actual costs and benefits of a 
regulation may be lower or higher than what was anticipated when the 
rule was originally developed. It is also understood that circumstances 
may change in a way that requires reconsideration of regulatory 
requirements. After retrospective analysis has been undertaken, 
agencies will be in a position to reevaluate existing rules and to 
streamline, modify, or eliminate those that do not make sense in their 
current form.
    In August 2011, over two dozen agencies released final plans to 
remove what the President called unjustified rules and ``absurd and 
unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money.'' Over 
the next five years, billions of dollars in savings are anticipated 
from just a few initiatives

[[Page 1324]]

from the Department of Transportation, the Department of Labor, the 
Department of Health and Human Services, and the Environmental 
Protection Agency. And all in all, the plans' initiatives will save 
tens of millions of hours in annual paperwork burdens on individuals, 
businesses, and state and local governments.
    The plans offer more than 500 proposals. Many of the proposals 
focus on small business. Some of the proposed initiatives represent a 
fundamental rethinking of how things have long been done--as, for 
example, with numerous efforts to move from paper to electronic 
reporting. For both private and public sectors, those efforts can save 
money.
    Many of the reforms will have a significant impact. Recent plan 
updates include the following examples:
     The Treasury Department, along with the Department of 
Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection, issued a final rule 
in August 2012 eliminating the mailing of paper ``courtesy'' notices of 
liquidation, which provide informal, advanced notice of the liquidation 
date to the importers of record whose entry summaries are 
electronically filed. This effort to proceed only electronically 
streamlines the notification process and reduces printing and mailing 
costs.
     The Department of Transportation would allow combined drug 
and alcohol testing for operators conducting commercial air tours. This 
rulemaking would allow certificate holders to implement one drug and 
alcohol testing program for what had been considered to this point two 
separate employing entities. The intent is to decrease operating costs 
by eliminating duplicate programs while ensuring no loss in safety.
     The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) will be amended 
to implement policy guidance provided by Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) in Memorandum M-12-16, dated July 11, 2012, Providing 
Prompt Payment to Small Business Subcontractors, to address the 
acceleration of payments to small business subcontractors.
    The regulatory look back is not a one-time exercise. Regular 
reporting about recent progress and coming initiatives is required. The 
goal is to change the regulatory culture to ensure that rules on the 
books are reevaluated and are effective, cost-justified, and based on 
the best available science. By creating regulatory review teams at 
agencies, we will continue to examine what is working and what is not, 
and to eliminate unjustified and outdated regulations.
    In addition to looking back at existing regulations, we are also 
focused on reducing unjustified reporting and paperwork burdens. In a 
June 22, 2012 Memorandum, ``Reducing Reporting and Paperwork Burdens,'' 
OIRA asked executive departments and agencies to implement Executive 
Order 13610, Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens, by taking 
continuing steps to reassess regulatory requirements and, where 
appropriate, to streamline, improve, or eliminate those requirements. 
Agencies were asked to prioritize ``initiatives that will produce 
significant quantifiable monetary savings or significant quantifiable 
reductions in paperwork burdens'' (emphasis added). Agencies were also 
asked to ``give special consideration to initiatives that would reduce 
unjustified regulatory burdens or simplify or harmonize regulatory 
requirements imposed on small businesses.'' In addition, Executive 
Order 13610 requires agencies to focus on ``cumulative burdens'' and to 
``give priority to reforms that would make significant progress in 
reducing those burdens.'' Fundamentally, looking retrospectively to 
reduce existing burdens, while looking forward to ensure that future 
regulations are well-justified, will promote the nation's economic 
growth while continuing to protect the health and safety of the 
American people.
    Agencies prioritized these reviews, including opportunities for 
measurable reductions in paperwork burdens, and are pursuing plans that 
include the following:
     The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working to 
consolidate the application and renewal process for health benefits by 
eliminating the collection of financial information that is already 
collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security 
Administration (SSA). In addition to the re-use of data, the VA expects 
to improve the application by making it more adaptive to data provided 
by respondents and the information needed to make a determination for 
benefits. VA expects veterans to save thousands of hours and the 
Federal government to save millions of dollars from this improved 
process.
     The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is 
progressing toward the implementation of an integrated agency-wide e-
Grants online application that will be available to the public online. 
The system will simplify submission of grant program applications 
across FEMA by creating online forms. Fully integrating and automating 
these systems will improve efficiency and the effectiveness of FEMA 
operations to better serve the needs of internal and external 
stakeholders. Grantees are expected to save over 500,000 hours in 
paperwork burden per year.
    OMB would also like to highlight Executive Order 13609, ``Promoting 
International Regulatory Cooperation,'' which was issued by President 
Obama in May 2012. The Executive Order emphasizes the importance of 
international regulatory cooperation as a key tool for eliminating 
unnecessary differences in regulation between the United States and its 
major trading partners which, in turn, supports economic growth, job 
creation, innovation, trade and investment, while also protecting 
public health, safety, and welfare. Among other things, the Executive 
Order provides that agencies that are required to submit a Regulatory 
Plan must ``include in that plan a summary of its international 
regulatory cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to 
lead to significant regulations, with an explanation of how these 
activities advance the purposes of Executive Order 13563'' and 
Executive Order 13609. Further, the Executive Order requires agencies 
to ``ensure that significant regulations that the agency identifies as 
having significant international impacts are designated as such'' in 
the Agenda. Additionally, as part of the regulatory lookback 
initiative, Executive Order 13609 requires agencies to ``consider 
reforms to existing significant regulations that address unnecessary 
differences in regulatory requirements between the United States and 
its major trading partners * * * when stakeholders provide adequate 
information to the agency establishing that the differences are 
unnecessary.''
    OMB believes the implementation of Executive Order 13609 and 13610 
will further strengthen the emphasis that Executive Order 13563 has 
placed on careful consideration of costs and benefits, public 
participation, integration and innovation, flexible approaches, and 
science. These requirements are meant to produce a regulatory system 
that draws on recent learning, that is driven by evidence, and that is 
suited to the distinctive circumstances of the twenty-first century.

[[Page 1325]]



                                            Department of Agriculture
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.............................  National Organic Program,         0581-AD08  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Origin of Livestock, NOP-
                                 11-0009.
2.............................  National Organic Program,         0581-AD09  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Streamlining Enforcement
                                 Related Actions.
3.............................  Plant Pest Regulations;           0579-AC98  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Update of General
                                 Provisions.
4.............................  Importation of Live Dogs.         0579-AD23  Final Rule Stage.
5.............................  Animal Disease                    0579-AD24  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Traceability.
6.............................  Animal Welfare; Retail            0579-AD57  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Pet Stores.
7.............................  Child Nutrition Program           0584-AE08  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Integrity.
8.............................  National School Lunch and         0584-AE09  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 School Breakfast
                                 Programs: Nutrition
                                 Standards for All Foods
                                 Sold in School, as
                                 Required by the Healthy,
                                 Hunger-Free Kids Act of
                                 2010.
9.............................  Child Nutrition Programs:         0584-AE19  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Professional Standards
                                 for School Food Service
                                 and State Child
                                 Nutrition Program
                                 Directors as Required by
                                 the Healthy, Hunger-Free
                                 Kids Act of 2010.
10............................  SNAP: Immediate Payment           0584-AE22  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Suspension for
                                 Fraudulent Retailer
                                 Activity.
11............................  Special Supplemental              0584-AD77  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Nutrition Program for
                                 Women, Infants, and
                                 Children (WIC):
                                 Revisions in the WIC
                                 Food Packages.
12............................  Eligibility,                      0584-AD87  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Certification, and
                                 Employment and Training
                                 Provisions of the Food,
                                 Conservation, and Energy
                                 Act of 2008.
13............................  Supplemental Nutrition            0584-AE07  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Assistance Program:
                                 Nutrition Education and
                                 Obesity Prevention Grant.
14............................  Egg Products Inspection           0583-AC58  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Regulations.
15............................  Product Labeling: Use of          0583-AD30  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 the Voluntary Claim
                                 ``Natural'' on the
                                 Labeling of Meat and
                                 Poultry Products.
16............................  Descriptive Designation           0583-AD45  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Needle or Blade
                                 Tenderized (Mechanically
                                 Tenderized) Beef
                                 Products.
17............................  Proposed Rule: Records to         0583-AD46  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 be Kept by Official
                                 Establishments and
                                 Retail Stores That Grind
                                 or Chop Raw Beef
                                 Products.
18............................  Prior Labeling Approval           0583-AC59  Final Rule Stage.
                                 System: Generic Label
                                 Approval.
19............................  Modernization of Poultry          0583-AD32  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Slaughter Inspection.
20............................  Electronic Export                 0583-AD41  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Application and
                                 Certification as a
                                 Reimbursable Service and
                                 Flexibility in the
                                 Requirements for
                                 Official Export
                                 Inspection Marks,
                                 Devices, and
                                 Certificates.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                              Department of Defense
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
21............................  Service Academies........         0790-AI19  Final Rule Stage.
22............................  Sexual Assault Prevention         0790-AI36  Final Rule Stage.
                                 and Response Program
                                 Procedures.
23............................  Operational Contract              0790-AI48  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Support.
24............................  Voluntary Education               0790-AI50  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Programs.
25............................  Defense Industrial Base           0790-AI60  Final Rule Stage.
                                 (DIB) Cyber Security/
                                 Information Assurance
                                 (CS/IA) Activities.
26............................  Mission Compatibility             0790-AI69  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Evaluation Process.
27............................  TRICARE; Reimbursement of         0720-AB41  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Sole Community Hospitals.
28............................  Civilian Health and               0720-AB48  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Medical Program of the
                                 Uniformed Services
                                 (CHAMPUS); TRICARE Young
                                 Adult.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                             Department of Education
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
29............................  Transitioning from the            1840-AD12  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 FFEL Program to the
                                 Direct Loan Program and
                                 Loan Rehabilitation
                                 under the FFEL, Direct
                                 Loan, and Perkins Loan
                                 Programs.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                              Department of Energy
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
30............................  Energy Conservation               1904-AB86  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for Walk-In
                                 Coolers and Walk-In
                                 Freezers.
31............................  Energy Efficiency                 1904-AB57  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for Battery
                                 Chargers and External
                                 Power Supplies.
32............................  Energy Efficiency                 1904-AC04  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for
                                 Distribution
                                 Transformers.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 1326]]


                                     Department of Health and Human Services
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
33............................  Current Good                      0910-AG10  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Manufacturing Practice,
                                 Hazard Analysis, and
                                 Risk-Based Preventive
                                 Controls for Food for
                                 Animals.
34............................  Produce Safety Regulation         0910-AG35  Proposed Rule Stage.
35............................  Hazard Analysis and Risk-         0910-AG36  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Based Preventive
                                 Controls.
36............................  Foreign Supplier                  0910-AG64  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Verification Program.
37............................  Accreditation of Third            0910-AG66  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Parties To Conduct Food
                                 Safety Audits and for
                                 Other Related Purposes.
38............................  Revision of Postmarketing         0910-AG88  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Reporting Requirements
                                 Discontinuance or
                                 Interruption in Supply
                                 of Certain Products
                                 (Drug Shortages).
39............................  Unique Device                     0910-AG31  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Identification.
40............................  Food Labeling: Nutrition          0910-AG56  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Labeling for Food Sold
                                 in Vending Machines.
41............................  Food Labeling: Nutrition          0910-AG57  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Labeling of Standard
                                 Menu Items in
                                 Restaurants and Similar
                                 Retail Food
                                 Establishments.
42............................  Patient Protection and            0938-AR03  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Affordable Care Act;
                                 Standards Related to
                                 Essential Health
                                 Benefits, Actuarial
                                 Value, and Accreditation
                                 (CMS-9980-F).
43............................  Part II--Regulatory               0938-AR49  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Provisions To Promote
                                 Program Efficiency,
                                 Transparency, and Burden
                                 Reduction (CMS-3267-P).
44............................  Notice of Benefit and             0938-AR51  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Payment Parameters (CMS-
                                 9964-P).
45............................  Changes to the Hospital           0938-AR53  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Inpatient and Long-Term
                                 Care Prospective Payment
                                 System for FY 2014 (CMS-
                                 1599-P).
46............................  Changes to the Hospital           0938-AR54  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Outpatient Prospective
                                 Payment System and
                                 Ambulatory Surgical
                                 Center Payment System
                                 for CY 2014 (CMS-1601-P).
47............................  Revisions to Payment              0938-AR56  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Policies Under the
                                 Physician Fee Schedule
                                 and Medicare Part B for
                                 CY 2014 (CMS-1600-P).
48............................  Prospective Payment               0938-AR62  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 System for Federally
                                 Qualified Health Centers
                                 (FQHCs) (CMS-1443-P).
49............................  Child Care and                    0970-AC53  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Development Fund Reforms
                                 to Support Child
                                 Development and Working
                                 Families.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                         Department of Homeland Security
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
50............................  Asylum and Withholding            1615-AA41  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Definitions.
51............................  Exception to the                  1615-AB89  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Persecution Bar for
                                 Asylum, Refugee, and
                                 Temporary Protected
                                 Status, and Withholding
                                 of Removal.
52............................  Employment Authorization          1615-AB92  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Certain H-4
                                 Dependent Spouses.
53............................  Enhancing Opportunities           1615-AC00  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for High-Skilled H-1B1
                                 and E-3 Nonimmigrants
                                 and EB-1 Immigrants.
54............................  New Classification for            1615-AA59  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Victims of Severe Forms
                                 of Trafficking in
                                 Persons; Eligibility for
                                 T Nonimmigrant Status.
55............................  Adjustment of Status to           1615-AA60  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Lawful Permanent
                                 Resident for Aliens in T
                                 and U Nonimmigrant
                                 Status.
56............................  New Classification for            1615-AA67  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Victims of Criminal
                                 Activity; Eligibility
                                 for the U Nonimmigrant
                                 Status.
57............................  Provisional Unlawful              1615-AB99  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Presence Waivers of
                                 Inadmissibility for
                                 Certain Immediate
                                 Relatives.
58............................  Transportation Worker             1625-AB21  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Identification
                                 Credential (TWIC); Card
                                 Reader Requirements.
59............................  Implementation of the             1625-AA16  Final Rule Stage.
                                 1995 Amendments to the
                                 International Convention
                                 on Standards of
                                 Training, Certification,
                                 and Watchkeeping (STCW)
                                 for Seafarers, 1978.
60............................  Vessel Requirements for           1625-AA99  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Notices of Arrival and
                                 Departure, and Automatic
                                 Identification System.
61............................  Offshore Supply Vessels           1625-AB62  Final Rule Stage.
                                 of at Least 6000 GT ITC.
62............................  Changes to the Visa               1651-AA72  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Waiver Program To
                                 Implement the Electronic
                                 System for Travel
                                 Authorization (ESTA)
                                 Program.
63............................  Security Training for             1652-AA55  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Surface Mode Employees.
64............................  Standardized Vetting,             1652-AA61  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Adjudication, and
                                 Redress Services.
65............................  Passenger Screening Using         1652-AA67  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Advanced Imaging
                                 Technology.
66............................  Aircraft Repair Station           1652-AA38  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Security.
67............................  Adjustments to                    1653-AA63  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Limitations on
                                 Designated School
                                 Official Assignment and
                                 Study by F-2 and M-2
                                 Nonimmigrants.
68............................  Standards To Prevent,             1653-AA65  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Detect and Respond to
                                 Sexual Abuse and Assault
                                 in Confinement
                                 Facilities.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 1327]]


                                              Department of Justice
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
69............................  Implementation of the ADA         1190-AA59  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Amendments Act of 2008
                                 (Title II and Title III
                                 of the ADA).
70............................  Implementation of the ADA         1190-AA60  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Amendments Act of 2008
                                 (Section 504 of the
                                 Rehabilitation Act of
                                 1973).
71............................  Nondiscrimination on the          1190-AA63  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Basis of Disability;
                                 Movie Captioning and
                                 Video Description.
72............................  Nondiscrimination on the          1190-AA65  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Basis of Disability:
                                 Accessibility of Web
                                 Information and Services
                                 of State and Local
                                 Governments.
73............................  Nondiscrimination on the          1190-AA61  Long-Term Actions.
                                 Basis of Disability;
                                 Accessibility of Web
                                 Information and Services
                                 of Public Accommodations.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                           Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
74............................  Americans With                    3014-AA11  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Disabilities Act (ADA)
                                 Accessibility Guidelines
                                 for Passenger Vessels.
75............................  Telecommunications Act            3014-AA37  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Accessibility
                                 Guidelines; Electronic
                                 and Information
                                 Technology Accessibility
                                 Standards.
76............................  Accessibility Standards           3014-AA40  Final Rule Stage.
                                 for Medical Diagnostic
                                 Equipment.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                         Environmental Protection Agency
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
77............................  Hydraulic Fracturing              2070-AJ93  Prerule Stage.
                                 Chemicals; Chemical
                                 Information Reporting
                                 Under TSCA Section 8(a)
                                 and Health and Safety
                                 Data Reporting Under
                                 TSCA Section 8(d).
78............................  Review of the National            2060-AP38  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Ambient Air Quality
                                 Standards for Ozone.
79............................  Petroleum Refinery Sector         2060-AQ75  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Risk and Technology
                                 Review and NSPS.
80............................  Control of Air Pollution          2060-AQ86  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 From Motor Vehicles:
                                 Tier 3 Motor Vehicle
                                 Emission and Fuel
                                 Standards.
81............................  Implementation of the             2060-AR34  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 2008 National Ambient
                                 Air Quality Standards
                                 for Ozone: State
                                 Implementation Plan
                                 Requirements.
82............................  Petroleum Refinery Sector         2060-AR69  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Amendment for Flares.
83............................  NPDES Electronic                  2020-AA47  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Reporting Rule.
84............................  Formaldehyde; Third-Party         2070-AJ44  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Certification Framework
                                 for the Formaldehyde
                                 Standards for Composite
                                 Wood Products.
85............................  Formaldehyde Emissions            2070-AJ92  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for Composite
                                 Wood Products.
86............................  Revisions to the National         2050-AE87  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Oil and Hazardous
                                 Substances Pollution
                                 Contingency Plan;
                                 Subpart J Product
                                 Schedule Listing
                                 Requirements.
87............................  Effluent Limitations              2040-AF14  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Guidelines and Standards
                                 for the Steam Electric
                                 Power Generating Point
                                 Source Category.
88............................  National Primary Drinking         2040-AF15  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Water Regulations for
                                 Lead and Copper:
                                 Regulatory Revisions.
89............................  Clean Water Protection            2040-AF30  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Rule.
90............................  Greenhouse Gas New Source         2060-AQ91  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Performance Standard for
                                 Electric Generating
                                 Units for New Sources.
91............................  Hazardous Waste                   2050-AG60  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Management Systems:
                                 Identification and
                                 Listing of Hazardous
                                 Waste: Carbon Dioxide
                                 (CO2) Streams in
                                 Geological Sequestration
                                 Activities.
92............................  Rulemaking on the                 2050-AG62  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Definition of Solid
                                 Waste.
93............................  Criteria and Standards            2040-AE95  Final Rule Stage.
                                 for Cooling Water Intake
                                 Structures.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                     Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
94............................  Revisions to Procedures           3046-AA91  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Complaints or
                                 Charges of Employment
                                 Discrimination Based on
                                 Disability Subject to
                                 the Americans With
                                 Disabilities Act and
                                 Section 504 of the
                                 Rehabilitation Act of
                                 1973.
95............................  Revisions to Procedures           3046-AA92  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Complaints/Charges
                                 of Employment
                                 Discrimination Based on
                                 Disability Filed Against
                                 Employers Holding
                                 Government Contracts or
                                 Subcontracts.
96............................  Revisions to Procedures           3046-AA93  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Complaints of
                                 Employment
                                 Discrimination Filed
                                 Against Recipients of
                                 Federal Financial
                                 Assistance.

[[Page 1328]]

 
97............................  Revisions to the Federal          3046-AA94  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Sector's Affirmative
                                 Employment Obligations
                                 of Individuals with
                                 Disabilities Under
                                 Section 501 of the
                                 Rehabilitation Act of
                                 1973, as Amended.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                          Small Business Administration
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
98............................  504 and 7(a) Regulatory           3245-AG04  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Enhancements.
99............................  Small Business Jobs Act:          3245-AG24  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Small Business Mentor-
                                 Prot[eacute]g[eacute]
                                 Programs.
100...........................  Small Business Technology         3245-AF45  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Transfer (STTR) Policy
                                 Directive.
101...........................  Small Business Innovation         3245-AF84  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Research (SBIR) Program
                                 Policy Directive.
102...........................  Acquisition Process: Task         3245-AG20  Final Rule Stage.
                                 and Delivery Order
                                 Contracts, Bundling,
                                 Consolidation.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                         Social Security Administration
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
103...........................  Revised Medical Criteria          0960-AF35  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Evaluating
                                 Neurological Impairments
                                 (806P).
104...........................  Revised Medical Criteria          0960-AF58  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Evaluating
                                 Respiratory System
                                 Disorders (859P).
105...........................  Revised Medical Criteria          0960-AF88  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Evaluating
                                 Hematological Disorders
                                 (974P).
106...........................  Revised Medical Criteria          0960-AH03  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Evaluating
                                 Genitourinary Disorders
                                 (3565P).
107...........................  Hearings by Video                 0960-AH37  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Teleconferencing (VTC)
                                 (3728P).
108...........................  Revised Medical Criteria          0960-AF69  Final Rule Stage.
                                 for Evaluating Mental
                                 Disorders (886F).
109...........................  Revised Medical Criteria          0960-AH04  Final Rule Stage.
                                 for Evaluating
                                 Congenital Disorders
                                 That Affect Multiple
                                 Body Systems (3566F).
110...........................  Amendments to Regulations         0960-AH07  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Regarding Withdrawals of
                                 Applications and
                                 Voluntary Suspension of
                                 Benefits (3573F).
111...........................  Revised Medical Criteria          0960-AH28  Final Rule Stage.
                                 for Evaluating Visual
                                 Disorders (3696F).
112...........................  Amendments to the Rules           0960-AH40  Final Rule Stage.
                                 on Determining Hearing
                                 Appearances and to the
                                 Rules on Objecting to
                                 the Time and Place of
                                 the Hearing (3401F).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                          Nuclear Regulatory Commission
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
113...........................  Medical Use of Byproduct          3150-AI26  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Material--Amendments/
                                 Medical Event Definition
                                 [NRC-2008-0071].
114...........................  Fitness-for-Duty (HHS             3150-AI67  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Requirements) [NRC-2009-
                                 0225].
115...........................  Disposal of Unique Waste          3150-AI92  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Streams [NRC-2011-0012].
116...........................  Station Blackout                  3150-AJ08  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Mitigation [NRC-2011-
                                 0299].
117...........................  Revision of Fee                   3150-AJ19  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Schedules: Fee Recovery
                                 for FY 2013 [NRC-2012-
                                 0211].
118...........................  Physical Protection of            3150-AI12  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Byproduct Material [NRC-
                                 2008-0120].
119...........................  Environmental Effect of           3150-AI42  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Renewing the Operating
                                 License of a Nuclear
                                 Power Plant [NRC-2008-
                                 0608].
120...........................  Domestic Licensing of             3150-AI50  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Source Material--
                                 Amendments/Integrated
                                 Safety Analysis [NRC-
                                 2009-0079].
121...........................  List of Approved Spent            3150-AJ10  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Fuel Storage Casks--
                                 Transnuclear, Inc.,
                                 Standardized NUHOMS[squ]
                                 System, Revision 11 [NRC-
                                 2012-0020].
122...........................  List of Approved Spent            3150-AJ12  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Fuel Storage Casks--
                                 Holtec International, HI-
                                 STORM 100, Revision 9
                                 [NRC-2012-0052].
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BILLING CODE 6820-27-P

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA)

Statement of Regulatory Priorities

    In FY 2013, USDA's focus will continue to be on programs that 
create/save jobs, particularly in rural America, while identifying and 
taking action on those programs that could be modified, streamlined, 
and simplified; or reporting burdens reduced, particularly with the 
public's access to USDA programs. The 2008 Farm Bill covering major 
farm, trade, conservation, rural development, nutrition assistance and 
other programs expired at the end of fiscal year 2012 and is expected 
to be reauthorized in 2013. It is anticipated that a number of high 
priority regulations will be developed during 2013 to implement this 
legislation should it be enacted. USDA's regulatory efforts in the 
coming year will achieve the Department's goals identified in the 
Department's Strategic Plan for 2010-2015.

[[Page 1329]]

     Assist rural communities to create prosperity so they are 
self-sustaining, re-populating, and economically thriving. USDA is the 
leading advocate for rural America. The Department supports rural 
communities and enhances quality of life for rural residents by 
improving their economic opportunities, community infrastructure, 
environmental health, and the sustainability of agricultural 
production. The common goal is to help create thriving rural 
communities with good jobs where people want to live and raise 
families, and where children have economic opportunities and a bright 
future.
     Ensure that all of America's children have access to safe, 
nutritious, and balanced meals. A plentiful supply of safe and 
nutritious food is essential to the well-being of every family and the 
healthy development of every child in America. USDA provides nutrition 
assistance to children and low-income people who need it; and works to 
improve the healthy eating habits of all Americans, especially 
children. In addition, the Department safeguards the quality and 
wholesomeness of meat, poultry, and egg products; and addresses and 
prevents loss or damage from pests and disease outbreaks.
     Ensure our national forests and private working lands are 
conserved, restored, and made more resilient to climate change, while 
enhancing our water resources. America's prosperity is inextricably 
linked to the health of our lands and natural resources. Forests, 
farms, ranches, and grasslands offer enormous environmental benefits as 
a source of clean air, clean and abundant water, and wildlife habitat. 
These lands generate economic value by supporting the vital agriculture 
and forestry sectors, attracting tourism and recreational visitors, 
sustaining green jobs, and producing ecosystem services, food, fiber, 
timber and non-timber products. They are also of immense social 
importance, enhancing rural quality of life, sustaining scenic and 
culturally important landscapes, and providing opportunities to engage 
in outdoor activity and reconnect with the land.
     Help America promote agricultural production and 
biotechnology exports as America works to increase food security. A 
productive agricultural sector is critical to increasing global food 
security. For many crops, a substantial portion of domestic production 
is bound for overseas markets. USDA helps American farmers and ranchers 
use efficient, sustainable production, biotechnology, and other 
emergent technologies to enhance food security around the world and 
find export markets for their products.
    Important regulatory activities supporting the accomplishment of 
these goals in 2013 will include the following:
     Improving Access to Nutrition Assistance and Dietary 
Behaviors. As changes are made to the nutrition assistance programs, 
USDA will work to ensure access to program benefits, improve program 
integrity, improve diets and healthy eating, and promote physical 
activity consistent with the national effort to reduce obesity. In 
support of these activities in 2013, the Food and Nutrition Service 
(FNS) plans to publish the proposed rule regarding the nutrition 
standards for foods sold in schools outside of the reimbursable meal 
programs; finalize a rule updating the WIC food packages, and establish 
permanent rules for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. FNS will 
continue to work to implement rules that minimize participant and 
vendor fraud in its nutrition assistance programs.
     Strengthening Food Safety Inspection. USDA will continue 
to develop science-based regulations that improve the safety of meat, 
poultry, and processed egg products in the least burdensome and most 
cost-effective manner. Regulations will be revised to address emerging 
food safety challenges, streamlined to remove excessively prescriptive 
regulations, and updated to be made consistent with hazard analysis and 
critical control point principles. In 2013, the Food Safety and 
Inspection Service (FSIS) plans to finalize regulations to establish 
new systems for poultry slaughter inspection, which would save money 
for establishments and taxpayers while improving food safety. Among 
other actions, USDA will provide export certificates through the use of 
technology, and define conditions under which the ``natural'' claim may 
be used on meat and poultry labeling. To assist small entities to 
comply with food safety requirements, FSIS will continue to collaborate 
with other USDA agencies and State partners in its small business 
outreach program.
     Forestry and Conservation. USDA plans to finalize 
regulations that would streamline the Natural Resources Conservation 
Service's (NRCS) financial assistance programs, which would make 
program participation easier for producers. USDA will update its EQIP 
participation requirements to allow limited resource producers with 
incomplete irrigation histories to participate in the program. 
Additionally, USDA will allow NRCS' State Conservationists to remove 
undue burdens on producers that have acted in good faith on incorrect 
program information provided by NRCS. USDA will also publish proposed 
Agency guidance for implementation of the Forest Service's 2012 
Planning Rule. This guidance will provide the detailed monitoring, 
assessing, and documenting requirements that National Forests require 
to begin revising their land management plans under the 2012 Planning 
Rule (currently 70 of the 120 Forest Service's Land Management Plans 
are expired and in need of revision).
     Making Marketing and Regulatory Programs More Effective. 
USDA will continue to protect the health and value of U.S. agricultural 
and natural resources. USDA plans to continue work on implementing a 
national animal disease traceability system and anticipates revising 
the permitting of plant pests and biological control organisms. A 
national, effective animal disease traceability system will enhance our 
ability to respond to animal disease detections. Revising the plant 
pests and biological control organisms' regulations on permitting would 
facilitate the movement of regulated organisms and articles in a manner 
that also protects U.S. agriculture, and address gaps in the current 
regulations. For the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), USDA plans to finalize 
specific standards for the humane care of dogs imported for resale and 
the definition of a retail pet store. USDA will support the organic 
sector by updating the National List of Allowed and Prohibited 
Substances as advised by the National Organic Standards Board, 
streamlining organic regulatory enforcement actions, developing organic 
pet food standards, and proposing that all existing and replacement 
dairy animals from which milk or milk products are intended to be sold 
as organic must be managed organically from the last third of 
gestation.
     Promoting Biobased Products. USDA will continue to promote 
sustainable economic opportunities to create jobs in rural communities 
through the purchase and use of biobased products through the 
BioPreferred[supreg] program. USDA will continue to designate groups of 
biobased products to receive procurement preference from Federal 
agencies and contractors. BioPreferred[supreg] has made serious efforts 
to minimize burdens on small business by providing a standard mechanism 
for product testing, an online application process, and individual 
assistance for small manufacturers when needed. The Federal preferred 
procurement and the certified label parts of the program are voluntary; 
both are designed to assist

[[Page 1330]]

biobased businesses in securing additional sales.
Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations
    Pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563 ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review'' (Jan. 18, 2011), the following 
Regulatory Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated 
with retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan. Some of these entries on this 
list may be completed actions, which do not appear in The Regulatory 
Plan. However, more information can be found about these completed 
rulemakings in past publications of the Unified Agenda on Reginfo.gov 
in the Completed Actions section for that agency. These rulemakings can 
also be found on Regulations.gov. The final agency plan can be found at 
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=USDA_OPEN.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Significantly Reduce
            RIN                   Title            Burdens on Small
                                                      Businesses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0583-AC59..................  Prior Labeling   Yes.
                              Approval
                              System:
                              Generic Label
                              Approval.
0583-AD41..................  Electronic       Yes.
                              Export
                              Application
                              and
                              Certification
                              Fee.
0583-AD39..................  Electronic       Yes.
                              Import
                              Inspection and
                              Certification
                              of Imported
                              Products and
                              Foreign
                              Establishments.
0583-AD32..................  Modernization    Yes.
                              of Poultry
                              Slaughter
                              Inspection.
0570-AA76..................  Rural Energy     Yes.
                              America
                              Program.
0575-AC91..................  Community        Yes.
                              Facilities
                              Loan and
                              Grants.
0596-AD01..................  National         Yes.
                              Environmental
                              Policy Act
                              Efficiencies.
0570-AA85..................  Business and     Yes.
                              Industry Loan
                              Guaranteed
                              Program.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Subsequent to EO 13563, and consistent with its goals as well as 
the importance of public participation, President Obama issued EO 13610 
on Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens in May 2012. EO 13610 
directs agencies, in part, to give priority consideration to those 
initiatives that will produce costs savings or significant reductions 
in paperwork burdens. Accordingly, reducing the regulatory burden on 
the American people and our trading partners is a priority for USDA and 
we will continually work to improve the effectiveness of our existing 
regulations. As a result of our ongoing regulatory review and burden 
reduction efforts, USDA will make regulatory changes in 2013, including 
the following:
     Increase Use of Generic Approval and Regulations 
Consolidation. FSIS is finalizing a rule that will expand the 
circumstances in which the labels of meat and poultry products will be 
deemed to be generically approved by FSIS. The rule will reduce 
regulatory burden and generate taxpayer savings of $2.9 million over 10 
years.
     Implement Electronic Export Application for Meat and 
Poultry Products. FSIS is finalizing a rule to provide exporters a fee-
based option for transmitting U.S. certifications to foreign importers 
and governments electronically. Automating the export application and 
certification process will facilitate the export of U.S. meat, poultry, 
and egg products by streamlining the processes that are used while 
ensuring that foreign regulatory requirements are met.
     Simplify FSA NEPA Compliance. FSA will revise its 
regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
to update, improve, and clarify requirements. It will also remove 
obsolete provisions. Annual cost savings to FSA as a result of this 
rule could be $345,000 from conducting 314 fewer environmental 
assessments per year, while retaining strong environmental protection.
     Streamline Forest Service NEPA Compliance. The Forest 
Service (FS), in cooperation with the Council on Environmental Quality 
(CEQ), is promulgating rulemaking to establish three new Categorical 
Exclusions for simple restoration activities. These Categorical 
Exclusions will improve and streamline the NEPA process, and reduce the 
paperwork burden, as it applies to FS projects without reducing 
environmental protection.
     Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Under REAP, Rural 
Development provides guaranteed loans and grants to support the 
purchase, construction, or retrofitting of a renewable energy system. 
This rulemaking will streamline the process for grants, lessening the 
burden to the customer. It will also make the guaranteed loan portion 
of the rule consistent with other programs RD manages. The rulemaking 
is expected to reduce the information collection burden.
     Reduced Duplication in Farm Programs. The Farm and Foreign 
Agricultural Services (FFAS) mission area will reduce the paperwork 
burden on program participants by consolidating the information 
collections required to participate in farm programs administered by 
FSA and the Federal crop insurance program administered by the Risk 
Management Agency (RMA). As a result, producers will be able to spend 
less time reporting information to USDA. Additionally, FSA and RMA will 
be better able to share information, thus improving operational 
efficiency. FFAS will evaluate methods to simplify and standardize, to 
the extent practical, acreage reporting processes, program dates, and 
data definitions across the various USDA programs and agencies. FFAS 
expects to allow producers to use information from their farm-
management and precision agriculture systems for reporting production, 
planted and harvested acreage, and other key information needed to 
participate in USDA programs. FFAS will also streamline the collection 
of producer information by FSA and RMA with the agricultural production 
information collected by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. 
These process changes will allow for program data that is common across 
agencies to be collected once and utilized or redistributed to agency 
programs in which the producer chooses to participate. Full 
implementation of the Acreage and Crop Reporting Streamlining 
Initiative (ACRSI) is planned for 2013. When specific changes are 
identified, FSA and RMA will make any required conforming changes in 
their respective regulations.
     Increased Use of Electronic Forms. Increasingly, USDA is 
providing electronic alternatives to its traditionally paper-based 
customer transactions. As a result, customers increasingly have the 
option to electronically file forms and other documentation online, 
allowing them to choose when and where to conduct business with USDA. 
For example, Rural Development continues to review its regulations to 
determine which application procedures for Business

[[Page 1331]]

Programs, Community Facilities Programs, Energy Programs, and Water and 
Environmental Programs, can be streamlined and its requirements 
synchronized. RD is approaching the exercise from the perspective of 
the people it serves, by communicating with stakeholders on two common 
areas of regulation that can provide the basis of reform. The first 
area provides support for entrepreneurship and business innovation. 
This initiative would provide for the streamlining and reformulating of 
the Business & Industry Loan Guarantee Program and the Intermediary 
Relending Program; the first such overhauls in over 20 years. The 
second area would provide for streamlining programs being made 
available to municipalities, Indian tribes, and non-profit 
organizations, specifically Water and Waste Disposal; Community 
Facilities; and Rural Business Enterprise Grants plus programs such as 
Electric and Telecommunications loans that provide basic community 
needs. This regulatory reform initiative has the potential to 
significantly reduce the burden to respondents (lenders and borrowers). 
To the extent practicable, each reform initiative will consist of a 
common application and uniform documentation requirements making it 
easier for constituent groups to apply for multiple programs. In 
addition, there will be associated regulations for each program that 
will contain program specific information.
Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation Under EO 13609
    President Obama issued EO 13609 on promoting international 
regulatory cooperation in May 2012. The EO charges the Regulatory 
Working Group, an interagency working group chaired by the 
Administrator of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), 
with examining appropriate strategies and best practices for 
international regulatory cooperation. The EO also directs agencies to 
identify factors that should be taken into account when evaluating the 
effectiveness of regulatory approaches used by trading partners with 
whom the U.S. is engaged in regulatory cooperation. At this time, USDA 
is identifying international regulatory cooperation activities that are 
reasonably anticipated to lead to significant regulations, while 
working closely with the Administration to refine the guidelines 
implementing the EO. Apart from international regulatory cooperation, 
the Department has continued to identify regulations with international 
impacts, as it has done in the past. Such regulations are those that 
are expected to have international trade and investment effects, or 
otherwise may be of interest to our international trading partners. For 
example, FSIS is working with Canada's Treasury Board and Canadian Food 
Inspection Agency to facilitate the movement of meat, poultry, and egg 
products between the U.S. and Canada while still ensuring food safety. 
The effort may lead to a future proposed rule to revise FSIS's 
regulations regarding the importation of these products.
Major Regulatory Priorities
    This following represents summary information on prospective 
priority regulations as called for in EO's 12866 and 13563:
Food and Nutrition Service
    Mission: FNS increases food security and reduces hunger in 
partnership with cooperating organizations by providing children and 
low-income people access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition 
education in a manner that supports American agriculture and inspires 
public confidence.
    Priorities: In addition to responding to provisions of legislation 
authorizing and modifying Federal nutrition assistance programs, FNS's 
2013 regulatory plan supports USDA's Strategic Goal to ``ensure that 
all of America's children have access to safe, nutritious and balanced 
meals,'' and its two related objectives:
     Increase Access to Nutritious Food. This objective 
represents FNS's efforts to improve nutrition by providing access to 
program benefits (food consumed at home, school meals, commodities) and 
distributing State administrative funds to support program operations. 
To advance this objective, FNS plans to publish a final rule from the 
2008 Farm Bill addressing SNAP eligibility, certification, and 
employment and training issues. This rule also responds to the 
principles outlined in EO 13563 and responds to EO 13610 by eliminating 
the requirement for face-to-face interviews in the SNAP certification 
process, eliminating substantial burdens for SNAP clients and providing 
additional flexibility to State agencies that administer the program.
     Improve Program Integrity. FNS also plans to publish a 
number of rules to increase the efficiency and reduce the burden of 
program operations. Program integrity provisions will continue to be 
strengthened in the SNAP and Child Nutrition programs to ensure Federal 
taxpayer dollars are spent effectively.
     Promote Healthy Diet and Physical Activity Behaviors. This 
objective represents FNS's efforts to ensure that program benefits meet 
appropriate standards to effectively improve nutrition for program 
participants, to improve the diets of its clients through nutrition 
education, and to support the national effort to reduce obesity by 
promoting healthy eating and physical activity. In support of this 
objective, FNS plans to publish a proposed rule implementing Healthy, 
Hunger-Free Kids Act provisions setting nutrition standards for all 
foods sold in school, establishing professional standards for school 
food service and State child nutrition program directors, and 
establishing requirements for the SNAP Nutrition Education and Obesity 
Prevention Grant Program; and finalizing a rule updating food packages 
in WIC. FNS' goal is by 2015 to reduce child obesity from 16.9 percent 
to 15.5 percent, to double the proportion of adults consuming five or 
more servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and to increase 
breastfeeding rates.
Food Safety and Inspection Service
    Mission: FSIS is responsible for ensuring that meat, poultry, and 
egg products in interstate and foreign commerce are wholesome, not 
adulterated, and properly marked, labeled, and packaged.
    Priorities: FSIS is committed to developing and issuing science-
based regulations intended to ensure that meat, poultry, and egg 
products are wholesome and not adulterated or misbranded. FSIS 
regulatory actions support the objective to protect public health by 
ensuring that food is safe under USDA's goal to ensure access to safe 
food. To reduce the number of foodborne illnesses and increase program 
efficiencies, FSIS will continue to review its existing authorities and 
regulations to ensure that it can address emerging food safety 
challenges, to streamline excessively prescriptive regulations, and to 
revise or remove regulations that are inconsistent with the FSIS' 
hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) regulations. FSIS is 
also working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to improve 
coordination and increase the effectiveness of inspection activities. 
FSIS's priority initiatives are as follows:
     Poultry Slaughter Modernization. FSIS plans to issue a 
final rule to implement a new inspection system for young poultry 
slaughter establishments that would facilitate public health-based 
inspection. The rule would allow for more effective inspection of 
carcasses and allocation of agency resources, as well as encourage 
industry to more readily use new technology. It would

[[Page 1332]]

save money for businesses and taxpayers while improving food safety.
     ``Natural'' Claim. FSIS will propose to amend the meat and 
poultry products regulations to define the conditions under which the 
voluntary claim ``natural'' may be used on meat and poultry product 
labeling. Requests for a ``natural'' label approval would need to 
include documentation to demonstrate that the products meet the 
criteria to bear the claim. A codified ``natural'' claim definition 
will reduce uncertainty about which products qualify for the label and 
will increase consumer confidence in the claim.
     Public Health Information System. To support its food 
safety inspection activities, FSIS is continuing to implement the 
Public Health Information System (PHIS), a user-friendly and Web-based 
system that automates many of the Agency's business processes. PHIS 
also enables greater exchange of information between FSIS and other 
Federal agencies, such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, involved 
in tracking cross-border movement of import and export shipments of 
meat, poultry, and processed egg products. To facilitate the 
implementation of some PHIS components, FSIS has proposed to provide 
for electronic export application and certification processes and will 
propose similar import processes as alternatives to current paper-based 
systems.
    Retrospective Review of Regulations. FSIS will continue to review 
its regulations to determine how to improve information collection 
procedures and the quality and sufficiency of data available to support 
regulatory decision making, and how to decrease the recordkeeping 
burden on the industry.
    In addition to the planned amendments to provide for electronic 
import and export application and certification, mentioned above, and 
in response to comments received on the request for information 
preparatory to the Department's regulatory review plan, FSIS is 
developing a final rule that will reduce regulatory burden by expanding 
the circumstances in which the labels of meat and poultry products will 
be deemed to be generically approved by FSIS.
     FSIS Small Business Implications. The great majority of 
businesses regulated by FSIS are small businesses. FSIS conducts a 
small business outreach program that provides critical training, access 
to food safety experts, and information resources, such as compliance 
guidance and questions and answers on various topics, in forms that are 
uniform, easily comprehended, and consistent. FSIS collaborates in this 
effort with other USDA agencies and cooperating State partners. For 
example, FSIS makes plant owners and operators aware of loan programs, 
available through USDA's Rural Business and Cooperative programs, to 
help them in upgrading their facilities. FSIS employees will meet with 
small and very small plant operators to learn more about their specific 
needs and explore how FSIS can tailor regulations to better meet the 
needs of small and very small establishments, while maintaining the 
highest level of food safety.
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
    Mission: The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is 
a multi-faceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes 
protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating 
genetically engineered organisms, administering the AWA and carrying 
out wildlife damage management activities.
    Priorities: With regard to plant and animal health, APHIS is 
committed to developing and issuing science-based regulations intended 
to protect the health and value of American agricultural and natural 
resources. APHIS conducts programs to prevent the introduction of 
exotic pests and diseases into the United States and conducts 
surveillance, monitoring, control, and eradication programs for pests 
and diseases in this country. These activities enhance agricultural 
productivity and competitiveness and contribute to the national economy 
and the public health. APHIS also conducts programs to ensure the 
humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of animals under 
the AWA. APHIS priority issues are as follows:
     Animal Disease Traceability. APHIS is continuing work to 
implement a robust national animal disease traceability system. This 
rulemaking would amend the regulations to establish minimum national 
official identification and documentation requirements for the 
traceability of livestock moving interstate. Continuing this work is 
expected to improve our ability to trace livestock in the event that 
disease is found.
     Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). APHIS is 
continuing work to revise its regulations concerning BSE to provide a 
more comprehensive and universally applicable framework for the 
importation of certain animals and products. APHIS believes that this 
work will continue to guard against the introduction of BSE into the 
United States.
     Update of Plant Pest Regulations. APHIS proposes to 
regulate the movement of not only plant pests, but also biological 
control organisms and associated articles. APHIS proposes risk-based 
criteria regarding the movement of biological control organisms, and 
proposes to establish regulations to allow the movement in interstate 
commerce of certain types of plant pests when appropriate. APHIS also 
proposes to revise regulations regarding the movement of soil and to 
establish regulations governing the biocontainment facilities in which 
plant pests, biological control organisms, and associated articles are 
held. This proposal would also clarify the factors that would be 
considered when assessing the risks associated with the movement of 
certain organisms. Finally, this proposal is expected to facilitate the 
movement of regulated organisms and articles in a manner that protects 
U.S. agriculture and address gaps in the current regulations.
     Retail Pet Stores. APHIS is continuing work to revise the 
definition of retail pet store and related regulations to bring more 
pet animals sold at retail under the protection of the AWA.
Agricultural Marketing Service
    Mission: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides 
marketing services to producers, manufacturers, distributors, 
importers, exporters, and consumers of food products. AMS also manages 
the government's food purchases, supervises food quality grading, 
maintains food quality standards, supervises the Federal research and 
promotion programs, and oversees the country of origin labeling program 
as well as the National Organic Program (NOP).
    Priorities: AMS priority items for next year include rulemaking 
that affects the organic industry. These are:
     National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances 
(National List). The agency will continue to follow the requirements of 
the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 by publishing rules to amend 
the National List based upon recommendations of the National Organic 
Standards Board (NOSB) and publish a rule to address substances due to 
sunset from the National List in 2013.
     Streamline Enforcement Actions for NOP. AMS would propose 
a regulation streamlining enforcement actions, by shortening the 
process by which AMS may initiate formal administrative proceedings for 
proposed suspensions or revocations of accreditation or certification.

[[Page 1333]]

     Organic Pet Food Standards. AMS would propose standards 
for organic pet food following recommendations of the NOSB.
     Organic Dairy Animals. AMS would propose a rule on the 
replacement of dairy animals which is intended to level the playing 
field by instituting the same requirements across all organic dairy 
producers, regardless of how they transitioned to organic production.
Farm Service Agency
    Mission: FSA's mission is to deliver timely, effective programs and 
services to America's farmers and ranchers to support them in 
sustaining our Nation's vibrant agricultural economy, as well as to 
provide first-rate support for domestic and international food aid 
efforts. FSA supports USDA's strategic goals by stabilizing farm 
income, providing credit to new or existing farmers and ranchers who 
are temporarily unable to obtain credit from commercial sources, and 
helping farm operations recover from the effects of disaster. FSA 
administers several conservation programs directed toward agricultural 
producers. The largest program is the Conservation Reserve Program, 
which protects up to 32 million acres of environmentally sensitive 
land.
    Priorities: FSA is focused on providing the best possible service 
to producers while protecting the environment by updating and 
streamlining environmental compliance and further strengthening Farm 
Loan Programs. Changes in the loan programs will better assist small 
farmers and socially disadvantaged farmers and will make loan servicing 
more efficient. FSA is also strengthening its ability to help the 
Nation respond to national defense emergencies. FSA's priority 
initiatives are as follows:
     Microloan Programs. FSA will implement a Microloan 
Program, which will help small and family operations progress through 
their start-up years with needed resources, while building capacity, 
increasing equity, and eventually graduating to commercial credit. The 
Microloan Program will improve the FSA Operating Loan Program to better 
meet the needs of small farmers. In addition, FSA will develop and 
issue regulations to amend programs for farm operating loans, down 
payment loans, and emergency loans to include socially disadvantaged 
farmers, increase loan limits, loan size, funding targets, interest 
rates, and graduating borrowers to commercial credit. In addition, FSA 
will further streamline normal loan servicing activities and reduce 
burden on borrowers while still protecting the loan security.
     Environmental Compliance (National Environmental Policy 
Act). FSA will revise its regulations that implement the National 
Environmental Policy Act. The changes improve the efficiency, 
transparency, and consistency of NEPA implementation. Changes include 
aligning the regulations to NEPA regulations and guidance from the 
President's Council on Environmental Quality; providing a single set of 
regulations that reflect the agency's current structure; clarifying the 
types of actions that require an Environmental Assessment (EA); and 
adding to the list of actions that are categorically excluded from 
further environmental review because they have no significant effect on 
the human environment.
     Agriculture Priorities and Allocations Systems (APAS). 
USDA was directed to develop APAS as part of a suite of rules that are 
being modeled after the Defense Priorities and Allocations System 
(DPAS). Under APAS, USDA would secure food and agriculture-related 
resources as part of preparing for, and responding to, national defense 
emergencies by placing priorities on orders or by using resource 
allocation authority. APAS is authorized by the Defense Production Act 
Reauthorization Act of 2009 (DPA). The authorities under DPA have 
already been implemented by the Department of Commerce (DOC) via 
memoranda of understanding with other Departments. The suite of DPA 
rules relieves DOC from implementation responsibility for items outside 
their jurisdiction and places these responsibilities with the relevant 
Departments.
Forest Service
    Mission: The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the 
health, productivity, and diversity of the Nation's forests and 
rangelands to meet the needs of present and future generations. This 
includes protecting and managing National Forest System lands, 
providing technical and financial assistance to States, communities, 
and private forest landowners, plus developing and providing scientific 
and technical assistance, and the exchange of scientific information to 
support international forest and range conservation. Forest Service 
regulatory priorities support the accomplishment of the Department's 
goal to ensure our National forests are conserved, restored, and made 
more resilient to climate change, while enhancing our water resources.
    Priorities: FS is committed to developing and issuing science-based 
regulations intended to ensure public participation in the management 
of our Nation's National Forest, while also moving forward the FS' 
ability to plan and conduct restoration projects on National Forest 
System lands. FS will continue to review its existing authorities and 
regulations to ensure that it can address emerging challenges, to 
streamline excessively burdensome business practices, and to revise or 
remove regulations that are inconsistent with the USDA's vision for 
restoring the health and function of the lands it is charged with 
managing. FS' priority initiatives are as follows:
     Land Management Planning Rule Policy. The Forest Service 
promulgated a new Land Management Planning rule in April 2012. This 
rule streamlined the Forest Service's paperwork requirements but 
expanded the public participation requirements for revising National 
Forest's Land Management Plans. Having promulgated the 2012 Planning 
Rule, the Agency is planning to publish for comment the follow-up 
internal guidance on how to implement the new planning rule. These 
directives, once finalized, will enable National Forests to begin 
revising their management plans under the new rule.
     Ecological Restoration Policy. This policy would recognize 
the adaptive capacity of ecosystems, and includes the role of natural 
disturbances and uncertainty related to climate and other environmental 
change. The need for ecological restoration of National Forest System 
(NFS) lands is widely recognized, and the Forest Service has conducted 
restoration-related activities across many programs for decades. 
``Restoration'' is a common way of describing much of the agency's work 
and the concept is threaded throughout existing authorities, program 
directives, and collaborative efforts such as the National Fire Plan 
10-Year Comprehensive Strategy and Implementation Plan and the Healthy 
Forests Restoration Act. However, the agency did not have a definition 
of restoration established in policy. That was identified as a barrier 
to collaborating with the public and partners to plan and accomplish 
restoration work.
Rural Development
    Mission: Rural Development (RD) promotes a dynamic business 
environment in rural America that creates jobs, community 
infrastructure, and housing opportunities in partnership with the 
private sector and community-based organizations by

[[Page 1334]]

providing financial assistance and business planning services, and 
supporting projects that create or preserve quality jobs and/or promote 
a clean rural environment, while focusing on the development of single 
and multi-family housing and community infrastructure. RD financial 
resources are often leveraged with those of other public and private 
credit source lenders to meet business and credit needs in under-served 
areas. Recipients of these programs may include individuals, 
corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, public bodies, nonprofit 
corporations, Indian tribes, and private companies.
    Priorities: RD regulatory priorities will facilitate sustainable 
renewable energy development and enhance the opportunities necessary 
for rural families to thrive economically. RD's rules will minimize 
program complexity and the related burden on the public while enhancing 
program delivery and RBS oversight.
     Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program. RD 
will enhance current operations of the B&I program, streamline existing 
practices, and minimize program complexity and the related burden on 
the public.
     Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP will be 
revised to ensure a larger number of applicants will be made available 
by issuing smaller grants. By doing so, funding will be distributed 
evenly across the applicant pool and encourage greater development of 
renewable energy.
     Broadband Loans. RD will finalize the interim rule that 
implemented provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill that made credit more 
accessible for broadband providers serving rural areas. The key 
provisions of the regulation include modifications to rural areas, 
financial coverage ratios, defining broadband speed and the publication 
of an annual notice.
Departmental Management
    Mission: Departmental Management's mission is to provide management 
leadership to ensure that USDA administrative programs, policies, 
advice and counsel meet the needs of USDA programs, consistent with 
laws and mandates, and provide safe and efficient facilities and 
services to customers.
Priorities
     USDA Procurement Reform: Department Management would 
incorporate in all moderate to large USDA contracts a new clause 
requiring the contractor to certify compliance with three specific 
labor laws, and to notify the contracting officer if it becomes aware 
of a violation of one of these laws. This would mitigate the risk of 
potentially awarding contracts to non-responsible entities and ensure 
that compliance with labor laws is factored into contracting decisions.
     BioPreferred[supreg] Program: In support of the 
Department's goal to increase prosperity in rural areas, USDA's 
Departmental Management will finalize regulations to revise the 
BioPreferred[supreg] program guidelines to continue adding designated 
product categories to the preferred procurement program, including 
intermediates and feedstocks and finished products made of 
intermediates and feedstocks.
Aggregate Costs and Benefits
    USDA will ensure that its regulations provide benefits that exceed 
costs, but are unable to provide an estimate of the aggregated impacts 
of its regulations. Problems with aggregation arise due to differing 
baselines, data gaps, and inconsistencies in methodology and the type 
of regulatory costs and benefits considered. Some benefits and costs 
associated with rules listed in the regulatory plan cannot currently be 
quantified as the rules are still being formulated. For 2013, USDA's 
focus will be to implement the changes to programs in such a way as to 
provide benefits while minimizing program complexity and regulatory 
burden for program participants.

USDA--AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (AMS)

1. National Organic Program, Origin of Livestock, NOP-11-0009

Proposed Rule Stage
    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 6501
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR part 205.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The current regulations provide two tracks for replacing 
dairy animals which are tied to how dairy farmers transition to organic 
production. Farmers who transition an entire distinct herd must 
thereafter replace dairy animals with livestock that has been under 
organic management from the last third of gestation. Farmers who do not 
transition an entire distinct herd may perpetually obtain replacement 
animals that have been managed organically for 12 months prior to 
marketing milk or milk products as organic. The proposed action would 
eliminate the two track system and require that upon transition, all 
existing and replacement dairy animals from which milk or milk products 
are intended to be sold, labeled or represented as organic, must be 
managed organically from the last third of gestation.
    Statement of Need: This action is being taken because of concerns 
raised by various parties, including the National Organic Standards 
Board (NOSB), about the dual tracks for dairy replacement animals. The 
organic community argues that the ``two track system'' encourages 
producers to sell their organic young stock and replace them with 
animals converted from conventional production. The organic community 
points out that with this continual state of transitioning, animals 
treated with and fed prohibited substances, prior to conversion, are 
constantly entering organic agriculture. Some producers have taken this 
route because it is cheaper and easier to convert or purchase converted 
animals than to raise organic young stock. As a result, this continual 
state of transition has discouraged development of a viable organic 
market for young dairy stock. The organic community has expressed that 
this is contrary to the intent of organic and the expectations of 
organic dairy product consumers. These concerns are ultimately rooted 
in a discrepancy between the regulatory intent and interpretation 
whereby some organic dairy producers are required to manage/obtain 
animals that have been raised organically since the last third of 
gestation, while other producers may continually obtain replacement 
animals from conventional production, which have been managed 
organically for 12 months. The proposed action would level the playing 
field by instituting the same requirements across all producers, 
regardless of their transition approach.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The National Organic Program regulations 
stipulate the requirements for dairy replacement animals in section 
205.236(a)(2) Origin of Livestock. In addition, in response to the 
final ruling in the 2005 case, Harvey v. Johanns, the USDA committed to 
rulemaking to address the concerns about dairy replacement animals.
    Alternatives: The program considered initiating the rulemaking with 
an ANPR. It was determined that there is sufficient awareness of the 
expectations of the organic community to proceed with a proposed rule. 
As alternatives, we considered the status quo, however, this would 
continue the disparity between producers who can continually transition 
conventional dairy animals into organic production and producers who 
must source dairy animals that are organic from the last third of 
gestation. Based on the information available, this

[[Page 1335]]

disparity appears to create a barrier to the development of an organic 
heifer market. We also considered an action that would restrict the 
source of breeder stock and movement of breeder stock after they are 
brought onto an organic operation, however, this would minimize the 
flexibility of producers to purchase breeder stock from any source as 
specified under the Organic Foods Production Act.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Organic producers who routinely 
convert conventional dairy livestock to organic will either need to 
find a source to procure organic replacement animals, or begin to raise 
replacement animals within their operation. The costs associated with 
compliance have not been quantified, however, the comments to the 
proposed rule will provide a basis for those estimates. Organic 
operations that converted a whole-herd to organic status and do not 
convert conventional animals for replacements will be able to readily 
comply with the rule and may find new market opportunities for organic 
replacement dairy livestock.
    Risks: Continuation of the two-track system jeopardizes the 
viability of the market for organic heifers. A potential risk 
associated with the rulemaking would be a temporary supply shortage of 
dairy replacement animals due to the increased demand.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   06/00/13  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Melissa R Bailey, Director, Standards Division, 
Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, 14th & 
Independence Avenue SW., Rm. 2646-South Building, Washington, DC 20250, 
Phone: 202 720-3252, Fax: 202 205-7808, Email: melissa.bailey@usda.gov.
    RIN: 0581-AD08

USDA--AMS

2. National Organic Program, Streamlining Enforcement Related Actions

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 6501
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR part 205.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rulemaking would amend sections of the NOP 
regulations which pertain to the adverse action appeals process. It 
would require the Agency to initiate formal administrative proceedings 
for proposed suspensions or revocations of accreditation or 
certification issued by the NOP. Under the current NOP regulations, a 
formal administrative proceeding is initiated following the decision of 
the Administrator to deny an appeal. This rulemaking would omit the 
step of appealing to the Administrator when NOP has initiated the 
adverse action. This action also would amend the NOP regulations to 
require appellants who want to further contest a decision of the 
Administrator to deny an appeal to request a hearing. Under the current 
regulations, the formal administrative proceeding is initiated by 
default upon issuance of the Administrator's denial.
    Also, this rulemaking would add clarifying language concerning 
mediation and stipulations entered into by the NOP, as well as correct 
the address to which appeals are submitted.
    Statement of Need: The March 2010 Office of Inspector General (OIG) 
audit of the NOP, raised issues related to the program's progress for 
imposing enforcement actions. One concern was that organic producers 
and handlers facing revocation or suspension of their certification are 
able to market their products as organic during what can be a lengthy 
appeals process. As a result, AMS expects to publish a proposed rule in 
FY2013 to revise language in section 205.681 of the NOP regulations, 
which pertains to adverse action appeals. It is expected that this rule 
will streamline the NOP appeals process such that appeals are reviewed 
and responded to in a more timely manner.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 
(OFPA), 7 U.S.C. section 6501 et seq., requires that the Secretary 
establish an expedited administrative appeals procedure for appealing 
an action of the Secretary or certifying agent (section 6520). The NOP 
regulations describe how appeals of proposed adverse action concerning 
certification and accreditation are initiated and further contested 
(sections 205.680, 205.681).
    Alternatives: The program considered maintaining the status quo and 
hiring additional support for the NOP Appeals Team. This rulemaking was 
determined to be preferable because it will reduce redundancy in the 
appeals process, where an appellant can more quickly appeal the 
Administrator's decision to an Administrative Law Judge.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This action will affect certified 
operations and accredited certifying agents. The primary impact is 
expected to be expedited enforcement action, which may benefit the 
organic community through deterrence and increase consumer confidence 
in the organic label. It is not expected to have a significant cost 
burden upon affected entities beyond any monetary penalty or suspension 
or revocation of certification or accreditation, to which these 
entities are already subject to under current regulations.
    RISKS: None have been identified.
    Risks: None.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   06/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Melissa R Bailey, Director, Standards Division, 
Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, 14th & 
Independence Avenue SW., Rm. 2646-South Building, Washington, DC 20250, 
Phone: 202 720-3252, Fax: 202 205-7808, Email: melissa.bailey@usda.gov.
    RIN: 0581-AD09

USDA--ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE (APHIS)

Proposed Rule Stage

3. Plant Pest Regulations; Update of General Provisions

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450; 7 U.S.C. 2260; 7 U.S.C. 7701 to 
7772; 7 U.S.C. 7781 to 7786; 7 U.S.C. 8301 to 8817; 19 U.S.C. 136; 21 
U.S.C. 111; 21 U.S.C. 114a; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 
U.S.C. 4331 and 4332
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR parts 318 and 319; 7 CFR part 330; 7 CFR part 
352.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: We are proposing to revise our regulations regarding the 
movement of plant pests. We are proposing to regulate the movement of 
not only plant pests, but also biological control organisms and 
associated articles. We are proposing risk-based criteria regarding the 
movement of biological control organisms, and are proposing to 
establish regulations to allow the movement in interstate commerce of 
certain types of plant pests without restriction by granting exceptions 
from permitting requirements for those pests. We are also proposing to 
revise our regulations regarding the movement of soil and to establish 
regulations governing the biocontainment facilities in which plant 
pests, biological control organisms, and associated articles are held. 
This proposed rule replaces a previously published proposed rule,

[[Page 1336]]

which we are withdrawing as part of this document. This proposal would 
clarify the factors that would be considered when assessing the risks 
associated with the movement of certain organisms, facilitate the 
movement of regulated organisms and articles in a manner that also 
protects U.S. agriculture, and address gaps in the current regulations.
    Statement of Need: APHIS is preparing a proposed rule to revise its 
regulations regarding the movement of plant pests. The revised 
regulations would address the importation and interstate movement of 
plant pests, biological control organisms, and associated articles, and 
the release into the environment of biological control organisms. The 
revision would also address the movement of soil and establish 
regulations governing the biocontainment facilities in which plant 
pests, biological control organisms, and associated articles are held. 
This proposal would clarify the factors that would be considered when 
assessing the risks associated with the movement of certain organisms, 
facilitate the movement of regulated organisms and articles in a manner 
that also protects U.S. agriculture, and address gaps in the current 
regulations.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Under section 411(a) of the Plant 
Protection Act (PPA), no person shall import, enter, export, or move in 
interstate commerce any plant pest, unless the importation, entry, 
exportation, or movement is authorized under a general or specific 
permit and in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary of 
Agriculture may issue to prevent the introduction of plant pests into 
the United States or the dissemination of plant pests within the United 
States.
    Under section 412 of the PPA, the Secretary may restrict the 
importation or movement in interstate commerce of biological control 
organisms by requiring the organisms to be accompanied by a permit 
authorizing such movement and by subjecting the organisms to quarantine 
conditions or other remedial measures deemed necessary to prevent the 
spread of plant pests or noxious weeds. That same section of the PPA 
also gives the Secretary explicit authority to regulate the movement of 
associated articles.
    Alternatives: The alternatives we considered were taking no action 
at this time or implementing a comprehensive risk reduction plan. This 
latter alternative would be characterized as a broad risk mitigation 
strategy that could involve various options such as increased 
inspection, regulations specific to a certain organism or group of 
related organisms, or extensive biocontainment requirements.
    We decided against the first alternative because leaving the 
regulations unchanged would not address the needs identified 
immediately above. We decided against the latter alternative, because 
available scientific information, personnel, and resources suggest that 
it would be impracticable at this time.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: To be determined.
    Risks: Unless we issue such a proposal, the regulations will not 
provide a clear protocol for obtaining permits that authorize the 
movement and environmental release of biological control organisms. 
This, in turn, could impede research to explore biological control 
options for various plant pests and noxious weeds known to exist within 
the United States, and could indirectly lead to the further 
dissemination of such pests and weeds.
    Moreover, unless we revise the soil regulations, certain provisions 
in the regulations will not adequately address the risk to plants, 
plant parts, and plant products within the United States that such soil 
might present.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice of Intent To Prepare an         10/20/09  74 FR 53673
 Environmental Impact Statement.
Notice Comment Period End...........   11/19/09
NPRM................................   04/00/13
NPRM Comment Period End.............   06/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State, Tribal.
    International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to 
have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of 
international interest.
    Additional Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.
    Agency Contact: Shirley Wager-Page, Chief, Pest Permitting Branch, 
Plant Health Programs, PPQ, Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service, 4700 River Road, Unit 131, Riverdale, MD 
20737-1236, Phone: 301 851-2323.
    RIN: 0579-AC98

USDA--APHIS

Final Rule Stage

4. Importation of Live Dogs

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 2148.
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR parts 1 and 2.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: We are amending the regulations to implement an amendment 
to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act 
of 2008 added a new section to the AWA to restrict the importation of 
certain live dogs. Consistent with this amendment, this rule prohibits 
the importation of dogs, with limited exceptions, from any part of the 
world into the continental United States or Hawaii for purposes of 
resale, research, or veterinary treatment, unless the dogs are in good 
health, have received all necessary vaccinations, and are at least 6 
months of age. This action is necessary to implement the amendment to 
the AWA and will help to ensure the welfare of imported dogs.
    Statement of Need: The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 
mandates that the Secretary of Agriculture promulgate regulations to 
implement and enforce new provisions of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) 
regarding the importation of dogs for resale. In line with the changes 
to the AWA, APHIS intends to amend the regulations in 9 CFR parts 1 and 
2 to regulate the importation of dogs for resale.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 
2008 (Pub. L. 110-246, signed into law on June 18, 2008) added a new 
section to the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2147) to restrict the 
importation of live dogs for resale. As amended, the AWA now prohibits 
the importation of dogs into the United States for resale unless the 
Secretary of Agriculture determines that the dogs are in good health, 
have received all necessary vaccinations, and are at least 6 months of 
age. Exceptions are provided for dogs imported for research purposes or 
veterinary treatment. An exception to the 6-month age requirement is 
also provided for dogs that are lawfully imported into Hawaii for 
resale purposes from the British Isles, Australia, Guam, or New Zealand 
in compliance with the applicable regulations of Hawaii, provided the 
dogs are vaccinated, are in good health, and are not transported out of 
Hawaii for resale purposes at less than 6 months of age.
    Alternatives: To be identified.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: To be determined.
    Risks: Not applicable.

[[Page 1337]]

    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   09/01/11  76 FR 54392
NPRM Comment Period End.............   10/31/11
Final Rule..........................   04/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.
    Agency Contact: Gerald Rushin, Veterinary Medical Officer, Animal 
Care, Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service, 4700 River Road, Unit 84, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231, Phone: 301 
851-3735.
    RIN: 0579-AD23

USDA--APHIS

5. Animal Disease Traceability

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8305
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR part 86.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rulemaking will amend the regulations to establish 
minimum national official identification and documentation requirements 
for the traceability of livestock moving interstate. The purpose of 
this rulemaking is to improve our ability to trace livestock in the 
event that disease is found.
    Statement of Need: Preventing and controlling animal disease is the 
cornerstone of protecting American animal agriculture. While ranchers 
and farmers work hard to protect their animals and their livelihoods, 
there is never a guarantee that their animals will be spared from 
disease. To support their efforts, USDA has enacted regulations to 
prevent, control, and eradicate disease, and to increase foreign and 
domestic confidence in the safety of animals and animal products. 
Traceability helps give that reassurance. Traceability does not prevent 
disease, but knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they 
have been, and when, is indispensable in emergency response and in 
ongoing disease programs. The primary objective of these proposed 
regulations is to improve our ability to trace livestock in the event 
that disease is found in a manner that continues to ensure the smooth 
flow of livestock in interstate commerce.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Under the Animal Health Protection Act (7 
U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture may prohibit or 
restrict the interstate movement of any animal to prevent the 
introduction or dissemination of any pest or disease of livestock, and 
may carry out operations and measures to detect, control, or eradicate 
any pest or disease of livestock. The Secretary may promulgate such 
regulations as may be necessary to carry out the Act.
    Alternatives: As part of its ongoing efforts to safeguard animal 
health, APHIS initiated implementation of the National Animal 
Identification System (NAIS) in 2004. More recently, the Agency 
launched an effort to assess the level of acceptance of NAIS through 
meetings with the Secretary, listening sessions in 14 cities, and 
public comments. Although there was some support for NAIS, the vast 
majority of participants were highly critical of the program and of 
USDA's implementation efforts. The feedback revealed that NAIS has 
become a barrier to achieving meaningful animal disease traceability in 
the United States in partnership with America's producers.
    The option we are proposing pertains strictly to interstate 
movement and gives States and tribes the flexibility to identify and 
implement the traceability approaches that work best for them.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: A workable and effective animal 
traceability system would enhance animal health programs, leading to 
more secure market access and other societal gains. Traceability can 
reduce the cost of disease outbreaks, minimizing losses to producers 
and industries by enabling current and previous locations of 
potentially exposed animals to be readily identified. Trade benefits 
can include increased competitiveness in global markets generally, and 
when outbreaks do occur, the mitigation of export market losses through 
regionalization. Markets benefit through more efficient and timely 
epidemiological investigation of animal health issues.
    Other societal benefits include improved animal welfare during 
natural disasters.
    The main economic effect of the rule is expected to be on the beef 
and cattle industry. For other species such as horses and other equine 
species, poultry, sheep and goats, swine, and captive cervids, APHIS 
would largely maintain and build on the identification requirements of 
existing disease program regulations.
    Costs of an animal traceability system would include those for tags 
and interstate certificates of veterinary inspection (ICVIs) or other 
movement documentation, for animals moved interstate. Incremental costs 
incurred are expected to vary depending upon a number of factors, 
including whether an enterprise does or does not already use eartags to 
identify individual cattle. For many operators, costs of official 
animal identification and ICVIs would be similar, respectively, to 
costs associated with current animal identification practices and the 
in-shipment documentation currently required by individual States. To 
the extent that official animal identification and ICVIs would simply 
replace current requirements, the incremental costs of the rule for 
private enterprises would be minimal.
    Risks: This rulemaking is being undertaken to address the animal 
health risks posed by gaps in the existing regulations concerning 
identification of livestock being moved interstate. The current lack of 
a comprehensive animal traceability program is impairing our ability to 
trace animals that may be infected with disease.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   08/11/11  76 FR 50082
NPRM Comment Period End.............   11/09/11
Final Rule..........................   12/00/12
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: State, Tribal.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in EO 13132.
    Additional Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.
    Agency Contact: Neil Hammerschmidt, Program Manager, Animal Disease 
Traceability, VS, Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service, 4700 River Road, Unit 46, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231, 
Phone: 301 851-3539.
    RIN: 0579-AD24

USDA--APHIS

6. Animal Welfare; Retail Pet Stores

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 2131 to 2159
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR parts 1 and 2.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rulemaking will revise the definition of retail pet 
store and related regulations to bring more pet

[[Page 1338]]

animals sold at retail under the protection of the Animal Welfare Act 
(AWA). Retail pet stores are not required to be licensed and inspected 
under the AWA. This rulemaking is necessary to ensure that animals sold 
at retail are monitored for their health and humane treatment.
    Statement of Need: ``Retail pet stores'' are not required to obtain 
a license under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) or comply with the AWA 
regulations and standards. Currently, anyone selling, at retail, the 
following animals for use as pets are considered retail pet stores: 
Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, 
gophers, chinchilla, domestic ferrets, domestic farm animals, birds, 
and cold-blooded species. This rulemaking would rescind the ``retail 
pet store'' status of anyone selling, at retail for use as pets, those 
types of animals to buyers who do not physically enter his or her place 
of business or residence in order to personally observe the animals 
available for sale prior to purchase and/or to take custody of the 
animals after purchase. Unless otherwise exempt under the regulations, 
these entities would be required to obtain a license from APHIS and 
would become subject to the AWA regulations and standards.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA or the 
Act, 7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized 
to promulgate standards and other requirements governing the humane 
handling, care, treatment, and transportation of certain animals by 
dealers, research facilities, exhibitors, operators of auction sales, 
and carriers and intermediate handlers. The Secretary has delegated 
responsibility for administering the AWA to the Administrator of APHIS.
    Alternatives: We recognize that retailers who sell some animals to 
walk-in customers and some animals remotely may be subject to a certain 
degree of oversight by the customers who enter their place of business 
or residence. As a result, we considered establishing a regulatory 
threshold based on the percentage of such a retailer's remote sales. A 
second alternative we considered in preparing the proposed rule was to 
add an exception from licensing for retailers that are subject to 
oversight by State or local agencies or by breed and registry 
organizations that enforce standards of welfare comparable to those 
standards established under the AWA. A third alternative we considered 
during the development of the proposed rule was to amend the definition 
of retail pet store so that only high-volume breeders would be subject 
to the AWA regulations and standards. We determined, however, that the 
proposed action would be preferable to these alternatives.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Although we have attempted to 
estimate the impact of the proposed rule, we did not initially have 
enough information to fully assess it, particularly information on the 
number of entities that may be affected or breadth of operational 
changes that may result. In the proposed rule, we encouraged public 
comment on the number of entities that may be affected and the degree 
to which operations would be altered to comply with the rule. We 
believe that the benefits of the rule--primarily enhanced animal 
welfare--would justify the costs. The rule would help ensure that 
animals sold at retail, but lacking public oversight receive humane 
handling, care and treatment in keeping with the requirements of the 
AWA. It would also address the competitive disadvantage of retail 
breeders who adhere to the AWA regulations, when compared to those 
retailers who do not operate their facilities according to AWA 
standards and may therefore bear lower costs. These benefits are not 
quantified.
    Risks: Not applicable.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   05/16/12  77 FR 28799
NPRM Comment Period End.............   07/16/12
NPRM Comment Period Extended........   07/16/12  77 FR 41716
NPRM Comment Period End.............   08/15/12
Final Rule..........................   02/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.
    Agency Contact: Gerald Rushin, Veterinary Medical Officer, Animal 
Care, Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service, 4700 River Road, Unit 84, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231, Phone: 301 
851-3735.
    RIN: 0579-AD57

USDA--FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICE (FNS)

Proposed Rule Stage

7. Child Nutrition Program Integrity

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-296
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule proposes to codify three provisions of the 
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (the Act). Section 303 of the Act 
requires the Secretary to establish criteria for imposing fines against 
schools, school food authorities, or State agencies that fail to 
correct severe mismanagement of the program, fail to correct repeat 
violations of program requirements, or disregard a program requirement 
of which they had been informed. Section 322 of the Act requires the 
Secretary to establish procedures for the termination and 
disqualification of organizations participating in the Summer Food 
Service Program (SFSP). Section 362 of the Act requires that any 
school, institution, service institution, facility, or individual that 
has been terminated from any program authorized under the Richard B. 
Russell National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 
and appears on either the SFSP or the Child and Adult Care Food 
Program's (CACFP's) disqualified list, may not be approved to 
participate in or administer any other programs authorized under those 
two Acts.
    Statement of Need: There are currently no regulations imposing 
fines on schools, school food authorities or State agencies for program 
violations and mismanagement. This rule will (1) establish criteria for 
imposing fines against schools, school food authorities or State 
agencies that fail to correct severe mismanagement of the program or 
repeated violations of program requirements; (2) establish procedures 
for the termination and disqualification of organizations participating 
in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP); and (3) require that any 
school, institutions, or individual that has been terminated from any 
Federal Child Nutrition Program and appears on either the SFSP or the 
Child and Adult Care Food Program's (CACFP's) disqualified list may not 
be approved to participate in or administer any other Child Nutrition 
Program.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This rule codifies Sections 303, 322, and 
362 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-296).
    Alternatives: None identified; this rule implements statutory 
requirements.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This rule is expected to help 
promote program integrity in all of the child nutrition programs. FNS 
anticipates that these provisions will have no significant costs and no 
major increase in regulatory burden to States.

[[Page 1339]]

    Risks: None identified.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   04/00/13
NPRM Comment Period End.............   06/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: James F Herbert, Regulatory Review Specialist, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 10th Floor, 3101 
Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 305-2572, Email: 
james.herbert@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AE08

USDA--FNS

8. National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs: Nutrition 
Standards for All Foods Sold in School, as Required by the Healthy, 
Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

    Priority: Economically Significant.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-296
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR part 210; 7 CFR part 220.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would codify the two provisions of the 
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Pub. L. 111-296; the Act) under 7 CFR 
parts 210 and 220.
    Section 203 requires schools participating in the National School 
Lunch Program to make available to children free of charge, as 
nutritionally appropriate, potable water for consumption in the place 
where meals are served during meal service.
    Section 208 requires the Secretary to promulgate proposed 
regulations to establish science-based nutrition standards for all 
foods sold in schools not later than December 13, 2011. The nutrition 
standards would apply to all food sold outside the school meal 
programs, on the school campus, and at any time during the school day.
    Statement of Need: This proposed rule would codify the following 
provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Pub. L. 111-296; the 
Act) as appropriate, under 7 CFR parts 210 and 220.
    Section 203 requires schools participating in the National School 
Lunch Program to make available to children free of charge, as 
nutritionally appropriate, potable water for consumption in the place 
where meals are served during meal service.
    Section 208 requires the Secretary to promulgate proposed 
regulations to establish science-based nutrition standards for all 
foods sold in schools not later than December 13, 2011. The nutrition 
standards would apply to all food sold outside the school meal 
programs, on the school campus, and at any time during the school day.
    Summary of Legal Basis: There is no existing regulatory requirement 
to make water available where meals are served. Regulations at 7 CFR 
parts 210.11 direct State agencies and school food authorities to 
establish regulations necessary to control the sale of foods in 
competition with lunches served under the NSLP, and prohibit the sale 
of foods of minimal nutritional value in the food service areas during 
the lunch periods. The sale of other competitive foods may, at the 
discretion of the State agency and school food authority, be allowed in 
the food service area during the lunch period only if all income from 
the sale of such foods accrues to the benefit of the nonprofit school 
food service or the school or student organizations approved by the 
school. State agencies and school food authorities may impose 
additional restrictions on the sale of and income from all foods sold 
at any time throughout schools participating in the Program.
    Alternatives: None.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Expected Costs Analysis and 
Budgetary Effects Statement: The Congressional Budget Office determined 
these provisions would incur no Federal costs.
Expected Benefits of the Proposed Action
    The provisions in this proposed rulemaking would result in better 
nutrition for all school children.
    Risks: None known.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   04/00/13
NPRM Comment Period End.............   06/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Agency Contact: James F. Herbert, Regulatory Review Specialist, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 10th Floor, 3101 
Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 305-2572, Email: 
james.herbert@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AE09

USDA--FNS

9. Child Nutrition Programs: Professional Standards for School Food 
Service and State Child Nutrition Program Directors as Required by the 
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-296
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR part 210; 7 CFR part 220.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would codify section 306 of the 
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Pub. L. 111-296; the Act) under 7 CFR 
parts 210 and 220 which requires the Secretary to establish a program 
of required education, training, and certification for all school food 
service directors responsible for the management of a school food 
authority; and criteria and standards for States to use in the 
selection of State agency directors with responsibility for the school 
lunch program and the school breakfast program.
    Statement of Need: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 
requires USDA to establish a program of required education, training, 
and certification for all school food service directors responsible for 
the management of a school food authority, as well as criteria and 
standards for States to use in the selection of State agency directors 
with responsibility for the school lunch program and the school 
breakfast program. The Act also requires each State to provide at least 
annual training in administrative practices to local education agency 
and school food service personnel.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This proposed rule would codify section 306 
of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-296).
    Alternatives: Because this proposed rule is under development, 
alternatives are not yet articulated.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This rule is expected to establish 
consistent required education and professional standards for school 
food service and state agency directors; and education, training and 
certification of food service personnel. Consistent standards should 
help strengthen program integrity and quality. The Act provides a small 
amount ($5 million in the first year, $1 million annually thereafter) 
to establish and manage the training and certification programs. USDA

[[Page 1340]]

anticipates that the rule will have no significant cost and no major 
increase in regulatory burden to States.
    Risks: None identified.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/13
NPRM Comment Period End.............   05/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Agency Contact: James F. Herbert, Regulatory Review Specialist, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 10th Floor, 3101 
Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 305-2572, Email: 
james.herbert@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AE19

USDA--FNS

10. SNAP: Immediate Payment Suspension for Fraudulent Retailer Activity

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-246
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule proposes to implement part of section 4132 of 
the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246) by 
authorizing the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to suspend the payment 
of redeemed program benefits to a suspected retail food store or 
wholesale food concern pending administrative action to disqualify the 
firm.
    Statement of Need: Under current rules, some firms authorized to 
redeem SNAP benefits conduct substantial trafficking or other 
fraudulent SNAP activity in a short period of time, flee with the 
fraudulently-obtained funds, and ultimately appreciate large profits 
from this before USDA is able to complete a formal investigation. The 
ability to withhold some revenues from such violators would depreciate 
their profits and may discourage this illegal activity.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This rule codifies part of section 4132 of 
the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246).
    Alternatives: Because this proposed rule is under development, 
alternatives are not yet articulated.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This rule will improve SNAP 
integrity by allowing USDA to take appropriate action against retailers 
who commit fraud. The Department does not anticipate that this 
provision will have a significant cost impact.
    Risks: Suspension of funds for firms suspected of flagrant program 
violations runs a small risk that firms that are ultimately found not 
to have trafficked will temporarily lose the use of these funds. USDA 
anticipates that this provision will only affect a small subset of 
firms charged with trafficking, and that the small risk of 
inappropriate suspensions far outweighs the much larger risk of 
permitting a firm to profit from trafficking in SNAP benefits while a 
decision is made on its case.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   12/00/12
NPRM Comment Period End.............   02/00/13
Final Action........................   07/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: James F. Herbert, Regulatory Review Specialist, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 10th Floor, 3101 
Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 305-2572, Email: 
james.herbert@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AE22

USDA--FNS

Final Rule Stage

11. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and 
Children (WIC): Revisions in the WIC Food Packages

    Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 U.S.C. 801 is 
undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 1786
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR part 246.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This final rule will affirm and address comments from 
stakeholders on an interim final rule that went into effect October 1, 
2009, governing WIC food packages to align them more closely with 
updated nutrition science.
    Statement of Need: As the population served by WIC has grown and 
become more diverse over the past 20 years, the nutritional risks faced 
by participants have changed, and though nutrition science has 
advanced, the WIC supplemental food packages remained largely unchanged 
until FY 2010. This rule is needed to respond to comments and 
experience, and to implement recommended changes to the WIC food 
packages based on the current nutritional needs of WIC participants and 
advances in nutrition science.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization 
Act of 2004, enacted on June 30, 2004, requires the Department to issue 
a final rule within 18 months of receiving the Institute of Medicine's 
report on revisions to the WIC food packages. This report was published 
and released to the public on April 27, 2005.
    Alternatives: FNS developed a regulatory impact analysis that 
addressed a variety of alternatives that were considered in the interim 
final rulemaking. The regulatory impact analysis was published as an 
appendix to the interim rule.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The regulatory impact analysis for 
this rule provided a reasonable estimate of the anticipated effects of 
the rule. This analysis estimated that the provisions of the rule would 
have a minimal impact on the costs of overall operations of the WIC 
Program over 5 years. The regulatory impact analysis was published as 
an appendix to the interim rule.
    Risks: This rule applies to WIC State agencies with respect to 
their selection of foods to be included on their food lists. As a 
result, vendors will be indirectly affected and the food industry will 
realize increased sales of some foods and decreases in other foods, 
with an overall neutral effect on sales nationally. The rule may have 
an indirect economic affect on certain small businesses because they 
may have to carry a larger variety of certain foods to be eligible for 
authorization as a WIC vendor. With the high degree of State 
flexibility allowable under this final rule, small vendors will be 
impacted differently in each State depending upon how that State 
chooses to meet the new requirements. It is, therefore, not feasible to 
accurately estimate the rule's impact on small vendors. Since neither 
FNS nor the State agencies regulate food producers under the WIC 
Program, it is not known how many small entities within that industry 
may be indirectly affected by the rule. FNS has, however, modified the 
new food provision in an effort to mitigate the impact on small 
entities. This rule adds new food items, such as fruits and vegetables 
and whole grain breads, which may require some WIC vendors, 
particularly smaller stores, to expand the types and quantities of food 
items stocked in order

[[Page 1341]]

to maintain their WIC authorization. In addition, vendors also have to 
make available more than one food type from each WIC food category, 
except for the categories of peanut butter and eggs, which may be a 
change for some vendors. To mitigate the impact of the fruit and 
vegetable requirement, the rule allows canned, frozen, and dried fruits 
and vegetables to be substituted for fresh produce. Opportunities for 
training on and discussion of the revised WIC food packages will be 
offered to State agencies and other entities as necessary.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   08/07/06  71 FR 44784
NPRM Comment Period End.............   11/06/06
Interim Final Rule..................   12/06/07  72 FR 68966
Interim Final Rule Effective........   02/04/08
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      02/01/10
 End.
Final Action........................   04/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal.
    URL For More Information: www.fns.usda.gov/wic.
    URL For Public Comments: www.fns.usda.gov/wic.
    Agency Contact: James F. Herbert, Regulatory Review Specialist, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 10th Floor, 3101 
Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 305-2572, Email: 
james.herbert@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AD77

USDA--FNS

12. Eligibility, Certification, and Employment and Training Provisions 
of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 110-246; Pub. L. 104-121
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR part 273.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This final rule amends the regulations governing the 
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to implement 
provisions from the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 
110-246) (FCEA) concerning the eligibility and certification of SNAP 
applicants and participants and SNAP employment and training.
    Statement of Need: This rule amends the regulations governing SNAP 
to implement provisions from the FCEA concerning the eligibility and 
certification of SNAP applicants and participants and SNAP employment 
and training. In addition, this rule revises the SNAP regulations 
throughout 7 CFR part 273 to change the program name from the Food 
Stamp Program to SNAP and to make other nomenclature changes as 
mandated by the FCEA. The statutory effective date of these provisions 
was October 1, 2008. FNS is also implementing two discretionary 
revisions to SNAP regulations to provide State agencies options that 
are currently available only through waivers. These provisions allow 
State agencies to average student work hours and to provide telephone 
interviews in lieu of face-to-face interviews. FNS anticipates that 
this rule will impact the associated paperwork burdens.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 
(Pub. L. 110-246).
    Alternatives: Most aspects of the rule are non-discretionary and 
tied to explicit, specific requirements for SNAP in the FCEA. However, 
FNS did consider alternatives in implementing section 4103 of the FCEA, 
Elimination of Dependent Care Deduction Caps. FNS considered whether to 
limit deductible expenses to costs paid directly to the care provider 
or whether to permit households to deduct other expenses associated 
with dependent care in addition to the direct costs. FNS chose to allow 
households to deduct the cost of transportation to and from the 
dependent care provider and the cost of separately identified activity 
fees that are associated with dependent care. Section 4103 signaled an 
important shift in congressional recognition that dependent care costs 
constitute major expenses for working households. In addition, it was 
noted during the floor discussion in both houses of Congress prior to 
passage of the FCEA that some States already counted transportation 
costs as part of dependent care expenditures.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The estimated total SNAP costs to 
the Government of the FCEA provisions implemented in the rule are 
estimated to be $831 million in FY 2010 and $5.619 billion over the 5 
years FY 2010 through FY 2014. These impacts are already incorporated 
into the President's budget baseline.
    There are many potential societal benefits of this rule. Some 
provisions may make some households newly eligible for SNAP benefits. 
Other provisions may increase SNAP benefits for certain households. 
Certain provisions in the rule will reduce the administrative burden 
for households and State agencies.
    Risks: The statutory changes and discretionary ones under 
consideration would streamline program operations. The changes are 
expected to reduce the risk of inefficient operations.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   05/04/11  76 FR 25414
NPRM Comment Period End.............   07/05/11
Final Rule..........................   06/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Agency Contact: James F. Herbert, Regulatory Review Specialist, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 10th Floor, 3101 
Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 305-2572, Email: 
james.herbert@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AD87

USDA--FNS

13. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Nutrition Education and 
Obesity Prevention Grant

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-296
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR part 272.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, January 1, 2012, Public Law 111-
296.
    A legal deadline of 01/01/2012 was placed on this action by Public 
Law 111-296.
    Abstract: Section 241 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 
amends the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to authorize grants to States 
for a nutrition education and obesity prevention program that promotes 
healthy food choices consistent with the most recent Dietary Guidelines 
for Americans.
    Statement of Need: The Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention 
Grant Program rule amends the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to replace 
the current nutrition education program under the Act with a program 
providing grants to States for the implementation of a nutrition 
education and obesity prevention program that promotes healthy food 
choices consistent with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for 
Americans. This rule will implement all requirements of the law. It 
makes

[[Page 1342]]

eligible for program participation: (1) Supplemental Nutrition 
Assistance Program (SNAP) participants; (2) participants in the school 
lunch or breakfast programs; and (3) individuals who reside in low-
income communities or are low-income individuals. The rule continues 
commitment to serving low-income populations while focusing on the 
issue of obesity, a priority of this Administration. It ensures that 
interventions implemented as part of State nutrition education plans 
recognize the constrained resources of the eligible population.
    The rule requires activities be science-based and outcome-driven 
and provides for accountability and transparency through State plans. 
It will require coordination and collaboration among Federal agencies 
and stakeholders, including the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention, the public health community, the academic and research 
communities, nutrition education practitioners, representatives of 
State and local governments, and community organizations that serve the 
low-income populations. The rule allows for 100 percent Federal 
funding, and States will not have to provide matching funds. The grant 
funding will be based on 2009 expenditures. For 3 years after 
enactment, States will receive grant funds based on their level of 
funds expended for the 2009 base year with funds indexed for inflation 
thereafter. The new funding structure is phased in over a 7-year 
period. From fiscal year 2014 forward, funds will be allocated based on 
a formula that considers participation.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 241, Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act 
of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-296).
    Alternatives: None.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Expected Costs Analysis and 
Budgetary Effects Statement: The action allows for 100 percent Federal 
funding which gives States more flexibility to target services where 
they can be most effective without the constraints of a State match. 
For 3 years after enactment, States will receive grant funds based on 
their level of funds expended for the 2009 base year with funds indexed 
for inflation thereafter. The new funding structure is phased in over a 
7-year period. From fiscal year 2014 forward, funds will be allocated 
based on a formula that considers participation.
    Expected Benefits of the Proposed Action: This regulatory action 
seeks to improve the effectiveness of the program and make it easier 
for the States to administer, while still allowing funding to grow. It 
allows for 100 percent Federal funding, which gives States more 
flexibility to target services where they can be most effective without 
the constraints of a State match. It allows grantees to adopt 
individual and group-based nutrition education, as well as community 
and public health approaches. It allows coordinated services to be 
provided to participants in all the Federal food assistance programs 
and to other low-income persons.
    Risks: None known.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   01/00/13
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      03/00/13
 End.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: State.
    Agency Contact: James F. Herbert, Regulatory Review Specialist, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 10th Floor, 3101 
Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 305-2572, Email: 
james.herbert@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AE07

USDA--FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE (FSIS)

Proposed Rule Stage

14. Egg Products Inspection Regulations

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 1031 to 1056
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR 590.570; 9 CFR 590.575; 9 CFR 590.146; 9 CFR 
590.10; 9 CFR 590.411; 9 CFR 590.502; 9 CFR 590.504; 9 CFR 590.580; 9 
CFR part 591; * * *
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is 
proposing to require egg products plants and establishments that 
pasteurize shell eggs to develop and implement Hazard Analysis and 
Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems and sanitation SOPs. FSIS is 
also proposing pathogen reduction performance standards that would be 
applicable to egg products and pasteurized shell eggs. FSIS is 
proposing to amend the Federal egg products inspection regulations by 
removing current requirements for prior approval by FSIS of egg 
products plant drawings, specifications, and equipment prior to their 
use in official plants.
    Statement of Need: The actions being proposed are part of FSIS' 
regulatory reform effort to improve FSIS' shell egg products food 
safety regulations, better define the roles of Government and the 
regulated industry, encourage innovations that will improve food 
safety, remove unnecessary regulatory burdens on inspected egg products 
plants, and make the egg products regulations as consistent as possible 
with the Agency's meat and poultry products regulations. FSIS also is 
taking these actions in light of changing inspection priorities and 
recent findings of Salmonella in pasteurized egg products.
    This proposal is directly related to FSIS' PR/HACCP initiative.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 21 U.S.C. 1031 to 1056.
    Alternatives: A team of FSIS economists and food technologists is 
conducting a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the potential economic 
impacts of several alternatives on the public, egg products industry, 
and FSIS. These alternatives include: (1) Taking no regulatory action; 
(2) Requiring all inspected egg products plants to develop, adopt, and 
implement written sanitation SOPs and HACCP plans; and (3) Converting 
to a lethality-based pathogen reduction performance standard many of 
the current highly prescriptive egg products processing requirements. 
The team will consider the effects of the uniform; across-the-board 
standard for all egg products; a performance standard based on the 
relative risk of different classes of egg products; and a performance 
standard based on the relative risks to public health of different 
production processes.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: FSIS is analyzing the potential 
costs of this proposed rulemaking to industry, FSIS, and other Federal 
agencies, State and local governments, small entities, and foreign 
countries. The expected costs to industry will depend on a number of 
factors. These costs include the required lethality, or level of 
pathogen reduction, and the cost of HACCP plan and sanitation SOP 
development, implementation, and associated employee training. The 
pathogen reduction costs will depend on the amount of reduction sought 
and on the classes of product, product formulations, or processes.
    Relative enforcement costs to FSIS and Food and Drug Administration 
may change because the two Agencies share responsibility for inspection 
and oversight of the egg industry and a farm-to-table approach for 
shell egg and egg products food safety. Other Federal

[[Page 1343]]

agencies and local governments are not likely to be affected.
    Egg product inspection systems of foreign countries wishing to 
export egg products to the U.S. must be equivalent to the U.S. system. 
FSIS will consult with these countries, as needed, if and when this 
proposal becomes effective.
    This proposal is not likely to have a significant impact on small 
entities. The entities that would be directly affected by this proposal 
would be the approximately 80 federally inspected egg products plants, 
most of which are small businesses, according to the Small Business 
Administration criteria. If necessary, FSIS will develop compliance 
guides to assist these small firms in implementing the proposed 
requirements.
    Potential benefits associated with this rulemaking include: 
Improvements in human health due to pathogen reduction; improved 
utilization of FSIS inspection program resources; and cost savings 
resulting from the flexibility of egg products plants in achieving a 
lethality-based pathogen reduction performance standard. Once specific 
alternatives are identified, economic analysis will identify the 
quantitative and qualitative benefits associated with each alternative.
    Human health benefits from this rulemaking are likely to be small 
because of the low level of (chiefly post-processing) contamination of 
pasteurized egg products.
    The preliminary anticipated annualized costs of the proposed action 
are approximately $7 million. The preliminary anticipated benefits of 
the proposed action are approximately $90 million per year.
    Risks: FSIS believes that this regulatory action may result in a 
further reduction in the risks associated with egg products. The 
development of a lethality-based pathogen reduction performance 
standard for egg products, replacing command-and-control regulations, 
will remove unnecessary regulatory obstacles to, and provide incentives 
for, innovation to improve the safety of egg products.
    To assess the potential risk-reduction impacts of this rulemaking 
on the public, an intra-Agency group of scientific and technical 
experts is conducting a risk management analysis. The group has been 
charged with identifying the lethality requirement sufficient to ensure 
the safety of egg products and the alternative methods for implementing 
the requirement. FSIS has developed new risk assessments for Salmonella 
Enteritidis in eggs and for Salmonella app. In liquid egg products to 
evaluate the risk associated with the regulatory alternatives.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   09/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Victoria Levine, Program Analyst, Policy Issuances 
Division, Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection 
Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250, Phone: 202 
720-5627, Fax: 202 690-0486, Email: victoria.levine@fsis.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0583-AC58

USDA--FSIS

15. Product Labeling: Use of the Voluntary Claim ``Natural'' on the 
Labeling of Meat and Poultry Products

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.; 21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR part 317; 9 CFR part 381.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is 
proposing to amend the Federal meat and poultry products inspection 
regulations to define the conditions under which it will permit the 
voluntary claim ``natural'' to be used in the labeling of meat and 
poultry products. FSIS is also proposing that label approval requests 
for labels that contain ``natural'' claims include documentation to 
demonstrate that the products meet the criteria to bear a ``natural'' 
claim. FSIS is proposing to require that meat or poultry products meet 
these conditions to qualify for a ``natural'' claim to make the claim 
more meaningful to consumers.
    Statement of Need: A codified ``natural'' claim definition will 
reduce uncertainty about which products qualify to be labeled as 
``natural'' and will increase consumer confidence in the claim. A 
codified ``natural'' definition that clearly articulates the criteria 
that meat and poultry products must meet to qualify to be labeled as 
``natural'' will make the Agency's approval of ``natural'' claims more 
transparent and will allow the Agency to review labels that contain 
``natural'' claims in a more efficient and consistent manner. A 
codified ``natural'' definition will also make the claim more 
meaningful to consumers.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.; 21 U.S.C. 451 et 
seq.
    Alternatives: The Agency has considered not proceeding with 
rulemaking and maintaining the existing policy guidance on ``natural'' 
claims and using that policy guidance to evaluate ``natural'' claims on 
a case-by-case basis. The Agency has also considered alternative 
definitions of ``natural'' and establishing separate codified 
definitions of ``natural,'' ``natural * * * minimally processed,'' and 
``natural * * * minimally processed/all natural ingredients.''
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: FSIS anticipates that a clear and 
simple definition of ``natural'' will minimize cognitive costs to 
consumers. FSIS also anticipates benefits from a consistent USDA policy 
on ``natural'' claims. FSIS anticipates costs to establishments to 
change their labels or change their production practices.
    Risks: None.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   09/14/09  74 FR 46951
ANPRM Comment Period End............   11/13/09
NPRM................................   09/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Rosalyn Murphy-Jenkins, Director, Labeling and 
Program Delivery Division, Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and 
Inspection Service, Patriots Plaza 3, 8th Floor, Room 8-148, Stop 5273, 
1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-5273, Phone: 301 
504-0878, Fax: 301 504-0872, Email: rosalyn.murphy-jenkins@fsis.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0583-AD30

USDA--FSIS

16. Descriptive Designation for Needle or Blade Tenderized 
(Mechanically Tenderized) Beef Products

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 453 and 21 U.S.C. 601
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR 317.8; 9 CFR 381.129.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: FSIS is proposing to require the use of the descriptive 
designation ``mechanically tenderized'' on the labels of raw or 
partially cooked needle or blade tenderized beef products, including 
beef products injected with

[[Page 1344]]

marinade or solution, unless such products are destined to be fully 
cooked at an official establishment. Beef products that have been 
needle or blade tenderized are referred to as ``mechanically 
tenderized'' products. FSIS is proposing that the product name for such 
beef products include the descriptive designation ``mechanically 
tenderized'' and accurate description of the beef component. FSIS is 
also proposing that the print for all words in the descriptive 
designation as the product name appear in the same style, color, and 
size and on a single-color contrasting background. In addition, FSIS is 
proposing to require that labels of raw and partially cooked needle or 
blade tenderized beef products destined for household consumers, 
hotels, restaurants, or similar institutions include validated cooking 
instructions that inform consumers that these products need to be 
cooked to a specified minimum internal temperature, and whether they 
need to be held at that minimum internal temperature for a specified 
time before consumption, i.e., dwell time or rest time, to ensure that 
they are thoroughly cooked.
    Statement of Need: FSIS has concluded that without proper labeling, 
raw or partially cooked mechanically tenderized beef products could be 
mistakenly perceived by consumers to be whole, intact muscle cuts. The 
fact that a cut of beef has been needle or blade tenderized is a 
characterizing feature of the product and, as such, a material fact 
that is likely to affect consumers' purchase decisions and that should 
affect their preparation of the product. FSIS has also concluded that 
the addition of validated cooking instruction is required to ensure 
that potential pathogens throughout the product are destroyed. Without 
thorough cooking, pathogens that may have been introduced to the 
interior of the product during the tenderization process may remain in 
the product.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 21 U.S.C. 601 to 695; 21 U.S.C. 451 to 470.
    Alternatives: As an alternative to the proposed requirements, FSIS 
considered not proposing new requirements for needle or blade 
tenderized beef products. A second alternative was for the Agency to 
propose to amend the labeling regulations to include a new requirement 
for labeling all mechanically tenderized meat and poultry products.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Benefits:
    Benefits are both qualitative and quantifiable. The proposed new 
labeling requirements will improve public awareness of product 
identities, meaning that it will provide truthful and accurate labeling 
of beef products to clearly differentiate the non-intact, mechanically 
tenderized beef products from intact products. Since needle or blade 
tenderized beef products are not readily distinguishable from non-
tenderized beef products, the descriptive designation of ``mechanically 
tenderized'' on the labels of these products will inform the consumers 
of the true nature of the product when deciding whether to purchase the 
products. Additionally, the knowledge of knowing that these products 
are mechanically tenderized will help consumers, official 
establishments, and retail establishments become aware that they need 
to cook these products differently from intact products before they can 
be safely consumed.
    Costs: FSIS estimated that 32,130 labels are for beef product. 
Assuming 10.5 percent of the 32,130 labels are for products that are 
mechanically tenderized, then 3,374 labels will be required to add 
``mechanically tenderized'' to their labels in accordance with this 
proposed rule. If we include the labels that are for beef product that 
are mechanically tenderized and contain added solutions, then we would 
assume that an additional, 5,077 labels will be required to add 
``mechanically tenderized'' to their labels. From the 2011 Model to 
Estimate Costs of Using Labeling as a Risk Reduction Strategy for 
Consumer Products Regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, a 
minor labeling change was defined as one in which only one color is 
affected and the label does not need to be redesigned. FSIS concluded 
that the change that is required by this propose rule is minor. The 
mid-point label design modification costs for a minor coordinated label 
change are an estimated $310 per label. In the case of a coordinated 
label change, only administrative and recordkeeping costs are 
attributed to the regulation, and all other costs are not. FSIS 
estimates the cost to be $1.05 million (3,374 labels x $310) for 
mechanically tenderized only. For all products that are mechanically 
tenderized and contain added solutions, the cost is estimated to be 
$2.6 million. Establishments would also incur minimal costs to validate 
the required cooking instructions for raw and partially cooked needle 
or blade tenderized beef products. These costs would be incurred to 
ensure that the cooking instructions are adequate to destroy any 
potential pathogens that may remain in the beef product after being 
tenderized.
    Risks: In 2011, FSIS conducted a Comparative Risk Assessment for 
Intact and Non-intact Beef. The comparative risk assessment was 
conducted to determine the difference in risk between different types 
of steak products and to examine the effect of different cooking 
practices on reducing human illness. This comparative risk assessment 
informed this rule. The risk assessment looked at the comparative 
effects of cooking at 140, 150, 160, and 165 degrees Fahrenheit. In its 
risk assessment, FSIS estimated the annual E. coli O157:H7 illnesses 
prevented from achieving various internal temperatures. From the risk 
assessment it was estimated that between 191 and 239 illnesses would be 
prevented annually, if mechanically tenderized meat were cooked to 160 
degrees. Using the FSIS average cost per case for E. coli O157:H7 of 
$3,281, the propose rule would save approximately $627,000 to $784,000.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   12/00/12
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Rosalyn Murphy-Jenkins, Director, Labeling and 
Program Delivery Division, Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and 
Inspection Service, Patriots Plaza 3, 8th Floor, Room 8-148, Stop 5273, 
1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-5273, Phone: 301 
504-0878, Fax: 301 504-0872, Email: rosalyn.murphy-jenkins@fsis.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0583-AD45

USDA--FSIS

17. Proposed Rule: Records To Be Kept by Official Establishments and 
Retail Stores That Grind or Chop Raw Beef Products

    Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 U.S.C. 801 is 
undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR part 320.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is 
proposing to amend its recordkeeping regulations to specify that all 
official establishments and retail stores that grind or chop raw beef 
products for sale in commerce must

[[Page 1345]]

keep records that disclose the identity of the supplier of all source 
materials that they use in the preparation of each lot of raw ground or 
chopped product and identify the names of those source materials.
    FSIS is aware of the other activities that occur at retail that 
may, ultimately, prove also to be of concern due to inadequate 
recordkeeping (e.g., fabrication of steaks and roasts from non-intact 
beef in which the non-intact beef is later associated with an outbreak; 
grinding and chopping pork or even poultry; or slicing ready-to-eat 
meat and poultry). While these issues have been considered during the 
development of this proposal, the Agency has decided to ask for comment 
on whether and how such additional issues should be addressed, but will 
not include them in the current rulemaking.
    Statement of Need: Under the authority of the Federal Meat 
Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) and its implementing 
regulations, FSIS investigates complaints and reports of consumer 
foodborne illness possibly associated with FSIS-regulated meat 
products. Many such investigations into consumer foodborne illnesses 
involve those caused by the consumption of raw beef ground by official 
establishments or retail stores.
    FSIS investigators and public health officials frequently use 
records kept by all levels of the food distribution chain, including 
the retail level, to identify and trace back product that is the source 
of the illness the suppliers that produced the source material for the 
product. The Agency, however, has often been thwarted in its effort to 
trace back ground beef products, some associated with consumer illness, 
to the suppliers that provided source materials for the products. In 
some situations, official establishments and retail stores have not 
kept records necessary to allow trace back and trace forward activities 
to occur. Without such necessary records, FSIS's ability to conduct 
timely and effective consumer foodborne illness investigations and 
other public health activities throughout the stream of commerce is 
also affected, thereby placing the consuming public at risk. Therefore, 
for FSIS to be able to conduce trace back and trace forward 
investigations, foodborne illnesses investigations, or to monitor 
product recalls, the records kept by official establishments and retail 
stores that grind raw beef products must disclose the identity of the 
supplier and the names of the sources of all materials that they use in 
the preparation of each lot of raw ground beef product.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Under 21 U.S.C. 642, official 
establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products for sale 
in commerce are persons, firms, or corporations that must keep such 
records as willfully and correctly disclose all transactions involved 
in their businesses subject to the Act. This is because they engage in 
the business of preparing products of an amenable species for use as 
human food and they engage in the business of buying of selling (as 
meat brokers, wholesalers or otherwise) in commerce products of 
carcasses of an amenable species. These businesses must also provide 
access to, and inspection of, these records by FSIS personnel.
    Further, under 9 CFR 320.1(a), every person, firm, or corporation 
required by section 642 of the FMIA to keep records must keep those 
records that willfully and correctly disclose all transactions involved 
in his or its business subject to the Act. Records specifically 
required to be kept under section 320.1(b) include, but are not limited 
to, bills of sale; invoices; bills of lading; and receiving and 
shipping papers. With respect to each transaction, the records must 
provide the name or description of the livestock or article; the net 
weight of the livestock or article; the number of outside containers; 
the name and address of the buyer or seller of the livestock or animal; 
and the date and method of shipment, among other things.
    Alternatives: FSIS considered two alternatives to the proposed 
requirements: the status quo and a voluntary recordkeeping program.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Costs occur because about 76,390 
retail stores and official establishments will need to develop and 
maintain records, and make those records available for the Agency's 
review. Using the best available data, FSIS believes that industry 
labor costs of developing, recording, and maintaining records, and 
storage costs, would be approximately $20.5 million. Agency costs of 
approximately $15,000 would result from record reviews at official 
establishments and retail stores, as well as travel time to and from 
retail stores.
    Annual benefits from this rule come from:
    (1) Savings from more efficient recalls of $3.6 million.
    (2) Estimated averted E. coli O157:H7 illnesses of $23.4 million.
    Total benefits from this rule are estimated to be $27.0 million.
    Non-monetized benefits under this rule include, for the raw ground 
beef processing industry: (1) An increase in consumers' confidence and 
greater acceptance of products because mandatory grinding logs will 
result in a more efficient traceability system, recalls of reduced 
volume, and reduced negative press; (2) smaller volume recalls will 
result in higher confidence and acceptability of products including the 
disposition of product once recovered; (3) improved productivity, which 
improves profit opportunities.
    Avoiding loss of business reputation is an indirect benefit. By 
identifying and defining the responsible party, FSIS will be able to 
get to the suspect a lot quicker and execute a better targeted recall, 
meaning that a recall will involve a smaller amount of product. This 
lower volume per recall will decrease costs for the recalls and the 
disposition of product. In addition, the Agency expects consumers to 
benefit from improved traceability and, thus, a reduced incidence of E. 
coli O157:H7 in ground raw beef products due to the rapid removal of 
those products from commerce. The Agency believes that by having 
official meat establishments and retail stores that engage in the 
business of grinding raw beef products keep records, traceability of 
ground raw beef in the U.S. food supply will be greatly enhanced.
    Risks: FSIS believes that a projected 30% of foodborne E. coli 
O157:H7 illnesses could possibly be averted if this rule was in place, 
dropping from a high of 23,732 to 16,612 (a decline of 7,120).
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   02/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Victoria Levine, Program Analyst, Policy Issuances 
Division, Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection 
Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250, Phone: 202 
720-5627, Fax: 202 690-0486, Email: victoria.levine@fsis.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0583-AD46

USDA--FSIS

Final Rule Stage

18. Prior Labeling Approval System: Generic Label Approval

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 451 to 470; 21 U.S.C. 601 to 695
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR part 317; 9 CFR part 327; 9 CFR part 381; 9 CFR 
part 412.

[[Page 1346]]

    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rulemaking will continue an effort initiated several 
years ago by amending FSIS' regulations to expand the types of labeling 
that are generically approved. FSIS plans to propose that the 
submission of labeling for approval prior to use be limited to certain 
types of labeling, as specified in the regulations. In addition, FSIS 
plans to reorganize and amend the regulations by consolidating the 
nutrition labeling rules that currently are stated separately for meat 
and poultry products (in part 317, subpart B, and part 381, subpart Y, 
respectively) and by amending their provisions to set out clearly 
various circumstances under which these products are misbranded.
    Statement of Need: Expanding the types of labeling that are 
generically approved would permit Agency personnel to focus their 
resources on evaluating only those claims or special statements that 
have health and safety or economic implications. This would essentially 
eliminate the time needed for FSIS personnel to evaluate labeling 
features and allocate more time for staff to work on other duties and 
responsibilities. A major advantage of this proposal is that it is 
consistent with FSIS' current regulatory approach, which separates 
industry and Agency responsibilities.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 21 U.S.C. 457 and 607.
    Alternatives: FSIS considered several options. The first was to 
expand the types of labeling that would be generically approved and 
consolidate into one part all of the labeling regulations applicable to 
products regulated under the FMIA and PPIA and the policies currently 
contained in FSIS Directive 7220.1, Revision 3. The second option FSIS 
considered was to consolidate only the meat and poultry regulations 
that are similar and to expand the types of generically approved 
labeling that can be applied by Federal and certified foreign 
establishments. The third option, and the one favored by FSIS, was to 
amend the prior labeling approval system in an incremental three-phase 
approach.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The final rule would permit the 
Agency to realize an estimated discounted cost savings of $2.9 million 
over 10 years. The final rule would be beneficial because it would 
streamline the generic labeling process, while imposing no additional 
cost burden on establishments. Consumers would benefit because industry 
would have the ability to introduce products into the marketplace more 
quickly.
    Risks: None.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   12/05/11  76 FR 75809
NPRM Comment Period End.............   03/05/12
Final Action........................   03/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Jeff Canavan, Labeling and Program Delivery 
Division, Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection 
Service, Patriots Plaza 3, 8th Floor, 8-146, Stop 5273, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-5273, Phone: 301 504-0878, 
Fax: 301 504-0872, Email: jeff.canavan@fsis.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0583-AC59

USDA--FSIS

19. Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR 381.66; 9 CFR 381.67; 9 CFR 381.76; 9 CFR 
381.83; 9 CFR 381.91; 9 CFR 381.94.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: FSIS intends to provide a new inspection system for young 
poultry slaughter establishments that would facilitate public health-
based inspection. This new system would be available initially only to 
young chicken and turkey slaughter establishments. Establishments that 
slaughter broilers, fryers, roasters, and Cornish game hens (as defined 
in 9 CFR 381.170) would be considered as ``young chicken 
establishments.'' FSIS also intends to revoke the provisions that allow 
young chicken slaughter establishments to operate under the current 
Streamlined Inspection System (SIS) or the New Line Speed (NELS) 
Inspection System, and to revoke the New Turkey Inspection System 
(NTIS). Young chicken and turkey slaughter establishments would be 
required to operate under the new inspection system or under 
Traditional Inspection. FSIS anticipates that this proposed rule would 
provide the framework for action to provide public health-based 
inspection in all establishments that slaughter amenable poultry 
species.
    Under the new system, young chicken and turkey slaughter 
establishments would be required to sort chicken carcasses and to 
conduct other activities to ensure that carcasses are not adulterated 
before they enter the chilling tank.
    Statement of Need: Because of the risk to the public health 
associated with pathogens on young chicken carcasses, FSIS intends to 
provide a new inspection system that would allow for more effective 
inspection of young chicken carcasses, would allow the Agency to more 
effectively allocate its resources and would encourage industry to more 
readily use new technology.
    This final rule is the result of the Agency's 2011 regulatory 
review efforts conducted under Executive Order 13563 on Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review. It would likely result in more cost-
effective dressing of young chickens that are ready to cook or ready 
for further processing. Similarly, it would likely result in more 
efficient and effective use of Agency resources.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 21 U.S.C. 451 to 470.
    Alternatives: FSIS considered the following options in developing 
this proposal:
    (1) No action.
    (2) Propose to implement HACCP-based Inspection Models Pilot in 
regulations.
    (3) Propose to establish a mandatory, rather than a voluntary, new 
inspection system for young chicken slaughter establishments.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The proposed rule estimated that the 
expected annual costs to establishments would total $24.5 million. 
Expected annual total benefits were $285.5 million (with a range of 
$259.5 to $314.8 million). Expected annual net benefits were $261.0 
million (with a range of $235.0 million to $290.3 million). These 
estimates will be updated in the final rule.
    Risks: Salmonella and other pathogens are present on a substantial 
portion of poultry carcasses inspected by FSIS. Foodborne salmonella 
cause a large number of human illnesses that at times lead to 
hospitalization and even death. There is an apparent relationship 
between human illness and prevalence levels for salmonella in young 
chicken carcasses. FSIS believes that through better allocation of 
inspection resources and the use of performance standards, it would be 
able to better address the prevalence of salmonella and other pathogens 
in young chickens.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   01/27/12  77 FR 4408
NPRM Comment Period End.............   05/29/12  77 FR 24873
Final Rule..........................   04/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 1347]]

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Rachel Edelstein, Acting Assistant Administrator, 
Office of Policy and Program Development, Department of Agriculture, 
Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 351-E 
JWB, Washington, DC 20250, Phone: 202 205-0495, Fax: 202 720-2025, 
Email: rachel.edelstein@fsis.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0583-AD32

USDA--FSIS

20. Electronic Export Application and Certification as a Reimbursable 
Service and Flexibility in the Requirements for Official Export 
Inspection Marks, Devices, and Certificates

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601 
to 695); Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451 to 470); 
Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031 to 1056)
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR 312.8; 9 CFR 322.1 and 322.2; 9 CFR 350.7; 9 
CFR 362.5; 9 CFR 381.104 to 381.106; 9 CFR 590.407; 9 CFR 592.20 and 
592.500.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is amending 
the meat, poultry, and egg product inspection regulations to provide 
for an electronic export application and certification system. The 
electronic export application and certification system will be a 
component of the Agency's Public Health Information System (PHIS). The 
export component of PHIS will be available as an alternative to the 
paper-based application and certification process. FSIS will charge 
users for the use of the system. FSIS is establishing a formula for 
calculating the fee. FSIS is also providing establishments that export 
meat, poultry, and egg products with flexibility in the official export 
inspection marks, devices, and certificates. In addition, FSIS is 
amending the egg product export regulations to parallel the meat and 
poultry export regulations.
    Statement of Need: These regulations will facilitate the electronic 
processing of export applications and certificates through the Public 
Health Information System (PHIS), a computerized, Web-based inspection 
information system. This rule will provide the electronic export system 
as a reimbursable certification service charged to the exporter.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 21 U.S.C. 601 to 695; 21 U.S.C. 451 to 470; 
21 U.S.C. 1031 to 1056; 7 U.S.C. 1622(h).
    Alternatives: The electronic export applications and certification 
system is being proposed as a voluntary service; therefore, exporters 
have the option of continuing to use the current paper-based system. 
Therefore, no alternatives were considered.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: FSIS is charging exporters an 
application fee for the electronic export system. Automating the export 
application and certification process will facilitate the exportation 
of U.S. meat, poultry, and egg products by streamlining and automating 
the processes that are in use while ensuring that foreign regulatory 
requirements are met. The cost to an exporter would depend on the 
number of electronic applications submitted. An exporter that submits 
only a few applications per year would not be likely to experience a 
significant economic impact. Under this rate, inspection personnel 
workload will be reduced through the elimination of the physical 
handling and processing of applications and certificates. When an 
electronic government-to-government system interface or data exchange 
is used, fraudulent transactions, such as false alterations and 
reproductions, will be significantly reduced, if not eliminated. The 
electronic export system is designed to ensure the authenticity, 
integrity, and confidentiality. Exporters will be provided with a more 
efficient and effective application and certification process. The egg 
product export regulations provide the same export requirements across 
all products regulated by FSIS and consistency in the export 
application and certification process. The total annual paperwork 
burden to the egg processing industry to fill out the paper-based 
export application is approximately $32,340 per year for a total of 924 
hours a year. The average establishment burden would be 11 hours, and 
$385.00 per establishment.
    Risks: None.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   01/23/12  77 FR 3159
NPRM Comment Period End.............   03/23/12
Final Action........................   04/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to 
have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of 
international interest.
    Agency Contact: Dr. Ron Jones, Assistant Administrator, Office of 
International Affairs, Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and 
Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250, 
Phone: 202 720-3473.
    RIN: 0583-AD41

BILLING CODE 3410-90-P

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (DOC)

Statement of Regulatory and Deregulatory Priorities

    Established in 1903, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) is one 
of the oldest Cabinet-level agencies in the Federal Government. 
Commerce's mission is to create the conditions for economic growth and 
opportunity by promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, competitiveness, 
and environmental stewardship. Commerce has 12 operating units, which 
are responsible for managing a diverse portfolio of programs and 
services, ranging from trade promotion and economic development 
assistance to broadband and the National Weather Service.
    Commerce touches Americans daily, in many ways--making possible the 
daily weather reports and survey research; facilitating technology that 
all of us use in the workplace and in the home each day; supporting the 
development, gathering, and transmission of information essential to 
competitive business; enabling the diversity of companies and goods 
found in America's and the world's marketplace; and supporting 
environmental and economic health for the communities in which 
Americans live.
    Commerce has a clear and compelling vision for itself, for its role 
in the Federal Government, and for its roles supporting the American 
people, now and in the future. To achieve this vision, Commerce works 
in partnership with businesses, universities, communities, and workers 
to:
     Innovate by creating new ideas through cutting-edge 
science and technology from advances in nanotechnology, to ocean 
exploration, to broadband deployment, and by protecting American 
innovations through the patent and trademark system;
     Support entrepreneurship and commercialization by enabling 
community development and

[[Page 1348]]

strengthening minority businesses and small manufacturers;
     Maintain U.S. economic competitiveness in the global 
marketplace by promoting exports, ensuring a level playing field for 
U.S. businesses, and ensuring that technology transfer is consistent 
with our nation's economic and security interests;
     Provide effective management and stewardship of our 
nation's resources and assets to ensure sustainable economic 
opportunities; and
     Make informed policy decisions and enable better 
understanding of the economy by providing accurate economic and 
demographic data.
    Commerce is a vital resource base, a tireless advocate, and 
Cabinet-level voice for job creation.
    The Regulatory Plan tracks the most important regulations that 
implement these policy and program priorities, several of which involve 
regulation of the private sector by Commerce.

Responding to the Administration's Regulatory Philosophy and Principles

    The vast majority of the Commerce's programs and activities do not 
involve regulation. Of Commerce's 12 primary operating units, only the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be planning 
actions that are considered the ``most important'' significant 
preregulatory or regulatory actions for FY 2012. During the next year, 
NOAA plans to publish four rulemaking actions that are designated as 
Regulatory Plan actions. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will 
also publish rulemaking actions designated as Regulatory Plan actions. 
Further information on these actions is provided below.
    Commerce has a long-standing policy to prohibit the issuance of any 
regulation that discriminates on the basis of race, religion, gender, 
or any other suspect category and requires that all regulations be 
written so as to be understandable to those affected by them. The 
Secretary also requires that Commerce afford the public the maximum 
possible opportunity to participate in Departmental rulemakings, even 
where public participation is not required by law.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    NOAA establishes and administers Federal policy for the 
conservation and management of the Nation's oceanic, coastal, and 
atmospheric resources. It provides a variety of essential environmental 
and climate services vital to public safety and to the Nation's 
economy, such as weather forecasts, drought forecasts, and storm 
warnings. It is a source of objective information on the state of the 
environment. NOAA plays the lead role in achieving Commerce's goal of 
promoting stewardship by providing assessments of the global 
environment.
    Recognizing that economic growth must go hand-in-hand with 
environmental stewardship, Commerce, through NOAA, conducts programs 
designed to provide a better understanding of the connections between 
environmental health, economics, and national security. Commerce's 
emphasis on ``sustainable fisheries'' is designed to boost long-term 
economic growth in a vital sector of the U.S. economy while conserving 
the resources in the public trust and minimizing any economic 
dislocation necessary to ensure long-term economic growth. Commerce is 
where business and environmental interests intersect, and the classic 
debate on the use of natural resources is transformed into a ``win-
win'' situation for the environment and the economy.
    Three of NOAA's major components, the National Marine Fisheries 
Service (NMFS), the National Ocean Service (NOS), and the National 
Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), 
exercise regulatory authority.
    NMFS oversees the management and conservation of the Nation's 
marine fisheries, protects threatened and endangered marine and 
anadromous species and marine mammals, and promotes economic 
development of the U.S. fishing industry. NOS assists the coastal 
States in their management of land and ocean resources in their coastal 
zones, including estuarine research reserves; manages the national 
marine sanctuaries; monitors marine pollution; and directs the national 
program for deep-seabed minerals and ocean thermal energy. NESDIS 
administers the civilian weather satellite program and licenses private 
organizations to operate commercial land-remote sensing satellite 
systems.
    Commerce, through NOAA, has a unique role in promoting stewardship 
of the global environment through effective management of the Nation's 
marine and coastal resources and in monitoring and predicting changes 
in the Earth's environment, thus linking trade, development, and 
technology with environmental issues. NOAA has the primary Federal 
responsibility for providing sound scientific observations, 
assessments, and forecasts of environmental phenomena on which resource 
management, adaptation, and other societal decisions can be made.
    In the environmental stewardship area, NOAA's goals include: 
rebuilding and maintaining strong U.S. fisheries by using market-based 
tools and ecosystem approaches to management; increasing the 
populations of depleted, threatened, or endangered species and marine 
mammals by implementing recovery plans that provide for their recovery 
while still allowing for economic and recreational opportunities; 
promoting healthy coastal ecosystems by ensuring that economic 
development is managed in ways that maintain biodiversity and long-term 
productivity for sustained use; and modernizing navigation and 
positioning services. In the environmental assessment and prediction 
area, goals include: understanding climate change science and impacts, 
and communicating that understanding to government and private sector 
stakeholders enabling them to adapt; continually improving the National 
Weather Service; implementing reliable seasonal and interannual climate 
forecasts to guide economic planning; providing science-based policy 
advice on options to deal with very long-term (decadal to centennial) 
changes in the environment; and advancing and improving short-term 
warning and forecast services for the entire environment.
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
    Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act) rulemakings concern the conservation and management of 
fishery resources in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (generally 3-200 
nautical miles). Among the several hundred rulemakings that NOAA plans 
to issue in FY 2012, a number of the preregulatory and regulatory 
actions will be significant. The exact number of such rulemakings is 
unknown, since they are usually initiated by the actions of eight 
regional Fishery Management Councils (FMCs) that are responsible for 
preparing fishery management plans (FMPs) and FMP amendments, and for 
drafting implementing regulations for each managed fishery. NOAA issues 
regulations to implement FMPs and FMP amendments. Once a rulemaking is 
triggered by an FMC, the Magnuson-Stevens Act places stringent 
deadlines upon NOAA by which it must exercise its rulemaking 
responsibilities. FMPs and FMP amendments for Atlantic highly migratory 
species, such as bluefin tuna, swordfish, and sharks, are

[[Page 1349]]

developed directly by NOAA, not by FMCs.
    FMPs address a variety of issues including maximizing fishing 
opportunities on healthy stocks, rebuilding overfished stocks, and 
addressing gear conflicts. One of the problems that FMPs may address is 
preventing overcapitalization (preventing excess fishing capacity) of 
fisheries. This may be resolved by market-based systems such as catch 
shares, which permit shareholders to harvest a quantity of fish and 
which can be traded on the open market. Harvest limits based on the 
best available scientific information, whether as a total fishing limit 
for a species in a fishery or as a share assigned to each vessel 
participant, enable stressed stocks to rebuild. Other measures include 
staggering fishing seasons or limiting gear types to avoid gear 
conflicts on the fishing grounds and establishing seasonal and area 
closures to protect fishery stocks.
    The FMCs provide a forum for public debate and, using the best 
scientific information available, make the judgments needed to 
determine optimum yield on a fishery-by-fishery basis. Optional 
management measures are examined and selected in accordance with the 
national standards set forth in the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This process, 
including the selection of the preferred management measures, 
constitutes the development, in simplified form, of an FMP. The FMP, 
together with draft implementing regulations and supporting 
documentation, is submitted to NMFS for review against the national 
standards set forth in the Magnuson-Stevens Act, in other provisions of 
the Act, and other applicable laws. The same process applies to 
amending an existing approved FMP.
Marine Mammal Protection Act
    The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA) provides the 
authority for the conservation and management of marine mammals under 
U.S. jurisdiction. It expressly prohibits, with certain exceptions, the 
take of marine mammals. The MMPA allows NMFS to permit the collection 
of wild animals for scientific research or public display or to enhance 
the survival of a species or stock. NMFS initiates rulemakings under 
the MMPA to establish a management regime to reduce marine mammal 
mortalities and injuries as a result of interactions with fisheries. 
The MMPA also established the Marine Mammal Commission, which makes 
recommendations to the Secretaries of the Departments of Commerce and 
the Interior and other Federal officials on protecting and conserving 
marine mammals. The Act underwent significant changes in 1994 to allow 
for takings incidental to commercial fishing operations, to provide 
certain exemptions for subsistence and scientific uses, and to require 
the preparation of stock assessments for all marine mammal stocks in 
waters under U.S. jurisdiction.
Endangered Species Act
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) provides for the 
conservation of species that are determined to be ``endangered'' or 
``threatened,'' and the conservation of the ecosystems on which these 
species depend. The ESA authorizes both NMFS and the Fish and Wildlife 
Service (FWS) to jointly administer the provisions of the MMPA. NMFS 
manages marine and ``anadromous'' species, and FWS manages land and 
freshwater species. Together, NMFS and FWS work to protect critically 
imperiled species from extinction. Of the 1,310 listed species found in 
part or entirely in the United States and its waters, NMFS has 
jurisdiction over approximately 60 species. NMFS' rulemaking actions 
are focused on determining whether any species under its responsibility 
is an endangered or threatened species and whether those species must 
be added to the list of protected species. NMFS is also responsible for 
designating, reviewing, and revising critical habitat for any listed 
species. In addition, under the ESA's procedural framework, Federal 
agencies consult with NMFS on any proposed action authorized, funded, 
or carried out by that agency that may affect one of the listed species 
or designated critical habitat, or is likely to jeopardize proposed 
species or adversely modify proposed critical habitat that is under 
NMFS' jurisdiction.
NOAA's Regulatory Plan Actions
    While most of the rulemakings undertaken by NOAA do not rise to the 
level necessary to be included in Commerce's regulatory plan, NMFS is 
undertaking three actions that rise to the level of ``most important'' 
of Commerce's significant regulatory actions and thus are included in 
this year's regulatory plan. The three actions implement provisions of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as 
reauthorized in 2006. The first action may be of particular interest to 
international trading partners as it concerns the Certification of 
Nations Whose Fishing Vessels Are Engaged in Illegal, Unreported, and 
Unregulated Fishing or Bycatch of Protected Living Marine Resources. A 
description of the four regulatory plan actions is provided below.
    1. Amend the Definition of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated 
Fishing under the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act 
to Include International Provisions of the Shark Conservation Act 
(0648-BA89): As required under the international provisions of the 
Shark Conservation Act, the rule would amend the identification and 
certification procedures under the High Seas Driftnet Fishing 
Moratorium Protection to include the identification of a foreign nation 
whose fishing vessels engaged during the preceding calendar year in 
fishing activities in areas beyond any national jurisdiction that 
target or incidentally catch sharks if that nation has not adopted a 
regulatory program to provide for the conservation of sharks that is 
comparable to that of the United States, taking into account different 
conditions. NMFS also intends to amend the regulatory definition of 
``illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing'' for purposes of 
the identification and certification procedures under the Moratorium 
Protection Act.
    2. Fishery Management Plan for Regulating Offshore Marine 
Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico (0648-AS65): In January, 2009, the 
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved the Aquaculture 
Fishery Management Plan, which authorizes NMFS to issue permits to 
culture species managed by the Council (except shrimp and corals). This 
was the first time a regional Fishery Management Council approved a 
comprehensive regulatory program for offshore aquaculture in U.S. 
federal waters. On September 3, 2009, the Aquaculture Fishery 
Management Plan entered into effect. On June 9, 2011, NOAA released the 
final National Aquaculture Policy and announced that the Agency will 
move forward with the rulemaking to implement the Aquaculture Fishery 
Management Plan.
    3. Critical Habitat for North Atlantic Right Whale (0648-AY54): In 
1994, NMFS designated critical habitat for the northern right whale in 
the North Atlantic Ocean. This critical habitat designation includes 
portions of Cape Cod Bay and Stellwagen Bank, the Great South Channel, 
and waters adjacent to the coasts of Georgia and Florida. In 2008, we 
listed North Atlantic and North Pacific right whales as separate 
species under the ESA. This action will fulfill the ESA requirement of 
designating critical habitat following final listing determinations.

[[Page 1350]]

    At this time, NOAA is unable to determine the aggregate cost of the 
identified Regulatory Plan actions as several of these actions are 
currently under development.

Bureau of Industry and Security

    The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) advances U.S. national 
security, foreign policy, and economic objectives by maintaining and 
strengthening adaptable, efficient, and effective export control and 
treaty compliance systems as well as by administering programs to 
prioritize certain contracts to promote the national defense and to 
protect and enhance the defense industrial base.
    In August 2009, the President directed a broad-based interagency 
review of the U.S. export control system with the goal of strengthening 
national security and the competitiveness of key U.S. manufacturing and 
technology sectors by focusing on the current threats and adapting to 
the changing economic and technological landscape. In August 2010, the 
President outlined an approach under which agencies that administer 
export controls will apply new criteria for determining what items need 
to be controlled and a common set of policies for determining when an 
export license is required. The control list criteria are to be based 
on transparent rules, which will reduce the uncertainty faced by our 
Allies, U.S. industry and its foreign customers, and will allow the 
government to erect higher walls around the most sensitive export items 
in order to enhance national security.
    Under the President's approach, agencies will apply the criteria 
and revise the lists of munitions and dual-use items that are 
controlled for export so that they:
    Are ``tiered'' to distinguish the types of items that should be 
subject to stricter or more permissive levels of control for different 
destinations, end-uses, and end-users;
    Create a ``bright line'' between the two current control lists to 
clarify jurisdictional determinations and reduce government and 
industry uncertainty about whether particular items are subject to the 
control of the State Department or the Commerce Department; and
    Are structurally aligned so that they potentially can be combined 
into a single list of controlled items. BIS' current regulatory plan 
action is designed to implement the initial phase of the President's 
directive.

Major Programs and Activities

    BIS administers four sets of regulations. The Export Administration 
Regulations (EAR) regulate exports and reexports to protect national 
security, foreign policy, and short supply interests. The EAR also 
regulates participation of U.S. persons in certain boycotts 
administered by foreign governments. The National Defense Industrial 
Base Regulations provide for prioritization of certain contracts and 
allocations of resources to promote the national defense, require 
reporting of foreign government-imposed offsets in defense sales, and 
address the effect of imports on the defense industrial base. The 
Chemical Weapons Convention Regulations implement declaration, 
reporting, and on-site inspection requirements in the private sector 
necessary to meet United States treaty obligations under the Chemical 
Weapons Convention treaty. The Additional Protocol Regulations 
implement similar requirements with respect to an agreement between the 
United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
    BIS also has an enforcement component with eight field offices in 
the United States. BIS export control officers are also stationed at 
several U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. BIS works with other U.S. 
Government agencies to promote coordinated U.S. Government efforts in 
export controls and other programs. BIS participates in U.S. Government 
efforts to strengthen multilateral export control regimes and to 
promote effective export controls through cooperation with other 
governments.

BIS' Regulatory Plan Actions

    As the agency responsible for leading the administration and 
enforcement of U.S. export controls on dual-use and other items 
warranting controls but not under the provisions of export control 
regulations administered by other departments, BIS plays a central role 
in the Administration's efforts to fundamentally reform the export 
control system. Changing what we control, how we control it and how we 
enforce and manage our controls will help strengthen our national 
security by focusing our efforts on controlling the most critical 
products and technologies, and by enhancing the competitiveness of key 
U.S. manufacturing and technology sectors.
    In FY 2011, BIS took several steps to implement the President's 
Export Control Reform Initiative (ECRI). BIS published a final rule (76 
FR 35275, June 16, 2011) implementing a license exception that 
authorizes exports, reexports and transfers to destinations that do not 
pose a national security concern, provided certain safeguards against 
diversion to other destinations are taken. BIS also proposed several 
rules to control under the EAR items that the President has determined 
do not warrant control under the International Traffic in Arms 
Regulations (ITAR), administered by the Department of State rule (76 FR 
41957), and its United States Munitions List (USML).
    In FY 2012, BIS followed up on its FY 2011 successes with the ECRI 
and proposed rules that would move items currently controlled in nine 
categories of the USML to control under the Commerce Control List 
(CCL), administered by BIS. In addition, BIS proposed a rule to ease 
the implementation process for transitioning items and re-proposed a 
revised key definition from the July 15 Rule, ``specially designed,'' 
that had received extensive public comment. In FY 2013, after State 
Department notification to Congress of the transfer of items from the 
USML, BIS expects to be able to publish a final rule incorporating many 
of the proposed changes, and revisions based on public responses to the 
proposals.

Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation

    As the President noted in Executive Order 13609, ``international 
regulatory cooperation, consistent with domestic law and prerogatives 
and U.S. trade policy, can be an important means of promoting'' public 
health, welfare, safety, and our environment as well as economic 
growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. Accordingly, in 
EO 13609, the President requires each executive agency to include in 
its Regulatory Plan a summary of its international regulatory 
cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to 
significant regulations.
    The Department of Commerce engages with numerous international 
bodies in various forums to promote the Department's priorities and 
foster regulations that do not ``impair the ability of American 
business to export and compete internationally.'' EO 13609(a). For 
example, the United States Patent and Trademark Office is working with 
the European Patent Office to develop a new classification system for 
both offices' use. The Bureau of Industry and Security, along with the 
Department of State and Department of Defense, engages with other 
countries in the Wassenaar Arrangement, through which the international 
community develops a common list of items that should be subject to 
export controls because they are conventional arms or items that have

[[Page 1351]]

both military and civil uses. Other multilateral export control regimes 
include the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers 
Group, and the Australia Group, which lists items controlled for 
chemical and biological weapon nonproliferation purposes. In addition, 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration works with other 
countries' regulatory bodies through regional fishery management 
organizations to develop fair and internationally-agreed-to fishery 
standards for the High Seas.
    BIS is also engaged, in partnership with the Departments of State 
and Defense, in revising the regulatory framework for export control, 
through the President's Export Control Reform Initiative (ECRI). 
Through this effort, the United States government is moving certain 
items currently controlled by the United States Military List (USML) to 
the Commerce Control List (CCL) in BIS' Export Administration 
Regulations. The objective of ECRI is to improve interoperability of 
U.S. military forces with those of allied countries, strengthen the 
U.S. industrial base by, among other things, reducing incentives for 
foreign manufacturers to design out and avoid U.S.-origin content and 
services, and allow export control officials to focus government 
resources on transactions that pose greater concern. This effort may be 
accomplished by as early as 2013, when the final rules are published. 
Once fully implemented, the new export control framework also will 
benefit companies in the United States seeking to export items through 
more flexible and less burdensome export controls.
    Some specific domestic regulatory actions that have resulted from 
the Department's international regulatory cooperation efforts include 
the rule on Identification and Certification of Fishing Vessels Engaged 
in Illegal, Unreported, or Unregulated Fishing or Bycatch of Protected 
Living Marine Resources (0648-AV51, 76 FR 2011); the Amendments to 
Implement the Shark Conservation Act and Revise the Definition of 
Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (0648-BA89); and the 
proposed rule to comply with the 2010 Shark Conservation Provisions and 
Other Regulations in the Atlantic Smoothhound Shark Fishery (0648-
BB02).

Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

    Pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563 ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review'' (Jan. 18, 2011), the following 
Regulatory Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated 
with retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan. Accordingly, the Agency is 
reviewing these rules to determine whether action under E.O. 13563 is 
appropriate. Some of these entries on this list may be completed 
actions, which do not appear in The Regulatory Plan. However, more 
information can be found about these completed rulemakings in past 
publications of the Unified Agenda on Reginfo.gov in the Completed 
Actions section for the Agency. These rulemakings can also be found on 
Regulations.gov. The final Agency retrospective analysis plan can be 
found at: http://open.commerce.gov/sites/default/files/Commerce%20Plan%20for%20Retrospective%20Analysis%20of%20Existing%20Rules%20-%202011-08-22%20Final.pdf.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Expected To
                                                    Significantly Reduce
            RIN                     Title             Burdens on Small
                                                        Businesses?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0648-BC03.................  Regulatory Amendment   Yes.
                             12 to the Fishery
                             Management Plan for
                             the Snapper-Grouper
                             Fishery of the South
                             Atlantic Region.
0648-BB44.................  Regulatory Amendment
                             11 to the Fishery
                             Management Plan for
                             the Snapper-Grouper
                             Fishery of the South
                             Atlantic Region.
0648-BB56.................  Amendment 18A to the   Yes.
                             Fishery Management
                             Plan for the Snapper-
                             Grouper Fishery of
                             the South Atlantic
                             Region.
0648-XC088................  Temporarily Extending
                             the Recreational Red
                             Snapper Fishing
                             Season in Federal
                             Waters of the Gulf
                             of Mexico.
0648-BB72.................  Amendment 34 to the
                             Fishery Management
                             Plan for the Reef
                             Fish Resources of
                             the Gulf of Mexico.
0648-BB45.................  Western Pacific
                             Pelagic Fisheries;
                             Modification of
                             American Samoa Large
                             Vessel Prohibited
                             Area.
0648-BB49.................  Amend the Regulations
                             that Implement the
                             National Saltwater
                             Angler Registry and
                             State Exemption
                             Program.
0694-AF03.................  Export Control Reform
                             Initiative:
                             Strategic Trade
                             Authorization
                             License Exception.
0694-AF17.................  Revision to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Items the
                             President Determines
                             No Longer Warrant
                             Control Under the
                             United States
                             Munitions List.
0694-AF36.................  Revision to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Aircraft and
                             Related Items the
                             President Determines
                             No Longer Warrant
                             Control Under the
                             United States
                             Munitions List.
0694-AF41.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Gas Turbine
                             Engines and Related
                             Items the President
                             Determines No Longer
                             Warrant Control
                             Under the United
                             States Munitions
                             List.
0694-AF17.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Military Vehicles
                             and Related Items
                             the President
                             Determines No Longer
                             Warrant Control
                             Under the United
                             States Munitions
                             List.
0694-AF42.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Vessels of War
                             and Related Articles
                             the President
                             Determines No Longer
                             Warrant Control
                             Under the United
                             States Munitions
                             List.
0694-AF39.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Submersible
                             Vessels,
                             Oceanographic
                             Equipment and
                             Related Articles the
                             President Determines
                             No Longer Warrant
                             Control Under the
                             United States
                             Munitions List.
0694-AF17.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Export
                             Control
                             Classification
                             Number 0Y521 Series,
                             Items Not Elsewhere
                             Listed on the
                             Commerce Control
                             List (CCL).
0694-AF53.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Energetic
                             Materials and
                             Related Articles the
                             President Determines
                             No Longer Warrant
                             Control Under the
                             United States
                             Munitions List.
0694-AF51.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations:
                             Auxiliary and
                             Miscellaneous Items
                             that No Longer
                             Warrant Control
                             Under the United
                             States Munitions
                             List and Items on
                             the Wassenaar
                             Arrangement
                             Munitions List.
0694-AF58.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Personal
                             Protective
                             Equipment, Shelters,
                             and Related Items
                             the President
                             Determines No Longer
                             Warrant Control
                             Under the United
                             States Munitions
                             List.

[[Page 1352]]

 
0694-AF54.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Military Training
                             Equipment and
                             Related Articles the
                             President Determines
                             No Longer Warrant
                             Control Under the
                             United States
                             Munitions List.
0694-AF66.................  ``Specially
                             Designed''
                             Definition.
0694-AF68.................  Feasibility of
                             Enumerating
                             ``Specially
                             Designed''
                             Components.
0694-AF65.................  Proposed Revisions to
                             the Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations:
                             Implementation of
                             Export Control
                             Reform; Revisions to
                             License Exceptions
                             After Retrospective
                             Regulatory Review.
0694-AF47.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Firearms and
                             Related Articles the
                             President Determines
                             No Longer Warrant
                             Control Under the
                             United States
                             Munitions List.
0694-AF48.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Guns and Armament
                             and Related Articles
                             the President
                             Determines No Longer
                             Warrant Control
                             Under the United
                             States Munitions
                             List.
0694-AF49.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Ammunition and
                             Ordnance the
                             President Determines
                             No Longer Warrant
                             Control Under the
                             United States
                             Munitions List.
0694-AF64.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations: Control
                             of Military
                             Electronic Equipment
                             and Related Items
                             the President
                             Determines No Longer
                             Warrant Control
                             Under the United
                             States Munitions
                             List.
0694-AF37.................  Revisions to the
                             Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations (EAR) to
                             Make the Commerce
                             Control List (CCL)
                             Clearer.
0694-AF56.................  EAR Revision: Items
                             Related to Launch
                             Vehicles, Missiles,
                             Rockets, and
                             Military Explosive
                             Devices That the
                             President Determines
                             No Longer Warrant
                             Control Under the
                             United States
                             Munitions List.
0694-AF60.................  Amendment to           Yes.
                             Licensing
                             Requirements for
                             Exports to Canada of
                             Shotguns, Shotgun
                             Shells and Optical
                             Sighting Devices
                             under the Export
                             Administration
                             Regulations.
0651-AC54.................  Setting and Adjusting
                             Patent Fees.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

BILLING CODE 3510-12-P

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Statement of Regulatory Priorities

Background
    The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest Federal department 
consisting of 3 Military departments (Army, Navy, and Air Force), 9 
Unified Combatant Commands, 13 Defense Agencies, and 10 DoD Field 
Activities. It has 1,409,877 military personnel and 766,425 civilians 
assigned as of March 31, 2012, and over 200 large and medium 
installations in the continental United States, U. S. territories, and 
foreign countries. The overall size, composition, and dispersion of 
DoD, coupled with an innovative regulatory program, presents a 
challenge to the management of the Defense regulatory efforts under 
Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 ``Regulatory Planning and Review'' of 
September 30, 1993.
    Because of its diversified nature, DoD is affected by the 
regulations issued by regulatory agencies such as the Departments of 
Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, 
Labor, Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. In 
order to develop the best possible regulations that embody the 
principles and objectives embedded in E.O. 12866, there must be 
coordination of proposed regulations among the regulatory agencies and 
the affected DoD components. Coordinating the proposed regulations in 
advance throughout an organization as large as DoD is a 
straightforward, yet formidable undertaking.
    DoD occasionally issues regulations that have an effect on the 
public and can be significant as defined in E.O. 12866. In addition, 
some of DoD's regulations may affect other agencies. DoD, as an 
integral part of its program, not only receives coordinating actions 
from other agencies, but coordinates with the agencies that are 
affected by its regulations as well.
Overall Priorities
    The Department needs to function at a reasonable cost, while 
ensuring that it does not impose ineffective and unnecessarily 
burdensome regulations on the public. The rulemaking process should be 
responsive, efficient, cost-effective, and both fair and perceived as 
fair. This is being done in DoD while reacting to the contradictory 
pressures of providing more services with fewer resources. The 
Department of Defense, as a matter of overall priority for its 
regulatory program, fully incorporates the provisions of the 
President's priorities and objectives under Executive Order (E.O.) 
12866.
International Regulatory Cooperation
    As the President noted in Executive Order 13609, ``international 
regulatory cooperation, consistent with domestic law and prerogatives 
and U.S. trade policy, can be an important means of promoting'' public 
health, welfare, safety, and our environment as well as economic 
growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. Accordingly, in 
EO 13609, the President requires each executive agency to include in 
its Regulatory Plan a summary of its international regulatory 
cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to 
significant regulations.
    The Department of Defense, along with the Department of State and 
Department of Commerce, engages with other countries in the Wassenaar 
Arrangement, through which the international community develops a 
common list of items that should be subject to export controls.
Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations
    Pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563 ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review (January 18, 2011), the following 
Regulatory Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated 
with retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan. All are of particular 
interest to small businesses. Some of these entries on this list may be 
completed actions, which do not appear in The Regulatory Plan. However, 
more information can be found about these completed rulemakings in past 
publications of the Unified Agenda on Reginfo.gov in the Completed 
Actions section for that agency. These rulemakings can also be found on 
Regulations.gov. The final agency plans can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/exchange/topic/eo-13563

[[Page 1353]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Rule Title (*expected to significantly
              RIN                  reduce burdens on small businesses)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0790-AI73.....................  Withholding of Unclassified Technical
                                 Data From Public Disclosure.
0790-AI75.....................  Presentation of DoD-Related Scientific
                                 and Technical Papers at Meetings.
0790-AI77.....................  Provision of Early Intervention and
                                 Special Education Services to Eligible
                                 DoD Dependents.
0790-AI84.....................  National Defense Science and Engineering
                                 Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships.
0790-AI54.....................  Defense Support of Civilian Law
                                 Enforcement Agencies.
0790-AI88.....................  Shelter for the Homeless.
0710-AA66.....................  Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation
                                 Adjustment Rule.
0710-AA60.....................  Nationwide Permit Program Regulations*.
0703-AA91.....................  Unofficial Use of the Seal, Emblem,
                                 Names, or Initials of the Marine Corps.
0703-AA92.....................  Professional Conduct of Attorneys
                                 Practicing Under the Cognizance and
                                 Supervision of the Judge Advocate
                                 General.
0703-AA88.....................  Professional Conduct of Attorneys
                                 Practicing Under the Cognizance and
                                 Supervision of the Judge Advocate
                                 General.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pursuant to Executive Order 13563, DoD also plans to finalize the 
DFARS rule to delete text in DFARS part 219 that implemented 10 U.S.C. 
2323 because 10 U.S.C. 2323 has expired.

Administration Priorities

1. Rulemakings That Are Expected To Have High Net Benefits Well in 
Excess of Costs
    The Department plans to--
     Revise the DFARS to implement section 806 of the National 
Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, which 
requires the evaluation of offeror's supply chain risks for information 
technology purchases relating to national security systems. This rule 
enables agencies to exclude sources that are identified as having a 
supply chain risk.
     Revise the DFARS to use Commercial and Government Entity 
(CAGE) codes and NCAGE (if foreign) for awards greater than the 
micropurchase threshold to identify the immediate corporate parent. 
This rule will provide standardization across the Federal government to 
facilitate data collection and support anti-counterfeiting efforts by 
uniquely identifying vendors.
     Revise the DFARS to use Activity Address Codes as the 
unique identifier for contracting offices and other offices, as well as 
the use of standard procurement instrument identification numbers. This 
will provide for standardization across the Federal government to 
facilitate data tracking and collection.
2. Rulemakings That Promote Open Government and Use Disclosure as a 
Regulatory Tool
    The Department plans to--
     Finalize the DFARS rule, which revises reporting 
requirements for Government-furnished property to include items 
uniquely and non-uniquely identified, which will permit enterprise-wide 
visibility thereby enhancing DoD's ability to reutilize items. The data 
will be available to users in the logistics, financial, and property 
accountability arenas.
3. Rulemakings That Streamline Regulations, Reduce Unjustified Burdens, 
and Minimize Burdens on Small Businesses
    The Department plans to--
     Finalize the rule for DFARS coverage of patents, data, and 
copyrights, which significantly reduces the amount of regulatory text 
and the number of required clauses.
    4. Rules to be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed to make 
the agency's regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in 
achieving the regulatory objectives.
     DFARS Case 2012-D022--Provides guidance relating to rights 
in technical data under contracts for production and sustainment of 
systems or subsystems.
     DFARS Case 2012-D008--Proposes a new convention for 
prescribing clauses with alternates to provide alternate clauses in 
full text. This will facilitate selection of alternate clauses using 
automated contract writing systems.
     DFARS Case 2011-D056--Provides a new approach to 
identifying required provisions and clauses for the acquisition of 
commercial items, by replacing the omnibus contract clause at DFARS 
252.212-7001 with an amplified list in part 212 of required provisions 
and clauses. This supports simplified clause prescriptions and 
facilitates commercial item clause selections using automated contract 
writing systems.
     DFARS Case 2010-D001--Finalizes the rule for DFARS 
coverage of patents, data, and copyrights, which significantly reduces 
the amount of regulatory text and the number of required clauses.

Specific DoD Priorities

    For this regulatory plan, there are six specific DoD priorities, 
all of which reflect the established regulatory principles. DoD has 
focused its regulatory resources on the most serious environmental, 
health, and safety risks. Perhaps most significant is that each of the 
priorities described below promulgates regulations to offset the 
resource impacts of Federal decisions on the public or to improve the 
quality of public life, such as those regulations concerning 
acquisition, security, energy projects, education, and health affairs.
1. Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy
    The Department of Defense continuously reviews the DFARS and 
continues to lead Government efforts to--
     Revise the DFARS to provide detailed guidance and 
instruction to DoD contracting officers for the use of DoD's 
performance based payments analysis tool when contemplating the use of 
performance based payments on new fixed-price type contracts.
     Revise the DFARS to implement a DoD Better Buying Power 
initiative by providing a proposal-adequacy checklist in a provision to 
ensure offerors take responsibility for providing thorough, accurate, 
and complete proposals.
     Revise the DFARS to implement a DoD Better Buying Power 
initiative by providing a forward-pricing-rate-agreement checklist in a 
provision to ensure offerors take responsibility for providing 
thorough, accurate, and complete proposals.
     Revise the DFARS to address standards and structures for 
the safeguarding of unclassified DoD information.
     Revise the DFARS to include contractor reporting and 
documentation requirements regarding contractor compliance with the 
DFARS business systems' criteria.
2. Logistics and Material Readiness, Department of Defense
    The Department of Defense plans to finalize a rule on contractors 
supporting the military in contingency operations:
     Final Rule: Operational Contract Support. This rule 
incorporates the latest changes and lessons learned into policy and 
procedures for operational contract support (OCS), including OCS 
program management, contract support

[[Page 1354]]

integration, and the integration of DoD contractor personnel into 
contingency operations outside the United States. It was required to 
procedurally close gaps and ensure the correct planning, oversight and 
management of DoD contractors supporting contingency operations, by 
updating outdated policy. DoD published an interim final rule on 
December 29, 2011 (32 CFR part 158, 76 FR 81807-81825) with an 
effective date of December 29, 2011. The comment period ended February 
27, 2012. DoD is preparing a final rule, which includes the responses 
to the public comments. The final rule is expected to be published the 
second quarter of FY 2013.
3. Installations and Environment, Department of Defense
    The Department of Defense plans to finalize a rule regarding the 
process for evaluating the impact of certain types of structures on 
military operations and readiness:
     Final Rule: This rule implements policy, assigns 
responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for the establishment and 
operation of a process for evaluation of proposed projects submitted to 
the Secretary of Transportation under section 44718 of title 49, United 
States Code. The evaluation process is established for the purpose of 
identifying any adverse impact of proposed projects on military 
operations and readiness, minimizing or mitigating such adverse 
impacts, and determining if any such projects pose an unacceptable risk 
to the national security of the United States. The rule also includes 
procedures for the operation of a central DoD siting clearinghouse to 
facilitate both informal and formal reviews of proposed projects. This 
rule is required by section 358 of Public Law 111-383. An interim final 
rule was published on October 20, 2011 (76 FR 65112). DoD anticipates 
publishing a final rule in the second quarter of FY 2013.
4. Military Community and Family Policy, Department of Defense
    The Department of Defense plans to finalize a rule to implement 
policy, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the 
operation of voluntary education programs within DoD:
     Final Rule: In this final rule, the Department of Defense 
(DoD) plans to implement policy, assigns responsibilities, and 
prescribes procedures for the operation of voluntary education programs 
within DoD. Several of the subject areas in this final rule include: 
Procedures for Service members participating in education programs; 
guidelines for establishing, maintaining, and operating voluntary 
education programs including, but not limited to, instructor-led 
courses offered on-installation and off-installation, as well as via 
distance learning; procedures for obtaining on-base voluntary education 
programs and services; minimum criteria for selecting institutions to 
deliver higher education programs and services on military 
installations; the establishment of a DoD Voluntary Education 
Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DoD and 
educational institutions receiving tuition assistance payments; and 
procedures for other education programs for Service members and their 
adult family members.
    The new DoD MOU policy was scheduled to commence in early 2012; 
however, due to concerns received by DoD from several institutions of 
higher learning (IHLs) involving the language in the DoD Voluntary 
Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), commencement 
was put on-hold. DoD extended the deadline to work with the 
stakeholders (American Council on Education, IHLs, and key veteran and 
military service organizations) to address these concerns by clarifying 
the terminology contained in the DoD MOU. One change was informally 
coordinated with all key stakeholders (Congress, the White House, 
American Council on Education and select IHL) and now captures the 
agreed upon MOU policy. The new deadline to implement the policy 
requiring participating IHLs to sign the MOU is sixty days following 
the publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. A proposed 
rule was published on August 6, 2010 (75 FR 47504). DoD anticipates 
publishing a final rule in the second quarter of FY2013.
    Earlier this year, the White House worked with an interagency 
group, including the Departments of Education, Veterans Affairs, 
Justice, and Defense, on the development of an Executive Order 
establishing the Principles of Excellence for educational institutions 
servicing Service members, Veterans, spouses, and other family members. 
The President signed Executive Order 13607 on April 27, 2012. 
Implementation of the protections stated in E.O. 13607 will require 
developing and coordinating an amendment to the rule, Voluntary 
Education Programs. The White House guidance states DoD will implement 
these new student protections by the start of academic year 2013-2014. 
DoD anticipates publishing a final rule the third quarter of FY 2013.
5. Health Affairs, Department of Defense
    The Department of Defense is able to meet its dual mission of 
wartime readiness and peacetime health care by operating an extensive 
network of medical treatment facilities. This network includes DoD's 
own military treatment facilities supplemented by civilian health care 
providers, facilities, and services under contract to DoD through the 
TRICARE program. TRICARE is a major health care program designed to 
improve the management and integration of DoD's health care delivery 
system. The program's goal is to increase access to health care 
services, improve health care quality, and control health care costs.
    The TRICARE Management Activity has published or plans to publish 
the following rules:
     Final rule on TRICARE: Reimbursement of Sole Community 
Hospitals and Adjustment to Reimbursement of Critical Access Hospitals. 
The rule implements the statutory provision in 10 United States Code 
1079(j)(2) that TRICARE payment methods for institutional care shall be 
determined to the extent practicable in accordance with the same 
reimbursement rules as those that apply to payments to providers of 
services of the same type under Medicare. This rule implements a 
reimbursement methodology similar to that furnished to Medicare 
beneficiaries for services provided by sole community hospitals. It is 
projected that implementation of this rule will result in health care 
savings of $36.5 million per year with proposed phase-in period and an 
estimated initial startup cost of $200,000. Any ongoing administrative 
costs would be minimal and there do not appear to be any applicable 
risks to the public. The proposed rule was published July 5, 2011 (76 
FR 39043). The comment period ended on September 6, 2011. DoD 
anticipates publishing a final rule in the second quarter of FY 2013.
     Final rule on TRICARE: TRICARE Young Adult. The purpose of 
this interim final rule is to establish the TRICARE Young Adult program 
implementing section 702 of the Ike Skelton NDAA for FY 2011 (Pub. L. 
111-383) to provide medical coverage to unmarried children under the 
age of 26 who no longer meet the age requirements for TRICARE 
eligibility (age 21, or 23 if enrolled in a full-time course of study 
at an institution of higher learning approved by the Secretary of 
Defense) and who are not

[[Page 1355]]

eligible for medical coverage from an eligible employer-sponsored plan 
(as defined in section 5000A(f)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 
1986). If qualified, they can purchase TRICARE Standard/Extra or 
TRICARE Prime benefits coverage. The particular TRICARE plan available 
depends on the military sponsor's eligibility and the availability of 
the TRICARE plan in the dependent's geographic location. It is 
projected that implementation of this rule will result in an estimated 
initial start-up cost of $3,000,000. Premiums are designed to cover the 
anticipated health care costs, as well as ongoing administrative costs. 
The interim final rule was published April 27, 2011 (76 FR 23479), with 
an immediate effective date. The comment period ended June 27, 2011. 
DoD anticipates publishing a final rule in the second quarter of FY 
2013.
6. Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, Department of Defense
    The Department of Defense plans to publish an interim final rule 
regarding Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program 
Procedures:
     Interim Final Rule: Sexual Assault Prevention and Response 
(SAPR) Program Procedures. This part implements Department of Defense 
(DoD) policy and assigns responsibilities for the SAPR Program on 
prevention, response, and oversight to sexual assault. It is DoD policy 
to establish a culture free of sexual assault by providing an 
environment of prevention, education and training, response capability, 
victim support, reporting procedures, and accountability that enhances 
the safety and well being of all persons covered by the regulation. DoD 
anticipates publishing the interim final rule in the first or second 
quarter of FY 2013.
7. Personnel and Readiness, Department of Defense
    The Department of Defense plans to publish a rule regarding Service 
Academies:
     Final Rule: Service Academies. This rule establishes 
policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for 
Department of Defense oversight of the Service Academies. 
Administrative costs are negligible and benefits are clear, concise 
rules that enable the Secretary of Defense to insure that the Service 
Academies are efficiently operated and meet the needs of the armed 
forces. The proposed rule was published October 18, 2007 (72 FR 59053), 
and included policy that has since changed. The final rule, 
particularly the explanation of separation policy, will reflect recent 
changes in the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. It will also incorporate 
changes resulting from interagency coordination. DoD anticipates 
publishing the final rule in the first or second quarter of FY 2013.
8. Chief Information Officer, Department of Defense
    The Department of Defense plans to publish a final rule to 
establish the voluntary cyber security information sharing program 
between DoD and eligible cleared defense contractors:
     Final Rule: Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Voluntary Cyber 
Security/Information Assurance (CS/IA) Activities. The DIB CS/IA 
program enhances and supplements DIB participant's capabilities to 
safeguard DoD information that resides on, or transits, DIB 
unclassified information systems. At the core of this voluntary program 
is a bilateral cyber security information sharing activity, in which 
DoD provides cyber threat information and information assurance best 
practices to DIB companies, and in return, DIB companies report certain 
types of cyber intrusion incidents to the DoD-DIB Collaborative 
Information Sharing Environment (DCISE), located at the DoD Cyber Crime 
Center. The information sharing arrangements between DoD and each 
participating DIB company are memoralized in a standardized bilateral 
Framework Agreement. The interim final rule was published on May 11, 
2012 (77 FR 27615). The comment period on the interim final rule ended 
on July 11, 2012. Once adjudication of the comments is complete, DoD 
anticipates publishing a final rule in the second quarter of FY 2013.

DOD--OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY (OS)

Final Rule Stage

21. Service Academies

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 10 U.S.C. 301
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR part 217.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Department is revising and updating policy guidance 
and oversight of the Military Service Academies. This rule implements 
10 U.S.C. 403, 603, and 903 for the establishment and operation of the 
United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, and 
the United States Air Force Academy. Administrative costs are 
negligible and benefits are clear, concise rules that enable the 
Secretary of Defense to insure that the Service Academies are 
efficiently operated and meet the needs of the armed forces. The 
proposed rule was published October 18, 2007 (72 FR 59053), and 
included policy that has since changed. The final rule, particularly 
the explanation of separation policy, will reflect recent changes in 
the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
    Statement of Need: The Department of Defense revises and updates 
the current rule providing the policy guidance and oversight of the 
Military Service Academies. This rule implements 10 U.S.C. 403, 603, 
and 903 for the establishment and operation of the United States 
Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, and the United 
States Air Force Academy.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 10 U.S.C. Chapters 403, 603, 903.
    Alternatives: None. The Federal statute directs the Department of 
Defense to develop policy, assign responsibilities, and prescribe 
procedures for operations and oversight of the Service academies.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Administrative costs are negligible 
and benefits would be clear, concise rules that enable the Secretary of 
Defense to ensure that the Service Academies are efficiently operated 
and meet the needs of the armed forces.
    Risks: None.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   10/18/07  72 FR 59053
NPRM Comment Period End.............   12/17/07
Final Action........................   03/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: DoD Instruction 1322.22.
    Agency Contact: Paul Nosek, Department of Defense, Office of the 
Secretary, 4000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-4000, Phone: 703 
695-5529.
    RIN: 0790-AI19

DOD--OS

22. Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Procedures

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 10 U.S.C. ch 47 sec 113
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR part 105.
    Legal Deadline: None.

[[Page 1356]]

    Abstract: This rule implements policy, assigns responsibilities, 
provides guidance and procedures, and establishes the Sexual Assault 
Advisory Council for the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response 
program consistent with the Task Force Report on Care for Victims of 
Sexual Assault, and pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 113 and 32 CFR part 103. The 
intent of the program is to prevent and eliminate sexual assault within 
the Department by providing comprehensive procedures to better 
establish a culture of prevention, response, and accountability that 
enhances the safety and well-being of all DoD members.
    Statement of Need: This rule implements policy, assigns 
responsibilities, and provides guidance and procedures for the SAPR 
Program. It establishes the processes and procedures for the Sexual 
Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Kit; the multidisciplinary Case 
Management Group to include guidance for the group on how to handle 
sexual assault; SAPR minimum program standards; SAPR training 
requirements; and SAPR requirements for the DoD Annual Report on Sexual 
Assault in the Military.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 113 of Title 10, United States Code 
(U.S.C.); and Public Laws 109-364, 109-163, 108-375, 106-65, 110-417, 
and 111-84.
    Alternatives: The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office 
(SAPRO) will lack updated and revised rules for implementing DoD policy 
on prevention and response to sexual assaults involving members of the 
U.S. Armed Forces if this rule is not implemented.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The preliminary estimate of the 
anticipated cost associated with this rule for the current fiscal year 
(2011) is approximately $14.819 million. Additionally, each of the 
Military Services establishes its own SAPR budget for the programmatic 
costs arising from the implementation of the training, prevention, 
reporting, response, and oversight requirements established by this 
rule.
    The anticipated benefits associated with this rule include:
    (1) Guidance with which the Department may establish a culture free 
of sexual assault by providing an environment of prevention, education 
and training, response capability, victim support, reporting 
procedures, and appropriate accountability that enhances the safety and 
well being of all persons covered by this rule;
    (2) Treatment of sexual assault patients as emergency cases, which 
prevents loss of life or suffering resulting from physical injuries 
(internal or external), sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and 
psychological distress;
    (3) The availability of two reporting options for Service members 
and their dependents who are 18 years of age or older covered by this 
rule who are victims of sexual assault. The two reporting options are 
as follows:
    (a) Unrestricted Reporting allows an eligible person who is 
sexually assaulted to access medical treatment and counseling and 
request an official investigation of the allegation using existing 
reporting channels (e.g., chain of command, law enforcement, healthcare 
personnel, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator [SARC]). When a 
sexual assault is reported through Unrestricted Reporting, a SARC shall 
be notified as soon as possible, respond, assign a SAPR Victim Advocate 
(VA), and offer the victim medical care and a sexual assault forensic 
examination (SAFE); and
    (b) Restricted Reporting allows sexual assault victims to 
confidentially disclose the assault to specified individuals (i.e., 
SARC, SAPR VA, or healthcare personnel), in accordance with DoD 
Directive (DoDD) 5400.11, and receive medical treatment, including 
emergency care, counseling, and assignment of a SARC and SAPR VA, 
without triggering an official investigation. The victim's report to 
healthcare personnel (including the information acquired from a SAFE 
Kit), SARCs, or SAPR VAs will not be reported to law enforcement, or to 
the victim's command to initiate the official investigative process, 
unless the victim consents or an established exception applies in 
accordance with DoD Instruction (DoDI) 6495.02.
    The Department's preference is for complete Unrestricted Reporting 
of sexual assaults to allow for the provision of victims' services and 
to pursue accountability. However, Unrestricted Reporting may represent 
a barrier for victims to access services, when the victim desires no 
command or law enforcement involvement. Consequently, the Department 
recognizes a fundamental need to provide a confidential disclosure 
vehicle via the Restricted Reporting option.
    (4) Service members who are on active duty but were victims of 
sexual assault prior to enlistment or commissioning are eligible to 
receive SAPR services and utilize either reporting option. The focus of 
this rule and DoDI 6495.02 is on the victim of sexual assault. The DoD 
shall provide support to an active duty Service member regardless of 
when or where the sexual assault took place; and
    (5) Guidance for the development of response capabilities that will 
enable sexual assault victims to recover, and, if Service members, to 
be fully mission capable and engaged.
    Risks: The rule intends to enable military readiness by 
establishing a culture free of sexual assault. Sexual assault poses a 
serious threat to military readiness because the potential costs and 
consequences are extremely high: chronic psychological consequences may 
include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance 
abuse. In the U.S. Armed Forces, sexual assault not only degrades 
individual resilience but also may erode unit integrity. An effective 
fighting force cannot tolerate sexual assault within its ranks. Sexual 
assault is incompatible with military culture and mission readiness, 
and risks to mission accomplishment. This rule aims to mitigate this 
risk to mission readiness.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   12/00/12
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: DoD Instruction 6495.02.
    Agency Contact: Teresa Scalzo, Department of Defense, Office of the 
Secretary, 4000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155, Phone: 703 
696-8977.
    RIN: 0790-AI36

DOD--OS

23. Operational Contract Support

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 110-181
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR part 158.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: In accordance with Public Law 110-181 and Public Law 110-
417, DoD is revising policy and assigning responsibilities for program 
management of operational contract support (OCS) in contingency 
operations and integration of DoD contractor personnel into military 
contingency operations outside the United States. An interim final rule 
is required to procedurally close gaps and ensure the correct planning, 
oversight and management of DoD contractors supporting contingency 
operations, by updating the existing outdated policy. The existing 
policies are causing

[[Page 1357]]

significant confusion, as they do not reflect current practices and 
legislative mandates. The apparent mismatch between local Geographic 
Command guidance and the DoD-wide policies and the Defense Federal 
Acquisition Regulations Supplement is confusing for those in the 
field--in particular policy with regard to accountability and 
visibility requirements. Since the Presidential decision to expand the 
number of troops in Afghanistan and the subsequent increase of troops 
and contractors in theater, this issue has become so significant that 
DoD needs to revise the DoD-wide policies as a matter of urgency.
    Statement of Need: This rule revises policy and assigns 
responsibilities for program management of operational contract support 
(OCS) in contingency operations and integration of DoD contractor 
personnel into military contingency operations outside the United 
States. GAO, the Commission on Wartime Contracting, and the Special 
Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction/Afghanistan Reconstruction 
are among those who have highlighted the urgent requirement to update 
the policy.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Parts of the rule are required by section 
861 of the 2008 NDAA, Public Law 110-181 and Public Law 110-417.
    Alternatives: Given the legal requirement to revise this regulation 
and separately publish a corresponding revision to the Federal 
Acquisition Regulation, we did not consider any alternatives.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This regulation establishes policies 
and procedures for the oversight and management of contractors 
supporting contingency operations outside the United States; therefore, 
there is no cost to public. Updated and refined policy regarding 
contractors supporting contingency operations will result in improved 
management, oversight and efficiency.
    Risks: This rule represents an update to the existing DoD 
Instruction and incorporates the latest changes in policy and 
procedures. This revision is required to integrate lessons learned and 
improvements in practices gleaned from five years of operational 
experience. The risk of not publishing this rule is that there would be 
outdated policy which doesn't reflect practices in the field. This will 
lead to inefficient and ineffective management of the contractor 
workforce supporting contingency operations.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   12/29/11  76 FR 81807
Interim Final Rule Effective........   12/29/11
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      02/27/12
 End.
Final Action........................   01/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal.
    Additional Information: DoD Instruction 3020.41.
    Agency Contact: Kerry Powell, Department of Defense, Office of the 
Secretary, 3500 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20201-3500, Phone: 703 
614-1944, Fax: 703 697-4942, Email: kerry.powell@osd.mil.
    RIN: 0790-AI48

DOD--OS

24. Voluntary Education Programs

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 10 U.S.C. 2005; 10 U.S.C. 2007
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR part 68.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule will implement policy, assign responsibilities, 
and prescribe procedures for the operation of voluntary education 
programs within DoD. Included are: procedures for Service members 
participating in education programs; guidelines for establishing, 
maintaining, and operating voluntary education programs, including but 
not limited to, instructor-led courses offered on-installation and off-
installation, as well as via distance learning; procedures for 
obtaining on-base voluntary education programs and services; minimum 
criteria for selecting institutions to deliver higher education 
programs and services on military installations; the establishment of a 
DoD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding between 
DoD and educational institutions receiving tuition assistance payments; 
and procedures for other education programs for Service members and 
their adult family members.
    Statement of Need: A March 2011 Government Accountability Office 
report on the DoD TA program recommended the Department take steps to 
enhance its oversight of schools receiving TA funds. As a result, a DoD 
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) requirement was included in this 
rule, which is designated not only to improve Departmental oversight 
but also to account for our Service members' unique lifestyle 
requirements. The purpose of the DoD MOU is to establish a partnership 
between the Department and institutions to improve educational 
opportunities while protecting the integrity of each institution's core 
educational values. This partnership serves to ensure a quality, viable 
program exists that provides for our Service members to realize their 
educational goals, while allowing for judicious oversight of taxpayer 
dollars.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Sections 2005 and 2007 of title 10, United 
States Code.
    Alternatives: None.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Voluntary Education Programs 
include: High School Completion/Diploma; Military Tuition Assistance 
(TA); Postsecondary Degree Programs; Independent Study and Distance 
Learning Programs; College Credit Examination Program; Academic Skills 
Program; and Certification/Licensure Programs. Funding for Voluntary 
Education Programs during 2009 was $800 million, which included tuition 
assistance and operational costs. This funding provided more than 
650,000 individuals (Service members and their adult family members) 
with the opportunity to participate in Voluntary Education Programs 
around the world.
    Risks: None.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   08/06/10  75 FR 47504
NPRM Comment Period End.............   10/05/10
Final Action........................   12/00/12
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: DoD Instruction 1322.25.
    Agency Contact: Kerrie Tucker Department of Defense, Office of the 
Secretary, Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301, Phone: 703 602-4949.
    RIN: 0790-AI50

DOD--OS

25. Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Cyber Security/Information Assurance 
(CS/IA) Activities

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: EO 12829
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.

[[Page 1358]]

    Abstract: In accordance with Executive Order 12829, this rule will 
establish policy, assign responsibilities, and delegate authority for 
directing the conduct of Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Cyber Security/
Information Assurance (CS/IA) activities to protect unclassified DoD 
information that transits or resides on unclassified DIB information 
systems and networks.
    Statement of Need: Adversaries target Defense Industrial Base (DIB) 
unclassified networks daily. Unauthorized access and compromise of DoD 
unclassified information poses an unacceptable risk and imminent threat 
to U.S. national and economic security. DoD's voluntary DIB Cyber 
Security and Information Assurance (CS/IA) program enhances and 
supplements DIB participants' capabilities to safeguard DoD information 
on DIB unclassified information systems.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Government and private sector information 
assurance, which includes cyber threat information sharing, is an 
urgent U.S. national and economic security priority. The following 
authorities and policy guidance identify government-industry 
partnerships as necessary to contend with advanced cyber threats and 
support the collection of cyber incident information from the DIB.
    DoD Information Assurance (IA): DoD is required by statute to 
establish programs and activities to protect DoD information and DoD 
information systems, including information and information systems 
operated and maintained by contractors or others in support of DoD 
activities. Section 2224 of title 10, U.S. Code (U.S.C.), requires DoD 
to establish a Defense IA Program to protect and defend DoD 
information, information systems, and information networks that are 
critical to the Department during day to day operations and operations 
in times of crisis. (10 U.S.C. section 2224(a)). The program must 
provide continuously for the availability, integrity, authentication, 
confidentiality, non-repudiation, and rapid restitution of information 
and information systems that are essential elements of the Defense 
information infrastructure. (10 U.S.C. section 2224(b)). The program 
strategy also must include vulnerability and threat assessments for 
defense and supporting non-defense information infrastructures, joint 
activities with elements of the national information infrastructure, 
and coordination with representatives of those national critical 
infrastructure systems that are essential to DoD operations. (10 U.S.C. 
section 2224(c)). The program must provide for coordination, as 
appropriate, with the heads of any relevant federal agency and with 
representatives of those national critical information infrastructure 
systems that are essential to the operations of the Department 
regarding information assurance measures necessary to the protection of 
these systems. (10 U.S.C. section 2224(d)).
    Federal Information Security: The Defense IA Program also must 
ensure compliance with Federal information security requirements of the 
Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), 44 U.S.C. section 
3541 et seq. FISMA requires all federal agencies to provide information 
security protections for information collected or maintained by, or on 
behalf of, the agency. Information systems used or operated by an 
agency or by a contractor of an agency or other organization on behalf 
of an agency must be in accordance with 44 U.S.C. section 
3544(a)(1)(A). Agencies are expressly required to develop, document, 
and implement programs to provide information security for information 
and information systems that support the operations and assets of the 
agency, including those provided by another agency, contractor, or 
other source in accordance with 44 U.S.C. section 3544(b).
    Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP): Under Homeland Security 
Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7), ``Critical Infrastructure 
Identification, Prioritization, and Protection,'' the Department of 
Defense is the Sector Specific Agency (SSA) for the Defense Industrial 
Base (DIB) sector (HSPD-7), (18)(g)), and thus engages with the DIB on 
a wide range of CIP matters, including but not limited to cyber 
security. HSPD-7 charges the SSAs to: collaborate with all relevant 
Federal departments and agencies, State and local governments, and the 
private sector, including with key persons and entities in their 
infrastructure sector; conduct or facilitate vulnerability assessments 
of the sector; and encourage risk management strategies to protect 
against and mitigate the effects of attacks against critical 
infrastructure and key resources. (HSPD-7), (19)). The Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS) leads the national effort to protect public and 
private critical infrastructure. (HSPD-7), (7)). This includes 
coordinating implementation activities between federal agencies, state 
and local authorities, and the private sector. Regarding cyber 
security, these efforts are to include analysis, warning, information 
sharing, vulnerability reduction, mitigation, and aiding national 
recovery efforts for critical infrastructure information systems. 
(HSPD-7), (12)) More specifically, regarding coordination with the 
private sector, HSPD-7 provides that DHS and the SSAs ``will 
collaborate with appropriate private sector entities and continue to 
encourage the development of information sharing and analysis 
mechanisms [to] identify, prioritize, and coordinate the protection of 
critical infrastructure and key resources; and to facilitate sharing of 
information about physical and cyber threats, vulnerabilities, 
incidents, potential protective measures, and best practices.'' (HSPD-
7), (25)).
    Alternatives: Private sector DIB company participation in the DIB 
CS/IA program is completely voluntary, allowing DIB companies to elect 
whether to participate in the program, or to choose from any other 
available alternatives, based on their individual approaches to cyber 
security and information security. The DIB CS/IA bilateral information 
sharing activities are a core element of the DoD's multi-pronged 
approach to fulfill its information assurance responsibilities and 
cyber security. The program enhances and supplements DIB participants' 
capabilities to safeguard DoD information that resides on, or transits, 
DIB unclassified information systems.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Participation in the DIB CS/IA 
program is voluntary and does not obligate the DIB participant to use 
government furnished information (GFI) in, or otherwise to implement 
any changes to, its information systems. Any action taken by the DIB 
participant based on GFI or other participation in this program is 
taken on the DIB participant's own volition and at the participant's 
own risk and expense. As a voluntary program in which the DIB 
participants and the Government each bear independent responsibility 
for their own activities, the costs to both the private sector and to 
the government are minimized. This voluntary participation will not 
create an inconsistency or otherwise interfere with any action taken or 
planned by another Agency. We do not believe that it raises novel legal 
policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's 
priorities, or principles set forth in Executive Orders.
    All DIB participants must have or obtain DoD-approved, medium 
assurance certificates to enable encrypted unclassified information 
sharing between DoD and DIB participants. Cost of the DoD approved 
medium assurance certificates is approximately $175 for each individual 
identified by the DIB participant. See http://iase.disa.mil/pki/eca/ 
for more

[[Page 1359]]

information about DoD-approved certificates.
    For classified information sharing, each DIB participant will have 
start up costs of approximately $3,000 per DIBNet-Secret terminal 
installed in their cleared facility(ies). An estimate of $1,000 per 
year is projected as sustainment costs for each classified DIBNet-
Secret terminal, including associated personnel costs for maintaining 
software updates for each stand-alone terminal.
    There is an estimated annual burden for DIB participants projected 
at $1,367 for incident reporting. This is based on a DIB participant 
reporting average of 5 cyber incidents a year affecting DoD 
information, with 7 hours of labor per incident, at a cost of $39.06 
per man hour. These man hour costs are according to the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010, and depending 
upon the number of cyber incidents experienced and their severity, the 
annual burden could increase.
    These costs provide beneficial capabilities to enhance and 
supplement DIB participants' capabilities to safeguard DoD information 
that resides on, or transits, DIB unclassified information systems.
    Risks: Cyber threats to DIB unclassified information systems 
represent an unacceptable risk of compromise of DoD information and 
pose an imminent threat to U.S. national security and economic security 
interests. DoD's voluntary DIB CS/IA program enhances and supplements 
DIB participant's capabilities to safeguard DIB information that 
resides on, or transits, DIB unclassified information systems.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   05/11/12  77 FR 27615
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      06/10/12
 End.
Final Action........................   02/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: DoD Instruction 5205.ff.
    Agency Contact: Brian Fredericks, Department of Defense, Office of 
the Secretary, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301, Phone: 703 
604-5522, Email: brian.fredericks2@osd.mil.
    RIN: 0790-AI60

DOD--OS

26. Mission Compatibility Evaluation Process

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-383, sec 358
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR part 211.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Department of Defense (DoD) is issuing this interim 
final rule to implement section 358 of the Ike Skelton National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, Public Law 111-383. That 
section requires that the DoD issue procedures addressing the impacts 
upon military operations of certain types of structures if they pose an 
unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States. The 
structures addressed are those for which an application is required to 
be filed with the Secretary of Transportation under section 44718 of 
title 49, United States Code. Section 358 also requires the designation 
of a lead organization to coordinate DoD review of applications for 
projects filed with the Secretary of Transportation pursuant to section 
44718, and received by the Department of Defense from the Secretary of 
Transportation. Section 358 also requires the designation of certain 
officials by the Secretary of Defense to perform functions pursuant to 
the section and this implementing rule. Section 358 also requires the 
establishment of a comprehensive strategy for addressing military 
impacts of renewable energy projects and other energy projects, with 
the objective of ensuring that the robust development of renewable 
energy sources and the expansion of the commercial electrical grid may 
move forward in the United States, while minimizing or mitigating any 
adverse impacts on military operations and readiness. Implementing that 
requirement, however, is not required at this time and is not part of 
this rule. Other aspects of section 358 not required at this time, such 
as annual reports to Congress, are also not addressed in this rule. Nor 
does this rule deal with other clearance processes not included in 
section 358, such as those applied by the Bureau of Land Management, 
Department of the Interior.
    Statement of Need: This rule implements policy, assigns 
responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for the establishment and 
operation of a process for evaluation of proposed projects submitted to 
the Secretary of Transportation under section 44718 of title 49, United 
States Code. The evaluation process is established for the purpose of 
identifying any adverse impact of proposed projects on military 
operations and readiness, minimizing or mitigating such adverse 
impacts, and determining if any such projects pose an unacceptable risk 
to the national security of the United States. The rule also includes 
procedures for the operation of a central DoD siting clearinghouse to 
facilitate both informal and formal reviews of proposed projects.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Public Law 111-383, Section 358.
    Alternatives: The requirement to have a rule and the policies, 
responsibilities, and procedures contained in the rule were prescribed 
by section 358 of Public Law 111-383. In the areas where DoD has 
discretion, e.g., the internal procedures used within DoD to comply 
with the law, alternative arrangements would have no impact on the net 
economic effects of the rule.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The Department of Defense has long 
participated in the Department of Transportation review process, 
interacting with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Prior to 
Section 358 of Public Law 111-383, DoD's engagement was decentralized--
each Military Service participated separately working with FAA 
representatives at the regional level. In addition, each Service set 
its own standards for challenging a project application. Section 358 
directed that DoD develop a single DoD point of contact for responses, 
established the threshold level of harm that must be reached before DoD 
could object to a project application on the basis of national 
security, and directed that DoD negotiate mitigation with project 
developers if potential harm is identified. The directed threshold 
level of harm, identified as ``unacceptable risk to national 
security,'' is higher than the standard previously used. This will 
result in DoD objecting to fewer project applications than before, 
reducing the impact of DoD reviews on non-DoD economic activity. The 
requirement to engage in mitigation negotiations may delay some 
projects (which has a negative impact on non-DoD economic activity), 
but it may result in still fewer DoD objections (which has a positive 
impact on non-DoD economic activity). DoD estimates that the net effect 
of these factors on non-DoD economic activity will be a benefit of 
approximately $70 million.
    The higher standard for objection imposed by section 358 of Public 
Law 111-383 may allow projects that conflict with military activity, 
but do not achieve the high level of conflict required by law to 
object, to proceed.

[[Page 1360]]

This may impose costs on DoD, e.g., systems testing may have to be 
moved to alternative test ranges, training and readiness activities may 
be curtailed or moved, and changes to operations may have to be 
implemented to overcome interference with coastal, border, and interior 
homeland surveillance. The early outreach and negotiation over 
mitigation required by section 358 may allow modification of some 
projects to reduce or eliminate their conflict with military activities 
in cases where the absence of early outreach and negotiation would 
result in the project proceeding without mitigation. This would provide 
a benefit to DoD. The net effect of these costs and benefits on DoD has 
not been quantitatively estimated.
    Risks: The higher standard for a DoD objection to a project and the 
requirement to allow early consultation by developers with DoD will 
reduce the risk to both developers and to industry of planning a 
project that is unacceptable to DoD. Per the discussion above, there is 
a risk to DoD that projects in conflict with military activity, but 
that do not achieve the high level of conflict required by law to 
object, will proceed and impair DoD's test and evaluation; training and 
readiness; and coastal, border, and interior homeland surveillance 
capabilities.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   10/20/11  76 FR 65112
Interim Final Rule Effective........   10/20/11
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      12/19/11
 End.
Final Action........................   02/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal.
    Agency Contact: David Belote, Department of Defense, Office of the 
Secretary, 3400 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3400, Phone: 703 
697-7301, Email: david.belote@osd.smil.mil.
    RIN: 0790-AI69

DOD--OFFICE OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AFFAIRS (DODOASHA)

Final Rule Stage

27. TRICARE; Reimbursement of Sole Community Hospitals

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 10 U.S.C. ch 55
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR part 199.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would implement the statutory 
provision at 10 U.S.C. 1079(j)(2) that TRICARE payment methods for 
institutional care be determined, to the extent practicable, in 
accordance with the same reimbursement rules as those that apply to 
payments to providers of services of the same type under Medicare. This 
proposed rule implements a reimbursement methodology similar to that 
furnished to Medicare beneficiaries for inpatient services provided by 
Sole Community Hospitals (SCHs). It will be phased in over a several-
year period.
    Statement of Need: This rule is being published to implement the 
statutory provision in 10 U.S.C. 1079(j)(2), that TRICARE payment 
methods for institutional care be determined, to the extent 
practicable, in accordance with the same reimbursement rules as apply 
to payments to providers of services of the same type under Medicare. 
This proposed rule implements a reimbursement methodology similar to 
that furnished to Medicare beneficiaries for inpatient services 
provided by Sole Community Hospitals.
    Summary of Legal Basis: There is a statutory basis for this 
proposed rule: 10 U.S.C. 1079(j)(2).
    Alternatives: Alternatives were considered for phasing in the 
needed reform and an alternative was selected for a gradual, smooth 
transition.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: We estimate the total reduction 
(from the proposed changes in this rule) in hospital revenues under the 
SCH reform for its first year of implementation (assumed for purposes 
of this RIA to be FY 2011), compared to expenditures in that same 
period without the proposed SCH changes, to be approximately $190 
million. The estimated impact for FYs 2012 through 2015 (in $ millions) 
is $208, $229, $252, and $278 respectively.
    Risks: Failure to publish this proposed rule would result in 
noncompliance with a statutory provision.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   07/05/11  76 FR 39043
NPRM Comment Period End.............   09/06/11
Final Action........................   12/00/12
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Marty Maxey, Department of Defense, Office of 
Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs, 1200 Defense Pentagon, 
Washington, DC 20301, Phone: 303 676-3627.
    RIN: 0720-AB41

DOD--DODOASHA

28. Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services 
(CHAMPUS); TRICARE Young Adult

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 10 U.S.C. ch 55; 5 U.S.C. 301
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR part 199.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, January 1, 2011, Public Law 111-
383, section 702.
    The amendments by this section took effect on January 1, 2011. The 
statute provided that the Secretary of Defense would prescribe an 
interim final rule with respect to such amendments, effective not later 
than January 1, 2011.
    Abstract: This interim final rule implements section 702 of the Ike 
Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (NDAA 
for FY11). It establishes the TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) program to 
provide an extended medical coverage opportunity to most unmarried 
children under the age of 26 of uniformed services sponsors. The 
TRICARE Young Adult program is a premium-based program.
    Statement of Need: This rule executes section 1110b of title 10, 
United States Code, ``TRICARE Young Adult,'' as mandated by section 702 
of the Ike Skelton National Defense Act for Fiscal Year 2011. Section 
702 authorizes the Department of Defense to provide an unmarried child 
under the age of 26 who is not otherwise eligible for TRICARE medical 
coverage at age 21 (23 if enrolled in a full-time course of study at an 
institution of higher learning approved by the Secretary of Defense) 
unless the dependent is enrolled in or eligible for medical coverage 
with an employer-sponsored plan as defined by section 5000A(f)(2) of 
the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. If qualified, the dependent can 
purchase TRICARE

[[Page 1361]]

Standard/Extra or TRICARE Prime benefits depending on the military 
sponsor's eligibility and the availability of the TRICARE plan in the 
dependent's geographic location.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Title 10, U.S.C., section 1110b and section 
702 of the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 
Year 2011.
    Alternatives: None.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: There are no anticipated budgetary 
health care or administrative cost increases.
    Risks: Failure to publish this rule would result in certain former 
Military Health System beneficiaries being denied the opportunity to 
purchase extended dependent medical coverage (similar to one of the 
significant benefit provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable 
Care Act) when they are not longer eligible for care at age 21 (age 23 
if enrolled in a full-time course of study at an institution of higher 
learning approved by the Secretary of Defense) and are under the age of 
26.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   04/27/11  76 FR 23479
Interim Final Rule Effective........   04/27/11
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      06/27/11
 End.
Final Action........................   02/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Mark Ellis, Department of Defense, Office of 
Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs, 5111 Leesburg Pike, Suite 810A, 
Falls Church, VA 22041, Phone: 703 681-0039.
    RIN: 0720-AB48

BILLING CODE 5001-06-P

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Statement of Regulatory Priorities

I. Introduction

    The U.S. Department of Education (Department) supports States, 
local communities, institutions of higher education, and others in 
improving education nationwide and in helping to ensure that all 
Americans receive a quality education. We provide leadership and 
financial assistance pertaining to education at all levels to a wide 
range of stakeholders and individuals, including State educational 
agencies, local school districts, providers of early learning programs, 
elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education, 
career and technical schools, nonprofit organizations, postsecondary 
students, members of the public, families, and many others. These 
efforts are helping to ensure that all children and students from pre-
kindergarten through grade 12 will be ready for, and succeed in, 
postsecondary education and that students attending postsecondary 
institutions are prepared for a profession or career.
    We also vigorously monitor and enforce the implementation of 
Federal civil rights laws in educational programs and activities that 
receive Federal financial assistance, and support innovative programs, 
research and evaluation activities, technical assistance, and the 
dissemination of research and evaluation findings to improve the 
quality of education.
    Overall, the laws, regulations, and programs we administer will 
affect nearly every American during his or her life. Indeed, in the 
2012-2013 school year about 55 million students will attend an 
estimated 132,000 elementary and secondary schools in approximately 
13,800 districts, and about 21 million students will enroll in degree-
granting postsecondary schools. All of these students may benefit from 
some degree of financial assistance or support from the Department.
    In developing and implementing regulations, guidance, technical 
assistance, and monitoring related to our programs, we are committed to 
working closely with affected persons and groups. Specifically, we work 
with a broad range of interested parties and the general public, 
including families, students, and educators; State, local, and tribal 
governments; and neighborhood groups, community-based early learning 
programs, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, rehabilitation 
service providers, adult education providers, professional 
associations, advocacy organizations, businesses, and labor 
organizations.
    We also continue to seek greater and more useful public 
participation in our rulemaking activities through the use of 
transparent and interactive rulemaking procedures and new technologies. 
If we determine that it is necessary to develop regulations, we seek 
public participation at the key stages in the rulemaking process. We 
invite the public to submit comments on all proposed regulations 
through the Internet or by regular mail.
    To facilitate the public's involvement, we participate in the 
Federal Docketing Management System (FDMS), an electronic single 
Governmentwide access point (www.regulations.gov) that enables the 
public to submit comments on different types of Federal regulatory 
documents and read and respond to comments submitted by other members 
of the public during the public comment period. This system provides 
the public with the opportunity to submit comments electronically on 
any notice of proposed rulemaking or interim final regulations open for 
comment, as well as read and print any supporting regulatory documents.
    We are continuing to streamline information collections, reduce the 
burden on information providers involved in our programs, and make 
information easily accessible to the public.

II. Regulatory Priorities

A. Race to the Top Fund

    The Race to the Top Fund program is designed to provide incentives 
to States to implement system-changing reforms that result in improved 
student achievement, narrowed achievement gaps, and increased high 
school graduation and college enrollment rates. On May 22, 2012, the 
Secretary announced the Race to the Top--District competition, which is 
designed to build on the momentum of other Race to the Top competitions 
by encouraging bold, innovative reform at the local level. This 
district-level FY 2012 competition is authorized under sections 14005 
and 14006 of the ARRA, as amended by section 1832(b) of the Department 
of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 and the 
Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2012 (Title III of Division 
F of Pub. L. 112-74, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012). The 
Department expects to fund about 15-25 grants in the range of $5 to $40 
million. The amount of an award for which an applicant is eligible to 
apply depends on the number of students who would be served under the 
grant.
    The Race to the Top--District competition is aimed squarely at 
classrooms and the all-important relationship between educators and 
students and invites applicants to demonstrate how they can personalize 
education for all students in their schools. In that regard, the Race 
to the Top--District competition will encourage and reward those local 
educational agencies (LEAs) or consortia of LEAs that have the 
leadership and vision to implement the strategies, structures, and 
systems needed for personalized, student-focused approaches to learning 
and teaching that

[[Page 1362]]

will produce excellence and ensure equity for all students.

B. Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended

    In 2010 the Administration released the Blueprint for Reform: The 
Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the 
President's plan for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education 
Act of 1965 (ESEA) and replacing the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 
(NCLB). The blueprint can be found at the following Web site: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/blueprint/index.html.
    We look forward to congressional reauthorization of the ESEA that 
will build on many of the reforms States and LEAs are implementing 
under the ARRA grant programs.
    Additionally, as we continue to work with Congress on reauthorizing 
the ESEA, we are implementing a plan to provide flexibility on certain 
provisions of current law for States that are willing to embrace 
reform. The mechanisms we are using will ensure continued 
accountability and commitment to quality education for all students 
while providing States with increased flexibility to implement State 
and local reforms to improve student achievement.

C. Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006

    In 2012, we released Investing in America's Future: A Blueprint for 
Transforming Career and Technical Education, our plan for a 
reauthorized Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 
(2006 Perkins Act). The Blueprint can be found at the following Web 
site: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/cte/transforming-career-technical-education.pdf.
    The 2006 Perkins Act made important changes in Federal support for 
career and technical education (CTE), such as the introduction of a 
requirement that all States offer ``programs of study.'' These changes 
in the 2006 Perkins Act helped to improve the learning experiences of 
CTE students but did not go far enough to systemically create better 
outcomes for students and employers competing in a 21st-century global 
economy. The Administration's Blueprint would usher in a new era of 
rigorous, relevant, and results-driven CTE shaped by four core 
principles: (1) Alignment. Effective alignment between high-quality CTE 
programs and labor market needs to equip students with 21st-century 
skills and prepare them for in-demand occupations in high-growth 
industry sectors; (2) Collaboration. Strong collaboration among 
secondary and postsecondary institutions, employers, and industry 
partners to improve the quality of CTE programs; (3) Accountability. 
Meaningful accountability for improving academic outcomes and building 
technical and employability skills in CTE programs for all students, 
based upon common definitions and clear metrics for performance; and 
(4) Innovation. Increased emphasis on innovation supported by systemic 
reform of State policies and practices to support CTE implementation of 
effective practices at the local level. The Administration's Blueprint 
proposal reflects a commitment to promoting equity and quality across 
these alignment, collaboration, accountability, and innovation efforts 
in order to ensure that more students have access to high-quality CTE 
programs.

D. Changes to the FFEL and Direct Loan Programs

    On March 30, 2010, the President signed into law the Health Care 
and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152, title II 
of which is the SAFRA Act. The SAFRA Act made a number of changes to 
the Federal student financial aid programs under title IV of the Higher 
Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). One of the most significant 
changes made by the SAFRA Act is that it ended new loans under the 
Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) pprogram authorized by title IV, 
part B of the HEA as of July 1, 2010.
    On May 5, 2011, ED announced through a notice in the Federal 
Register that it was beginning a negotiated rulemaking process to 
streamline the loan program regulations by repealing unnecessary FFEL 
program regulations and incorporating and modifying necessary 
requirements within the Direct Loan program regulations, as 
appropriate. ED held four public hearings in May 2011 to obtain public 
feedback on proposed amendments, as well as on possible amendments to 
other ED regulations. Based on the feedback received from these 
hearings, ED formed a negotiated rulemaking committee to consider 
proposed amendments and conducted these negotiations in January, 
February, and March of 2012.
    At the final meeting in March 2012, the Loans Committee reached 
consensus on the full agenda of loans issues, resulting in two notices 
of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs). We published the first of the two NPRMs 
on July 17, 2012, and published one of the two final regulations on 
November 1, 2012. These final regulations implement the new Income-
Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan in the Direct Loan program based on the 
President's ``Pay As You Earn'' repayment initiative, incorporate 
recent statutory changes to the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan in 
the Direct Loan and FFEL programs, and streamline and add clarity to 
the total and permanent disability (TPD) discharge process for 
borrowers in loan programs under title IV of the HEA.
    We intend to publish the second of the two NPRMs in 2013 to amend 
the Student Assistance General Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan 
(Perkins Loan) Program, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, 
and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program 
regulations. The NPRM would reflect that, as of July 1, 2010, under the 
SAFRA Act, no new FFEL Program loans will be made and allow a borrower 
to get out of default on his or her loans if the borrower makes 9 
reasonable and affordable payments over a 10-month period. The NPRM 
would also make other improvements to the Direct Loan, FFEL, and 
Perkins Loan programs. The NPRM would provide for greater consistency 
in the regulations governing the title IV, HEA student loan programs 
and ensure that these programs operate as efficiently as possible.

E. Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

    In September of 2011, the Department issued an NPRM to revise the 
regulations implementing the Assistance to States for the Education of 
Children with Disabilities program authorized under Part B of the IDEA, 
and intends to issue final regulations this year.
    Specifically, last year we reviewed one particular provision of the 
Part B regulations related to the use of public benefits or insurance 
to pay for services provided to children under Part B. IDEA and the 
Part B regulations allow public agencies to use public benefits or 
insurance (e.g., Medicaid) to provide or pay for services required 
under Part B with the consent of the parent of a child who is enrolled 
in a public benefits or insurance program. Public insurance is an 
important source of financial support for services required under Part 
B. With respect to the use of public insurance, our current regulations 
specifically provide that a public agency must obtain parental consent 
each time access to public benefits or insurance is sought.
    We have proposed to amend the regulations to provide that, instead 
of having to obtain parental consent each

[[Page 1363]]

time access to public benefits or insurance is sought, the public 
agency responsible for providing special education and related services 
to a child would be required, before accessing a child's or parent's 
public benefits or insurance, to provide written notification to the 
child's parents. The notification would inform parents of their rights 
under the Part B regulations regarding the use of public benefits or 
insurance to pay for Part B services, including information about the 
limitations on a public agency's billing of public benefits or 
insurance programs, as well as parents' rights under the Family 
Educational Rights and Privacy Act and IDEA to consent prior to the 
disclosure of personally identifiable information.
    We proposed these amendments to reduce unnecessary burden on a 
public agency's ability to access public benefits or insurance in 
appropriate circumstances but still maintain critical parent 
protections, and we did this for several reasons. Specifically, we are 
mindful of the importance of ensuring that parents have sufficient 
information to make decisions about a public agency's use of their 
public benefits or insurance and the disclosure of their child's 
educational records for that purpose. At the same time, these proposed 
amendments are designed to address the concern expressed to the 
Department by many State personnel and other interested parties that, 
since the publication of the Part B regulations in 2006, the inability 
to obtain parental consent has contributed to public agencies' failure 
to claim all of the Federal financial assistance available for Part B 
services covered under Medicaid. In addition, public agencies have 
expressed concern over using limited resources and the significant 
administrative burden of obtaining parental consent for the use of 
Medicaid and other public benefits or insurance each time that access 
to public benefits or insurance is sought. Consequently, many of these 
parties have requested that the Department remove the parental consent 
requirement.
    The Secretary also intends to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking 
to amend regulations under Part B of IDEA regarding local maintenance 
of effort (MOE) to ensure that all parties involved in implementing, 
monitoring, and auditing LEA compliance with MOE requirements 
understand the rules. Specifically, we will be seeking public comment 
on proposed amendments to the regulation regarding local MOE to clarify 
existing policy and make other related changes regarding: (1) The 
compliance standard; (2) the eligibility standard; (3) the level of 
effort required of a local educational agency (LEA) in the year after 
it fails to maintain effort under section 613(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the 
IDEA; and (4) the consequence for a failure to maintain local effort.

F. Other Potential Regulatory Activities

    Congress may reauthorize the Adult Education and Family Literacy 
Act (AEFLA) (title II of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998) and the 
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act of 
1998). The Administration is working with Congress to ensure that any 
changes to these laws (1) improve the State grant and other programs 
providing assistance for adult education under the AEFLA and for 
vocational rehabilitation and independent living services for persons 
with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and (2) provide 
greater accountability in the administration of programs under both 
statutes. Changes to our regulations may be necessary as a result of 
the reauthorization of these two statutes.

III. Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

    Pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563 ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review'' (Jan. 18, 2011), the following 
Regulatory Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated 
with retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan. Some of the entries on this 
list may be completed actions that do not appear in The Regulatory 
Plan. However, more information can be found about these completed 
rulemakings in past publications of the Unified Agenda on reginfo.gov 
in the Completed Actions section. These rulemakings can also be found 
on Regulations.gov. The final agency plan can be found at: www.ed.gov.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Do we expect this
                                                     rulemaking to
            RIN                  Title of        significantly reduce
                                Rulemaking          burden on small
                                                      businesses?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1820-AB64..................  Assistance to    No.
                              States for the
                              Education of
                              Children with
                              Disabilities--
                              Public
                              Benefits or
                              Insurance.
1840-AD05..................  Title IV of the  No.
                              Higher
                              Education Act
                              of 1965, as
                              Amended--Incom
                              e-Based
                              Repayment,
                              Income-
                              Contingent
                              Repayment, and
                              Total and
                              Permanent
                              Disability.
1840-AD08..................  Titles III and   No.
                              V of the
                              Higher
                              Education Act,
                              as Amended.
1840-AD12..................  Transitioning    Undetermined.
                              from the FFEL
                              Program to the
                              Direct Loan
                              Program and
                              Loan
                              Rehabilitation
                              under the
                              FFEL, Direct
                              Loan, and
                              Perkins Loan
                              Programs.
1890-AA14..................  Direct Grant     No.
                              Programs and
                              Definitions
                              that Apply to
                              Department
                              Regulations.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. Principles for Regulating

    Over the next year other regulations may be needed because of new 
legislation or programmatic changes. In developing and promulgating 
regulations we follow our Principles for Regulating, which determine 
when and how we will regulate. Through consistent application of the 
following principles, we have eliminated unnecessary regulations and 
identified situations in which major programs could be implemented 
without regulations or with limited regulatory action.
    In deciding when to regulate, we consider the following:
     Whether regulations are essential to promote quality and 
equality of opportunity in education.
     Whether a demonstrated problem cannot be resolved without 
regulation.
     Whether regulations are necessary to provide a legally 
binding interpretation to resolve ambiguity.
     Whether entities or situations subject to regulation are 
similar enough that a uniform approach through regulation would be 
meaningful and do more good than harm.
     Whether regulations are needed to protect the Federal 
interest, that is, to ensure that Federal funds are used for their 
intended purpose and to eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse.
    In deciding how to regulate, we are mindful of the following 
principles:
     Regulate no more than necessary.

[[Page 1364]]

     Minimize burden to the extent possible, and promote 
multiple approaches to meeting statutory requirements if possible.
     Encourage coordination of federally funded activities with 
State and local reform activities.
     Ensure that the benefits justify the costs of regulating.
     To the extent possible, establish performance objectives 
rather than specify compliance behavior.
     Encourage flexibility, to the extent possible and as 
needed to enable institutional forces to achieve desired results.

ED--OFFICE OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION (OPE)

Proposed Rule Stage

29. Transitioning From the FFEL Program to the Direct Loan Program and 
Loan Rehabilitation Under the FFEL, Direct Loan, and Perkins Loan 
Programs

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a; 20 U.S.C. 1071 to 1087-4; 20 
U.S.C. 1087a to 1087j; 20 U.S.C. 1098e; Pub. L. 111-152
    CFR Citation: 34 CFR ch VI.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Secretary proposes amendments to the title IV, HEA 
student assistance regulations to (a) reflect that, as of July 1, 2010, 
under the SAFRA Act, no new FFEL Program loans will be made, (b) allow 
a borrower to get out of default on his or her loans if the borrower 
makes 9 reasonable and affordable payments over a 10-month period, and 
(c) make other improvements to the DL, FFEL, and Perkins Loan programs.
    Statement of Need: The proposed regulations are needed amend the 
FFEL and Direct Loan program regulations to reflect changes made to the 
Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), by the SAFRA Act 
included in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010; 
incorporate other recent statutory changes in the Direct Loan Program 
regulations; update, strengthen, and clarify various areas of the 
Student Assistance General Provisions, Perkins Loan, FFEL, and Direct 
Loan program regulations; and provide for greater consistency in the 
regulations governing the title IV, HEA student loan programs.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: We will provide a comprehensive 
discussion of the anticipated costs and benefits in the NPRM.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 
13563.
    URL For Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: David Bergeron, Department of Education, Office of 
Postsecondary Education, Room 8022, 1990 K Street NW., Washington, DC 
20006, Phone: 202 502-7815, Email: david.bergeron@ed.gov.
    RIN: 1840-AD12

BILLING CODE 4001-01-P

Fall 2012

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE)

Statement of Regulatory and Deregulatory Priorities

    The Department of Energy (Department or DOE) makes vital 
contributions to the Nation's welfare through its activities focused on 
improving national security, energy supply, energy efficiency, 
environmental remediation, and energy research. The Department's 
mission is to:
     Promote dependable, affordable and environmentally sound 
production and distribution of energy;
     Advance energy efficiency and conservation;
     Provide responsible stewardship of the Nation's nuclear 
weapons;
     Provide a responsible resolution to the environmental 
legacy of nuclear weapons production; and
     Strengthen U.S. scientific discovery, economic 
competitiveness, and improving quality of life through innovations in 
science and technology.
    The Department's regulatory activities are essential to achieving 
its critical mission and to implementing major initiatives of the 
President's National Energy Policy. Among other things, the Regulatory 
Plan and the Unified Agenda contain the rulemakings the Department will 
be engaged in during the coming year to fulfill the Department's 
commitment to meeting deadlines for issuance of energy conservation 
standards and related test procedures. The Regulatory Plan and Unified 
Agenda also reflect the Department's continuing commitment to cut 
costs, reduce regulatory burden, and increase responsiveness to the 
public.

Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

    Pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563 ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review'' (Jan. 18, 2011), the following 
Regulatory Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated 
with retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan. Some of these entries on this 
list may be completed actions, which do not appear in The Regulatory 
Plan. However, more information can be found about these completed 
rulemakings in past publications of the Unified Agenda on Reginfo.gov 
in the Completed Actions section for that agency. These rulemakings can 
also be found on Regulations.gov. The final agency plan can be found at 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/other/2011-regulatory-action-plans/departmentofenergyregulatoryreformplanaugust2011.pdf.

Rulemakings Subject to Retrospective Analysis

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Small Business Burden
          RIN                     Title                  Reduction
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1904-AB57..............  Standards for Battery    ......................
                          Chargers and External
                          Power Supplies.
1904-AB90..............  Standards for            ......................
                          Residential Clothes
                          Washers.
1904-AC04..............  Standards for            ......................
                          Distribution
                          Transformers.
1904-AC46..............  Alternative Efficiency   This rule is expected
                          Determination Methods    to reduce burden on
                          and Alternate Rating     small manufacturers
                          Methods.                 of covered products
                                                   and equipment.
1904-AC60..............  Federal Building         ......................
                          Standards Rule-Update-
                          90.1-2010.
1904-AC64..............  Standards for            ......................
                          Residential
                          Dishwashers.
1904-AC70..............  Waiver and Interim       This rule is expected
                          Waiver for Consumer      to reduce burden on
                          Products and             small manufacturers
                          Commercial and           of covered products
                          Industrial Equipment.    and equipment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 1365]]

Energy Efficiency Program for Consumer Products and Commercial 
Equipment

    The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) requires DOE to set 
appliance efficiency standards at levels that achieve the maximum 
improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and 
economically justified. The Residential Clothes Washer, Fluorescent 
Lamp Ballast, and Residential Dishwasher standards, which were already 
published in 2012, have an estimated net benefit to the nation of up to 
$13.1 billion over 30 years. By 2045, these standards are estimated to 
save enough energy to operate the current inventory of all U.S. homes 
for almost two months.
    The Department continues to follow its schedule for setting new 
appliance efficiency standards. These rulemakings are expected to save 
American consumers billions of dollars in energy costs.
    The overall plan for implementing the schedule is contained in the 
Report to Congress under section 141 of EPACT 2005, which was released 
on January 31, 2006. This plan was last updated in the August 2012 
report to Congress and now includes the requirements of the Energy 
Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007). The reports to 
Congress are posted at: http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/schedule_setting.html.
    The August 2012 report identifies all products for which DOE has 
missed the deadlines established in EPCA (42 U.S.C. section 6291 et 
seq.). It also describes the reasons for such delays and the 
Department's plan for prescribing new or amended standards. Information 
and timetables concerning these actions can also be found in the 
Department's Regulatory Agenda, which is posted online at: 
www.reginfo.gov.

Estimate of Combined Aggregate Costs and Benefits

    The regulatory actions included in this Regulatory Plan for 
distribution transformers, battery chargers and external power 
supplies, and walk-in coolers and freezers may provide significant 
benefits to the Nation. DOE believes that the benefits to the Nation of 
the proposed energy standards for distribution transformers and battery 
chargers and external power supplies (energy savings, consumer average 
lifecycle cost savings, increase in national net present value, and 
emission reductions) outweigh the costs (loss of industry net present 
value and life-cycle cost increases for some consumers). In the 
proposed rulemakings, DOE estimated that these regulations would 
produce energy savings of 3.74 quads over thirty years. The net benefit 
to the Nation was estimated to be between $9.59 billion (seven-percent 
discount rate) and $24.58 billion (three-percent discount rate). DOE 
believes that the proposed energy standards for walk-in coolers and 
freezers will also be beneficial to the Nation. However, because DOE 
has not yet proposed candidate standard levels for this equipment, DOE 
cannot provide an estimate of combined aggregate costs and benefits for 
this action. DOE will, however, in compliance with all applicable law, 
issue standards that provide the maximum energy savings that are 
technologically feasible and economically justified. Estimates of 
energy savings will be provided when DOE issues the notice of proposed 
rulemaking for walk-in coolers and freezers.

DOE--ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY (EE)

Proposed Rule Stage

30. Energy Conservation Standards for Walk-In Coolers and Walk-In 
Freezers

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6313(f)(4)
    CFR Citation: 10 CFR part 431.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, January 1, 2012.
    Abstract: The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 
amendments to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act require that DOE 
establish maximum energy consumption levels for walk-in coolers and 
walk-in freezers and directs the Department of Energy to develop energy 
conservation standards that are technologically feasible and 
economically justified.
    Statement of Need: EPCA requires minimum energy efficiency 
standards for certain appliances and commercial equipment, which has 
the effect of eliminating inefficient appliances and equipment from the 
market.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 312 of EISA 2007 establishes 
definitions and standards for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers. 
EISA 2007 directs DOE to establish performance-based standards for this 
equipment (42 U.S.C. 6313 (f)(4)).
    Alternatives: The statute requires DOE to conduct rulemakings to 
review standards and to revise standards to achieve the maximum 
improvement in energy efficiency that the Secretary determines is 
technologically feasible and economically justified. In making this 
determination, DOE conducts a thorough analysis of the alternative 
standard levels, including the existing standard, based on the criteria 
specified by the statute.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Because DOE has not yet proposed 
candidate standard levels for this equipment, DOE cannot provide an 
estimate of combined aggregate costs and benefits for these actions. 
DOE will, however, in compliance with all applicable law, issue 
standards that provide the maximum energy savings that are 
technologically feasible and economically justified. Estimates of 
energy savings will be provided when DOE issues the notice of proposed 
rulemaking for this equipment.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice: Public Meeting, Framework      01/06/09  74 FR 411
 Document Availability.
Notice: Public Meeting, Data           04/05/10  75 FR 17080
 Availability.
Comment Period End..................   05/20/10
NPRM................................   04/00/13
Final Action........................   12/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Additional Information: Comments pertaining to this rule may be 
submitted electronically to WICF-2008-STD-0015@ee.doe.gov.
    URL For More Information: www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/commercial/wicf.html.
    URL For Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Charles Llenza, Office of Building Technologies 
Program, EE-2J, Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable 
Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, Phone: 202 
586-2192, Email: charles.llenza@ee.doe.gov.
    Related RIN: Related to 1904-AB85
    RIN: 1904-AB86


[[Page 1366]]



DOE--EE

Final Rule Stage

31. Energy Efficiency Standards for Battery Chargers and External Power 
Supplies

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under 
Pub. L. 104-4.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6295(u)
    CFR Citation: 10 CFR part 430.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, July 1, 2011.
    Abstract: In addition to the existing general definition of 
``external power supply,'' the Energy Independence and Security Act of 
2007 (EISA) defines a ``Class A external power supply'' and sets 
efficiency standards for those products. EISA directs DOE to publish a 
final rule to determine whether the standards set for Class A external 
power supplies should be amended. EISA also requires DOE to issue a 
final rule prescribing energy conservation standards for battery 
chargers, if technologically feasible and economically justified or to 
determine that no energy conservation standard is technically feasible 
and economically justified.
    Statement of Need: EPCA requires minimum energy standards for 
appliances, which has the effect of eliminating inefficient appliances 
and equipment from the market.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Title III of EPCA sets forth a variety of 
provisions designed to improve energy efficiency. Part A of title III 
(42 U.S.C. 6291 to 6309) provides for the Energy Conservation Program 
for Consumer Products other than Automobiles. EPCA directs DOE to 
conduct a rulemaking to establish energy conservation standards for 
battery chargers or determine that no energy conservation standard is 
technically feasible and economically justified (42 U.S.C. 6295 
(u)(1)(E)(i)-(ii)and (w)(3)(D)).
    In addition to the existing general definition of ``external power 
supply,'' EPCA defines a ``Class A external power supply'' (42 U.S.C. 
6291(36)(C)) and sets efficiency standards for those products (42 
U.S.C. 6295(u)(3)). EPCA directs DOE to publish a final rule to 
determine whether amended standards should be set for external power 
supplies or classes of external power supplies. If such determination 
is positive, DOE must include any amended or new standards as part of 
that final rule. DOE completed this determination in 2012. 75 FR 7170 
(May 14, 2010)
    DOE is bundling these separate rulemaking requirements into a 
single rulemaking action.
    Alternatives: The statute requires DOE to conduct rulemakings to 
review standards and to revise standards to achieve the maximum 
improvement in energy efficiency that the Secretary determines is 
technologically feasible and economically justified. In making this 
determination, DOE conducts a thorough analysis of the alternative 
standard levels, including the existing standard, based on the criteria 
specified by the statute.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: DOE believes that the benefits to 
the Nation of the proposed energy standards for battery chargers and 
external power supplies (such as energy savings, consumer average 
lifecycle cost savings, an increase in national net present value, and 
emission reductions) outweigh the burdens (such as loss of industry net 
present value). DOE estimates that energy savings from electricity will 
be 2.16 quads over 30 years and the benefit to the Nation will be 
between $6.68 billion and $12.44 billion
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice: Public Meeting, Framework      06/04/09  74 FR 26816
 Document Availability.
Comment Period End..................   07/20/09  .......................
Notice: Public Meeting, Data           09/15/10  75 FR 56021
 Availability.
Comment Period End..................   10/15/10  .......................
Final Rule (Technical Amendment)....   09/19/11  76 FR 57897
NPRM................................   03/27/12  77 FR 18478
Final Rule: Technical Amendment.....   04/16/12  77 FR 22472
NPRM Comment Period End.............   05/29/12  .......................
NPRM Comment Period Reopened........   06/29/12  77 FR 38743
Reopened NPRM Comment Period End....   07/16/12  .......................
Final Action........................   02/00/13  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in EO 13132.
    Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 
13563.
    URL for More Information: www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/battery_external.html.
    Agency Contact: Jeremy Dommu, Office of Building Technologies 
Program, EE-2J, Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable 
Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, Phone: 202 
586-9870, Email: jeremy.dommu@ee.doe.gov.
    Related RIN: Related to 1904-AB75.
    RIN: 1904-AB57

DOE--EE

32. Energy Efficiency Standards for Distribution Transformers

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6317(a); 42 U.S.C. 6313(a)(6)(C)
    CFR Citation: 10 CFR part 431.
    Legal Deadline: Other, Judicial, October 1, 2011, Determination or 
NOPR. Final, Judicial, October 1, 2012.
    Abstract: The current distribution transformer efficiency standards 
for medium-voltage-transformers apply to transformers manufactured or 
imported on or after January 1, 2010, and to low-voltage, dry type 
transformers manufactured or imported on or after January 1, 2007. As a 
result of a settlement agreement, DOE agreed to conduct a review of the 
standards for liquid-immersed and medium-voltage dry-type distribution 
transformers to determine if, pursuant to EPCA. The standards for these 
products need to be amended. As a result of the review, DOE published 
in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking which included 
new proposed standards for these products as well as low-voltage, dry-
type transformers. Under the settlement agreement, DOE is obligated to 
publish in the Federal Register, no later than October 1, 2012, a final 
rule including any amendments to the standards for liquid-immersed and 
medium-voltage dry-type distribution transformers.
    Statement of Need: EPAC requires minimum energy efficiency 
standards for appliances, which has the effect of eliminating 
inefficient appliances and equipment from the market.
    Summary of Legal Basis: EPCA of 1975 established an energy 
conservation program for major household appliances. The National 
Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1978 amended EPCA to add part C of 
title III,

[[Page 1367]]

which established an energy conservation program for certain industrial 
equipment. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 amended EPCA to add certain 
commercial equipment, including distribution transformers.
    DOE published a final rule in October 2007 that established energy 
conservation standards for liquid-immersed and medium-voltage dry-type 
distribution transformers. 72 FR 58190 (October 12, 2007); see 10 CFR 
431.196(b)-(c). During the course of that rulemaking, EPACT 2005, 
Public Law 109-58, amended EPCA to set standards for low-voltage dry-
type distribution transformers. (EPACT 2005, section 135(c); codified 
at 42 U.S.C. 6295(y)) Consequently, DOE removed these transformers from 
the scope of that rulemaking. 72 FR 58191. Prior to publishing the 
energy conservation standard, DOE published a final rule test procedure 
for distribution transformers on April 27, 2006. 71 FR 24972; see 
appendix A to subpart K of 10 CFR 431.
    DOE is currently conducting a rulemaking to review and amend the 
energy conservation standards in effect for distribution transformers. 
This new rulemaking includes liquid-immersed, medium-voltage dry-type, 
and low-voltage dry-type distribution transformers.
    On July 29, 2011, DOE gave notice that it intends to establish a 
negotiated rulemaking subcommittee under the Energy Efficiency and 
Renewables Advisory Committee (ERAC) in accordance with the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act (NRA) 
to negotiate proposed Federal standards for the energy efficiency of 
liquid-immersed and medium-voltage dry-type distribution transformers. 
77 FR 4547. On August 12, 2011, DOE gave notice that it intends to 
establish a negotiated rulemaking subcommittee under the ERAC in 
accordance with the FACA and the NRA to negotiate proposed Federal 
standards for the energy efficiency of low-voltage dry-type 
distribution transformers. 76 FR 50148.
    ERAC subcommittees met several times from September to December 
2011. Subcommittee members included manufacturers, utilities, and 
energy efficiency advocates. The medium-voltage subcommittee reached 
consensus on standards for medium-voltage, dry-type distribution 
transformers, but consensus was not reached for the two other 
transformer types.
    DOE's February publication of the proposed rule for energy 
conservation standards for liquid-immersed, medium-voltage dry-type, 
and low-voltage dry-type distribution transformers fulfills DOE's 
obligation under a court order. 77 FR 7282 (February 10, 2011).
    Alternatives: The statute requires DOE to conduct rulemakings to 
review standards and to revise standards to achieve the maximum 
improvement in energy efficiency that the Secretary determines is 
technologically feasible and economically justified. In making this 
determination, DOE conducts a thorough analysis of the alternative 
standard levels, including the existing standard, based on the criteria 
specified by the statute.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: DOE believes that the benefits to 
the Nation of the proposed energy standards for distribution 
transformers (such as energy savings, consumer average lifecycle cost 
savings, an increase in national net present value, and emission 
reductions) outweigh the burdens (such as loss of industry net present 
value). DOE estimates that energy savings from electricity will be 1.58 
quads over 30 years and the benefit to the Nation will be between $2.9 
billion and $12.1 billion.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice: Public Meeting; Preliminary    03/02/11  76 FR 11396
 Technical Support Document
 Availability.
Comment Period End..................   04/18/11
Notice of Intent to Negotiate NPRM     07/29/11  76 FR 45471
 for MVDT.
MVDT NOI Comment Period End.........   08/15/11
Notice of Intent to Negotiate NOPR     08/12/11  76 FR 50148
 for LVDT.
LVDT NOI Comment Period End.........   08/20/11
Notice of Public Meeting of Working    09/09/11  76 FR 55834
 Group.
NPRM................................   02/10/12  77 FR 7282
NPRM Correction.....................   02/24/12  77 FR 10997
NPRM Comment Period End.............   04/10/12
Comment Period End..................   06/29/12
Final Action........................   12/00/12
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Additional Information: RIN 1904-AC62 was merged into this 
rulemaking.
    URL for More Information: www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/commercial/distribution_transformers.html.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: James Raba, Office of Building Technologies 
Program, EE-2J, Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable 
Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, Phone: 202 
586-8654, Email: jim.raba@ee.doe.gov.
    Related RIN: Merged with 1904-AC62.
    RIN: 1904-AC04

BILLING CODE 6450-01-P

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Statement of Regulatory Priorities for Fiscal Year 2013

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the Federal 
Government's principal agency charged with protecting the health of all 
Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those 
least able to help themselves. The Department operates more than 300 
programs covering a wide spectrum of activities, manages almost a 
quarter of all Federal expenditures, and administers more grant dollars 
than all other Federal agencies combined. In fiscal year 2013, HHS 
agencies will continue to implement programs that strengthen the health 
care system; advance scientific knowledge and innovation; advance the 
health, safety, and well-being of the American people; increase 
efficiency, transparency, and accountability of HHS programs; and 
strengthen the nation's health and human services infrastructure and 
workforce.
    To carry out its mission, the Department develops an ambitious 
regulatory agenda each year. HHS actively encourages public 
participation in the regulatory process and is currently engaging in a 
Department-wide effort to identify ways to make the rulemaking process 
more accessible to the general public. Incorporating this feedback, 
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has worked with HHS agencies to identify 
opportunities to streamline regulations and reduce the regulatory 
burden on industry and states; secure and maintain health care coverage 
for all Americans; take advantage of technology to promote health care 
innovation and rapidly respond to

[[Page 1368]]

adverse events; implement a 21st century food safety system; promote 
children's health and well-being; and arm consumers with information to 
help them make healthy choices.
    This overview outlines the Department's regulatory priorities for 
FY 2013 and some of the regulations on the agenda that best exemplify 
these priorities.

Streamlining Regulations To Reduce Regulatory Burdens

    Consistent with the President's Executive Order 13563, ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' the Department remains committed to 
reducing regulatory burden on states, health care providers and 
suppliers, and other regulated industries by eliminating outdated 
procedures, streamlining rules, and providing flexibility to use 
technology.
    [ssquf] The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has an 
ambitious effort underway to reduce burdens on hospitals and other 
health care providers and save providers money and time so that they 
can focus their resources on caring for patients. In May 2012, CMS 
finalized two rules--addressing the Medicare conditions of 
participation for hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAH) (0938-
AQ89) and regulatory requirements for a broader range of health care 
providers and suppliers regulated under Medicare and Medicaid (0938-
AQ96)--that will save approximately $1.1 billion across the health care 
system in just the first year while reducing unnecessary burdens on 
hospitals and other health care providers. For the second phase of this 
effort, CMS will issue regulations that will eliminate or streamline 
Medicare rules and requirements that are unnecessary, obsolete, or 
excessively burdensome to health care professionals and patients.\1\ 
This effort will allow health care professionals to devote more time 
and effort to improving patient care.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Part II--Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program 
Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction (RIN: 0938-AR49) 
(assumes the proposed rule will publish before the Reg Agenda is 
posted).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will finalize 
amendments to its medical device reporting regulations to require 
manufacturers and importers to submit electronic reports of individual 
medical device adverse events to the agency.\2\ This will help move the 
medical device industry from paper to electronic reporting, which will 
reduce paperwork burden on industry and increase the speed at which FDA 
processes critical information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Medical Device Reporting; Electronic Submission Requirements 
(RIN: 0910-AF86).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] In a major undertaking, the Department and White House 
Office of Science and Technology Policy are reviewing and considering 
making revisions to the ethical rules governing research on human 
subjects, often referred to as the Common Rule.\3\ The Common Rule 
governs institutions and researchers supported by HHS, and researchers 
throughout much of the Federal Government, in the conduct of research 
on humans. The proposed revisions will aim to better protect human 
subjects who are involved in research while facilitating research and 
reducing burden, delay, and ambiguity for investigators.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Human Subjects Research Protections: Enhancing Protections 
for Research Subjects and Reducing Burden, Delay, and Ambiguity for 
Investigators (RIN: 0937-AA02).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will 
propose reforms to its child support regulations that will simplify 
program operations, clarify technical provisions in the existing rules, 
and allow States and tribes to take advantage of advances in technology 
and move toward electronic communication with ACF and with other States 
and tribes.\4\ These reforms will create more efficient child support 
systems that better serve families in need of this crucial financial 
support.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization of Child Support 
Enforcement Programs (RIN: 0970-AC50).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Strengthening Medicare and Expanding Coverage in the Private Health 
Care Market

    The Department continues to implement Affordable Care Act 
provisions that expand health insurance coverage and ensure that the 
American people can rely on their existing coverage when they need it 
most. Millions of Americans--including women, families, seniors, and 
small business owner--are already benefitting from the Affordable Care 
Act. In June, HHS announced that 12.8 million Americans will benefit 
from $1.1 billion in rebates from insurance companies, as a result of 
HHS regulations that require insurers to spend the majority of health 
insurance premiums on medical care and health care quality improvement, 
instead of administration and overhead.\5\ As well, the Affordable Care 
Act has provided $4.8 billion in reinsurance payments to employers and 
other sponsors of early retiree health coverage to help them continue 
to provide health benefits to retired workers who are not yet eligible 
for Medicare and to the families of these retired workers. At least 19 
million retirees and their family members have already benefitted or 
will benefit from this program. Because of another Affordable Care Act 
provision, approximately 54 million Americans with private health 
insurance and 32.5 million seniors with Medicare received at least one 
free preventive service from their health care provider in 2011.\6\ And 
as of August 1, 2012, about 47 million women will be able to receive 
preventive care such as mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and 
annual preventive care visits without paying co-pays or deductibles.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ From 6/21/12 Press Release: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/06/20120621a.html.
    \6\ http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/02/16/last-year-54-million-americans-received-free-preventive-services-thanks-health-care-
    \7\ http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/08/womensprevention08012011a.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Building on those efforts, HHS will provide guidance this year to 
States, providers, and insurers that are preparing for the reforms to 
the health care marketplace that become effective in 2014.
    [ssquf] The Department will finalize a rule that outlines standards 
for the state-run and federally-facilitated Affordable Insurance 
Exchanges, which will provide competitive marketplaces for individuals 
and small employers to directly compare available private health 
insurance options on the basis of price and quality. These standards 
will ensure, for example, that individual and small group plans provide 
certain levels of coverage. This means that consumers can rest assured 
that plans inside and outside of the Exchanges will cover certain 
essential health benefits.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Exchanges Part II--Standards Related to Essential Health 
Benefits; Health Insurance Issuer and Exchange Responsibilities with 
Respect to Actuarial Value, Cost-Sharing Reductions, and Advance 
Payments of the Premium Tax Credit (RIN: 0938-AR03).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] The Department will also implement provisions of the 
Affordable Care Act that set the rules for risk adjustment, 
reinsurance, risk corridors, advanced premium tax credits, and cost-
sharing reductions.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (CMS-9964-P).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] Another final rule would outline many of the consumer 
protections at the heart of the Affordable Care Act.\10\ These new 
health insurance market standards will promote access to, and the 
affordability of, health insurance coverage by extending new guaranteed 
availability rights to individuals and employers, continuing current 
guaranteed renewability protections,

[[Page 1369]]

specifying a limited, transparent set of factors that can be used to 
set premiums, and requiring broader pooling of insurance risk. This 
rule, in tandem with rules implementing Affordable Care Act provisions 
that establish Exchanges; provide tax credits to certain individuals 
and employers for purchasing health insurance coverage; and create the 
risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridor programs; lays the 
foundation for a more affordable, better-functioning insurance market.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ Insurance Market Rules (RIN: 0938-AR40).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] Another rule would implement provisions of the Affordable 
Care Act that expand access to health insurance through Medicaid, the 
establishment of the Affordable Insurance Exchanges, and coordination 
between Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and 
the Exchanges. This proposed rule would continue CMS's efforts to 
assist States in implementing changes to the eligibility, appeals, and 
enrollment under Medicaid and other State health subsidy programs.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ Medicaid Eligibility Expansion under the Affordable Care 
Act of 2010 Part 2--NPRM (0938-AR04).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] In addition, CMS will update several Medicare provider 
payment rules in ways that strengthen Medicare, better reflect the 
state of practice, and are responsive to feedback from providers.\12\ 
These rules, which are published annually, provide predictability for 
health care providers so they can manage their finances appropriately.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ No RINS yet. Internally identified as CMS-1599-P, CMS-1600-
P, and CMS-1601-P.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] Finally, CMS will implement the Affordable Care Act 
provision that establishes a new prospective payment system for 
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which are facilities that 
provide primary care services to underserved urban and rural 
communities.\13\ This rule will bring the FQHC payment system in line 
with the payment procedure for the majority of Medicare providers and 
will allow FQHCs to anticipate future reimbursements for providing 
services to Medicare beneficiaries.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Prospective Payment System for Federally Qualified Health 
Centers (No RIN yet; internally identified as CMS-1443-P).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Advancing Innovation To Improve Consumer Health and Safety

    Through administrative reforms, innovations, and providing 
additional information to support consumer decision-making, HHS is 
supporting high-value, safe, and effective care across health care 
settings and in the community. For example, FDA will issue a Unique 
Device Identifier final rule to establish a unique identification 
system for medical devices to track a device from pre-market 
application through distribution and use. This system will allow FDA 
and other public health professionals to track individual devices so 
that when an adverse event occurs, epidemiologists can quickly track 
down and identify other users of the device to provide guidance and 
recommendations on what steps to take to prevent additional medical 
errors.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ Unique Device Identifier (RIN: 0910-AG31).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As discussed previously, FDA is also amending its post-marketing 
medical device reporting regulations to require manufacturers and 
importers to submit electronic reports of individual medical device 
adverse events to the Agency. These electronic submissions will help 
FDA receive information about malfunctioning devices quickly and will 
enhance the Agency's ability to collect and analyze data from these 
adverse events. In addition to providing the Agency with this 
information soon after an adverse event occurs, this final rule is 
expected to result in significant burden reductions in reporting and 
recordkeeping for device manufacturers and suppliers.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Medical Device Reporting; Electronic Submission 
Requirements (RIN: 0910-AF86).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Implementing a 21st Century Food Safety System

    FDA will continue its work to implement the Food Safety 
Modernization Act, working with public and private partners to build a 
new system of food safety oversight. In implementing that Act, the 
Department is focusing on applying the best available science and 
lessons from previous outbreaks to shift the Agency's emphasis from 
recalling unsafe products from the market place to preventing unsafe 
food from entering commerce in the first place. FDA will propose 
several new rules to establish a robust, enhanced food safety program.
    [ssquf] FDA will propose regulations establishing preventive 
controls in the manufacture and distribution of human foods \16\ and of 
animal feeds.\17\ These regulations constitute the heart of the food 
safety program by instituting uniform practices for the manufacture and 
distribution of food products to ensure that those products are safe 
for consumption and will not cause or spread disease.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (RIN: 
0910-AG36).
    \17\ Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and 
Risk-Benefit Preventive Controls for Food for Animals (RIN: 0910-
AG10).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] FDA will continue its work on a rule to ensure that produce 
sold in the United States meets rigorous safety standards.\18\ The 
regulation will set enforceable, science-based standards for the safe 
production and harvesting of fresh produce at the farm and the packing 
house to minimize the risk of serious adverse health consequences.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ Produce Safety Regulation (RIN: 0910-AG35).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] In another proposed rule, FDA will require food importers 
to establish a verification program to improve the safety of food that 
is imported into the United States.\19\ Specifically, the FDA will 
outline proposed standards that foreign food suppliers must meet to 
ensure that imported food is produced in a manner that is as safe as 
food produced in the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ Foreign Supplier Verification Program (RIN: 0910-AG64).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] FDA will also establish a program to accredit third-party 
auditors to conduct audits of foreign food suppliers.\20\ This program 
will allow importers to contract with an accredited auditor to meet the 
audit requirements instead of having to establish such programs 
themselves.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ Accreditation of Third Parties to Conduct Food Safety 
Audits and for Other Related Purposes (RIN: 0910-AG66).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Promoting Children's Health and Well-Being

    ACF's regulatory portfolio includes several rules that promote 
children's health and well-being. For example, one proposed rule would 
provide the first comprehensive update of Child Care and Development 
Fund (CCDF) regulations since 1998.\21\ The CCDF is a Federal program 
that provides formula grants to States, territories, and tribes. The 
program provides financial assistance to low-income families to access 
child care so that they can work or attend a job training or 
educational program. It also provides funding to improve the quality of 
child care and increase the supply and availability of care for all 
families, including those who receive no direct assistance through 
CCDF. The proposed rule would make improvements in four key areas: (1) 
Health and safety; (2) child care quality; (3) family-friendly policies 
that promote continuity of care and support working families; and (4) 
program integrity. These proposed changes reflect current research and 
knowledge about the early care and education sector, State innovations 
in policies and practices over the past decade, and increased 
recognition that high quality child care both supports

[[Page 1370]]

work for low-income parents and promotes children's learning and 
healthy development. The rule is responsive to the need for State 
flexibility in administering the CCDF program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ Child Care and Development Fund Reforms to Support Child 
Development and Working Families (RIN: 0970-AC53).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Empowering Americans To Make Healthy Choices in the Marketplace

    As of 2010, more than one-third of U.S. adults \22\ and 17% of all 
children and adolescents \23\ in the United States are obese, 
representing a dramatic increase in the rise of this health status. 
Since 1980, the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents 
has almost tripled.\24\ Obesity has both immediate and long-term 
effects on the health and quality of life of those affected, increasing 
their risk for chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 
diabetes, certain cancers, stroke, and arthritis--as well as increasing 
medical costs for the individual and the health system.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html.
    \23\ http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/index.html.
    \24\ http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Building on the momentum of the First Lady Obama's ``Let's Move'' 
initiative and the Secretary's leadership, HHS has marshaled the skills 
and expertise from across the Department to address this epidemic with 
research, public education, and public health strategies. Adding to 
this effort, FDA will issue several rules designed to provide more 
useful, easy to understand dietary information--tools that will help 
millions of American families identify healthy choices in the 
marketplace.\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ See http://www.letsmove.gov/eat-healthy
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] One final rule will require restaurants and similar retail 
food establishments with 20 or more locations to list calorie content 
information for standard menu items on restaurant menus and menu 
boards, including drive-through menu boards.\26\ Other nutrient 
information--total calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, 
total carbohydrates, sugars, fiber and total protein--would have to be 
made available in writing upon request.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ Food Labeling: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in 
Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments (RIN: 0910-AG57).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [dec222] A second final rule will require vending machine operators 
who own or operate 20 or more vending machines to disclose calorie 
content for some items.\27\ The Department anticipates that such 
information will ensure that patrons of chain restaurants and vending 
machines have nutritional information about the food they are 
consuming.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ Food Labeling: Nutrition Labeling for Food Sold in Vending 
Machines (RIN: 0910-AG56).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [dec222] A third proposed rule would revise the nutrition and 
supplement facts labels on packaged food, which has not been updated 
since 1993 when mandatory nutrition labeling of food was first 
required. The aim of the proposed revision is to provide updated and 
easier to read nutrition information on the label to help consumers 
maintain healthy dietary practices.\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ Food Labeling; Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement 
Facts Labels (RIN: 0910-AF22).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another proposed rule will focus on the serving sizes of foods that 
can reasonably consumed in one serving. This rule would provide 
consumers with nutrition information based on the amount of food that 
is typically eaten as a serving, which would assist consumers in 
maintaining health dietary practices.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably 
Be Consumed In One Eating Occasion; Duel Column Labeling; and 
Modifying the Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RIN: 0910-
AF23).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation With Our Global Partners

    The Department is working to implement Executive Order 13609, 
``Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation,'' which charges the 
Federal Government to identify efforts to align U.S. regulations with 
those of our global partners to address shared regulatory challenges. 
FDA has already established such relationships through its 
participation in key international regulatory cooperation fora, 
including Codex Alimentarius, the U.S.-Mexico High Level Regulatory 
Cooperation Council, the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Councils. 
In addition, FDA is developing several rulemakings that have a specific 
international focus.
    [dec222] In one proposed rule, FDA will use international standards 
and promotes harmonization by allowing medical devices companies to use 
certain kinds of international symbols in device labeling.\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ Use of Symbols in Labeling (RIN: 0910-AG74).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [dec222] As a result of collaboration under the U.S.-Canada 
Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), FDA will propose a rule to add 
the common cold indication to certain over-the-counter (OTC) 
antihistamine active ingredients.\31\ The objectives of the RCC 
monograph alignment working group are to conduct a pilot program to 
develop aligned monograph elements for a selected over-the-counter 
(OTC) drug category (e.g. aligned directions, warnings, indications and 
conditions of use) and subsequently, develop recommendations to 
determine the feasibility of an ongoing mechanism for alignment in 
review and adoption of these OTC drug monograph elements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drug Review--Cough/Cold 
(Antihistamine) Products (RIN: 0910-AF31).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

    Pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563 ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review'' (Jan. 18, 2011), the following 
Regulatory Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated 
with retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan. Some of these entries on this 
list may be completed actions, which do not appear in The Regulatory 
Plan. However, more information can be found about these completed 
rulemakings in past publications of the Unified Agenda on reginfo.gov 
in the Completed Actions section for that agency. These rulemakings can 
also be found on regulations.gov. The final agency plan can be found at 
reginfo.gov.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Reduce Small Business
            RIN                   Title                 Burden?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0970-AC43..................  Performance      No.
                              Standards for
                              Runaway and
                              Homeless Youth
                              Grantees.
0970-AC50..................  Flexibility,     No.
                              Efficiency,
                              and
                              Modernization
                              of Child
                              Support
                              Enforcement
                              Programs.
0920-AA23..................  Control of       No.
                              Communicable
                              Disease:
                              Foreign;
                              Requirements
                              for Importers
                              of Nonhuman
                              Primates.
0938-AO53..................  Home and         Yes.
                              Community-
                              Based State
                              Plan Services
                              Program and
                              Provider
                              Payment
                              Reassignments
                              (CMS-2249-F).
0938-AP61..................  Home and         Yes.
                              Community
                              Based Services
                              Waivers (CMS-
                              2296-F).
0938-AQ38..................  CLIA Program     No.
                              and HIPAA
                              Privacy Rule;
                              Patients'
                              Access to Test
                              Reports (CMS-
                              2319-F).
0938-AR49..................  Part II--        Yes.
                              Regulatory
                              Provisions to
                              Promote
                              Program
                              Efficiency,
                              Transparency,
                              and Burden
                              Reduction (CMS-
                              3267-P).

[[Page 1371]]

 
0910-AF22..................  Food Labeling;   No.
                              Revision of
                              the Nutrition
                              and Supplement
                              Facts Labels.
0910-AF81..................  Current Good     No.
                              Manufacturing
                              Practice for
                              Combination
                              Products.
0910-AF82..................  Postmarket       Yes.
                              Safety
                              Reporting for
                              Combination
                              Products.
0910-AF86..................  Medical Device   No.
                              Reporting;
                              Electronic
                              Submission
                              Requirements.
0910-AF87..................  Laser Products;  No.
                              Amendment to
                              Performance
                              Standard.
0910-AG14..................  Prescription     Yes.
                              Drug Marketing
                              Act of 1987;
                              Prescription
                              Drug
                              Amendments of
                              1992;
                              Policies,
                              Requirements,
                              and
                              Administrative
                              Procedures.
0910-AG18..................  Electronic       No.
                              Distribution
                              of Prescribing
                              Information
                              for Human
                              Drugs
                              Including
                              Biological
                              Products.
0910-AG36..................  Hazard Analysis  No.
                              and Risk-Based
                              Preventive
                              Controls.
0910-AG54..................  General          No.
                              Hospital and
                              Personal Use
                              Devices:
                              Issuance of
                              Draft Special
                              Controls
                              Guidance for
                              Infusion Pumps.
0910-AG70..................  Amendments to    No.
                              the Current
                              Good
                              Manufacturing
                              Practice
                              Regulations
                              for Finished
                              Pharmaceutical
                              s--Components.
0910-AG74..................  Use of Symbols   Yes.
                              in Labeling.
0906-AA87..................  Elimination of   No.
                              Duplication
                              Between the
                              Healthcare
                              Integrity and
                              Protection
                              Data Bank
                              (HIPDB) into
                              the National
                              Practitioner
                              Data Bank
                              (NPDB).
0925-AA43..................  National         No.
                              Institutes of
                              Health Loan
                              Repayment
                              Program.
0937-AA02..................  Human Subjects   No.
                              Research
                              Protections:
                              Enhancing
                              Protections
                              for Research
                              Subjects and
                              Reducing
                              Burden, Delay,
                              and Ambiguity
                              for
                              Investigators.
0945-AA03..................  Modifications    Yes.
                              to the HIPAA
                              Privacy,
                              Security,
                              Enforcement,
                              and Breach
                              Notification
                              Rules.
0945-AA00..................  HIPAA Privacy    No.
                              Rule
                              Accounting of
                              Disclosures
                              under the
                              Health
                              Information
                              Technology for
                              Economic and
                              Clinical
                              Health Act.
0930-AA14..................  Opioid Drugs in  No.
                              Maintenance or
                              Detoxification
                              Treatment of
                              Opiate
                              Addiction.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


HHS--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA)

Proposed Rule Stage

33. Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-
Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under 
Pub. L. 104-4.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321; 21 U.S.C. 331; 21 U.S.C. 342; 21 
U.S.C. 350d note; 21 U.S.C. 350g; 21 U.S.C. 350g note; 21 U.S.C. 371; 
21 U.S.C. 374; 42 U.S.C. 264; 42 U.S.C. 243; 42 U.S.C. 271
    CFR Citation: 21 CFR part 507.
    Legal Deadline: The legal deadline for FDA under the Food Safety 
Modernization Act to promulgate proposed regulations is October 2011 
for certain requirements, with a final rule to publish 9 months after 
the close of the comment period. The Food Safety Modernization Act 
mandates that FDA promulgate final regulations for certain other 
provisions by July 2012. Finally, the FDA Amendments Act of 2007 
directs FDA to publish final regulations for a subset of the proposed 
requirements by September 2009.
    Abstract: FDA is proposing regulations for preventive controls for 
animal food, including ingredients and mixed animal feed. This action 
is intended to provide greater assurance that food marketed for all 
animals, including pets, is safe.
    Statement of Need: Regulatory oversight of the animal food industry 
has traditionally been limited and focused on a few known safety 
issues, so there could be potential human and animal health problems 
that remain unaddressed. The massive pet food recall due to 
adulteration of pet food with melamine and cyanuric acid in 2007 is a 
prime example. The actions taken by two protein suppliers in China 
affected a large number of pet food suppliers in the United States and 
created a nationwide problem. By the time the cause of the problem was 
identified, melamine- and cyanuric acid-contaminated ingredients 
resulted in the adulteration of millions of individual servings of pet 
food. Congress passed FSMA, which the President signed into law on 
January 4, 2011 (Pub. L. 111-353). Section 103 of FSMA amended the 
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) by adding section 418 
(21 U.S.C. 350g) Hazard Analysis and Risk Based Preventive Controls. In 
enacting FSMA, Congress sought to improve the safety of food in the 
United States by taking a risk-based approach to food safety, 
emphasizing prevention. Section 418 of the FD&C Act requires owners, 
operators, or agents in charge of food facilities to develop and 
implement a written plan that describes and documents how their 
facility will implement the hazard analysis and preventive controls 
required by this section.
    Summary of Legal Basis: FDA's authority for issuing this rule is 
provided in FSMA (Pub. L. 111-353), which amended the FD&C Act by 
establishing section 418, which directed FDA to publish implementing 
regulations. FSMA also amended section 301 of the FD&C Act to add 
301(uu) that states the operation of a facility that manufactures, 
processes, packs, or holds food for sale in the United States, if the 
owner, operator, or agent in charge of such facility is not in 
compliance with section 418 of the FD&C Act, is a prohibited act.
    FDA is also issuing this rule under the certain provisions of 
section 402 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 342) regarding adulterated food.
    In addition, section 701(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 371(a)) 
authorizes the Agency to issue regulations for the efficient 
enforcement of the Act.
    Alternatives: The Food Safety Modernization Act requires this 
rulemaking.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The benefits of the proposed rule 
would result from fewer cases of contaminated animal food ingredients 
or finished animal food products. Discovering contaminated food 
ingredients before they are used in a finished product would reduce the 
number of recalls of contaminated animal food products. Benefits would 
include reduced medical treatment costs for animals, reduced loss of 
market value of live animals, reduced loss of animal companionship, and 
reduced loss in value of animal food products. More stringent 
requirements for animal food manufacturing would maintain public 
confidence in the safety of animal foods and protect animal and human 
health. FDA lacks sufficient data to quantify the benefits of the 
proposed rule.

[[Page 1372]]

    The compliance costs of the proposed rule would result from the 
additional labor and capital required to perform the hazard analyses, 
write and implement the preventive controls, monitor and verify the 
preventive controls, take corrective actions if preventive controls 
fail to prevent feeds from becoming contaminated, and implement 
requirements from the operations and practices section.
    Risks: FDA is proposing this rule to provide greater assurance that 
food intended for animals is safe and will not cause illness or injury 
to animals. This rule would implement a risk-based, preventive controls 
food safety system intended to prevent animal food containing hazards, 
which may cause illness or injury to animals or humans, from entering 
into the food supply. The rule would apply to domestic and imported 
animal food (including raw materials and ingredients). Fewer cases of 
animal food contamination would reduce the risk of serious illness and 
death to animals.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   01/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to 
have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of 
international interest.
    Agency Contact: Kim Young, Deputy Director, Division of Compliance, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, 
Center for Veterinary Medicine, Room 106 (MPN-4, HFV-230), 7519 
Standish Place, Rockville, MD 20855, Phone: 240 276-9207, Email: 
kim.young@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG10

HHS--FDA

34. Produce Safety Regulation

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under 
Pub. L. 104-4.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 342; 21 U.S.C. 350h; 21 U.S.C. 371; 42 
U.S.C. 264; Pub. L. 111-353 (signed on Jan. 4, 2011)
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: NPRM, Statutory, January 4, 2012, Proposed rule not 
later than 12 months after the date of enactment of the Food Safety 
Modernization Act.
    Abstract: FDA is proposing to establish science-based minimum 
standards for the safe production and harvesting of those types of 
fruits and vegetables that are raw agricultural commodities for which 
the Secretary has determined that such standards minimize the risk of 
serious adverse health consequences or death. The purpose of the 
proposed rule is to reduce the risk of illness associated with fresh 
produce.
    Statement of Need: FDA is taking this action to meet the 
requirements of the FSMA and to address the food safety challenges 
associated with fresh produce and thereby protect the public health. 
Data indicate that between 1973 and 1997, outbreaks of foodborne 
illness in the U.S. associated with fresh produce increased in absolute 
numbers and as a proportion of all reported foodborne illness 
outbreaks. The Agency issued general good agricultural practice 
guidelines for fresh fruits and vegetables over a decade ago. 
Incorporating prevention-oriented public health principles and 
incorporating what we have learned in the past decade into a regulation 
is a critical step in establishing standards for the production and 
harvesting of produce and reducing the foodborne illness attributed to 
fresh produce.
    Summary of Legal Basis: FDA is relying on the amendments to the 
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), provided by 
section 105 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (codified primarily in 
section 419 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 350h)). FDA's legal basis also 
derives in part from sections 402(a)(3), 402(a)(4), and 701(a) of the 
FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 342(a)(3), 342(a)(4), and 371(a)). FDA also intends 
to rely on section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) (42 
U.S.C. 264), which gives FDA authority to promulgate regulations to 
control the spread of communicable disease.
    Alternatives: Section 105 of the Food Safety Modernization Act 
requires FDA to conduct this rulemaking.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: FDA estimates that the costs to more 
than 300,000 domestic and foreign producers and packers of fresh 
produce from the proposal would include one-time costs (e.g., new tools 
and equipment) and recurring costs (e.g., monitoring, training, 
recordkeeping). FDA anticipates that the benefits would be a reduction 
in foodborne illness and deaths associated with fresh produce. 
Monetized estimates of costs and benefits are not available at this 
time.
    Risks: This regulation would directly and materially advance the 
Federal Government's substantial interest in reducing the risks for 
illness and death associated with foodborne infections associated with 
the consumption of fresh produce. Less restrictive and less 
comprehensive approaches have not been sufficiently effective in 
reducing the problems addressed by this regulation. FDA anticipates 
that the regulation would lead to a significant decrease in foodborne 
illness associated with fresh produce consumed in the U.S.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   01/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to 
have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of 
international interest.
    Agency Contact: Samir Assar, Supervisory Consumer Safety Officer, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, 
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Food Safety, 
5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740, Phone: 240 402-1636, 
Email: samir.assar@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG35

HHS--FDA

35. Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under 
Pub. L. 104-4.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 342; 21 U.S.C. 371; 42 U.S.C. 264; Pub. 
L. 111-353 (signed on Jan. 4, 2011)
    CFR Citation: 21 CFR part 110.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, July 4, 2012, Final rule must be 
published no later than 18 months after the date of enactment of the 
FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would require a food facility to have 
and implement preventive controls to significantly minimize or prevent 
the occurrence of hazards that could affect food manufactured, 
processed, packed, or held by the facility. This action is

[[Page 1373]]

intended to prevent or, at a minimum, quickly identify foodborne 
pathogens before they get into the food supply.
    Statement of Need: FDA is taking this action to meet the 
requirements of the FSMA and to better address changes that have 
occurred in the food industry and thereby protect public health.
    FDA last updated its food CGMP regulations for the manufacturing, 
packing, or holding of human food in 1986. Modernizing these food CGMP 
regulations to address risk-based preventive controls and more 
explicitly address issues such as environmental pathogens, food 
allergens, mandatory employee training, and sanitation of food contact 
surfaces, would be a critical step in raising the standards for food 
production and distribution. By amending 21 CFR 110 to modernize good 
manufacturing practices, the Agency could focus the attention of food 
processors on measures that have been proven to significantly reduce 
the risk of foodborne illness. An amended regulation also would allow 
the Agency to better focus its regulatory efforts on ensuring industry 
compliance with controls that have a significant food safety impact.
    Summary of Legal Basis: FDA is relying on section 103 of the FSMA. 
FDA is also relying on sections 402(a)(3), (a)(4) and 701(a) of the 
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 
342(a)(3), (a)(4), and 371(a)). Under section 402(a)(3) of the FD&C 
Act, a food is adulterated if it consists in whole or in part of any 
filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance, or if it is otherwise unfit 
for food. Under section 402(a)(4), a food is adulterated if it has been 
prepared, packed, or held under unsanitary conditions whereby it may 
have become contaminated with filth or may have been rendered injurious 
to health. Under section 701(a) of the FD&C Act, FDA is authorized to 
issue regulations for the efficient enforcement of the FD&C Act. FDA's 
legal basis also derives from section 361 of the Public Health Service 
Act (PHS Act) (42 U.S.C. 264), which gives FDA authority to promulgate 
regulations to control the spread of communicable disease.
    Alternatives: An alternative to this rulemaking is not to update 
the CGMP regulations, and instead issue separate regulations to 
implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: FDA estimates that the costs from 
the proposal to domestic and foreign producers and packers of processed 
foods would include new one-time costs (e.g., adoption of written food 
safety plans, setting up training programs, implementing allergen 
controls, and purchasing new tools and equipment) and recurring costs 
(e.g., auditing and monitoring suppliers of sensitive raw materials and 
ingredients, training employees, and completing and maintaining records 
used throughout the facility). FDA anticipates that the benefits would 
be a reduced risk of foodborne illness and death from processed foods 
and a reduction in the number of safety-related recalls.
    Risks: This regulation will directly and materially advance the 
Federal Government's substantial interest in reducing the risks for 
illness and death associated with foodborne infections. Less 
restrictive and less comprehensive approaches have not been effective 
in reducing the problems addressed by this regulation. The regulation 
will lead to a significant decrease in foodborne illness in the U.S.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   01/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to 
have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of 
international interest.
    Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 
13563.
    Agency Contact: Jenny Scott, Senior Advisor, Department of Health 
and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch 
Parkway, Office of Food Safety, College Park, MD 20740, Phone: 240 402-
1488, Email: jenny.scott@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG36

HHS--FDA

36. Foreign Supplier Verification Program

    Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 U.S.C. 801 is 
undetermined.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 384a; title III, sec 301 of FDA Food 
Safety Modernization Act, Pub. L. 111-353, establishing sec 805 of the 
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act)
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, January 4, 2012.
    Abstract: FDA is proposing regulations that describe what a food 
importer must do to verify that its foreign suppliers produce food that 
is as safe as food produced in the United States. FDA is taking this 
action to improve the safety of food that is imported into the United 
States.
    Statement of Need: The proposed rule is needed to help improve the 
safety of food that is imported into the United States. Imported food 
products have increased dramatically over the last several decades. 
Data indicate that about 15% of the U.S. food supply is imported. FSMA 
provides the Agency with additional tools and authorities to help 
ensure that imported foods are safe for U.S. consumers. Included among 
these tools and authorities is a requirement that importers perform 
risk-based foreign supplier verification activities to verify that the 
food they import is produced in compliance with U.S. requirements, as 
applicable, and is not adulterated or misbranded. This proposed rule on 
the content of foreign supplier verification programs (FSVPs) sets 
forth the proposed steps that food importers would be required to take 
to fulfill their responsibility to ensure the safety of the food they 
bring into this country.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 805(c) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 
384a(c)) directs FDA, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment 
of FSMA, to issue regulations on the content of FSVPs. Section 
805(c)(4) states that verification activities under such programs may 
include monitoring records for shipments, lot-by-lot certification of 
compliance, annual onsite inspections, checking the hazard analysis and 
risk-based preventive control plans of foreign suppliers, and 
periodically testing and sampling shipments of imported products. 
Section 301(b) of FSMA amends section 301 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 
331) by adding section 301(zz), which designates as a prohibited act 
the importation or offering for importation of a food if the importer 
(as defined in section 805) does not have in place an FSVP in 
compliance with section 805. In addition, section 301(c) of FSMA amends 
section 801(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 381(a)) by stating that an 
article of food being imported or offered for import into the United 
States shall be refused admission if it appears from an examination of 
a sample of such an article or otherwise that the importer is in 
violation of section 805.
    Alternatives: We are considering a range of alternative approaches 
to the requirements for foreign supplier verification activities. These 
might include: (1) Establishing a general requirement that importers 
determine

[[Page 1374]]

and conduct whatever verification activity that would adequately 
address the risks associated with the foods they import; (2) allowing 
importers to choose from a list of possible verification mechanisms, 
such as the activities listed in section 805(c)(4) of the FD&C Act; (3) 
requiring importers to conduct particular verification activities for 
certain types of foods or risks (e.g., for high-risk foods) but 
allowing flexibility in verification activities for other types of 
foods or risks; and (4) specifying use of a particular verification 
activity for each particular kind of food or risk. To the extent 
possible while still ensuring that verification activities are adequate 
to ensure that foreign suppliers are producing food in accordance with 
U.S. requirements, we will seek to give importers the flexibility to 
choose verification procedures that are appropriate to adequately 
address the risks associated with the importation of a particular food.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: We are still estimating the cost and 
benefits for this proposed rule. However, the available information 
suggests that the costs will be significant. Our preliminary analysis 
of FY10 OASIS data suggests that this rule will cover about 60,000 
importers, 240,000 unique combinations of importers and foreign 
suppliers, and 540,000 unique combinations of importers, products, and 
foreign suppliers. These numbers imply that provisions that require 
activity for each importer, each unique combination of importer and 
foreign supplier, or each unique combination of importer, product, and 
foreign supplier will generate significant costs. An example of a 
provision linked to combinations of importers and foreign suppliers 
would be a requirement to conduct a verification activity, such as an 
onsite audit, under certain conditions. The cost of onsite audits will 
depend in part on whether foreign suppliers can provide the same onsite 
audit results to different importers or whether every importer will 
need to take some action with respect to each of their foreign 
suppliers. The benefits of this proposed rule will consist of the 
reduction of adverse health events linked to imported food that could 
result from increased compliance with applicable requirements.
    Risks: As stated above, about 15 percent of the U.S. food supply is 
imported, and many of these imported foods are high-risk commodities. 
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention, each year, about 48 million Americans get sick, 128,000 are 
hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases. From July 1, 2007, 
through June 30, 2008, FDA oversaw 40 recalls of imported foods that 
were so contaminated that the Agency deemed them to be an imminent 
threat. We expect that the adoption of FSVPs by food importers will 
lead to a significant reduction to the threat to public health posed by 
unsafe imported food.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   01/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to 
have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of 
international interest.
    Agency Contact: Brian L. Pendleton, Senior Policy Advisor, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, 
Office of Policy, WO 32, Room 4245, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver 
Spring, MD 20993-0002, Phone: 301 796-4614, Fax: 301 847-8616, Email: 
brian.pendleton@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG64

HHS--FDA

37. Accreditation of Third Parties To Conduct Food Safety Audits and 
for Other Related Purposes

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 384d; Pub. L. 111-353, sec 307, FDA Food 
Safety Modernization Act; Other sections of FDA Food Safety 
Modernization Act, as appropriate
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, July 2012, Promulgate 
implementing regulations. Per Pub. L. 111-353, section 307, promulgate, 
within 18 months of enactment, certain implementing regulations for 
accreditation of third-party auditors to conduct food safety audits.
    Abstract: FDA is proposing regulations for accreditation of third-
party auditors to conduct food safety audits. FDA is taking this action 
to improve the safety of food that is imported into the United States.
    Statement of Need: The use of accredited third-party auditors to 
certify food imports will assist in ensuring the safety of food from 
foreign origin entering U.S. commerce. Accredited third-party auditors 
auditing foreign facilities can increase FDA's information about 
foreign facilities that FDA may not have adequate resources to inspect 
in a particular year. FDA will establish identified standards creating 
overall uniformity to complete the task. Audits that result in issuance 
of facility certificates will provide FDA information about the 
compliance status of the facility. Additionally, auditors will be 
required to submit audit reports that may be reviewed by FDA for 
purposes of compliance assessment and work planning.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 808 of the FD&C Act directs FDA to 
establish, not later than 2 years after the date of enactment, a system 
for the recognition of accreditation bodies that accredit third-party 
auditors, who in turn certify that their eligible entities meet the 
requirements. To directly accredit third-party auditors should none be 
identified and recognized by the 2-year date of enactment, FDA is to 
obtain a list of all accredited third-party auditors and their agents 
from recognized accreditation bodies, and determine requirements for 
regulatory audit reports while avoiding unnecessary duplication of 
efforts and costs.
    Alternatives: FSMA described in detail the framework for, and 
requirements of, the accredited third-party auditor program. 
Alternatives include certain oversight activities required of 
recognized accreditation bodies that accredit third-party auditors, as 
distinguished from third-party auditors directly accredited by FDA. 
Another alternative relates to the nature of the required standards and 
the degree to which those standards are prescriptive or flexible.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The benefits of the proposed rule 
would result from fewer cases of unsafe or misbranded food entering 
U.S. commerce. Additional benefits include the increased flow of 
credible information to FDA regarding the compliance status of foreign 
firms and their foods that are ultimately offered for import into the 
United States, which information in turn would inform FDA's work 
planning for inspection of foreign food facilities and might result in 
a signal of possible problems with a particular firm or its products, 
and with sufficient signals, might raise questions about the rigor of 
the food safety regulatory system of the country of origin.
    The compliance costs of the proposed rule would result from the 
additional labor and capital required of accreditation bodies seeking 
FDA recognition and of third-party auditors seeking accreditation to 
the extent that

[[Page 1375]]

will involve the assembling of information for an application unique to 
the FDA third-party program. The compliance costs associated with 
certification will be accounted for separately under the costs 
associated with participation in the voluntary qualified importer 
program and the costs associated with mandatory certification for high-
risk food imports. The third-party program is funded through revenue 
neutral-user fees, which will be developed by FDA through rulemaking. 
User fee costs will be accounted for in that rulemaking.
    Risks: FDA is proposing this rule to provide greater assurance the 
food offered for import into the United States is safe and will not 
cause injury or illness to animals or humans. The rule would implement 
a program for accrediting third-party auditors to conduct food safety 
audits of foreign food entities, including registered foreign food 
facilities, and based on the findings of the regulatory audit, to issue 
certifications to foreign food entities found to be in compliance with 
FDA requirements. The certifications could be used by importers seeking 
to participate in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program for 
expedited review and entry of product and would be a means to provide 
assurance of compliance as required by FDA based on risk-related 
considerations. The rule would apply to any foreign or domestic 
accreditation body seeking FDA recognition, any foreign or domestic 
third-party auditor seeking accreditation, any registered foreign food 
facility or other foreign food entity subject to a food safety audit 
(including a regulatory audit conducted for purposes of certification), 
and any importer seeking to participate in the Voluntary Qualified 
Importer Program. Fewer cases of unsafe or misbranded food entering 
U.S. commerce would reduce the risk of serious illness and death to 
humans and animals.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   01/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to 
have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of 
international interest.
    Agency Contact: Charlotte A. Christin, Senior Policy Advisor, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, 
Office of Policy, WO 32, Room 4234, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver 
Spring, MD 20993, Phone: 301 796-4718, Fax: 301 847-3541, Email: 
charlotte.christin@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG66

HHS--FDA

38.  Revision of Postmarketing Reporting Requirements 
Discontinuance or Interruption in Supply of Certain Products (Drug 
Shortages)

    Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 U.S.C. 801 is 
undetermined.
    Legal Authority: secs 506C, 506C-1, 506D, and 506F of the FDA&C 
Act, as amended by title X (Drug Shortages) of FDASIA, Pub. L. 112-144, 
July 9, 2012
    CFR Citation: 21 CFR 314.81; 21 CFR 314.91.
    Legal Deadline: NPRM, Statutory, January 9, 2014. Not later than 18 
months after the date of enactment of FDASIA, FDA must adopt the final 
regulation implementing section 506C as amended. Section 1001 of FDASIA 
states that not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of 
FDASIA, the Secretary shall adopt a final regulation implementing 
section 506C as amended.
    Abstract: FDASIA amends the FD&C Act to require manufacturers of 
certain drug products to report to FDA discontinuances or interruptions 
in the production of these products 6 months prior to the 
discontinuance or interruption, or if that is not possible, as soon as 
practicable. Manufacturers must notify FDA of a discontinuance or 
interruption in the manufacture of drugs that are life-supporting, 
life-sustaining or intended for use in the prevention or treatment of a 
debilitating disease or condition. FDASIA requires FDA to define in 
regulation the terms ``life-supporting,'' ``life-sustaining,'' and 
``intended for use in the prevention or treatment of a debilitating 
disease or condition,'' and to distribute, to the maximum extent 
practical, information on the discontinuation or interruption in the 
manufacture of these products to appropriate organizations. FDASIA also 
amends the FD&C Act to include other provisions related to drug 
shortages, and to require FDA to adopt a final regulation implementing 
amended section 506C not later than 18 months after the date of 
enactment of FDASIA. When finalized, this rule will implement the drug 
shortages provisions of FDASIA.
    Statement of Need: The Food and Drug Administration Safety and 
Innovation Act (FDASIA), Public Law No. 112-144 (July 9, 2012), amends 
the FD&C Act to require manufacturers of certain drug products to 
report to FDA discontinuances or interruptions in the production of 
these products that are likely to meaningfully disrupt supply 6 months 
prior to the discontinuance or interruption, or if that is not 
possible, as soon as practicable. FDASIA also amends the FD&C Act to 
include other provisions related to drug shortages. Drug shortages have 
a significant impact on patient access to critical medications and the 
number of drug shortages has risen steadily since 2005 to a high of 251 
shortages in 2011. Notification to FDA of a shortage or an issue that 
may lead to a shortage is critical--FDA was able to prevent more than 
100 shortages in the first three quarters of 2012 due to early 
notification. This rule will implement the FDASIA drug shortages 
provisions, allowing FDA to more quickly and efficiently respond to 
shortages, thereby improving patient access to critical medications and 
promoting public health.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Sections 506C, 506C-1, 506D, 506E, and 506F 
of the FD&C Act, as amended by title X (Drug Shortages) of FDASIA.
    Alternatives: The principal alternatives assessed were to provide 
guidance on voluntary notification to FDA or to continue to rely on the 
requirements under the current interim final rule on notification. 
These alternatives would not meet the statutory requirement to issue 
the final regulation required by title X, section 1001 of FDASIA.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The rule would increase the modest 
reporting costs associated with notifying FDA of discontinuances or 
interruptions in the production of certain drug products. The rule 
would generate benefits in the form of the value of public health gains 
through more rapid and effective FDA responses to potential or actual 
drug shortages that otherwise would limit patient access to critical 
medications.
    Risks: Drug shortages can significantly impede patient access to 
critical, sometimes life-saving, medications. Drug shortages, 
therefore, can pose a serious risk to public health and patient safety. 
This rule will require early notification of potential shortages, 
enabling FDA to more quickly and effectively respond to potential or 
actual drug shortages that otherwise would limit patient access to 
critical medications.
    Timetable:

[[Page 1376]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Valerie Jensen, Department of Health and Human 
Services, Food and Drug Administration, White Oak, Building 22, Room 
6202, New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20903, Phone: 301 796-
0737.
    RIN: 0910-AG88

HHS--FDA

Final Rule Stage

39. Unique Device Identification

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under 
Pub. L. 104-4.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 351; 21 U.S.C. 352; 21 U.S.C. 360; 21 
U.S.C. 360h; 21 U.S.C. 360i; 21 U.S.C. 360j; 21 U.S.C. 360l; 21 U.S.C. 
371
    CFR Citation: 21 CFR part 16; 21 CFR part 801; 21 CFR part 803; 21 
CFR part 806; 21 CFR part 810; 21 CFR part 814; 21 CFR part 820; 21 CFR 
part 821; 21 CFR part 822.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, May 7, 2013, Must be finalized no 
later than 6 months after end of comment period (November 7, 2012).
    Deadlines added by section 614 of FDASIA, Pub. L. 112-144.
    Abstract: FDA is issuing a final rule establishing a unique device 
identification system for medical devices. A unique device 
identification system would allow health care professionals and others 
to rapidly and precisely identify a device and obtain important 
information concerning the device and would reduce medical errors.
    Statement of Need: A unique device identification system will help 
reduce medical errors; will allow FDA, the healthcare community, and 
industry to more rapidly review and organize adverse event reports; 
identify problems relating to a particular device (even down to a 
particular lot or batch, range of serial numbers, or range of 
manufacturing or expiration dates); and thereby allow for more rapid, 
effective, corrective actions that focus sharply on the specific 
devices that are of concern.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 519(f) of the FD&C Act (added by 
sec. 226 of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007) 
directs the Secretary to promulgate regulations establishing a unique 
device identification (UDI) system for medical devices, requiring the 
label of devices to bear a unique identifier that will adequately 
identify the device through its distribution and use.
    Alternatives: FDA considered several alternatives that would allow 
certain requirements of the proposed rule to vary, such as the required 
elements of a UDI and the scope of affected devices.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: FDA estimates that the affected 
industry would incur one-time and recurring costs, including 
administrative costs, to change and print labels that include the 
required elements of a UDI, costs to purchase equipment to print and 
verify the UDI, and costs to purchase software and integrate and 
validate the UDI into existing IT systems. FDA anticipates that 
implementation of a UDI system would help improve the efficiency and 
accuracy of medical device recalls and medical device adverse event 
reporting. The proposed rule would also standardize how medical devices 
are identified and contribute to future potential public health 
benefits of initiatives aimed at optimizing the use of automated 
systems in healthcare. Most of these benefits, however, require 
complementary developments and innovations in the private and public 
sectors.
    Risks: This rule is intended to substantially eliminate existing 
obstacles to the consistent identification of medical devices used in 
the United States. UDI will allow FDA to more rapidly and effectively 
identify and aggregate adverse event reports and is central to 
improvement in FDA's medical device postmarket surveillance plan. By 
providing the means to rapidly and accurately identify a device and key 
attributes that affect its safe and effective use, the rule would 
reduce medical errors that result from misidentification of a device or 
confusion concerning its appropriate use.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   07/10/12  77 FR 40735
NPRM Comment Period End.............   11/07/12
Final Action........................   05/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    URL for More Information: www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/deviceregulationandguidance/uniquedeviceidentification/default.htm.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: John J. Crowley, Senior Advisor for Patient Safety, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, 
Center for Devices and Radiological Health, WO 66, Room 2315, 10903 New 
Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993, Phone: 301 980-1936, Email: 
jay.crowley@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG31

HHS--FDA

40. Food Labeling: Nutrition Labeling for Food Sold in Vending Machines

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321; 21 U.S.C. 343; 21 U.S.C. 371
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a 
proposed rule in the Federal Register of April 6, 2011 (72 FR 19238) to 
establish requirements for nutrition labeling of certain food items 
sold in certain vending machines. FDA also proposed the terms and 
conditions for vending machine operators registering to voluntarily be 
subject to the requirements. FDA took this action to carry out section 
4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care 
Act or ACA), which was signed into law on March 23, 2010.
    Statement of Need: This rulemaking was mandated by section 4205 of 
the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act).
    Summary of Legal Basis: On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act 
(Pub. L. 111-148) was signed into law. Section 4205 amended 403(q)(5) 
of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) by, among other 
things, creating new clause (H) to require that vending machine 
operators, who own or operate 20 or more machines, disclose calories 
for certain food items. FDA has the authority to issue this rule under 
sections 403(q)(5)(H) and 701(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 
343(q)(5)(H), and 371(a)). Section 701(a) of the FD&C Act vests the 
Secretary of Health and Human Services, and, by delegation, the Food 
and Drug Administration (FDA) with the authority to issue regulations 
for the efficient enforcement of the FD&C Act.
    Alternatives: Section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act requires the

[[Page 1377]]

Secretary (and by delegation, the FDA) to establish by regulation 
requirements for calorie labeling of articles of food sold from covered 
vending machines. Therefore, there are no alternatives to rulemaking. 
FDA has analyzed alternatives that may reduce the burden of the 
rulemaking, including analyzing the benefits and costs of: Restricting 
the flexibility of the format for calorie disclosure, lengthening the 
compliance time, and extending the coverage of the rule to bulk vending 
machines without selection buttons.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Any vending machine operator 
operating fewer than 20 machines may voluntarily choose to be covered 
by the national standard. It is anticipated that vending machine 
operators that own or operate 20 or more vending machines will bear 
costs associated with adding calorie information to vending machines. 
FDA estimates that the total cost of complying with section 4205 of the 
Affordable Care Act and this rulemaking will be approximately $25.8 
million initially, with a recurring cost of approximately $24 million.
    Because comprehensive national data for the effects of vending 
machine labeling do not exist, FDA has not quantified the benefits 
associated with section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act and this 
rulemaking. Some studies have shown that some consumers consume fewer 
calories when calorie content information is displayed at the point of 
purchase. Consumers will benefit from having this important nutrition 
information to assist them in making healthier choices when consuming 
food away from home. Given the very high costs associated with obesity 
and its associated health risks, FDA estimates that if 0.02 percent of 
the adult obese population reduces energy intake by at least 100 
calories per week, then the benefits of section 4205 of the Affordable 
Care Act and this rulemaking will be at least as large as the costs.
    Risks: Americans now consume an estimated one-third of their total 
calories from foods prepared outside the home and spend almost half of 
their food dollars on such foods. This rule will provide consumers with 
information about the nutritional content of food to enable them to 
make healthier food choices, and may help mitigate the trend of 
increasing obesity in America.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   04/06/11  76 FR 19238
NPRM Comment Period End.............   07/05/11
Final Action........................   04/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in E.O. 13132.
    Agency Contact: Daniel Reese, Food Technologist, Department of 
Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Center for 
Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-820), 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, 
College Park, MD 20740, Phone: 240 402-2126, Email: 
daniel.reese@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG56

HHS--FDA

41. Food Labeling: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in 
Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under 
Pub. L. 104-4.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321; 21 U.S.C. 343; 21 U.S.C. 371
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a 
proposed rule in the Federal Register of April 6, 2011 (72 FR 19192), 
to establish requirements for nutrition labeling of standard menu items 
in chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments. FDA also 
proposed the terms and conditions for restaurants and similar retail 
food establishments registering to voluntarily be subject to the 
Federal requirements. FDA took this action to carry out section 4205 of 
the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act or 
ACA), which was signed into law on March 23, 2010.
    Statement of Need: This rulemaking was mandated by section 4205 of 
the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act).
    Summary of Legal Basis: On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act 
(Pub. L. 111-148) was signed into law. Section 4205 of the Affordable 
Care Act amended 403(q)(5) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act 
(FD&C Act) by, among other things, creating new clause (H) to require 
that certain chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments 
with 20 or more locations disclose certain nutrient information for 
standard menu items. FDA has the authority to issue this rule under 
sections 403(a)(1), 403(q)(5)(H), and 701(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 
343(a)(1), 343(q)(5)(H), and 371(a)). Section 701(a) of the FD&C Act 
vests the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and, by delegation, 
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the authority to issue 
regulations for the efficient enforcement of the FD&C Act.
    Alternatives: Section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act requires the 
Secretary, and by delegation the FDA, to establish by regulation 
requirements for nutrition labeling of standard menu items for covered 
restaurants and similar retail food establishments. Therefore, there 
are no alternatives to rulemaking. FDA has analyzed alternatives that 
may reduce the burden of this rulemaking, including analyzing the 
benefits and costs of expanding and contracting the set of 
establishments covered by this rule and shortening or lengthening the 
compliance time relative to the rulemaking.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Chain restaurants and similar retail 
food establishments covered by the Federal law operating in local 
jurisdictions that impose different nutrition labeling requirements 
will benefit from having a uniform national standard. Any restaurant or 
similar retail food establishment with fewer than 20 locations may 
voluntarily choose to be covered by the national standard. It is 
anticipated that chain restaurants with 20 or more locations will bear 
costs for adding nutrition information to menus and menu boards. FDA 
estimates that the total cost of section 4205 and this rulemaking will 
be approximately $80 million, annualized over 10 years, with a low 
annualized estimate of approximately $33 million and a high annualized 
estimate of approximately $125 million over 10 years. These costs 
include an initial cost of approximately $320 million with an annually 
recurring cost of $45 million.
    Because comprehensive national data for the effects of menu 
labeling do not exist, FDA has not quantified the benefits associated 
with section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act and this rulemaking. Some 
studies have shown that some consumers consume fewer calories when 
menus have information about calorie content displayed. Consumers will 
benefit from having important nutrition information for the 
approximately 30 percent of calories consumed away from home. Given the 
very high costs associated with obesity and its associated health 
risks, FDA

[[Page 1378]]

estimates that if 0.6 percent of the adult obese population reduces 
energy intake by at least 100 calories per week, then the benefits of 
section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act and this rule will be at least 
as large as the costs.
    Risks: Americans now consume an estimated one-third of their total 
calories on foods prepared outside the home and spend almost half of 
their food dollars on such foods. Unlike packaged foods that are 
labeled with nutrition information, foods in restaurants, for the most 
part, do not have nutrition information that is readily available when 
ordered. Dietary intake data have shown that obese Americans consume 
over 100 calories per meal more when eating food away from home rather 
than food at home. This rule will provide consumers information about 
the nutritional content of food to enable them to make healthier food 
choices and may help mitigate the trend of increasing obesity in 
America.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   04/06/11  76 FR 19192
NPRM Comment Period End.............   07/05/11
Final Action........................   04/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in E.O. 13132.
    Agency Contact: Geraldine A. June, Supervisor, Product Evaluation 
and Labeling Team, Department of Health and Human Services, Food and 
Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 
(HFS-820), 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740, Phone: 
240 402-1802, Fax: 301 436-2636, Email: geraldine.june@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG57.

HHS--CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES (CMS)

Proposed Rule Stage

42. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to 
Essential Health Benefits, Actuarial Value, and Accreditation (CMS-
9980-F)

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-148, title I
    CFR Citation: 45 CFR part 156; 45 CFR part 155; 45 CFR part 147.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, January 1, 2014.
    Abstract: This final rule details standards for health insurance 
consistent with title I of the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, this 
rule outlines Exchange and issuer standards related to coverage of 
essential health benefits (EHB) and actuarial value (AV). This rule 
also proposes a timeline for qualified health plans to be accredited in 
Federally-facilitated Exchanges and an amendment that provides an 
application process for the recognition of additional accrediting 
entities for purposes of certification of qualified health plans.
    Statement of Need: This rule sets forth standards related to EHB 
and AV consistent with the Affordable Care Act. HHS believes that the 
provisions that are included in this rule are necessary to fulfill the 
Secretary's obligations under sections 1302 and 1311 of the Affordable 
Care Act. Establishing specific approaches for defining EHB and 
calculating AV will bring needed clarity for States, issuers, and other 
stakeholders. Absent the provisions outlined in this rule, States, 
issuers, and consumers would face significant uncertainty about how 
coverage of EHB should be defined and evaluated. Similarly, failing to 
specify a method for calculating AV could result in significant 
inconsistency across States and issuers. Finally, establishing a clear 
timeline for potential qualified health plans to become accredited is 
essential to successful issuer participation in Federally-facilitated 
Exchanges.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The provisions that are included in this 
rule are necessary to implement the requirements of title I of the 
Affordable Care Act.
    Alternatives: None. This is a statutory requirement.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: HHS anticipates that the provisions 
of this rule will assure consumers that they will have health insurance 
coverage for essential health benefits, and significantly increase 
consumers' ability to compare health plans, make an informed selection 
by promoting consistency across covered benefits and levels of 
coverage, and more efficiently purchase coverage. This rule ensures 
that consumers can shop on the basis of issues that are important to 
them such as price, network physicians, and quality, and be confident 
that the plan they choose does not include unexpected coverage gaps, 
like hidden benefit exclusions. It also allows for some flexibility for 
plans to promote innovation in benefit design. HHS anticipates that the 
provisions of this proposed regulation will likely result in increased 
costs related to increased utilization of health care services by 
people receiving coverage for previously uncovered benefits.
    Risks: If this regulation is not published, the Exchanges will not 
become operational by January 1, 2014, thereby violating the statute.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice..............................   09/14/11  76 FR 56767
Comment Period End..................   10/31/11
NPRM................................   11/26/12  77 FR 70644
NPRM Comment Period End.............   12/26/12
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions, 
Organizations.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in EO 13132.
    Agency Contact: Leigha Basini, Health Insurance Specialist, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & 
Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244, Phone: 
301 492-4307, Email: leigha.basini@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AR03

HHS--CMS

43. PART II--Regulatory Provisions To Promote Program Efficiency, 
Transparency, and Burden Reduction (CMS-3267-P)

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major status under 5 U.S.C. 801 
is undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 1302; 42 U.S.C. 1395hh; 42 U.S.C. 1395rr
    CFR Citation: 42 CFR part 482; 42 CFR part 485; 42 CFR part 491; 42 
CFR part 483; 42 CFR part 416; 42 CFR part 486; 42 CFR part 488; 42 CFR 
part 493.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule identifies and proposes reforms in 
Medicare regulations that CMS has identified as unnecessary, obsolete, 
or excessively burdensome on health care providers and beneficiaries. 
This proposed rule would increase the ability of health care 
professionals to devote resources to improving patient care, by

[[Page 1379]]

eliminating or reducing requirements that impede quality patient care 
or that divert resources away from providing high quality patient care. 
This is one of several rules that CMS is proposing to achieve 
regulatory reforms under Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation 
and Regulatory Review and the Department's Plan for Retrospective 
Review of Existing Rules.
    Statement of Need: In Executive Order 13563, the President 
recognized the importance of a streamlined, effective, efficient 
regulatory framework designed to promote economic growth, innovation, 
job creation, and competitiveness. To achieve a more robust and 
effective regulatory framework, the President has directed each 
executive agency to establish a plan for ongoing retrospective review 
of existing significant regulations to identify those rules that can be 
eliminated as obsolete, unnecessary, burdensome, or counterproductive 
or that can be modified to be more effective, efficient, flexible, and 
streamlined. This rule continues our direct response to the President's 
instructions in Executive Order 13563 by reducing outmoded or 
unnecessarily burdensome rules, and thereby increasing the ability of 
health care entities to devote resources to providing high quality 
patient care.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The provisions that are included in this 
rule are necessary to implement the requirements of Executive Order 
13563, ``Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review.''
    Alternatives: To date, nearly 90 specific reforms have been 
identified and scheduled for action. These reforms impact hospitals, 
physicians, home health agencies, ambulance providers, clinical labs, 
skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, managed care 
plans, Medicare Advantage organizations, and States. Many of these 
reforms will be included in rules that relate to particular categories 
of regulations or types of providers. Other reforms are being 
implemented without the need for regulations. This rule includes 
reforms that do not fit directly in other rules scheduled for 
publication.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This rule makes several changes that 
create measurable monetary savings for providers and suppliers, while 
others create less tangible savings of time and administrative burden. 
We anticipate that the provider industry and health professionals will 
welcome the changes and reductions in burden. We also expect that 
health professionals will experience increased efficiencies and 
resources to appropriately devote to improving patient care, increasing 
accessibility to care, and reducing associated health care costs.
    Risks: If this regulation is not published, outdated and obsolete 
regulations would remain in place, thereby violating the Executive 
Order. Proposals to remove excessively burdensome requirements and 
increased efficiencies in patient care would not be achieved.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   12/00/12
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 
13563 with small business burden reduction.
    Agency Contact: Lauren Oviatt, Health Insurance Specialist, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & 
Medicaid Services, Office of Clinical Standards and Quality, Mailstop 
S3-23-27, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850, Phone: 410 
786-4683, Email: lauren.oviatt@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AR49

HHS--CMS

44.  Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (CMS-9964-P)

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-148, secs 1341 to 1343
    CFR Citation: 45 CFR part 153; 45 CFR part 155.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, January 1, 2014.
    Abstract: Under the Affordable Care Act, this proposed rule would 
establish parameters of the risk adjustment, reinsurance, risk 
corridors, advanced premium tax credit, and cost-sharing reduction 
programs.
    Statement of Need: This rule would provide additional guidance for 
several programs including risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk 
corridors. The purpose of these programs is to protect health insurance 
issuers from the negative effects of adverse selection and to protect 
consumers from increases in premiums due to uncertainty for issuers. 
The rule would also provide new information on the cost-sharing 
reductions (CSRs) and advanced premium tax credits (APTCs) programs. 
These programs provide financial support for purchasing insurance and 
increase access to care for individuals through the Affordable 
Insurance Exchanges. They also provide assistance on user fees and 
administrative fees used to implement the Federally-facilitated 
Exchange and the risk adjustment and reinsurance programs.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The provisions that are included in this 
rule are necessary to implement the requirements of sections 1341, 
1342, 1343, 1401, 1402, 1411, and 1412 of the Affordable Care Act.
    Alternatives: None. This is a statutory requirement.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Payments through reinsurance, risk 
adjustment, and risk corridors would reduce the increased risk of 
financial loss that health insurance issuers might otherwise expect to 
incur in 2014 due to market reforms such as guaranteed issue and the 
elimination of medical underwriting. These payments would reduce the 
risk to the issuer and the issuer could pass on a reduced risk premium 
to enrollees. Administrative costs would vary across States and health 
insurance issuers depending on the sophistication of technical 
infrastructure and prior experience with data collection and risk 
adjustment. States and issuers that already have systems in place for 
data collection and reporting would have reduced administrative costs.
    Federal financial assistance for enrollees through the CSR and APTC 
programs would enable many low- and moderate-income individuals to 
purchase health insurance. The user fees and administrative fees would 
be charged on a per capita basis to issuers of certain plans. Those 
fees would be used to administer the Federally-facilitated Exchange and 
the HHS-operated risk adjustment and reinsurance programs.
    Risks: If this regulation is not published, the Exchanges may be at 
risk for not becoming fully operational by January 1, 2014, thereby 
delaying the benefits of health insurance coverage to millions of 
Americans.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   12/07/12  77 FR 73118
NPRM Comment Period End.............   12/31/12
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, State.
    Agency Contact: Sharon Arnold, Acting Director, Payment Policy and 
Financial Management Group,

[[Page 1380]]

Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & 
Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244, Phone: 
301 492-4415, Email: sharon.arnold@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AR51

HHS--CMS

45.  Changes to the Hospital Inpatient and Long-Term Care 
Prospective Payment System for FY 2014 (CMS-1599-P)

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Sec 1886(d) of the Social Security Act
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: NPRM, Statutory, April 1, 2013. Final, Statutory, 
August 1, 2013.
    Abstract: This annual major proposed rule would revise the Medicare 
hospital inpatient and long-term care hospital prospective payment 
systems for operating and capital-related costs. This proposed rule 
would implement changes arising from our continuing experience with 
these systems.
    Statement of Need: CMS annually revises the Medicare hospital 
inpatient prospective payment systems (IPPS) for operating and capital-
related costs to implement changes arising from our continuing 
experience with these systems. In addition, we describe the proposed 
changes to the amounts and factors used to determine the rates for 
Medicare hospital inpatient services for operating costs and capital-
related costs. Also, CMS annually updates the payment rates for the 
Medicare prospective payment system (PPS) for inpatient hospital 
services provided by long-term care hospitals (LTCHs). The rule 
solicits comments on the proposed IPPS and LTCH payment rates and new 
policies. CMS will issue a final rule containing the payment rates for 
the FY 2014 IPPS and LTCHs at least 60 days before October 1, 2013.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Social Security Act (the Act) sets 
forth a system of payment for the operating costs of acute care 
hospital inpatient stays under Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) 
based on prospectively set rates. The Act requires the Secretary to pay 
for the capital-related costs of hospital inpatient and Long Term Care 
stays under a PPS. Under these systems, Medicare payment for hospital 
inpatient and Long Term Care operating and capital-related costs is 
made at predetermined, specific rates for each hospital discharge. 
These changes would be applicable to services furnished on or after 
October 1, 2013.
    Alternatives: None. This implements a statutory requirement.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Total expenditures will be adjusted 
for FY 2014.
    Risks: If this regulation is not published timely, inpatient 
hospital and LTCH services will not be paid appropriately beginning 
October 1, 2013.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   04/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in EO 13132.
    Agency Contact: Brian Slater, Health Insurance Specialist, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & 
Medicaid Services, Mail Stop C4-07-07, 7500 Security Boulevard, 
Baltimore, MD 21244, Phone: 410 786-5229, Email: 
brian.slater@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AR53

HHS--CMS

46.  Changes to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment 
System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System for CY 2014 (CMS-
1601-P)

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Sec 1833 of the Social Security Act
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, November 1, 2013.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would revise the Medicare hospital 
outpatient prospective payment system to implement applicable statutory 
requirements and changes arising from our continuing experience with 
this system. The proposed rule also describes changes to the amounts 
and factors used to determine payment rates for services. In addition, 
the rule proposes changes to the Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment 
System list of services and rates.
    Statement of Need: Medicare pays over 4,000 hospitals for 
outpatient department services under the hospital outpatient 
prospective payment system (OPPS). The OPPS is based on groups of 
clinically similar services called ambulatory payment classification 
groups (APCs). CMS annually revises the APC payment amounts based on 
the most recent claims data, proposes new payment policies, and updates 
the payments for inflation using the hospital operating market basket. 
The rule solicits comments on the proposed OPPS payment rates and new 
policies. Medicare pays roughly 5,000 Ambulatory Surgical Centers 
(ASCs) under the ASC payment system. CMS annually revises the payment 
under the ASC payment system, proposes new policies, and updates 
payments for inflation. CMS will issue a final rule containing the 
payment rates for the 2014 OPPS and ASC payment system at least 60 days 
before January 1, 2014.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 1833 of the Social Security Act 
establishes Medicare payment for hospital outpatient services and ASC 
services. The rule revises the Medicare hospital OPPS and ASC payment 
system to implement applicable statutory requirements. In addition, the 
rule describes changes to the outpatient APC system, relative payment 
weights, outlier adjustments, and other amounts and factors used to 
determine the payment rates for Medicare hospital outpatient services 
paid under the prospective payment system as well as changes to the 
rates and services paid under the ASC payment system. These changes 
would be applicable to services furnished on or after January 1, 2014.
    Alternatives: None. This is a statutory requirement.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Total expenditures will be adjusted 
for CY 2014.
    Risks: If this regulation is not published timely, outpatient 
hospital and ASC services will not be paid appropriately beginning 
January 1, 2014.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   06/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Marjorie Baldo, Health Insurance Specialist, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & 
Medicaid Services, Center for Medicare Management, 7500 Security 
Boulevard, C4-03-06, Baltimore, MD 21244, Phone: 410 786-

[[Page 1381]]

4617, Email: marjorie.baldo@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AR54

HHS--CMS

47.  Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee 
Schedule and Medicare Part B for CY 2014 (CMS-1600-P)

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Social Security Act, secs 1102, 1871, 1848
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, November 1, 2013.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would revise payment polices under the 
Medicare physician fee schedule, and make other policy changes to 
payment under Medicare Part B. These changes would be applicable to 
services furnished on or after January 1 annually.
    Statement of Need: The statute requires that we establish each 
year, by regulation, payment amounts for all physicians' services 
furnished in all fee schedule areas. This rule would implement changes 
affecting Medicare Part B payment to physicians and other Part B 
suppliers. The final rule has a statutory publication date of November 
1, 2013, and an implementation date of January 1, 2014.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 1848 of the Social Security Act 
(the Act) establishes the payment for physician services provided under 
Medicare. Section 1848 of the Act imposes a deadline of no later than 
November 1 for publication of the final rule or final physician fee 
schedule.
    Alternatives: None. This implements a statutory requirement.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Total expenditures will be adjusted 
for CY 2014.
    Risks: If this regulation is not published timely, physician 
services will not be paid appropriately, beginning January 1, 2014.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   06/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Christina Ritter, Director, Division of 
Practitioner Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers 
for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Mail Stop C4-03-06, 7500 Security 
Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244, Phone: 410 786-4636, Email: 
christina.ritter@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AR56

HHS--CMS

48.  Prospective Payment System for Federally Qualified Health 
Centers (FQHCS) (CMS-1443-P) (Section 610 Review)

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-148, sec 10501
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, October 1, 2014.
    Abstract: The Affordable Care Act amends the current Medicare FQHC 
payment policy by requiring the establishment of a new payment system, 
effective with cost reporting periods beginning on or after October 1, 
2014. This rule proposes the establishment of the new prospective 
payment system.
    Statement of Need: FQHCs include providers such as community health 
centers, public housing centers, outpatient health programs funded by 
the Indian Health Service, and programs serving migrants and the 
homeless. The main purpose of the FQHC program is to enhance the 
provision of primary care services in underserved urban and rural 
communities. CMS is required by statute to develop a prospective 
payment system for FQHCs effective October 1, 2014.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Sections 5502 and 10501 of the Affordable 
Care Act.
    Alternatives: None. This implements a statutory requirement.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Total expenditures will be adjusted 
for fiscal year 2015.
    Risks: If this regulation is not published timely, FQHC services 
will not be paid appropriately beginning October 1, 2014.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   06/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Governmental Jurisdictions, Organizations.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Sarah Harding, Health Insurance Specialist, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & 
Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mail Stop C4-01-26, Windsor 
Mill, MD 21244, Phone: 410 786-4001, Email: sarah.harding@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AR62

HHS--ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (ACF)

Proposed Rule Stage

49. Child Care and Development Fund Reforms To Support Child 
Development and Working Families

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: sec 658E and other provisions of the Child Care 
and Development Block Grant Act of 1990, as amended
    CFR Citation: 45 CFR part 98.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would provide the first comprehensive 
update of Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) regulations since 
1998. It would make changes in four key areas: (1) Improving health and 
safety; (2) improving the quality of child care; (3) establishing 
family-friendly policies; and (4) strengthening program integrity. The 
rule seeks to retain much of the flexibility afforded to States, 
Territories, and Tribes consistent with the nature of a block grant. 
The changes would update the regulation to reflect: Current research 
and knowledge about the early care and education sector; state 
innovations in policies and practices over the past decade; and 
increased recognition that high quality child care both supports work 
for low-income parents and promotes children's learning and healthy 
development.
    Statement of Need: The CCDF program has far-reaching implications 
for America's poorest children. It provides child care assistance to 
1.7 million children from nearly 1 million low-income working families 
and families who are attending school or job training. Half of the 
children served are living at or below poverty level. In addition, 
children who receive CCDF are cared for alongside children who do not 
receive CCDF, by approximately 570,000 participating child care 
providers, some of whom lack basic assurances needed to ensure children 
are safe, healthy, and learning.
    Since 1996, a body of research has demonstrated the importance of 
the early years on brain development and has shown that high quality, 
consistent child care can positively impact later success in school and 
life. This is especially true for low-income children

[[Page 1382]]

who face a school readiness and achievement gap and can benefit the 
most from high quality early learning environments. In light of this 
research, many States, Territories, and tribes, working collaboratively 
with the Federal Government, have taken important steps over the last 
15 years to make the CCDF program more child-focused and family-
friendly; however, implementation of these evidence-informed practices 
is uneven across the country and critical gaps remain.
    This regulatory action is needed in order to increase 
accountability in the CCDF program by ensuring that all children 
receiving federally-funded child care assistance are in safe, quality 
programs that both support their parent's labor market participation, 
and help children develop the tools and skills they need to reach their 
full potential.
    A major focus of this proposed rule is to raise the bar on quality 
by establishing a floor of health and safety standards for child care 
paid for with Federal funds. National surveys have demonstrated that 
most parents logically assume that their child care providers have had 
a background check, have had training in child health and safety, and 
are regularly monitored. However, State policies surrounding the 
training and oversight of child care providers vary widely. In some 
States, many children receiving CCDF subsidies are cared for by 
providers that have little to no oversight with respect to compliance 
with basic standards designed to safeguard children's well-being, such 
as first-aid and safe sleep practices. This can leave children in 
unsafe conditions, even as their care is being funded with public 
dollars.
    In addition, the proposed rule empowers all parents who choose 
child care, regardless of whether they receive a Federal subsidy, with 
better information to make the best choices for their children. This 
includes providing parents with information about the quality of child 
care providers and making information about providers' compliance with 
health and safety regulations more transparent so that parents can be 
aware of the safety track record of providers when it's time to choose 
child care.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This proposed regulation is being issued 
under the authority granted to the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services by the CCDBG Act (42 U.S.C. 9858, et seq.) and Section 418 of 
the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 618).
    Alternatives: The Administration for Children and Families 
considered a range of approaches to improve early childhood care and 
education, including administrative and regulatory action. ACF has 
taken administrative actions to recommend that States adopt stronger 
health and safety requirements and provided technical assistance to 
States. Despite these efforts to assist States in making voluntary 
reforms, unacceptable health and safety lapses remain. An alternative 
to this rule would be to take no regulatory action or to limit the 
nature of the required standards and the degree to which those 
standards are prescriptive. ACF believes this rulemaking is the 
preferable alternative to ensure children's health and safety and 
promote their learning and development.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Changes in this proposed rule 
directly benefit children and parents who use CCDF assistance to pay 
for child care. The 1.7 million children who are in child care funded 
by CCDF would have stronger protections for their health and safety, 
which addresses every parent's paramount concern. All children in the 
care of a participating CCDF provider will be safer because that 
provider is more knowledgeable about health and safety issues. In 
addition, the families of the 12 million children who are served in 
child care will benefit from having clear, accessible information about 
the safety compliance records and quality indicators of providers 
available to them as they make critical choices about where their 
children will be cared for while they work. Provisions also will 
benefit child care providers by encouraging States to invest in high 
quality child care providers and professional development and to take 
into account quality when they determine child care payment rates.
    A primary reason for revising the CCDF regulations is to better 
reflect current State and local practices to improve the quality of 
child care. Therefore, there are a significant number of States, 
Territories, and Tribes that have already implemented many of these 
policies. The cost of implementing the changes in this proposed rule 
will vary depending on a State's specific situation. ACF does not 
believe the costs of this proposed regulatory action would be 
economically significant and that the tremendous benefits to low-income 
children justify costs associated with this proposed rule.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   12/00/12
NPRM Comment Period End.............   02/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: State, Tribal.
    Agency Contact: Andrew Williams, Policy Division Director, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children 
and Families, Office of Child Care, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., 
Washington, DC 20447, Phone: 202 401-4795, Fax: 202 690-5600, Email: 
andrew.williams@acf.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0970-AC53

BILLING CODE 4150-24-P

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS)

Fall 2012 Statement of Regulatory Priorities

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS or Department) was created 
in 2003 pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-
296. DHS has a vital mission: To secure the Nation from the many 
threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 225,000 
employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to 
emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility 
inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear--keeping 
America safe.
    Our mission gives us six main areas of responsibility:
    1. Prevent Terrorism and Enhance Security,
    2. Secure and Manage Our Borders,
    3. Enforce and Administer our Immigration Laws,
    4. Safeguard and Secure Cyberspace,
    5. Ensure Resilience to Disasters, and
    6. Mature and Strengthen DHS.
    In achieving these goals, we are continually strengthening our 
partnerships with communities, first responders, law enforcement, and 
government agencies--at the State, local, tribal, Federal, and 
international levels. We are accelerating the deployment of science, 
technology, and innovation in order to make America more secure, and we 
are becoming leaner, smarter, and more efficient, ensuring that every 
security resource is used as effectively as possible. For a further 
discussion of our main areas of responsibility, see the DHS Web site at 
http://www.dhs.gov/our-mission.
    The regulations we have summarized below in the Department's fall 
2012 regulatory plan and in the agenda support the Department's 
responsibility areas listed above. These regulations

[[Page 1383]]

will improve the Department's ability to accomplish its mission.
    The regulations we have identified in this year's fall regulatory 
plan continue to address legislative initiatives including, but not 
limited to, the following acts: The Implementing Recommendations of the 
9/11 Commission Act of 2008 (9/11 Act), Public Law 110-53 (Aug. 3, 
2007); the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 
(PKEMRA), Public Law 109-295 (Oct. 4, 2006); the Consolidated Natural 
Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA), Public Law 110-220 (May 7, 2008); the 
Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 (SAFE Port Act), 
Public Law 109-347 (Oct. 13, 2006); and the Consolidated Security, 
Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, Public 
Law 110-329 (Sep. 30, 2008).
    DHS strives for organizational excellence and uses a centralized 
and unified approach in managing its regulatory resources. The Office 
of the General Counsel manages the Department's regulatory program, 
including the agenda and regulatory plan. In addition, DHS senior 
leadership reviews each significant regulatory project to ensure that 
the project fosters and supports the Department's mission.
    The Department is committed to ensuring that all of its regulatory 
initiatives are aligned with its guiding principles to protect civil 
rights and civil liberties, integrate our actions, build coalitions and 
partnerships, develop human resources, innovate, and be accountable to 
the American public.
    DHS is also committed to the principles described in Executive 
Orders 13563 and 12866 (as amended). Both Executive orders direct 
agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory 
alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory 
approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, 
environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, 
and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of 
quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing 
rules, and of promoting flexibility.
    Finally, the Department values public involvement in the 
development of its regulatory plan, agenda, and regulations, and takes 
particular concern with the impact its rules have on small businesses. 
DHS and each of its components continue to emphasize the use of plain 
language in our notices and rulemaking documents to promote a better 
understanding of regulations and increased public participation in the 
Department's rulemakings.

Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

    Pursuant to Executive Order 13563 ``Improving Regulation and 
Regulatory Review'' (Jan. 18, 2011), DHS identified the following 
regulatory actions as associated with retrospective review and 
analysis. Some of the regulatory actions on the below list may be 
completed actions, which do not appear in The Regulatory Plan. You can 
find more information about these completed rulemakings in past 
publications of the Unified Agenda (search the Completed Actions 
sections) on www.reginfo.gov. Some of the entries on this list, 
however, are active rulemakings. You can find entries for these 
rulemakings on www.regulations.gov.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  RIN                                 Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1615-AB71.............................  Electronic Communications;
                                         Registration Requirement for
                                         Petitioners Seeking to File H-
                                         1B Petitions.
1615-AB99.............................  Provisional Unlawful Presence
                                         Waivers of Inadmissibility for
                                         Certain Immediate Relatives.
1615-AB92.............................  Employment Authorization for
                                         Certain H-4 Spouses.
1615-AB95.............................  Immigration Benefits Business
                                         Transformation: Nonimmigrants;
                                         Student and Exchange Visitor
                                         Program.
1625-AA16.............................  Implementation of the Amendments
                                         to the International Convention
                                         on Standards of Training,
                                         Certification, and Watchkeeping
                                         for Seafarers (STCW) and
                                         Changes to Domestic
                                         Endorsements.
1625-AB38.............................  Update to Maritime Security
                                         Regulations.
1625-AB80.............................  Elimination of Transportation
                                         Worker Identification
                                         Credential (TWIC) for Certain
                                         Mariner Populations.
                                         (Implementation of Section 809
                                         of the 2010 Coast Guard
                                         Authorization Act).
1651-AA96.............................  Definition of Form I-94 to
                                         Include Electronic Format.
1651-AA93.............................  Closing of the Port of
                                         Whitetail, Montana.
1651-AA94.............................  Internet Publication of
                                         Administrative Seizure/
                                         Forfeiture Notices.
1652-AA43.............................  Modification of the Aviation
                                         Security Infrastructure Fee
                                         (ASIF).
1652-AA61.............................  Revisions to the Alien Flight
                                         Student Program (AFSP)
                                         Regulations.
1653-AA44.............................  Amendment to Accommodate Process
                                         Changes with the Student and
                                         Exchange Visitor Information
                                         System (SEVIS) II.
1660-AA75.............................  Increased Federal Cost Share and
                                         Reimbursement for Force Account
                                         Labor for Public for Public
                                         Assistance Debris Removal.
1660-XXXX.............................  State Standard and Enhanced
                                         Mitigation Plan.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation

    Pursuant to Sections 3 and 4(b) of Executive Order 13609 
``Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation'' (May 1, 2012), DHS 
has identified the following regulatory actions that have significant 
international impacts. Some of the regulatory actions on the below list 
may be completed actions. You can find more information about these 
completed rulemakings in past publications of the Unified Agenda 
(search the Completed Actions sections) on www.reginfo.gov. Some of the 
entries on this list, however, are active rulemakings. You can find 
entries for these rulemakings on www.regulations.gov.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  RIN                                 Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1625-AB38.............................  Updates to Maritime Security.
1651-AA70.............................  Importer Security Filing and
                                         Additional Carrier
                                         Requirements.
1651-AA72.............................  Changes to the Visa Waiver
                                         Program To Implement the
                                         Electronic System for Travel
                                         Authorization (ESTA) Program.
1651-AA98.............................  Amendments to Importer Security
                                         Filing and Additional Carrier
                                         Requirements.
1651-AA96.............................  Definition of Form I-94 to
                                         Include Electronic Format.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 1384]]

    DHS participates in some international regulatory cooperation 
activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to significant 
regulations. For example, the Coast Guard is the primary U.S. 
representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and 
plays a major leadership role in establishing international standards 
in the global maritime community. IMO's work to establish international 
standards for maritime safety, security, and environmental protection 
closely aligns with Coast Guard regulations. As an IMO member nation, 
the U.S. is obliged to incorporate IMO treaty provisions not already 
part of U.S. domestic policy into regulations for those vessels 
affected by the international standards. Consequently, the Coast Guard 
initiates rulemakings to harmonize with IMO international standards 
such as treaty provisions and the codes, conventions, resolutions, and 
circulars that supplement them.
    Also, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper created the Canada-
US Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) in February 2011. The RCC is an 
initiative between both federal governments aimed at pursuing greater 
alignment in regulation, increasing mutual recognition of regulatory 
practices and establishing smarter, more effective and less burdensome 
regulations in specific sectors. The Canada-US RCC initiative arose out 
of the recognition that high level, focused, and sustained effort would 
be required to reach a more substantive level of regulatory 
cooperation. Since its creation in early 2011, USCG has participated in 
stakeholder consultations with their Transport Canada counterparts and 
the public, drafted items for inclusion in the RCC Action Plan, and 
detailed work plans for each included Action Plan item.
    The fall 2012 regulatory plan for DHS includes regulations from DHS 
components--including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 
(USCIS), the U.S. Coast Guard (Coast Guard), U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 
and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which have active 
regulatory programs. In addition, it includes regulations from the 
Department's major offices and directorates such as the National 
Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). Below is a discussion of 
the fall 2012 regulatory plan for DHS regulatory components, as well as 
for DHS offices and directorates.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers 
immigration benefits and services while protecting and securing our 
homeland. USCIS has a strong commitment to welcoming individuals who 
seek entry through the U.S. immigration system, providing clear and 
useful information regarding the immigration process, promoting the 
values of citizenship, and assisting those in need of humanitarian 
protection. Based on a comprehensive review of the planned USCIS 
regulatory agenda, USCIS will promulgate several rulemakings to 
directly support these commitments and goals.

Regulations To Facilitate Retention of High-Skilled Workers

    Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses. USCIS 
will propose to amend its regulations to extend eligibility for 
employment authorization to H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B 
nonimmigrants who have begun the process of seeking lawful permanent 
resident status through employment and have extended their authorized 
period of admission or ``stay'' in the United States under section 
104(c) or 106(a) of Public Law 106-313, also known as the American 
Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21). 
Allowing the eligible class of H-4 dependent spouses to work encourages 
professionals with high-demand skills to remain in the country and help 
spur innovation and growth of U.S. businesses.
    Enhancing Opportunities for High-Skilled Workers. USCIS will 
propose to amend its regulations affecting high-skilled workers within 
the nonimmigrant classifications for specialty occupation professionals 
from Chile and Singapore (H-1B1) and from Australia (E-3), to include 
these classifications in the list of classes of aliens authorized for 
employment incident to status with a specific employer, to extend 
automatic employment authorization extensions with pending extension of 
stay requests, and to update filing procedures. USCIS will also propose 
amendments related to the immigration classification for employment-
based first preference (EB-1) outstanding professors or researchers to 
allow the submission of comparable evidence. These changes will 
encourage and facilitate the employment and retention of these high-
skilled workers.

Improvements to the Immigration System

    Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility for 
Certain Immediate Relatives. USCIS will amend its regulations to allow 
certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, who are physically 
present in the United States and must seek immigrant visas through 
consular processing abroad, to apply for provisional unlawful presence 
waivers under section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act of 1952; 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(v) while in the United 
States. This regulatory change would significantly reduce the length of 
time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who 
must use the consular process abroad. It also creates greater 
efficiencies for both the U.S. Government and applicants.
    Regulations Related to Transformation. USCIS is currently engaged 
in a multi-year transformation effort to create a more efficient, 
effective, and customer-focused organization by improving our business 
processes and technology. In the coming years, USCIS will publish 
regulations to facilitate that effort, including regulations that would 
accomplish the following changes: Remove references to form numbers, 
form titles, expired regulatory provisions, and descriptions of 
internal procedure; mandate electronic filing in certain circumstances; 
and comprehensively reorganize 8 CFR part 214.
    Requirements for Filing Motions and Administrative Appeals. USCIS 
will propose to revise the procedural regulations governing appeals and 
motions to reopen or reconsider before its Administrative Appeals 
Office, and to require that applicants and petitioners exhaust 
administrative remedies before seeking judicial review of an 
unfavorable decision. The changes proposed by the rule will streamline 
the procedures before the Administrative Appeals Office and improve the 
efficiency of the adjudication process.
    Regulations Related to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana 
Islands. In 2009, USCIS issued three regulations (two interim final 
rules and one notice of proposed rulemaking) to implement the extension 
of U.S. immigration law to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands 
(CNMI), as required under title VII of the Consolidated Natural 
Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA). During fiscal year 2011, USCIS issued two 
final rules finalizing the interim final rules from 2009 related to the 
extension of the U.S. immigration

[[Page 1385]]

law to the CNMI. In fiscal year 2013, USCIS plans to issue with the 
Department of Justice (DOJ) a joint final rule titled ``Application of 
Immigration Regulations to the CNMI.'' This regulation would implement 
the applicable CNRA provisions to extend U.S. immigration law to the 
CNMI.

Regulatory Changes Involving Humanitarian Benefits

    Asylum and Withholding Definitions. USCIS plans a regulatory 
proposal to amend the regulations that govern asylum eligibility and 
refugee status determinations. The amendments are expected to revise 
the portions of the existing regulations that deal with determinations 
of whether suffered or feared persecution is on account of a protected 
ground, the requirements for establishing that the government is unable 
or unwilling to protect the applicant, and the definition of membership 
in a particular social group. This proposal would provide greater 
clarity and consistency in this important area of the law.
    Exception to the Persecution Bar for Asylum, Refugee, or Temporary 
Protected Status, and Withholding of Removal. In a joint rulemaking, 
DHS and DOJ will propose amendments to existing DHS and DOJ regulations 
to resolve ambiguity in the statutory language precluding eligibility 
for asylum, refugee resettlement, temporary protected status, and 
withholding or removal of an applicant who ordered, incited, assisted, 
or otherwise participated in the persecution of others. The proposed 
rule would provide a limited exception for persecutory actions taken by 
the applicant under duress and would clarify the required level of the 
applicant's knowledge of the persecution.
    ``T'' and ``U'' Nonimmigrants. USCIS plans additional regulatory 
initiatives related to T nonimmigrants (victims of trafficking), U 
nonimmigrants (victims of criminal activity), and adjustment of status 
for T and U nonimmigrants to lawful permanent resident status. USCIS 
hopes to provide greater consistency in eligibility, application and 
procedural requirements for these vulnerable groups, their advocates, 
and the community through these regulatory initiatives. These 
rulemakings will contain provisions to adjust documentary requirements 
for this vulnerable population and provide greater clarity to the law 
enforcement community.
    Application of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims 
Protection Act of 2008. In a joint rulemaking, DHS and DOJ will propose 
amendments to implement the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims 
Protection Act of 2008 (TVPRA). This statute specified that USCIS has 
initial jurisdiction over an asylum application filed by an 
unaccompanied alien child in removal proceedings before an immigration 
judge. The agencies implemented this legislation with interim 
procedures that the TVPRA mandated within 90 days after enactment. The 
proposed rule would amend both agencies' regulations to finalize the 
procedures to determine when an alien child is unaccompanied and how 
jurisdiction would be transferred to USCIS for initial adjudication of 
the child's asylum application. In addition, this rule would address 
adjustment of status for special immigrant juveniles and voluntary 
departure for unaccompanied alien children in removal proceedings.

United States Coast Guard

    The U.S. Coast Guard (Coast Guard) is a military, multi-mission, 
maritime service of the United States and the only military 
organization within DHS. It is the principal Federal agency responsible 
for maritime safety, security, and stewardship and delivers daily value 
to the Nation through multi-mission resources, authorities, and 
capabilities.
    Effective governance in the maritime domain hinges upon an 
integrated approach to safety, security, and stewardship. The Coast 
Guard's policies and capabilities are integrated and interdependent, 
delivering results through a network of enduring partnerships. The 
Coast Guard's ability to field versatile capabilities and highly-
trained personnel is one of the U.S. Government's most significant and 
important strengths in the maritime environment.
    America is a maritime nation, and our security, resilience, and 
economic prosperity are intrinsically linked to the oceans. Safety, 
efficient waterways, and freedom of transit on the high seas are 
essential to our well-being. The Coast Guard is leaning forward, poised 
to meet the demands of the modern maritime environment. The Coast Guard 
creates value for the public through solid prevention and response 
efforts. Activities involving oversight and regulation, enforcement, 
maritime presence, and public and private partnership foster increased 
maritime safety, security, and stewardship.
    The statutory responsibilities of the Coast Guard include ensuring 
marine safety and security, preserving maritime mobility, protecting 
the marine environment, enforcing U.S. laws and international treaties, 
and performing search and rescue. The Coast Guard supports the 
Department's overarching goals of mobilizing and organizing our Nation 
to secure the homeland from terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and 
other emergencies. The rulemaking projects identified for the Coast 
Guard in the Unified Agenda, and the rules appearing in the fall 2012 
Regulatory Plan below, contribute to the fulfillment of those 
responsibilities and reflect our regulatory policies.
    Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC); Card Reader 
Requirements. The Coast Guard is proposing to establish electronic card 
reader requirements for maritime facilities and vessels to be used in 
combination with the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) 
TWIC. Congress enacted several statutory requirements within the 
Security and Accountability For Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006 
pertaining to TWIC readers, including a requirement to evaluate TSA's 
final pilot program report as part of the TWIC reader rulemaking. 
During the rulemaking process, the Coast Guard is taking into account 
the final pilot data and the various conditions in which TWIC readers 
may be employed. For example, the Coast Guard is considering the types 
of vessels and facilities that will use TWIC readers, locations of 
secure and restricted areas, operational constraints, and need for 
accessibility. This rulemaking will also address recordkeeping 
requirements, amendments to security plans, and the requirement for 
data exchanges (i.e., Canceled Card List) between TSA and vessel or 
facility owners/operators.
    Implementation of the 1995 Amendments to the International 
Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping 
(STCW) for Seafarers, 1978. The Coast Guard proposed to amend its 
regulations to implement changes to an interim rule published on June 
26, 1997. These proposed amendments go beyond changes found in the 
interim rule and seek to more fully incorporate the requirements of the 
STCW in the requirements for the credentialing of U.S. merchant 
mariners. The proposed changes are primarily substantive and: (1) Are 
necessary to continue to give full and complete effect to the STCW 
Convention; (2) incorporate lessons learned from implementation of the 
STCW through the interim rule and through policy letters and Navigation 
and Vessel Inspection Circulars; and (3) attempt to clarify regulations 
that have generated confusion. This proposal published as a 
Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) on

[[Page 1386]]

August 1, 2011. The Coast Guard has reviewed and analyzed comments 
received on that SNPRM, and intends to publish a final rule complying 
with the requirements of the newly amended STCW Convention. DHS 
included this rulemaking in the DHS Final Plan for the Retrospective 
Review of Existing Regulations, which DHS released on August 22, 2011.
    Vessel Requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure, and 
Automatic Identification System. The Coast Guard intends to expand the 
applicability of notice of arrival and departure (NOAD) and automatic 
identification system (AIS) requirements to include more commercial 
vessels. This rule, once final, would expand the applicability of 
notice of arrival (NOA) requirements to include additional vessels, 
establish a separate requirement for vessels to submit notices of 
departure (NOD) when departing for a foreign port or place, set forth a 
mandatory method for electronic submission of NOA and NOD, and modify 
related reporting content, timeframes, and procedures. This rule would 
also extend the applicability of AIS requirements beyond Vessel Traffic 
Service (VTS) areas to all U.S. navigable waters and require additional 
commercial vessels install and use AIS. These changes are intended to 
improve navigation safety, enhance our ability to identify and track 
vessels, and heighten the Coast Guard's overall maritime domain 
awareness, thus helping the Coast Guard address threats to maritime 
transportation safety and security and mitigate the possible harm from 
such threats.
    Offshore Supply Vessels of 6000 or more GT ITC. The Coast Guard 
Authorization Act of 2010 (the Act) removed the size limit on offshore 
supply vessels (OSVs) and directed the Coast Guard to issue, as soon as 
practicable, an interim rule to implement section 617 of the Act. As 
required by the Act, this interim rule is intended to provide for the 
safe carriage of oil, hazardous substances, and individuals in addition 
to crew on OSVs of at least 6000 gross tonnage as measured under the 
International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships (6,000 GT 
ITC). In developing the regulations the Coast Guard is taking into 
account the characteristics of offshore supply vessels, their methods 
of operation, and their service in support of exploration, 
exploitation, or production of offshore mineral or energy resources.

United States Customs and Border Protection

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the federal agency 
principally responsible for the security of our Nation's borders, both 
at and between the ports of entry and at official crossings into the 
United States. CBP must accomplish its border security and enforcement 
mission without stifling the flow of legitimate trade and travel. The 
primary mission of CBP is its homeland security mission, that is, to 
prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United 
States. An important aspect of this priority mission involves improving 
security at our borders and ports of entry, but it also means extending 
our zone of security beyond our physical borders.
    CBP is also responsible for administering laws concerning the 
importation into the United States of goods, and enforcing the laws 
concerning the entry of persons into the United States. This includes 
regulating and facilitating international trade; collecting import 
duties; enforcing U.S. trade, immigration and other laws of the United 
States at our borders; inspecting imports, overseeing the activities of 
persons and businesses engaged in importing; enforcing the laws 
concerning smuggling and trafficking in contraband; apprehending 
individuals attempting to enter the United States illegally; protecting 
our agriculture and economic interests from harmful pests and diseases; 
servicing all people, vehicles and cargo entering the United States; 
maintaining export controls; and protecting U.S. businesses from theft 
of their intellectual property.
    In carrying out its priority mission, CBP's goal is to facilitate 
the processing of legitimate trade and people efficiently without 
compromising security. Consistent with its primary mission of homeland 
security, CBP intends to finalize several rules during the next fiscal 
year that are intended to improve security at our borders and ports of 
entry. These rules foster the DHS' Strategic Goals of awareness and 
prevention. We have highlighted some of these rules below.
    Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). On June 9, 2008, 
CBP published an interim final rule amending DHS regulations to 
implement the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for 
aliens who wish to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver 
Program (VWP) at air or sea ports of entry. This rule is intended to 
fulfill the requirements of section 711 of the Implementing 
Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act). The rule 
establishes ESTA and delineates the data field DHS has determined will 
be collected by the system. The rule requires that each alien traveling 
to the United States under the VWP must obtain electronic travel 
authorization via the ESTA System in advance of such travel. VWP 
travelers may obtain the required ESTA authorization by electronically 
submitting to CBP biographic and other information that was previously 
submitted to CBP via the I-94W Nonimmigrant Alien Arrival/Departure 
Form (I-94W). ESTA became mandatory on January 12, 2009. Therefore, VWP 
travelers must either obtain travel authorization in advance of travel 
under ESTA or obtain a visa prior to traveling to the United States.
    The shift from a paper to an electronic form and requiring the data 
in advance of travel enables CBP to determine before the alien departs 
for the U.S., the eligibility of nationals from VWP countries to travel 
to the United States and to determine whether such travel poses a law 
enforcement or security risk. By modernizing the VWP, the ESTA 
increases national security and provides for greater efficiencies in 
the screening of international travelers by allowing for vetting of 
subjects of potential interest well before boarding, thereby reducing 
traveler delays based on lengthy processes at ports of entry. On August 
9, 2010, CBP also published an interim final rule amending the ESTA 
regulations to require ESTA applicants to pay a congressionally 
mandated fee which is the sum of two amounts, a $10 travel promotion 
fee for an approved ESTA and a $4.00 operational fee for the use of 
ESTA set by the Secretary of Homeland Security to at least ensure the 
recovery of the full costs of providing and administering the ESTA 
system. CBP intends to issue a final rule on ESTA and the ESTA fee 
during the next fiscal year.
    Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements. The 
Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 (SAFE Port Act), 
calls for CBP to promulgate regulations to require the electronic 
transmission of additional data elements for improved high-risk 
targeting. See Pub. L. No. 109-347, Section 203 (October 13, 2006). 
This includes appropriate security elements of entry data for cargo 
destined for the United States by vessel prior to loading of such cargo 
on vessels at foreign seaports. Id. The SAFE Port Act requires that the 
information collected reasonably improve CBP's ability to identify 
high-risk shipments to prevent smuggling and ensure cargo safety and 
security. Id.

[[Page 1387]]

    On November 25, 2008, CBP published an interim final rule 
``Importer Security filing and Additional Carrier Requirements,'' 
amending CBP Regulations to require carriers and importers to provide 
to CBP, via a CBP approved electronic data interchange system, 
information necessary to enable CBP to identity high-risk shipments to 
prevent smuggling and ensure cargo safety and security. This rule, 
which became effective on January 26, 2009, improves CBP risk 
assessment and targeting capabilities, facilitates the prompt release 
of legitimate cargo following its arrival in the United States, and 
assists CBP in increasing the security of the global trading system. 
The comment period for the interim final rule concluded on June 1, 
2009. CBP is analyzing comments and conducting a structured review of 
certain flexibility provided in the interim final rule. CBP intends to 
publish a final rule during the next fiscal year.
    Implementation of the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program. CBP published 
an interim final rule in November 2008 amending the DHS regulations to 
replace the current Guam Visa Waiver Program with a new Guan-CNMI Visa 
Waiver program. This rule implements portions of the National Resources 
Act of 2008 (CNRA), which extends the immigration laws of the United 
States to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and 
among others things, provides for a visa waiver program for travel to 
Guan and the CNMI. The amended regulations set forth the requirements 
for nonimmigrant visitors who seek admission for business or pleasure 
and solely for entry into and stay on Guam or the CNMI without a visa. 
The rule also establishes six ports of entry in the CNMI for purposes 
of administering and enforcing the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver program. CBP 
intends to issue a final rule during the next fiscal year.
    In the above paragraphs, DHS discusses the CBP regulations that 
foster DHS's mission. CBP also issues regulations related to the 
mission of the Department of the Treasury. Under section 403(1) of the 
Homeland Security Act of 2002, the former-U.S. Customs Service, 
including functions of the Secretary of the Treasury relating thereto, 
transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security. As part of the 
initial organization of DHS, the Customs Service inspection and trade 
functions were combined with the immigration and agricultural 
inspection functions and the Border Patrol and transferred into CBP. It 
is noted that certain regulatory authority of the United States Customs 
Service relating to customs revenue function was retained by the 
Department of the Treasury (see the Department of the Treasury 
Regulatory Plan). In addition to its plans to continue issuing 
regulations to enhance border security, CBP, during fiscal year 2013, 
expects to continue to issue regulatory documents that will facilitate 
legitimate trade and implement trade benefit program. CBP regulations 
regarding the customs revenue function are discussed in the Regulatory 
Plan of the Department of the Treasury.

Federal Emergency Management Agency

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency does not have any 
significant regulatory actions planned for fiscal year 2013.

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

    The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) does not have 
any significant regulatory actions planned for fiscal year 2013.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

    ICE is the principal criminal investigative arm of the Department 
of Homeland Security and one of the three Department components charged 
with the civil enforcement of the Nation's immigration laws. Its 
primary mission is to protect national security, public safety, and the 
integrity of our borders through the criminal and civil enforcement of 
Federal law governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration.
    During fiscal year 2013, ICE will pursue rulemaking actions to make 
improvements in three critical subject areas: Setting national 
standards to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse and assault 
in DHS confinement facilities; improving the detention of aliens who 
are subject to final orders of removal; and updating and enhancing 
policies and procedures governing the Student and Exchange Visitor 
Program (SEVP).
    Setting National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to 
Sexual Abuse and Assault in DHS Confinement Facilities. In cooperation 
with Department and CBP, ICE will set national detention standards to 
prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse and assault in DHS 
confinement facilities. For purposes of this rulemaking, DHS 
confinement facilities are broken down into two distinct types: 1) 
immigration detention facilities and 2) holding facilities. The 
proposed standards will reflect existing ICE and other DHS detention 
policies and are in response to the President's Memorandum 
``Implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act,'' issued on May 17, 
2012, the same day the Department of Justice issued its final rule in 
response to the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), 42 U.S.C. 
15601 et seq. President Obama's Memorandum affirmed the goals of PREA 
and directed Federal agencies with confinement facilities to propose 
rules or procedures necessary to satisfy the requirements of PREA 
within 120 days of the Memorandum. The DHS notice of proposed 
rulemaking (NPRM) will be issued during fiscal year 2012, with a final 
rule to follow addressing comments received through the notice-and-
comment process.
    Improving Continued Detention of Aliens Subject to Final Orders of 
Removal. ICE will improve the post order custody review process in a 
final rule related to the continued detention of aliens subject to 
final orders of removal in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions 
in Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001) and Clark v. Martinez, 543 
U.S. 371 (2005), as well as changes pursuant to the enactment of the 
Homeland Security Act of 2002. During fiscal year 2013, ICE will also 
issue a companion NPRM that will allow the public an opportunity to 
comment on new sections of the custody determination process not 
previously published for comment.
    Updating and enhancing limitations on designated school official 
assignment and study by F-2 and M-2 nonimmigrants. ICE will revise the 
current regulation that limits the number of designated school 
officials (DSOs) that may be nominated for the oversight of each 
school's campus(es) where international students are enrolled, as well 
as modify the restrictions placed on the dependents of an F-1 or M-1 
nonimmigrant student, in order to permit F-2 and M-2 nonimmigrants to 
enroll in less than a full course of study at an SEVP-certified school. 
Currently, schools are limited to ten DSOs per school or per campus in 
a multi-campus school. ICE has found that the current DSO limit of ten 
per campus is too constraining, especially in schools that have large 
numbers of F and M nonimmigrant students. ICE believes that, in many 
circumstances, elimination of a DSO limit may improve the capability of 
DSOs to meet their liaison, reporting and oversight responsibilities. 
In addition, ICE recognizes that there is increasing global competition 
to attract the best and brightest international students to study in 
our schools. Allowing a more flexible

[[Page 1388]]

approach by permitting F-2 and M-2 nonimmigrant spouses and children to 
engage in study in the United States at SEVP-certified schools, so long 
as that study does not amount to a full course of study, will provide 
greater incentive for international students to travel to the United 
States for their education.

National Protection and Programs Directorate

    The goal of the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) 
is to advance the Department's risk-reduction mission. Reducing risk 
requires an integrated approach that encompasses both physical and 
virtual threats and their associated human elements.
    Ammonium Nitrate Security Program. Section 563 of the Fiscal Year 
2008 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, Public Law 
110-161, amended the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide DHS with 
the authority to ``regulate the sale and transfer of ammonium nitrate 
by an ammonium nitrate facility * * * to prevent the misappropriation 
or use of ammonium nitrate in an act of terrorism.'' This authority is 
contained in a new Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate subtitle of the 
Homeland Security Act (Subtitle J, 6 U.S.C. 488-488i).
    The Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate provisions of the Homeland 
Security Act direct DHS to promulgate regulations requiring potential 
buyers and sellers of ammonium nitrate to register with DHS. As part of 
the registration process, the statute directs DHS to screen 
registration applicants against the Federal Government's Terrorist 
Screening Database. The statute also requires sellers of ammonium 
nitrate to verify the identities of those seeking to purchase it; to 
record certain information about each sale or transfer of ammonium 
nitrate; and to report thefts and losses of ammonium nitrate with DHS.
    The Ammonium Nitrate Security Program Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
proposes requirements that would implement the Secure Handling of 
Ammonium Nitrate provisions of the Homeland Security Act. The rule 
would aid the Federal Government in its efforts to prevent the 
misappropriation of ammonium nitrate for use in acts of terrorism. By 
preventing such misappropriation, this rule aims to limit terrorists' 
abilities to threaten the public and to threaten the Nation's critical 
infrastructure and key resources. By securing the Nation's supply of 
ammonium nitrate, it will be more difficult for terrorists to obtain 
ammonium nitrate materials for use in terrorist acts.
    On October 29, 2008, DHS published an Advance Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (ANPRM) for the Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Program, 
and received a number of public comments on that ANPRM. DHS reviewed 
those comments and published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for 
the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program on August 3, 2011. NPPD accepted 
public comments until December 1, 2011, and is now reviewing the public 
comments and developing a Final Rule related to the Ammonium Nitrate 
Security Program.

Transportation Security Administration

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) protects the 
Nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for 
people and commerce. TSA is committed to continuously setting the 
standard for excellence in transportation security through its people, 
processes, and technology as we work to meet the immediate and long-
term needs of the transportation sector.
    In fiscal year 2013, TSA will promote the DHS mission by 
emphasizing regulatory efforts that allow TSA to better identify, 
detect, and protect against threats against various modes of the 
transportation system, while facilitating the efficient movement of the 
traveling public, transportation workers, and cargo.
    Passenger Screening Using Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). TSA 
will propose to amend its civil aviation regulations to clarify that 
screening and inspection of an individual, conducted to control access 
to the sterile area of an airport or to an aircraft, may include the 
use of advanced imaging technology (AIT). This NPRM will be issued to 
comply with the decision rendered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 
District Columbia Circuit in Electronic Privacy Information Center 
(EPIC) v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security on July 15, 2011. 653 
F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2011). The Court directed TSA to conduct notice and 
comment rulemaking on the use of AIT in the primary screening of 
passengers.
    Security Training for Surface Mode Employees. TSA will propose 
regulations to enhance the security of several non-aviation modes of 
transportation. In particular, TSA will propose regulations requiring 
freight railroad carriers, public transportation agencies (including 
rail mass transit and bus systems), passenger railroad carriers, and 
over-the-road bus operators to conduct security training for front line 
employees. This regulation would implement sections 1408 (Public 
Transportation), 1517 (Freight Railroads), and 1534(a) (Over the Road 
Buses) of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act 
of 2008 (9/11 Act), Public Law 110-53 (Aug. 3, 2007). In compliance 
with the definitions of frontline employees in the pertinent provisions 
of the 9/11 Act, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would define 
which employees are required to undergo training. The NPRM would also 
propose definitions for transportation security-sensitive materials, as 
required by section 1501 of the 9/11 Act.
    Aircraft Repair Station Security. TSA will finalize a rule 
requiring repair stations that are certificated by the Federal Aviation 
Administration under 14 CFR part 145 to adopt and implement standard 
security programs and to comply with security directives issued by TSA. 
TSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on November 18, 2009. 
The final rule will also codify the scope of TSA's existing inspection 
program and could require regulated parties to allow DHS officials to 
enter, inspect, and test property, facilities, and records relevant to 
repair stations. This rulemaking action will implement section 1616 of 
the 9/11 Act.
    Standardized Vetting, Adjudication, and Redress Process and Fees. 
TSA is developing a proposed rule to revise and standardize the 
procedures, adjudication criteria, and fees for most of the security 
threat assessments (STA) of individuals that TSA conducts. DHS is 
considering a proposal that would include procedures for conducting 
STAs for transportation workers from almost all modes of 
transportation, including those covered under the 9/11 Act. In 
addition, TSA will propose equitable fees to cover the cost of the STAs 
and credentials for some personnel. TSA plans to identify new 
efficiencies in processing STAs and ways to streamline existing 
regulations by simplifying language and removing redundancies.
    As part of this proposed rule, TSA will propose revisions to the 
Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) regulations. TSA published an 
interim final rule for ASFP on September 20, 2004. TSA regulations 
require aliens seeking to train at Federal Aviation Administration-
regulated flight schools to complete an application and undergo an STA 
prior to beginning flight training. There are four categories under 
which students currently fall; the nature of the STA depends on the 
student's category. TSA is considering changes to the AFSP that would 
improve equity among fee payers and enable the

[[Page 1389]]

implementation of new technologies to support vetting.

United States Secret Service

    The United States Secret Service does not have any significant 
regulatory actions planned for fiscal year 2013.

DHS Regulatory Plan for Fiscal Year 2013

    A more detailed description of the priority regulations that 
comprise DHS's fall 2012 regulatory plan follows.

DHS--U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES (USCIS)

Proposed Rule Stage

50. Asylum and Withholding Definitions

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1103; 8 U.S.C. 1158; 8 U.S.C. 1226; 8 
U.S.C. 1252; 8 U.S.C. 1282
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR part 2; 8 CFR part 208.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule proposes to amend Department of Homeland 
Security regulations that govern asylum eligibility. The amendments 
focus on portions of the regulations that deal with the definitions of 
membership in a particular social group, the requirements for failure 
of State protection, and determinations about whether persecution is 
inflicted on account of a protected ground. This rule codifies long-
standing concepts of the definitions. It clarifies that gender can be a 
basis for membership in a particular social group. It also clarifies 
that a person who has suffered or fears domestic violence may under 
certain circumstances be eligible for asylum on that basis. After the 
Board of Immigration Appeals published a decision on this issue in 
1999, Matter of R-A-, Int. Dec. 3403 (BIA 1999), it became clear that 
the governing regulatory standards required clarification. The 
Department of Justice began this regulatory initiative by publishing a 
proposed rule addressing these issues in 2000.
    Statement of Need: This rule provides guidance on a number of key 
interpretive issues of the refugee definition used by adjudicators 
deciding asylum and withholding of removal (withholding) claims. The 
interpretive issues include whether persecution is inflicted on account 
of a protected ground, the requirements for establishing the failure of 
State protection, and the parameters for defining membership in a 
particular social group. This rule will aid in the adjudication of 
claims made by applicants whose claims fall outside of the rubric of 
the protected grounds of race, religion, nationality, or political 
opinion. One example of such claims which often fall within the 
particular social group ground concerns people who have suffered or 
fear domestic violence. This rule is expected to consolidate issues 
raised in a proposed rule in 2000 and to address issues that have 
developed since the publication of the proposed rule. This rule should 
provide greater stability and clarity in this important area of the 
law. This rule will also provide guidance to the following 
adjudicators: USCIS asylum officers, Department of Justice Executive 
Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) immigration judges, and members of 
the EOIR Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
    Summary of Legal Basis: The purpose of this rule is to provide 
guidance on certain issues that have arisen in the context of asylum 
and withholding adjudications. The 1951 Geneva Convention relating to 
the Status of Refugees contains the internationally accepted definition 
of a refugee. United States immigration law incorporates an almost 
identical definition of a refugee as a person outside his or her 
country of origin ``who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is 
unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, 
that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of 
persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a 
particular social group, or political opinion.'' Section 101(a)(42) of 
the Immigration and Nationality Act.
    Alternatives: A sizable body of interpretive case law has developed 
around the meaning of the refugee definition. Historically, much of 
this case law has addressed more traditional asylum and withholding 
claims based on the protected grounds of race, religion, nationality, 
or political opinion. In recent years, however, the United States 
increasingly has encountered asylum and withholding applications with 
more varied bases, related, for example, to an applicant's gender or 
sexual orientation. Many of these new types of claims are based on the 
ground of ``membership in a particular social group,'' which is the 
least well-defined of the five protected grounds within the refugee 
definition.
    On December 7, 2000, DOJ published a proposed rule in the Federal 
Register providing guidance on the definitions of ``persecution'' and 
``membership in a particular social group.'' Prior to publishing a new 
proposed rule, the Department will be considering how the nexus between 
persecution and a protected ground might be further conceptualized; how 
membership in a particular social group might be defined and evaluated; 
and what constitutes a State's inability or unwillingness to protect 
the applicant where the persecution arises from a non-State actor. The 
alternative to publishing this rule would be to allow the standards 
governing this area of law to continue to develop piecemeal through 
administrative and judicial precedent. This approach has resulted in 
inconsistent and confusing standards, and the Department has therefore 
determined that promulgation of the new proposed rule is necessary.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: By providing a clear framework for 
key asylum and withholding issues, we anticipate that adjudicators will 
have clear guidance, increasing administrative efficiency and 
consistency in adjudicating these cases. The rule will also promote a 
more consistent and predictable body of administrative and judicial 
precedent governing these types of cases. We anticipate that this will 
enable applicants to better assess their potential eligibility for 
asylum, and to present their claims more efficiently when they believe 
that they may qualify, thus reducing the resources spent on 
adjudicating claims that do not qualify. In addition, a more consistent 
and predictable body of law on these issues will likely result in fewer 
appeals, both administrative and judicial, and reduce associated 
litigation costs. The Department has no way of accurately predicting 
how this rule will impact the number of asylum applications filed in 
the United States. Based on anecdotal evidence and on the reported 
experience of other nations that have adopted standards under which the 
results are similar to those we anticipate for this rule, we do not 
believe this rule will cause a change in the number of asylum 
applications filed.
    Risks: The failure to promulgate a final rule in this area presents 
significant risk of further inconsistency and confusion in the law. The 
Government's interests in fair, efficient, and consistent adjudications 
would be compromised.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   12/07/00  65 FR 76588
NPRM Comment Period End.............   01/22/01
NPRM................................   05/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 1390]]

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: CIS No. 2092-00, Transferred from RIN 1115-
AF92.
    Agency Contact: Ted Kim, Deputy Chief, Asylum Division, Office of 
Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations, Department of Homeland 
Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 20 Massachusetts 
Avenue NW., Suite 3200, Washington, DC 20259, Phone: 202 272-1614, Fax: 
202 272-1994, Email: ted.h.kim@uscis.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1615-AA41

DHS--USCIS

51. Exception to the Persecution Bar for Asylum, Refugee, and Temporary 
Protected Status, and Withholding of Removal

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101; 8 U.S.C. 1103; 8 U.S.C. 1158; 8 
U.S.C. 1226; Pub. L. 107-26; Pub. L. 110-229
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR part 1; 8 CFR part 208; 8 CFR part 244; 8 CFR 
part 1244.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This joint rule proposes amendments to Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations to 
describe the circumstances under which an applicant will continue to be 
eligible for asylum, refugee, or temporary protected status, special 
rule cancellation of removal under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and 
Central American Relief Act, and withholding of removal, even if DHS or 
DOJ has determined that the applicant's actions contributed, in some 
way, to the persecution of others. The purpose of this rule is to 
resolve ambiguity in the statutory language precluding eligibility for 
asylum, refugee, and temporary protected status of an applicant who 
ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the 
persecution of others. The proposed amendment would provide a limited 
exception for actions taken by the applicant under duress and clarify 
the required levels of the applicant's knowledge of the persecution.
    Statement of Need: This rule resolves ambiguity in the statutory 
language precluding eligibility for asylum, refugee, and temporary 
protected status of an applicant who ordered, incited, assisted, or 
otherwise participated in the persecution of others. The proposed 
amendment would provide a limited exception for actions taken by the 
applicant under duress and clarify the required levels of the 
applicant's knowledge of the persecution.
    Summary of Legal Basis: In Negusie v. Holder, 129 S. Ct. 1159 
(2009), the Supreme Court addressed whether the persecutor bar should 
apply where an alien's actions were taken under duress. DHS believes 
that this is an appropriate subject for rulemaking and proposes to 
amend the applicable regulations to set out its interpretation of the 
statute. In developing this regulatory initiative, DHS has carefully 
considered the purpose and history behind enactment of the persecutor 
bar, including its international law origins and the criminal law 
concepts upon which they are based.
    Alternatives: DHS did consider the alternative of not publishing a 
rulemaking on these issues. To leave this important area of the law 
without an administrative interpretation would confuse adjudicators and 
the public.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The programs affected by this rule 
exist so that the United States may respond effectively to global 
humanitarian situations and assist people who are in need. USCIS 
provides a number of humanitarian programs and protection to assist 
individuals in need of shelter or aid from disasters, oppression, 
emergency medical issues, and other urgent circumstances. This rule 
will advance the humanitarian goals of the asylum/refugee program, and 
other specialized programs. The main benefits of such goals tend to be 
intangible and difficult to quantify in economic and monetary terms. 
These forms of relief have not been available to certain persecutors. 
This rule will allow an exception to this bar from protection for 
applicants who can meet the appropriate evidentiary standard. 
Consequently, this rule may result in a small increase in the number of 
applicants for humanitarian programs. To the extent a small increase in 
applicants occurs, there could be additional fee costs incurred by 
these applicants.
    Risks: If DHS were not to publish a regulation, the public would 
face a lengthy period of confusion on these issues. There could also be 
inconsistent interpretations of the statutory language, leading to 
significant litigation and delay for the affected public.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Molly Groom, Chief, Refugee and Asylum Law 
Division, Office of the Chief Counsel, Department of Homeland Security, 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20259, Phone: 202 272-1400, Fax: 202 272-1408, Email: 
molly.m.groom@uscis.dhs.gov.
     RIN: 1615-AB89

DHS--USCIS

52. Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: INA sec 214(a)(1) 8 U.S.C. 1184(a)(1); INA 
274A(h)(3) 8 U.S.C. 1324a(h)(3); 8 CFR 274a.12(c); sec 104(c) of Pub. 
L. 106-313; sec 106(a) of Pub. L. 106-313; * * *
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR 274a.12(c).
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to 
amend its regulations by extending the availability of employment 
authorization to H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B nonimmigrants 
who have begun the process of seeking lawful permanent resident status 
through employment and have extended their authorized period of 
admission or ``stay'' in the U.S. under section 104(c) or 106(a) of 
Public Law 106-313, also known as the American Competitiveness in the 
Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21). Allowing the eligible class of 
H-4 dependent spouses to work encourages professionals with high demand 
skills to remain in the country and help spur the innovation and growth 
of U.S. companies.
    Statement of Need: Congress intended that the AC21 provisions 
allowing for extension of H-1B status past the 6th year for workers who 
are the beneficiaries of certain pending or approved employment-based 
immigrant petitions or labor certification applications would minimize 
the disruption to U.S. businesses employing H-1B workers that would 
result if such workers were required to leave the United States. DHS 
recognizes that the limitation on the period of stay is not the only 
event that could cause an H-1B worker to leave his or her employment 
and cause disruption to the employer's business, inclusive of the loss 
of significant time and money invested in the immigration process.

[[Page 1391]]

The rule, as proposed by this NPRM, is intended to mitigate some of the 
negative economic effects of limiting H-1B households to one income 
during lengthy waiting periods in the adjustment of status process. 
Also, this rule will encourage H-1B skilled workers to not abandon 
their adjustment application because their H-4 spouse is unable to 
work.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Sections 103(a), and 274A(h)(3) of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) generally authorize the Secretary 
to provide for employment authorization for aliens in the United 
States. In addition, section 214(a)(1) of the INA authorizes the 
Secretary to prescribe regulations setting terms and conditions of 
admission of nonimmigrants.
    Alternatives: An alternative considered by DHS was to permit 
employer authorization for all H-4 dependent spouses. In enacting AC21, 
Congress was especially concerned with avoiding the disruption to U.S. 
businesses caused by the required departure of H-1B workers (for whom 
the businesses intended to file employment-based immigrant visa 
petitions) upon the expiration of workers' maximum six-year period of 
authorized stay. Although the inability of an H-4 spouse to work may 
cause an H-1B worker to consider departing from the United States prior 
to his or her eligibility for an H-1B extension. This alternative was 
rejected in favor of the proposed process to limit employment 
authorization to the smaller sub-class of H-4 nonimmigrants who intend 
to remain in the United States permanently and who have been granted an 
extension of H status under the provisions of AC21.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The proposed changes would only 
impact spouses of H-1B workers who have been admitted or have extended 
their stay under the provisions of AC21. The costs of the rule would 
stem from filing fees and the opportunity costs of time associated with 
filing an Application for Employment Authorization for those eligible 
H-4 spouses who decide to seek employment while residing in the United 
States. Allowing certain H-4 spouses the opportunity to work would 
result in a negligible increase to the overall domestic labor force.
    The benefits of this rule are retaining highly-skilled persons who 
intend to adjust to lawful permanent resident status. This is important 
when considering the contributions of these individuals to the U.S. 
economy, including advances in entrepreneurial and research and 
development endeavors, which are highly correlated with overall 
economic growth and job creation. In addition, the proposed amendments 
would bring U.S. immigration laws more in line with other countries 
that seek to attract skilled foreign workers.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 
13563.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Kevin J. Cummings, Chief, Business and Foreign 
Workers Division, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services, Office of Policy and Strategy, 20 Massachusetts 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2140, Phone: 202 272-1470, Fax: 202 
272-1480, Email: kevin.j.cummings@uscis.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1615-AB92

DHS--USCIS

53. Enhancing Opportunities for High-Skilled H-1B1 and E-3 
Nonimmigrants and EB-1 Immigrants

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101; 8 U.S.C. 1103; 8 U.S.C. 1151; 8 
U.S.C. 1153; 8 U.S.C. 1154; 8 U.S.C. 1182; 8 U.S.C. 1184; 8 U.S.C. 
1186a; 8 U.S.C. 1255; 8 U.S.C. 1641; * * *
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR part 204; 8 CFR part 214; 8 CFR part 248; 8 CFR 
part 274a.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to 
amend its regulations affecting high-skilled workers within the 
nonimmigrant classifications for specialty occupation professionals 
from Chile and Singapore (H-1B1) and from Australia (E-3), and the 
immigration classification for employment-based first preference (EB-1) 
outstanding professors or researchers. DHS proposes changes that would 
harmonize the regulations for E-3 and H-1B1 nonimmigrant 
classifications with existing regulations for other, similarly situated 
nonimmigrant classifications. DHS is proposing these changes to the 
regulations to encourage and facilitate the employment and retention of 
these high-skilled workers.
    Statement of Need: DHS proposes to amend its regulations to improve 
the programs serving the E-3 and H-1B1 nonimmigrant classifications and 
the EB-1 immigrant classification for outstanding professors and 
researchers. The regulatory changes to these categories would 
significantly improve procedures to more effectively encourage and 
facilitate the retention of these high-skilled workers in the United 
States.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The portion of the proposed rule 
addressing E-3 and H-1B1 visas would extend the period of employment 
authorized while requests for an extension of these employment-based 
nonimmigrant visa classifications are being reviewed. We do not 
anticipate that this rule would impose any additional costs. The 
benefits of this portion of the proposed rule include easing the 
regulatory burden on employers of E-3 and H-1B1 nonimmigrants and 
avoiding potential gaps in employment for these nonimmigrant workers.
    The portion of the proposed rule addressing the evidentiary 
requirements for the EB-1 outstanding professor and researcher 
employment-based immigrant classification would allow for the 
submission of comparable evidence (achievements not listed in the 
criteria such as important patents or prestigious, peer-reviewed 
funding grants) for that listed in 8 CFR 204.5(i)(3)(i)(A)-(F) to 
establish that the EB-1 professor or researcher is recognized 
internationally as outstanding in his or her academic field. We do not 
anticipate that this part of the proposed rule would impose additional 
costs.
    The non-quantified benefits would include the harmonization of the 
evidentiary requirements for EB-1 outstanding professors and 
researchers with other comparable employment-based immigrant 
classifications and easing petitioners' recruitment of these highly 
skilled individuals by expanding the range of evidence that may be 
adduced to support their petitions.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/13  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Kevin J. Cummings, Chief, Business and Foreign 
Workers

[[Page 1392]]

Division, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services, Office of Policy and Strategy, 20 Massachusetts 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2140, Phone: 202 272-1470, Fax: 202 
272-1480, Email: kevin.j.cummings@uscis.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1615-AC00

DHS--USCIS

Final Rule Stage

54. New Classification for Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking in 
Persons; Eligibility for T Nonimmigrant Status

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. 552a; 8 U.S.C. 1101 to 
1104; 8 U.S.C. 1182; 8 U.S.C. 1184; 8 U.S.C. 1187; 8 U.S.C. 1201; 8 
U.S.C. 1224 to 1227; 8 U.S.C. 1252 to 1252a; 22 U.S.C. 7101; 22 U.S.C. 
7105
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR part 103; 8 CFR part 212; 8 CFR part 214; 8 CFR 
part 274a; 8 CFR part 299.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: T classification was created by 107(e) of the Victims of 
Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (VTVPA), Public Law 
106-386. The T nonimmigrant classification was designed for eligible 
victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons who aid law 
enforcement with their investigation or prosecution of the traffickers, 
and who can establish that they would suffer extreme hardship involving 
unusual and severe harm if they were removed from the United States. 
The rule establishes application procedures and responsibilities for 
the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and provides guidance to the 
public on how to meet certain requirements to obtain T nonimmigrant 
status. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, 
Public Law 110-457, made amendments to the T nonimmigrant status 
provisions of the Immigration and Naturalization Act.
    Statement of Need: T nonimmigrant status is available to eligible 
victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons who have complied 
with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or 
prosecution of acts of trafficking in persons, and who can demonstrate 
that they would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe 
harm if removed from the United States. This rule addresses the 
essential elements that must be demonstrated for classification as a T 
nonimmigrant alien, the procedures to be followed by applicants to 
apply for T nonimmigrant status, and evidentiary guidance to assist in 
the application process.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 107(e) of the Trafficking Victims 
Protection Act (TVPA), Public Law 106-386, as amended, established the 
T classification to create a safe haven for certain eligible victims of 
severe forms of trafficking in persons who assist law enforcement 
authorities in investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators of these 
crimes.
    Alternatives: To develop a comprehensive Federal approach to 
identifying victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons, to 
provide them with benefits and services, and to enhance the Department 
of Justice's ability to prosecute traffickers and prevent trafficking 
in persons in the first place, a series of meetings with stakeholders 
were conducted with representatives from key Federal agencies; 
national, State, and local law enforcement associations; non-profit, 
community-based victim rights organizations; and other groups. DHS is 
considering and using suggestions from these stakeholders in developing 
this regulation.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Applicants for T nonimmigrant status 
do not pay application or biometric fees.
    The anticipated benefits of these expenditures include: Assistance 
to trafficked victims and their families, prosecution of traffickers in 
persons, and the elimination of abuses caused by trafficking 
activities.
    Benefits which may be attributed to the implementation of this rule 
are expected to be:
    1. An increase in the number of cases brought forward for 
investigation and/or prosecution;
    2. Heightened awareness by the law enforcement community of 
trafficking in persons;
    3. Enhanced ability to develop and work cases in trafficking in 
persons cross-organizationally and multi-jurisdictionally, which may 
begin to influence changes in trafficking patterns.
    Risks: There is a 5,000-person limit to the number of individuals 
who can be granted T-1 status per fiscal year. Eligible applicants who 
are not granted T-1 status due solely to the numerical limit will be 
placed on a waiting list maintained by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration 
Services (USCIS).
    To protect T-1 applicants and their families, USCIS will use 
various means to prevent the removal of T-1 applicants on the waiting 
list, and their family members who are eligible for derivative T 
status, including its existing authority to grant deferred action, 
parole, and stays of removal.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   01/31/02  67 FR 4784
Interim Final Rule Effective........   03/04/02
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      04/01/02
 End.
Interim Final Rule..................   09/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State.
    Additional Information: CIS No. 2132-01; AG Order No. 2554-2002. 
There is a related rulemaking, CIS No. 2170-01, the new U nonimmigrant 
status (RIN 1615-AA67). Transferred from RIN 1115-AG19.
    Agency Contact: Laura M. Dawkins, Chief, Regulatory Coordination 
Division, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services, Suite 1200, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20529, Phone: 202 272-1470, Fax: 202 272-1480, Email: 
laura.dawkins@uscis.dhs.gov.
    Related RIN: Related to 1615-AA67.
    RIN: 1615-AA59

DHS--USCIS

55. Adjustment of Status to Lawful Permanent Resident for Aliens in T 
and U Nonimmigrant Status

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. 552a; 8 U.S.C. 1101 to 
1104; 8 U.S.C. 1182; 8 U.S.C. 1184; 8 U.S.C. 1187; 8 U.S.C. 1201; 8 
U.S.C. 1224 to 1227; 8 U.S.C. 1252 to 1252a; 8 U.S.C. 1255; 22 U.S.C. 
7101; 22 U.S.C. 7105
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR part 204; 8 CFR part 214; 8 CFR part 245.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule sets forth measures by which certain victims of 
severe forms of trafficking who have been granted T nonimmigrant status 
and victims of certain criminal activity who have been granted U 
nonimmigrant status may apply for adjustment to permanent resident 
status in accordance with Public Law 106-386, Victims of Trafficking 
and Violence Protection Act of 2000; and Public Law 109-162, Violence 
Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005. 
The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, Public 
Law 110-457, made amendments

[[Page 1393]]

to the T nonimmigrant status provisions of the Immigration and 
Naturalization Act. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will 
issue another interim final rule to make the changes required by recent 
legislation.
    Statement of Need: This regulation is necessary to permit aliens in 
lawful T or U nonimmigrant status to apply for adjustment of status to 
that of lawful permanent residents. T nonimmigrant status is available 
to aliens who are victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons 
and who are assisting law enforcement in the investigation or 
prosecution of the acts of trafficking. U nonimmigrant status is 
available to aliens who are victims of certain crimes and are being 
helpful to the investigation or prosecution of those crimes.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This rule implements the Victims of 
Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (VTVPA), Public Law 
106-386, 114 Stat. 1464 (Oct. 28, 2000), as amended, to permit aliens 
in lawful T or U nonimmigrant status to apply for adjustment of status 
to that of lawful permanent residents.
    Alternatives: DHS did not consider alternatives to managing T and U 
applications for adjustment of status. Ease of administration dictates 
that adjustment of status applications from T and U nonimmigrants would 
be best handled on a first in, first out basis, because that is the way 
applications for T and U status are currently handled.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: DHS uses fees to fund the cost of 
processing applications and associated support benefits. In the 2008 
interim final rule, DHS estimated the fee collection resulting from 
this rule at approximately $3 million in the first year, $1.9 million 
in the second year, and an average about $32 million in the third and 
subsequent years. To estimate the new fee collections to be generated 
by this rule, DHS estimated the fees to be collected for new 
applications for adjustment of status from T and U nonimmigrants and 
their eligible family members. After that, DHS estimated fees from 
associated applications that are required such as biometrics, and 
others that are likely to occur in direct connection with applications 
for adjustment, such as employment authorization or travel 
authorization. DHS is in the process of updating these cost estimates.
    The anticipated benefits of these expenditures include: Continued 
assistance to trafficked victims and their families, increased 
investigation and prosecution of traffickers in persons, and the 
elimination of abuses caused by trafficking activities.
    Benefits that may be attributed to the implementation of this rule 
are expected to be:
    1. An increase in the number of cases brought forward for 
investigation and/or prosecution;
    2. Heightened awareness of trafficking-in-persons issues by the law 
enforcement community; and
    3. Enhanced ability to develop and work cases in trafficking in 
persons cross-organizationally and multi-jurisdictionally, which may 
begin to influence changes in trafficking patterns.
    Risks: Congress created the U nonimmigrant status (``U visa'') to 
provide immigration protection to crime victims who assist in the 
investigation and prosecution of those crimes. Although there are no 
specific data on alien crime victims, statistics maintained by the 
Department of Justice have shown that aliens, especially those aliens 
without legal status, are often reluctant to help in the investigation 
or prosecution of crimes. U visas are intended to help overcome this 
reluctance and aid law enforcement accordingly.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   12/12/08  73 FR 75540
Interim Final Rule Effective........   01/12/09
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      02/10/09
 End.
Interim Final Rule..................   09/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State.
    Additional Information: CIS No. 2134-01. Transferred from RIN 1115-
AG21.
    Agency Contact: Laura M. Dawkins, Chief, Regulatory Coordination 
Division, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services, Suite 1200, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20529, Phone: 202 272-1470, Fax: 202 272-1480, Email: 
laura.dawkins@uscis.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1615-AA60

DHS--USCIS

56. New Classification for Victims of Criminal Activity; Eligibility 
for the U Nonimmigrant Status

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. 552a; 8 U.S.C. 1101; 8 
U.S.C. 1101 note; 8 U.S.C. 1102
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR part 103; 8 CFR part 204; 8 CFR part 212; 8 CFR 
part 214; 8 CFR part 299.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule sets forth application requirements for a new 
nonimmigrant status. The U classification is for non-U.S. Citizen/
Lawful Permanent Resident victims of certain crimes who cooperate with 
an investigation or prosecution of those crimes. There is a limit of 
10,000 principals per year.
    This rule establishes the procedures to be followed in order to 
petition for the U nonimmigrant classifications. Specifically, the rule 
addresses the essential elements that must be demonstrated to receive 
the nonimmigrant classification, procedures that must be followed to 
make an application, and evidentiary guidance to assist in the 
petitioning process. Eligible victims will be allowed to remain in the 
United States. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act 
of 2008, Public Law 110-457, made amendments to the U nonimmigrant 
status provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The 
Department of Homeland Security will issue another interim final rule 
to make the changes required by the legislation.
    Statement of Need: This rule provides requirements and procedures 
for aliens seeking U nonimmigrant status. U nonimmigrant classification 
is available to alien victims of certain criminal activity who assist 
government officials in the investigation or prosecution of that 
criminal activity. The purpose of the U nonimmigrant classification is 
to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate 
and prosecute such crimes as domestic violence, sexual assault, and 
trafficking in persons, while offering protection to alien crime 
victims in keeping with the humanitarian interests of the United 
States.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Congress created the U nonimmigrant 
classification in the Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act of 2000 
(BIWPA). Congress intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement 
agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, 
sexual assault, trafficking of aliens, and other crimes, while offering 
protection to victims of such crimes. Congress also sought to encourage 
law enforcement officials to better serve immigrant crime victims.

[[Page 1394]]

    Alternatives: DHS has identified four alternatives, the first being 
chosen for the rule:
    1. USCIS would adjudicate petitions on a first in, first out basis. 
Petitions received after the limit has been reached would be reviewed 
to determine whether or not they are approvable, but for the numerical 
cap. Approvable petitions that are reviewed after the numerical cap has 
been reached would be placed on a waiting list and written notice sent 
to the petitioner. Priority on the waiting list would be based upon the 
date on which the petition is filed. USCIS would provide petitioners on 
the waiting list with interim relief until the start of the next fiscal 
year in the form of deferred action, parole, or a stay of removal.
    2. USCIS would adjudicate petitions on a first in, first out basis, 
establishing a waiting list for petitions that are pending or received 
after the numerical cap has been reached. Priority on the waiting list 
would be based upon the date on which the petition was filed. USCIS 
would not provide interim relief to petitioners whose petitions are 
placed on the waiting list.
    3. USCIS would adjudicate petitions on a first in, first out basis. 
However, new filings would be reviewed to identify particularly 
compelling cases for adjudication. New filings would be rejected once 
the numerical cap is reached. No official waiting list would be 
established; however, interim relief until the start of the next fiscal 
year would be provided for some compelling cases. If a case was not 
particularly compelling, the filing would be denied or rejected.
    4. USCIS would adjudicate petitions on a first in, first out basis. 
However, new filings would be rejected once the numerical cap is 
reached. No waiting list would be established nor would interim relief 
be granted.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: DHS estimated the total annual cost 
of this interim rule to petitioners to be $6.2 million in the IFR 
published in 2007. This cost included the biometric services fee, the 
opportunity cost of time needed to submit the required forms, the 
opportunity cost of time required for a visit to a USCIS Application 
Support Center, and the cost of traveling to an Application Support 
Center. DHS is currently in the process of updating our cost estimates 
since U nonimmigrant visa applicants are no longer required to pay the 
biometric service fee.
    This rule will strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies 
to investigate and prosecute such crimes as domestic violence, sexual 
assault, and trafficking in persons, while offering protection to alien 
crime victims in keeping with the humanitarian interests of the United 
States.
    Risks: In the case of witness tampering, obstruction of justice, or 
perjury, the interpretive challenge for USCIS was to determine whom the 
BIWPA was meant to protect, given that these criminal activities are 
not targeted against a person. Accordingly it was determined that a 
victim of witness tampering, obstruction of justice, or perjury is an 
alien who has been directly and proximately harmed by the perpetrator 
of one of these three crimes, where there are reasonable grounds to 
conclude that the perpetrator principally committed the offense as a 
means: (1) To avoid or frustrate efforts to investigate, arrest, 
prosecute, or otherwise bring him or her to justice for other criminal 
activity; or (2) to further his or her abuse or exploitation of, or 
undue control over, the alien through manipulation of the legal system.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   09/17/07  72 FR 53013
Interim Final Rule Effective........   10/17/07
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      11/17/07
 End.
Interim Final Rule..................   09/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State.
    Additional Information: Transferred from RIN 1115-AG39.
    Agency Contact: Laura M. Dawkins, Chief, Regulatory Coordination 
Division, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services, Suite 1200, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20529, Phone: 202 272-1470, Fax: 202 272-1480, Email: 
laura.dawkins@uscis.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1615-AA67

DHS--USCIS

57. Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility for 
Certain Immediate Relatives

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. 552a; 8 
U.S.C. 1101; 8 U.S.C. 1103; 8 U.S.C. 1304; 8 U.S.C. 1182 and note; 8 
U.S.C. 1184; 8 U.S.C. 1187; 8 U.S.C. 1223; 8 U.S.C. 1225; 8 U.S.C. 
1226; 8 U.S.C. 1227; 8 U.S.C. 1255; 8 U.S.C. 1304; 8 U.S.C. 1356; 8 
U.S.C. 1185 and note (section 7209 of Pub. L. 108-458); 31 U.S.C. 9701; 
Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat 2135 (6 U.S.C. 1 et seq.); EO 12356, 47 FR 
14874, 47 FR 15557; 3 CFR 1982 Comp p 166; 8 CFR 2; sec 212.1(q) also 
issued under sec 702, Pub. L. 110-229, 122 Stat 754, 854
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR part 103; 8 CFR part 212.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: On April 2, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) published a proposed rule at 77 FR 19902 to amend its regulations 
to allow certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are 
physically present in the United States to request provisional unlawful 
presence waivers under section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act of 1952 (INA); 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(v) in 
anticipation of immigrant visa processing abroad. The final rule 
implements the provisional unlawful presence waiver process, and 
finalizes clarifying amendments to other provisions in part 212 of 
title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Based on the final rule, 
individuals who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are 
physically present in the United States and are seeking immigrant visas 
through consular processing abroad will be able to apply for 
provisional unlawful presence waivers while in the United States. These 
changes will significantly reduce the length of time U.S. citizens are 
separated from their immediate relatives who are consular processing 
abroad and reduce the degree of interchange between DOS and USCIS, 
creating greater efficiencies for both the U.S. Government and most 
applicants.
    Statement of Need: Currently, certain spouses, children, and 
parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) who are in the United 
States are not eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) 
status while in the United States. These immediate relatives must 
travel abroad to obtain an immigrant visa from the Department of State 
(DOS) and, in many cases, also must request from DHS a waiver of the 
inadmissibility as a result of their unlawful presence in the United 
States. These immediate relatives cannot apply for the waiver until 
after their immigrant visa interviews and must remain outside of the 
United States, separated from their U.S. citizen spouses, parents, or 
children while their waiver applications are adjudicated by USCIS. In 
some cases, waiver application processing can take well over 1 year, 
prolonging the separation of these immediate relatives from their U.S. 
citizen spouses, parents, and children. In addition, the action

[[Page 1395]]

required for these immediate relatives to obtain LPR status in the 
United States--departure from the United States to apply for an 
immigrant visa at a DOS consulate abroad--is the very action that 
triggers the unlawful presence inadmissibility grounds under section 
212(a)(9)(B)(i) of the INA; 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(i). As a result, 
many immediate relatives who may qualify for an immigrant visa are 
reluctant to proceed abroad to seek an immigrant visa.
    In addition, the action required for these immediate relatives to 
obtain LPR status in the United States (i.e., departure from the United 
States to apply for an immigrant visa at a DOS consulate abroad) is the 
very action that triggers the unlawful presence inadmissibility grounds 
under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i) of the INA; 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(i).
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Secretary of Homeland Security 
(Secretary)'s authority to promulgate this final rule is found in the 
Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, section 102, 116 
Stat. 2135, 6 U.S.C. 112, and section 103 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1103, 
which give the Secretary the authority to administer and enforce the 
immigration and nationality laws. The Secretary's discretionary 
authority to waive the ground of inadmissibility for unlawful presence 
can be found in INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(v), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(v). 
The regulation governing certain inadmissibility waivers is 8 CFR 
212.7. The fee schedule for provisional unlawful presence waiver 
applications is found at 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)(i)(AA).
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This final rule is expected to 
result in a reduction in the time that U.S. citizens are separated from 
their alien immediate relatives, thus reducing the financial and 
emotional hardship for these families. In addition, the Federal 
Government should achieve increased efficiencies in processing 
immigrant visas for individuals subject to the unlawful presence 
inadmissibility bars under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the INA; 8 U.S.C. 
1182(a)(9)(B).
    Estimates of the preliminary costs of the rule were developed 
assuming that current demand is constrained because of concerns that 
families may endure lengthy separations under the current system. Due 
to uncertainties as to the degree of the current constraint of demand, 
DHS used a range of constraint levels with corresponding increases in 
demand to estimate the costs. In the proposed rule, 77 FR 19913, DHS 
estimated that the discounted total ten-year cost of this rule would 
range from approximately $100.6 million to approximately $303.8 million 
at a seven percent discount rate. Compared with the current waiver 
process, this rule requires that provisional waiver applicants submit 
biometric information. Included in the total cost estimate is the cost 
of collecting biometrics, which we estimated in the proposed rule to 
range from approximately $28 million to approximately $42.5 million 
discounted at seven percent over ten years. In addition, as this rule 
significantly streamlines the current process, DHS expects that 
additional applicants will apply for the provisional waiver as compared 
to the current waiver process. To the extent that this rule induces new 
demand for immediate relative visas, additional immigration benefit 
forms, such as the Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, will be 
filed compared to the pre-rule baseline. These additional forms will 
involve fees being paid by applicants to the Federal Government for 
form processing and additional opportunity costs of time being incurred 
by applicants to provide the information required by the forms. The 
cost estimate in the proposed rule also includes the impact of this 
induced demand, which we estimate will range from approximately $72.6 
million to approximately $261.3 million discounted at seven percent 
over ten years. DHS is currently drafting the final rule in response to 
comments, and preparing final cost estimates.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   04/02/12  77 FR 19902
NPRM Comment Period End.............   06/01/12
Final Action........................   12/00/12
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under EO 
13563.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Mark Phillips, Chief, Residence and Naturalization 
Division, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services, Office of Policy and Strategy, 20 Massachusetts 
Avenue NW., Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20529, Phone: 202 272-1470, Fax: 
202 272-1480, Email: mark.phillips@uscis.dhs.gov.
    Related RIN: Related to 1615-ZB10.
    RIN: 1615-AB99

DHS--U.S. COAST GUARD (USCG)

Proposed Rule Stage

58. Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC); Card Reader 
Requirements

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1226; 33 U.S.C. 1231; 46 U.S.C. ch 701; 
50 U.S.C. 191 and 192; EO 12656
    CFR Citation: 33 CFR, subchapter H.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, August 20, 2010, SAFE Port Act, 
codified at 46 U.S.C. 70105(k).
    The final rule is required 2 years after the commencement of the 
pilot program.
    Abstract: The Coast Guard is establishing electronic card reader 
requirements for maritime facilities and vessels to be used in 
combination with TSA's Transportation Worker Identification Credential. 
Congress enacted several statutory requirements within the Security and 
Accountability For Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006 to guide regulations 
pertaining to TWIC readers, including the need to evaluate TSA's final 
pilot program report as part of the TWIC reader rulemaking. During the 
rulemaking process, we will take into account the final pilot data and 
the various conditions in which TWIC readers may be employed. For 
example, we will consider the types of vessels and facilities that will 
use TWIC readers, locations of secure and restricted areas, operational 
constraints, and need for accessibility. Recordkeeping requirements, 
amendments to security plans, and the requirement for data exchanges 
(i.e., Canceled Card List) between TSA and vessel or facility owners/
operators will also be addressed in this rulemaking.
    Statement of Need: The Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) 
of 2002 explicitly required the issuance of a biometric transportation 
security card to all U.S. merchant mariners and to workers requiring 
unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA-regulated facilities and 
vessels. On May 22, 2006, the Transportation Security Administration 
(TSA) and the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) to carry out this statute, proposing a Transportation Worker 
Identification Credential (TWIC) Program where TSA conducts security 
threat assessments and issues identification credentials, while the 
Coast Guard requires integration of the TWIC into the access control 
systems of vessels, facilities, and Outer Continental Shelf facilities. 
Based on comments received during the public comment period, TSA and 
the Coast Guard split

[[Page 1396]]

the TWIC rule. The final TWIC rule, published in January of 2007, 
addressed the issuance of the TWIC and use of the TWIC as a visual 
identification credential at access control points. The ANPRM, 
published in March of 2009, proposed a risk-based approach to TWIC 
reader requirements and included proposals to classify MTSA-regulated 
vessels and facilities into one of three risk groups, based on specific 
factors related to TSI consequence, and apply TWIC reader requirements 
for vessels and facilities in conjunction with their relative risk-
group placement.
    This rulemaking is necessary to comply with the SAFE Port Act and 
to complete the implementation of the TWIC Program in our ports. By 
requiring electronic card readers at vessels and facilities, the Coast 
Guard will further enhance port security and improve access control 
measures.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The statutory authorities for the Coast 
Guard to prescribe, change, revise, or amend these regulations are 
provided under 33 U.S.C. 1226, 1231; 46 U.S.C. chapter 701; 50 U.S.C. 
191, 192; Executive Order 12656, 3 CFR 1988 Comp., p. 585; 33 CFR 1.05-
1, 6.04-11, 6.14, 6.16, and 6.19; Department of Homeland Security 
Delegation No. 0170.1.
    Alternatives: The implementation of TWIC reader requirements is 
mandated by the SAFE Port Act. The Coast Guard is currently considering 
several regulatory alternatives regarding how to implement the TWIC 
reader requirements. These alternatives will be further explored in the 
NPRM.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The main cost drivers of this 
proposal are the acquisition and installation of TWIC readers and the 
maintenance of the affected entity's TWIC reader system. Costs, which 
we would distribute over a phased-in implementation period, consist 
predominantly of the costs to purchase, install, and integrate approved 
TWIC readers to their current physical access control system. Recurring 
annual costs will be driven by costs associated with canceled card list 
updates, opportunity cost associated with delays and replacement of 
TWICs that cannot be read, and maintenance of the affected entity's 
TWIC reader system. At this time, we are still developing our estimates 
for the impacts of this proposed rule.
    The benefits of the rulemaking include the enhancement of the 
security of vessel ports and other facilities by ensuring that only 
individuals who hold valid TWICs are granted unescorted access to 
secure areas at those locations. It will also implement the 2002 MTSA 
transportation security card requirements, thereby ensuring compliance 
with those statutes.
    Risks: USCG used risk-based decision-making to develop this 
proposed rule.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   03/27/09  74 FR 13360
Notice of Public Meeting............   04/15/09  74 FR 17444
ANPRM Comment Period End............   05/26/09
Notice of Public Meeting Comment       05/26/09
 Period End.
NPRM................................   02/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: The docket number for this rulemaking is 
USCG-2007-28915. The docket can be found at www.regulations.gov.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: LCDR Loan O'Brien, Project Manager, Department of 
Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Commandant, (CG-FAC-2), 2100 
Second Street SW., STOP 7581, Washington, DC 20593-7581, Phone: 202 
372-1133, Email: loan.t.o'brien@uscg.mil.
    Related RIN: Related to 1625-AB02.
    RIN: 1625-AB21

DHS--USCG

Final Rule Stage

59. Implementation of the 1995 Amendments to the International 
Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping 
(STCW) for Seafarers, 1978

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103; 46 U.S.C. chs. 71 and 73; DHS 
Delegation No. 0170.1
    CFR Citation: 46 CFR part 10; 46 CFR part 11; 46 CFR part 12; 46 
CFR part 15.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) 
comprehensively amended the International Convention on Standards of 
Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, 1978, 
in 1995 and 2010. The 1995 amendments came into force on February 1, 
1997. This project implements those amendments by revising current 
rules to ensure that the United States complies with their requirements 
on: The training of merchant mariners, the documenting of their 
qualifications, and watch-standing and other arrangements aboard 
seagoing merchant ships of the United States. In addition, the Coast 
Guard has identified the need for additional changes to the interim 
rule issued in 1997. This project supports the Coast Guard's broad role 
and responsibility of maritime safety. It also supports the roles and 
responsibilities of the Coast Guard of reducing deaths and injuries of 
crew members on domestic merchant vessels and eliminating substandard 
vessels from the navigable waters of the United States.
    The Coast Guard published an NPRM on November 17, 2009, and 
Supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) on March 23, 2010.
    At a June 2010 diplomatic conference, the IMO adopted additional 
amendments to the STCW convention which change the minimum training 
requirements for seafarers. In response to feedback and to the adoption 
of those amendments, the Coast Guard developed a second Supplemental 
NPRM to incorporate the 2010 Amendments into the 1990 interim rule.
    Statement of Need: The Coast Guard proposed to amend its 
regulations to implement changes to its interim rule published on June 
26, 1997. These proposed amendments go beyond changes found in the 
interim rule and seek to more fully incorporate the requirements of the 
International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and 
Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW), in the 
requirements for the credentialing of United States merchant mariners. 
The new changes are primarily substantive and: (1) Are necessary to 
continue to give full and complete effect to the STCW Convention; (2) 
Incorporate lessons learned from implementation of the STCW through the 
interim rule and through policy letters and NVICs; and (3) Attempt to 
clarify regulations that have generated confusion.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The authority for the Coast Guard to 
prescribe, change, revise, or amend these regulations is provided under 
46 U.S.C. 2103 and 46 U.S.C. chapters 71 and 73; and Department of 
Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.
    Alternatives: For each proposed change, the Coast Guard has 
considered various alternatives. We considered using policy statements, 
but they are not enforceable. We also considered taking no action, but 
this does not support the Coast Guard's fundamental safety and security 
mission. Additionally, we considered comments made during our 1997 
rulemaking to formulate our

[[Page 1397]]

alternatives. When we analyzed issues, such as license progression and 
tonnage equivalency, the alternatives chosen were those that most 
closely met the requirements of STCW.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: In the SNPRM, we estimated the 
annualized cost of this rule over a 10-year period to be $32.8 million 
per year at a 7 percent discount rate. We estimate the total 10-year 
cost of this rulemaking to be $230.7 million at a 7 percent discount 
rate.
    The changes in anticipated costs since the publication of 2009 NPRM 
are due to the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention: Medical 
examinations and endorsements, leadership and management skills, engine 
room management training, tankerman endorsements, safety refresher 
training, and able seafarer deck and engine certification requirements. 
However, there would be potential savings from the costs of training 
requirements as the Coast Guard would accept various methods for 
demonstrating competence, including the on-the-job training and 
preservation of the ``hawsepipe'' programs.
    We anticipate the primary benefit of this rulemaking is to ensure 
that the U.S. meets its obligations under the STCW Convention. Another 
benefit is an increase in vessel safety and a resulting decrease in the 
risk of shipping casualties.
    Risks: No risks.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice of Meeting...................   08/02/95  60 FR 39306
Supplemental NPRM Comment Period End   09/29/95
Notice of Inquiry...................   11/13/95  60 FR 56970
Comment Period End..................   01/12/96
NPRM................................   03/26/96  61 FR 13284
Notice of Public Meetings...........   04/08/96  61 FR 15438
NPRM Comment Period End.............   07/24/96
Notice of Intent....................   02/04/97  62 FR 5197
Interim Final Rule..................   06/26/97  62 FR 34505
Interim Final Rule Effective........   07/28/97
NPRM................................   11/17/09  74 FR 59353
NPRM Comment Period End.............   02/16/10
Supplemental NPRM...................   03/23/10  75 FR 13715
Supplemental NPRM...................   08/01/11  76 FR 45908
Public Meeting Notice...............   08/02/11  76 FR 46217
Supplemental NPRM Comment Period End   09/30/11
Final Rule..........................   04/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to 
have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of 
international interest.
    Additional Information: The docket number for this rulemaking is 
USCG-2004-17914. The docket is located at www.regulations.gov. The old 
docket number is CGD 95-062. Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 
13563.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Mark Gould, Project Manager, CG-5221, Department of 
Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 Second Street SW., STOP 7126, 
Washington, DC 20593-7126, Phone: 202 372-1409.
    RIN: 1625-AA16

DHS--USCG

60. Vessel Requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure, and 
Automatic Identification System

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1223; 33 U.S.C. 1225; 33 U.S.C. 1231; 46 
U.S.C. 3716; 46 U.S.C. 8502 and ch 701; sec 102 of Pub. L. 107-295; EO 
12234
    CFR Citation: 33 CFR part 62; 33 CFR part 66; 33 CFR part 160; 33 
CFR part 161; 33 CFR part 164; 33 CFR part 165.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rulemaking would expand the applicability for Notice 
of Arrival and Departure (NOAD) and Automatic Identification System 
(AIS) requirements. These expanded requirements would better enable the 
Coast Guard to correlate vessel AIS data with NOAD data, enhance our 
ability to identify and track vessels, detect anomalies, improve 
navigation safety, and heighten our overall maritime domain awareness.
    The NOAD portion of this rulemaking could expand the applicability 
of the NOAD regulations by changing the minimum size of vessels covered 
below the current 300 gross tons, require a notice of departure when a 
vessel is departing for a foreign port or place, and mandate electronic 
submission of NOAD notices to the National Vessel Movement Center. The 
AIS portion of this rulemaking would expand current AIS carriage 
requirements for the population identified in the Safety of Life at Sea 
(SOLAS) Convention and the Marine Transportation Marine Transportation 
Security Act (MTSA) of 2002.
    Statement of Need: There is no central mechanism in place to 
capture vessel, crew, passenger, or specific cargo information on 
vessels less than or equal to 300 gross tons (GT) intending to arrive 
at or depart from U.S. ports unless they are arriving with certain 
dangerous cargo (CDC) or at a port in the 7th Coast Guard District; nor 
is there a requirement for vessels to submit notification of departure 
information. The lack of NOAD information of this large and diverse 
population of vessels represents a substantial gap in our maritime 
domain awareness (MDA). We can minimize this gap and enhance MDA by 
expanding NOAD applicability to vessels greater than 300 GT, all 
foreign commercial vessels and all U.S. commercial vessels coming from 
a foreign port, and further enhance (and corroborate) MDA by tracking 
those vessels (and others) with AIS. This information is necessary in 
order to expand our MDA and provide Nation maritime safety and 
security.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This rulemaking is based on congressional 
authority provided in the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (see 33 U.S.C. 
1223(a)(5), 1225, 1226, and 1231) and section 102 of the Maritime 
Transportation Security Act of 2002 (codified at 46 U.S.C. 70114).
    Alternatives: Our goal is to extend our MDA and to identify 
anomalies by correlating vessel NOAD data with AIS data. NOAD and AIS 
information from a greater number of vessels, as proposed in this 
rulemaking, would expand our MDA. We considered expanding NOAD and AIS 
to even more vessels, but we determined that we needed additional 
legislative authority to expand AIS beyond what we propose in this 
rulemaking, and that it was best to combine additional NOAD expansion 
with future AIS expansion. Although not in conjunction with a proposed 
rule, the Coast Guard sought comment regarding expansion of AIS 
carriage to other waters and other vessels not subject to the current 
requirements (68 FR 39369, Jul. 1, 2003; USCG 2003-14878; see also 68 
FR 39355). Those comments were reviewed and considered in drafting this 
rule and are available in this docket. To fulfill our statutory 
obligations, the Coast Guard needs to receive AIS reports and NOADs 
from vessels identified in this rulemaking that currently are not 
required to provide this information. Policy or other nonbinding 
statements by the Coast Guard addressed to the owners of these vessels 
would not

[[Page 1398]]

produce the information required to sufficiently enhance our MDA to 
produce the information required to fulfill our Agency obligations.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This rulemaking will enhance the 
Coast Guard's regulatory program by making it more effective in 
achieving the regulatory objectives, which, in this case, is improved 
MDA. We provide flexibility in the type of AIS system that can be used, 
allowing for reduced cost burden. This rule is also streamlined to 
correspond with Customs and Border Protection's APIS requirements, 
thereby reducing unjustified burdens. We are further developing 
estimates of cost and benefit that were published in 2008. In the 2008 
NPRM, we estimated that both segments of the proposed rule would affect 
approximately 42,607 vessels. The total number of domestic vessels 
affected is approximately 17,323 and the total number of foreign 
vessels affected is approximately 25,284. We estimated that the 10-year 
total present discounted value or cost of the proposed rule to U.S. 
vessel owners is between $132.2 and $163.7 million (7 and 3 percent 
discount rates, respectively, 2006 dollars) over the period of 
analysis.
    The Coast Guard believes that this rule, through a combination of 
NOAD and AIS, would strengthen and enhance maritime security. The 
combination of NOAD and AIS would create a synergistic effect between 
the two requirements. Ancillary or secondary benefits exist in the form 
of avoided injuries, fatalities, and barrels of oil not spilled into 
the marine environment. In the 2008 NPRM, we estimated that the total 
discounted benefit (injuries and fatalities) derived from 68 marine 
casualty cases analyzed over an 8-year data period from 1996 to 2003 
for the AIS portion of the proposed rule is between $24.7 and $30.6 
million using $6.3 million for the value of statistical life (VSL) at 7 
percent and 3 percent discount rates, respectively. Just based on 
barrels of oil not spilled, we expect the AIS portion of the proposed 
rule to prevent 22 barrels of oil from being spilled annually.
    The Coast Guard may revise costs and benefits for the final rule to 
reflect changes resulting from public comments.
    Risks: Considering the economic utility of U.S. ports, waterways, 
and coastal approaches, it is clear that a terrorist incident against 
our U.S. Maritime Transportation System (MTS) would have a direct 
impact on U.S. users and consumers and could potentially have a 
disastrous impact on global shipping, international trade, and the 
world economy. By improving the ability of the Coast Guard both to 
identify potential terrorists coming to the United States while the 
terrorists are far from our shores and to coordinate appropriate 
responses and intercepts before the vessel reaches a U.S. port, this 
rulemaking would contribute significantly to the expansion of MDA, and 
consequently is instrumental in addressing the threat posed by 
terrorist actions against the MTS.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   12/16/08  73 FR 76295
Notice of Public Meeting............   01/21/09  74 FR 3534
Notice of Second Public Meeting.....   03/02/09  74 FR 9071
NPRM Comment Period End.............   04/15/09
Notice of Second Public Meeting        04/15/09
 Comment Period End.
Final Rule..........................   04/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: We have indicated in past notices and 
rulemaking documents, and it remains the case, that we have worked to 
coordinate implementation of AIS MTSA requirements with the development 
of our ability to take advantage of AIS data (68 FR 39355 and 39370, 
Jul. 1, 2003).
    The docket number for this rulemaking is USCG-2005-21869. The 
docket can be found at www.regulations.gov.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: LCDR Michael D. Lendvay, Program Manager, Office of 
Commercial Vessel, Foreign and Offshore Vessel Activities Div. (CG-CVC-
2), Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 Second 
Street SW., STOP 7581, Washington, DC 20593-7581, Phone: 202 372-1234, 
Email: michael.d.lendvay@uscg.mil.
    Jorge Arroyo, Project Manager, Office of Navigation Systems (CG-
5531), Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 Second 
Street SW., STOP 7683, Washington, DC 20593-7683, Phone: 202 372-1563, 
Email: jorge.arroyo@uscg.mil.
    Related RIN: Related to 1625-AA93, Related to 1625-AB28.
    RIN: 1625-AA99

DHS--USCG

61. Offshore Supply Vessels of at Least 6000 GT ITC

    Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 U.S.C. 801 is 
undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-281, sec 617
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: Other, Statutory, January 1, 2012, Coast Guard 
Authorization Act of 2010.
    Abstract: The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 removed the 
size limit on offshore supply vessels (OSVs). The Act also directed the 
Coast Guard to issue, as soon as is practicable, a regulation to 
implement section 617 of the Act and to ensure the safe carriage of 
oil, hazardous substances, and individuals in addition to the crew on 
vessels of at least 6,000 gross tonnage as measured under the 
International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships (6,000 GT 
ITC). Accordingly, the Coast Guard's rule will address design, manning, 
carriage of personnel, and related topics for OSVs of at least 6,000 GT 
ITC. This rulemaking will meet the requirements of the Act and will 
support the Coast Guard's mission of marine safety, security, and 
stewardship.
    Statement of Need: In section 617 of Public Law 111-281, Congress 
removed OSV tonnage limits and instructed the Coast Guard to promulgate 
regulations to implement the amendments and authorities of section 617. 
Additionally, Congress directed the Coast Guard to ensure the safe 
carriage of oil, hazardous substances, and individuals in addition to 
the crew on OSVs of at least 6,000 GT ITC.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The statutory authority to promulgate these 
regulations is found in section 617(f) of Public Law 111-281.
    Alternatives: The Coast Guard Authorization Act removed OSV tonnage 
limits and the Coast Guard will examine alternatives during the 
development of the regulatory analysis.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The Coast Guard is currently 
developing a regulatory impact analysis of regulations that ensure the 
safe carriage of oil, hazardous substances, and individuals in addition 
to the crew on OSVs of at least 6,000 GT ITC. A potential benefit of 
this rulemaking is the ability of industry to expand and take advantage 
of new commercial opportunities in the building of larger OSVs.
    Risks: No risks.
    Timetable:

[[Page 1399]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   04/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Thomas L. Neyhart, Program Manager (CG-ENG-1), 
Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 Second Street 
SW., STOP 7126, Washington, DC 20593-7126, Phone: 202 372-1360, Email: 
thomas.l.neyhart@uscg.mil.
    RIN: 1625-AB62

DHS--U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION (USCBP)

Final Rule Stage

62. Changes to the Visa Waiver Program To Implement the Electronic 
System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Program

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1103; 8 U.S.C. 1187
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR 217.5.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: CBP issued an interim final rule, which implemented the 
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for aliens who travel 
to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) at air or sea 
ports of entry. Under the rule, VWP travelers must provide certain 
biographical information to CBP electronically before departing for the 
United States. This advance information allows CBP to determine before 
their departure whether these travelers are eligible to travel to the 
United States under the VWP and whether such travel poses a security 
risk. The interim final rule also fulfilled the requirements of section 
711 of the Implementing recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 
2007 (9/11 Act). In addition to fulfilling a statutory mandate, the 
rule serves the twin goals of promoting border security and legitimate 
travel to the United States. By modernizing the VWP, the ESTA increases 
national security and to provide for greater efficiencies in the 
screening of international travelers by allowing for vetting of 
subjects of potential interest well before boarding, thereby reducing 
traveler delays at the ports of entry. CBP requested comments on all 
aspects of the interim final rule and plans to issue a final rule after 
completion of the comment analysis.
    Statement of Need: Section 711 of the 9/11 Act requires the 
Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of 
State, to develop and implement a fully automated electronic travel 
authorization system to collect biographical and other information in 
advance of travel to determine the eligibility of the alien to travel 
to the United States, and to determine whether such travel poses a law 
enforcement or security risk. CBP issued the ESTA interim final rule to 
fulfill these statutory requirements.
    Under the interim final rule, VWP travelers are now required to 
provide certain information to CBP electronically before departing for 
the United States. VWP travelers who receive travel authorization under 
ESTA are not required to complete the paper Form I-94W when arriving on 
a carrier that is capable of receiving and validating messages 
pertaining to the traveler's ESTA status as part of the traveler's 
boarding status. By automating the I-94W process and establishing a 
system to provide VWP traveler data in advance of travel, CBP is able 
to determine the eligibility of citizens and eligible nationals from 
VWP countries to travel to the United States and to determine whether 
such travel poses a law enforcement or security risk, before such 
individuals begin travel to the United States. ESTA provides for 
greater efficiencies in the screening of international travelers by 
allowing CBP to identify subjects of potential interest before they 
depart for the United States, thereby increasing security and reducing 
traveler delays upon arrival at U.S. ports of entry.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The ESTA program is based on congressional 
authority provided under section 711 of the Implementing 
Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 and section 217 of 
the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
    Alternatives: When developing the interim final rule, CBP 
considered three alternatives to this rule:
    1. The ESTA requirements in the rule, but with a $1.50 fee per each 
travel authorization (more costly).
    2. The ESTA requirements in the rule, but with only the name of the 
passenger and the admissibility questions on the I-94W form (less 
burdensome).
    3. The ESTA requirements in the rule, but only for the countries 
entering the VWP after 2009 (no new requirements for VWP, reduced 
burden for newly entering countries).
    CBP determined that the rule provides the greatest level of 
enhanced security and efficiency at an acceptable cost to traveling 
public and potentially affected air carriers.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The purpose of ESTA is to allow DHS 
and CBP to establish the eligibility of certain foreign travelers to 
travel to the United States under the VWP, and whether the alien's 
proposed travel to the United States poses a law enforcement or 
security risk. Upon review of such information, DHS will determine 
whether the alien is eligible to travel to the United States under the 
VWP.

Costs to Air & Sea Carriers

    CBP estimated that eight U.S.-based air carriers and eleven sea 
carriers will be affected by the rule. An additional 35 foreign-based 
air carriers and five sea carriers will be affected. CBP concluded that 
costs to air and sea carriers to support the requirements of the ESTA 
program could cost $137 million to $1.1 billion over the next 10 years 
depending on the level of effort required to integrate their systems 
with ESTA, how many passengers they need to assist in applying for 
travel authorizations, and the discount rate applied to annual costs.

Costs to Travelers

    ESTA will present new costs and burdens to travelers in VWP 
countries who were not previously required to submit any information to 
the U.S. Government in advance of travel to the United States. 
Travelers from Roadmap countries who become VWP countries will also 
incur costs and burdens, though these are much less than obtaining a 
nonimmigrant visa (category B1/B2), which is currently required for 
short-term pleasure or business to travel to the United States. CBP 
estimated that the total quantified costs to travelers will range from 
$1.1 billion to $3.5 billion depending on the number of travelers, the 
value of time, and the discount rate. Annualized costs are estimated to 
range from $133 million to $366 million.

Benefits

    As set forth in section 711 of the 9/11 Act, it was the intent of 
Congress to modernize and strengthen the security of the Visa Waiver 
Program under section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA, 
8 U.S.C. 1187) by simultaneously enhancing program security 
requirements and extending visa-free travel privileges to citizens and 
eligible nationals of eligible foreign countries that are partners in 
the war on terrorism.
    By requiring passenger data in advance of travel, CBP may be able 
to

[[Page 1400]]

determine, before the alien departs for the United States, the 
eligibility of citizens and eligible nationals from VWP countries to 
travel to the United States under the VWP, and whether such travel 
poses a law enforcement or security risk. In addition to fulfilling a 
statutory mandate, the rule serves the twin goals of promoting border 
security and legitimate travel to the United States. By modernizing the 
VWP, ESTA is intended to both increase national security and provide 
for greater efficiencies in the screening of international travelers by 
allowing for the screening of subjects of potential interest well 
before boarding, thereby reducing traveler delays based on potentially 
lengthy processes at U.S. ports of entry.
    CBP concluded that the total benefits to travelers could total $1.1 
billion to $3.3 billion over the period of analysis. Annualized 
benefits could range from $134 million to $345 million.
    In addition to these benefits to travelers, CBP and the carriers 
should also experience the benefit of not having to administer the I-
94W except in limited situations. While CBP has not conducted an 
analysis of the potential savings, it should accrue benefits from not 
having to produce, ship, and store blank forms. CBP should also be able 
to accrue savings related to data entry and archiving. Carriers should 
realize some savings as well, though carriers will still have to 
administer the I-94 for those passengers not traveling under the VWP 
and the Customs Declaration forms for all passengers aboard the 
aircraft and vessel.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Action................   06/09/08  73 FR 32440
Interim Final Rule Effective........   08/08/08
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      08/08/08
 End.
Notice--Announcing Date Rule Becomes   11/13/08  73 FR 67354
 Mandatory.
Final Action........................   08/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to 
have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of 
international interest.
    Additional Information: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Suzanne Shepherd, Director, Electronic System for 
Travel Authorization, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20229, 
Phone: 202 344-2073, Email: suzanne.m.shepherd@cbp.dhs.gov.
    Related RIN: Related to 1651-AA83.
    RIN: 1651-AA72

DHS--TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (TSA)

Proposed Rule Stage

63. Security Training for Surface Mode Employees

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 49 U.S.C. 114; Pub. L. 110-53, secs 1408, 1517, 
and 1534
    CFR Citation: 49 CFR part 1520; 49 CFR part 1570; 49 CFR part 1580; 
49 CFR part 1582 (New); 49 CFR part 1584 (New).
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, November 1, 2007, Interim Rule 
for public transportation agencies is due 90 days after date of 
enactment.
    Final, Statutory, February 3, 2008, Rule for railroads and over-
the-road buses are due 6 months after date of enactment.
    Final, Statutory, August 3, 2008, Rule for public transportation 
agencies is due 1 year after date of enactment.
    According to sec. 1408 of Public Law 110-53, Implementing 
Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (Aug. 3, 2007; 121 
Stat. 266), interim final regulations for public transportation 
agencies are due 90 days after the date of enactment (Nov. 1, 2007), 
and final regulations are due 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act. According to sec. 1517 of the same Act, final regulations for 
railroads and over-the-road buses are due no later than 6 months after 
the date of enactment.
    Abstract: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intends 
to propose a new regulation to improve the security of freight 
railroads, public transportation, passenger railroads, and over-the-
road buses in accordance with the Implementing Recommendations of the 
9/11 Commission Act of 2007. This rulemaking will propose general 
requirements for the owner/operators of a freight railroad, public 
transportation system, passenger railroad, and an over-the-road bus 
operation determined by TSA to be high-risk to develop and implement a 
security training program to prepare security-sensitive employees, 
including frontline employees identified in sections 1402 and 1501 of 
the Act, for potential security threats and conditions. The rulemaking 
will also propose extending the security coordinator and reporting 
security incident requirements applicable to rail operators under 
current 49 CFR part 1580 to the non-rail transportation components of 
covered public transportation agencies. In addition, the rulemaking 
will also propose requiring the affected over-the-road bus owner/
operators to identify security coordinators and report security 
incidents, similar to the requirements for rail in current 49 CFR 1580. 
The regulation will take into consideration any current security 
training requirements or best practices.
    Statement of Need: A security training program for freight 
railroads, public transportation agencies and passenger railroads, and 
over-the-road bus operations is proposed to prepare freight railroad 
security-sensitive employees, public transportation, passenger railroad 
security-sensitive employees, and over-the-road bus security-sensitive 
employees for potential security threats and conditions.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 49 U.S.C. 114; sections 1408, 1517, and 
1534 of Public Law 110-53, Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 
Commission Act of 2007 (Aug. 3, 2007; 121 Stat. 266).
    Alternatives: TSA is required by statute to publish regulations 
requiring security training programs for these owner/operators. As part 
of its notice of proposed rulemaking, TSA will seek public comment on 
the alternative ways in which the final rule could carry out the 
requirements of the statute.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: TSA will estimate the costs that the 
freight railroad systems, public transportation agencies, passenger 
railroads, and over-the-road bus (OTRB) entities covered by this 
proposed rule would incur following its implementation. These costs 
will include estimates for the following elements: (1) Creating or 
modifying a security training program and submitting it to TSA; (2) 
Training (initial and recurrent) all security-sensitive employees; (3) 
Maintaining records of employee training; (4) Being available for 
inspections; (5) As applicable, providing information on security 
coordinators and alternates; and (6) As applicable, reporting security 
concerns. TSA will also estimate the costs TSA itself would expect to 
incur with the implementation of this rule.

[[Page 1401]]

    TSA has not quantified benefits. TSA, however, expects that the 
primary benefit of the Security Training NPRM will be the enhancement 
of the United States surface transportation security by reducing the 
vulnerability of freight railroad systems, public transportation 
agencies, passenger railroads, and over-the-road bus entities to 
terrorist activity through the training of security-sensitive 
employees. TSA uses a break-even analysis to assess the trade-off 
between the beneficial effects of the Security Training NPRM and the 
costs of implementing the rulemaking. This break-even analysis uses 
scenarios extracted from the TSA Transportation Sector Security Risk 
Assessment (TSSRA) to determine the degree to which the Security 
Training NPRM must reduce the overall risk of a terrorist attack in 
order for the expected benefits of the NPRM to justify the estimated 
costs. For its analyses, TSA uses scenarios with varying levels of 
risk, but only details the consequence estimates. To maintain 
consistency, TSA developed the analyses with a method similar to that 
used for the break-even analyses conducted in earlier DHS rules.
    After estimating the total consequence of each scenario by 
monetizing lives lost, injuries incurred, and capital replacement and 
clean-up, TSA will use this figure and the annualized cost of the NPRM 
for freight rail, public transportation, passenger rail, and OTRB 
owner/operators to calculate a breakeven annual likelihood of attack.
    Risks: The Department of Homeland Security aims to prevent 
terrorist attacks within the United States and to reduce the 
vulnerability of the United States to terrorism. By providing for 
security training for personnel, TSA intends in this rulemaking to 
reduce the risk of a terrorist attack on this transportation sector.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   07/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: Local.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Scott Gorton, Manager, Freight Rail Security 
Branch, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security 
Administration, Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement, TSA-
28, HQ, E10-423N, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6028, 
Phone: 571 227-1251, Fax: 571 227-2930, Email: 
scott.gorton@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Steve Sprague, Highway Passenger, Infrastructure and Licensing 
Branch Chief; Highway and Motor Carrier Programs, Department of 
Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, Office of 
Security Policy and Industry Engagement, TSA-28, HQ, E, 601 South 12th 
Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6028, Phone: 571 227-1468, Email: 
steve.sprague@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Dominick S. Caridi Director, Regulatory and Economic Analysis, 
Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security 
Administration, Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement, TSA-
28, HQ, E10-419N, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6028, 
Phone: 571 227-2952, Fax: 703 603-0404, Email: 
dominick.caridi@tsa.dhs.gov.
    David Kasminoff, Senior Counsel, Regulations and Security Standards 
Division, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security 
Administration, Office of the Chief Counsel, TSA-2, HQ, E12-310N, 601 
South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6002, Phone: 571 227-3583, Fax: 
571 227-1378, Email: david.kasminoff@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Traci Klemm, Senior Counsel, Regulations and Security Standards 
Division, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security 
Administration, Office of the Chief Counsel, TSA-2, E12-335N, 601 South 
12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6002, Phone: 571 227-3596, Email: 
traci.klemm@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Related RIN: Related to 1652-AA56, Merged with 1652-AA57, Merged 
with 1652-AA59.
    RIN: 1652-AA55

DHS--TSA

64. Standardized Vetting, Adjudication, and Redress Services

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 49 U.S.C. 114; Pub. L. 110-53, secs 1411, 1414, 
1520, 1522, 1602; 6 U.S.C. 469
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intends 
to propose new regulations to revise and standardize the procedures, 
adjudication criteria, and fees for most of the security threat 
assessments (STA) of individuals for which TSA is responsible. In 
accordance with the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission 
Act of 2007 (9/11 Act), the scope of the rulemaking will include 
transportation workers from all modes of transportation who are 
required to undergo an STA in other regulatory programs, including 
certain aviation workers and frontline employees for public 
transportation agencies and railroads.
    In addition, TSA will propose fees to cover the cost of the STAs 
and credentials for some personnel. TSA plans to improve efficiencies 
in processing STAs and streamline existing regulations by simplifying 
language and removing redundancies.
    As part of this proposed rule, TSA will propose revisions to the 
Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) regulations. TSA published an 
interim final rule for ASFP on September 20, 2004. TSA regulations 
require aliens seeking to train at Federal Aviation Administration-
regulated flight schools to complete an application and undergo an STA 
prior to beginning flight training. There are four categories under 
which students currently fall; the nature of the STA depends on the 
student's category. TSA is considering changes to the AFSP that would 
improve the equity among fee payers and enable the implementation of 
new technologies to support vetting.
    Statement of Need: Through this rulemaking, TSA proposes to carry 
out statutory mandates to perform security threat assessments (STA) of 
certain transportation workers pursuant to the 9/11 Act. Also, TSA 
proposes to fully satisfy 6 U.S.C. 469, which requires TSA to fund 
security threat assessment and credentialing activities through user 
fees. The proposed rulemaking would increase transportation security by 
enhancing identification and immigration verification standards, 
providing for more thorough vetting, improving the reliability and 
consistency of the vetting process, and increasing fairness to vetted 
individuals by providing more robust redress and reducing redundant STA 
requirements.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 49 U.S.C. 114(f): Under the Aviation and 
Transportation Security Act (ATSA) (Pub. L. 170-71, Nov. 19, 2001, 115 
Stat. 597), TSA assumed responsibility to oversee the vetting of 
certain aviation workers. See 49 U.S.C. 44936.
    Under the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA), (Pub. L. 
107-295, sec. 102, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2064), codified at 46 
U.S.C. 70105, TSA vets certain merchant mariners and individuals who 
require unescorted

[[Page 1402]]

access to secure areas of vessels and maritime facilities.
    Under the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing 
Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA 
PATRIOT Act) (Pub. L. 107-56, Oct. 25, 2001, 115 Stat. 272), TSA vets 
individuals seeking hazardous materials endorsements (HME) to 
commercial driver's licenses (CDL) issued by the States.
    In the Implementing Recommendation of the 9/11 Commission Act of 
2007 (Pub. L. 110-53, Aug. 3, 2007, 121 Stat. 266), Congress directed 
TSA to vet additional populations of transportation workers, including 
certain public transportation and railroad workers.
    In 6 U.S.C. 469, Congress directed TSA to fund vetting and 
credentialing programs through user fees.
    Alternatives: TSA considered a number of viable alternatives to 
lessen the impact of the proposed regulations on entities deemed 
``small'' by the Small Business Administration (SBA) standards. This 
included: (1) Extending phone pre-enrollment to populations eligible to 
enroll via the Web; and (2) changing the current delivery and 
activation process and instituting centralized activation of biometric 
credentials that allow applicants to receive their credentials through 
the mail rather than returning to the enrollment center to pick up the 
credential. These alternatives are discussed in detail in the rule and 
regulatory evaluation.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: TSA conducted a regulatory 
evaluation to estimate the costs regulated entities, individuals, and 
TSA would incur to comply with the requirements of the NPRM. The NPRM 
would impose new requirements for some individuals, codify existing 
requirements not included in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and 
modify current STA requirements for many transportation workers. The 
primary benefit of the NPRM would be that it will improve TSA's vetting 
product, process, and structure by improving STAs, increasing equity, 
decreasing reliance on appropriated funds, and improving reusability of 
STAs and mitigating redundant STAs.
    TSA has not quantified benefits. TSA uses a break-even analysis to 
assess the trade-off between the beneficial effects of the NPRM and the 
costs of implementing the rulemaking. This break-even analysis uses 
scenarios from the TSA Transportation Sector Security Risk Assessment 
(TSSRA) to determine the degree to which the NPRM must reduce the 
overall risk of a terrorist attack in order for the expected benefits 
of the NPRM to justify the estimated costs. For its analyses, TSA uses 
scenarios with varying levels of risk, but only details the consequence 
estimates. To maintain consistency, TSA developed the analyses with a 
method similar to that used for the break-even analyses conducted in 
earlier DHS rules. After estimating the total consequences of each 
scenario by monetizing lives lost, injuries incurred, capital 
replacement, and clean-up, TSA will use this figure and the annualized 
cost of the NPRM to calculate the frequency of attacks averted in order 
for the NPRM to break even.
    TSA estimates that the total savings to the alien flight students, 
over a 5-year period, will be $18,107 at a 7 percent discount rate.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   07/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 
13563.
    Agency Contact: George J. Petersen, Acting Division Director 
Programs, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security 
Administration, Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement, TSA-
28, HQ, E3-416N, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6028, 
Phone: 571 227-2215, Fax: 571 227-1374, Email: 
george.petersen@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Dominick S. Caridi, Director, Regulatory and Economic Analysis, 
Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security 
Administration, Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement, TSA-
28, HQ, E10-419N, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6028, 
Phone: 571 227-2952, Fax: 703 603-0404, Email: 
dominick.caridi@tsa.dhs.gov.
    John Vergelli, Attorney, Regulations and Security Standards 
Division, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security 
Administration, DHS, TSA, Office of the Chief Counsel, TSA-2, HQ, E12-
309N, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6002, Phone: 571 227-
4416, Fax: 571 227-1378, Email: john.vergelli@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Related RIN: Related to 1652-AA35.
    RIN: 1652-AA61

DHS--TSA

65.  Passenger Screening Using Advanced Imaging Technology

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 49 U.S.C. 44925
    CFR Citation: 49 CFR 1540.107.
    Legal Deadline: NPRM, Judicial, March 31, 2013, TSA issue an NPRM 
by the end of March 2013. In the July 15, 2011, decision described 
below, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia Circuit 
directed TSA promptly to proceed to conduct notice and comment 
rulemaking.
    Abstract: This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is being issued 
to comply with the decision rendered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for 
the District Columbia Circuit in Electronic Privacy Information Center 
(EPIC) v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 15, 2011, 
653 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2011). The Court directed TSA to conduct notice 
and comment rulemaking on the use of advanced imaging technology (AIT) 
in the primary screening of passengers. As a result, the Transportation 
Security Administration (TSA) proposes to amend its civil aviation 
regulations to clarify that screening and inspection of an individual 
conducted to control access to the sterile area of an airport or to an 
aircraft may include the use of AIT.
    Statement of Need: TSA is proposing regulations to respond to the 
decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia 
Circuit in EPIC v. DHS 653 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2011).
    Summary of Legal Basis: In its decision in EPIC v. DHS 653 F.3d 1 
(DC Cir. 2011), the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia 
Circuit found that TSA failed to justify its failure to conduct notice 
and comment rulemaking and remanded to TSA for further proceedings.
    Alternatives: In the NPRM, TSA requests comment on several 
alternatives to AIR screening.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: TSA is currently evaluating the 
costs and benefits of this proposed rule.
    Risks: DHS aims to prevent terrorist attacks and to reduce the 
vulnerability of the United States to terrorism. By screening 
passengers with AIT, TSA will reduce the risk that a terrorist will 
smuggle a non-metallic threat on board an aircraft.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.

[[Page 1403]]

    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Adam D. Freimanis, Portfolio Branch Manager, 
Passenger Screening Program, Department of Homeland Security, 
Transportation Security Administration, Office of Security 
Capabilities, TSA-16, HQ, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-
6016, Phone: 571 227-2952, Fax: 571 227-1931, Email: 
adam.freimanis@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Dominick S. Caridi, Director, Regulatory and Economic Analysis, 
Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security 
Administration, Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement, TSA-
28, HQ, E10-419N, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6028, 
Phone: 571 227-2952, Fax: 703 603-0404, Email: 
dominick.caridi@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Linda L. Kent, Assistant Chief Counsel, Regulations and Security 
Standards Division, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation 
Security Administration, Office of the Chief Counsel, TSA-2, HQ, E12-
126S, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6002, Phone: 571 227-
2675, Fax: 571 227-1381, Email: linda.kent@tsa.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1652-AA67

DHS--TSA

Final Rule Stage

66. Aircraft Repair Station Security

    Priority: Other Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 49 U.S.C. 114; 49 U.S.C. 44924
    CFR Citation: 49 CFR part 1554.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, August 8, 2004, Rule within 240 
days of the date of enactment of Vision 100.
    Final, Statutory, August 3, 2008, Rule within 1 year after the date 
of enactment of 9/11 Commission Act. Section 611(b)(1) of Vision 100--
Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (Pub. L. 108-176; Dec. 12, 
2003; 117 Stat. 2490), codified at 49 U.S.C. 44924, requires that TSA 
issue ``final regulations to ensure the security of foreign and 
domestic aircraft repair stations.'' Section 1616 of the Implementing 
Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-531; 
Aug. 3, 2007; 21 Stat. 266) requires TSA issue a final rule on foreign 
repair station security.
    Abstract: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) proposed 
to add a new regulation to improve the security of domestic and foreign 
aircraft repair stations, as required by the section 611 of Vision 
100--Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act and section 1616 of the 9/
11 Commission Act of 2007. The regulation proposed general requirements 
for security programs to be adopted and implemented by certain repair 
stations certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A 
notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal 
Register on November 18, 2009, requesting public comments to be 
submitted by January 19, 2010. The comment period was extended to 
February 19, 2010, at the request of the stakeholders to allow the 
aviation industry and other interested entities and individuals 
additional time to complete their comments.
    TSA has coordinated its efforts with the FAA throughout the 
rulemaking process to ensure that the final rule does not interfere 
with FAA's ability or authority to regulate part 145 repair station 
safety matters.
    Statement of Need: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 
is proposing regulations to improve the security of domestic and 
foreign aircraft repair stations. The NPRM proposed to require certain 
repair stations that are certificated by the Federal Aviation 
Administration to adopt and carry out a security program. The proposal 
will codify the scope of TSA's existing inspection program. The 
proposal also provides procedures for repair stations to seek review of 
any TSA determination that security measures are deficient.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 611(b)(1) of Vision 100--Century of 
Aviation Reauthorization Act (Pub. L. 108-176; Dec. 12, 2003; 117 Stat. 
2490), codified at 49 U.S.C. 44924, requires the TSA to issue ``final 
regulations to ensure the security of foreign and domestic aircraft 
repair stations'' within 240 days from date of enactment of Vision 100. 
Section 1616 of Public Law 110-53, Implementing Recommendations of the 
9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (Aug. 3, 2007; 121 Stat. 266) requires that 
the FAA may not certify any foreign repair stations if the regulations 
are not issued within 1 year after the date of enactment of the 9/11 
Commission Act unless the repair station was previously certificated or 
is in the process of certification.
    Alternatives: TSA is required by statute to publish regulations 
requiring security programs for aircraft repair stations. As part of 
its notice of proposed rulemaking, TSA sought public comment on the 
numerous alternative ways in which the final rule could carry out the 
requirements of the statute.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: TSA anticipates costs to aircraft 
repair stations mainly related to the establishment of security 
programs, which may include adding such measures as access controls, a 
personnel identification system, security awareness training, the 
designation of a security coordinator, employee background 
verification, and contingency plan.
    The NPRM estimated the total 10-year undiscounted cost of the 
program at $403 million. The cost of the program, discounted at 7 
percent, is $285 million. Security coordinator and training costs 
represent the largest portions of the program.
    TSA has not quantified benefits. However, a major line of defense 
against an aviation-related terrorist act is the prevention of 
explosives, weapons, and/or incendiary devices from getting on board a 
plane. To date, efforts have been primarily related to inspection of 
baggage, passengers, and cargo, and security measures at airports that 
serve air carriers. With this rule, attention is given to aircraft that 
are located at repair stations and to aircraft parts that are at repair 
stations to reduce the likelihood of an attack against aviation and the 
country. Since repair station personnel have direct access to all parts 
of an aircraft, the potential exists for a terrorist to seek to 
commandeer or compromise an aircraft when the aircraft is at one of 
these facilities. Moreover, as TSA tightens security in other areas of 
aviation, repair stations increasingly may become attractive targets 
for terrorist organizations attempting to evade aviation security 
protections currently in place.
    TSA uses a break-even analysis to assess the trade-off between the 
beneficial effects of the final rule and the costs of implementing the 
rulemaking. This break-even analysis uses three attack scenarios to 
determine the degree to which the final rule must reduce the overall 
risk of a terrorist attack in order for the expected benefits of the 
final rule to justify the estimated costs. For its analyses, TSA uses 
scenarios with varying levels of risk, but only details the consequence 
estimates. To maintain consistency, TSA developed the analyses with a 
method similar to that used for the break-even analyses conducted in 
earlier DHS rules. After estimating the total consequences of each 
scenario by monetizing lives lost, injuries incurred, and capital 
replacement, TSA will use this figure and the annualized cost of the 
final rule to calculate the frequency of attacks averted in order for 
the final rule to break even.

[[Page 1404]]

    Risks: The Department of Homeland Security aims to prevent 
terrorist attacks within the United States and to reduce the 
vulnerability of the United States to terrorism. By requiring security 
programs for certain aircraft repair stations, TSA will focus on 
preventing unauthorized access to repair work and to aircraft to 
prevent sabotage or hijacking.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice--Public Meeting; Request for    02/24/04  69 FR 8357
 Comments.
Report to Congress..................   08/24/04
NPRM................................   11/18/09  74 FR 59873
NPRM Comment Period End.............   01/19/10
NPRM Comment Period Extended........   12/29/09  74 FR 68774
NPRM Extended Comment Period End....   02/19/10
Final Rule..........................   03/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Celio Young, Program Manager, Repair Stations, 
Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security 
Administration, Office of Transportation Sector Network Management, 
General Aviation Division, TSA-28, HQ, E5, 601 South 12th Street, 
Arlington, VA 20598-6028, Phone: 571 227-3580, Fax: 571 227-1362, 
Email: celio.young@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Dominick S. Caridi, Director, Regulatory and Economic Analysis, 
Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security 
Administration, Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement, TSA-
28, HQ, E10-419N, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6028, 
Phone: 571 227-2952, Fax: 703 603-0404, Email: 
dominick.caridi@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Linda L. Kent, Assistant Chief Counsel, Regulations and Security 
Standards Division, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation 
Security Administration, Office of the Chief Counsel, TSA-2, HQ, E12-
126S, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6002, Phone: 571 227-
2675, Fax: 571 227-1381, Email: linda.kent@tsa.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1652-AA38

DHS--U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (USICE)

Proposed Rule Stage

67. Adjustments to Limitations on Designated School Official Assignment 
and Study by F-2 and M-2 Nonimmigrants

    Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 U.S.C. 801 is 
undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101 to 1103; 8 U.S.C. 1182; 8 U.S.C. 
1184
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR 214.2(f)(15); 8 CFR 214.3(a); 8 CFR part 214.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The proposed rule would revise 8 CFR parts 214.2 and 
214.3. First, it would provide additional flexibility to schools in 
determining the number of designated school officials (DSOs) to 
nominate for the oversight of the school's campuses where international 
students are enrolled. Current regulation limits the number of DSOs to 
10 per school, or 10 per campus in a multi-campus school. Second, the 
proposed rule would permit F-2 and M-2 spouses and children 
accompanying academic and vocational nonimmigrant students with F-1 or 
M-1 nonimmigrant status to enroll in study at an SEVP-certified school 
so long as any study remains less than a full course of study.
    Statement of Need: The Department of Homeland Security proposes to 
amend its regulations under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program to 
improve management of international student programs and increase 
opportunities for study by spouses and children of nonimmigrant 
students. The proposed rule would grant school officials more 
flexibility in determining the number of designated school officials 
(DSOs) to nominate for the oversight of campuses. The rule also would 
provide greater incentive for international students to study in the 
United States by permitting accompanying spouses and children of 
academic and vocational nonimmigrant students with F-1 or M-1 
nonimmigrant status to enroll in less than a full course of study at an 
SEVP-certified school.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The anticipated costs of the NPRM 
derive from the existing requirements for the training and reporting to 
DHS of additional DSOs. The primary benefits of the NPRM are providing 
flexibility to schools in the number of DSOs allowed and providing 
greater incentive for international students to study in the United 
States by permitting accompanying spouses and children of academic and 
vocational nonimmigrant students in F-1 or M-1 status to enroll in 
study at a SEVP-certified school so long as they are not engaged in a 
full course of study.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Katherine H. Westerlund, Acting Unit Chief, SEVP 
Policy, Student and Exchange Visitor Program, Department of Homeland 
Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Potomac Center 
North, 500 12th Street SW., STOP 5600, Washington, DC 20536-5600, 
Phone: 703 603-3414, Email: katherine.h.westerlund@ice.dhs.gov.
    Related RIN: Previously reported as 1615-AA19.
    RIN: 1653-AA63

DHS--USICE

68.  Standards To Prevent, Detect and Respond to Sexual Abuse 
and Assault in Confinement Facilities (Section 610 Review)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. 552a; 8 
U.S.C. 1103; 8 U.S.C. 1182; * * *
    CFR Citation: 6 CFR part 115.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to 
issue regulations setting detention standards to prevent, detect, and 
respond to sexual abuse and assault in DHS confinement facilities.
    Statement of Need: The purpose of this rulemaking is to propose 
regulations setting standards to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual 
abuse in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confinement facilities. 
The proposed standards build on current U.S. Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement (ICE) Performance Based National Detention Standards 
(PBNDS) and other DHS detention policies, and respond to the 
President's May 17, 2012 Memorandum, ``Implementing the Prison Rape 
Elimination Act,'' which directs all agencies with Federal confinement 
facilities to work with the Attorney General to propose rules or 
procedures setting standards to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual 
abuse in confinement facilities.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The NPRM would impose standards to 
prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse and assault in DHS 
confinement

[[Page 1405]]

facilities. These facilities consist of immigration detention 
facilities and holding facilities. The proposed standards would impose 
new requirements for some facilities and codify current requirements 
for other facilities. Such standards will require Federal, State, and 
local agencies, as well as private entities that operate confinement 
facilities, to incur costs in implementing and complying with those 
standards. The primary benefit of the NPRM would be improvements to the 
prevention, detection, and response to sexual abuse and assault. DHS 
will follow DOJ methodology for monetizing the value of preventing 
sexual abuse incidents, which includes consideration for costs of 
medical and mental health care treatment as well as pain, suffering, 
and diminished quality of life, among other factors. DHS will use a 
break-even analysis to assess the trade-off between the beneficial 
effects of the NPRM and the costs of implementing the rulemaking. The 
break-even analysis uses the monetized estimates of incidents avoided 
to determine the degree to which the NPRM must reduce the annual 
incidence of sexual abuse for the costs of compliance to break even 
with the monetized benefits of the standards. This does not include 
non-monetizable benefits of sexual abuse avoidance. The NPRM will 
include a Regulatory Impact Assessment.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   12/00/12
NPRM Comment Period End.............   02/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State.
    Agency Contact: Alexander Hartman, Regulatory Coordinator, 
Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement, 500 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20536, Phone: 202 732-
6202, Email: alexander.hartman@ice.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1653-AA65

BILLING CODE 9110-9B-P

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Statement of Regulatory Priorities

    The Regulatory Plan for the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development (HUD) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 highlights the most 
significant regulatory initiatives that HUD seeks to complete during 
the upcoming fiscal year. As the federal agency that serves as the 
nation's housing agency, committed to addressing the housing needs of 
Americans, promoting economic and community development, and enforcing 
the nation's fair housing laws, HUD plays a significant role in the 
lives of families and communities throughout America. Through its 
programs, HUD works to strengthen the housing market and protect 
consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize 
housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build 
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.
    It is HUD's mission to promote non-discrimination and ensure fair 
and equal housing opportunities for all. In its Annual Performance Plan 
for Fiscal Years 2012-2013, HUD committed to creating places throughout 
the nation that effectively connect people to jobs, transportation, 
quality public schools, and other amenities--``geographies of 
opportunity.'' In this regard, HUD's Regulatory Plan for FY2013 focuses 
on strengthening, through regulation, a statutory requirement that will 
help HUD achieve this goal--affirmatively furthering fair housing.

Priority: Providing Communities of Opportunity for All

    America's fundamental ideal that hard work and determination will 
open the doors to opportunity has been unevenly realized because access 
to opportunity has been affected by factors that are not tied to the 
choices or actions of an individual or family. Despite genuine progress 
and a landscape of communities transformed in the more than 40 years 
since the Fair Housing Act was enacted, the ZIP code children grow up 
in too often remains a strong predictor of their life course. From its 
inception, the Fair Housing Act (and subsequent laws reaffirming its 
principles) not only outlawed discrimination but also set out steps 
that needed to be taken proactively to overcome the legacy of 
segregation. The ongoing promise of equal opportunity remains as 
critical now as it ever has been, especially as diversity increasingly 
becomes a part of the lives of all Americans. HUD is committed to 
helping build a stronger and more secure economy that works for the 
middle class and those aspiring to join the middle class, through 
access, opportunity and fairness, and HUD can do this by strengthening 
the statutory mandate to affirmatively further fair housing.
    HUD proposes to bring the obligation to affirmatively further fair 
housing into the 21st century by emphasizing access and opportunity in 
addition to helping eliminate discrimination and segregation. Even 
further, HUD's proposal embraces new tools that are now available and 
lessons learned from extensive local experience to help guide 
communities in fulfilling the original promise of the Fair Housing Act.

Regulatory Action: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing--A New 
Approach

    To better fulfill the statutory obligation to affirmatively further 
fair housing, HUD proposes to replace the existing requirement to 
undertake an analysis of impediments with a fair housing assessment and 
planning process that will aid HUD program participants in improving 
access to opportunity and advancing the ability for all families to 
make true housing choices. To facilitate this new approach, HUD will 
provide states, local governments, insular areas, and public housing 
agencies (PHAs), as well as the communities they serve with data on 
patterns of integration and segregation; racially and ethnically 
concentrated areas of poverty; access to neighborhood opportunity 
through categories such as education, employment, low-poverty, 
transportation, and environmental health, among others; 
disproportionate housing needs based on the classes protected under the 
Fair Housing Act; data on individuals with disabilities and families 
with children; and discrimination. From these data, program 
participants will evaluate their present environment to assess fair 
housing issues, identify the primary determinants that account for 
those issues, and set forth fair housing priorities and goals. The 
benefit of this approach is that these priorities and goals will then 
better inform program participant's strategies and actions by improving 
the integration of the assessment of fair housing through enhanced 
coordination with current planning exercises. This proposed rule 
further commits HUD to greater engagement and better guidance for 
program participants in fulfilling their obligation to affirmatively 
further fair housing.

Aggregate Costs and Benefits

    Executive Order 12866, as amended, requires the agency to provide 
its best estimate of the combined aggregate costs and benefits of all 
regulations included in the agency's Regulatory Plan that will be made 
effective in calendar year 2011. HUD expects that the neither the total

[[Page 1406]]

economic costs nor the total efficiency gains will exceed $100 million.

Priority Regulations in HUD's FY 2013 Regulatory Plan

HUD--OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

Proposed Rule Stage

Communities of Opportunity for All Through Affirmatively Furthering 
Fair Housing
    Priority: Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 3600-3620; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d)
    CFR Citation: 24 CFR part 5.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: Through this rule, HUD proposes to provide HUD program 
participants with more effective means to affirmatively further the 
purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act, which is Title VIII of 
the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The Fair Housing Act not only prohibits 
discrimination but, in conjunction with other statutes, directs HUD's 
program participants to take steps proactively to overcome historic 
patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster 
inclusive communities of opportunity for all. To promote more effective 
fair housing planning and assist every program participant meet 
requirements related to affirmatively furthering fair housing, HUD 
proposes in this rule to address directly concerns about the current 
fair housing planning process by making a number of key changes. These 
include: (1) A new fair housing assessment and planning tool, referred 
to as an assessment of fair housing, which will replace the current 
analysis of impediments, (2) the provision of nationally uniform data 
that will be the predicate for and help frame program participants' 
assessment activities, (3) meaningful and focused direction regarding 
the purpose of the assessment of fair housing and the standards by 
which it will be evaluated, (4) a more direct link between the 
assessment of fair housing and subsequent program participant planning 
products--the consolidated plan and the Public Housing Agency (PHA) 
Plan--that ties fair housing planning into the priority setting, 
commitment of resources, and specification of activities to be 
undertaken, and (5) a new HUD review procedure based on clear standards 
that facilitates the provision of technical assistance and reinforces 
the value and importance of fair housing planning activities.
    Statement of Need: As recognized by HUD, program participants, 
civil rights advocates, the U.S. Government Accountability Office 
(GAO), and others, the fair housing elements of current housing and 
community development planning are not as effective as they could be, 
do not incorporate leading innovations in sound planning practice, and 
do not sufficiently promote the effective use of limited public 
resources to affirmatively further fair housing. The approach proposed 
by the rule addresses these issues and strengthens affirmatively 
furthering fair housing implementation. It does so by providing data to 
program participants related to fair housing planning, clarifying the 
goals of the affirmatively furthering fair housing process, and 
instituting a more effective mechanism for HUD's review and oversight 
of fair housing planning. The proposed rule does not mandate specific 
outcomes for the planning process. Instead, recognizing the importance 
of local decision-making, the rule proposes to establish basic 
parameters and help guide public sector housing and community 
development planning and investment decisions to fulfill their 
obligation to affirmatively further fair housing.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the 
Civil Rights Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 3601-3619), enacted into law on 
April 11, 1968, declares that it is ``the policy of the United States 
to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing 
throughout the United States.'' (See 42 U.S.C. 3601.) Accordingly, the 
Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and 
financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions 
because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national 
origin, or handicap. (See 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq. Also note that 
``handicap'' is the original term used in the statute.) Section 
808(e)(5) of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3608(e)(5)) requires that 
HUD programs and activities be administered in a manner affirmatively 
to further the policies of the Fair Housing Act. The Act leaves it to 
the Secretary to define the precise scope of the affirmatively 
furthering fair housing obligation for HUD's program participants.
    Alternatives: HUD has approached the obligation to affirmatively 
further fair housing in various ways, and this proposed rule is 
intended in particular to improve fair housing planning by more 
directly linking it to the housing and community development planning 
processes currently undertaken by program participants as a condition 
of their receipt of HUD funds. At the jurisdictional planning level, 
HUD requires program participants receiving Community Development Block 
Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Solutions 
Grants (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) 
formula funding to undertake an analysis to identify impediments to 
fair housing choice within the jurisdiction, take appropriate actions 
to overcome the effects of any impediments, and keep records on such 
efforts. Likewise, PHAs must commit, as part of their planning process 
for PHA Plans and Capital Fund Plans, to examine their programs or 
proposed programs, identify any impediments to fair housing choice 
within those programs, address those impediments in a reasonable 
fashion in view of the resources available, work with jurisdictions to 
implement any of the jurisdiction's initiatives to affirmatively 
further fair housing that require PHA involvement, maintain records 
reflecting those analyses and actions, and operate programs in a manner 
that is consistent with the applicable jurisdiction's consolidated 
plan. Over the past several years, HUD has reviewed the efficacy of 
these mechanisms to fulfill the affirmatively furthering fair housing 
mandate and has concluded that the analysis of impediment process can 
be a more meaningful a tool to integrate fair housing into the program 
participants' existing planning efforts.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: HUD does not expect a large 
aggregate change in compliance costs for program participants as a 
result of the rule. As a result of increased emphasis on affirmatively 
furthering fair housing within the planning process, there may be 
increased compliance costs for some program participants, while for 
others the improved process and goal-setting, combined with HUD's 
provision of the foundational data, is likely to decrease compliance 
costs. Program participants are currently required to engage in 
outreach and collect data in order to meet the obligation to 
affirmatively further fair housing. There are some elements of the 
proposed rule that would increase compliance costs, but others would 
decrease such costs. HUD estimates net annual compliance costs in the 
range of $3 to $9 million.
    Further, HUD believes the rule has the potential for substantial 
benefit for program participants and the communities they serve. The 
rule would improve the fair housing planning process by providing 
greater clarity to the steps that program participants undertake to 
meaningfully affirmatively further fair housing, and at the same time 
provide better resources for

[[Page 1407]]

program participants to use in taking such steps. Through this rule, 
HUD commits to provide states, local governments, PHAs, the communities 
they serve, and the general public with local and regional data on 
patterns of integration, racially and ethnically concentrated areas of 
poverty, access to opportunity in select domains, and disproportionate 
housing needs based on protected class. From these data, program 
participants should be better able to evaluate their present 
environment to assess fair housing issues, identify the primary 
determinants that account for those issues, and set forth fair housing 
priorities and goals and document these activities.
    Risks: This rule poses no risk to public health, safety, or the 
environment.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................  4/00/2013
NPRM Comment Period End.............
Final Action........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: No.
    Agency Contact: Patrick Pontius, Office of Policy Development and 
Research, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Phone: 202-
402-3273.
    RIN: 2501-AD33

BILLING CODE 4210-67-P

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (DOI)

Statement of Regulatory Priorities

    The Department of the Interior (DOI) is the principal Federal 
steward of our Nation's public lands and resources, including many of 
our cultural treasures. DOI serves as trustee to Native Americans and 
Alaska native trust assets and is responsible for relations with the 
island territories under United States jurisdiction. The Department 
manages more than 500 million acres of Federal lands, including 397 
park units, 560 wildlife refuges, and approximately 1.7 billion of 
submerged offshore acres. These areas include natural resources that 
are essential for America's industry--oil and gas, coal, and minerals 
such as gold and uranium. On public lands and the Outer Continental 
Shelf, Interior provides access for renewable and conventional energy 
development and manages the protection and restoration of surface mined 
lands.
    The Department protects and recovers endangered species; protects 
natural, historic, and cultural resources; manages water projects that 
are a lifeline and economic engine for many communities in the West; 
manages forests and fights wildfires; manages Federal energy resources; 
regulates surface coal mining operations; reclaims abandoned coal 
mines; educates children in Indian schools; and provides recreational 
opportunities for over 400 million visitors annually in the Nation's 
national parks, public lands, national wildlife refuges, and recreation 
areas.
    The DOI will continue to review and update its regulations and 
policies to ensure that they are effective and efficient, and that they 
promote accountability and sustainability. The DOI will emphasize 
regulations and policies that:
     Promote environmentally responsible, safe, and balanced 
development of renewable and conventional energy on our public lands 
and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS);
     Use the best available science to ensure that public 
resources are protected, conserved, and used wisely;
     Preserve America's natural treasures for future 
generations;
     Improve the nation-to-nation relationship with American 
Indian tribes;
     Promote partnerships with States, tribes, local 
governments, other groups, and individuals to achieve common goals; and
     Promote transparency, fairness, accountability, and the 
highest ethical standards while maintaining performance goals.

Major Regulatory Areas

    The DOI bureaus implement congressionally mandated programs through 
their regulations. Some of these regulatory programs include:
     Developing onshore and offshore energy, including 
renewable, mineral, oil and gas, and other energy resources;
     Regulating surface coal mining and reclamation operations 
on public and private lands;
     Managing migratory birds and preserving marine mammals and 
endangered species;
     Managing dedicated lands, such as national parks, wildlife 
refuges, National Landscape Conservation System lands, and American 
Indian trust lands;
     Managing public lands open to multiple use;
     Managing revenues from American Indian and Federal 
minerals;
     Fulfilling trust and other responsibilities pertaining to 
American Indians and Alaska Natives;
     Managing natural resource damage assessments; and
     Managing assistance programs.

Regulatory Policy

    The DOI's regulatory programs seek to operate programs 
transparently, efficiently, and cooperatively while maximizing 
protection of our land, resources, and environment in a fiscally 
responsible way by:

(1) Protecting Natural, Cultural, and Heritage Resources

    The Department's mission includes protecting and providing access 
to our Nation's natural and cultural heritage and honoring our trust 
responsibilities to tribes. We are committed to this mission and to 
applying laws and regulations fairly and effectively. Our priorities 
include protecting public health and safety, restoring and maintaining 
public lands, protecting threatened and endangered species, 
ameliorating land- and resource-management problems on public lands, 
and ensuring accountability and compliance with Federal laws and 
regulations.

(2) Sustainably Using Energy, Water, and Natural Resources

    Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the Department has 
focused on renewable energy issues and has established priorities for 
environmentally responsible development of renewable energy on public 
lands and the OCS. Industry has started to respond by investing in the 
development of wind farms off the Atlantic seacoast and solar, wind, 
and geothermal energy facilities throughout the West. Power generation 
from these new energy sources produces virtually no greenhouse gases 
and, when done in an environmentally responsible manner, harnesses with 
minimum impact abundant renewable energy. The Department will continue 
its intra- and inter-departmental efforts to move forward with the 
environmentally responsible review and permitting of renewable energy 
projects on public lands, and will identify how its regulatory 
processes can be improved to facilitate the responsible development of 
these resources.
    The Secretary issued his first Secretarial Order on March 11, 2009, 
making renewable energy on public lands and the OCS top priorities at 
the Department. These remain top priorities. In implementing these 
priorities through its regulations, the

[[Page 1408]]

Department will continue to create jobs and contribute to a healthy 
economy while protecting our signature landscapes, natural resources, 
wildlife, and cultural resources.

(3) Empowering People and Communities

    The Department strongly encourages public participation in the 
regulatory process and will continue to actively engage the public in 
the implementation of priority initiatives. Throughout the Department, 
individual bureaus and offices are ensuring that the American people 
have an active role in managing our Nation's public lands and 
resources.
    For example, every year the FWS establishes migratory bird hunting 
seasons in partnership with flyway councils composed of State fish and 
wildlife agencies. The FWS also holds a series of public meetings to 
give other interested parties, including hunters and other groups, 
opportunities to participate in establishing the upcoming season's 
regulations. Similarly, the BLM uses Resource Advisory Councils to 
provide advice on the management of public lands and resources. These 
citizen based groups provide an opportunity for individuals from all 
backgrounds and interests to have a voice in the management of public 
lands.
    In October 2010, NPS published an interim final rule with request 
for comments revising the former regulations for management of 
demonstrations and the sale or distribution of printed matter in most 
areas of the National Park System to allow a small-group exception to 
permit requirements. In essence, under specific criteria, 
demonstrations and the sale or distribution of printed matter involving 
25 or fewer persons may be held in designated areas, without first 
obtaining a permit; i.e. making it easier for individuals and small 
groups to express their views. The NPS has analyzed the comments and 
expects to publish a final rule in early 2013.

Retrospective Review of Regulations

    President Obama's Executive Order 13563 directs agencies to make 
the regulatory system work better for the American public. Regulations 
should ``* * * protect public health, welfare, safety, and our 
environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, 
competitiveness, and job creation.'' DOI's plan for retrospective 
regulatory review identifies specific efforts to relieve regulatory 
burdens, add jobs to the economy, and make regulations work better for 
the American public while protecting our environment and resources. The 
DOI plan seeks to strengthen and maintain a culture of retrospective 
review by consolidating all regulatory review requirements \1\ into 
DOI's annual regulatory plan. When opportunities arise to improve our 
regulations, we try to respond quickly. For example, some small 
businesses recently raised a concern about inspection fees required for 
imports and exports of wildlife by certain licensed businesses. Our 
regulations set forth the fees that are required to be paid at the time 
of inspection of imports and exports of wildlife. In 2009, we 
implemented a new user fee system intended to recover the costs of the 
compliance portion of the wildlife inspection program. In summer 2012, 
the Service learned that we may have placed an undue economic burden on 
businesses that exclusively trade in small volumes of low-value, non-
Federally protected wildlife parts and products. To address this issue, 
we immediately issued an interim rule (October 26, 2012--77 FR 65321), 
implementing a program that exempts certain businesses from the 
designated port base inspection fees as an interim measure while the 
Service reassesses its current user fee system.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ DOI conducts regulatory review under numerous statutes, 
Executive orders, memoranda, and policies, including but not limited 
to the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Executive 
Orders 12866 and 13563, and the DOI Departmental Manual.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In examining its current regulatory requirements, DOI has also 
taken a hybrid regulatory approach, incorporating flexible, performance 
based standards with existing regulatory requirements where possible to 
strengthen safety and environmental protection across the onshore and 
offshore oil and natural gas industry while minimizing additional 
burdens on the economy. The Department routinely meets with 
stakeholders to solicit feedback and gather input on how to incorporate 
performance based standards. For example, in September, DOI personnel 
participated with staff from the Environmental Protection Agency, the 
U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of Transportation in a stakeholder 
meeting sponsored by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration 
specifically to receive input on the inclusion of performance based 
standards as a regulatory approach. DOI has received helpful public 
input through this process and will continue to participate in this 
effort with relevant interagency partners as part of its retrospective 
regulatory review.
    Pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563 ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review'' (Jan. 18, 2011), the following 
Regulatory Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated 
with retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan. Some of the entries on this 
list may be completed actions, which do not appear in the Regulatory 
Plan. However, more information can be found about these completed 
rulemakings in past publications of the unified Agenda on reginfo.gov 
in the Completed Actions section for that agency. These rulemakings can 
also be found on regulations.gov.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                           Significantly reduce
             Bureau                  RIN             Title              Description          burdens on small
                                                                                                 business?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Office of Natural Resources        1012-AA13  Oil and Gas         DOI is exploring a      Yes.
 Revenue (ONRR).                               Royalty Valuation.  simplified market-
                                                                   based approach to
                                                                   arrive at the value
                                                                   of oil and gas for
                                                                   royalty purposes that
                                                                   could dramatically
                                                                   reduce accounting and
                                                                   paperwork
                                                                   requirements and
                                                                   costs on industry and
                                                                   better ensure proper
                                                                   royalty valuation by
                                                                   creating a more
                                                                   transparent royalty
                                                                   calculation method.

[[Page 1409]]

 
Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)    1018-AX44  Critical Habitat    FWS published a final   Yes.
                                               Boundary            rule on May 1, 2012
                                               Descriptions.       (77 FR 25611), that
                                                                   minimizes the
                                                                   requirements for
                                                                   written descriptions
                                                                   of critical habitat
                                                                   boundaries in favor
                                                                   of map and Internet-
                                                                   based descriptions.
                                                                   This rule will make
                                                                   the process of
                                                                   designating critical
                                                                   habitat more user-
                                                                   friendly for affected
                                                                   parties, the public
                                                                   as a whole, and the
                                                                   Services, as well as
                                                                   more efficient and
                                                                   cost effective.
FWS............................    1018-AX85  ESA Section 7       Court decisions         No.
                                               Consultation        rendered over the
                                               Process;            last decade regarding
                                               Incidental Take     the adequacy of
                                               Statements.         incidental take
                                                                   statements have
                                                                   prompted us, along
                                                                   with the National
                                                                   Marine Fisheries
                                                                   Service (NOAA,
                                                                   Commerce), to
                                                                   consider clarifying
                                                                   our regulations
                                                                   concerning two
                                                                   aspects of issuance
                                                                   of incidental take
                                                                   statements during
                                                                   section 7
                                                                   consultation under
                                                                   the Endangered
                                                                   Species Act. The
                                                                   proposed regulatory
                                                                   changes will
                                                                   specifically address
                                                                   the use of surrogates
                                                                   to express the limit
                                                                   of exempted take and
                                                                   how to determine when
                                                                   deferral of an
                                                                   incidental take
                                                                   exemption is
                                                                   appropriate. This is
                                                                   a joint rulemaking
                                                                   with NOAA.
FWS............................    1018-AX86  Regulations         The proposed rule       No.
                                               Governing           would amend existing
                                               Designation of      regulations governing
                                               Critical Habitat    the designation of
                                               Under Section 4     critical habitat
                                               of the ESA.         under section 4 of
                                                                   the Endangered
                                                                   Species Act. A number
                                                                   of factors, including
                                                                   litigation and the
                                                                   Services' experience
                                                                   over the years in
                                                                   interpreting and
                                                                   applying the
                                                                   statutory definition
                                                                   of critical habitat,
                                                                   have highlighted the
                                                                   need to clarify or
                                                                   revise the current
                                                                   regulations. This is
                                                                   a joint rulemaking
                                                                   with NOAA.
FWS............................    1018-AX87  Policy for          This proposed policy    No.
                                               Designation of      would articulate the
                                               Critical Habitat    purpose of critical
                                               Under Section 4     habitat, provide a
                                               of the Endangered   clear interpretation
                                               Species Act.        of the statutory
                                                                   definition of
                                                                   ``critical habitat,''
                                                                   and describe a
                                                                   comprehensive
                                                                   approach for
                                                                   designating critical
                                                                   habitat under section
                                                                   4 of the Endangered
                                                                   Species Act. This
                                                                   policy would help
                                                                   provide clarity and
                                                                   consistency in the
                                                                   designation of
                                                                   critical habitat in
                                                                   an effort to ensure
                                                                   that the purposes of
                                                                   the Endangered
                                                                   Species Act are fully
                                                                   met. We will seek
                                                                   public review and
                                                                   comment on the
                                                                   proposed policy. This
                                                                   is a joint policy
                                                                   with NOAA.
FWS............................    1018-AX88  ESA Section 7       The proposed rule       No.
                                               Consultation        would amend the
                                               Regulations;        existing regulations
                                               Definition of       governing section 7
                                               ``Destruction or    consultation under
                                               Adverse             the Endangered
                                               Modification'' of   Species Act to revise
                                               Critical Habitat.   the definition of
                                                                   ``destruction or
                                                                   adverse
                                                                   modification'' of
                                                                   critical habitat. The
                                                                   current regulatory
                                                                   definition has been
                                                                   invalidated by the
                                                                   courts for being
                                                                   inconsistent with the
                                                                   language of the
                                                                   Endangered Species
                                                                   Act. We therefore
                                                                   need to propose a
                                                                   revised definition
                                                                   and seek public
                                                                   review and comment
                                                                   This is a joint
                                                                   rulemaking with NOAA.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).    1076-AE73  Leasing and Rights  To encourage and speed  Yes.
                                               of Way.             up economic
                                                                   development in Indian
                                                                   Country, the
                                                                   Department through
                                                                   the BIA, undertook a
                                                                   sweeping reform of
                                                                   antiquated, ``one-
                                                                   size-fits-all''
                                                                   Federal leasing
                                                                   regulations for the
                                                                   56 million surface
                                                                   acres the Federal
                                                                   government holds in
                                                                   trust for Tribes and
                                                                   individual Indians.
                                                                   The final leasing
                                                                   rule was published on
                                                                   December 5, 2012, and
                                                                   provides greater
                                                                   transparency and firm
                                                                   deadlines for BIA
                                                                   review and approval
                                                                   of lease documents;
                                                                   gives greater
                                                                   deference to Indian
                                                                   tribes in leasing
                                                                   approval and
                                                                   enforcement
                                                                   decisions; and
                                                                   removes unnecessary
                                                                   burdens, including
                                                                   deleting the
                                                                   requirement for BIA
                                                                   review of permits,
                                                                   which some view as
                                                                   unjustified and
                                                                   excessively
                                                                   burdensome.

[[Page 1410]]

 
National Park Service (NPS),       1024-AD30  Commercial Filming  This joint effort       Yes.
 FWS, Bureau of Land Mgt.                      on Public Lands.    between the National
 (BLM), and Bureau of                                              Park Service (NPS),
 Reclamation (BOR), and BIA.                                       Fish and Wildlife
                                                                   Service (FWS), Bureau
                                                                   of Land Management
                                                                   (BLM), Bureau of
                                                                   Reclamation (BOR),
                                                                   and Bureau of Indian
                                                                   Affairs (BIA) will
                                                                   create consistent
                                                                   regulations and a
                                                                   unified DOI fee
                                                                   schedule for
                                                                   commercial filming
                                                                   and still photography
                                                                   on public land. It
                                                                   will provide the
                                                                   commercial filming
                                                                   industry with a
                                                                   predictable fee for
                                                                   using Federal lands,
                                                                   while earning the
                                                                   Government a fair
                                                                   return for the use of
                                                                   that land.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DOI bureaus work to make our regulations easier to comply with and 
understand. Our regulatory process ensures that bureaus share ideas on 
how to reduce regulatory burdens while meeting the requirements of the 
laws they enforce and improving their stewardship of the environment 
and resources. Results include:
     Effective stewardship of our Nation's resources in a way 
that is responsive to the needs of small businesses;
     Increased benefits per dollars spent by carefully 
evaluating the economic effects of planned rules; and
     Improved compliance and transparency by use of plain 
language in our regulations and guidance documents.

Bureaus and Offices Within DOI

    The following provides an overview of some of the major regulatory 
priorities that individual bureaus and offices within DOI will 
undertake.

Bureau of Indian Affairs

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) administers and manages 55 
million acres of surface land and 57 million acres of subsurface 
minerals held in trust by the United States for Indians and Indian 
tribes, provides services to approximately 1.9 million Indians and 
Alaska Natives, and maintains a government-to-government relationship 
with the 566 federally recognized Indian tribes. The BIA's mission is 
to enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to 
carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of 
American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives, as well as to 
provide quality education opportunities to students in Indian schools.
    In the coming year, BIA will continue its focus on improved 
management of trust responsibilities with each regulatory review and 
revision. BIA will also continue to promote economic development in 
Indian communities by ensuring the regulations support, rather than 
hinder, productive land management. In addition, BIA will focus on 
updating Indian education regulations and on other regulatory changes 
to increase transparency in support of the President's Open Government 
Initiative.
    In the coming year, BIA's regulatory priorities are to:
     Develop regulations to meet the Indian trust reform goals 
for rights-of-ways across Indian land.
     Develop regulatory changes necessary for improved Indian 
education.
    BIA is reviewing regulations that require the Bureau of Indian 
Education to follow 23 different State adequate yearly progress (AYP) 
standards to determine whether a uniform standard would better meet the 
needs of students at Bureau-funded schools. With regard to 
undergraduate education, BIE is reviewing regulations that address 
grants to tribally controlled community colleges and other Indian 
education regulations. These reviews will identify provisions that need 
to be updated to comply with applicable statutes and ensure that the 
proper regulatory framework is in place to support students of Bureau-
funded schools.
     Develop regulatory changes to reform the process for 
Federal acknowledgment of Indian tribes.
    Over the years, BIA has received significant comments from American 
Indian groups and members of Congress on the Federal acknowledgment 
process. Most of these comments claim that the current process is 
cumbersome and overly restrictive. The BIA is reviewing the Federal 
acknowledgment regulations to determine how regulatory changes may 
streamline the acknowledgment process and clarify criteria by which an 
Indian group is examined.
     Finalize regulations establishing uniform Buy Indian 
acquisition procedures.
    BIA currently exercises authority provided by the Buy Indian Act to 
set-aside acquisitions for services and products for Indian economic 
enterprises, under certain circumstances allowed under the Federal 
Acquisition Regulations. This rule would standardize BIA procedures for 
implementing the Buy Indian Act.
     Revise regulations to reflect updated statutory provisions 
and increase transparency.
    BIA is making a concentrated effort to improve the readability and 
precision of its regulations. Because trust beneficiaries often turn to 
the regulations for guidance on how a given BIA process works, BIA is 
ensuring that each revised regulation is written as clearly as possible 
and accurately reflects the current organization of the Bureau. The 
Bureau is also simplifying language and eliminating obsolete 
provisions. The Bureau recently completed a major overhaul of 
regulations governing residential, business, and wind and solar 
resource leasing on Indian land to reflect updated laws and increase 
user-friendliness. In the coming year, the Bureau also plans to review 
regulations regarding rights-of-way (25 CFR 169); Indian Reservation 
Roads (25 CFR 170); and certain regulations specific to the Osage 
Nation.

The Bureau of Land Management

    The BLM manages the 245-million-acre National System of Public 
Lands, located primarily in the western States, including Alaska, and 
the 700-million-acre subsurface mineral estate located throughout the 
Nation. In doing so, the BLM manages such varied uses as energy and 
mineral development, outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, and 
forestry and woodlands products. BLM's complex multiple-use mission 
affects the lives of millions of Americans, including those who live 
near and visit the public lands, as well as those who benefit from the 
commodities, such as minerals, energy, or timber, produced from the 
lands' rich

[[Page 1411]]

resources. In undertaking its management responsibilities, the BLM 
seeks to conserve our public lands' natural and cultural resources and 
sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and 
enjoyment of present and future generations. In the coming year, BLM's 
highest regulatory priorities include:
     Revising antiquated hydraulic fracturing regulations.
    BLM's existing regulations applicable to hydraulic fracturing were 
promulgated over twenty years ago and do not reflect modern technology. 
In seeking to modernize its requirements and ensure the protection of 
our Nation's public lands, the BLM has proposed a rule that would 
provide disclosure to the public of chemicals used in hydraulic 
fracturing on public land and Indian land, strengthen regulations 
related to well-bore integrity, and address issues related to flowback 
water.
     Updating onshore oil and gas operating standards.
    Onshore orders establish requirements and minimum standards and 
provide standard operating procedures for oil and gas operations. The 
orders are binding on operating rights owners and operators of Federal 
and Indian (except the Osage Nation) oil and gas leases and on all 
wells and facilities on State or private lands committed to Federal 
agreements. The BLM is responsible for ensuring that oil or gas 
produced and sold from Federal or Indian leases is accurately measured 
for quantity and quality. The volume and quality of oil or gas sold 
from leases is key to ensuring that the American public is receiving a 
fair return from operators for the right to extract public resources. 
BLM is focusing on revising existing Onshore Orders Number 3, 4, and 5 
to adopt new industry standards to reflect current operating procedures 
used by industry. These existing Onshore Orders would also be revised 
to require that proper verification and accounting practices are 
implemented consistently. A new Onshore Order Number 9 would cover the 
prevention of waste and beneficial use of the oil and gas resource to 
ensure that proper royalties are paid on oil and gas removed from 
Federal and Trust lands.
     Competitive leasing process for solar and wind rights-of-
way.
    The BLM is preparing a proposed rule that would establish an 
efficient competitive process for leasing public lands for solar and 
wind energy development. The amended regulations would establish 
competitive bidding procedures for lands within designated solar and 
wind energy development leasing areas, define qualifications for 
potential bidders, and structure the financial arrangements necessary 
for the process. The proposed rule would enhance the BLM's ability to 
capture fair market value for the use of public lands, ensure fair 
access to leasing opportunities for renewable energy development, and 
foster the growth and development of the renewable energy sector of the 
economy.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is the resource 
manager for the conventional and renewable energy and mineral resources 
on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Protecting the environment, while 
ensuring the safe development of the nation's offshore energy and 
marine mineral resources, is a critical part of BOEM's mission. The 
Bureau, as with all Federal agencies, must consider the potential 
environmental impacts from exploring and extracting these resources. It 
fosters development of the OCS for both conventional and renewable 
energy and mineral resources in an efficient and effective manner that 
ensures fair market value for the rights conveyed. BOEM's near-term 
regulatory agenda will cover a number of issues, including:
    Clarifying its functional responsibilities in light of the recent 
re-organization of offshore energy functions: A new proposed rule will 
reorganize the BOEM regulations in a more logical manner and better 
clarify the functional responsibilities of the agency with respect to 
OCS lessee and operators and provides supporting changes to ensure 
regulatory compliance.
    Modernizing leasing regulations: BOEM is developing a final rule to 
update and streamline the existing OCS leasing regulations to better 
reflect policy priorities including incentivizing diligent development. 
For example, the rule will implement a two term leasing process, 
whereby leases are issued subject to a requirement that drilling 
commences within a specific time period or else reverts back to the 
government.
    Updating BOEM's air quality program in light of expanded statutory 
authority: DOI has jurisdiction over air emissions from OCS sources 
operating on certain portions of the OCS. As part of the FY 2012 
Appropriations bill, Congress increased DOI authority in this area by 
transferring responsibility for monitoring OCS air quality off the 
north coast of Alaska from the Environmental Protection Agency to the 
Department of the Interior. In light of new authorities, BOEM is 
undertaking a full review of its air quality program in order to ensure 
that regulations are best suited to achieve the statutory mandate of 
requiring offshore activities compliance with EPA's National Ambient 
Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), to the extent that those activities 
significantly affect the air quality of a State.
    Enhancing regulatory efficiency for BOEM's offshore renewables 
program: Two specific rulemakings would respond to recommendations 
submitted to BOEM following independent technical reviews of existing 
requirements: (1) A recommendation from a Transportation Research Board 
report to develop specific wind turbine design standards; and (2) a 
recommendation from a Technology Assessment and Research Program report 
to clarify the role of Certified Verification Agents in the BOEM 
permitting process. In addition, the proposed regulations would clarify 
requirements associated with lessee notification to BOEM of a discovery 
of potential archaeological resource(s) and revise renewables rules to 
improve procedural and administrative efficiencies, reduce regulatory 
burdens and streamline operations.
    Promoting financial assurance and risk management: BOEM is 
responsible for the Financial Assurance and Risk Management (FARM) 
program, designed to ensure lessees and operators on the OCS do not 
engage in activities that could generate an undue financial risk to the 
Government. FARM and bonding regulations have not been updated in many 
years and no longer accurately reflect current industry financial 
monitoring and controls. In addition, reliable and comprehensive cost 
data are neither accessible nor widely available in the offshore 
industry, and so new data collection efforts are suggested to improve 
future bonding formulas and to ensure that levels remain properly 
calibrated. BOEM has established a series of task forces to review 
these issues and will prepare a series of updates to the regulations, 
once this effort is completed. This is likely a medium-to-longer-term 
effort. Also related to risk and financial assurance, BOEM is 
undertaking a rulemaking to adjust limits of liability for damages from 
offshore facilities under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, to reflect 
increases in the Consumer Price Index since the enactment of that 
statute and to ensure the environment is protected in the event of an 
offshore incident.
    Formally addressing the use of OCS sand, gravel, and shell 
resources: BOEM is developing regulations to formally

[[Page 1412]]

address the use of OCS sand, gravel, or shell resources for shore 
protection, beach replenishment, wetlands restoration, or in 
construction projects funded by the Federal government.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

    BSEE was formally established in October 2011, as part of a major 
reorganization of the Department of the Interior's offshore regulatory 
structure. At its core, the Bureau's mission is to compel safety, 
emergency preparedness, environmental responsibility and appropriate 
development and conservation of offshore oil and natural gas resources. 
BSEE's regulatory priorities are guided by the newly developed BSEE FY 
2012-2015 Strategic Plan, which includes two strategic goals to focus 
the Bureau's priorities in fulfillment of its mission:
     Regulate, enforce, and respond to OCS development using 
the full range of authorities, policies, and tools to compel safety and 
environmental responsibility and appropriate development of offshore 
oil and natural gas resources.
     Build and sustain the organizational, technical, and 
intellectual capacity within and across BSEE's key functions--capacity 
that keeps pace with OCS industry technology improvements, innovates in 
regulation and enforcement, and reduces risk through systemic 
assessment and regulatory and enforcement actions.
    The Three-Year Strategic Plan reflects the intent of BSEE to build 
a bureau capable of keeping pace with the rapidly advancing 
technologies employed by the industry, building and sustaining its 
organizational, technical, and intellectual capacity, and instilling a 
commitment to safe practices at all levels of offshore operations, at 
all times. Additionally, the strategic plan incorporates BSEE's 
approach to address numerous recommendations contained in Government 
Accountability Office, Office of Inspector General (OIG), and other 
external reports.
     The BSEE has identified the following four areas of 
regulatory priorities: (1) Compliance; (2) Oil Spill Response; (3) 
Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS); and (4) Managing 
and Mitigating Risk. Among the specific regulatory priorities that will 
be BSEE's priorities over the course of the next year are: Compliance
    BSEE will finalize revisions of its rule on production safety 
systems and expand the use of lifecycle analysis of critical equipment. 
This rule addresses issues such as subsurface safety devices, safety 
device testing, and expands the requirements for operating production 
systems on the OCS.
     Oil Spill Response.
    BSEE will update regulations for offshore oil spill response 
planning and preparedness. This rule will incorporate lessons learned 
from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, improved preparedness capability 
standards, and applicable research findings. This regulatory update 
will establish standards that drive owners, lessees, and operators to 
use all applicable tools in a system-based plan that demonstrates the 
ability to respond to oil spills quickly and effectively.
     Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS).
    BSEE will propose additional revisions to the current SEMS rule. 
BSEE will collaborate extensively with the U.S. Coast Guard on this 
rule to further enhance the development of industry safety systems that 
will reduce the risk of offshore oil and gas operations.
     Managing and Mitigating Risk.
    BSEE will develop a proposal to modernize requirements for blowout 
prevention systems to address potential risks associated with existing 
systems and enhance the safety of well operations.
    BSEE will propose a rule to assess leading and lagging performance 
indicators to identify risks and near-miss incidents on the OCS. The 
current incident reporting regulations focus on reporting only 
accidents associated with offshore operations. This proposed rule will 
support the bureau's risk assessment activities and identify trends or 
potential hazards involving causes for equipment failures, procedures, 
people, or safety management systems.

Office of Natural Resources Revenue

    The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) collects, accounts 
for, and disburses revenues from Federal offshore energy and mineral 
leases and from onshore mineral leases on Federal and Indian lands. The 
program operates nationwide and is primarily responsible for timely and 
accurate collection, distribution, and accounting for revenues 
associated with mineral and energy production.
    ONRR's regulatory plan priorities for the upcoming year include:
     Simplify valuation regulations.
    ONRR plans to simplify the regulations at 30 CFR part 1206 for 
establishing the value for royalty purposes of: (1) Oil and natural gas 
produced from Federal leases; and (2) coal and geothermal resources 
produced from Federal and Indian leases. Additionally, the proposed 
rules would consolidate sections of the regulations common to all 
minerals, such as definitions and instructions regarding how a payor 
should request a valuation determination. ONRR published Advance 
Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRMs) to initiate the rulemaking 
process and to obtain input from interested parties.
     Finalize debt collection regulations.
    ONRR is preparing regulations governing collection of delinquent 
royalties, rentals, bonuses, and other amounts due under Federal and 
Indian oil, gas, and other mineral leases. The regulations would 
include provisions for administrative offset and would clarify and 
codify the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982, and the Debt 
Collection Improvement Act of 1996.
     Continue to meet Indian trust responsibilities.
    ONRR has a trust responsibility to accurately collect and disburse 
oil and gas royalties on Indian lands. ONRR will increase royalty 
certainty by addressing oil valuation for Indian lands through a 
negotiated rulemaking process involving key stakeholders.

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

    The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) was 
created by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 
(SMCRA). Under SMCRA, OSM has two principal functions--the regulation 
of surface coal mining and reclamation operations and the reclamation 
and restoration of abandoned coal mine lands. In enacting SMCRA, 
Congress directed OSM to ``strike a balance between protection of the 
environment and agricultural productivity and the Nation's need for 
coal as an essential source of energy.'' In response to its statutory 
mandate, OSM has sought to develop and maintain a stable regulatory 
program that is safe, cost-effective, and environmentally sound. A 
stable regulatory program ensures that the coal mining industry has 
clear guidelines for operation and reclamation, and that citizens know 
how the program is being implemented.
    OSM's Federal regulatory program sets minimum requirements for 
obtaining a permit for surface and underground coal mining operations, 
sets performance standards for those operations, requires reclamation 
of lands and waters disturbed by mining, and requires enforcement to 
ensure that the standards are met. OSM is the primary regulatory 
authority for SMCRA

[[Page 1413]]

enforcement until a State or Indian tribe develops its own regulatory 
program, which is no less effective than the Federal program. When a 
State or Indian tribe achieves ``primacy,'' it assumes direct 
responsibility for permitting, inspection, and enforcement activities 
under its federally approved regulatory program. The regulatory 
standards in Federal program states and in primacy states are 
essentially the same with only minor, non-substantive differences. 
Today, 24 States have primacy, including 23 of the 24 coal producing 
States. OSM's regulatory priorities for the coming year will focus on:
     Stream Protection.
    Protect streams and related environmental resources from the 
adverse effects of surface coal mining operations; and
     Coal Combustion Residues.
    Establish Federal standards for the beneficial use of coal 
combustion residues on active and abandoned coal mines.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is to work 
with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and 
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American 
people. FWS also helps ensure a healthy environment for people by 
providing opportunities for Americans to enjoy the outdoors and our 
shared natural heritage.
    FWS fulfills its responsibilities through a diverse array of 
programs that:
     Protect and recover endangered and threatened species;
     Monitor and manage migratory birds;
     Restore native aquatic populations and nationally 
significant fisheries;
     Enforce Federal wildlife laws and regulate international 
trade;
     Conserve and restore wildlife habitat such as wetlands;
     Help foreign governments conserve wildlife through 
international conservation efforts;
     Distribute Federal funds to States, territories, and 
tribes for fish and wildlife conservation projects; and
     Manage the more than 150-million-acre National Wildlife 
Refuge System, which protects and conserves fish and wildlife and their 
habitats and allows the public to engage in outdoor recreational 
activities.
    Over the course of the next year, FWS regulatory priorities will 
include:
     Regulations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 
including rules to list, delist, and reclassify species and designate 
critical habitat for certain listed species as set forth by the Multi-
District Litigation, and rules to transform the processes for listing 
species and designating critical habitat:
    [ssquf] In regard to the ESA lists, we will issue rules to amend 
the format of the lists to make them more user-friendly for the public, 
to correct errors in regard to taxonomy, to include rules issued by the 
National Marine Fisheries Service for marine species, and to more 
clearly describe areas where listed species are protected.
    [ssquf] In regard to the designation of critical habitat for listed 
species, we will issue rules to revise the timeframe for our issuance 
of economic analyses pertaining to critical habitat designations, to 
clarify definitions of ``critical habitat'' and ``destruction or 
adverse modification,'' to improve our consultation process in regard 
to issuing incidental take statements, and otherwise make improvements 
to the process of critical habitat designation.
     Regulations under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), 
including rules to manage migratory bird populations, such as the 
annual migratory bird hunting regulations, and guidelines for 
protecting migratory birds while supporting renewable energy 
initiatives:
    [ssquf] To ensure proper administration of the MBTA, we will revise 
the list of migratory bird species based on new information. This list 
is vital to our regulation of activities, such as transport, sale, and 
import and export, of protected species. We will also propose to revise 
our regulations that are designed to prevent the wanton waste of 
migratory game birds to clarify that the hunting public must make 
reasonable efforts to retrieve birds that have been killed or injured.
    [ssquf] In an effort to promote renewable energy while carrying out 
our responsibility to protect certain species of birds, we will issue 
guidance that includes an iterative process for developers to use to 
avoid and minimize negative effects on eagles and their habitats 
resulting from the construction, operation, and maintenance of land-
based wind energy facilities in the United States. In addition, we will 
finalize our proposal to revise our regulations for permits for 
nonpurposeful take of eagles. By proposing to extend the maximum term 
for programmatic permits to 30 years, as long as certain requirements 
are met, we will facilitate the development of renewable energy 
projects that are designed to be in operation for many decades.
    [ssquf] We will continue our efforts to empower State governments 
by adding States that meet our requirements to the list of States that 
are delegated authority to regulate falconry. We will also continue our 
efforts to protect wildlife and promote business by revising our 
regulations to approve additional formulations of nontoxic shot for use 
in hunting waterfowl.
     Regulations to carry out our responsibilities to 
administer the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS), such as the 
development of Comprehensive Conservation Plans, acquisition planning, 
and implementation of our ``Conserving the Future'' vision:
    [ssquf] We will issue a policy to guide Service employees to 
increase efficiency and effectiveness in achieving the mission of the 
NWRS through partnerships with Friends (Refuge volunteer or advocate) 
organizations. This policy will help us strengthen the Refuge system by 
giving Refuge managers across the country consistent guidance on ways 
to increase community involvement on Refuge lands.
    [ssquf] To further this effort of ensuring consistent 
administration of our Refuges, we will issue a proposed rule to ensure 
that all operators conducting oil or gas operations on NWRS lands do so 
in a manner that prevents or minimizes damage to the lands, visitor 
values, and management objectives.
    [ssquf] To help us build strong and lasting partnerships with self-
governance Tribes and consortia, we propose a policy to respond to and 
negotiate with Tribes on their requests for annual funding agreements 
in implementing the provisions of title IV of the Indian Self-
Determination and Education Assistance Act.
     Regulations to carry out the Convention on International 
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to update the 
regulations and permit international trade:
    [ssquf] To provide clear guidance to U.S. importers and exporters 
of wildlife products, we will update our CITES regulations to 
incorporate provisions resulting from the 14th and 15th Conferences of 
the Parties to CITES. The revisions will help us more effectively 
promote species conservation and help those affected by CITES to 
understand how to conduct lawful international trade in wildlife and 
wildlife products.
    [ssquf] In regard to efforts to protect specific species, we will 
issue regulations regarding generic tigers (those not identifiable as 
members of the Bengal, Sumatran, Siberian, or Indochinese subspecies) 
the same level of protection that ``pure'' tigers have. We will also 
revise our regulations regarding the importation of ivory from African 
elephants to allow the

[[Page 1414]]

importation of ivory specimens for scientific and law enforcement 
purposes. This revision will ensure that our regulations do not 
prohibit activities that support the purposes of the ESA.
    [ssquf] We provide this summary in accordance with section 3(a) of 
Executive Order 13609 (``Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation'').

National Park Service

    The NPS preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and 
values within almost 400 units of the National Park System encompassing 
nearly 84 million acres of lands and waters for the enjoyment, 
education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The NPS also 
cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and resource 
conservation and outdoor recreation throughout the United States and 
the world.
    To achieve this mission the NPS adheres to the following guiding 
principles:
     Excellent Service: Providing the best possible service to 
park visitors and partners.
     Productive Partnerships: Collaborating with Federal, 
State, tribal, and local governments, private organizations, and 
businesses to work toward common goals.
     Citizen Involvement: Providing opportunities for citizens 
to participate in the decisions and actions of the National Park 
Service.
     Heritage Education: Educating park visitors and the 
general public about their history and common heritage.
     Outstanding Employees: Empowering a diverse workforce 
committed to excellence, integrity, and quality work.
     Employee Development: Providing developmental 
opportunities and training so employees have the ``tools to do the 
job'' safely and efficiently.
     Wise Decisions: Integrating social, economic, 
environmental, and ethical considerations into the decision-making 
process.
     Effective Management: Instilling a performance management 
philosophy that fosters creativity, focuses on results, and requires 
accountability at all levels.
     Research and Technology: Incorporating research findings 
and new technologies to improve work practices, products, and services.
    Our regulatory priorities for the coming year include:

--Revising the existing regulation pertaining to Commercial Film and 
Related Activities.
    This joint effort between the National Park Service (NPS), Fish and 
Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of 
Reclamation (BOR), and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) will create 
consistent regulations and a unified DOI fee schedule for commercial 
filming and still photography on public land. It will provide the 
commercial filming industry with a predictable fee for using Federal 
lands, while earning the Government a fair return for the use of that 
land.
--Establishing new rules related to:

     Collection of Natural Products by Members of Federally 
Recognized Tribes for Traditional and Cultural Purposes
    The rule will clarify the Park Superintendent's authority to permit 
American Indians and Alaska Natives to collect limited quantities of 
plant and mineral resources in parks for traditional cultural uses, 
practices, and activities.
     Managing Winter Use at Yellowstone NP.
    The rule will retain for the 2012-2013 winter season the 
regulations and management framework that have been in place for the 
last three winter seasons (2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012).
     Managing Off Road Vehicle Use.
    (1) A rule to designate routes and areas within Curecanti National 
Recreation Area where off-road vehicles (ORVs) and snowmobiles will be 
allowed within the recreation area. ORV use will primarily occur below 
the high water line of the Blue Mesa Reservoir. The rule also provides 
for designation of new snowmobile access points and designates 
snowmobile routes from the access points to the frozen surface of the 
Blue Mesa Reservoir.
    (2) A rule to define applicable terms, designates driving routes, 
driving conditions, and establishes permit conditions for ORV use 
within Fire Island National Seashore.
    (3) A rule to (i) designate trails in the Nabesna District of 
Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve where ORVs may be used for 
recreational purposes; (ii) impose ORV size and weight restrictions; 
and (iii) close areas to ORV use for subsistence purposes in designated 
wilderness.
     Managing Bicycling.
    NPS rules would designate bicycles routes and allow for management 
of bicycle use on designated routes at Chattahoochee NRA, Sleeping Bear 
Dunes National Lakeshore, and Lake Meredith NRA.
     Implementation of the Native American Graves Protection 
and Repatriation Act.
    (1) A rule will correct inaccuracies or inconsistencies in the 43 
CFR part 10 regulations, implementing the Native American Graves 
Protection and Repatriation Act, which have been identified by or 
brought to the attention of the Department of the Interior.
    (2) A rule would establish a process for disposition of Unclaimed 
Human Remains and Funerary Objects discovered after November 16, 1990, 
on Federal or Indian Lands.

BILLING CODE 4310-10-P

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ)

Statement of Regulatory Priorities

    The mission of the Department of Justice is to enforce the law and 
defend the interests of the United States according to the law, to 
ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic, to provide 
Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime, to seek just 
punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior, and to ensure fair 
and impartial administration of justice for all Americans. In carrying 
out its mission, the Department is guided by four core values: (1) 
equal justice under the law; (2) honesty and integrity; (3) commitment 
to excellence; and (4) respect for the worth and dignity of each human 
being. The Department of Justice is primarily a law-enforcement agency, 
not a regulatory agency; it carries out its principal investigative, 
prosecutorial, and other enforcement activities through means other 
than the regulatory process.
    The regulatory priorities of the Department include initiatives in 
the areas of civil rights, criminal justice, and immigration. These 
initiatives are summarized below. In addition, several other components 
of the Department carry out important responsibilities through the 
regulatory process. Although their regulatory efforts are not 
separately discussed in this overview of the regulatory priorities, 
those components have key roles in implementing the Department's anti-
terrorism and law enforcement priorities.

Civil Rights

Regulatory Plan Initiatives

    The Department is including five disability nondiscrimination 
rulemaking initiatives in its Regulatory Plan: (1) Implementation of 
the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 in the ADA regulations (titles II and 
III); (2) Implementation of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 in the 
Department's section 504 regulations; (3) Nondiscrimination on the 
Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations:

[[Page 1415]]

Movie Captioning and Audio Description; (4) Accessibility of Web 
Information and Services of State and Local Governments; and (5) 
Accessibility of Web Information and Services of Public Accommodations. 
The Department's other disability nondiscrimination rulemaking 
initiatives, while important priorities for the Department's rulemaking 
agenda, will be included in the Department's long-term actions for FY 
2014. As will be discussed more fully below, these initiatives include: 
(1) Accessibility of Medical Equipment and Furniture; (2) Accessibility 
of Beds in Guestrooms with Mobility Features in Places of Lodging; (3) 
Next Generation 9-1-1 Services; and (4) Accessibility of Equipment and 
Furniture.
    ADA Amendments Act. In September 2008, Congress passed the ADA 
Amendments Act, which revises the definition of ``disability'' to more 
broadly encompass impairments that substantially limit a major life 
activity. In FY 2013, the Department plans to propose amendments to 
both its title II and title III ADA regulations and its section 504 
regulations to implement the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
    Captioning and Video Description in Movie Theaters. Title III of 
the ADA requires public accommodations to take ``such steps as may be 
necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is treated 
differently because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services, 
unless the covered entity can demonstrate that taking such steps would 
cause a fundamental alteration or would result in an undue burden.'' 42 
U.S.C. section 12182(b)(2)(A)(iii). Both open and closed captioning and 
audio recordings are examples of auxiliary aids and services that 
should be provided by places of public accommodations, 28 CFR section 
36.303(b)(1)-(2). The Department stated in the preamble to its 1991 
rule that ``[m]ovie theaters are not required * * * to present open-
captioned films,'' 28 CFR part 36, app. C (2011), but it did not 
address closed captioning and video description in movie theaters.
    Since 1991, there have been many technological advances in the area 
of closed captioning and video description for first-run movies. In 
June 2008, the Department issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) 
to revise the ADA title III regulation, 73 FR 34466, in which the 
Department stated that it was considering options for requiring that 
movie theater owners or operators exhibit movies that are captioned or 
that provide video (narrative) description. The Department issued an 
ANPRM on July 26, 2010, to obtain more information regarding issues 
raised by commenters; to seek comment on technical questions that arose 
from the Department's research; and to learn more about the status of 
digital conversion. In addition, the Department sought information 
regarding whether other technologies or areas of interest (e.g., 3D) 
have developed or are in the process of development that either would 
replace or augment digital cinema or make any regulatory requirements 
for captioning and video description more difficult or expensive to 
implement. The Department received approximately 1,171 public comments 
in response to its movie captioning and video description ANPRM. The 
Department is in the process of completing its review of these comments 
and expects to publish an NPRM addressing captioning and video 
description in movie theaters in FY 2013.
    Web Site Accessibility. The Internet as it is known today did not 
exist when Congress enacted the ADA, yet today the World Wide Web plays 
a critical role in the daily personal, professional, civic, and 
business life of Americans. The ADA's expansive nondiscrimination 
mandate reaches goods and services provided by public accommodations 
and public entities using Internet Web sites. Being unable to access 
Web sites puts individuals at a great disadvantage in today's society, 
which is driven by a dynamic electronic marketplace and unprecedented 
access to information. On the economic front, electronic commerce, or 
``e-commerce,'' often offers consumers a wider selection and lower 
prices than traditional, ``brick-and-mortar'' storefronts, with the 
added convenience of not having to leave one's home to obtain goods and 
services. For individuals with disabilities who experience barriers to 
their ability to travel or to leave their homes, the Internet may be 
their only way to access certain goods and services. Beyond goods and 
services, information available on the Internet has become a gateway to 
education, socializing, and entertainment.
    The Internet is also dramatically changing the way that 
governmental entities serve the public. Public entities are 
increasingly providing their constituents access to government services 
and programs through their Web sites. Through government Web sites, the 
public can obtain information or correspond with local officials 
without having to wait in line or be placed on hold. They can also pay 
fines, apply for benefits, renew State-issued identification, register 
to vote, file taxes, request copies of vital records, and complete 
numerous other everyday tasks. The availability of these services and 
information online not only makes life easier for the public but also 
often enables governmental entities to operate more efficiently and at 
a lower cost.
    The ADA's promise to provide an equal opportunity for individuals 
with disabilities to participate in and benefit from all aspects of 
American civic and economic life will be achieved in today's 
technologically advanced society only if it is clear to State and local 
governments, businesses, educators, and other public accommodations 
that their Web sites must be accessible. Consequently, the Department 
is considering amending its regulations implementing title II and title 
III of the ADA to require public entities and public accommodations 
that provide products or services to the public through Internet Web 
sites to make their sites accessible to and usable by individuals with 
disabilities.
    In particular, the Department's ANPRM on Web site accessibility 
sought public comment regarding what standards, if any, it should adopt 
for Web site accessibility, whether the Department should adopt 
coverage limitations for certain entities, like small businesses, and 
what resources and services are available to make existing Web sites 
accessible to individuals with disabilities. The Department also 
solicited comments on the costs of making Web sites accessible and on 
the existence of any other effective and reasonably feasible 
alternatives to making Web sites accessible. The Department received 
approximately 440 public comments and is in the process of reviewing 
these comments. The Department anticipates publishing separate NPRMs 
addressing Web site accessibility pursuant to titles II and III of the 
ADA. The Department projects publishing the title II Web Site 
Accessibility NPRM in FY 2013 with the publication of the title III 
NPRM to follow in early FY 2014.
    The final rulemaking initiatives from the 2010 ANPRMs are included 
in the Department's long-term priorities projected for the middle to 
latter part of FY 2014:
    Next Generation 9-1-1. This ANPRM sought information on possible 
revisions to the Department's regulation to ensure direct access to 
Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) services for individuals with 
disabilities. In 1991, the Department of Justice published a regulation 
to implement title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 
(ADA). That regulation requires public safety answering points (PSAPs) 
to provide

[[Page 1416]]

direct access to persons with disabilities who use analog 
telecommunication devices for the deaf (TTYs), 28 CFR 35.162. Since 
that rule was published, there have been major changes in the types of 
communications technology used by the general public and by people who 
have disabilities that affect their hearing or speech. Many individuals 
with disabilities now use the Internet and wireless text devices as 
their primary modes of telecommunications. At the same time, PSAPs are 
planning to shift from analog telecommunications technology to new 
Internet-Protocol (IP)-enabled NG 9-1-1 services that will provide 
voice and data (such as text, pictures, and video) capabilities. As 
PSAPs transition from the analog systems to the new technologies, it is 
essential people with communication disabilities will be able to use 
the new systems. Therefore, the Department published this ANPRM to 
begin to develop appropriate regulatory guidance for PSAPs that are 
making this transition. The Department is in the process of completing 
its review of the approximately 146 public comments it received in 
response to its NG 9-1-1 ANPRM and expects to publish an NPRM 
addressing accessibility of NG 9-1-1 in FY 2014.
    Equipment and Furniture. Both title II and title III of the ADA 
require covered entities to make reasonable modifications in their 
programs or services to facilitate participation by persons with 
disabilities. In addition, covered entities are required to ensure that 
people are not excluded from participation because facilities are 
inaccessible or because the entity has failed to provide auxiliary 
aids. The use of accessible equipment and furniture is often critical 
to an entity's ability to provide a person with a disability equal 
access to its services. Changes in technology have resulted in the 
development and improved availability of accessible equipment and 
furniture that benefit individuals with disabilities. The 2010 ADA 
Standards include accessibility requirements for some types of fixed 
equipment (e.g., ATMs, washing machines, dryers, tables, benches and 
vending machines) and the Department plans to look to these standards 
for guidance, where applicable, when it proposes accessibility 
standards for equipment and furniture that is not fixed. The ANPRM 
sought information about other categories of equipment, including beds 
in accessible guest rooms, and medical equipment and furniture. The 
Department received approximately 420 comments in response to its ANPRM 
and is in the process of reviewing these comments. The Department plans 
to publish in FY 2014 a separate NPRM pursuant to title III of the ADA 
on beds in accessible guest rooms and a more detailed ANPRM pursuant to 
titles II and III of the ADA that focuses solely on accessible medical 
equipment and furniture. The remaining items of equipment and furniture 
addressed in the 2010 ANPRM will be the subject of an NPRM that the 
Department anticipates publishing in late FY 2014.

Federal Habeas Corpus Review Procedures in Capital Cases

    Pursuant to the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 
2005, on December 11, 2008, the Department promulgated a final rule to 
implement certification procedures for States seeking to qualify for 
the expedited Federal habeas corpus review procedures in capital cases 
under chapter 154 of title 28 of the United States Code. On February 5, 
2009, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice 
soliciting further public comment on all aspects of the December 2008 
final rule. As the Department reviewed the comments submitted in 
response to the February 2009 notice, it considered further the 
statutory requirements governing the regulatory implementation of the 
chapter 154 certification procedures. The Attorney General determined 
that chapter 154 reasonably could be construed to allow the Attorney 
General greater discretion in making certification determinations than 
the December 2008 regulations allowed. Accordingly, the Department 
published a notice in the Federal Register on May 25, 2010, proposing 
to remove the December 2008 regulations pending the completion of a new 
rulemaking process. The Department finalized the removal of the 
December 2008 regulations on November 23, 2010. The Department 
published an NPRM in the Federal Register on March 3, 2011, proposing a 
new rule and seeking public input on the certification procedure for 
chapter 154 and the standards the Attorney General will apply in making 
certification decisions. The comment period for the proposed new rule 
closed on June 1, 2011. The Department thereafter published a 
supplemental NPRM on February 13, 2012, which identified a number of 
possible changes the Department was considering based on comments 
received in response to the publication of the proposed rule. The 
comment period for the supplemental NPRM closed on March 14, 2012,

Criminal Law Enforcement

    For the most part, the Department's criminal law enforcement 
components do not rely on the rulemaking process to carry out their 
assigned missions. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), for 
example, is responsible for protecting and defending the United States 
against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, upholding and 
enforcing the criminal laws of the United States, and providing 
leadership and criminal justice services to Federal, State, municipal, 
and international agencies and partners. Only in very limited contexts 
does the FBI rely on rulemaking. For example, in FY 2013 the FBI 
expects to propose updating its National Instant Criminal Background 
Check System (NCIS) regulations to address the current prohibition on 
criminal justice agencies accessing the NICS to conduct background 
checks prior to the return of firearms.
    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) 
Initiatives. ATF issues regulations to enforce the Federal laws 
relating to the manufacture and commerce of firearms and explosives. 
ATF's mission and regulations are designed to, among other objectives, 
curb illegal traffic in, and criminal use of, firearms, and to assist 
State, local, and other Federal law enforcement agencies in reducing 
crime and violence. ATF will continue, as a priority during fiscal year 
2013, to seek modifications to its regulations governing commerce in 
firearms and explosives. ATF plans to issue final regulations 
implementing the provisions of the Safe Explosives Act, title XI, 
subtitle C, of Public Law 107-296, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 
(enacted Nov. 25, 2002).
    Pursuant to Executive Order 13563 ``Improving Regulation and 
Regulatory Review,'' ATF has proposed a rulemaking proceeding to amend 
existing regulations and extend the term of import permits for 
firearms, ammunition, and defense articles from 1 year to 2 years. The 
additional time will allow importers sufficient time to complete the 
importation of an authorized commodity before the permit expires and 
eliminate the need for importers to submit new and duplicative import 
applications. ATF believes that extending the term of import permits 
will result in substantial cost and time savings for both ATF and 
industry.
    ATF also has begun a rulemaking process that will lead to 
promulgation of a revised set of regulations (27 CFR part 771) 
governing the procedure and practice for proposed denial of

[[Page 1417]]

applications for explosives licenses or permits and proposed revocation 
of such licenses and permits.
    Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Initiatives. DEA is the 
primary agency responsible for coordinating the drug law enforcement 
activities of the United States and also assists in the implementation 
of the President's National Drug Control Strategy. DEA implements and 
enforces Titles II and III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention 
and Control Act of 1970 and the Controlled Substances Import and Export 
Act (21 U.S.C. 801-971), as amended, and referred to as the Controlled 
Substances Act (CSA). DEA's mission is to enforce the CSA and its 
regulations and bring to the criminal and civil justice system those 
organizations and individuals involved in the growing, manufacture, or 
distribution of controlled substances and listed chemicals appearing in 
or destined for illicit traffic in the United States. DEA promulgates 
the CSA implementing regulations in title 21 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR), parts 1300 to 1321. The CSA and its implementing 
regulations are designed to prevent, detect, and eliminate the 
diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the 
illicit market while ensuring a sufficient supply of controlled 
substances and listed chemicals for legitimate medical, scientific, 
research, and industrial purposes.
    Pursuant to its statutory authority, DEA continuously evaluates new 
and emerging substances to determine whether such substances should be 
controlled under the CSA. During fiscal year 2013, in addition to 
initiating temporary scheduling actions to prevent immediate harm to 
the public safety, DEA will also consider petitions to schedule or 
reschedule various substances. Among other regulatory reviews and 
initiatives, DEA also plans to propose and finalize regulations 
implementing the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 (Pub. 
L. 111-273) to provide means for individuals to safely and securely 
dispose of controlled substances.

2013

    Bureau of Prisons Initiatives. The Federal Bureau of Prisons issues 
regulations to enforce the Federal laws relating to its mission: To 
protect society by confining offenders in the controlled environments 
of prisons and community-based facilities that are safe, humane, cost-
efficient, and appropriately secure, and that provide work and other 
self-improvement opportunities to assist offenders in becoming law-
abiding citizens. During the next 12 months, in addition to other 
regulatory objectives aimed at accomplishing its mission, the Bureau 
will continue its ongoing efforts to: Streamline regulations, 
eliminating unnecessary language and improving readability; improve 
disciplinary procedures through a revision of the subpart relating to 
the disciplinary process; reduce the introduction of contraband through 
various means, such as clarifying drug and alcohol surveillance testing 
programs; protect the public from continuing criminal activity 
committed within prison; and enhance the Bureau's ability to more 
closely monitor the communications of high-risk inmates.

Immigration

    On March 1, 2003, pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 
(HSA), the responsibility for immigration enforcement and for providing 
immigration-related services and benefits, such as naturalization and 
work authorization, was transferred from the Justice Department's 
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to the Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS). However, the immigration judges and the Board 
of Immigration Appeals (Board) in the Executive Office for Immigration 
Review (EOIR) remain part of the Department of Justice. The immigration 
judges adjudicate approximately 400,000 cases each year to determine 
whether aliens should be removed from the United States or should be 
granted some form of relief from removal. The Board has jurisdiction 
over appeals from the decisions of immigration judges, as well as other 
matters. Accordingly, the Attorney General has a continuing role in the 
conduct of removal hearings, the granting of relief from removal, and 
custody determinations regarding the detention of aliens pending 
completion of removal proceedings. The Attorney General also is 
responsible for civil litigation and criminal prosecutions relating to 
the immigration laws.
    In several pending rulemaking actions, the Department is working to 
revise and update the regulations relating to removal proceedings in 
order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the hearings. In 
furtherance of these goals, the Department is drafting a regulation to 
improve the recognition and accreditation process for organizations and 
representatives that appear in immigration proceedings. With the 
assistance of DHS, the Department is also drafting a regulation 
pursuant to the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection 
Reauthorization Act of 2008 to implement procedures that take into 
account the specialized needs of unaccompanied alien children in 
removal proceedings. In addition, the Department is considering 
regulatory action to address mental incompetency issues in removal 
proceedings. Moreover, the Department is finalizing a regulation 
requiring attorneys and accredited representatives to register 
electronically with EOIR, as an initial step in a multi-year, multi-
phased initiative to make the transition to an electronic case access 
and filing system. Finally, in response to Executive Order 13653, the 
Department is retrospectively reviewing EOIR's regulations to eliminate 
regulations that unnecessarily duplicate DHS's regulations and update 
outdated references to the pre-2002 immigration system.

Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

    Pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563 ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review'' (Jan. 18, 2011), the following 
Regulatory Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated 
with retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan. Some of these entries on this 
list may be completed actions, which do not appear in The Regulatory 
Plan. However, more information can be found about these completed 
rulemakings in past publications of the Unified Agenda on Reginfo.gov 
in the Completed Actions section for that agency. These rulemakings can 
also be found on Regulations.gov. The final Justice Department plan can 
be found at: http://www.justice.gov/open/doj-rr-final-plan.pdf.

[[Page 1418]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
          RIN                     Title                 Description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1140-AA42..............  Importation of Arms,     The regulations in 27
                          Ammunition and           CFR 447 and 479
                          Implements of War and    generally provide
                          Machine Guns,            that firearms,
                          Destructive Devices,     ammunition, and
                          and Certain Other        defense articles may
                          Firearms; Extending      not be imported into
                          the Term of Import       the United States
                          Permits''.               except pursuant to a
                                                   permit. Section
                                                   447.43 provides that
                                                   import permits are
                                                   valid for one year
                                                   from their issuance
                                                   date. ATF will
                                                   consider whether
                                                   these regulations
                                                   could be revised to
                                                   achieve the same
                                                   regulatory objective
                                                   in a manner that is
                                                   less burdensome for
                                                   both industry and
                                                   ATF. This rulemaking
                                                   could reduce
                                                   paperwork burdens on
                                                   the small entities
                                                   that apply for these
                                                   permits by as much as
                                                   half.
1125-AA71..............  Retrospective            Advance notice of
                          Regulatory Review        future rulemaking
                          Under E.O. 13563 of 8    concerning appeals of
                          CFR Parts 1003, 1103,    DHS decisions (8 CFR
                          1211, 1212, 1215,        part 1103),
                          1216, 1235.              documentary
                                                   requirements for
                                                   aliens (8 CFR parts
                                                   1211 and 1212),
                                                   control of aliens
                                                   departing from the
                                                   United States (8 CFR
                                                   part 1215),
                                                   procedures governing
                                                   conditional permanent
                                                   resident status (8
                                                   CFR part 1216), and
                                                   inspection of
                                                   individuals applying
                                                   for admission to the
                                                   United States (8 CFR
                                                   part 1235). A number
                                                   of attorneys, firms,
                                                   and organizations in
                                                   immigration practice
                                                   are small entities.
                                                   EOIR believes this
                                                   rule will improve the
                                                   efficiency and
                                                   fairness of
                                                   adjudications before
                                                   EOIR by, for example,
                                                   eliminating
                                                   duplication, ensuring
                                                   consistency with the
                                                   Department of
                                                   Homeland Security's
                                                   regulations in
                                                   chapter I of title 8
                                                   of the CFR, and
                                                   delineating more
                                                   clearly the authority
                                                   and jurisdiction of
                                                   each agency.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Executive Order 13609--Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation
    The Department is not currently engaged in international regulatory 
cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to 
significant regulations.

DOJ--CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION (CRT)

Proposed Rule Stage

69. Implementation of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (Title II and 
Title III of the ADA)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 110-325; 42 U.S.C. 12134(a); 42 U.S.C. 
12186(b)
    CFR Citation: 28 CFR part 35; 28 CFR part 36.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule would propose to amend the Department's 
regulations implementing title II and title III of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (ADA), 28 CFR part 35 and 28 CFR part 36, to implement 
changes to the ADA enacted in the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Public 
Law 110-325, 122 Stat. 3553 (Sept. 25, 2008). The ADA Amendments Act 
took effect on January 1, 2009.
    The ADA Amendments Act amended the Americans with Disabilities Act, 
42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq., to clarify terms within the definition of 
disability and to establish standards that must be applied to determine 
if a person has a covered disability. These changes are intended to 
mitigate the effects of the Supreme Court's decisions in Sutton v. 
United Airlines, 527 U.S. 471 (1999), and Toyota Motor Manufacturing v. 
Williams, 534, U.S. 184 (2002). Specifically, the ADA Amendments Act 
(1) adds illustrative lists of ``major life activities,'' including 
``major bodily functions,'' that provide more examples of covered 
activities and covered conditions than are now contained in agency 
regulations (sec. 3[2]); (2) clarifies that a person who is ``regarded 
as'' having a disability does not have to be regarded as being 
substantially limited in a major life activity (sec. 3[3]); and (3) 
adds rules of construction regarding the definition of disability that 
provide guidance in applying the term ``substantially limits'' and 
prohibit consideration of mitigating measures in determining whether a 
person has a disability (sec. 3[4]).
    Statement of Need: This rule is necessary to bring the Department's 
ADA regulations into compliance with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, 
which became effective on January 1, 2009. In addition, this rule is 
necessary to make the Department's ADA title II and title III 
regulations consistent with the ADA title I regulations issued on March 
25, 2011 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) 
incorporating the ADA Amendments Act definition of disability.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The summary of the legal basis of authority 
for this regulation is set forth above in the abstract.
    Alternatives: Because this NPRM implements statutory changes to the 
ADA, there are no appropriate alternatives to issuing this NPRM.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The Department's preliminary 
analysis indicates that the proposed rule would not be ``economically 
significant,'' that is, the rule will not have an annual effect on the 
economy of $100 million, or adversely affect in a material way the 
economy, a sector of the economy, the environment, public health or 
safety or State, local or tribal governments or communities. In this 
NPRM, the Department will be soliciting public comment in response to 
its preliminary analysis.
    Risks: The ADA authorizes the Attorney General to enforce the ADA 
and to promulgate regulations implementing the law's requirements. 
Failure to update the Department's regulations to conform to statutory 
changes and to be consistent with the EEOC regulations under title I of 
the ADA will interfere with the Department's enforcement efforts and 
lead to confusion about the law's requirements among entities covered 
by titles I, II and III of the ADA, as well as members of the public.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State

[[Page 1419]]

    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Gregory B. Friel, Acting Chief, Department of 
Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, 950 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20031, Phone: 800 514-0301, Fax: 
202 307-1198.
    RIN: 1190-AA59

DOJ--CRT

70. Implementation of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (Section 504 of 
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 110-325; 29 U.S.C. 794 (sec 504 of the 
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended); EO 12250 (45 FR 72955; 11/04/
1980)
    CFR Citation: 28 CFR part 39; 28 CFR part 41; 28 CFR part 42, 
subpart G.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule would propose to amend the Department's 
regulations implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 
as amended, 28 CFR part 39 and part 42, subpart G, and its regulation 
implementing Executive Order 12250, 28 CFR part 41, to reflect 
statutory amendments to the definition of disability applicable to 
section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which were enacted in the ADA 
Amendments Act of 2008, Public Law 110-325, 122 Stat. 3553 (Sep. 25, 
2008). The ADA Amendments Act took effect on January 1, 2009.
    The ADA Amendments Act revised 29 U.S.C. section 705, to make the 
definition of disability used in the nondiscrimination provisions in 
title V of the Rehabilitation Act consistent with the amended ADA 
requirements. These amendments (1) add illustrative lists of ``major 
life activities,'' including ``major bodily functions,'' that provide 
more examples of covered activities and covered conditions than are now 
contained in agency regulations (sec. 3[2]); (2) clarify that a person 
who is ``regarded as'' having a disability does not have to be regarded 
as being substantially limited in a major life activity (sec. 3[3]); 
and (3) add rules of construction regarding the definition of 
disability that provide guidance in applying the term ``substantially 
limits'' and prohibit consideration of mitigating measures in 
determining whether a person has a disability (sec. 3[4]).
    The Department anticipates that these changes will be published for 
comment in a proposed rule within the next 12 months. During the 
drafting of these revisions, the Department will also review the 
currently published rules to ensure that any other legal requirements 
under the Rehabilitation Act have been properly addressed in these 
regulations.
    Statement of Need: This rule is necessary to bring the Department's 
prior section 504 regulations into compliance with the ADA Amendments 
Act of 2008, which became effective on January 1, 2009.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The summary of the legal basis of authority 
for this regulation is set forth above in the abstract.
    Alternatives: Because this NPRM implements statutory changes to the 
Section 504 definition of disability, there are no appropriate 
alternatives to issuing this NPRM.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The Department has determined that 
this rule would not be ``economically significant,'' that is, that the 
rule will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million, or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, the environment, public health or safety or State, local or 
tribal governments or communities. In this NPRM, the Department will be 
soliciting public comment in response to its preliminary analysis.
    Risks: Failure to update the Department's Section 504 regulations 
to conform to statutory changes will interfere with the Department's 
enforcement efforts and lead to confusion about the law's requirements 
among entities that receive federal financial assistance from the 
Department or who participate in its federally conducted programs.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   11/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Gregory B. Friel, Acting Chief, Department of 
Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, 950 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20031, Phone: 800 514-0301, Fax: 
202 307-1198.
    RIN: 1190-AA60

DOJ--CRT

71. Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Movie Captioning and 
Video Description

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq.
    CFR Citation: 28 CFR part 36.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: Following its advance notice of proposed rulemaking 
published on July 26, 2010, the Department plans to publish a proposed 
rule addressing the requirements for captioning and video description 
of movies exhibited in movie theatres under title III of the Americans 
with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Title III prohibits discrimination 
on the basis of disability in the activities of places of public 
accommodation (private entities whose operations affect commerce and 
that fall into one of twelve categories listed in the ADA). 42 U.S.C. 
12181-12189. Title III makes it unlawful for places of public 
accommodation, such as movie theaters, to discriminate against 
individuals with disabilities in the full and equal enjoyment of the 
goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations 
of a place of public accommodation (42 U.S.C. 12182[a]). Moreover, 
title III prohibits places of public accommodation from affording an 
unequal or lesser service to individuals or classes of individuals with 
disabilities than is offered to other individuals (42 U.S.C. 
12182(b)(1)(A)(ii)). Title III requires places of public accommodation 
to take ``such steps as may be necessary to ensure that no individual 
with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise 
treated differently because of the absence of auxiliary aids and 
services, such as captioning and video description, unless the entity 
can demonstrate that taking such steps would fundamentally alter the 
nature of the good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or 
accommodation being offered or would result in an undue burden,'' (42 
U.S.C. 12182(b)(2)(A)(iii)).
    Statement of Need: A significant-and increasing-proportion of 
Americans have hearing or vision disabilities that prevent them from 
fully and effectively understanding movies without captioning or audio 
description. For persons with hearing and vision disabilities, the 
unavailability of captioned or audio-described movies inhibits their 
ability to socialize and fully take part in family outings and deprives 
them of the opportunity to meaningfully participate in an important 
aspect of American culture. Many individuals with hearing or vision 
disabilities who commented on the Department's 2010 ANPRM remarked that 
they have not been able to enjoy a commercial movie unless they watched 
it on TV, or that when they took their

[[Page 1420]]

children to the movies they could not understand what they were seeing 
or discuss what was happening with their children. Today, more and more 
movies are produced with captions and audio description. However, 
despite the underlying ADA obligation, the advancement of digital 
technology and the availability of captioned and audio-described films, 
many movie theaters are still not exhibiting captioned or audio-
described movies, and when they do exhibit them, they are only for a 
few showings of a movie, and usually at off-times. Recently, a number 
of theater companies have committed to provide greater availability of 
captioning and audio description. In some cases, these have been 
nationwide commitments; in other cases it has only been in a particular 
state or locality. A uniform federal ADA requirement for captioning and 
audio description is necessary to ensure that access to movies for 
persons with hearing and vision disabilities is not dictated by the 
individual's residence or the presence of litigation in their locality. 
In addition, the movie theater industry is in the process of converting 
its movie screens to use digital technology, and the Department 
believes that it will be extremely helpful to provide timely guidance 
on the ADA requirements for captioning and audio description so that 
the industry may factor this into its conversion efforts and minimize 
costs.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The summary of the legal basis of authority 
for this regulation is set forth above in the abstract.
    Alternatives: The Department will consider any public comments that 
propose achievable alternatives that will still accomplish the goal of 
providing access to movies for persons with hearing and vision 
disabilities. However, the Department believes that the baseline 
alternative of not providing such access would be inconsistent with the 
provisions of Title III of the ADA.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The Department's preliminary 
analysis indicates that the proposed rule would not be ``economically 
significant,'' that is, that the rule will not have an annual effect on 
the economy of $100 million, or adversely affect in a material way the 
economy, a sector of the economy, the environment, public health or 
safety or State, local or tribal governments or communities. In the 
NPRM, the Department will be soliciting public comment in response to 
its preliminary analysis regarding the costs imposed by the rule.
    Risks: Without the proposed changes to the Department's Title III 
regulation, persons with hearing and vision disabilities will continue 
to be denied access to movies shown in movie theaters and movie theater 
owners and operators will not understand what they are required to do 
in order to provide auxiliary aids and services to patrons with hearing 
and vision disabilities.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   07/26/10  75 FR 43467
ANPRM Comment Period End............   01/24/11
NPRM................................   05/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Gregory B. Friel, Acting Chief, Department of 
Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, 950 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20031, Phone: 800 514-0301, Fax: 
202 307-1198.
    RIN: 1190-AA63

DOJ--CRT

72. Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability: Accessibility of Web 
Information and Services of State and Local Governments

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major status under 5 U.S.C. 801 
is undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq.
    CFR Citation: 28 CFR part 35.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Department published an ANPRM on July 26, 2010, RIN 
1190-AA61, that addressed issues relating to proposed revisions of both 
the title II and title III ADA regulations in order to provide guidance 
on the obligations of covered entities to make programs, services and 
activities offered over the Web accessible to individuals with 
disabilities.
    The Department has now divided the rulemakings in the next step of 
the rulemaking process so as to proceed with separate notices of 
proposed rulemakings for title II and title III. The title III 
rulemaking on Web accessibility will continue under RIN 1190-AA61 and 
the title II rulemaking will continue under the new RIN 1190-AA65. This 
rulemaking will provide specific guidance to State and local 
governments in order to make services, programs, or activities offered 
to the public via the Web accessible to individuals with disabilities.
    The ADA requires that State and local governments provide qualified 
individuals with disabilities equal access to their programs, services, 
or activities unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of 
their programs, services, or activities or would impose an undue 
burden. 42. U.S.C. 12132. The Internet as it is known today did not 
exist when Congress enacted the ADA; yet today the Internet is 
dramatically changing the way that governmental entities serve the 
public. Taking advantage of new technology, citizens can now use State 
and local government Web sites to correspond online with local 
officials; obtain information about government services; renew library 
books or driver's licenses; pay fines; register to vote; obtain tax 
information and file tax returns; apply for jobs or benefits; and 
complete numerous other civic tasks. These government Web sites are 
important because they allow programs and services to be offered in a 
more dynamic, interactive way in order to increase citizen 
participation; increase convenience and speed in obtaining information 
or services; reduce costs in providing information about government 
services and administering programs; reduce the amount of paperwork; 
and expand the possibilities of reaching new sectors of the community 
or offering new programs or services.
    Many States and localities have begun to improve the accessibility 
of portions of their Web sites. However, full compliance with the ADA's 
promise to provide an equal opportunity for individuals with 
disabilities to participate in and benefit from all aspects of the 
programs, services, and activities provided by State and local 
governments in today's technologically advanced society will only occur 
if it is clear to public entities that their Web sites must be 
accessible. Consequently, the Department intends to publish a Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend its title II regulations to 
expressly address the obligations of public entities to make the Web 
sites they use to provide programs, activities, or services or 
information to the public accessible to and usable by individuals with 
disabilities under the legal framework established by the ADA. The 
proposed regulation will propose the scope of the obligation to provide 
accessibility when persons with disabilities access public Web sites, 
as well as propose the technical standards necessary to comply with the 
ADA.
    Statement of Need: Many people with disabilities use ``assistive 
technology'' to enable them to use computers and access the Internet. 
Individuals who are blind or have low vision who cannot see

[[Page 1421]]

computer monitors may use screen readers--devices that speak the text 
that would normally appear on a monitor. People who have difficulty 
using a computer mouse can use voice recognition software to control 
their computers with verbal commands. People with other types of 
disabilities may use still other kinds of assistive technology. New and 
innovative assistive technologies are being introduced every day.
    Web sites that do not accommodate assistive technology, for 
example, can create unnecessary barriers for people with disabilities, 
just as buildings not designed to accommodate people with disabilities 
prevent some individuals from entering and accessing services. Web 
designers may not realize how simple features built into a Web site 
will assist someone who, for instance, cannot see a computer monitor or 
use a mouse. In addition, in many cases, these Web sites do not provide 
captioning for videos or live events streamed over the web, leaving 
persons who are deaf or hard of hearing unable to access the 
information that is being provided. Although an increasing number of 
State and local governments are making efforts to provide accessible 
Web sites, because there are no specific ADA standards for Web site 
accessibility, these Web sites vary in actual usability.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The ADA requires that State and local 
governments provide qualified individuals with disabilities equal 
access to their programs, services, or activities unless doing so would 
fundamentally alter the nature of their programs, services, or 
activities or would impose an undue burden. 42 U.S.C. 12132.
    Alternatives: The Department intends to consider various 
alternatives for ensuring full access to Web sites of State and local 
governments and will solicit public comment addressing these 
alternatives.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The Department anticipates that this 
rule will be ``economically significant,'' that is, that the rule will 
have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million, or adversely 
affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, the 
environment, public health or safety or State, local or tribal 
governments or communities. However, the Department believes that 
revising its title II rule to clarify the obligations of State and 
local governments to provide accessible Web sites will significantly 
increase the opportunities for citizens with disabilities to 
participate in, and benefit from, State and local government programs, 
activities, and services. It will also ensure that individuals have 
access to important information that is provided over the Internet, 
including emergency information. The Department also believes that 
providing accessible Web sites will benefit State and local governments 
as it will increase the numbers of citizens who can use these Web 
sites, and thus improve the efficiency of delivery of services to the 
public. In drafting this NPRM, the Department will attempt to minimize 
the compliance costs to State and local governments while ensuring the 
benefits of compliance to persons with disabilities.
    Risks: If the Department does not revise its ADA title II 
regulations to address Web site accessibility, persons with 
disabilities in many communities will continue to be unable to access 
their State and local governmental services in the same manner 
available to citizens without disabilities, and in some cases will not 
be able to access those services at all.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   07/26/10  75 FR 43460
ANPRM Comment Period End............   01/21/11
NPRM................................   07/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Additional Information: Split from RIN 1190-AA61.
    Agency Contact: Gregory B. Friel, Acting Chief, Department of 
Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, 950 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20031, Phone: 800 514-0301, Fax: 
202 307-1198.
    RIN: 1190-AA65

DOJ--CRT LONG-TERM ACTIONS

73. Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Web 
Information and Services of Public Accommodations

    Priority: Economically Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq.
    CFR Citation: 28 CFR part 36.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Department of Justice is considering proposed 
revisions to the regulation implementing title III of the Americans 
with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to address the obligations of 
public accommodations to make goods, services, facilities, privileges, 
accommodations, or advantages they offer via the Internet, specifically 
at sites on the World Wide Web (Web), accessible to individuals with 
disabilities. The ADA requires that public accommodations provide 
individuals with full and equal enjoyment of their goods, services, 
facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations. 42. U.S.C. 
12182. The Internet as it is known today did not exist when Congress 
enacted the ADA. Today the Internet, most notably the sites on the Web, 
plays a critical role in the daily personal, professional, and business 
life of most Americans. Increasingly, private entities of all types are 
providing goods and services to the public through Web sites that 
operate as places of public accommodation under title III of the ADA. 
Many Web sites of public accommodations, however, render use by 
individuals with disabilities difficult or impossible due to barriers 
posed by Web sites designed without accessible features.
    Being unable to access Web sites puts individuals at a great 
disadvantage in today's society, which is driven by a global 
marketplace and unprecedented access to information. On the economic 
front, electronic commerce, or ``e-commerce,'' often offers consumers a 
wider selection and lower prices than traditional ``brick-and-mortar'' 
storefronts, with the added convenience of not having to leave one's 
home to obtain goods and services. Beyond goods and services, 
information available on the Internet has become a gateway to 
education. Schools at all levels are increasingly offering programs and 
classroom instruction through Web sites. Many colleges and universities 
offer degree programs online; some universities exist exclusively on 
the Internet. The Internet also is changing the way individuals 
socialize and seek entertainment. Social networks and other online 
meeting places provide a unique way for individuals to meet and 
fraternize. These networks allow individuals to meet others with 
similar interests and connect with friends, business colleagues, 
elected officials, and businesses. They also provide an effective 
networking opportunity for entrepreneurs, artists, and others seeking 
to put their skills and talents to use. Web sites also bring a myriad 
of entertainment and information options for internet users-from games 
and music to news and videos.
    The ADA's promise to provide an equal opportunity for individuals 
with disabilities to participate in and benefit from all aspects of 
American civic and

[[Page 1422]]

economic life will be achieved in today's technologically advanced 
society only if it is clear to businesses, educators, and other public 
accommodations, that their Web sites must be accessible. Consequently, 
the Department is proposing to amend its title III regulation to 
expressly address the obligations of public accommodations to make the 
Web sites they use to provide their goods and services to the public 
accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities under the 
legal framework established by the ADA. The proposed regulation will 
propose the scope of the obligation to provide accessibility when 
persons with disabilities attempt to access Web sites of public 
accommodations, as well as propose the technical standards necessary to 
comply with the ADA.
    Statement of Need: Many people with disabilities use ``assistive 
technology'' to enable them to use computers and access the Internet. 
Individuals who are blind or have low vision who cannot see computer 
monitors may use screen readers-devices that speak the text that would 
normally appear on a monitor. People who have difficulty using a 
computer mouse can use voice recognition software to control their 
computers with verbal commands. People with other types of disabilities 
may use still other kinds of assistive technology. New and innovative 
assistive technologies are being introduced every day. Web sites that 
do not accommodate assistive technology, for example, can create 
unnecessary barriers for people with disabilities, just as buildings 
not designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities can prevent 
some individuals from entering and accessing services. Web designers 
may not realize how simple features built into a Web site will assist 
someone who, for instance, cannot see a computer monitor or use a 
mouse. In addition, in many cases, these Web sites do not provide 
captioning for videos or live events streamed over the web, leaving 
persons who are deaf or hard of hearing unable to access the 
information that is being provided.
    Although the Department has been clear that the ADA applies to Web 
sites of private entities that meet the definition of ``public 
accommodations,'' inconsistent court decisions, differing standards for 
determining web accessibility, and repeated calls for Department action 
indicate remaining uncertainty regarding the applicability of the ADA 
to Web sites of entities covered by title III. For these reasons, the 
Department plans to propose to amendments to its regulation so as to 
make clear to entities covered by the ADA their obligations to make 
their Web sites accessible. Despite the need for action, the Department 
appreciates the need to move forward deliberatively. Any regulations 
the Department adopts must provide specific guidance to help ensure web 
access to individuals with disabilities without hampering innovation 
and technological advancement on the Web.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The ADA requires that public accommodations 
provide individuals with full and equal enjoyment of their goods, 
services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations. 42. 
U.S.C. 12182. Increasingly, private entities of all types are providing 
goods and services to the public through Web sites that operate as 
places of public accommodation under title III of the ADA.
    Alternatives: The Department intends to consider various 
alternatives for ensuring full access to Web sites of public 
accommodations and will solicit public comment addressing these 
alternatives.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The Department anticipates that this 
rule will be ``economically significant.'' The Department believes that 
revising its title III rule to clarify the obligations of public 
accommodations to provide accessible Web sites will significantly 
increase the opportunities of individuals with disabilities to access 
the variety of goods and services public accommodations offer on the 
web, while increasing the number of customers that access the Web sites 
to procure the goods and service offered by these public 
accommodations. In drafting this NPRM, the Department will attempt to 
minimize the compliance costs to public accommodations, while ensuring 
the benefits of compliance to persons with disabilities.
    Risks: If the Department does not revise its ADA title III 
regulations to address Web site accessibility, persons with 
disabilities will continue to be unable to access the many goods and 
services of public accommodations available on the web to individuals 
without disabilities.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   07/26/10  75 FR 43460
ANPRM Comment Period End............   01/24/11
NPRM................................   12/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: See also RIN 1190-AA65 which was split from 
this RIN of 1190-AA61.
    Agency Contact: Gregory B. Friel, Acting Chief, Department of 
Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, 950 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20031, Phone: 800 514-0301, Fax: 
202 307-1198.
    RIN: 1190-AA61

BILLING CODE 4410-BP-P

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Fall 2012 Statement of Regulatory Priorities

    The Department of Labor's fall 2012 agenda continues Secretary 
Solis' vision of Good Jobs for Everyone. It also renews the Labor 
Department's commitment to efficient and effective regulation through 
the review and modification of our existing regulations, consistent 
with Executive Order 13563 (``E.O. 13563'').
    The Labor Department's vision of a ``good job'' includes jobs that:
     Increase workers' incomes and narrow wage and income 
inequality;
     Assure workers are paid their wages and overtime;
     Are in safe and healthy workplaces, and fair and diverse 
workplaces;
     Provide workplace flexibility for family and personal 
care-giving;
     Improve health benefits and retirement security for all 
workers; and,
     Assure workers have a voice in the workplace.
    The Department continues to use a variety of mechanisms to achieve 
the goal of Good Jobs for Everyone, including increased enforcement 
actions, increased education and outreach, and regulatory actions that 
foster compliance. At the same time, the Department is enhancing the 
efficiency and effectiveness of its efforts through targeted regulatory 
actions designed to improve compliance and burden reduction 
initiatives. The Department's Plan/Prevent/Protect and Openness and 
Transparency compliance strategies and the implementation of E.O. 13563 
create unifying themes that seek to foster a new calculus that 
strengthens protections for workers. By requiring employers and other 
regulated entities to take full ownership over their adherence to 
Department regulations and promoting greater openness and transparency 
for employers and workers alike, the Department seeks to significantly 
increase compliance. The increased effectiveness of this compliance 
strategy will enable the Department to achieve the Good Jobs for 
Everyone goal in a regulatory

[[Page 1423]]

environment that is more efficient and less burdensome.
    Plan/Prevent/Protect Compliance Strategy: The regulatory actions 
that comprise the Department's Plan/Prevent/Protect strategy are 
designed to ensure employers and other regulated entities are in full 
compliance with the law every day, not just when Department inspectors 
come calling. The Plan/Prevent/Protect strategy was first announced 
with the Spring 2010 Regulatory Agenda. Employers, unions, and others 
who follow the Department's Plan/Prevent/Protect strategy will assure 
compliance with employment laws before Labor Department enforcement 
personnel arrive at their doorsteps. Most important, they will assure 
that workers get the safe, healthy, diverse, family-friendly, and fair 
workplaces they deserve. In the Fall 2012 Regulatory Agenda, the 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mine Safety and 
Health Administration (MSHA), and the Office of Federal Contract 
Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will all propose regulatory actions 
furthering the Department's implementation of the Plan/Prevent/Protect 
strategy.
    Openness and Transparency--Tools for Achieving Compliance: Greater 
openness and transparency continues to be central to the Department's 
compliance and regulatory strategies. The fall 2012- regulatory plan 
demonstrates the Department's continued commitment to conducting the 
people's business with openness and transparency, not only as good 
Government and stakeholder engagement strategies, but as important 
means to achieve compliance with the employment laws administered and 
enforced by the Department. Openness and transparency will not only 
enhance agencies' enforcement actions but will encourage greater levels 
of compliance by the regulated community and enhance awareness among 
workers of their rights and benefits. When employers, unions, workers, 
advocates, and members of the public have greater access to information 
concerning workplace conditions and expectations, then we all become 
partners in the endeavor to create Good Jobs for Everyone.
    Risk Reduction: The Department believes Plan/Prevent/Protect and 
increased Openness and Transparency will result in improvements to 
worker health and safety; fair pay, earned overtime compensation, 
secure benefits; fair, diverse and family-friendly environments that 
provide workplace flexibility for family and personal care-giving 
However, when the Department identifies specific hazards and risks to 
worker health, safety, security, or fairness, the Department will 
utilize its regulatory powers to limit the risk to workers. The Fall 
2012 Regulatory Agenda includes examples of such regulatory initiatives 
to address such specific concerns, many of which are discussed in this 
document.
    Retrospective Review of Existing Rules: The Fall 2012 Regulatory 
Agenda aims to achieve more efficient and less burdensome regulation 
through retrospective review of Labor Department regulations. On 
January 18, 2011, the President issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13563 
entitled ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.'' The E.O. aims 
to ``strike the right balance'' between what is needed to protect 
health, welfare, safety, and the environment for all Americans, and 
what is needed to foster economic growth, job creation, and 
competitiveness.
    In August 2011, as part of a Government wide response to E.O. 
13563, the Department published its Plan for Retrospective Analysis of 
Existing Rules, which identifies several burden-reducing review 
projects. On March 26, 2012 OSHA published the Hazard Communication/
Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals 
final rule. Cost savings for employers from productivity improvements 
arising from the rule were estimated to be $507.2 million annually. The 
estimated net benefits of the rule are $556 million annually. EBSA's 
Abandoned Plan Program, results in an estimated $500,000 savings, and 
expanding the program will provide substantial benefits to plans of 
sponsors in bankruptcy liquidation and bankruptcy trustees while 
imposing minimal costs ($64,000). These projects estimate monetized 
savings that would eliminate between roughly $580 to $790 million in 
annual regulatory burdens. Proposals such as OSHA's Standard 
Improvement Project--Phase IV (SIP IV) and Revocation of Certification 
Records are expected to produce additional savings. Several non-
regulatory actions are expected to have similar results.
    The Department is also taking action to eliminate regulations that 
are no longer effective or enforceable. This effort will include 
removal of the Job Training Partnership Act program requirements; 
attestation requirements by facilities using nonimmigrant aliens as 
registered nurses as implemented through the Immigration Nursing Relief 
Act of 1999; and, attestation requirements by employers using F-1 
students in off-campus work as authorized by the supplementing sections 
of Immigration Act of 1990. It will also include removal of regulatory 
actions that are no longer enforceable, including labor certification 
process requirements for logging employment and non-H-2A agricultural 
employment. In total, this agenda includes 10 review projects--that is, 
more than 13 percent of all the Department's planned regulatory 
actions.
    Pursuant to section 6 of E.O. 13563, the following Regulatory 
Identifier Numbers (RINs) are associated with the Department's Plan for 
Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules. More information about 
completed rulemakings, which are no longer included in the plan, can be 
found on Reginfo.gov. The original August 2011 DOL Plan for 
Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules and subsequent quarterly 
updates can be found at: http://www.dol.gov/regulations/.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                 Whether it is Expected to
       Regulatory Identifier No.               Title of Rulemaking         Significantly Reduce Burdens on Small
                                                                                        Businesses
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1218-AC34.............................  Bloodborne Pathogens............  No.
1218-AC77.............................  Updating OSHA Standards Based on  No.
                                         National Consensus Standards
                                         (Signage).
1218-AC67.............................  Standard Improvement Project--    Yes.
                                         Phase IV (SIP IV).
1218-AC75.............................  Cranes and Derricks in            Yes.
                                         Construction: Revision to
                                         Digger Derricks' Requirements.
1218-AC74.............................  Review/Lookback of OSHA Chemical  To Be Determined.
                                         Standards.
1218-AC80.............................  Revocation of Certification       To Be Determined.
                                         Records.
1219-AB72.............................  Criteria and Procedures for       To Be Determined.
                                         Proposed Assessment of Civil
                                         Penalties (Part 100).
1250-AA05.............................  Sex Discrimination Guidelines...  To Be Determined.
1210-AB47.............................  Amendment of Abandoned Plan       Yes.
                                         Program.

[[Page 1424]]

 
1205-AB59.............................  Equal Employment Opportunity in   To Be Determined.
                                         Apprenticeship and Training,
                                         Amendment of Regulations.
1205-AB62.............................  Implementation of Total           No.
                                         Unemployment Rate Extended
                                         Benefits Trigger and Rounding
                                         Rule.
1205-AB68.............................  Job Training Partnership Act;     No, action will not increase burden to
                                         Removal of JTPA.                  small businesses as regulatory
                                                                           provisions are no longer operative.
1205-AB65.............................  Labor Certification Process for   No, action will not increase burden to
                                         Logging Employment and Non-H-2A   small businesses as regulatory
                                         Agricultural Employment.          provisions are no longer operative.
1205-AB66.............................  Attestations by Employers Using   No, action will not increase burden to
                                         F-1 Students in Off-Campus Work.  small businesses as regulatory
                                                                           provisions are no longer operative.
1205-AB67.............................  Attestations by Facilities Using  No, action will not increase burden to
                                         Nonimmigrant Aliens as            small businesses as regulatory
                                         Registered Nurses.                provisions are no longer operative.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

    OSHA's regulatory program is designed to help workers and employers 
identify hazards in the workplace, prevent the occurrence of injuries 
and adverse health effects, and communicate with the regulated 
community regarding hazards and how to effectively control them. Long-
recognized health hazards and emerging hazards place American workers 
at risk of serious disease and death and are initiatives on OSHA's 
regulatory agenda. In addition to targeting specific hazards, OSHA is 
focusing on systematic processes that will modernize the culture of 
safety in America's workplaces and retrospective review projects that 
will update regulations and reduce burdens on regulated communities. 
OSHA's retrospective review projects under E.O.13563 include 
consideration of the Bloodborne Pathogens standard, updating consensus 
standards, phase IV of OSHA's standard improvement project (SIP IV), 
and reviewing various permissible exposure levels.

Plan/Prevent/Protect

     Infectious Diseases: OSHA is considering the need for 
regulatory action to address the risk to workers exposed to infectious 
diseases in healthcare and other related high-risk environments. OSHA 
is interested in all routes of infectious disease transmission in 
healthcare settings not already covered by its bloodborne pathogens 
standard (e.g. contact, droplet, and airborne) The agency is 
particularly concerned by studies that indicate that transmission of 
infectious diseases to both patients and healthcare workers may be 
occurring as a result of incomplete adherence to recognized, but 
voluntary, infection control measures. The agency is considering an 
approach that would combine elements of the Department's Plan/Prevent/
Protect strategy with established infection control practices. The 
agency received strong stakeholder participation in response to its May 
2010 request for information and July 2011 stakeholder meetings.
    In 2007, the healthcare and social assistance sector as a whole had 
16.5 million employees. Healthcare workplaces can range from small 
private practices of physicians to hospitals that employ thousands of 
workers. In addition, healthcare is increasingly being provided in 
other settings such as nursing homes, free-standing surgical and 
outpatient centers, emergency care clinics, patients' homes, and pre-
hospitalization emergency care settings. OSHA is concerned with the 
movement of healthcare delivery from the traditional hospital setting, 
with its greater infrastructure and resources to effectively implement 
infection control measures, into more diverse and smaller workplace 
settings with less infrastructure and fewer resources, but with an 
expanding worker population.
     Injury and Illness Prevention Program: OSHA's Injury and 
Illness Prevention Program is the prototype for the Department's Plan/
Prevent/Protect strategy. OSHA's first step in this important 
rulemaking was to hold stakeholder meetings. Stakeholder meetings were 
held in East Brunswick, NJ; Dallas, Texas; Washington, DC; and 
Sacramento, California, beginning in June 2010 and ending in August 
2010. More than 200 stakeholders participated in these meetings, and in 
addition, nearly 300 stakeholders attended as observers. The proposed 
rule will explore requiring employers to provide their employees with 
opportunities to participate in the development and implementation of 
an injury and illness prevention program, including a systematic 
process to proactively and continuously address workplace safety and 
health hazards. This rule will involve planning, implementing, 
evaluating, and improving processes and activities that promote worker 
safety and health hazards. OSHA has substantial evidence showing that 
employers that have implemented similar injury and illness prevention 
programs have significantly reduced injuries and illnesses in their 
workplaces. The new rule would build on OSHA's existing Safety and 
Health Program Management Guidelines and lessons learned from 
successful

[[Page 1425]]

approaches and best practices that have been applied by companies 
participating in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program and Safety and 
Health Achievement Recognition Program, and similar industry and 
international initiatives.

Openness and Transparency

     Modernizing Recordkeeping: OSHA held informal meetings to 
gather information from experts and stakeholders regarding the 
modification of its current injury and illness data collection system 
that will help the agency, employers, employees, researchers, and the 
public prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, as well as support 
President Obama's Open Government Initiative. Under the proposed rule, 
OSHA will explore requiring employers to electronically submit to the 
Agency data required by part 1904 (Recording and Reporting Occupational 
Injuries). The proposed rule will enable OSHA to conduct data 
collections ranging from the periodic collection of all part 1904 data 
from a handful of employers to the annual collection of summary data 
from many employers. OSHA learned from stakeholders that most large 
employers already maintain their part 1904 data electronically; as a 
result, electronic submission will constitute a minimal burden on these 
employers, while providing a wealth of data to help OSHA, employers, 
employees, researchers, and the public prevent workplace injuries and 
illnesses. The proposed rule also does not add to or change the 
recording criteria or definitions in part 1904. The proposed rule only 
modifies employers' obligations to transmit information from these 
records to OSHA.
     Whistleblower Protection Regulations: The ability of 
workers to speak out and exercise their legal rights without fear of 
retaliation is essential to many of the legal protections and 
safeguards that all Americans value. Whether the goal is the safety of 
our food, drugs, or workplaces, the integrity of our financial system, 
or the security of our transportation systems, whistleblowers have been 
essential to ensuring that our laws are fully and fairly executed. In 
the fall regulatory agenda, OSHA proposes to issue procedural rules 
that will establish consistent and transparent procedures for the 
filing of whistleblower complaints under eight statutes as discussed in 
the regulatory agenda. These procedural rules will strengthen OSHA's 
enforcement of its whistleblower program by providing specific 
timeframes and guidance for filing a complaint with OSHA, issuing a 
finding, avenues of appeal, and allowable remedies.

Risk Reduction

     Silica: In order to target one of the most serious hazards 
workers face, OSHA is proposing to address worker exposures to 
crystalline silica through the promulgation and enforcement of a 
comprehensive health standard. Exposure to silica causes silicosis, a 
debilitating respiratory disease, and may cause cancer, other chronic 
respiratory diseases, and renal and autoimmune disease as well. The 
seriousness of the health hazards associated with silica exposure is 
demonstrated by the large number of fatalities and disabling illnesses 
that continue to occur. Over 2 million workers are exposed to 
crystalline silica in general industry, construction, and maritime 
industries. Reducing these hazardous exposures through promulgation and 
enforcement of a comprehensive health standard will contribute to 
OSHA's goal of reducing occupational fatalities and illnesses. As a 
part of the Secretary's strategy for securing safe and healthy 
workplaces, MSHA will also utilize information provided by OSHA to 
undertake regulatory action related to silica exposure in mines.
     Preventing Backover Injuries and Fatalities: Workers 
across many industries face a serious hazard when vehicles perform 
backing maneuvers, especially vehicles with an obstructed view to the 
rear. OSHA is collecting information on this hazard and researching 
emerging technologies that may help to reduce this risk. NIOSH reports, 
for example, that one-half of the fatalities involving construction 
equipment occur while the equipment is backing. Backing accidents cause 
at least 60 occupational deaths per year. Emerging technologies that 
address the risks of backing operations include cameras, radar, and 
sonar--to help view or detect the presence of workers on foot in blind 
areas--and new monitoring technology, such as tag-based warning systems 
that use radio frequency (RFID) and magnetic field generators on 
equipment to detect electronic tags worn by workers. Along with MSHA, 
which is developing regulations concerning Proximity Detection Systems, 
and based on information collected and the Agency's review and 
research, the Agency may consider rulemaking as an appropriate measure 
to address this source of employee risk. The Agency published an RFI on 
March 27, 2012 seeking information from the public; the comment period 
ended on July 27, 2012.
     Reinforced Concrete in Construction: OSHA has published an 
RFI seeking information about the hazards associated with reinforcing 
operation in construction. Current rules regarding reinforcing steel 
and post-tensioning activities may not adequately address worker 
hazards in work related to post-tensioning and reinforcing steel. Both 
are techniques for reinforcing concrete and are generally used in 
commercial and industrial construction. OSHA currently has few rules 
which address the steel reinforcing and post-tensioning fields 
directly. The few rules that do exist are found in subpart Q--Concrete 
and Masonry Construction of 29 CFR 1926. OSHA IMIS data indicates that 
31 workers died while performing work on or near post-tensioning 
operations or reinforcing steel between 2000 and 2009. The use of 
reinforced steel and post-tensioned poured in place concrete in 
commercial and industrial construction is expected to rise. Without 
adequate standards, the rate of accidents will likely rise as well. 
Currently, workers performing steel reinforcing suffer injuries caused 
by unsafe material handling, structural collapse, and impalement by 
protruding reinforcing steel dowels, among others. Employees involved 
in post-tensioning activities are at risk for incidents caused by the 
misuse of post-tensioning equipment and improper training.

Regulatory Review and Burden Reduction

     Bloodborne Pathogens: OSHA will undertake a review of the 
Bloodborne Pathogen Standard in accordance with the requirements of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, section 5 of Executive Order 12866, and 
E.O. 13563. The review will consider the continued need for the rule; 
whether the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other Federal, 
State or local regulations; and the degree to which technology, 
economic conditions, or other factors may have changed since the rule 
was evaluated.
     Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus 
Standards--Signage: Under section 6(a) of the OSH Act, during the first 
2 years of the Act, the Agency was directed to adopt national consensus 
standards as OSHA standards. In the more than 40 years since these 
standards were adopted by OSHA, the organizations responsible for these 
consensus standards have issued updated versions of these standards. 
However, in most cases, OSHA has not revised its regulations to reflect 
later editions of the consensus standards. This project is part of a 
multi-year project to update OSHA standards that

[[Page 1426]]

are based on consensus standards. On June 22nd, OSHA published a Direct 
Final Rule (DFR) and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) addressing 
OSHA's Head Protection standards. The Agency received no significant 
adverse comment, and the standards went into effect September 20, 2012. 
On (insert date prior to October) OSHA published another DFR/NPRM 
Consensus Standard addressing signage.
     Standard Improvement Project--Phase IV (SIP IV): OSHA's 
Standards Improvement Projects (SIPs) are intended to remove or revise 
duplicative, unnecessary, and inconsistent safety and health standards. 
The Agency has published three earlier final standards to remove 
unnecessary provisions, thus reducing costs or paperwork burden on 
affected employers. The Agency believes that these standards have 
reduced the compliance costs and eliminated or reduced the paperwork 
burden for a number of its standards. The Agency only considers such 
changes to its standards so long as they do not diminish employee 
protections. The Agency initiated a fourth rulemaking effort to 
identify unnecessary or duplicative provisions or paperwork 
requirements that is focused primarily on revisions to its construction 
standards in 29 CFR 1926.
     Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Revision to Digger 
Derricks' Requirements: OSHA published its final Cranes and Derricks in 
Construction Standard in August 2010. Edison Electric Institute (EEI) 
filed a petition for review challenging several aspects of the 
standard, including the scope of the exemption for digger derricks. As 
part of the settlement agreement with EEI, OSHA agreed to publish a 
direct final rule expanding the scope of a partial exemption for work 
by digger derricks. In the direct final rule, OSHA will revise the 
scope provision on digger derricks as an exemption for all work done by 
digger derricks covered by subpart V of 29 CFR 1926. The change in 
scope will result in an estimated cost savings of $21.6 million 
annually.
     Review-Lookback of OSHA Chemical Standards: The majority 
of OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) were adopted in 1971 under 
section 6(a) of the OSH Act, and only a few have been successfully 
updated since that time. There is widespread agreement among industry, 
labor, and professional occupational safety and health organizations 
that OSHA's PELs are outdated and need revising in order to take into 
account newer scientific data that indicate that significant 
occupational health risks exist at levels below OSHA's current PELs. In 
1989, OSHA issued a final standard that lowered PELs for over 200 
chemicals and added PELs for 164. However, the final rule was 
challenged and ultimately vacated by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals 
in 1991 citing deficiencies in OSHA's analyses. Since that time, OSHA 
has made attempts to examine its outdated PELs in light of the Court's 
1991 decision. Most recently, OSHA sought input through a stakeholder 
meeting and web forum to discuss various approaches that might be used 
to address its outdated PELs. As part of the Department's Regulatory 
Review and Lookback Efforts, OSHA is developing a Request for 
Information (RFI), seeking input from the public to help the Agency 
identify effective ways to address occupational exposure to chemicals.
     Confined Spaces in Construction: In 1993, OSHA issued a 
rule to protect employees who enter confined spaces while engaged in 
general industry work (29 CFR 1910.146). This standard did not address 
confined space entry in construction. Pursuant to discussions with the 
United Steel Workers of America that led to a settlement agreement 
regarding the general industry standard, OSHA agreed to issue a 
proposed rule to protect construction workers in confined spaces. The 
proposed rule for confined spaces in construction was published in 
2007, public hearings were held in 2008.

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

    The Mine Safety and Health Administration is the worker protection 
agency focused on the prevention of death, disease, and injury from 
mining and the promotion of safe and healthful workplaces for the 
Nation's miners. The Department believes that every worker has a right 
to a safe and healthy workplace. Workers should never have to sacrifice 
their lives for their livelihood, and all workers deserve to come home 
to their families at the end of their shift safe and whole. MSHA's 
approach to reducing workplace fatalities and injuries includes 
promulgating and enforcing mandatory health and safety standards. 
MSHA's retrospective review project under E.O.13563 addresses revising 
the process for proposing civil penalties.

Plan/Prevent/Protect

     Proximity Detection Systems for Continuous Mining Machines 
in Underground Coal Mines: MSHA published a proposed rule to address 
the danger that miners face when working near continuous mining 
machines in underground coal mines. MSHA has concluded, from 
investigations of accidents involving mobile equipment and other 
reports, that action was necessary to protect miners. From 1984 to 
2012, there have been 32 fatalities resulting from pinning, crushing or 
striking accidents involving continuous mining machines. Proximity 
detection technology can prevent these types of accidents. Proximity 
detection systems can be installed on mining machinery to detect the 
presence of personnel or equipment within a certain distance of the 
machine. The rule would strengthen the protection for underground 
miners by reducing the potential for pinning, crushing, or striking 
hazards associated with working close to continuous mining machines.
     Proximity Detection Systems for Mobile Machines in 
Underground Mines: MSHA plans to publish a proposed rule to require 
underground coal mine operators to equip shuttle cars, coal hauling 
machines, continuous haulage systems, and scoops with proximity 
detection systems. Miners working near these machines face pinning, 
crushing, and striking hazards that have resulted, and continue to 
result, in accidents involving life threatening injuries and death. The 
proposal would strengthen protections for miners by reducing the 
potential for pinning, crushing, or striking accidents in underground 
mines.

Openness and Transparency

     Pattern of Violations: MSHA has determined that the 
existing pattern criteria and procedures contained in 30 CFR part 104 
do not reflect the statutory intent for section 104(e) of the Federal 
Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act). The legislative history 
of the Mine Act explains that Congress intended the pattern of 
violations to be an enforcement tool for operators who have 
demonstrated a disregard for the health and safety of miners. These 
mine operators, who have a chronic history of persistent significant 
and substantial (S&S) violations, needlessly expose miners to the same 
hazards again and again. This indicates a serious safety and health 
management problem at a mine. The goal of the pattern of violations 
final rule is to compel operators to manage health and safety 
conditions so that the root causes of S&S violations are found and 
fixed before they become a hazard to miners. The final rule would 
reflect statutory intent, simplify the pattern of violations

[[Page 1427]]

criteria, and improve consistency in applying the pattern of violations 
criteria. MSHA developed an online service that enables mine operators, 
miners, and others to monitor a mining operation to determine if the 
mine could be approaching a potential pattern of violations. The web 
tool contains the specific criteria that MSHA uses to review a mine for 
a potential pattern of violations. The pattern of violations monitoring 
tool promotes openness and transparency in government.
     Notification of Legal Identity: The existing requirements 
do not provide sufficient information for MSHA to identify all of the 
mine ``operators'' responsible for operator safety and health 
obligations under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as 
amended. This proposed regulation would expand the information required 
to be submitted to MSHA to create more transparent and open records 
that would allow the Agency to better identify and focus on the most 
egregious or persistent violators and more effectively deter future 
violations by imposing penalties and other remedies on those violators.

Risk Reduction

     Lowering Miners' Exposure to Coal Mine Dust, including 
Continuous Personal Dust Monitors: MSHA will continue its regulatory 
action related to preventing Black Lung disease. Data from the NIOSH 
indicate increased prevalence of coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP) 
``clusters'' in several geographical areas, particularly in the 
Southern Appalachian Region. MSHA published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking to address continued risk to coal miners from exposure to 
respirable coal mine dust. This regulatory action is part of MSHA's 
Comprehensive Black Lung Reduction Strategy for reducing miners' 
exposure to respirable dust. This strategy includes enhanced 
enforcement, education and training, and health outreach and 
collaboration.
     Regulatory Actions in Response to Recommendations 
Resulting From the Investigation of the Upper Big Branch Explosion: On 
April 5, 2010, a massive coal dust explosion occurred a the Upper Big 
Branch Mine. Following the explosion, MSHA conducted its investigation 
under the authority of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, 
for the purpose of obtaining, using, and disseminating information 
relating to the causes of accidents. The accident report included 
recommendations for regulatory actions to prevent a recurrence of this 
type of accident. MSHA also conducted an internal review (IR) into the 
Agency's actions leading up to the explosion. The IR report also 
included recommendations for regulatory actions. In response to the 
recommendations, MSHA will address issues associated with rock dusting, 
ventilation, the operator's responsibility for certain mine 
examinations and certified persons.
     Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard: The Agency's 
regulatory actions also exemplify a commitment to protecting the most 
vulnerable populations while assuring broad-based compliance. Health 
hazards are pervasive in both coal and metal/nonmetal mines, including 
surface and underground mines and large and small mines. As mentioned 
previously, as part of the Secretary's strategy for securing safe and 
healthy workplaces, both MSHA and OSHA will be undertaking regulatory 
actions related to silica. Overexposure to crystalline silica can 
result in some miners developing silicosis, an irreversible but 
preventable lung disease, which ultimately may be fatal. In its 
proposed rule, MSHA plans to follow the recommendations of the 
Secretary of Labor's Advisory Committee on the Elimination of 
Pneumoconiosis Among Coal Mine Workers, the National Institute for 
Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and other groups to address the 
exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica. As another example of 
intra-departmental collaboration, MSHA intends to consider OSHA's work 
on the health effects of occupational exposure to silica and OSHA's 
risk assessment in developing the appropriate standard for the mining 
industry.

Regulatory Review and Burden Reduction

     Criteria and Procedures for Proposed Assessment of Civil 
Penalties (Part 100): MSHA plans to publish a proposed rule to revise 
the process for proposing civil penalties. The assessment of civil 
penalties is a key component in MSHA's strategy to enforce safety and 
health standards. The Congress intended that the imposition of civil 
penalties would induce mine operators to be proactive in their approach 
to mine safety and health, and take necessary action to prevent safety 
and health hazards before they occur. MSHA believes that the procedures 
for assessing civil penalties can be revised to improve the efficiency 
of the Agency's efforts and to facilitate the resolution of enforcement 
issues.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

    Through the work of OFCCP, DOL ensures that contractors and 
subcontractors doing business with the Federal Government provide equal 
employment opportunity and take affirmative action to create fair and 
diverse workplaces. OFCCP also combats discrimination based on race, 
color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or status as a 
protected veteran by ensuring that federal contractors recruit, hire, 
train, promote, terminate, and compensate workers in a 
nondiscriminatory manner. DOL, through OFCCP, protects workers, 
promotes diversity and enforces civil rights laws.

Plan/Prevent/Protect

     Construction Contractor Affirmative Action Requirements: 
OFCCP plans to publish a proposed rule that would enhance the 
effectiveness of the affirmative action programs of Federal and 
federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors. The 
existing regulations provide that the Director is to issue goals and 
timetables for the utilization of minorities and women based on 
appropriate workforce, demographic or other relevant data. The existing 
minority goals for construction were issued in a 1980 based on 1970 
Census data, the most current data available at the time. The goals for 
the utilization of women in the construction occupations were issued in 
1978, and extended indefinitely in 1980, are were also developed using 
1970 Census data. The proposed rule would remove these outdated goals 
and instead give contractors increased flexibility to assess their 
workforce and determine whether disparities in the utilization of women 
or the utilization of a particular racial or ethnic group in an on-site 
construction job group exist. The proposed rule would also provide 
contractors and subcontractors the tools to assess their progress and 
appropriately tailor their affirmative action plans. The proposed rule 
would strengthen affirmative action programs particularly in the areas 
of recruitment, training, and apprenticeships. The proposed rule would 
also allow contractors and subcontractors to focus on their affirmative 
action obligations earlier in the contracting process. OFCCP is 
coordinating with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), 
which is developing a proposed regulation revising the equal 
opportunity regulatory framework under the National Apprenticeship Act.

[[Page 1428]]

Regulatory Review and Burden Reduction

     Sex Discrimination Guidelines: OFCCP proposes updating 
regulations setting forth contractors' obligations not to discriminate 
on the basis of sex under Executive Order 11246, as amended. The Sex 
Discrimination Guidelines, found at 41 CFR Part 60-20, have not been 
updated in more than 30 years and warrants a regulatory lookback. Since 
that time, the nature and extent of women's participation in the labor 
force and employer policies and practices have changed significantly. 
In addition, extensive changes in the law regarding sex-based 
employment discrimination have taken place. Title VII of the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964, which generally governs the law of sex-based 
employment discrimination, has been amended twice. The 
nondiscrimination requirement of the Sex Discrimination Guidelines also 
applies to contractors and subcontractors performing under federally 
assisted construction contracts. OFCCP will issue a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking to create sex discrimination regulations that reflect the 
current state of the law in this area.

Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

    The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is responsible 
for administering and enforcing the fiduciary, reporting and 
disclosure, and health coverage provisions of title I of the Employee 
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This includes recent 
amendments and additions to ERISA enacted in the Pension Protection Act 
of 2006, as well as new health coverage provisions under the Patient 
Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (the Affordable Care Act). 
EBSA's regulatory plan initiatives are intended to improve health 
benefits and retirement security for workers in every type of job at 
every income level. EBSA is charged with protecting approximately 140 
million Americans covered by an estimated 707,000 private retirement 
plans, 2.3 million health plans, and similar numbers of other welfare 
benefit plans, which together hold $6.7 trillion in assets.
    EBSA will continue to issue guidance implementing the health reform 
provisions of the Affordable Care Act to help provide better quality 
health care for American workers and their families. EBSA's regulations 
reduce discrimination in health coverage, promote better access to 
quality coverage, and protect the ability of individuals and businesses 
to keep their current health coverage. Many regulations are joint 
rulemakings with the Departments of Health and Human Services and the 
Treasury.
    Using regulatory changes to produce greater openness and 
transparency is an integral part of EBSA's contribution to a 
department-wide compliance strategy. These efforts will not only 
enhance EBSA's enforcement toolbox but will encourage greater levels of 
compliance by the regulated community and enhance awareness among 
workers of their rights and benefits. Several proposals from the EBSA 
agenda expand disclosure requirements, substantially enhancing the 
availability of information to employee benefit plan participants and 
beneficiaries and employers, and strengthening the retirement security 
of America's workers. EBSA's retrospective review project under 
E.O.13563 is Abandoned Plan Program amendments.

Risk Reduction

     Health Reform Implementation: Since the passage of health 
care reform, EBSA has helped put the employment-based health provisions 
into action. Working with HHS and Treasury, EBSA has issued regulations 
covering issues such as the elimination of preexisting condition 
exclusions for children under age 19, internal and external appeals of 
benefit denials, the extension of coverage for children up to age 26, 
and a ban on rescissions (which are retroactive terminations of health 
care coverage). These regulations will eventually impact up to 138 
million Americans in employer-sponsored plans. EBSA will continue its 
work in this regard, to ensure a smooth implementation of the 
legislation's market reforms, minimizing disruption to existing plans 
and practices, and strengthening America's health care system.
     Enhancing Participant Protections: EBSA plans to re-
propose amendments to its regulations to clarify the circumstances 
under which a person will be considered a ``fiduciary'' when providing 
investment advice to retirement plans and other employee benefit plans 
and participants and beneficiaries of such plans. The amendments would 
take into account current practices of investment advisers and the 
expectations of plan officials and participants who receive investment 
advice. This initiative is intended to assure retirement security for 
workers in all jobs regardless of income level by ensuring that 
financial advisers and similar persons are required to meet ERISA's 
standards of care when providing the investment advice that is relied 
upon by millions of plan sponsors and workers.

Promoting Openness and Transparency

    In addition to its health care reform and participant protection 
initiatives discussed above, EBSA is pursuing a regulatory program 
that, as reflected in the Unified Agenda, is designed to encourage, 
foster, and promote openness, transparency, and communication with 
respect to the management and operations of pension plans, as well as 
participant rights and benefits under such plans. Among other things, 
EBSA will be issuing a final rule addressing the requirement that 
administrators of defined benefit pension plans annually disclose the 
funding status of their plan to the plan's participants and 
beneficiaries (RIN l210-AB18). In addition, EBSA will be finalizing 
amendments to the disclosure requirements applicable to plan investment 
options, including Qualified Default Investment Alternatives, to better 
ensure that participants understand the operations and risks associated 
with investments in target date funds (RIN 1210-AB38).
     Lifetime Income Options: EBSA in 2010 published a request 
for information concerning steps it can take by regulation, or 
otherwise, to encourage the offering of lifetime annuities or similar 
lifetime benefit distribution options for participants and 
beneficiaries of defined contribution plans. EBSA also held a hearing 
with the Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service to 
further explore these possibilities. This initiative is intended to 
assure retirement security for workers in all jobs regardless of income 
level by helping to ensure that participants and beneficiaries have the 
benefit of their plan savings throughout retirement. EBSA now has 
established a public record which supports further consideration or 
action in a number of areas including pension benefit statements, 
participant education, and fiduciary guidance. With regard to pension 
benefit statements specifically, EBSA is developing an advance notice 
of proposed rulemaking under ERISA section 105 relating to the 
presentation of a participant's accrued benefits; i.e., the 
participant's account balance, as a lifetime income stream of payments, 
in addition to presenting the benefits as an account balance.

Regulatory Review and Burden Reduction

     Abandoned Plan Program Amendment: In 2006, the Department 
published regulations that facilitate the

[[Page 1429]]

termination and winding up of 401(k)-type retirement plans that have 
been abandoned by their plan sponsors. The regulation establishes a 
streamlined program under which plans are terminated with very limited 
involvement of EBSA regional offices. EBSA now has six years of 
experience with this program and believes certain changes would improve 
the overall efficiency of the program and increase its usage. EBSA 
expects that the cost burden reduction that will result from this 
initiative will be approximately $500,000, because the prompt, 
efficient termination of abandoned plans will eliminate future 
administrative expenses charged to the plans that otherwise would 
diminish plan assets. Moreover, by following the specific standards and 
procedures set forth in the rule, the Department expects that overall 
plan termination costs will be reduced due to increased efficiency.
    EBSA intends to revise the regulations to expand the program to 
include plans of businesses in liquidation proceedings to reflect 
recent changes in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The Department believes 
that this expansion has the potential to substantially reduce burdens 
on these plans and bankruptcy trustees. Plans of businesses in 
liquidation currently do not have the option of using the streamlined 
termination and winding-up procedures under the program. This is true 
even though bankruptcy trustees, pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code, can 
have a legal duty to administer the plan. Thus, bankruptcy trustees, 
who often are unfamiliar with applicable fiduciary requirements and 
plan-termination procedures, presently have little in the way of a 
blueprint or guide for efficiently terminating and winding-up such 
plans. Expanding the program to cover these plans will allow eligible 
bankruptcy trustees to use the streamlined termination process to 
better discharge their obligations under the law. The use of 
streamlined procedures will reduce the amount of time and effort it 
would take ordinarily to terminate and wind up such plans. The 
expansion also will eliminate Government filings ordinarily required of 
terminating plans. Participation in the program will reduce the overall 
cost of terminating and winding-up such plans, which will result in 
larger benefit distributions to participants and beneficiaries in such 
plans. EBSA estimates that approximately 165 additional plans will 
benefit from the Amended Abandoned Plan Program allowing bankruptcy 
trustees to participate in the program. As explained above, the current 
Abandoned Plan Program results in an estimated $500,000 savings for 
plans terminated pursuant to that program, and we believe the amendment 
expanding the program will provide substantial benefits to plans of 
sponsors in Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation and bankruptcy trustees 
through the orderly termination of plans, less service provider fees, 
and preservation of assets for participants and beneficiaries, while 
imposing minimal costs ($64,000).

Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)

    The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) administers and 
enforces most provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and 
Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). The LMRDA promotes labor-management 
transparency by requiring unions, employers, labor-relations 
consultants, and others to file reports, which are publicly available. 
The LMRDA includes provisions protecting union member rights to 
participate in their union's governance, to run for office and fully 
exercise their union citizenship, as well as procedural safeguards to 
ensure free and fair union elections. Besides enforcing these 
provisions, OLMS also ensures the financial accountability of unions, 
their officers and employees, through enforcement and voluntary 
compliance efforts. Because of these activities, OLMS better ensures 
that workers have a more effective voice in the governance of their 
unions, which in turn affords them a more effective voice in their 
workplaces. OLMS also administers Executive Order 13496, which requires 
Federal contractors to notify their employees concerning their rights 
to organize and bargain collectively under Federal labor laws.

Openness and Transparency

     Persuader Agreements--Employer and Labor Relations 
Consultant Reporting under the LMRDA: OLMS published a proposed 
regulatory initiative in June 2011, which is a transparency regulation 
intended to provide workers with information critical to their 
effective participation in the workplace. The proposed regulations 
would better implement the public disclosure objectives of the LMRDA in 
situations where an employer engages a consultant in order to persuade 
employees concerning their rights to organize and bargain collectively. 
Under LMRDA section 203, an employer must report any agreement or 
arrangement with a consultant to persuade employees concerning their 
rights to organize and collectively bargain, or to obtain certain 
information concerning activities of employees or a labor organization 
in connection with a labor dispute involving the employer. The 
consultant is also required to report such an agreement or arrangement 
with an employer. Statutory exceptions to these reporting requirements 
are set forth in LMRDA section 203(c), which provides, in part, that 
employers and consultants are not required to file a report by reason 
of the consultant's giving or agreeing to give ``advice'' to the 
employer. The Department in its proposal reconsidered the current 
policy concerning the scope of the ``advice'' exception. When workers 
have the necessary information about arrangements that have been made 
by their employer to persuade them whether or not to form, join, or 
assist a union, they are better able to make a more informed choice 
about representation.

Employment and Training Administration (ETA)

    The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) administers and 
oversees programs that prepare workers for good jobs at good wages by 
providing high quality job training, employment, labor market 
information, and income maintenance services through its national 
network of One-Stop centers. The programs within ETA promote pathways 
to economic independence for individuals and families. Through several 
laws, ETA is charged with administering numerous employment and 
training programs designed to assist the American worker in developing 
the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are sought in the 21st 
century's economy.

Regulatory Review and Burden Reduction

     Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship and 
Training, Amendment of Regulations: The revision of the National 
Apprenticeship Act Equal Opportunity in Apprenticeship and Training 
(EEO) regulations is a critical element in the Department's vision to 
promote and expand registered apprenticeship opportunities in the 21st 
Century while safeguarding the welfare and safety of all apprentices. 
In October 2008, ETA issued a final rule updating 29 CFR part 29, the 
regulatory framework for registration of apprenticeship programs and 
apprentices, and administration of the National Apprenticeship System. 
The companion EEO regulations, 29 CFR part 30, have not been amended 
since 1978. ETA proposes to update part 30 EEO in the Apprenticeship 
and

[[Page 1430]]

Training regulations to ensure that they act in concert with the 2008 
revised part 29 rule. The proposed EEO regulations also will further 
Secretary Solis' vision of good jobs for everyone by ensuring that 
apprenticeship program sponsors develop and fully implement 
nondiscrimination and affirmative action efforts that provide equal 
opportunity for all applicants to apprenticeship and apprentices, 
regardless of race, gender, national origin, color, religion, or 
disability.
     Implementation of Total Unemployment Rate Extended 
Benefits Trigger and Rounding Rule: This rule will update regulations 
to conform to existing law and State practice. It will benefit State 
Unemployment Insurance systems by remove any potential confusion 
between complying with guidance and current law.
     Elimination of several obsolete program regulations from 
the Code of Federal Regulations: ETA plans to pursue four regulatory 
projects that will eliminate regulations that are no longer effective 
or enforceable because their underlying program authority was 
superseded or no longer exists. These include the Job Training 
Partnership Act Removal of JTPA (RIN 1205-AB68), Labor Certification 
Process for Logging Employment and Non-H-2A Agricultural Employment 
(RIN 1205-AB65), Attestations by Employers Using F-1 Students in Off-
Campus Work (RIN 1205-AB66), and Attestations by Facilities Using 
Nonimmigrant Aliens as Registered Nurses (RIN 1205-AB67).

BILLING CODE 4510-04-P

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT)

Introduction: Department Overview and Summary of Regulatory Priorities

    The Department of Transportation (DOT) consists of 10 operating 
administrations and the Office of the Secretary, each of which has 
statutory responsibility for a wide range of regulations. DOT regulates 
safety in the aviation, motor carrier, railroad, motor vehicle, 
commercial space, public transportation, and pipeline transportation 
areas. DOT also regulates aviation consumer and economic issues and 
provides financial assistance for programs involving highways, 
airports, public transportation, the maritime industry, railroads, and 
motor vehicle safety. In addition, the Department writes regulations to 
carry out a variety of statutes ranging from the Americans With 
Disabilities Act to the Uniform Time Act. Finally, DOT develops and 
implements a wide range of regulations that govern internal DOT 
programs such as acquisitions and grants, access for the disabled, 
environmental protection, energy conservation, information technology, 
occupational safety and health, property asset management, seismic 
safety, and the use of aircraft and vehicles.

The Department's Regulatory Priorities

    The Department's regulatory priorities respond to the challenges 
and opportunities we face. Our mission generally is as follows:
    The national objectives of general welfare, economic growth and 
stability, and the security of the United States require the 
development of transportation policies and programs that contribute to 
providing fast, safe, efficient, and convenient transportation at the 
lowest cost consistent with those and other national objectives, 
including the efficient use and conservation of the resources of the 
United States.
    To help us achieve our mission, we have five goals in the 
Department's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016:
     Safety: Improve safety by ``reducing transportation-
related fatalities and injuries.''
     State of Good Repair: Improve the condition of our 
Nation's transportation infrastructure.
     Economic Competitiveness: Foster ``smart strategic 
investments that will serve the traveling public and facilitate freight 
movements.''
     Livable Communities: Foster livable communities through 
``coordinated, place-based policies and investments that increase 
transportation choices and access to transportation services.''
     Environmental Sustainability: Advance environmental 
sustainability ``through strategies such as fuel economy standards for 
cars and trucks, more environmentally sound construction and 
operational practices, and by expanding opportunities for shifting 
freight from less fuel-efficient modes to more fuel-efficient modes.''
    In identifying our regulatory priorities for the next year, the 
Department considered its mission and goals and focused on a number of 
factors, including the following:
     The relative risk being addressed.
     Requirements imposed by statute or other law.
     Actions on the National Transportation Safety Board ``Most 
Wanted List''.
     The costs and benefits of the regulations.
     The advantages of nonregulatory alternatives.
     Opportunities for deregulatory action.
     The enforceability of any rule, including the effect on 
agency resources.
    This regulatory plan identifies the Department's regulatory 
priorities--the 20 pending rulemakings chosen, from among the dozens of 
significant rulemakings listed in the Department's broader regulatory 
agenda, that the Department believes will merit special attention in 
the upcoming year. The rules included in the regulatory plan embody the 
Department's focus on our strategic goals.
    The regulatory plan reflects the Department's primary focus on 
safety--a focus that extends across several modes of transportation. 
For example:
     The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will continue 
its efforts to implement safety management systems.
     The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 
continues its work to strengthen the requirements for Electronic On-
Board Recorders.
     The FMCSA will continue its work to revise motor carrier 
safety fitness procedures.
     The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 
will continue its rulemaking efforts to reduce death and injury 
resulting from incidents involving motor coaches.
    Additionally, the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) 
remains focused on an aviation consumer rulemaking designed to further 
safeguard the interests of consumers flying the Nation's skies.
    Each of the rulemakings in the regulatory plan is described below 
in detail. In order to place them in context, we first review the 
Department's regulatory philosophy and our initiatives to educate and 
inform the public about transportation safety issues. We then describe 
the role of the Department's retrospective reviews and its regulatory 
process and other important regulatory initiatives of OST and of each 
of the Department's components. Since each transportation ``mode'' 
within the Department has its own area of focus, we summarize the 
regulatory priorities of each mode and of OST, which supervises and 
coordinates modal initiatives and has its own regulatory 
responsibilities, such as consumer protection in the aviation industry.

The Department's Regulatory Philosophy and Initiatives

    The Department has adopted a regulatory philosophy that applies to 
all its rulemaking activities. This

[[Page 1431]]

philosophy is articulated as follows: DOT regulations must be clear, 
simple, timely, fair, reasonable, and necessary. They will be issued 
only after an appropriate opportunity for public comment, which must 
provide an equal chance for all affected interests to participate, and 
after appropriate consultation with other governmental entities. The 
Department will fully consider the comments received. It will assess 
the risks addressed by the rules and their costs and benefits, 
including the cumulative effects. The Department will consider 
appropriate alternatives, including nonregulatory approaches. It will 
also make every effort to ensure that regulation does not impose 
unreasonable mandates.
    The Department stresses the importance of conducting high-quality 
rulemakings in a timely manner and reducing the number of old 
rulemakings. To implement this, the Department has required the 
following actions: (1) Regular meetings of senior DOT officials to 
ensure effective policy leadership and timely decisions, (2) effective 
tracking and coordination of rulemakings, (3) regular reporting, (4) 
early briefings of interested officials, (5) regular training of staff, 
and (6) adequate allocations of resources. The Department has achieved 
significant success because of this effort. It allows the Department to 
use its resources more effectively and efficiently.
    The Department's regulatory policies and procedures provide a 
comprehensive internal management and review process for new and 
existing regulations and ensure that the Secretary and other 
appropriate appointed officials review and concur in all significant 
DOT rules. DOT continually seeks to improve its regulatory process. A 
few examples include: The Department's development of regulatory 
process and related training courses for its employees; its use of an 
electronic, Internet-accessible docket that can also be used to submit 
comments electronically; a ``list serve'' that allows the public to 
sign up for email notification when the Department issues a rulemaking 
document; creation of an electronic rulemaking tracking and 
coordination system; the use of direct final rulemaking; the use of 
regulatory negotiation; a continually expanding and improved Internet 
page that provides important regulatory information, including 
``effects'' reports and status reports (http://www.dot.gov/regulations); and the continued exploration and use of Internet blogs 
and other Web 2.0 technology to increase and enhance public 
participation in its rulemaking process.
    In addition, the Department continues to engage in a wide variety 
of activities to help cement the partnerships between its agencies and 
its customers that will produce good results for transportation 
programs and safety. The Department's agencies also have established a 
number of continuing partnership mechanisms in the form of rulemaking 
advisory committees.

The Department's Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

    In accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 13563 (Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review), the Department actively engaged in a 
special retrospective review of our existing rules to determine whether 
they need to be revised or revoked. This review was in addition to 
those reviews in accordance with section 610 of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, E.O. 12866, and the Department's Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures. As part of this effort, we also reviewed our processes 
for determining what rules to review and ensuring that the rules are 
effectively reviewed. As a result of the review, we identified many 
rules for expedited review and changes to our retrospective review 
process. Pursuant to section 6 of E.O. 13563, the following Regulatory 
Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated with 
retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan. Some of these entries on this 
list may be completed actions, which do not appear in The Regulatory 
Plan. However, more information can be found about these completed 
rulemakings in past publications of the Unified Agenda on Reginfo.gov 
in the Completed Actions section for that agency. These rulemakings can 
also be found on Regulations.gov. The final agency plan can be found at 
http://www.dot.gov/regulations.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                          Significantly Reduces
                     RIN                                        Title                        Costs on Small
                                                                                               Businesses
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. 2120-AJ94.................................  Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS)
                                                (RRR).
2. 2120-AJ97.................................  14 CFR Part 16; Rules of Practice for                          Y
                                                Federally-Assisted Airport Enforcement
                                                Proceedings (RRR).
3. 2120-AK01.................................  Combined Drug and Alcohol Testing                              Y
                                                Programs for Operators Conducting
                                                Commercial Air Tours (RRR).
4. 2120-AK11.................................  Minimum Altitudes for Use of Autopilots
                                                (RRR).
5. 2125-AF44.................................  Administration of Engineering and
                                                Design Related Service Contracts (RRR).
6. 2126-AB43.................................  Self-Reporting of Out-of-State                                 Y
                                                Convictions (RRR).
7. 2126-AB46.................................  Single Pre-trip Inspection (RRR).......                        Y
8. 2126-AB47.................................  Electronic Signatures (E-Signatures)                           Y
                                                (RRR).
9. 2126-AB49.................................  Elimination of Redundant Maintenance                           Y
                                                Rule (RRR).
10. 2127-AK99................................  Federal Motor Vehicle Standard No. 108;                        Y
                                                Lamps, reflective devices, and
                                                associated equipment--Color Boundaries
                                                (RRR).
11. 2127-AL05................................  Amend FMVSS No. 210 to Incorporate the                         Y
                                                Use of a New Force Application Device
                                                (RRR).
12. 2127-AL24................................  Rapid Tire Deflation Test in FMVSS No.
                                                110 (RRR).
13. 2130-AC06................................  Training Standards for Railroad
                                                Employees (RRR).
14. 2130-AC07................................  Development and Use of Rail Safety
                                                Technology: Dark Territory (RRR).
15. 2130-AC09................................  Vehicle/Track Interaction Safety
                                                Standards; High-Speed and High Cant
                                                Deficiency Operations (RRR).
16. 2130-AC11................................  Risk Reduction Program (RRR)...........
17. 2130-AC14................................  Emergency Escape Breathing Apparatus
                                                (RRR).
18. 2130-AC28................................  Track Safety Standards: Improving Rail
                                                Integrity (RRR).
19. 2130-AC32................................  Positive Train Control Systems: De
                                                Minimis Exception, Yard Movements, En
                                                Route Failures; Miscellaneous Grade
                                                Crossing/Signal and Train Control
                                                Amendments (RRR).
20. 2132-AB02................................  Major Capital Investment Projects (RRR)
21. 2132-AB03................................  Environmental Impact and Related
                                                Procedures (RRR).
22. 2133-AB79................................  Administrative Claims, Part 327 (RRR)..

[[Page 1432]]

 
23. 2137-AE62................................  Hazardous Materials: Approval and                              Y
                                                Communication Requirements for the
                                                Safe Transportation of Air Bag
                                                Inflators, Air Bag Modules, and Seat-
                                                Belt Pretensioners (RRR).
24. 2137-AE70................................  Hazardous Materials: Revision of                               Y
                                                Requirements for Fireworks Approvals
                                                (RRR).
25. 2137-AE72................................  Pipeline Safety: Gas Transmission (RRR)                        Y
26. 2137-AE78................................  Hazardous Materials: Miscellaneous                             Y
                                                Amendments (RRR).
27. 2137-AE79................................  Hazardous Materials: Miscellaneous                             Y
                                                Amendments; Petitions for Rulemaking
                                                (RRR).
28. 2137-AE80................................  Hazardous Materials: Miscellaneous                             Y
                                                Pressure Vessel Requirements (DOT Spec
                                                Cylinders) (RRR).
29. 2137-AE81................................  Hazardous Materials: Reverse Logistics                         Y
                                                (RRR).
30. 2137-AE82................................  Hazardous Materials: Incorporation of                          Y
                                                Certain Special Permits and Competent
                                                Authorities into the HMR (RRR).
31. 2137-AE85................................  Pipeline Safety: Periodic Updates of
                                                Regulatory References to Technical
                                                Standards and Miscellaneous Amendments
                                                (RRR).
32. 2137-AE86................................  Hazardous Materials: Requirements for
                                                the Safe Transportation of Bulk
                                                Explosives (RRR).
33. 2137-AE87................................  Hazardous Materials: Harmonization with
                                                International Standards (RRR).
34. 2137-AE91................................  Hazardous Materials: Rail Petitions and                        Y
                                                Recommendations to Improve the Safety
                                                of Railroad Tank Car Transportation
                                                (RRR).
35. 2137-AE94................................  Pipeline Safety: Miscellaneous                                 Y
                                                Amendments Related to Reauthorization
                                                and Petitions for Rulemaking (RRR*).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

International Regulatory Cooperation

    E.O. 13609 (Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation) 
stresses that ``[i]n an increasingly global economy, international 
regulatory cooperation, consistent with domestic law and prerogatives 
and U.S. trade policy, can be an important means of promoting the goals 
of'' E.O. 13563 to ``protect public health, welfare, safety, and our 
environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, 
competitiveness, and job creation.'' DOT has long recognized the value 
of international regulatory cooperation and has engaged in a variety of 
activities with both foreign governments and international bodies. 
These activities have ranged from cooperation in the development of 
particular standards to discussions of necessary steps for rulemakings 
in general, such as risk assessments and cost-benefit analyses of 
possible standards. Since the issuance of E.O. 13609, we have increased 
our efforts in this area. For example, many of DOT's Operating 
Administrations are active in groundbreaking government-wide Regulatory 
Cooperation Councils (RCC) with Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. 
These RCC working groups are setting a precedent in developing and 
testing approaches to international coordination of rulemaking to 
reduce barriers to international trade. We also have been exploring 
innovative approaches to ease the development process.
    Examples of the many cooperative efforts we are engaged in include 
the following:
    The FAA maintains ongoing efforts with foreign civil aviation 
authorities, including in particular the European Aviation Safety 
Agency and Transport Canada, to harmonize standards and practices where 
doing so will improve the safety of aviation and aviation-related 
activities. The FAA also plays an active role in the standard-setting 
work of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), 
particularly on the Air Navigation Commission and the Legal Committee. 
In doing so, the FAA works with other Nations to shape the standards 
and recommended practices adopted by ICAO. The FAA's rulemaking actions 
related to safety management systems are examples of the FAA's 
harmonization efforts.
    As a signatory of the 1998 Agreement on the Harmonization of 
Vehicle Regulations, NHTSA is an active participant in the World Forum 
for Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) at the UN. Under that umbrella, NHTSA 
is working on the development of harmonized regulations for the safety 
of electric vehicles; hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles; advanced head 
restraints; pole side impact test procedures; pedestrian protection; 
the safety risks associated with quieter vehicles, such as electric and 
hybrid electric vehicles; and advancements in tires.
    Further, NHTSA is working bilaterally with Transport Canada to 
facilitate our Joint Action Plans under the Motor Vehicles Working 
Group of the U.S.--Canada RCC. Under these plans, NHTSA is working very 
closely with its counterparts within Transport Canada on the 
development of international standards on quieter vehicles, electric 
vehicle safety, and hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles.
    PHMSA's hazardous material group works with ICAO, the UN 
Subcommittee of Experts on Dangerous Goods, and the International 
Maritime Organization. Through participation in these international 
bodies, PHMSA is able to advocate on behalf of U.S. safety and 
commercial interests to guide the development of international 
standards with which U.S. businesses have to comply when shipping in 
international commerce. PHMSA additionally participates in the RCC with 
Canada and has a Memorandum of Cooperation in place to ensure that 
cross-border shipments are not hampered by conflicting regulations. The 
pipeline group at PHMSA incorporates many standards by reference into 
the Pipeline Safety Regulations, and the development of these standards 
benefit from the participation of experts from around the world.
    In the areas of airline consumer protection and civil rights 
regulation, OST is particularly conscientious in seeking international 
regulatory cooperation. For example, the Department participates in the 
standard-setting activities of ICAO and meets and works with other 
governments and international airline associations on the 
implementation of U.S. and foreign aviation rules.
    For a number of years the Department has also provided information 
on which of its rulemaking actions have international effects. This 
information, updated monthly, is available at the Department's 
regulatory information Web site, http://www.dot.gov/regulations, under 
the heading ``Effects Reports.'' (The reports can be found under 
headings for ``EU,'' ``NAFTA'' (Canada and Mexico) and ``Foreign.'') A 
list of our significant rulemakings that are expected to have 
international effects follows; the identifying RIN provided below can 
be used to find

[[Page 1433]]

summary and other information about the rulemakings in the Department's 
Regulatory Agenda published along with this Plan:

         DOT Significant Rulemakings With International Impacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        RIN                                 Title
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2105-AD90.........................................  Stowage and
                                                     Assistive Devices.
2105-AD91.........................................  Accessibility of
                                                     Airports.
2105-AE06.........................................  E-Cigarette.
2120-AJ34.........................................  Super cooled Large
                                                     Droplet Icing
                                                     Conditions.
2120-AK09.........................................  Drug & Alcohol
                                                     Testing for Repair
                                                     Stations.
2126-AA34.........................................  Application by
                                                     Certain Mexico-
                                                     Domiciled Motor
                                                     Carriers to Operate
                                                     Beyond U.S.
                                                     Municipalities and
                                                     Commercial Zones on
                                                     the U.S.-Mexico
                                                     Border.
2126-AA35.........................................  Safety Monitoring
                                                     System and
                                                     Compliance
                                                     Initiative for
                                                     Mexico-Domiciled
                                                     Motor Carriers
                                                     Operating in the
                                                     United States.
2126-AA70.........................................  Limitations on the
                                                     Issuance of
                                                     Commercial Driver
                                                     Licenses with a
                                                     Hazardous Materials
                                                     Endorsement.
2127-AK43.........................................  Rearview Visibility.
2127-AK56.........................................  Seat Belts on Motor
                                                     coaches.
2127-AK75.........................................  Alternative Fuel
                                                     Usage Labeling &
                                                     Badging.
2127-AK76.........................................  Tire Fuel Efficiency
                                                     Part 2.
2127-AK93.........................................  Quieter Vehicles
                                                     Sound Alert.
2127-AK95.........................................  Side Impact Test
                                                     Procedure for CRS.
2127-AL01.........................................  Novelty Helmets
                                                     Enforcement.
2133-AB74.........................................  Cargo Preference
                                                     (RRR).
2137-AE62.........................................  Air Bags and
                                                     Pretensioners
                                                     (RRR).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

As we identify rulemakings arising out of our ongoing regulatory 
cooperation activities that we reasonably anticipate will lead to 
significant regulations, we will add them to our Web site report and 
subsequent Agendas and Plans.

The Department's Regulatory Process

    The Department will also continue its efforts to use advances in 
technology to improve its rulemaking management process. For example, 
the Department created an effective tracking system for significant 
rulemakings to ensure that either rules are completed in a timely 
manner or delays are identified and fixed. Through this tracking 
system, a monthly status report is generated. To make its efforts more 
transparent, the Department has made this report Internet accessible at 
http://www.dot.gov/regulations, as well as through a list-serve. By 
doing this, the Department is providing valuable information concerning 
our rulemaking activity and is providing information necessary for the 
public to evaluate the Department's progress in meeting its commitment 
to completing quality rulemakings in a timely manner.
    The Department continues to place great emphasis on the need to 
complete high-quality rulemakings by involving senior departmental 
officials in regular meetings to resolve issues expeditiously.

Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST)

    The Office of the Secretary (OST) oversees the regulatory process 
for the Department. OST implements the Department's regulatory policies 
and procedures and is responsible for ensuring the involvement of top 
management in regulatory decisionmaking. Through the General Counsel's 
office, OST is also responsible for ensuring that the Department 
complies with the Administrative Procedure Act, Executive Order 12866 
(Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive Order 13563, DOT's 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures, and other legal and policy 
requirements affecting rulemaking. Although OST's principal role 
concerns the review of the Department's significant rulemakings, this 
office has the lead role in the substance of such projects as those 
concerning aviation economic rules and rules that affect multiple 
elements of the Department.
    OST provides guidance and training regarding compliance with 
regulatory requirements and process for personnel throughout the 
Department. OST also plays an instrumental role in the Department's 
efforts to improve our economic analyses; risk assessments; regulatory 
flexibility analyses; other related analyses; retrospective reviews of 
rules; and data quality, including peer reviews.
    OST also leads and coordinates the Department's response to the 
Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) intergovernmental review of 
other agencies' significant rulemaking documents and to Administration 
and congressional proposals that concern the regulatory process. The 
General Counsel's office works closely with representatives of other 
agencies, OMB, the White House, and congressional staff to provide 
information on how various proposals would affect the ability of the 
Department to perform its safety, infrastructure, and other missions.
    During fiscal year 2013, OST will continue to focus its efforts on 
enhancing airline passenger protections by requiring carriers to adopt 
various consumer service practices under the following rulemaking 
initiatives:
     Accessibility of Carrier Web sites and Ticket Kiosks 
(2105-AD96).
     Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections III (2105-AE11).
     Carrier-Supplied Medical Oxygen, Accessible In-Flight 
Entertainment Systems, Service Animals, and Accessible Lavatories on 
Single-Aisle Aircraft (2105-AE12).
    OST will also continue its efforts to help coordinate the 
activities of several operating administrations that advance various 
departmental efforts that support the Administration's initiatives on 
promoting safety, stimulating the economy and creating jobs, sustaining 
and building America's transportation infrastructure, and improving 
livability for the people and communities who use transportation 
systems subject to the Department's policies. It will also oversee the 
Department's rulemaking actions to implement the ``Moving Ahead for 
Progress in the 21st Century Act'' (MAP-21).

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

    The Federal Aviation Administration is charged with safely and 
efficiently

[[Page 1434]]

operating and maintaining the most complex aviation system in the 
world. It is guided by Destination 2025--a transformation of the 
Nation's aviation system in which air traffic will move safely, 
swiftly, efficiently, and seamlessly around the globe. Our vision is to 
develop new systems and to enhance a culture that increases the safety, 
reliability, efficiency, capacity, and environmental performance of our 
aviation system. To meet our vision will require enhanced skills, clear 
communication, strong leadership, effective management, innovative 
technology, new equipment, advanced system oversight, and global 
integration.
    FAA activities that may lead to rulemaking in fiscal year 2013 
include continuing to:
     Promote and expand safety information-sharing efforts, 
such as FAA-industry partnerships and data-driven safety programs that 
prioritize and address risks before they lead to accidents. 
Specifically, FAA will continue implementing Commercial Aviation Safety 
Team projects related to controlled flight into terrain, loss of 
control of an aircraft, uncontained engine failures, runway incursions, 
weather, pilot decisionmaking, and cabin safety. Some of these projects 
may result in rulemaking and guidance materials.
     Work cooperatively to harmonize the U.S. aviation 
regulations with those of other countries, without compromising 
rigorous safety standards, or our requirements to develop cost benefit 
analysis. The differences worldwide in certification standards, 
practice and procedures, and operating rules must be identified and 
minimized to reduce the regulatory burden on the international aviation 
system. The differences between the FAA regulations and the 
requirements of other nations impose a heavy burden on U.S. aircraft 
manufacturers and operators, some of which are small businesses. 
Standardization should help the U.S. aerospace industry remain 
internationally competitive. The FAA continues to publish regulations 
based on internal analysis, public comment, and recommendations of 
Aviation Rulemaking Committees that are the result of cooperative 
rulemaking between the U.S. and other countries.
     Develop and implement Safety Management Systems (SMS) 
where these systems will improve safety of aviation and aviation-
related activities. An SMS proactively identifies potential hazards in 
the operating environment, analyzes the risks of those hazards, and 
encourages mitigation prior to an accident or incident. In its most 
general form, an SMS is a set of decisionmaking tools that can be used 
to plan, organize, direct, and control activities in a manner that 
enhances safety.
    FAA top regulatory priorities for 2012 through 2013 include:
     Qualification, Service, and Use of Crewmembers and 
Aircraft Dispatchers (2120-AJ00) (Pub. L. 111-216, sec. 209 (Aug. 1, 
2010).
     Helicopter Air Ambulance and Commercial Helicopter Safety 
Initiatives and Miscellaneous Amendments (2120-AJ53) (Pub. L. 112-95, 
sec 306 (Feb. 14, 2012).
     Congestion Management for LaGuardia Airport, John F. 
Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport 
(2120-AJ89).
     Safety Management System for Certificate Holders Operating 
Under 14 CFR part 121 (2120-AJ86) (Pub. L. 111-216, sec 215 (Aug. 1, 
2010).
    The Crewmember and Aircraft Dispatcher Training rulemaking would:
     Reduce human error and improve performance;
     Enhance traditional training programs through the use of 
flight simulation training devices for flight crewmembers; and
     Include additional training in areas critical to safety.
    The Air Ambulance and Commercial Helicopter rulemaking would:
     Codify current agency guidance;
     Address National Transportation Safety Board 
recommendations;
     Provide certificate holders and pilots with tools and 
procedures that will aid in reducing accidents, including potential 
equipage requirements; and
     Amend all part 135 commercial helicopter operations 
regulations to include pilot training and alternate airport weather 
minimums.
    The Congestion Management rulemaking for LaGuardia Airport, John F. 
Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport 
would:
     Replace the orders limiting scheduled operations at John 
F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), limiting scheduled operations 
at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), and limiting scheduled 
and unscheduled operations at LaGuardia Airport (LGA); and
     Provide a longer-term and comprehensive approach to 
congestion management at JFK, EWR, and LGA.
    The Safety Management System for Certificate Holders Operating 
under 14 CFR Part 121 rulemaking would:
     Require certain certificate holders to develop and 
implement an SMS;
     Propose a general framework from which a certificate 
holder can build its SMS; and
     Conform to International Civil Aviation Organization 
Annexes and adopt several National Transportation Safety Board 
recommendations.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

    The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) carries out the Federal 
highway program in partnership with State and local agencies to meet 
the Nation's transportation needs. The FHWA's mission is to improve 
continually the quality and performance of our Nation's highway system 
and its intermodal connectors.
    Consistent with this mission, the FHWA will continue:
     With ongoing regulatory initiatives in support of its 
surface transportation programs;
     To implement legislation in the least burdensome and 
restrictive way possible; and
     To pursue regulatory reform in areas where project 
development can be streamlined or accelerated, duplicative requirements 
can be consolidated, recordkeeping requirements can be reduced or 
simplified, and the decisionmaking authority of our State and local 
partners can be increased.
    On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed the Moving Ahead for 
Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). MAP-21 authorizes the 
Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, 
and transit for the two-year period from 2012-2014. The FHWA is 
analyzing MAP-21 to identify congressionally directed rulemakings. 
These rulemakings will be the FHWA's top regulatory priorities. 
Additionally, the FHWA is in the process of reviewing all FHWA 
regulations to ensure that they are consistent with MAP-21 and will 
update those regulations that are not consistent with the recently 
enacted legislation.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

    The mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 
(FMCSA) is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving 
commercial trucks and buses. A strong regulatory program is a 
cornerstone of FMCSA's compliance and enforcement efforts to advance 
this safety mission. FMCSA develops new and more effective safety 
regulations based on three core priorities: Raising the bar for entry, 
maintaining high standards, and removing high-risk behavior. In 
addition to Agency-directed regulations, FMCSA develops

[[Page 1435]]

regulations mandated by Congress, through legislation such as the 
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) and the Safe, 
Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A 
Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). FMCSA regulations establish standards 
for motor carriers, drivers, vehicles, and State agencies receiving 
certain motor carrier safety grants and issuing commercial drivers' 
licenses.
    FMCSA's regulatory plan for FY 2013 includes completion of a number 
of rulemakings that are high priorities for the Agency because they 
would have a positive impact on safety. Among the rulemakings included 
in the plan are: (1) Carrier Safety Fitness Determination (RIN 2126-
AB11), (2) Electronic On-Board Recorders and Hours of Service 
Supporting Documents (RIN 2126-AB20), and (3) Unified Registration 
System (RIN 2126-AA22).
    Together, these priority rules could help to substantially improve 
commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety on our Nation's highways by 
improving FMCSA's ability to provide safety oversight of motor carriers 
and drivers.
    In FY 2013, FMCSA will continue its work on the Comprehensive 
Safety Analysis (CSA). The CSA initiative will improve the way FMCSA 
identifies and conducts carrier compliance and enforcement operations 
over the coming years. CSA's goal is to improve large truck and bus 
safety by assessing a wider range of safety performance data from a 
larger segment of the motor carrier industry through an array of 
progressive compliance interventions. FMCSA anticipates that the 
impacts of CSA and its associated rulemaking to put into place a new 
safety fitness standard will enable the Agency to prohibit ``unfit'' 
carriers from operating on the Nation's highways (the Carrier Safety 
Fitness Determination (RIN 2126-AB11)) and will contribute further to 
the Agency's overall goal of decreasing CMV-related fatalities and 
injuries.
    In FY 2013, FMCSA plans to issue a supplemental notice of proposed 
rulemaking on Electronic On-Board Recorders and Hours of Service 
Supporting Documents (RIN 2126-AB20) to establish the required usage 
and technical specifications, and to clarify the requirements for Hours 
of Service Supporting Documents.
    Also in FY 2013, FMCSA plans to issue a final rule on the Unified 
Registration System (RIN 2126-AA22), which will replace three legacy 
registration systems with a single system that will improve the 
registration process for motor carriers, property brokers, freight 
forwarders, and other entities that register with FMCSA.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    The statutory responsibilities of the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA) relating to motor vehicles include 
reducing the number of, and mitigating the effects of, motor vehicle 
crashes and related fatalities and injuries; providing safety 
performance information to aid prospective purchasers of vehicles, 
child restraints, and tires; and improving automotive fuel efficiency. 
NHTSA pursues policies that encourage the development of nonregulatory 
approaches when feasible in meeting its statutory mandates. It issues 
new standards and regulations or amendments to existing standards and 
regulations when appropriate. It ensures that regulatory alternatives 
reflect a careful assessment of the problem and a comprehensive 
analysis of the benefits, costs, and other impacts associated with the 
proposed regulatory action. Finally, it considers alternatives 
consistent with the Administration's regulatory principles.
    NHTSA continues to focus on the high-priority vehicle safety issue 
of motor coaches and their occupants in fiscal year 2013 and plans to 
issue a notice that would propose promulgation of a new Federal motor 
vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) for rollover structural integrity 
requirements for newly manufactured motor coaches in accordance with 
NHTSA's 2007 Motorcoach Safety Plan, DOT's 2009 departmental Motorcoach 
Safety Action Plan, and requirements of the Moving Ahead for Progress 
in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act. NHTSA will also continue work toward 
a new FMVSS for electronic stability control systems for motor coaches 
and truck tractors, and expects to promulgate a final rule that will 
require the installation of lap/shoulder belts on motor coaches. 
Together, these rulemaking actions will address nine recommendations 
issued by the National Transportation Safety Board related to 
motorcoach safety.
    In fiscal year 2013, NHTSA plans to issue a final rule on rear 
visibility to expand the required field of view to enable the driver of 
a motor vehicle to detect areas behind the motor vehicle to reduce 
death and injury resulting from backing incidents, particularly 
incidents involving small children and disabled persons. This final 
rule is mandated by the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety 
Act of 2007. Also in 2013, NHTSA plans to continue work toward a final 
rule that would establish a new FMVSS to provide a means of alerting 
blind and other pedestrians of motor vehicle operation. This rulemaking 
is mandated by the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 to further 
enhance the safety of passenger vehicles and pedestrians. NHTSA will 
also issue a notice that would propose promulgation of a new FMVSS to 
mandate the installation of Event Data Recorders (EDRs) in light 
vehicles.
    In addition to numerous programs that focus on the safe performance 
of motor vehicles, the Agency is engaged in a variety of programs to 
improve driver and occupant behavior. These programs emphasize the 
human aspects of motor vehicle safety and recognize the important role 
of the States in this common pursuit. NHTSA has identified two high-
priority areas: Safety belt use and impaired driving. To address these 
issue areas, the Agency is focusing especially on three strategies--
conducting highly visible, well-publicized enforcement; supporting 
prosecutors who handle impaired driving cases and expanding the use of 
DWI/Drug Courts, which hold offenders accountable for receiving and 
completing treatment for alcohol abuse and dependency; and adopting 
alcohol screening and brief intervention by medical and health care 
professionals. Other behavioral efforts encourage child safety-seat 
use; combat excessive speed and aggressive driving; improve motorcycle, 
bicycle, and pedestrian safety; and provide consumer information to the 
public.

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

    FRA's current regulatory program reflects a number of pending 
proceedings to satisfy mandates resulting from the Rail Safety 
Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA08), the Passenger Rail Investment and 
Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA), the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 
21st Century Act (MAP-21), as well as actions supporting the 
Department's High-Speed Rail Strategic Plan. RSIA08 alone has required 
21 rulemaking actions, 12 of which have been completed. In addition, 
while FRA is currently developing its regulatory strategy for 
implementing MAP-21, FRA expects to initiate a rulemaking to amend 
references to the statutory minimum and maximum penalties for 
violations of DOT's hazardous materials regulations to be consistent 
with MAP-21. However, FRA continues to prioritize its rulemakings 
according to the greatest effect on safety, as well as expressed 
congressional interest, and will work to complete as many

[[Page 1436]]

rulemakings as possible prior to their statutory deadlines.
    Through the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC), FRA is 
working to complete many of the RSIA08 actions that include developing 
requirements for operations in dark territory, track safety, critical 
incident stress plans, employee training and alcohol and drug testing 
of maintenance-of-way personnel. FRA is also developing requirements 
related to the creation and implementation of railroad risk reduction 
and system safety programs, both of which are required by RSIA08. FRA 
is also in the process of finalizing other RSAC-supported actions that 
advance high-speed passenger rail such as final revisions to the Track 
Safety Standards dealing with vehicle-track interaction. Finally, FRA 
will be engaging in a rulemaking proceeding to address various 
miscellaneous issues related to the implementation of positive train 
control systems. FRA expects this regulatory action to provide 
substantial benefits to the industry while ensuring the safe and 
effective implementation of the technology.

Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

    FTA helps communities support public transportation by making 
grants of Federal funding for transit vehicles, construction of transit 
facilities, and planning and operation of transit and other transit-
related purposes. FTA regulatory activity implements the laws that 
apply to recipients' uses of Federal funding and the terms and 
conditions of FTA grant awards. FTA policy regarding regulations is to:
     Ensure the safety of public transportation systems;
     Provide maximum benefit to the mobility of the Nation's 
citizens and the connectivity of transportation infrastructure;
     Provide maximum local discretion;
     Ensure the most productive use of limited Federal 
resources;
     Protect taxpayer investments in public transportation;
     Incorporate principles of sound management into the grant 
management process.
    As the needs for public transportation have changed over the years, 
the Federal transit programs have grown in number and complexity, often 
requiring implementation through the rulemaking process. In fact, FTA 
is currently developing its regulatory strategy for implementing public 
transportation programs authorized under MAP-21. For example, MAP-21 
recently provided FTA with authority to develop safety standards for 
public transportation and to provide oversight and enforcement of 
public transportation safety. FTA's regulatory priorities for the 
coming year will reflect the mandates of the Agency's authorization 
statute, including, most notably, developing a National Public 
Transportation Safety Plan, amending the State Safety Oversight rule 
(49 CFR part 659), and amending the Major Capital Investments (RIN 
2132-AB02) ``New Starts'' program. The New Starts program is the main 
source of discretionary Federal funding for construction of rapid rail, 
light rail, commuter rail, and other forms of transit infrastructure. 
FTA also anticipates amending its regulations governing recipients' 
management of major capital projects and its Bus Testing rule for 
purposes of establishing a new bus model pass/fail testing system. 
Additionally, FTA plans to amend its regulations implementing the 
National Environmental Policy Act (49 CFR part 771) in order to 
streamline the FTA environmental review process by updating and 
expanding the Categorical Exclusions for particular types of proposed 
transit projects.

Maritime Administration (MARAD)

    The Maritime Administration (MARAD) administers Federal laws and 
programs to improve and strengthen the maritime transportation system 
to meet the economic, environmental, and security needs of the Nation. 
To that end, MARAD's efforts are focused upon ensuring a strong 
American presence in the domestic and international trades and to 
expanding maritime opportunities for American businesses and workers.
    MARAD's regulatory objectives and priorities reflect the agency's 
responsibility for ensuring the availability of a water transportation 
services for American shippers and consumers and, in times of war or 
national emergency, for the U.S. armed forces. Major program areas 
include the following: Maritime Security, Voluntary Intermodal Sealift 
Agreement, National Defense Reserve Fleet and the Ready Reserve Force, 
Cargo Preference, Maritime Guaranteed Loan Financing, United States 
Merchant Marine Academy, Mariner Education and Training Support, 
Deepwater Port Licensing, and Port and Intermodal Development. 
Additionally, MARAD administers the Small Shipyard Grants Program 
through which equipment and technical skills training are provided to 
America's maritime workforce, with the aim of helping businesses to 
compete in the global marketplace while creating well-paying jobs at 
home.
    MARAD's primary regulatory activities in fiscal year 2013 will be 
to continue the update of existing regulations as part of the 
Department's Retrospective Regulatory Review effort, and to propose new 
regulations where appropriate.

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

    The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) 
has responsibility for rulemaking under two programs. Through the 
Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety, PHMSA 
administers regulatory programs under Federal hazardous materials 
transportation law and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as 
amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Through the Associate 
Administrator for Pipeline Safety, PHMSA administers regulatory 
programs under the Federal pipeline safety laws and the Federal Water 
Pollution Control Act, as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The 
Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2012 
toughened the Federal pipeline safety regulations by strengthening 
PHMSA's ability to enforce the regulations. The Act includes technical 
changes to civil penalties and the administrative enforcement processes 
within Part 190 of the Code of Federal Regulations. PHMSA's authority 
to enforce the provisions of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which had 
been administered by the Department of Homeland Security, was also 
returned by the Act.
    On July 6, 2012 President Obama signed into law the ``Moving Ahead 
for Progress in the 21st Century Act''. Prior to this Act being signed 
into law, the current highway bill was on its ninth temporary extension 
and was set to expire on June 30, 2012. The Act reauthorizes the 
federal-aid highway and transit programs through September 30, 2014. 
For the Office of Hazardous Materials (OHMS), the Act reauthorizes the 
DOT hazardous materials safety program, and delays a DOT-proposed 
wetlines regulation until the Government Accountability Office can 
analyze its costs and benefits. In addition, the Act authorizes PHMSA 
to conduct pilot projects on using paperless hazard communications 
systems and report later on whether the agency recommends incorporating 
such paperless hazcom systems into the Hazardous Materials Regulations 
(HMR). The Act requires PHMSA to assess methods to collect, analyze and 
report data on hazmat transportation accidents and incidents. Further 
the Act directs PHMSA to establish uniform

[[Page 1437]]

standards for the training of inspectors and to train inspectors in all 
modes on how to: (1) Collect, analyze, and publish findings from 
inspections and investigations of accidents or incidents involving the 
transportation of hazardous material; (2) how to identify noncompliance 
with the HMRs; and (3) take appropriate enforcement action. The Act 
includes language that amends the authority of DOT to open and inspect 
hazmat packages en route when the inspector reasonably believes the 
package presents an imminent hazard. In addition, the Act increases the 
maximum civil penalties for violations of the HMRs from $50,000 to 
$75,000, and from $100,000 to $175,000 where the violation results in 
death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person or substantial 
destruction of property, and adds a minimum civil penalty for training 
violations of $450. The Act requires a rulemaking within two years to 
set out procedures and criteria for evaluating applications for special 
permits and approvals. The Act requires a review and another rulemaking 
within three years to establish a means to incorporate special permits 
that have been in continuous effect for a ten-year period into the 
HMRs. Finally Act requires States to submit to DOT a list of the 
State's currently effective hazardous material highway route 
designations and to update that list every two years.
    PHMSA will continue to work toward the reduction of deaths and 
injuries associated with the transportation of hazardous materials by 
all transportation modes, including pipeline. We will concentrate on 
the prevention of high-risk incidents identified through the findings 
of the National Transportation Safety Board and PHMSA's evaluation of 
transportation incident data. PHMSA will use all available Agency tools 
to assess data; evaluate alternative safety strategies, including 
regulatory strategies as necessary and appropriate; target enforcement 
efforts; and enhance outreach, public education, and training to 
promote safety outcomes.
    PHMSA will continue to focus on the streamlining of its regulatory 
system and to reduce regulatory burdens. PHMSA will evaluate existing 
rules to examine whether they remain justified; should be modified to 
account for changing circumstances and technologies; or should be 
streamlined or even repealed. PHMSA will continue to be responsive to 
petitions for rulemaking. PHMSA will review regulations, letters of 
interpretation, petitions for rulemaking, special permits, enforcement 
actions, approvals, and international standards to identify 
inconsistencies, outdated provisions, and barriers to regulatory 
compliance.
    PHMSA will be considering whether changes are needed to the 
regulations covering hazardous liquid onshore pipelines. In particular, 
PHMSA is considering whether it should extend regulation to certain 
pipelines currently exempt from regulation; whether other areas along a 
pipeline should either be identified for extra protection or be 
included as additional high-consequence areas (HCAs) for integrity 
management (IM) protection; whether to establish and/or adopt standards 
and procedures for minimum lead detection requirements for all 
pipelines; whether to require the installation of emergency flow 
restricting devices (EFRDs) in certain areas; whether revised valve 
spacing requirements are needed on new construction or existing 
pipelines; whether repair timeframes should be specified for pipeline 
segments in areas outside the HCAs that are assessed as part of the IM; 
and whether to establish and/or adopt standards and procedures for 
improving the methods of preventing, detecting, assessing, and 
remediating stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in hazardous liquid 
pipeline systems.
    Additionally, PHMSA will consider whether or not to revise the 
requirements in the pipeline safety regulations addressing integrity 
management principles for gas transmission pipelines. Specifically, 
PHMSA will be reviewing the definition of an HCA (including the concept 
of a potential impact radius), the repair criteria for both HCA and 
non-HCA areas, requiring the use of automatic and remote-controlled 
shutoff valves, valve spacing, and whether applying the integrity 
management program requirements to additional areas would mitigate the 
need for class location requirements.

Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)

    The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) seeks 
to identify and facilitate solutions to the challenges and 
opportunities facing America's transportation system through:
     Coordination, facilitation, and review of the Department's 
research and development programs and activities;
     Providing multi-modal expertise in transportation and 
logistics research, analysis, strategic planning, systems engineering 
and training;
     Advancement, and research and development, of innovative 
technologies, including intelligent transportation systems;
     Comprehensive transportation statistics research, 
analysis, and reporting;
     Managing education and training in transportation and 
national transportation-related fields; and
     Managing the activities of the John A. Volpe National 
Transportation Systems Center.
    Through its Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of Airline 
Information, RITA collects, compiles, analyzes, and makes accessible 
information on the Nation's air transportation system. RITA collects 
airline financial, traffic, and operating statistical data, including 
on-time flight performance data that highlight long tarmac times and 
chronically late flights. This information gives the Government 
consistent and comprehensive economic and market data on airline 
operations that are used in supporting policy initiatives and 
administering the Department's mandated aviation responsibilities, 
including negotiating international bilateral aviation agreements, 
awarding international route authorities, performing airline and 
industry status evaluations, supporting air service to small 
communities, setting Alaskan Bush Mail rates, and meeting international 
treaty obligations.
    Through its Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office 
(ITS/JPO), RITA conducts research and demonstrations and, as 
appropriate, may develop new regulations, in coordination with OST and 
other DOT operating administrations, to enable deployment of ITS 
research and technology results. This office collects and disseminates 
benefits and costs information resulting from ITS-related research 
along with direct measurement of the deployment of ITS nationwide. 
These efforts support market assessments for emerging market sectors 
that would be cost-prohibitive for industry to absorb alone. Such 
information is widely consumed by the community of stakeholders to 
determine their deployment needs.
    The ITS Architecture and Standards Programs develop and maintain a 
National ITS Architecture; develop open, non-proprietary interface 
standards to facilitate rapid and economical adoption of nationally 
interoperable ITS technologies; and cooperate to harmonize ITS 
standards internationally. These standards are incorporated into DOT 
operating administration regulatory activities when appropriate.
    Through its Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, RITA

[[Page 1438]]

provides a comprehensive range of engineering expertise, and 
qualitative and quantitative assessment services, focused on applying, 
maintaining, and increasing the technical body of knowledge to support 
DOT operating administration regulatory activities.
    Through its Transportation Safety Institute, RITA designs, 
develops, conducts, and evaluates training and technical assistance 
programs in transportation safety and security to support DOT operating 
administration regulatory implementation and enforcement activities.
    RITA's regulatory priorities are to assist OST and all DOT 
operating administrations in updating existing regulations by applying 
research, technology, and analytical results; to provide reliable 
information to transportation system decisionmakers; and to provide 
safety regulation implementation and enforcement t

BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Statement of Regulatory Priorities

    The primary missions of the Department of the Treasury are:
     To promote prosperous and stable American and world 
economies, including promoting domestic economic growth and maintaining 
our Nation's leadership in global economic issues, supervising national 
banks and thrift institutions, and helping to bring residents of 
distressed communities into the economic mainstream.
     To manage the Government's finances by protecting the 
revenue and collecting the correct amount of revenue under the Internal 
Revenue Code, overseeing customs revenue functions, financing the 
Federal Government and managing its fiscal operations, and producing 
our Nation's coins and currency.
     To safeguard the U.S. and international financial systems 
from those who would use these systems for illegal purposes or to 
compromise U.S. national security interests, while keeping them free 
and open to legitimate users.
    Consistent with these missions, most regulations of the Department 
and its constituent bureaus are promulgated to interpret and implement 
the laws as enacted by the Congress and signed by the President. It is 
the policy of the Department to comply with applicable requirements to 
issue a notice of proposed rulemaking and carefully consider public 
comments before adopting a final rule. Also, in particular cases, the 
Department invites interested parties to submit views on rulemaking 
projects while a proposed rule is being developed.
    In response to the events of September 11, 2001, the USA PATRIOT 
Act of 2001 was signed into law on October 26, 2001. Since then, the 
Department has accorded the highest priority to developing and issuing 
regulations to implement the provisions in this historic legislation 
that target money laundering and terrorist financing. These efforts, 
which will continue during the coming year, are reflected in the 
regulatory priorities of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network 
(FinCEN).
    To the extent permitted by law, it is the policy of the Department 
to adhere to the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in 
Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13609 and to develop regulations 
that maximize aggregate net benefits to society while minimizing the 
economic and paperwork burdens imposed on persons and businesses 
subject to those regulations.

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

    The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) 
was established by the Community Development Banking and Financial 
Institutions Act of 1994 (12 U.S.C. 4701 et seq.). The primary purpose 
of the CDFI Fund is to promote economic revitalization and community 
development through the following programs: The Community Development 
Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program, the Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) 
Program, the Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program, and the 
New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund 
administers the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program (FEC), 
the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF), and the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program 
(BGP).
    In fiscal year (FY) 2013, the CDFI Fund will publish Interim 
regulations implementing the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP). The BGP 
was established through the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and 
authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury (through the CDFI Fund) to 
guarantee the full amount of notes or bonds, including the principal, 
interest, and call premiums, issued to finance or refinance loans to 
certified CDFIs for eligible community or economic development purposes 
for a period not to exceed 30 years. The bonds or notes will support 
CDFI lending and investment by providing a source of long-term, patient 
capital to CDFIs. In accordance with Federal credit policy, the Federal 
Financing Bank (FFB), a body corporate and instrumentality of the 
United States Government under the general supervision and direction of 
the Secretary of the Treasury, will finance obligations that are 100 
percent guaranteed by the United States, such as the bonds or notes to 
be issued by Qualified Issuers under the BGP.
    Also in FY 2013, the CDFI Fund will publish revised Environmental 
Quality Regulations (12 CFR 1815) which will reflect economic and 
programmatic changes affecting applicants and awardees. The current 
environmental quality regulations do not reflect the full expansion of 
programs administered by the CDFI Fund to date. The revised regulations 
will include technical clarifications, revised definitions, and 
modifications to categorical exclusions relevant to the CDFI Fund's 
programs.
    In FY 2013, subject to funding availability, the CDFI Fund will 
provide awards through the following programs:
    Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program. 
Through the CDFI Program, the CDFI Fund will provide technical 
assistance grants and financial assistance awards to financial 
institutions serving distressed communities.
    Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program. Through the NACA 
Program, the CDFI Fund will provide technical assistance grants and 
financial assistance awards to promote the development of CDFIs that 
serve Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.
    Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) Program. Through the BEA Program, the 
CDFI Fund will provide financial incentives to encourage insured 
depository institutions to engage in eligible development activities 
and to make equity investments in CDFIs.
    New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. Through the NMTC Program, 
the CDFI Fund will provide allocations of tax credits to qualified 
community development entities (CDEs). The CDEs in turn provide tax 
credits to private sector investors in exchange for their investment 
dollars; investment proceeds received by the CDEs are to be used to 
make loans and equity investments in low-income communities. The CDFI 
Fund administers the NMTC Program in coordination with the Office of 
Tax Policy and the Internal Revenue Service.
    CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP). Through the BGP, the CDFI Fund 
will select Qualified Issuers of federally guaranteed bonds, the bond 
proceeds will be used to make or refinance loans to certified CDFIs. 
The bonds must be a

[[Page 1439]]

minimum of $100 million and may have terms of up to 30 years. The CDFI 
Fund is authorized to award up to $1 billion in guarantees per fiscal 
year through FY 2014.

Customs Revenue Functions

    The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (the Act) provides that the 
Secretary of the Treasury retains sole legal authority over the customs 
revenue functions. The Act also authorizes the Secretary of the 
Treasury to delegate any of the retained authority over customs revenue 
functions to the Secretary of Homeland Security. By Treasury Department 
Order No. 100-16, the Secretary of the Treasury delegated to the 
Secretary of Homeland Security authority to prescribe regulations 
pertaining to the customs revenue functions subject to certain 
exceptions. This Order further provided that the Secretary of the 
Treasury retained the sole authority to approve such regulations.
    During the past fiscal year, among the customs-revenue function 
regulations issued, was the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement 
final rule (76 FR 65365) of October 21, 2011 that adopted interim 
amendments (76 FR 692) of January 6, 2011, which implemented the 
preferential tariff treatment and other customs-related provisions of 
the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act. CBP 
also issued the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement interim 
amendments (76 FR 66875) of November 3, 2011 to the CBP regulations 
which implemented the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. CBP 
plans to finalize this rulemaking before the end of the fiscal year 
2012. In addition, CBP published on March 19, 2012 the United States-
Korea Free Trade Agreement interim amendments (77 FR 15943) to the CBP 
regulations which implemented the preferential tariff treatment and 
other customs-related provisions of the United States-Korea Free Trade 
Agreement Implementation Act, which took effect on March 15, 2012. CBP 
also plans to finalize this rulemaking in 2013.
    On October 25, 2011, Treasury and CBP issued a final rule (76 FR 
65953) that amended the regulations to add provisions for using 
sampling methods in CBP audits and for the offsetting of overpayments 
and over-declarations when an audit involves a calculation of lost 
duties, taxes, or fees or monetary penalties under 19 U.S.C. 1592.
    On February 22, 2012, Treasury and CBP published a final rule (77 
FR 10368) which amends the CBP regulations by extending the time period 
after the date of entry for an applicant to file the certification 
documentation required for duty-free treatment of certain visual and 
auditory material of an educational, scientific, or cultural character 
under chapter 98 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United 
States.
    On March 26, 2012, CBP also issued a final rule (77 FR 17331) that 
adopted, without change, the April 2011 proposal that where an owner or 
master of a vessel documented under the laws of the United States fails 
to timely pay the duties determined to be due to CBP that are 
associated with the purchase of equipment for, or repair to, the vessel 
while it is outside the United States, interest will accrue on the 
amounts owed to CBP and that person will be liable for interest. The 
purpose of this rule is to ensure that the regulations reflect that CBP 
collects interest as part of its inherent revenue collection functions 
in situations where an owner or master of a vessel fails to pay the 
vessel repair duties determined to be due within 30 days of CBP issuing 
the bill.
    This past fiscal year, consistent with the practice of continuing 
to move forward with Customs Modernization provisions of the North 
American Free Trade Implementation Act to improve its regulatory 
procedures and consistent with the goals of Executive Orders 12866 and 
13563, Treasury and CBP finalized on June 8, 2012 (77 FR 33966), its 
March 2010 proposal regarding customs broker recordkeeping requirements 
as they pertain to the location and method of record retention. The 
amendments permit a licensed customs broker, under prescribed 
conditions, to store records relating to his or her customs 
transactions at any location within the customs territory of the United 
States. The amendments also removed the requirement, as it currently 
applies to brokers who maintain separate electronic records, that 
certain entry records must be retained in their original format for the 
120-day period after the release or conditional release of imported 
merchandise. These changes maximize the use of available technologies 
and serve to conform CBP's recordkeeping requirements to reflect modern 
business practices without compromising the agency's ability to monitor 
and enforce recordkeeping compliance.
    During fiscal year 2013, CBP and Treasury plan to give priority to 
the following regulatory matters involving the customs revenue 
functions:
    Members of a Family for Purposes of Filing a CBP Family 
Declaration. Treasury and CBP plan to finalize a proposal to expand the 
definition of the term, ``members of a family residing in one 
household,'' to allow more U.S. returning residents traveling as a 
family upon their arrival in the United States to be eligible to group 
their duty exemptions and file a single customs declaration for 
articles acquired abroad.
    Informal Entry Limit and Removal of a Formal Entry Requirement. 
Treasury and CBP plan to publish a final rule amending the regulations 
to increase the $2,000 limit on the aggregate customs value of informal 
entries to its statutory maximum of $2,500 in order to mitigate the 
effects of inflation and to meet the international commitments to 
Canada for the Beyond the Border Initiative. It also removes the 
requirement for formal entry for certain articles formerly subject to 
absolute quotas under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing.
    Trade Act of 2002's preferential trade benefit provisions. Treasury 
and CBP plan to make permanent several interim regulations that 
implement the trade benefit provisions of the Trade Act of 2002.
    Free Trade Agreements. Treasury and CBP also plan to issue interim 
regulations this fiscal year to implement the preferential trade 
benefit provisions of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement 
Implementation Act. Treasury and CBP also expect to issue interim 
regulations implementing the preferential trade benefit provisions of 
the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act and 
the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation 
Act.
    Customs and Border Protection's Bond Program. Treasury and CBP plan 
to publish a final rule amending the regulations to reflect the 
centralization of the continuous bond program at CBP's Revenue 
Division. The changes proposed would support CBP's bond program by 
ensuring an efficient and uniform approach to the approval, 
maintenance, and periodic review of continuous bonds, as well as 
accommodating the use of information technology and modern business 
practices.
    Disclosure of Information for Certain Intellectual Property Rights 
Enforced at the Border. Treasury and CBP plan to finalize interim 
amendments to the CBP regulations which provides a pre-seizure notice 
procedure for disclosing information appearing on the imported 
merchandise and/or its retail packing suspected of bearing a 
counterfeit mark to an intellectual property right holder for the 
limited purpose of obtaining the right holder's assistance in 
determining whether the mark is counterfeit or not.

[[Page 1440]]

Domestic Finance--Office of the Fiscal Assistant Secretary (OFAS)

    The Office of the Fiscal Assistant Secretary develops policy for 
and oversees the operations of the financial infrastructure of the 
Federal Government, including payments, collections, cash management, 
financing, central accounting, and delinquent debt collection.
    Anti-Garnishment. On February 23, 2011, the Treasury published an 
interim final rule and request for public comment with the Office of 
Personnel Management, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Social 
Security Administration, and Veterans Affairs. Treasury plans to 
promulgate a final rule, with the Federal benefit agencies, early in 
2013 to give force and effect to various benefit agency statutes that 
exempt Federal benefits from garnishment. Typically, upon receipt of a 
garnishment order from a State court, financial institutions will 
freeze an account as they perform due diligence in complying with the 
order. The joint final rule will address this practice of account 
freezes to ensure that benefit recipients have access to a certain 
amount of lifeline funds while garnishment orders or other legal 
processes are resolved or adjudicated.
    RESTORE Act. On July 6, 2012, the President signed Public Law 112-
141, commonly known as the Transportation Bill. The bill includes a 
significant new responsibility for Treasury under Section 1601 
``Recourses and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourism Opportunities and 
Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012'' (RESTORE Act). 
The RESTORE Act establishes the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (the 
Trust Fund) in the Treasury, to be available for expenditures to 
restore the Gulf Coast region from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and 
for funding approved Federal, State and local projects and programs to 
restore and protect the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, 
marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of 
that region. The RESTORE Act gives Treasury significant new 
responsibilities relating to the expenditures of moneys from the Trust 
Fund, and requires Treasury to develop procedures to assess whether the 
programs and activities carried out under the Act are compliant with 
applicable requirements and to develop requirements for the audit of 
programs and activities. To meet Treasury's new responsibility, 
Treasury proposes to issue the required procedures as regulations. The 
rule will apply to recipients of funds from the Trust Fund and 
authorized under the RESTORE Act, including the Gulf Coast Ecosystem 
Restoration Council and state and local governments in the five Gulf 
Coast States.

Bureau of the Public Debt

    The Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) has responsibility for 
borrowing the money needed to operate the Federal Government and 
accounting for the resulting debt, regulating the primary and secondary 
Treasury securities markets, and ensuring that reliable systems and 
processes are in place for buying and transferring Treasury securities.
    BPD, on Treasury's behalf, administers regulations: (1) Governing 
transactions in Government securities by Government securities brokers 
and dealers under the Government Securities Act of 1986 (GSA), as 
amended; (2) Implementing Treasury's borrowing authority, including 
rules governing the sale and issue of savings bonds, marketable 
Treasury securities, and State and local government securities; (3) 
Setting out the terms and conditions by which Treasury may buy back and 
redeem outstanding, unmatured marketable Treasury securities through 
debt buyback operations; (4) Governing securities held in Treasury's 
retail systems; and (5) Governing the acceptability and valuation of 
collateral pledged to secure deposits of public monies and other 
financial interests of the Federal Government.
    During fiscal year 2013, BPD will accord priority to the following 
regulatory projects:
    Eliminating Credit Rating References. In compliance with the Dodd-
Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, BPD, on behalf of 
Treasury (Financial Markets), plans to amend the Government Securities 
Act regulations (17 CFR chapter IV) to eliminate references to credit 
ratings from Treasury's liquid capital rule.

Financial Management Service

    The Financial Management Service (FMS) issues regulations to 
improve the quality of Government financial management and to 
administer its payments, collections, debt collection, and 
Governmentwide accounting programs. For fiscal year 2013, FMS's 
regulatory plan includes the following priorities:
    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Publishing Delinquent Debtor 
Information. The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-
134, 110 Stat. 1321 (DCIA) authorizes Federal agencies to publish or 
otherwise publicly disseminate information regarding the identity of 
persons owing delinquent nontax debts to the United States for the 
purpose of collecting the debts, provided certain criteria are met. 
Treasury proposes to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking 
comments on a proposed rule that would establish the procedures Federal 
agencies must follow before publishing information about delinquent 
debtors and the standards for determining when use of this debt 
collection remedy is appropriate.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

    As chief administrator of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the Financial 
Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is responsible for developing and 
implementing regulations that are the core of the Department's anti-
money laundering and counter-terrorism financing efforts. FinCEN's 
responsibilities and objectives are linked to, and flow from, that 
role. In fulfilling this role, FinCEN seeks to enhance U.S. national 
security by making the financial system increasingly resistant to abuse 
by money launderers, terrorists and their financial supporters, and 
other perpetrators of crime.
    The Secretary of the Treasury, through FinCEN, is authorized by the 
BSA to issue regulations requiring financial institutions to file 
reports and keep records that are determined to have a high degree of 
usefulness in criminal, tax, or regulatory matters or in the conduct of 
intelligence or counter-intelligence activities to protect against 
international terrorism. The BSA also authorizes requiring designated 
financial institutions to establish anti-money laundering programs and 
compliance procedures. To implement and realize its mission, FinCEN has 
established regulatory objectives and priorities to safeguard the 
financial system from the abuses of financial crime, including 
terrorist financing, money laundering, and other illicit activity. 
These objectives and priorities include: (1) Issuing, interpreting, and 
enforcing compliance with regulations implementing the BSA; (2) 
supporting, working with, and as appropriate, overseeing compliance 
examination functions delegated to other Federal regulators; (3) 
managing the collection, processing, storage, and dissemination of data 
related to the BSA; (4) maintaining a Government-wide access service to 
that same data and for network users with overlapping interests; (5) 
conducting analysis in support of policymakers, law enforcement, 
regulatory and intelligence

[[Page 1441]]

agencies, and the financial sector; and (6) coordinating with and 
collaborating on anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering initiatives 
with domestic law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as well as 
foreign financial intelligence units.
    During fiscal year 2012, FinCEN issued the following regulatory 
actions:
    Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 
2010 Reporting Requirements Under Section 104(e). As a result of a 
congressional mandate to prescribe regulations under the Comprehensive 
Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA), on 
October 11,2011, FinCEN issued a final rule imposing a reporting 
requirement that would be invoked, as necessary, to elicit information 
valuable in the implementation of CISADA and would work in tandem with 
other financial provisions of CISADA to isolate Iran's Islamic 
Revolutionary Guard Corps and financial institutions designated by the 
U.S. Government in connection with Iran's proliferation of weapons of 
mass destruction (WMD) or WMD delivery systems or in connection with 
its support for international terrorism.
    Amendment to the BSA Regulations--Definition of Monetary 
Instrument. On October 17, 2011, FinCEN published an NPRM to address 
the mandate in the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and 
Disclosure Act of 2009, which authorizes regulations regarding 
international transport of prepaid access devices because of the 
potential to substitute prepaid access for cash and other monetary 
instruments as a means to smuggle the proceeds of illegal activity into 
and out of the United States.
    Anti-Money Laundering Program and Suspicious Activity Reporting 
(SAR) Requirements for Housing Government-Sponsored Enterprises. On 
November 3, 2011, FinCEN issued an NPRM that would define certain 
housing government-sponsored enterprises as financial institutions for 
the purpose of requiring them to establish anti-money laundering 
programs and report suspicious activity to FinCEN pursuant to the BSA.
    Non-Bank Residential Mortgage Lenders and Originators. On February 
7, 2012, FinCEN issued a Final rule to require a specific subset of 
loan and finance companies, i.e., non-bank residential mortgage lenders 
and originators, to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) program and 
SAR regulations. The regulations close a regulatory gap that previously 
allowed other originators, such as mortgage brokers and mortgage 
lenders not affiliated with banks, to avoid having AML and SAR 
obligations. Based on its ongoing work supporting criminal 
investigators and prosecutors in combating mortgage fraud, FinCEN 
believes that this regulatory measure will help mitigate some of the 
vulnerabilities that criminals have exploited.
    Imposition of Special Measure Against the Islamic Republic of Iran 
as a Jurisdiction of Primary Money Laundering Concern. On November 25, 
2011, FinCEN issued a finding that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a 
jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern under section 311 of 
the USA PATRIOT Act for its direct support of terrorism and its pursuit 
of nuclear/ballistic missile capabilities, its reliance on state 
agencies or state-owned or -controlled financial institutions to 
facilitate weapons of mass destruction proliferation and financing, and 
its use of deceptive financial practices to facilitate illicit conduct 
and evade sanctions. On November 28, 2011, FinCEN issued a Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking to impose the fifth special measure against the 
Islamic Republic of Iran. The fifth special measure prohibits or 
conditions the opening or maintaining of correspondent or payable-
through accounts by U.S. financial institutions if the correspondent 
account involves the targeted jurisdiction. These actions are intended 
to serve as an additional tool in preventing Iran from accessing the 
U.S. financial system, to support and uphold U.S. national security and 
foreign policy goals, and to complement the U.S. Government's worldwide 
efforts to expose and disrupt international money laundering and 
terrorist financing.
    Electronic Filing of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Reports. On February 
24, 2012, FinCEN issued a final notice requiring that all financial 
institutions subject to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reporting, with the 
exception of those institutions granted limited hardship exceptions, 
use electronic filing for certain reports beginning no later than July 
1, 2012. This requirement supports the Department of the Treasury's 
paperless initiative and efforts to make government operations more 
efficient. Also, it is intended to enhance significantly the quality of 
FinCEN's electronic data, improve its analytic capabilities in 
supporting law enforcement requirements, and result in a significant 
reduction in real costs to the U.S. Government and ultimately to U.S. 
taxpayers.
    Customer Due Diligence Requirements. On February 29, 2012, FinCEN 
issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit public 
comment on a wide range of questions pertaining to the development of a 
customer due diligence (CDD) regulation that would clarify, 
consolidate, and strengthen existing CDD obligations for financial 
institutions and also incorporate the collection of beneficial 
ownership information into the CDD framework.
    Imposition of Special Measure Against JSC Credex Bank as a 
Financial Institution of Primary Money Laundering Concern. On May 25, 
2012, FinCEN issued a finding that JSC Credex Bank (Credex) is a 
financial institution of primary money laundering concern under section 
311 of the USA PATRIOT Act. In addition to the bank's location in a 
high-risk jurisdiction, FinCEN has reason to believe that the bank has 
engaged in high volumes of transactions that are indicative of money 
laundering on behalf of shell corporations and has a history of 
ownership by shell corporations whose lack of transparency contributes 
to considerable uncertainty surrounding Credex's beneficial ownership. 
The lack of transparency associated with Credex indicates a high degree 
of money laundering risk and vulnerability to other financial crimes. 
On May 30, 2012, FinCEN issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to 
impose the first special measure and the fifth special measure against 
the bank. The first special measure requires any U.S. financial 
institution to maintain records, file reports, or both, concerning the 
aggregate amount of transactions, or concerning each transaction, with 
respect to a financial institution operating outside of the United 
States found to be of primary money laundering concern. The fifth 
special measure prohibits or conditions the opening or maintaining of 
correspondent or payable-through accounts for the designated 
institution by U.S. financial institutions.
    Amendment to the Bank Secrecy Act Regulations--Exemption From the 
Requirement To Report Transactions in Currency. On June 7, 2012, FinCEN 
issued a final rule to amend the regulations that allow depository 
institutions to exempt transaction of certain payroll customers from 
the requirement to report transactions in currency in excess of 
$10,000. By substituting the term ``frequently'' for the term 
``regularly'' in the provision of the exemption rules dealing with 
payroll customers, depository institutions may rely on FinCEN's prior 
interpretation of the term ``frequently'' to mean five or more times a 
year. This change harmonizes the exemption

[[Page 1442]]

standard for payroll customers with those for non-listed businesses and 
will provide greater ease of application and promote full use of the 
exemption for payroll customers.
    This change is part of the Department of the Treasury's continuing 
effort to increase efficiency and effectiveness of its anti-money 
laundering and counter-terrorist financing policies.
    Amendment to the Bank Secrecy Act Regulations--Requirement That 
Clerks of Court Report Certain Currency Transactions. On June 7, 2012, 
FinCEN issued a final rule amending the rules relating to the reporting 
of certain currency transactions consistent with a recent statutory 
amendment authorizing FinCEN to require clerks of court to file such 
reports with FinCEN. This information already is required to be 
reported by clerks of court pursuant to regulations issued by the 
Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but FinCEN heretofore had been limited 
in its ability to access and share that information further because of 
minor differences between the relevant statutory authorities applicable 
to FinCEN and the IRS. The final rule imposes no new or additional 
reporting or recordkeeping burden on clerks of court.
    Amendments to the Definitions of Funds Transfer and Transmittal of 
Funds in the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Regulations. FinCEN has drafted an 
NPRM to be issued jointly with the Board of Governors of the Federal 
Reserve System proposing amendments to the regulatory definitions of 
``funds transfer'' and ``transmittal of funds'' under the regulations 
implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The proposed changes are 
intended to maintain the current scope to the definitions and are 
necessary in light of changes to the Electronic Fund Transfer Act that 
will result in certain currently covered transactions being excluded 
from BSA requirements.
    Repeal of the Final Rule Imposing Special Measures and Withdrawal 
of the Findings of Primary Money Laundering Concern Against Myanmar 
Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank. FinCEN published in the Federal 
Register a document repealing the final rule ``Imposition of Special 
Measures Against Myanmar Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank'' and 
withdrawing the findings of these banks as financial institutions of 
primary money laundering concern issued on April 12, 2004. The banks' 
licenses were revoked by the Government of Burma and they have ceased 
their business activities.
    Renewal of Existing Rules. FinCEN renewed without change a number 
of information collections associated with the following existing 
requirements: Anti-money laundering programs for money services 
businesses (31 CFR 1022.210); mutual funds (31 CFR 1024.210); operators 
of credit card systems (31 CFR 1028.210); dealers in precious metals, 
stones, or jewels (31 CFR 1027.210); and insurance companies (31 CFR 
1025.210); customer identification programs for futures commission 
merchants and introducing brokers in commodities (31 CFR 1026.220); 
various depository institutions (31 CFR 1020.220); mutual funds (31 CFR 
1024.220); securities broker-dealers (31 CFR 1023.220); report of 
international transportation of currency and monetary instruments (31 
CFR 1010.340); reports of transactions in currency (31 CFR 1010.310); 
suspicious activity reporting by the securities and futures industries 
(31 CFR 1026.320 and 31 CFR 1023.320). FinCEN also renewed with changes 
the Registration of Money Services Business, Report 107, to incorporate 
recent changes to the MSB definitions and add provisions for prepaid 
access.
    Administrative Rulings and Written Guidance. FinCEN published 14 
administrative rulings and written guidance pieces, and provided 45 
responses to written inquiries/correspondence interpreting the BSA and 
providing clarity to regulated industries.
    FinCEN's regulatory priorities for fiscal year 2013, include 
finalizing any initiatives mentioned above that are not finalized by 
fiscal year end, as well as the following projects:
    Anti-Money Laundering Program and SAR Requirements for Investment 
Advisers. FinCEN has drafted an NPRM that would prescribe minimum 
standards for anti-money laundering programs to be established by 
certain investment advisers and to require such investment advisers to 
report suspicious activity to FinCEN. FinCEN has been working closely 
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on issues related to the 
draft NPRM.
    Amendment to the Bank Secrecy Act Regulations--Registration, 
Recordkeeping, and Reporting of Money Services Businesses. FinCEN has 
been developing an NPRM to amend the requirements for money services 
businesses with respect to registering with FinCEN and with respect to 
the information reported during the registration process. The proposed 
changes are intended to enhance the quality and timeliness of FinCEN's 
electronic data, improve analytic capabilities, and support law 
enforcement needs more effectively.
    FBAR Requirements. On February 24, 2011, FinCEN issued a final rule 
that amended the BSA implementing regulations regarding the filing of 
Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs). The FBAR form 
is used to report a financial interest in, or signature or other 
authority over, one or more financial accounts in foreign countries. 
FBARs are used in conjunction with SARs, CTRs, and other BSA reports to 
provide law enforcement and regulatory investigators with valuable 
information to fight fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, and other 
financial crimes. Since issuance of the final rule, FinCEN and the 
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have received numerous requests for 
clarification, many of which involve employees who have signature 
authority over, but no financial interest in, the foreign financial 
accounts of their employers. FinCEN is working with the Internal 
Revenue Service (IRS) to resolve these issues, which may include 
additional guidance and rulemaking.
    Anti-Money Laundering Program for State-Chartered Credit Unions and 
Other Depository Institutions Without a Federal Functional Regulator. 
Pursuant to section 352 of the USA PATRIOT Act, certain financial 
institutions are required to establish AML programs. Continued from 
prior fiscal years, FinCEN is developing a rulemaking to require State-
chartered credit unions and other depository institutions without a 
Federal functional regulator to implement AML programs.
    Cross Border Electronic Transmittal of Funds. On September 27, 
2010, FinCEN issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in 
conjunction with the feasibility study prepared pursuant to the 
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 concerning the 
issue of obtaining information about certain cross-border funds 
transfers and transmittals of funds. As FinCEN has continued to work on 
developing the system to receive, store, and use this data, FinCEN 
determined that a Supplemental NPRM that updates the previously 
published proposed rule would provide additional information to those 
banks and money transmitters that will become subject to the rule.
    Other Requirements. FinCEN also will continue to issue proposed and 
final rules pursuant to section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act, as 
appropriate. Finally, FinCEN expects to propose various technical and 
other regulatory amendments in conjunction with its ongoing, 
comprehensive review of existing regulations to enhance regulatory 
efficiency.

[[Page 1443]]

Internal Revenue Service

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), working with the Office of Tax 
Policy, promulgates regulations that interpret and implement the 
Internal Revenue Code and related tax statutes. The purpose of these 
regulations is to carry out the tax policy determined by Congress in a 
fair, impartial, and reasonable manner, taking into account the intent 
of Congress, the realities of relevant transactions, the need for the 
Government to administer the rules and monitor compliance, and the 
overall integrity of the Federal tax system. The goal is to make the 
regulations practical and as clear and simple as possible.
    Most IRS regulations interpret tax statutes to resolve ambiguities 
or fill gaps in the tax statutes. This includes interpreting particular 
words, applying rules to broad classes of circumstances, and resolving 
apparent and potential conflicts between various statutory provisions.
    During fiscal year 2013, the IRS will accord priority to the 
following regulatory projects:
    Deduction and Capitalization of Costs for Tangible Property. 
Section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code allows a deduction for 
ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred in carrying on a trade 
or business. Section 263(a) of the Code provides that no deduction is 
allowed for amounts paid out for new buildings or for permanent 
improvements or betterments made to increase the value of any property 
or estate, and generally such capital expenditures may be recovered 
only in future taxable years. Although existing regulations provide 
that a deductible repair expense is an expenditure that does not 
materially add to the value of the property or appreciably prolong its 
life, the standards for determining whether an amount paid for tangible 
property should be treated as an ordinary or capital expenditure can be 
difficult to discern. Treasury and the IRS believe that additional 
clarification is needed to reduce uncertainty and controversy in this 
area, and in December 2011 Treasury and the IRS issued proposed and 
temporary regulations in this area. We intend to finalize those 
regulations.
    Research Expenditures. Section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code 
provides a credit against taxable income for certain expenses paid or 
incurred in conducting research activities. Section 174 of the Internal 
Revenue Code allows a taxpayer to elect to currently deduct or amortize 
certain research and experimental expenditures. To assist in resolving 
areas of controversy and uncertainty with respect to research expenses, 
Treasury and the IRS plan to issue guidance on both the credit and the 
deduction. With respect to the research credit, Treasury and the IRS 
plan to issue proposed regulations with respect to the definition and 
credit eligibility of expenditures for internal use software and the 
treatment of intra-group transfers of property for purposes of 
determining the controlled group's gross receipts for purposes of the 
credit computation. With respect to the deduction for research and 
experimental expenditures, Treasury and the IRS plan to issue guidance 
on the treatment of amounts paid or incurred in connection with the 
development of tangible property and guidance clarifying the procedures 
for the adoption and change of methods of accounting for the 
expenditures.
    Arbitrage Investment Restrictions on Tax-Exempt Bonds. The 
arbitrage investment restrictions on tax-exempt bonds under section 148 
generally limit issuers from investing bond proceeds in higher-yielding 
investments. Treasury and the IRS plan to issue proposed regulations to 
address selected current issues involving the arbitrage restrictions, 
including guidance on the issue price definition used in the 
computation of bond yield, working capital financings, grants, 
investment valuation, modifications, terminations of qualified hedging 
transactions, and selected other issues.
    Contingent Notional Principal Contract Regulations. Notice 2001-44 
(2001-2 CB 77) outlined four possible approaches for recognizing 
nonperiodic payments made or received on a notional principal contract 
(NPC) when the contract includes a nonperiodic payment that is 
contingent in fact or in amount. The Notice solicited further comments 
and information on the treatment of such payments. After considering 
the comments received in response to Notice 2001-44, Treasury and the 
IRS published proposed regulations (69 FR 8886) (the 2004 proposed 
regulations) that would amend section 1.446-3 and provide additional 
rules regarding the timing and character of income, deduction, gain, or 
loss with respect to such nonperiodic payments, including termination 
payments. On December 7, 2007, Treasury and IRS released Notice 2008-2 
requesting comments and information with respect to transactions 
frequently referred to as prepaid forward contracts. Treasury and the 
IRS plan to re-propose regulations to address issues relating to the 
timing and character of nonperiodic contingent payments on NPCs, 
including termination payments and payments on prepaid forward 
contracts.
    Tax Treatment of Distressed Debt. A number of tax issues relating 
to the amount, character, and timing of income, expense, gain, or loss 
on distressed debt remain unresolved. In addition, the tax treatment of 
distressed debt, including distressed debt that has been modified, may 
affect the qualification of certain entities for tax purposes or result 
in additional taxes on the investors in such entities, such as 
regulated investment companies, real estate investment trusts (REITs), 
and real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs). During fiscal 
year 2012, Treasury and the IRS have addressed some of these issues 
through published guidance, including guidance for REITs and REMICs 
relating to home mortgages refinanced under the Home Affordable 
Refinancing Program. Treasury and the IRS plan to address more of these 
issues in published guidance.
    Elective Deferral of Certain Business Discharge of Indebtedness 
Income. In the recent economic downturn, many business taxpayers 
realized income as a result of modifying the terms of their outstanding 
indebtedness or refinancing on terms subjecting them to less risk of 
default. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes a 
special relief provision allowing for the elective deferral of certain 
discharge of indebtedness income realized in 2009 and 2010. The 
provision, section 108(i) of the Code, is complicated and many of the 
details have to be supplied through regulatory guidance. On August 9, 
2009, Treasury and the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2009-37 that 
prescribes the procedure for making the election. On August 13, 2010, 
Treasury and the IRS published temporary and proposed regulations (TD 
9497 and TD 9498) in the Federal Register. These regulations provide 
additional guidance on such issues as the types of indebtedness 
eligible for the relief, acceleration of deferred amounts, the 
operation of the provision in the context of flow-through entities, the 
treatment of the discharge for the purpose of computing earnings and 
profits, and the operation of a provision of the statute deferring 
original issue discount deductions arising from such modifications or 
refinancings. Treasury and the IRS expect to finalize those regulations 
by the end of 2013.
    Election To Treat Certain Stock Sales and Distributions as Asset 
Sales. Congress enacted section 336(e) as part of the provisions of the 
Tax Reform Act of 1986 implementing the repeal of the General Utilities 
doctrine (which had

[[Page 1444]]

prevented corporate level recognition of gain on the sale or 
distribution of appreciated property in certain cases). Section 336(e) 
authorizes the Secretary to prescribe regulations allowing an election 
(Section 336(e) Election) to treat certain taxable sales, exchanges, or 
distributions (collectively, ``dispositions'') of stock in a 
corporation (a ``target'') instead as a sale of the target's underlying 
assets. If made, a Section 336(e) Election offers taxpayers relief from 
multiple taxation at the corporate level of the same economic gain. 
Treasury and the IRS published proposed regulations in 2008 that 
addressed dispositions by domestic corporations of domestic target to 
unrelated parties. Treasury and the IRS expect to finalize these 
regulations this year.
    Disguised Sale and Allocation of Liabilities. A contribution of 
property by a partner to a partnership may be recharacterized as a sale 
under section 707(a)(2)(B) if the partnership distributes to the 
contributing partner cash or other property that is, in substance, 
consideration for the contribution. The allocation of partnership 
liabilities to the partners under section 752 may impact the 
determination of whether a disguised sale has occurred and whether gain 
is otherwise recognized upon a distribution. Treasury and the IRS have 
determined that guidance should be issued to address certain issues 
that arise in the disguised sale context and other issues regarding the 
partners' shares of partnership liabilities. Proposed regulations are 
expected to be issued later this year.
    Certain Partnership Distributions Treated as Sales or Exchanges. In 
1954, Congress enacted section 751 to prevent the use of a partnership 
to convert potential ordinary income into capital gain. In 1956, 
Treasury and the IRS issued regulations implementing section 751. The 
current regulations, however, do not achieve the purpose of the statute 
in many cases. In 2006, Treasury and the IRS published Notice 2006-14 
(2006-1 CB 498) to propose and solicit alternative approaches to 
section 751 that better achieve the purpose of the statute while 
providing greater simplicity. Treasury and the IRS are currently 
working on proposed regulations following up on Notice 2006-14. These 
regulations will provide guidance on determining a partner's interest 
in a partnership's section 751 property and how a partnership 
recognizes income required by section 751.
    Tax Return Preparers. In June 2009, the IRS launched a 
comprehensive review of the tax return preparer program with the intent 
to propose a set of recommendations to ensure uniform and high ethical 
standards of conduct for all tax return preparers and to increase 
taxpayer compliance. In Publication 4832, Return Preparer Review, the 
IRS recommended increased oversight of the tax return preparer 
industry, including but not limited to, mandatory preparer tax 
identification number (PTIN) registration and usage, competency 
testing, continuing education requirements, and ethical standards for 
all tax return preparers. As part of a multi-step effort to increase 
oversight of Federal tax return preparers, Treasury and the IRS 
published in 2010 final regulations: (1) Authorizing the IRS to require 
tax return preparers who prepare all or substantially all of a tax 
return for compensation after December 31, 2010 to use PTINs as the 
preparer's identifying number on all tax returns and refund claims that 
they prepare; and (2) setting the user fee for obtaining a PTIN at $50 
plus a third-party vendor's fee. On June 3, 2011, Treasury and the IRS 
published final regulations amending Circular 230, which established 
registered tax return preparers as a new category of tax practitioner 
and extended the ethical rules for tax practitioners to any individual 
who is a tax return preparer. On November 25, 2011, Treasury and the 
IRS published final regulations setting the competency testing fee at 
$27, and published proposed regulations on February 15, 2012, 
describing who must obtain a PTIN and who may obtain one. Treasury and 
the IRS intend to finalize those PTIN regulations in 2013. Finally, 
Treasury and the IRS intend to finalize temporary regulations under 
section 7216 addressing the disclosure or use of information by tax 
return preparers, which were issued in December 2009.
    Circular 230 Rules Governing Written Tax Advice. After years of 
experience with the covered opinion rules in Circular 230 governing 
written tax advice, the government and practitioners agree that rules 
are often burdensome and provide only minimal taxpayer protection. On 
September 17, 2012, Treasury and the IRS published proposed regulations 
that modify the standards governing written tax advice under Circular 
230. The proposed regulations streamline the existing rules for written 
tax advice by applying one standard for all written tax advice under 
proposed section 10.37. The proposed regulations revise section 10.37 
to state affirmatively the standards to which a practitioner must 
adhere when providing written advice on a Federal tax matter. Proposed 
section 10.37 requires, among other things, that the practitioner base 
all written advice on reasonable factual and legal assumptions, 
exercise reasonable reliance, and consider all relevant facts that the 
practitioner knows or should know. A practitioner must also use 
reasonable efforts to identify and ascertain the facts relevant to 
written advice on a Federal tax matter under the proposed regulations. 
The proposed amendments will eliminate the burdensome requirement that 
practitioners fully describe the relevant facts (including the factual 
and legal assumptions relied upon) and the application of the law to 
the facts in the written advice itself, and the use of Circular 230 
disclaimers in documents and transmissions, including emails. The 
proposed regulations also make several other necessary amendments to 
Circular 230. Treasury and IRS intend to finalize these regulations in 
2013.
    Penalties and Limitation Periods. Congress amended several penalty 
provisions in the Internal Revenue Code in the past several years and 
Treasury and the IRS intend to publish a number of guidance projects in 
fiscal year 2013 addressing these new or amended penalty provisions. 
Specifically, on September 7, 2011, Treasury and the IRS published 
final regulations under section 6707A addressing when the penalty for 
failure to disclose reportable transactions applies. Treasury and the 
IRS intend to publish proposed regulations under sections 6662, 6662A, 
and 6664, to provide further guidance on the circumstances under which 
a taxpayer could be subject to the accuracy-related penalty on 
underpayments or reportable transaction understatements and the 
reasonable cause exception. Treasury and the IRS also intend to 
publish: (1) proposed regulations under section 6676 regarding the 
penalty related to an erroneous claim for refund or credit; (2) 
proposed regulations under section 6708 regarding the penalty for 
failure to make available upon request a list of advisees that is 
required to be maintained under section 6112; (3) final regulations 
under section 6501(c)(10) regarding the extension of the period of 
limitations to assess any tax with respect to a listed transaction that 
was not disclosed as required under section 6011; and (4) temporary and 
proposed regulations under section 6707A addressing statutory changes 
to the method of computing the section 6707A penalty, which were 
enacted after

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existing temporary regulations were published.
    Whistleblower Regulations. Under section 7623(b), the Secretary 
shall make an award to whistleblowers in cases where a whistleblower 
provided information regarding underpayments of tax or violations of 
the internal revenue laws that resulted in proceeds being collected 
from an administrative or judicial action. On February 22, 2012, 
Treasury and the IRS published final regulations (TD 9580) defining 
``collected proceeds.'' Treasury and the IRS plan to issue proposed 
regulations providing comprehensive guidance on the whistleblower award 
program. The proposed regulations are expected to include guidance on 
the process for filing for an award, definitions of statutory terms, 
and guidance regarding how the amount of an award will be computed.
    Basis Reporting. Section 403 of the Energy Improvement and 
Extension Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-343), enacted on October 3, 2008, 
added sections 6045(g), 6045(h), 6045A, and 6045B to the Internal 
Revenue Code. Section 6045(g) provides that every broker required to 
file a return with the Service under section 6045(a) showing the gross 
proceeds from the sale of a covered security must include in the return 
the customer's adjusted basis in the security and whether any gain or 
loss with respect to the security is long-term or short-term. Section 
6045(h) extends the basis reporting requirement in section 6045(g) and 
the gross proceeds reporting requirement in section 6045(a) to options 
that are granted or acquired on or after January 1, 2013. Section 6045A 
provides that a broker and any other specified person (transferor) that 
transfers custody of a covered security to a receiving broker must 
furnish to the receiving broker a written statement that allows the 
receiving broker to satisfy the basis reporting requirements of section 
6045(g). Section 6045B requires issuers of specified securities to make 
a return relating to organizational actions that affect the basis of 
the security. Final regulations implementing these provisions for stock 
were published on October 18, 2010. Proposed regulations implementing 
these provisions for options and debt instruments were published on 
November 25, 2011. In response to comments on the proposed regulations, 
Notice 2012-34 extended the proposed effective date for basis reporting 
for options and debt instruments to January 1, 2014. Treasury and the 
IRS plan to issue final regulations for options and debt instruments in 
2013.
    Information Reporting for Foreign Accounts of U.S. Persons. In 
March 2010, chapter 4 (sections 1471 to 1474) was added to subtitle A 
of the Internal Revenue Code as part of the Hiring Incentives to 
Restore Employment Act (HIRE Act) (Pub. L. 111-147). Chapter 4 was 
enacted to address concerns with offshore tax evasion and generally 
requires foreign financial institutions (FFIs) to enter into an 
agreement (FFI Agreement) with the IRS to report information regarding 
certain financial accounts of U.S. persons and foreign entities with 
significant U.S. ownership. An FFI that does not enter into an FFI 
Agreement generally will be subject to a withholding tax on the gross 
amount of certain payments from U.S. sources, as well as the proceeds 
from disposing of certain U.S. investments. Treasury and the IRS 
published Notice 2010-60, Notice 2011-34, Notice 2011-53, Announcement 
2012-42, and proposed regulations which provide preliminary guidance 
and request comments on the most important and time-sensitive issues 
under chapter 4. Treasury and the IRS expect to issue final regulations 
and a model FFI Agreement in this fiscal year that respond to the 
comments received.
    Withholding on Certain Dividend Equivalent Payments Under Notional 
Principal Contracts. The HIRE Act also added section 871(l) to the Code 
(now section 871(m)), which designates certain substitute dividend 
payments in security lending and sale-repurchase transactions and 
dividend-referenced payments made under certain notional principal 
contracts as U.S.-source dividends for Federal tax purposes. In 
response to this legislation, on May 20, 2010, the IRS issued Notice 
2010-46, addressing the requirements for determining the proper 
withholding in connection with substitute dividends paid in foreign-to-
foreign security lending and sale-repurchase transactions. Treasury and 
the IRS also issued temporary and proposed regulations addressing cases 
in which dividend equivalents will be found to arise in connection with 
notional principal contracts and other financial derivatives. Treasury 
and the IRS expect to issue further guidance with respect to section 
871(m) in this fiscal year.
    International Tax Provisions of the Education, Jobs, and Medicaid 
Assistance Act. On August 10, 2010, the Education, Jobs, and Medicaid 
Assistance Act of 2010 (EJMAA) (Pub. L. 111-226) was signed into law. 
The new law includes a significant package of international tax 
provisions, including limitations on the availability of foreign tax 
credits in certain cases in which U.S. tax law and foreign tax law 
provide different rules for recognizing income and gain, and in cases 
in which income items treated as foreign source under certain tax 
treaties would otherwise be sourced in the United States. The 
legislation also limits the ability of multinationals to reduce their 
U.S. tax burdens by using a provision intended to prevent corporations 
from avoiding U.S. income tax on repatriated corporate earnings. Other 
new provisions under this legislation limit the ability of 
multinational corporations to use acquisitions of related party stock 
to avoid U.S. tax on what would otherwise be taxable distributions of 
dividends. The statute also includes a new provision intended to 
tighten the rules under which interest expense is allocated between 
U.S.- and foreign-source income within multinational groups of related 
corporations when a foreign corporation has significant amounts of 
U.S.-source income that is effectively connected with a U.S. business. 
Treasury and the IRS published temporary and proposed regulations 
addressing foreign tax credits under section 909 and expect to issue 
additional guidance on EJMAA in this fiscal year.
    International Philanthropy. Treasury and the IRS plan to issue 
guidance intended to facilitate more efficient and effective 
international grantmaking by U.S. private foundations. Treasury and the 
IRS issued proposed regulations relating to program related investments 
on April 19, 2012. We are working on finalizing these regulations that 
incorporate additional, more modern examples of how private foundations 
may use program related investments to accomplish charitable purposes, 
both domestically and abroad. In addition, Treasury and the IRS issued 
proposed regulations on September 24, 2012 relating to the reliance 
standards for private foundations making tax-status determinations 
regarding foreign charitable organizations, which should facilitate 
foreign grantmaking.
    Tax-Related Health Care Provisions. On March 23, 2010, the 
President signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 
(Pub. L. 111-148) and on March 30, 2010, the President signed the 
Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-152) 
(referred to collectively as the Affordable Care Act (ACA)). The ACA's 
comprehensive reform of the health insurance system affects 
individuals, families, employers, health care providers, and health 
insurance providers. The ACA provides authority for Treasury and the 
IRS to issue regulations and other guidance to

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implement tax provisions in the ACA, some of which are effective 
immediately and some of which will become effective over the next 
several years. Since enactment of the ACA, Treasury and the IRS, 
together with the Department of Health and Human Services and the 
Department of Labor, have issued a series of temporary and proposed 
regulations implementing various provisions of the ACA related to 
individual and group market reforms. In the past year, Treasury and IRS 
also have issued temporary and proposed regulations on the application 
for recognition as a section 501(c)(29) organization; proposed 
regulations on the fees under sections 4375, 4376, and 4377 of the Code 
to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund; proposed 
regulations regarding disclosures to the Department of Health and Human 
Services under section 6103(l)(21) of the Code; proposed regulations 
under section 4191 of the Code on the excise tax on medical device 
manufacturers and importers; proposed regulations under section 501(r) 
of the Code on new requirements for charitable hospitals; and final 
regulations on the premium assistance tax credit under section 36B of 
the Code. In addition, Treasury and the IRS have issued guidance on 
other ACA provisions, including guidance on the treatment of certain 
nonprofit health insurers (section 833 of the Code), the $2,500 annual 
limit on salary reduction contributions to health flexible spending 
arrangements (section 125(i) of the Code), the procedures for nonprofit 
health insurance issuers to seek tax-exempt status (section 501(c)(29) 
of the Code), the reporting of the cost of coverage of group health 
insurance on Form W-2 (section 6051(a)(14) of the Code), and 
determining full-time employees for purposes of the shared 
responsibility for employers regarding health coverage (section 4980H 
of the Code). Treasury and the IRS will continue to provide additional 
guidance to implement tax provisions of the ACA in 2013.
    Lifetime income from retirement plans. Treasury and the IRS 
continue to review certain regulations pertaining to retirement plans 
to determine whether any modifications could better achieve the 
objective of promoting retirement security by facilitating the offering 
of benefit distribution options in the form of annuities. As part of 
this initiative, proposed regulations were issued in February 2012 to 
facilitate the purchase of longevity annuity contracts under tax-
qualified defined contribution plans, section 403(b) plans, individual 
retirement annuities and accounts (IRAs), and eligible governmental 
section 457 plans. These regulations provide the public with guidance 
necessary to comply with the required minimum distribution rules under 
the Code. Under the proposed amendments to these rules, prior to 
annuitization, the participant would be permitted to exclude the value 
of a longevity annuity contract that meets certain requirements from 
the account balance used to determine required minimum distributions. 
Thus, a participant would not need to commence distributions from the 
annuity contract before the advanced age at which the annuity would 
begin in order to satisfy the required minimum distribution rules and, 
accordingly, the contract could be designed with a fixed annuity 
starting date at the advanced age. Purchasing longevity annuity 
contracts could help participants hedge the risk of drawing down their 
benefits too quickly and thereby outliving their retirement savings. 
Treasury and the IRS intend to finalize these regulations.

Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Office

    The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA) was signed into law 
on November 26, 2002. The law, which was enacted as a consequence of 
the events of September 11, 2001, established a temporary Federal 
reinsurance program under which the Federal Government shares the risk 
of losses associated with certain types of terrorist acts with 
commercial property and casualty insurers. The Act, originally 
scheduled to expire on December 31, 2005, was extended to December 31, 
2007, by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Act of 2005 (TRIEA). 
The Act has since been extended to December 31, 2014, by the Terrorism 
Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (TRIPRA).
    The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions is 
responsible for developing and promulgating regulations implementing 
TRIA, as extended and amended by TRIEA and TRIPRA. The Terrorism Risk 
Insurance Program Office, which is part of the Office of the Assistant 
Secretary for Financial Institutions, is responsible for operational 
implementation of TRIA. The purposes of this legislation are to address 
market disruptions, ensure the continued widespread availability and 
affordability of commercial property and casualty insurance for 
terrorism risk, and to allow for a transition period for the private 
markets to stabilize and build capacity while preserving State 
insurance regulation and consumer protections.
    Over the past year, the Office of the Assistant Secretary has 
issued proposed rules implementing changes authorized by TRIA as 
revised by TRIPRA. The following regulations should be published by 
July 31, 2013:
    Final Netting. This final rule would establish procedures by which, 
after the Secretary has determined that claims for the Federal share of 
insured losses arising from a particular Program Year shall be 
considered final, a final netting of payments to or from insurers will 
be accomplished.
    Affiliates. This proposed rule would make changes to the definition 
of ``affiliate'' to conform to the language in the statute.
    Civil Penalty. This proposed rule would establish procedures by 
which the Secretary may assess civil penalties against any insurer that 
the Secretary determines, on the record after an opportunity for a 
hearing, has violated provisions of the Act.
    Treasury will continue the ongoing work of implementing TRIA and 
carrying out revised operations as a result of the TRIPRA-related 
regulation changes.

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issues 
regulations to enforce the Federal laws relating to alcohol, tobacco, 
firearms, and ammunition excise taxes and certain non-tax laws relating 
to alcohol. TTB's mission and regulations are designed to:
    (1) Regulate with regard to the issuance of permits and 
authorizations to operate in the alcohol and tobacco industries;
    (2) Assure the collection of all Federal alcohol, tobacco, and 
firearms and ammunition taxes, and obtain a high level of voluntary 
compliance with laws governing those industries; and
    (3) Suppress commercial bribery, consumer deception, and other 
prohibited practices in the alcohol beverage industry.
    In FY 2013, TTB plans to give priority to the following regulatory 
matters:
    Modernization of Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations. TTB will 
continue its multi-year Regulations Modernization Project, which has 
resulted in the past few years of updating parts 9 (American 
Viticultural Areas) and 19 (Distilled Spirits Plants) of title 27, Code 
of Federal Regulations. In FY 2012, TTB finalized the temporary rule to 
amend regulations promulgated under the Children's Health Insurance 
Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA), which included provisions 
to help prevent the diversion of tobacco

[[Page 1447]]

products and to collect the tobacco excise taxes rightfully due. 
Congress mandated the regulation of processed tobacco to strengthen the 
enforcement authority for the Federal excise tax on tobacco products, 
which significantly increased under CHIPRA. A three-year temporary rule 
was published in June of 2009; the final rule was published in June 
2012. As described in greater detail below, in FY 2013, TTB plans to 
continue its Regulations Modernization Project concerning its Specially 
Denatured and Completely Denatured Alcohol regulations, Labeling 
Requirement regulations, Nonbeverage Products regulations, and Beer 
regulations.
    Revision to Specially Denatured and Completely Denatured Alcohol 
Regulations. TTB plans to propose changes to regulations for specially 
denatured alcohol (SDA) and completely denatured alcohol (CDA) that 
would result in cost savings for both TTB and regulated industry 
members. Under the authority of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
(IRC), TTB regulates denatured alcohol that is unfit for beverage use, 
and which may be removed from a regulated distilled spirits plant free 
of tax. SDA and CDA are widely used in the American fuel, medical, and 
manufacturing sectors. The industrial alcohol industry far exceeds the 
beverage alcohol industry in size and scope, and it is a rapidly 
growing industry in the United States. Some concerns have been raised 
that the current regulations may create significant roadblocks for 
industry members in getting products to the marketplace quickly and 
efficiently. TTB is proposing to reclassify certain SDA formulas as CDA 
and to issue new general-use formulas for articles made with SDA so 
that industry members would less frequently need to seek formula 
approval from TTB and in turn decrease the dedication of TTB resources 
to formula review. TTB estimates that these proposed changes would 
result in an 80 percent reduction in the formula approval submissions 
currently required from industry members and would reduce total annual 
paperwork burden hours on affected industry members from 2,415 to 517 
hours. The reduction in formula submissions will enable TTB to redirect 
its resources to address backlogs that exist in other areas of TTB's 
mission activities, such as analyses of compliance samples for 
industrial/fuel alcohol to protect the revenue and working with 
industry to test and approve new and more environmentally friendly 
denaturants. Other proposed changes would remove unnecessary regulatory 
burdens and update the regulations to align them with current industry 
practice.
    Revisions to the Labeling Requirements (Parts 4 (Wine), 5 
(Distilled Spirits), and 7 (Malt Beverages)), also known as 
Modernization of the Alcohol Beverage Labeling and Advertising 
Regulations. The Federal Alcohol Administration Act requires that 
alcohol beverages introduced in interstate commerce have a label issued 
and approved under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the 
Treasury. In connection with E.O. 13563, TTB has near-term plans to 
revise the regulations concerning the approval of labels for distilled 
spirits, wine, and malt beverages to reduce the cost to TTB of 
reviewing and approving an ever-increasing number of applications for 
label approval (well over 130,000 per year). Currently, the review and 
approval process requires a staff of at least 13 people for the pre-
approval of labels in addition to management review. These regulatory 
changes, to be developed with industry input, also have the intent of 
accelerating the approval process, which will result in the regulated 
industries being able to bring products to market without undue delay.
    Revision of the Part 17 Regulations, ``Drawback on Taxpaid 
Distilled Spirits Used in Manufacturing Nonbeverage Products,'' To 
Allow Self-Certification of Nonbeverage Product Formulas. TTB is 
considering revisions to the part 17 regulations governing nonbeverage 
products made with taxpaid distilled spirits. These nonbeverage 
products include foods, medicines, and flavors. The revisions would 
practically eliminate the need for TTB to formally approve nonbeverage 
product formulas by proposing to allow for self-certification of such 
formulas. The changes would result in significant cost savings for an 
important industry which currently must obtain formula approval from 
TTB, and some savings for TTB, which must review and take action to 
approve or disapprove each formula. The specific savings to TTB is 
unknown at this stage of the rulemaking project.
    Revisions to the Beer Regulations (Part 25). Under the authority of 
the IRC, TTB regulates activities at breweries. The regulations of 
title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 25, address the 
qualification of breweries, bonds and taxation, removals without 
payment of tax, and records and reporting. Brewery regulations were 
last revised in 1986 and need to be updated to reflect changes to the 
industry, including the increased number of small (``craft'') brewers. 
TTB initially intended to publish an advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking (ANPRM) and solicit written comments from the public before 
proposing changes to its regulations in part 25. After discussions with 
industry groups and members, analyzing available data, and reviewing 
our existing regulations and requirements, TTB will propose for 
immediate consideration changes to our regulations that would reduce 
the tax return submission and filing and operations reporting burdens 
on ``small'' brewers. This regulatory proposal is entitled Penal Sum 
Exception for Brewers Eligible To File Federal Excise Tax Returns and 
Payments Quarterly and Other Proposed Revisions to the Beer 
Regulations. Such proposals would accelerate change in the regulations, 
compared to publishing an ANPRM and awaiting comments before proposing 
specific changes, and thus provide more immediate and significant 
relief from existing regulatory burdens. TTB will also solicit comments 
from the public in this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on other 
changes TTB could make to its beer regulations contained in part 25 
that could further reduce the regulatory burden on brewers and at the 
same time meet statutory requirements and regulatory objectives. Upon 
consideration of comments received, TTB intends to develop and propose 
other specific regulatory changes.
    Revisions to Distilled Spirits Plant Reporting Requirements. In FY 
2012, TTB published an NPRM proposing to revise regulations in part 19 
and replace the current four report forms used by distilled spirits 
plants to report their operations on a monthly basis with two new 
report forms that would be submitted on a monthly basis (plants that 
qualify to file taxes on a quarterly basis would submit the new reports 
on a quarterly basis). This project, which was included in the 
President's FY 2012 budget for TTB as a cost-saving item, will address 
numerous concerns and desires for improved reporting by the affected 
distilled spirits industry and result in cost savings to the industry 
and TTB by significantly reducing the number of monthly plant 
operations reports that must be completed and filed by industry members 
and processed by TTB. TTB preliminarily estimates that this project 
will result in an annual savings of approximately 23,218 paperwork 
burden hours (or 11.6 staff years) for industry members and 629 
processing hours (or 0.3 staff years) and $12,442 per year for TTB in 
contractor time. In addition, TTB estimates that this project will 
result in additional

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savings in staff time (approximately 3 staff years) equaling $300,000 
annually based on the more efficient and effective processing of 
reports and the use of report data to reconcile industry member tax 
accounts. Based on comments received in response to the NPRM, TTB will 
revise the proposed forms and publish them for additional public 
consideration, before issuing a final rule.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) was created by 
Congress to charter national banks, to oversee a nationwide system of 
banking institutions, and to assure that national banks are safe and 
sound, competitive and profitable, and capable of serving in the best 
possible manner the banking needs of their customers.
    The OCC seeks to assure a banking system in which national banks 
and Federal savings associations soundly manage their risks, maintain 
the ability to compete effectively with other providers of financial 
services, meet the needs of their communities for credit and financial 
services, comply with laws and regulations, and provide fair access to 
financial services and fair treatment of their customers.
    Significant rules issued during fiscal years 2011 and 2012 include:
    Alternatives to the Use of External Credit Ratings in the 
Regulations of the OCC (12 CFR parts 1, 16, and 28). Section 939A of 
the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-
Frank Act) directs all Federal agencies to review, no later than 1 year 
after enactment, any regulation that requires the use of an assessment 
of credit-worthiness of a security or money market instrument and any 
references to or requirements in regulations regarding credit ratings. 
The agencies are also required to remove references or requirements of 
reliance on credit ratings and to substitute an alternative standard of 
credit-worthiness. Through an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking 
(ANPRM), the OCC sought to gather information as it begins to review 
its regulations pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act. It described the areas 
where the OCC's regulations, other than those that establish regulatory 
capital requirements, currently rely on credit ratings; sets forth the 
considerations underlying such reliance; and requests comment on 
potential alternatives to the use of credit ratings. The ANPRM was 
published on August 13, 2010 (75 FR 49423). OTS published a parallel 
ANPRM on October 14, 2010 (75 FR 63107). OCC published an NPRM on 
November 29, 2011 (76 FR 73526) and a final rule on June 13, 2012. 77 
FR 35253.
    Regulatory Capital Rules (12 CFR parts 3, 5, 6, 165, 167). The OCC, 
FRB, and FDIC (banking agencies) issued three joint notices of proposed 
rulemaking (NPRM 1, NPRM 2, and NPRM 3) that would revise and replace 
their current capital rules and other OCC rules:
     NPRM 1: The banking agencies are proposing to revise their 
risk-based and leverage capital requirements consistent with agreements 
reached by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) in Basel 
III: A Global Regulatory Framework for More Resilient Banks and Banking 
Systems (Basel III). The rule includes implementation of a new common 
equity Tier 1 minimum capital requirement, a higher minimum Tier 1 
capital requirement, and, for banking organizations subject to the 
advanced approaches capital rules, a supplementary leverage ratio that 
incorporates a broader set of exposures in the denominator measure. The 
rule applies limits on capital distributions and certain discretionary 
bonus payments, and establishes more conservative standards for 
including an instrument in regulatory capital. The OCC is also 
proposing to amend its capital rules and Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) 
rules with respect to national banks (12 CFR parts 3 and 6, 
respectively) to make those rules applicable to Federal savings 
associations; to rescind the current capital rules and PCA rules 
applicable to Federal savings associations (12 CFR parts 165 and 167, 
respectively), with the exception of 12 CFR 165.8; and to make other 
technical changes related to Federal savings associations.
     NPRM 2: The banking agencies are proposing to amend their 
general risk-based capital requirements for calculating the denominator 
of a banking organization's risk-based capital ratios (Standardized 
Approach). The revisions would revise and harmonize the agencies' rules 
for calculating risk-weighted assets to enhance risk-sensitivity and 
address weaknesses identified over recent years, including by 
incorporating certain BCBS international capital standards. The 
agencies are proposing alternatives to credit ratings for calculating 
risk-weighted assets for certain assets and setting forth methodologies 
for determining risk-weighted assets for residential mortgages, 
securitization exposures, and counterparty credit risk. Disclosures are 
introduced that would apply to top-tier banking organizations domiciled 
in the United States with $50 billion or more in total assets.
     NPRM 3: The banking agencies are proposing to revise the 
advanced approaches risk-based capital rule to incorporate certain 
aspects of Basel III that would be applied only to advanced approach 
banking organizations. The revisions include replacing references to 
credit ratings with alternative standards of creditworthiness. The OCC 
is proposing that the market risk capital rule be applicable to Federal 
savings associations.
    The NPRMs were published on August 30, 2012. 77 FR 52792, 52888, 
52978.
    Risk-Based Capital Standards: Market Risk (12 CFR part 3). The 
banking agencies issued a final rule revising their market risk capital 
rules to modify their scope to better capture positions for which the 
market risk capital rules are appropriate; reduce procyclicality in 
market risk capital requirements; enhance the rules' sensitivity to 
risks that are not adequately captured under current regulatory 
measurement methodologies; and increase transparency through enhanced 
disclosures. An NPRM was published on January 11, 2011. 76 FR 1890. The 
final rule was published on August 30, 2012. 77 FR 53060.
    Short-Term Investment Funds (12 CFR part 9). This final rule 
updates the regulation of short-term investment funds (STIFs), a type 
of collective investment fund permissible under OCC regulations, 
through the addition of STIF eligibility requirements to ensure the 
safety of STIFs. The OCC issued an NPRM on April 9, 2012. 77 FR 21057. 
The final rule was issued on October 9, 2012. 77 FR 61229.
    Lending Limits for Derivative Transactions (12 CFR parts 32, 159, 
and 160). Section 610 of the Dodd-Frank Act amends the lending limits 
statute, 12 U.S.C. section 84, to apply it to any credit exposure to a 
person arising from a derivative transaction and certain other 
transactions between the bank and the person. 12 U.S.C. 1464(u)(1) 
applies this lending limit to savings associations. The amendment was 
effective 1 year after the transfer date, July 21, 2012. On June 21, 
2012, the OCC issued an interim final rule that implements section 610. 
This interim final rule also integrates savings associations into part 
32. 77 FR 37265.
    Truth in Lending Act (TILA) (12 CFR parts 34, 164). Appraisals for 
High Risk Mortgages. The banking agencies, CFPB, FHFA, and NCUA, have 
issued a proposed rule to amend Regulation Z and its official 
interpretation. The proposed revisions to Regulation Z

[[Page 1449]]

would implement a new TILA provision requiring appraisals for ``higher-
risk mortgages'' that was added to TILA as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. 
For mortgages with an annual percentage rate that exceeds market-based 
prime mortgage rate benchmarks by a specified percentage, the proposed 
rule generally would require creditors to obtain an appraisal or 
appraisals meeting certain specified standards, provide applicants with 
a notification regarding the use of the appraisals, and give applicants 
a copy of the written appraisals used. The NPRM was published on 
September 5, 2012. 77 FR 54722.
    Incentive-Based Compensation Arrangements (12 CFR part 42). Section 
956 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the banking agencies, NCUA, SEC, and 
FHFA, to jointly prescribe regulations or guidance prohibiting any type 
of incentive-based payment arrangement, or any feature of any such 
arrangement, that the regulators determine encourages inappropriate 
risks by covered financial institutions by providing an executive 
officer, employee, director, or principal shareholder with excessive 
compensation, fees or benefits, or that could lead to material 
financial loss to the covered financial institution. The Act also 
requires such agencies to jointly prescribe regulations or guidance 
requiring each covered financial institution to disclose to its 
regulator the structure of all incentive-based compensation 
arrangements offered by such institution sufficient to determine 
whether the compensation structure provides any officer, employee, 
director, or principal shareholder with excessive compensation or could 
lead to material financial loss to the institution. The agencies issued 
an NPRM on April 14, 2011. 76 FR 21170.
    Credit Risk Retention (12 CFR part 43). The banking agencies, SEC, 
FHFA, and HUD proposed rules to implement the credit risk retention 
requirements of section 15G of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 
U.S.C. section 78o-11), as added by section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Act. 
Section 15G generally requires the securitizer of asset-backed 
securities to retain not less than 5 percent of the credit risk of the 
assets collateralizing the asset-backed securities. Section 15G 
includes a variety of exemptions from these requirements, including an 
exemption for asset-backed securities that are collateralized 
exclusively by residential mortgages that qualify as ``qualified 
residential mortgages,'' as such term is defined by the Agencies by 
rule. This NPRM was published on April 29, 2011. 76 FR 24090.
    Prohibition and Restrictions on Proprietary Trading and Certain 
Interests In, and Relationships with, Hedge Funds and Private Equity 
Funds (12 CFR part 44). The banking agencies, SEC, and CFTC, issued 
proposed rules that implement section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which 
contains certain prohibitions and restrictions on the ability of 
banking entities and nonbank financial companies supervised by the 
Federal Reserve Board to engage in proprietary trading and have certain 
investments in, or relationships with, hedge funds or private equity 
funds. The OCC issued an NPRM on November 7, 2011. 75 FR 68846.
    Margin and Capital Requirements for Covered Swap Entities (12 CFR 
part 45). The banking agencies, FCA, and FHFA issued a proposed rule to 
establish minimum margin and capital requirements for registered swap 
dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers, and 
major security-based swap participants for which one of the Agencies is 
the prudential regulator. This proposed rule implements sections 731 
and 764 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which require the Agencies to adopt 
rules jointly to establish capital requirements and initial and 
variation margin requirements for such entities on all non-cleared 
swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps in order to offset the 
greater risk to such entities and the financial system arising from the 
use of swaps and security-based swaps that are not cleared. This NPRM 
was published on May 11, 2011. 76 FR 27564.
    Annual Stress Test (12 CFR part 46). This regulation will implement 
12 U.S.C. 5365(i) that requires annual stress testing to be conducted 
by financial companies with total consolidated assets of more than $10 
billion and will establish a definition of stress test, methodologies 
for conducting stress tests, and reporting and disclosure requirements. 
The OCC published an NPRM on January 24, 2012 and a final rule on 
October 9, 2012. 77 FR 3408, 61238.
    Integration of Savings Association Supervision (12 CFR chapter V). 
Pursuant to the transfer of OTS functions relating to Federal savings 
associations to the OCC, the OCC issued two rulemakings in FY 2011 that 
incorporated savings associations into certain OCC rules and 
republished former OTS rules as OCC rules. An interim final rule was 
published on August 9, 2011 (76 FR 48950), and a final rule was 
published on July 21, 2012 (76 FR 43549).
    Retail Foreign Exchange Transactions (12 CFR part 48). The OCC 
engaged in a rulemaking on retail foreign exchange transactions 
involving national banks to implement section 742 of the Dodd-Frank 
Act. The proposed rule was published on April 22, 2011 (76 FR 22633) 
and the final rule was published on July 14, 2011 (76 FR 41384). The 
final rule was amended through an interim final rule to apply to 
Federal savings associations on September 12, 2011 (76 FR 56096).
    Civil Money Penalty Inflation Adjustment (12 CFR parts 19 and 109). 
The OCC has amended its rules of practice and procedure for national 
banks, set forth at 12 CFR part 19, and its rules of practice and 
procedure in adjudicatory proceedings for Federal savings associations, 
set forth at 12 CFR part 109, to adjust the maximum amount of each 
civil money penalty (CMP) within its jurisdiction to administer to 
account for inflation. These actions, including the amount of the 
adjustment, are required under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation 
Adjustment Act of 1990 (Inflation Adjustment Act), as amended by the 
Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996. This final rule was published 
on November 6, 2012. 77 FR 66529.
    Regulatory priorities for fiscal year 2013 include finalizing the 
proposals listed above as well as initiating the following rulemakings:
    Source of Strength. (12 CFR part 47). The OCC plans to issue a 
proposed rule to implement section 616(d) of the Dodd-Frank Act. 
Section 616(d) requires that bank holding companies, savings and loan 
holding companies and companies that directly or indirectly control an 
insurance depository institution serve as a source of strength for the 
insured depository institution. The appropriate Federal banking agency 
for the insured depository institution may require that the company 
submit a report that would assess the company's ability to comply with 
the provisions of the statute and its compliance. The OCC, the FDIC, 
and the Federal Reserve are required to jointly issue regulations to 
implement these requirements.
    Integration of Savings Association Supervision (12 CFR chapter V). 
The OCC plans to issue one or more rulemakings resulting from our 
review of OCC rules applicable to banks and/or savings associations 
that will consolidate our rules and establish, to the extent 
practicable, consistent regulations for national banks and federal 
savings associations.
    Appraisal Management Companies (12 CFR part 34). The OCC plans to 
issue a proposed rule that will set minimum standards for state

[[Page 1450]]

registration and regulation of appraisal management companies.

Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

    Pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563 ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review'' (Jan. 18, 2011), the following 
Regulatory Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated 
with retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan. Some of these entries on this 
list may be completed actions, which do not appear in ``The Regulatory 
Plan.'' However, more information can be found about these completed 
rulemakings in past publications of the Unified Agenda on Reginfo.gov 
in the Completed Actions section for that agency. These rulemakings can 
also be found on Regulations.gov. Treasury's final plan can be found 
at: www.treasury.gov/open.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              RIN                                 Title
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1545-BF40.....................  Definitions and Special Rules Regarding
                                 Accuracy-Related Penalties on
                                 Underpayments and Reportable
                                 Transaction Understatements and the
                                 Reasonable Cause Exception.
1513-AB54.....................  Modernization of the Alcohol Beverage
                                 Labeling and Advertising Regulations.
1513-AB39.....................  Revision of American Viticultural Area
                                 Regulations.
1513-AA23.....................  Revision of Distilled Spirits Plant
                                 Regulations.
1513-AB59.....................  Proposed Revisions to SDA and CDA
                                 Formulas Regulations.
1513-AB72.....................  Implementation of Statutory Amendments
                                 Requiring the Qualification of
                                 Manufacturers and Importers of
                                 Processed Tobacco and Other Amendments.
1513-AB62.....................  Proposed Revisions to Distilled Spirits
                                 for Fuel Use and Alcohol Fuel Plant
                                 Regulations.
1513-AB35.....................  Self-Certification of Nonbeverage
                                 Product Formulas.
1513-AB94.....................  Penal Sum Exception for Brewers Eligible
                                 To File Federal Excise Tax Returns and
                                 Payments Quarterly and Other Proposed
                                 Revisions to the Beer Regulation.
1513-AB89.....................  Revisions to Distilled Spirits Plant
                                 Operations Reports and Regulations.
1515-AD67.....................  Courtesy Notice of Liquidation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

International Regulatory Cooperation

    On May 1, 2012, the President signed Executive Order 13609, 
``Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation,'' which is designed 
to promote economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job 
creation through international regulatory cooperation. Although much of 
the Department's regulations are not covered by the Order (see section 
6), the Department is committed to furthering the goals of the Order 
and looks for opportunities to engage in discussions that lead to 
increased and improved regulatory cooperation.

BILLING CODE 4810-25-P

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA)

Statement of Regulatory Priorities

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers benefit 
programs that recognize the important public obligations to those who 
served this Nation. VA's regulatory responsibility is almost solely 
confined to carrying out mandates of the laws enacted by Congress 
relating to programs for veterans and their beneficiaries. VA's major 
regulatory objective is to implement these laws with fairness, justice, 
and efficiency.
    Most of the regulations issued by VA involve at least one of three 
VA components: The Veterans Benefits Administration, the Veterans 
Health Administration, and the National Cemetery Administration. The 
primary mission of the Veterans Benefits Administration is to provide 
high-quality and timely nonmedical benefits to eligible veterans and 
their beneficiaries. The primary mission of the Veterans Health 
Administration is to provide high-quality health care on a timely basis 
to eligible veterans through its system of medical centers, nursing 
homes, domiciliaries, and outpatient medical and dental facilities. The 
primary mission of the National Cemetery Administration is to bury 
eligible veterans, members of the Reserve components, and their 
dependents in VA National Cemeteries and to maintain those cemeteries 
as national shrines in perpetuity as a final tribute of a grateful 
Nation to honor the memory and service of those who served in the Armed 
Forces.

VA Regulatory Priorities

    VA's regulatory priorities include a special project to undertake a 
comprehensive review and improvement of its existing regulations. The 
first portion of this project is devoted to reviewing, reorganizing, 
and rewriting the VA's compensation and pension regulations found in 38 
CFR part 3. The goal of the Regulation Rewrite Project is to improve 
the clarity and logical consistency of these regulations in order to 
better inform veterans and their family members of their entitlements.
    A second VA regulatory priority includes a new caregiver benefits 
program provided by VA. This rule implements title I of the Caregivers 
and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, which was signed into 
law on May 5, 2010. The purpose of the new caregiver benefits program 
is to provide certain medical, travel, training, and financial benefits 
to caregivers of certain veterans and servicemembers who were seriously 
injured in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001.

Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations

    Pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563 ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review'' (Jan. 18, 2011), the following 
Regulatory Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated 
with retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan. Some of these entries on this 
list may be completed actions, which do not appear in The Regulatory 
Plan. However, more information can be found about these completed 
rulemakings in past publications of the Unified Agenda on Reginfo.gov 
in the Completed Actions section for that agency. These rulemakings can 
also be found on Regulations.gov. The final agency plans can be found 
at: http://www.va.gov/ORPM/docs/RegMgmt_VA_EO13563_RegRevPlan20110810.docx.

[[Page 1451]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Significantly  reduce
           RIN                   Title             burdens on  small
                                                      businesses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2900-AO13*..............  VA Compensation     No.
                           and Pension
                           Regulation
                           Rewrite Project.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Consolidating Proposed Rules: 2900-AL67, AL70, AL71, AL72, AL74, AL76,
  AL82, AL83, AL84, AL87, AL88, AL89, AL94, AL95, AM01, AM04, AM05,
  AM06, AM07, AM16.

BILLING CODE 8320-01-P

ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD

FY 2013 Regulatory Plan

Statement of Regulatory and Deregulatory Priorities

    The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board 
(Access Board) is an independent federal agency established by section 
502 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 792). The Access Board is 
responsible for developing accessibility guidelines and standards under 
various laws to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access 
to and use of buildings and facilities, transportation vehicles, and 
information and communication technology. Other federal agencies adopt 
the accessibility guidelines and standards issued by the Access Board 
as mandatory requirements for entities under their jurisdiction.
    The Access Board is engaged in a number of regulatory efforts to 
promote accessibility that are reflected in the agency's regulatory 
agenda for FY 2013. This plan highlights three regulatory priorities 
for the Access Board in FY 2013: (A) Passenger Vessel Accessibility 
Guidelines; (B) Information and Communication Technology Standards and 
Guidelines; and (C) Accessibility Standards for Medical Diagnostic 
Equipment.
    Each of these regulatory priorities is expected to provide 
significant benefits to citizens. By promoting equality of opportunity, 
the proposed regulations would enable individuals with disabilities to 
achieve greater participation in our society, independent living, and 
economic self-sufficiency. Each highlighted proposal promotes our 
national values of equity, human dignity, and fairness, the benefits of 
which are impossible to monetize.
    In addition, the Information and Communication Technology Standards 
and Guidelines would also promote open government for all people, 
regardless of disability status, by providing federal agencies with 
standards to ensure that when they procure, develop, maintain or use 
electronic and information technology, that citizens and employees who 
are individuals with disabilities have access to and use of information 
and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information 
and data by others without disabilities.
    The Access Board expects that the Information and Communication 
Technology Standards and Guidelines will have international impacts, 
and we have incorporated into our rulemaking process extensive outreach 
efforts to industry representatives, disability groups, standard-
setting bodies in the U.S. and abroad such as the World Wide Web 
Consortium, and other countries such as representatives from the 
European Commission, Canada, Australia, and Japan.
    These three initiatives are summarized below.
A. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for 
Passenger Vessels (RIN 3014-AA11)
    The Access Board plans to issue an NPRM requesting public comment 
on the proposed accessibility guidelines for passenger vessels, 
pursuant to Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 
Passenger vessels may include certain types of cruise ships, excursion 
vessels, ferries, and tenders. The Access Board published an advance 
notice of proposed rulemaking in 2004, and made drafts of the 
guidelines available for public review and comment in 2004 and 2006. 
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and U.S. Department of 
Justice (DOJ) are required to issue accessibility standards for the 
construction and alteration of passenger vessels covered by the ADA 
that are consistent with the guidelines issued by the Access Board. 
When DOT and DOJ issue accessibility standards, vessel owners and 
operators are required to comply with the standards.
    The proposed guidelines would apply to the construction and 
alteration of passenger vessels; they would not require existing 
passenger vessels to be retrofitted. The proposed guidelines would 
contain scoping and technical provisions. Scoping provisions specify 
what passenger vessel features would be required to be accessible and, 
where multiple features of the same type are provided, how many of the 
features would be required to be accessible. Technical provisions 
specify the design criteria for accessible features. The passenger 
vessel features addressed by the scoping and technical provisions 
include onboard accessible routes connecting passenger decks and 
passenger amenities, accessible means of escape, doors and thresholds 
or coamings, toilet rooms, wheelchair spaces in assembly areas and 
transportation seating areas, assistive listening systems, and guest 
rooms and other spaces and facilities used by passengers.
    A.1 Statement of Need: Section 504 of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (ADA) requires the Access Board to issue accessibility 
guidelines for the construction and alteration of passenger vessels 
covered by the law to ensure that the vessels are readily accessible to 
and usable by individuals with disabilities (42 U.S.C. 12204).
    A.2 Summary of the Legal Basis: Title II of the ADA applies to 
state and local governments and Title III of the ADA applies to places 
of public accommodation operated by private entities. The ADA covers 
designated public transportation services provided by state and local 
governments and specified public transportation services provided by 
private entities that are primarily engaged in the business of 
transporting people and whose operations affect commerce. (See 42 
U.S.C. 12141 to 12147 and 12184.) Passenger vessels that provide 
designated public transportation services or specified public 
transportation services such as ferries and excursion vessels, and 
passenger vessels that are places of public accommodation such as 
vessels that provide dinner or sightseeing cruises are covered by the 
ADA.
    Titles II and III of the ADA require the DOT and DOJ to issue 
accessibility standards for the construction and alteration of 
passenger vessels covered by the law that are consistent with the 
guidelines issued by the Access Board. (See 42 U.S.C. 12134 (c), 12149 
(b), and 12186 (c).) The DOT has reserved a subpart in its ADA 
regulations for accessibility standards for passenger vessels in 
anticipation of the Access Board issuing these guidelines. (See 49 CFR 
part 39, subpart E.) When DOT and DOJ issue accessibility standards for 
the

[[Page 1452]]

construction and alteration of passenger vessels covered by the ADA, 
vessel owners and operators are required to comply with the standards.
    A.3 Alternatives: In developing the proposed accessibility 
guidelines, the Access Board has received and considered extensive 
input from passenger vessel owners and operators, individuals with 
disabilities, and other interested parties for more than a decade. The 
Access Board convened an advisory committee comprised of passenger 
vessel industry trade groups, passenger vessel owners and operators, 
disability advocacy groups, and state and local government agencies to 
advise how to develop the accessibility guidelines. The committee 
submitted its report to the Access Board in 2000. In addition, over the 
years, the Access Board issued an ANPRM and three versions of draft 
accessibility guidelines and conducted in-depth case studies on various 
passenger vessels. The Access Board solicited and analyzed public 
comments on these documents in developing the proposed guidelines and 
regulatory impact analysis. All the published documents together with 
public comments are available on the Access Board's Web site at: http://www.access-board.gov/pvaac/.
    A.4 Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The anticipated compliance 
costs for certain types of vessels would include: (1) The difference 
between the cost of constructing a vessel in the absence of the 
proposed guidelines and the cost of constructing a vessel complying 
with the guidelines and (2) the additional operation and maintenance 
costs incurred by vessel owners and operators as a result of complying 
with the guidelines. For certain large cruise ships, the compliance 
costs would be estimated based on the number of standard guest rooms 
and revenues that would be lost when the cruise ships would be replaced 
by new vessels complying with the proposed guidelines. According to the 
cruise industry, two guest rooms with mobility features occupy the same 
square footage as three standard guest rooms resulting in the loss of 
one standard guest room for every two guest rooms with mobility 
features. The Board's preliminary estimate of the cost of the draft 
proposed rule they range from $4 million in 2013 to $45 million in 2012 
discounted at 7 percent. The estimate for 2012 is higher than any other 
year because the methodology assumes that existing vessels would be 
replaced at the end of their expected service life and a large number 
of existing vessels are beyond their expect service life so a 
disproportionate share of the compliance costs are front loaded in the 
first year.
    The Board has not quantified the benefits of the proposed 
guidelines, but they would afford individuals with disabilities the 
opportunity to travel on passenger vessels for employment, 
transportation, public accommodation, and leisure. By promoting 
equality of opportunity, the proposed guidelines would afford 
individuals with disabilities to achieve greater participation in our 
society, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. The 
proposed guidelines would promote our national values of equity, human 
dignity, and fairness, the benefits of which are impossible to 
quantify.
B. Information and Communication Technology Standards and Guidelines 
(RIN: 3014-AA37)
    The Access Board plans to issue an NPRM to update its standards for 
electronic and information technology covered by section 508 of the 
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794(d)) (Section 508) 
and its guidelines for telecommunication products and equipment covered 
by section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. 153, 
255) (Section 255).
    The Board published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
(ANPRM) in the Federal Register in March 2010, 75 FR 13457 (March 22, 
2010). The Board held two public hearings and received 384 comments on 
the 2010 ANPRM and prepared a 2011 ANPRM based on a review of those 
comments. The 2011 ANPRM was published in the Federal Register in 
December 2011, 76 FR 76640 (December 8, 2011), and the Access Board 
held public hearings on January 11, 2012 and March 1, 2012. The Access 
Board is currently preparing an NPRM based on public comments on the 
2011 ANPRM.
    B.1 Statement of Need: The Board issued the Electronic and 
Information Technology Accessibility Standards in December 2000, (65 FR 
80500, December 21, 2000), and the Telecommunications Act Accessibility 
Guidelines for telecommunications equipment and customer premises 
equipment in February 1998 (63 FR 5608, February 3, 1998). Since these 
standards and the guidelines were issued, technology has evolved and 
changed. Telecommunications products and electronic and information 
technology products have converged. For example, smartphones can 
perform many of the same functions as computers. Real time text 
technologies and video relay services are replacing TTYs (text 
telephones). The Board has since decided to update and revise these 
guidelines and the standards together to address changes in technology 
and to make both documents consistent.
    B.2 Summary of the Legal Basis: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation 
Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 794 (d) (Section 508) requires that 
when developing, procuring, maintaining, or using electronic and 
information technology, each federal department or agency must ensure, 
unless an undue burden would be imposed on the department or agency, 
that electronic and information technology (regardless of the type of 
medium) allows individuals with disabilities to have access to and use 
of information and data that is comparable to the access and use of the 
information and data by others without disabilities. Section 255 of the 
Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 153, 255 (Section 255) 
requires telecommunications manufacturers to ensure that 
telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment are 
designed, developed, and fabricated to be accessible to and usable by 
individuals with disabilities when it is readily achievable to do so.
    Section 508 and Section 255 require that the Access Board 
periodically review and, as appropriate, amend the standards and 
guidelines to reflect technological advances or changes in electronic 
and information technology or in telecommunications equipment and 
customer premises equipment. Once revised, the Board's standards and 
guidelines are made enforceable by other federal agencies. Section 
508(a)(3) of the Rehabilitation Act provides that within 6 months after 
the Access Board revises its standards, the Federal Acquisition 
Regulatory Council shall revise the Federal Acquisition Regulation and 
each appropriate federal department or agency shall revise their 
procurement policies and directives, as necessary, to incorporate the 
revisions.
    B.3 Alternatives: In developing the ANPRMs, the Board has solicited 
various stakeholders' views and practices. The Access Board formed the 
Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory 
Committee (TEITAC) in 2006 to review the existing guidelines and 
standards and to recommend changes. TEITAC's 41 members comprised a 
broad cross-section of stakeholders, including representatives from 
industry, disability groups, and a number of government agencies in the 
U.S. and abroad--the European Commission, Canada, Australia, and Japan. 
Recognizing the importance of standardization across

[[Page 1453]]

markets worldwide, TEITAC coordinated its work with standard-setting 
bodies in the U.S. and abroad, such as the World Wide Web Consortium 
(W3C). TEITAC members addressed a range of issues, including new or 
convergent technologies, market forces, and international 
harmonization. On April 3, 2008, TEITAC presented its report to the 
Board. The report recommended revisions to the Board's Section 508 
standards and Section 255 guidelines. The report is available on the 
Board's Web site at www.access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/report/.
    B.4 Anticipated Costs and Benefits:
    The Access Board is seeking input from the public on costs and 
benefits associated with the standards, and working with an outside 
contractor to assess costs and benefits associated with the proposed 
rule and to support the preliminary regulatory impact assessment that 
will accompany the proposed rule.
    The Information and Communication Technology Standards and 
Guidelines will promote open government for all people, regardless of 
disability status, by providing federal agencies with standards to 
ensure that when they procure, develop, maintain or use electronic and 
information technology, that citizens and employees who are individuals 
with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that 
is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data by 
others without disabilities.
    The Access Board expects that the Information and Communication 
Technology Standards and Guidelines will have international impacts. 
Accordingly, the agency has incorporated into its rulemaking process 
extensive outreach efforts to include industry representatives, 
disability groups, standard-setting bodies in the U.S. and abroad such 
as the World Wide Web Consortium, and other countries such as 
representatives from the European Commission, Canada, Australia, and 
Japan.
C. Accessibility Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment (RIN: 3014-
AA40)
    The Access Board plans to issue a final rule establishing 
accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment used in or in 
conjunction with medical settings such as physicians' offices, clinics, 
emergency rooms, and hospitals pursuant to Section 510 of the 
Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794f).
    The Access Board published its NPRM with proposed accessibility 
standards for notice and comment in the Federal Register on February 9, 
2012, 77 FR 6916. The Access Board's NPRM includes technical design 
criteria concerning medical equipment that is commonly used by health 
professionals for diagnostic purposes such as examination tables, 
examination chairs, weight scales, mammography equipment, and other 
imaging. The NPRM is available at: http://www.access-board.gov/mde/nprm.htm. Since the NPRM publication, the Access Board held two public 
hearings, on March 14, 2012 and May 8, 2012; the comment period closed 
on June 8, 2012.
    C.1 Statement of Need: Under section 510 of the Rehabilitation Act 
(29 U.S.C. 794f), the Access Board, in consultation with the 
Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, is required to issue 
standards that contain minimum technical criteria to ensure that 
medical diagnostic equipment used in or in conjunction with medical 
settings such as physicians' offices, clinics, emergency rooms, and 
hospitals are accessible to and usable by individuals with 
disabilities. The statute provides that the standards must allow for 
independent access to and use of the medical diagnostic equipment by 
individuals with disabilities to the maximum extent possible. Section 
510 of the Rehabilitation Act requires the standards to be issued not 
later than 24 months after the enactment of the Patient Protection and 
Affordable Care Act (P. L. 111-148, 124 Stat. 570). The statutory 
deadline for issuing the standards was March 23, 2012.
    C.2 Summary of the Legal Basis: Section 4203 of the Patient 
Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148, 124 Stat. 570) 
amended title V of the Rehabilitation Act, which establishes rights and 
protections for individuals with disabilities, by adding section 510.
    C.3 Alternatives: In developing the NPRM, the Access Board has 
considered and will continue to consider alternatives proposed by a 
variety of stakeholders. First, the Access Board considered approaches 
contained in the Association for the Advancement of Medical 
Instrumentation's ANSI/AAMI HE 75:2009, ``Human factors engineering-
Design of medical devices'' in developing the proposed standards. ANSI/
AAMI HE 75 is a recommended practice that provides guidance on human 
factors design principles for medical devices. In particular, Chapter 
16 of ANSI/AAMI HE 75 provides guidance on accessibility for patients 
and health care professionals with disabilities (Chapter 16 of ANSI/
AAMI HE 75 is available at: http://www.aami.org/he75/). The Access 
Board's proposed standards do not reference the guidance in cha