[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 4 (Tuesday, January 7, 2014)]
[Unknown Section]
[Pages 895-1109]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-29627]



[[Page 895]]

Vol. 79

Tuesday,

No. 4

January 7, 2014

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. 79 , No. 4 / Tuesday, January 7, 2014 / 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 incorporated in Executive Order 
13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'' issued on January 
18, 2011 (76 FR 3821) establish guidelines and procedures 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.
    The complete 2013 Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan, which 
contains the regulatory agendas for 60 Federal agencies, is available 
to the public at http://reginfo.gov.
    The 2013 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 (MVE), General 
Services Administration, 1800 F Street NW., 2219F, Washington, DC 
20405.

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 (MVE), General Services Administration, 1800 
F Street NW., 2219F, Washington, DC 20405, (202) 482-7340. You may also 
send comments to us by email at: RISC@gsa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

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

I. What are the Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda?
II. Why are the Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda published?
III. How are the Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda organized?
IV. What information appears for each entry?
V. Abbreviations
VI. How can users get copies of the Plan and the Agenda?

Introduction to the Fall 2013 Regulatory Plan

Agency Regulatory Plans

Cabinet Departments

Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of the Interior
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of Transportation
Department of the Treasury
Department of Veterans Affairs

Other Executive Agencies

Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
Environmental Protection Agency
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
General Services Administration
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Archives and Records Administration
Office of Personnel Management
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Small Business Administration
Social Security Administration

Independent Regulatory Agencies

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Federal Trade Commission
National Indian Gaming Commission
Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Agency Agendas

Cabinet Departments

Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of the Interior
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of Transportation
Department of the Treasury

Other Executive Agencies

Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
Environmental Protection Agency
General Services Administration
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Small Business Administration

Joint Authority

Department of Defense/General Services Administration/National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration (Federal Acquisition 
Regulation)

Independent Regulatory Agencies

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Federal Communications Commission
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Federal Reserve System
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Securities and Exchange Commission

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 2013 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

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Flexibility Act and Executive Order 12866 (incorporated in Executive 
Order 13563), 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 State
Department of Veterans Affairs*
Agency for International Development
Commission on Civil Rights
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 *
Institute of Museum and Library Services
National Archives and Records Administration *
National Endowment for the Arts
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 *
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
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
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 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

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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 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

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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.
    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 
2013.
    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-

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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 2013 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. 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.
    PL (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

[[Page 901]]

documents are available at http://www.fdsys.gov.

    Dated: November 26, 2013.
John C. Thomas,
Executive Director.

Introduction to the 2013 Unified Regulatory Agenda and 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, the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs is providing the Unified Regulatory 
Agenda (Agenda) and the Regulatory Plan (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 includes ``active rulemakings'' that have at least some 
possibility of issuance over the next year, but, as in previous years, 
this list may include rules that are not issued in the coming year.
    The public examination of the Agenda and Plan will help ensure a 
regulatory system that, in the words of Executive Order 13563, protects 
``public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting 
economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.''
    The 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 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.
    A central purpose of the Agenda is to involve the public, including 
State, local, and tribal officials, in federal regulatory planning. We 
emphasize that rules listed on the Agenda must still undergo 
significant development and scrutiny, both within the agencies and 
externally, before they are issued. No regulatory action can become 
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 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 transfer payments as required or 
authorized by law. For 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.
    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 with rulemaking 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 agency regulatory decision making:
     Public participation. Agencies are directed to promote 
public participation, in part by making supporting documents available 
on Regulations.gov 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

[[Page 902]]

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 new regulations that are under 
development and 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. The 
prospective analysis required by Executive Order 13563 may depend on a 
degree of prediction and speculation about likely impacts, 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.
    In addition, circumstances may change in a way that requires 
reconsideration of regulatory requirements. As retrospective or ``look 
back'' analysis is 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. The regulatory look back 
is an ongoing exercise, and regular reporting about recent progress and 
coming initiatives is required.
    In August 2011, over two dozen agencies developed plans to remove 
what the President called unjustified rules and ``absurd and 
unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money.'' The 
plans include over 500 initiatives that will reduce costs, simplify the 
system, and eliminate redundancy and inconsistency--which means many 
billions of dollars in savings for American businesses. Already, the 
Administration is on track to save more than $10 billion dollars in the 
near term, with far more savings to come.
    In July 2013, agencies submitted to OIRA their latest updates of 
their retrospective review plans, pursuant to Executive Orders 13563 
and 13610. Many of the initiatives highlighted in the updated plans 
benefit small businesses. Federal agencies will update their 
retrospective review plans this winter.
    We have asked agencies to emphasize regulatory look backs in their 
latest Regulatory Plans. 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 May 2012 President Obama issued Executive Order 13609, 
``Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation,'' which 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 look 
back 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.''
    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.

                                            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.............................  Environmental Compliance          0560-AH02  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 and Related Concerns.
3.............................  Agriculture Priorities            0560-AH68  Final Rule Stage.
                                 and Allocations Systems.
4.............................  Viruses, Serums, Toxins,          0579-AD64  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 and Analogous Products;
                                 Single Label Claim for
                                 Veterinary Biological
                                 Products.
5.............................  Brucellosis and Bovine            0579-AD65  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Tuberculosis; Update of
                                 General Provisions.
6.............................  Establishing a                    0579-AD71  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Performance Standard for
                                 Authorizing the
                                 Importation and
                                 Interstate Movement of
                                 Fruits and Vegetables.
7.............................  User Fees for                     0579-AD77  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Agricultural Quarantine
                                 and Inspection Services.
8.............................  Civil Rights Compliance           0575-AA83  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Requirements.
9.............................  Loan Packager                     0575-AC88  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Certification.
10............................  Child Nutrition Program           0584-AE08  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Integrity.
11............................  Child and Adult Care Food         0584-AE18  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Program: Meal Pattern
                                 Revisions Related to the
                                 Healthy, Hunger-Free
                                 Kids Act of 2010.
12............................  Enhancing Retailer                0584-AE27  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Eligibility Standards in
                                 SNAP.
13............................  Special Supplemental              0584-AD77  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Nutrition Program for
                                 Women, Infants, and
                                 Children (WIC):
                                 Revisions in the WIC
                                 Food Packages.
14............................  Eligibility,                      0584-AD87  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Certification, and
                                 Employment and Training
                                 Provisions of the Food,
                                 Conservation, and Energy
                                 Act of 2008.
15............................  Records to be Kept by             0583-AD46  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Official Establishments
                                 and Retail Stores That
                                 Grind Raw Beef Products.
16............................  Modernization of Poultry          0583-AD32  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Slaughter Inspection.

[[Page 903]]

 
17............................  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.
18............................  Common or Usual Name for          0583-AD43  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Raw Meat and Poultry
                                 Products Containing
                                 Added Solutions.
19............................  Descriptive Designation           0583-AD45  Final Rule Stage.
                                 for Needle- or Blade-
                                 Tenderized (Mechanically
                                 Tenderized) Beef
                                 Products.
20............................  Forest Service Manual             0596-AC82  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 2020--Ecological
                                 Restoration and
                                 Resilience Policy.
21............................  Land Management Planning          0596-AD06  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Rule Policy.
22............................  Nondiscrimination in              0503-AA52  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Programs or Activities
                                 Conducted by the United
                                 States Department of
                                 Agriculture.
23............................  Business and Industry             0570-AA85  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 (B&I) Guaranteed Loan
                                 Program.
24............................  Rural Energy for America          0570-AA76  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Program.
25............................  BioPreferred Program              0599-AA18  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Guidelines Revisions.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                              Department of Defense
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
26............................  Defense Industrial Base           0790-AJ14  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 (DIB) Cyber Security/
                                 Information Assurance
                                 (CS/IA) Activities;
                                 Amendment.
27............................  Service Academies........         0790-AI19  Final Rule Stage.
28............................  Sexual Assault Prevention         0790-AI36  Final Rule Stage.
                                 and Response Program
                                 Procedures.
29............................  Operational Contract              0790-AI48  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Support.
30............................  Mission Compatibility             0790-AI69  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Evaluation Process.
31............................  Child Development                 0790-AI81  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Programs (CDPs).
32............................  Voluntary Education               0790-AJ06  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Programs.
33............................  Safeguarding Unclassified         0750-AG47  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Controlled Technical
                                 Information (DFARS Case
                                 2011-D039).
34............................  Requirements Relating to          0750-AH96  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Supply Chain Risk (DFARS
                                 Case 2012-D050).
35............................  Enhancement of Contractor         0750-AH97  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Employee Whistleblower
                                 Protections (DFARS Case
                                 2013-D010).
36............................  Allowability of Legal             0750-AI04  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Costs for Whistleblower
                                 Proceedings (DFARS Case
                                 2013-D022).
37............................  TRICARE; Reimbursement of         0720-AB47  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Long Term Care Hospitals.
38............................  TRICARE: Certified Mental         0720-AB55  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Health Counselors.
39............................  CHAMPUS/TRICARE: Pilot            0720-AB60  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Program for Refills of
                                 Maintenance Medications
                                 for TRICARE For Life
                                 Beneficiaries Through
                                 the TRICARE Mail Order
                                 Program.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                             Department of Education
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
40............................  Gainful Employment.......         1840-AD15  Proposed Rule Stage.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                              Department of Energy
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             identifier No.             Rulemaking stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
41............................  Energy Conservation               1904-AB86  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for Walk-In
                                 Coolers and Walk-In
                                 Freezers.
42............................  Energy Efficiency                 1904-AC00  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for Metal
                                 Halide Lamp Fixtures.
43............................  Energy Efficiency                 1904-AC11  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for
                                 Manufactured Housing.
44............................  Energy Conservation               1904-AC19  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for Commercial
                                 Refrigeration Equipment.
45............................  Energy Conservation               1904-AC22  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for
                                 Residential Furnace Fans.
46............................  Energy Efficiency                 1904-AC28  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for Certain
                                 Commercial and
                                 Industrial Electric
                                 Motors.
47............................  Energy Efficiency                 1904-AB57  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for Battery
                                 Chargers and External
                                 Power Supplies.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                     Department of Health and Human Services
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
48............................  HIPAA Privacy Rule and            0945-AA05  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 the National Instant
                                 Criminal Background
                                 Check System (NICS).

[[Page 904]]

 
49............................  Food Labeling; Revision           0910-AF22  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 of the Nutrition and
                                 Supplement Facts Labels.
50............................  Food Labeling: Serving            0910-AF23  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Sizes of Foods That Can
                                 Reasonably Be Consumed
                                 At One-Eating Occasion;
                                 Dual-Column Labeling;
                                 Updating, Modifying, and
                                 Establishing Certain
                                 RACCs.
51............................  Current Good                      0910-AG10  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Manufacturing Practice,
                                 Hazard Analysis, and
                                 Risk-Based Preventive
                                 Controls for Food for
                                 Animals.
52............................  ``Tobacco Products''              0910-AG38  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Subject to the Federal
                                 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic
                                 Act, as Amended by the
                                 Family Smoking
                                 Prevention and Tobacco
                                 Control Act.
53............................  Reports of Distribution           0910-AG45  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 and Sales Information
                                 for Antimicrobial Active
                                 Ingredients Used in Food-
                                 Producing Animals.
54............................  Revision of Postmarketing         0910-AG88  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Reporting Requirements
                                 Discontinuance or
                                 Interruption in Supply
                                 of Certain Products
                                 (Drug Shortages).
55............................  Supplemental Applications         0910-AG94  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Proposing Labeling
                                 Changes for Approved
                                 Drugs and Biological
                                 Products.
56............................  Veterinary Feed Directive         0910-AG95  Proposed Rule Stage.
57............................  Food Labeling: Calorie            0910-AG56  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Labeling of Articles of
                                 Food Sold in Vending
                                 Machines.
58............................  Food Labeling: Nutrition          0910-AG57  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Labeling of Standard
                                 Menu Items in
                                 Restaurants and Similar
                                 Retail Food
                                 Establishments.
59............................  Fire Safety Requirements          0938-AR72  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Certain Health Care
                                 Facilities (CMS-3277-P).
60............................  Durable Medical                   0938-AR84  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Equipment, Prosthetics,
                                 Orthotics, and Supplies
                                 (DMEPOS): Special
                                 Payment Rules (CMS-6012-
                                 P).
61............................  Eligibility, Enrollment,          0938-AS02  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 and Appeals Updates (CMS-
                                 9949-P).
62............................  Hospital Inpatient                0938-AS11  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Prospective Payment
                                 System for Acute Care
                                 Hospitals and the Long-
                                 Term Care Hospital
                                 Prospective Payment
                                 System and Fiscal Year
                                 2015 Rates (CMS-1607-P).
63............................  CY 2015 Revisions to              0938-AS12  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Payment Policies under
                                 the Physician Fee
                                 Schedule and Other
                                 Revisions to Medicare
                                 Part B (CMS-1612-P).
64............................  CY 2015 Hospital                  0938-AS15  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Outpatient Prospective
                                 Payment System (PPS)
                                 Policy Changes and
                                 Payment Rates, and CY
                                 2015 Ambulatory Surgical
                                 Center Payment System
                                 Policy Changes and
                                 Payment Rates (CMS-1613-
                                 P).
65............................  CLIA Programs and HIPAA           0938-AQ38  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Privacy Rule; Patients'
                                 Access to Test Reports
                                 (CMS-2319-F).
66............................  Head Start Eligibility            0970-AC46  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Determination.
67............................  Child Care and                    0970-AC53  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Development Fund Reforms
                                 to Support Child
                                 Development and Working
                                 Families.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                         Department of Homeland Security
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
68............................  Ammonium Nitrate Security         1601-AA52  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Program.
69............................  Asylum and Withholding            1615-AA41  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Definitions.
70............................  Exception to the                  1615-AB89  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Persecution Bar for
                                 Asylum, Refugee, and
                                 Temporary Protected
                                 Status, and Withholding
                                 of Removal.
71............................  Employment Authorization          1615-AB92  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Certain H-4
                                 Dependent Spouses.
72............................  Application of the                1615-AB96  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 William Wilberforce
                                 Trafficking Victims
                                 Protection
                                 Reauthorization Act of
                                 2008 to Unaccompanied
                                 Alien Children Seeking
                                 Asylum.
73............................  Administrative Appeals            1615-AB98  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Office: Procedural
                                 Reforms To Improve
                                 Efficiency.
74............................  Enhancing Opportunities           1615-AC00  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for H-1B1, CW-1, and E-3
                                 Nonimmigrants and EB-1
                                 Immigrants.
75............................  Classification for                1615-AA59  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Victims of Severe Forms
                                 of Trafficking in
                                 Persons; Eligibility for
                                 T Nonimmigrant Status.
76............................  New Classification for            1615-AA67  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Victims of Criminal
                                 Activity; Eligibility
                                 for the U Nonimmigrant
                                 Status.
77............................  Application of                    1615-AB77  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Immigration Regulations
                                 to the Commonwealth of
                                 the Northern Mariana
                                 Islands.
78............................  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.
79............................  Vessel Requirements for           1625-AA99  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Notices of Arrival and
                                 Departure, and Automatic
                                 Identification System.
80............................  Transportation Worker             1625-AB21  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Identification
                                 Credential (TWIC); Card
                                 Reader Requirements.
81............................  Offshore Supply Vessels           1625-AB62  Final Rule Stage.
                                 of at Least 6000 GT ITC.
82............................  Importer Security Filing          1651-AA70  Final Rule Stage.
                                 and Additional Carrier
                                 Requirements.
83............................  Changes to the Visa               1651-AA72  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Waiver Program To
                                 Implement the Electronic
                                 System for Travel
                                 Authorization (ESTA)
                                 Program.
84............................  Implementation of the             1651-AA77  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver
                                 Program.
85............................  Definition of Form I-94           1651-AA96  Final Rule Stage.
                                 to Include Electronic
                                 Format.

[[Page 905]]

 
86............................  Security Training for             1652-AA55  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Surface Mode Employees.
87............................  Standardized Vetting,             1652-AA61  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Adjudication, and
                                 Redress Services.
88............................  Aircraft Repair Station           1652-AA38  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Security.
89............................  Passenger Screening Using         1652-AA67  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Advanced Imaging
                                 Technology.
90............................  Adjustments to                    1653-AA63  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Limitations on
                                 Designated School
                                 Official Assignment and
                                 Study By F-2 and M-2
                                 Nonimmigrants.
91............................  Standards To Prevent,             1653-AA65  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Detect, and Respond to
                                 Sexual Abuse and Assault
                                 in Confinement
                                 Facilities.
92............................  Rescinding Suspension of          1653-AA69  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Enrollment for Certain F
                                 and M Nonimmigrant
                                 Students from Libya and
                                 Third Country Nationals
                                 Acting on Behalf of
                                 Libyan Entities.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                   Department of Housing and Urban Development
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
93............................  Floodplain Management and         2501-AD62  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Protection of Wetlands;
                                 Building Elevations (FR-
                                 5717).
94............................  Affordability                     2501-AD64  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Determination-Energy
                                 Efficiency Standards (FR-
                                 5647-N-01).
95............................  Public Housing Energy             2577-AC84  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Audits and Physical
                                 Needs Assessments (FR-
                                 5507).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                              Department of Justice
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
96............................  Implementation of the ADA         1190-AA59  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Amendments Act of 2008
                                 (Title II and Title III
                                 of the ADA).
97............................  Implementation of the ADA         1190-AA60  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Amendments Act of 2008
                                 (Section 504 of the
                                 Rehabilitation Act of
                                 1973).
98............................  Nondiscrimination on the          1190-AA61  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Basis of Disability;
                                 Accessibility of Web
                                 Information and Services
                                 of Public Accommodations.
99............................  Nondiscrimination on the          1190-AA63  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Basis of Disability;
                                 Movie Captioning and
                                 Audio Description.
100...........................  Nondiscrimination on the          1190-AA65  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Basis of Disability:
                                 Accessibility of Web
                                 Information and Services
                                 of State and Local
                                 Governments.
101...........................  Machine Guns, Destructive         1140-AA43  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Devices and Certain
                                 Other Firearms;
                                 Background Checks for
                                 Responsible Persons of a
                                 Corporation, Trust, or
                                 Other Legal Entity With
                                 Respect to Making or
                                 Transferring a Firearm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                          Department of Transportation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
102...........................  Slot Management and               2120-AJ89  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Transparency for
                                 LaGuardia Airport, John
                                 F. Kennedy International
                                 Airport, and Newark
                                 Liberty International
                                 Airport.
103...........................  Air Ambulance and                 2120-AJ53  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Commercial Helicopter
                                 Operations; Safety
                                 Initiatives and
                                 Miscellaneous Amendments.
104...........................  Safety Management Systems         2120-AJ86  Final Rule Stage.
                                 for Part 121 Certificate
                                 Holders.
105...........................  National Goals and                2125-AF49  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Performance Management
                                 Measures (MAP-21).
106...........................  National Goals and                2125-AF53  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Performance Management
                                 Measures (MAP-21).
107...........................  National Goals and                2125-AF54  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Performance Management
                                 Measures (MAP-21).
108...........................  Carrier Safety Fitness            2126-AB11  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Determination.
109...........................  Commercial Driver's               2126-AB18  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 License Drug and Alcohol
                                 Clearinghouse (MAP-21).
110...........................  Electronic Logging                2126-AB20  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Devices and Hours of
                                 Service Supporting
                                 Documents (MAP-21).
111...........................  Motorcoach Rollover               2127-AK96  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Structural Integrity
                                 (MAP-21).
112...........................  Require Installation of           2127-AK56  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Seat Belts on
                                 Motorcoaches, FMVSS No.
                                 208 (MAP-21).
113...........................  Electronic Stability              2127-AK97  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Control Systems for
                                 Heavy Vehicles (MAP-21).
114...........................  National and Public               2132-AB20  Prerule Stage.
                                 Transportation Safety
                                 Plans (MAP-21) and
                                 Transit Asset Management.
115...........................  New and Small Start               2132-AB18  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Projects (MAP-21).
116...........................  State Safety Oversight            2132-AB19  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 (MAP-21).
117...........................  Hazardous Materials: Rail         2137-AE91  Prerule Stage.
                                 Petitions and
                                 Recommendations to
                                 Improve the Safety of
                                 Railroad Tank Car
                                 Transportation (RRR).
118...........................  Pipeline Safety: Safety           2137-AE66  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 of On-Shore Liquid
                                 Hazardous Pipelines.

[[Page 906]]

 
119...........................  Pipeline Safety: Gas              2137-AE72  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Transmission (RRR).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                           Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
120...........................  Telecommunications Act            3014-AA37  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Accessibility
                                 Guidelines; Electronic
                                 and Information
                                 Technology Accessibility
                                 Standards.
121...........................  Accessibility Guidelines          3014-AA26  Final Rule Stage.
                                 for Pedestrian
                                 Facilities in the Public
                                 Right-of-Way.
122...........................  Accessibility Standards           3014-AA40  Final Rule Stage.
                                 for Medical Diagnostic
                                 Equipment.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                         Environmental Protection Agency
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
123...........................  Review of the National            2060-AQ44  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Ambient Air Quality
                                 Standards for Lead.
124...........................  Petroleum Refinery Sector         2060-AQ75  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Risk and Technology
                                 Review and NSPS.
125...........................  Standards of Performance          2060-AQ91  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Greenhouse Gas
                                 Emissions from New
                                 Stationary Sources:
                                 Electric Utility
                                 Generating Units.
126...........................  Standards of Performance          2060-AR33  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Greenhouse Gas
                                 Emissions from Existing
                                 Sources: Electric
                                 Utility Generating Units.
127...........................  Standards of Performance          2060-AR88  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Greenhouse Gas
                                 Emissions from Modified
                                 Sources: Electric
                                 Utility Generating Units.
128...........................  Pesticides; Agricultural          2070-AJ22  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Worker Protection
                                 Standard Revisions.
129...........................  Definition of ``Waters of         2040-AF30  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 the United States''
                                 Under the Clean Water
                                 Act.
130...........................  Control of Air Pollution          2060-AQ86  Final Rule Stage.
                                 From Motor Vehicles:
                                 Tier 3 Motor Vehicle
                                 Emission and Fuel
                                 Standards.
131...........................  Implementation of the             2060-AR34  Final Rule Stage.
                                 2008 National Ambient
                                 Air Quality Standards
                                 for Ozone: State
                                 Implementation Plan
                                 Requirements.
132...........................  Formaldehyde; Third-Party         2070-AJ44  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Certification Framework
                                 for the Formaldehyde
                                 Standards for Composite
                                 Wood Products.
133...........................  Formaldehyde Emissions            2070-AJ92  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Standards for Composite
                                 Wood Products.
134...........................  Hazardous Waste Manifest          2050-AG20  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Revisions--Standards and
                                 Procedures for
                                 Electronic Manifests.
135...........................  Criteria and Standards            2040-AE95  Final Rule Stage.
                                 for Cooling Water Intake
                                 Structures.
136...........................  Effluent Limitations              2040-AF14  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Guidelines and Standards
                                 for the Steam Electric
                                 Power Generating Point
                                 Source Category.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                     Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
137...........................  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.
138...........................  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.
139...........................  Revisions to Procedures           3046-AA93  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Complaints of
                                 Employment
                                 Discrimination Filed
                                 Against Recipients of
                                 Federal Financial
                                 Assistance.
140...........................  Revisions to the Federal          3046-AA94  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Sector's Affirmative
                                 Employment Obligations
                                 Regarding 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
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
141...........................  Small Business Mentor-            3245-AG24  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Protege Programs.
142...........................  Small Business Technology         3245-AF45  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Transfer (STTR) Policy
                                 Directive.
143...........................  Small Business Innovation         3245-AF84  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Research (SBIR) Program
                                 Policy Directive.
144...........................  504 and 7(a) Loan                 3245-AG04  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Programs Updates.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 907]]


                                         Social Security Administration
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Regulation
         Sequence No.                     Title             Identifier No.             Rulemaking Stage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
145...........................  Revised Medical Criteria          0960-AF35  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Evaluating
                                 Neurological Impairments
                                 (806P).
146...........................  Revised Medical Criteria          0960-AG71  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Evaluating Immune
                                 (HIV) System Disorders
                                 (3466P).
147...........................  Revised Medical Criteria          0960-AH43  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 for Evaluating Cancer
                                 (Malignant Neoplastic
                                 Diseases) (3757P).
148...........................  Submission of Evidence in         0960-AH53  Proposed Rule Stage.
                                 Disability Claims
                                 (3802P).
149...........................  Amendments to Regulations         0960-AH07  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Regarding Withdrawals of
                                 Applications and
                                 Voluntary Suspension of
                                 Benefits (3573F).
150...........................  Changes to Scheduling and         0960-AH37  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Appearing at Hearings
                                 (3728F).
151...........................  Conforming Changes to             0960-AH47  Final Rule Stage.
                                 Regulations Regarding
                                 Income-Related Monthly
                                 Adjustment Amounts to
                                 Medicare Part B Premiums
                                 (3734I).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BILLING CODE 6820-27-P

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA)

Statement of Regulatory Priorities

    In FY 2014, USDA's focus will continue to be on programs that 
create or 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. USDA anticipates 
implementing a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill (Farm Bill) 
covering major farm, trade, conservation, rural development, nutrition 
assistance and other programs. It is anticipated that a number of high 
priority regulations will be developed during 2014 to implement this 
legislation should it be enacted. USDA's regulatory efforts in the 
coming year will achieve the following goals identified in the 
Department's Strategic Plan for 2010-2015:
     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 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.
     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.
    Important regulatory activities supporting the accomplishment of 
these goals in 2014 will include the following:
     Strengthening Food Safety Inspection. USDA will continue 
to develop science-based regulations that improve the safety of meat, 
poultry, and 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 2014, the Food Safety and 
Inspection Service (FSIS) plans to finalize regulations to establish 
new systems for poultry slaughter inspection, which would improve food 
safety and save money for establishments and taxpayers. Among other 
actions, USDA will provide export certificates through the use of 
technology. 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.
     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 2014, the Food and Nutrition Service 
(FNS) plans to publish the proposed rule regarding meal pattern 
revisions for the Child and Adult Care Food Program and finalize a rule 
updating the WIC food packages. FNS will continue to work to implement 
rules that minimize participant and vendor fraud in its nutrition 
assistance programs.
     Collaborating with Partners to Conserve Natural Resources. 
USDA will allow the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) 
State Conservationists to remove undue burdens on producers that have 
acted in good faith on incorrect program information provided by NRCS. 
The Forest Service will finalize guidance for implementation of the 
2012 Planning Rule. This guidance will provide the detailed monitoring, 
assessment, and documentation requirements that the

[[Page 908]]

managers of our national forests and grasslands 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 Focused. The 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plans to amend its 
veterinary biologics regulations to provide for the use of a simpler, 
uniform label format to better meet the needs of veterinary biologics 
consumers. APHIS also plans to revise tuberculosis and brucellosis 
regulations to better reflect the distribution of these diseases and 
thereby minimizing the impacts on livestock producers while continuing 
to address these livestock diseases. In the area of plant health, APHIS 
proposes to expand the streamlined method of considering the 
importation and interstate movement of fruits and vegetables. The 
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will support the organic sector by 
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 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. The Federal preferred procurement and the 
certified label parts of the program are voluntary; both are designed 
to assist 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 
initiatives are identified in the Department's Final Plan for 
Retrospective Analysis. . . . The final agency plan, as well as 
periodic status updates for each initiative, are available online at: 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/21stcenturygov/actions/21st-century-regulatory-system.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Significantly reduce burdens
          RIN                  Title             on small businesses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0583-AC59..............  Prior Labeling     Yes.
                          Approval System:
                          Generic Label
                          Approval.
0583-AD41..............  Electronic Export  Yes.
                          Application and
                          Certification
                          Fee.
0583-AD32..............  Modernization of   Yes.
                          Poultry
                          Slaughter
                          Inspection.
0570-AA76..............  Rural Energy       Yes.
                          America Program.
0570-AA85..............  Business and       Yes.
                          Industry Loan
                          Guaranteed
                          Program.
0575-AC91..............  Community          Yes.
                          Facilities Loan
                          and Grants.
0596-AD01..............  National           Yes.
                          Environmental
                          Policy Act
                          (NEPA)
                          Efficiencies.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 cost 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 has identified the following burden reducing 
initiatives:
     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 a discounted Agency cost savings of $3.3 
million over 10 years (discounted at 7 percent).
     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.
     Streamline Forest Service National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) Compliance. The Forest Service, in cooperation with the 
Council on Environmental Quality, completed 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 Forest 
Service projects without reducing environmental protection.
     Increase Accessibility to the 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 
application process for grants, lessening the burden to the customer.
     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 
the Farm Service Agency (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

[[Page 909]]

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 2014. When specific 
changes are identified, FSA and RMA will make any required conforming 
changes in their respective regulations.
    Periodic status updates for these burden reducing initiatives can 
be found online at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/21stcenturygov/actions/21st-century-regulatory-system.
    In additional to regulatory review initiatives identified under EO 
13563 and the paper work burden reduction initiatives identified under 
the EO 13610, USDA has plans to initiate the following additional 
streamlining initiatives in 2014.
     Simplify FSA NEPA Compliance. FSA will revise its 
regulations that implement NEPA to update, improve, and clarify 
requirements. It will also add new categorical exclusions and 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.
     Simplify Equipment Contracts for Rural Utilities Service 
(RUS) Loans. RUS is proposing a rule that would result in a new 
standard Equipment Contract Form for use by Telecommunications Program 
borrowers. This new standardized contract would ensure that certain 
standards and specifications are met and this new form would replace 
the current process that requires each construction provider to use 
their own resources to develop a contract for each project.
     Consolidate Community Facilities Programs Loan and Grant 
Requirements. The Rural Housing Service (RHS) proposing to consolidate 
seven of the regulations used to service Community Facilities direct 
loans and grants into one streamlined regulation. This rule will reduce 
the time burden on RHS staff and provide the public with a single 
document that clearly outlines the requirements for servicing Community 
Facilities direct loans and grants.
     Update Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Programs. Given the 
success USDA has had in nearly eradicating tuberculosis and brucellosis 
in ruminants, APHIS will propose rulemaking to update and consolidate 
its regulations regarding these diseases to better reflect the current 
distribution of these diseases and the changes in which cattle, bison, 
and captive cervid are produced in the United States.
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.
    USDA is diligently working to carry out the President's EO mandate 
with regard to regulatory cooperation as new regulations are developed. 
Several agencies within the Department are also actively engaged in 
interagency and Departmental regulatory cooperation initiatives being 
pursued as part of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Regulatory Cooperation 
Council (HLRCC) and the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council 
(RCC), as well as other fora. Specific projects are being pursued by 
USDA agencies such as AMS, APHIS, and FSIS and address a variety of 
regulatory oversight processes and requirements related to meat, 
poultry, animal and plant health. Projects related to electronic 
certification, equivalence, meat nomenclature, and the efficient and 
safe flow of plant, animal and food across our shared borders are all 
regulatory cooperation pursuits these agencies are undertaking in order 
to secure better alignment between our countries without compromising 
the high standards of safety we have in place in the U.S. relative to 
food safety and public health, as well as plant and animal health, so 
critical to American agriculture.
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 
2014 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 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. FNS will also publish a final rule 
implementing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010's Community 
Eligibility Provision, which eliminates the burden of household 
applications and increases access to free school lunches and breakfasts 
for children in eligible high poverty schools. In addition, FNS plans 
to publish a proposed rule that would enhance the eligibility standards 
for SNAP retailers in order to improve the availability of more 
healthful foods.
     Improve Program Integrity. FNS also plans to publish a 
number of rules to increase efficiency, reduce the burden of program 
operations, and reduce improper payments. Program integrity provisions 
will continue to be strengthened in the SNAP and Child Nutrition 
programs to ensure Federal taxpayer dollars are spent effectively. To 
support this objective, FNS plans to publish a final rule from the 2008 
Farm Bill that would provide FNS and OIG the authority to suspend 
payments to SNAP retailers suspected of being egregious violators. For 
Child Nutrition, FNS plans to publish a proposed rule to strengthen 
oversight requirements and institution disqualification procedures, 
allow the imposition of fines by USDA

[[Page 910]]

or State agencies for egregious and/or repeated program violations, and 
address several deficiencies identified through program audits and 
reviews.
     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 proposed rules updating the meal 
patterns for the Child and Adult Care Food Program to align them with 
the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans, establishing professional 
standards for school food service and State child nutrition program 
directors. FNS also plans to finalize a rule updating food packages in 
WIC. FNS's 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 among WIC mothers.
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:
     Implement 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 help prevent thousands of illnesses by 
allowing front-line inspectors to focus on public health threats such 
as Salmonella and Campylobacter. 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.
     Streamline Export Application Processes through the Public 
Health Information System (PHIS). To support its food safety inspection 
activities, FSIS is continuing to implement 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.
     Ensure Accurate Labeling of Meat and Poultry Products that 
Contain Added Solutions. FSIS is developing final regulations to 
establish a common or usual name for raw meat and poultry products that 
contain added solutions, and that do not meet a standard of identity. 
Without adequate labeling information, consumers likely cannot 
distinguish between raw meat and poultry products that contain added 
solutions and single-ingredient meat and poultry products. Added 
solutions are a characterizing component of a product likely to affect 
consumers' purchasing decisions. The rule will establish a common or 
usual name for such products that include an accurate description of 
the raw meat or poultry component, the percentage of added solution 
incorporated into the product, and the individual ingredients or multi-
ingredient components in the solution.
     Ensure Accurate Labeling of Mechanically Tenderized Beef. 
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. The Agency will propose that raw, needle or 
blade, mechanically tenderized beef products be labeled to indicate 
that they are ``mechanically tenderized.'' 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.
     Improve the Efficiency of Product Recalls. FSIS will 
propose to amend recordkeeping regulations to specify that all official 
establishments and retail stores that grind or chop raw beef products 
for sale in commerce must 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 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. Access to this information will 
improve FSIS's ability to conduct timely and effective consumer 
foodborne illness investigations and other public health activities 
throughout the stream of commerce.
     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: A major part of the mission of APHIS is to protect the 
health and value of American agricultural and natural resources. APHIS 
conducts

[[Page 911]]

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 Animal Welfare Act.
    Priorities: APHIS continues to pursue initiatives to update our 
regulations to make them more flexible and performance-based. For 
example, in the area of animal health, APHIS has prepared a proposal to 
amend its veterinary biologics regulations to provide for the use of a 
simpler, uniform label format that would allow biologics licensees and 
permittees to more clearly communicate product performance information 
to the end user. In addition, the rule would simplify the evaluation of 
efficacy studies and reduce the amount of time required by APHIS to 
evaluate study data, thus allowing manufacturers to market their 
products sooner. APHIS is also preparing a proposed rule that would 
revise and consolidate its regulations regarding bovine tuberculosis 
and brucellosis to better reflect the distribution of these diseases 
and the current nature of cattle, bison, and captive cervid production 
in the United States. In the area of plant health, APHIS is preparing a 
proposed rule that would establish performance standards and a notice-
based process for approving the interstate movement of fruits and 
vegetables from Hawaii and the U.S. Territories and the importation of 
those articles from other countries. In addition, APHIS will revise 
agricultural quarantine and inspection user fees so that fees collected 
are commensurate with the cost of providing the activity.
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 is committed to ensuring the integrity of USDA 
organic products in the U.S. and throughout the world. The agency is 
moving forward with the following rulemaking that affect the organic 
industry.
     Transitioning Dairy Animals into Organic Production. 
Members of the organic community, including dairy producers, organic 
interest groups, and the National Organic Standards Board have 
advocated for rulemaking on the allowance for transitioning dairy 
animals into organic production. Stakeholders have interpreted the 
current standard differently, creating inconsistencies across dairy 
producers. AMS is developing a proposed rule to address this issue by 
specifying that dairy farms have a one-time opportunity to transition 
animals into organic production. This proposed change to the organic 
standards will meet consumer expectations of organic dairy products and 
level the playing for organic dairy producers.
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 millions of 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. FSA is also strengthening its 
ability to help the Nation respond to national defense emergencies. 
FSA's priority initiatives are as follows:
     Streamline Environmental Compliance (NEPA). FSA will 
revise its regulations that implement NEPA. 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.
     Establish Agriculture Priorities and Allocations Systems 
(APAS). USDA is developing 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: The Forest Service is committed to developing and 
issuing science-based regulations intended to ensure public 
participation in the management of our Nation's national forests and 
grasslands, while also moving forward the Agency's ability to plan and 
conduct restoration projects on National Forest System lands. The 
Forest Service 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:
     Implement Land Management Planning Framework. The Forest

[[Page 912]]

Service promulgated a new Land Management Planning rule at 36 CFR part 
219 in April 2012 that sets out the requirements for developing, 
amending, and revising land management plans for units of the National 
Forest System. The planning directives, once finalized, will be used to 
implement the planning framework which fosters collaboration with the 
public during land management planning, and is science-based, 
responsive to change, and promotes social, economic, and ecological 
sustainability.
     Strengthen Ecological Restoration Policies. 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 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, a 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 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.
     Streamline the 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.
     Increase Accessibility to the 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 
application process for grants, lessening the burden to the customer. 
The rulemaking is expected to reduce the information collection. REAP 
will also 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.
     Modify review of Single Family Housing Direct Loans. RD 
will finalize the certified loan packager regulation to streamline 
oversight of the agency's vast network of committed Agency-certified 
packagers. This action will assist low- and very low-income people 
become homeowners. It will also reduce burden on program staff enabling 
them to focus on implementation and delivery or other and will ensure 
specialized support is available to them to complete the application 
for assistance, and improving the quality of loan application packages.
     Update Civil Rights Protections: RD will propose a 
comprehensive civil rights rule to update and consolidate civil rights 
compliance regulations for Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities 
Service and Rural Business Service. This regulation will provide 
detailed information on civil rights compliance and enforcement 
policies and procedures for all Rural Development programs.
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR)
    Mission: OASCR's mission is to provide leadership and direction for 
the fair and equitable treatment of all USDA customers and employees 
while ensuring the delivery of quality programs and enforcement of 
civil rights. OASCR ensures compliance with applicable laws, 
regulations, and policies for USDA customers and employees regardless 
of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and 
expression), religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital or 
familial status, political beliefs, parental status, protected genetic 
information, or because all or part of an individual's income is 
derived from any public assistance program. (Not all bases apply to all 
programs.)
Priorities
     Strengthen Civil Rights Protections: USDA has made 
significant strides towards realizing the Secretary's vision of a ``New 
Era for Civil Rights.'' In this effort, USDA plans to publish a 
proposed rule that will standardize the collection of race, ethnicity 
and gender data across USDA's conducted programs (those where USDA 
deals directly with the public; much of this data is already being 
collected). USDA will also expand the protected categories under which 
program participants may bring complaints of discrimination to the 
Department; these new protected bases will be gender identity and 
political beliefs.
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
     Promote Biobased Products: 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 2014, USDA's 
focus will be to implement the changes to

[[Page 913]]

programs in such a way as to provide benefits while minimizing program 
complexity and regulatory burden for program participants.
BILLING CODE 3410--90-P

USDA--AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (AMS)

Proposed Rule Stage

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

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 6501
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 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 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. Preliminary analysis 
suggest that less than 5 percent of organic dairies would face higher 
costs to comply with this action. 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................................   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Melissa R Bailey, Director, Standards Division, 
Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, 14th & 
Independence Avenue SW., Room 2646--South Building, Washington, DC 
20250, Phone: 202 720-3252, Fax: 202 205-7808, Email: 
melissa.bailey@usda.gov.
    RIN: 0581-AD08

USDA--FARM SERVICE AGENCY (FSA)

Proposed Rule Stage

2. Environmental Compliance and Related Concerns

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 799.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would provide the Farm Service Agency 
(FSA) with an environmental compliance regulation that updates, 
improves, and clarifies its requirements to comply with the National 
Environmental Policy Act; the National Historic Preservation Act; and 
numerous other environmental and cultural resource laws, regulations, 
and Executive orders. It would also make the regulation consistent for 
the Farm Loan Programs and Farm Programs. Also, it would remove 
outdated regulations used by FSA from chapter XVIII of the Code of 
Federal Regulations, formerly used by the predecessor to FSA, the 
Farmers Home Administration.
    Statement of Need: This proposed rule is needed to consolidate and 
update the FSA regulations implementing the National Environmental 
Policy Act and related laws and guidance.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The National Environmental Policy Act (42 
U.S.C. 4321-4347) and the regulations of the Council on Environmental 
Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508).
    Alternatives: As an alternative to this proposed rule, we could 
have updated the two separate FSA NEPA regulations, but that would have 
made it harder for our stakeholders and employees, more difficult to 
update in the future, and resulted in redundant regulations.

[[Page 914]]

    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: A cost benefit analysis was prepared 
for this proposed rule and will be made available when the proposed 
rule is published.
    Risks: None.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    URL For Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Deirdre Holder, Director, Regulatory Review Group, 
Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, 1400 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0572, Phone: 202 205-5851, Fax: 202 
720-5233, Email: deirdre.holder@wdc.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0560-AH02

USDA--FSA

Final Rule Stage

3. Agriculture Priorities and Allocations Systems

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 50 U.S.C. app 2061 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 5195 et seq.
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to establish a 
system to prioritize contracts and make allocations of certain 
agriculture-related resources, as necessary, to meet national defense 
priorities. ``Stand-by'' procedures for the Department of Agriculture 
to implement this authority are out of date and generally inadequate to 
meet Government or national needs should a situation arise that calls 
for exercise of the authority. As a result, the Farm Service Agency is 
implementing regulations to allow USDA to efficiently place priority 
ratings on contracts or orders with respect to resources within its 
authority should the need arise. The new Agriculture Priorities and 
Allocation System (APAS) regulations will be similar to the Department 
of Commerce's Defense Priorities and Allocation System (DPAS) for 
establishing priority ratings for contract performance.
    Statement of Need: This rule is needed to implement the USDA 
delegated responsibilities from the Defense Production Act and related 
Executive Order.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Defense Production Act (50 U.S.C. App. 
2061 to 2170, 2171, and 2172) and the related Executive Order 13603, 
``National Defense Resources Preparedness,'' dated March 16, 2012.
    Alternatives: As an alternative to this proposed rule, we could 
have continued to require the Department of Commerce to implement the 
USDA authority; however, the reauthorized and amended Defense 
Production Act requires each of the agencies to implement regulations.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: A cost benefit analysis was prepared 
for the related proposed rule and was made available when the proposed 
rule published.
    Risks: None.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   05/19/11  76 FR 29084
NPRM Comment Period End.............   07/18/11
Final Rule..........................   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    URL For Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Deirdre Holder, Director, Regulatory Review Group, 
Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, 1400 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0572, Phone: 202 205-5851, Fax: 202 
720-5233, Email: deirdre.holder@wdc.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0560-AH68

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

Proposed Rule Stage

4. Viruses, Serums, Toxins, and Analogous Products; Single Label Claim 
for Veterinary Biological Products

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 151 to 159
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR 112.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rulemaking would amend the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act 
regulations to replace the current label format, which reflects any of 
four different levels of effectiveness, with a single, uniform label 
format. It would also require biologics licensees to provide a 
standardized summary, with confidential business information removed, 
of the efficacy and safety data submitted to the Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service in support of the issuance of a full product 
license or conditional license. A single label format along with 
publicly available safety and efficacy data will help biologics 
producers to more clearly communicate product performance to their 
customers.
    Statement of Need: The intent of this proposal is to address a 
request made by our stakeholders and to more clearly communicate 
product performance information to the user by requiring a uniform 
label format and a summary of efficacy and safety data (with 
confidential business information removed).
    Summary of Legal Basis: APHIS administers and enforces the Virus-
Serum-Toxin Act, as amended (21 U.S.C. 151-159). The regulations issued 
pursuant to the Act are intended to ensure that veterinary biological 
products are pure, safe, potent, and efficacious when used according to 
label instructions.
    Alternatives: We could retain the current APHIS labeling guidance, 
but maintaining the status quo would not address the concern reported 
by stakeholders concerning the interpretation of product performance.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: APHIS anticipates that the only 
costs associated with the proposed labeling format would be one-time 
costs incurred by licensees and permittees in having labels for 
existing licensed products updated in accordance with the proposed new 
format. A simpler, uniform label format that would allow biologics 
licensees and permittees to more clearly communicate product 
performance information to the end user. In addition, the rule would 
simplify the evaluation of efficacy studies and reduce the amount of 
time required by APHIS to evaluate study data, thus allowing 
manufacturers to market their products sooner.
    Risks: APHIS has not identified any risks associated with this 
proposed action.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice..............................   05/24/11  76 FR 30093
Comment Period End..................   07/25/11
NPRM................................   01/00/14
NPRM Comment Period End.............   03/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: Additional information about APHIS and its

[[Page 915]]

programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.
    Agency Contact: Donna L Malloy, Operational Support Section, Center 
for Veterinary Biologics, Policy, Evaluation, and Licensing, VS, 
Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 
4700 River Road, Unit 148, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231, Phone: 301 851-
3426.
    RIN: 0579-AD64

USDA--APHIS

5. Brucellosis and Bovine Tuberculosis; Update of General Provisions

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1622; 7 U.S.C. 8301 to 8317; 15 U.S.C. 
1828; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 31 U.S.C. 9701
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR 50 and 51; 9 CFR 71; 9 CFR 76 to 78; 9 CFR 86; 
9 CFR 93; 9 CFR 161.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rulemaking would consolidate the regulations 
governing bovine tuberculosis (TB), currently found in 9 CFR part 77, 
and those governing brucellosis, currently found in 9 CFR part 78. As 
part of this consolidation, we are proposing to transition the TB and 
brucellosis programs away from a State status system based on disease 
prevalence. Instead, States and tribes would implement an animal health 
plan that identifies sources of the diseases within the State or tribe 
and specifies mitigations to address the risk posed by these sources. 
The consolidated regulations would also set forth standards for 
surveillance, epidemiological investigations, and affected herd 
management that must be incorporated into each animal health plan, with 
certain limited exceptions; conditions for the interstate movement of 
cattle, bison, and captive cervids; and conditions for APHIS approval 
of tests for bovine TB or brucellosis. Finally, the rulemaking would 
revise the import requirements for cattle and bison to make these 
requirements clearer and assure that they more effectively mitigate the 
risk of introduction of the diseases into the United States.
    Statement of Need: The current regulations were issued during a 
time when the prevalence rates for the disease in domestic, cattle, 
bison, and captive cervids were much higher than they are today. As a 
result, the regulations specify measures that are necessary to prevent 
these diseases from spreading through the interstate movement of 
infected animals. The regulations are effective in this regard, but do 
not address reservoirs of tuberculosis and brucellosis that exist in 
certain States. Moreover, the regulations presuppose one method of 
dealing with infected herds--whole-herd depopulation--and do not take 
into consideration the development of other methods, such as test-and-
remove protocols, that are equally effective but less costly for APHIS 
and producers. Finally, our current regulations governing the 
importation of cattle and bison do not always address the risk that 
such animals may pose of spreading brucellosis or bovine tuberculosis, 
and need to be updated to allow APHIS to take appropriate measures when 
prevalence rates for bovine tuberculosis or brucellosis increase or 
decrease in foreign regions.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Under the Animal Health Protection Act (7 
U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture has the authority to 
issue orders and promulgate regulations to prevent the introduction 
into the United States and the dissemination within the United States 
of any pest or disease of livestock.
    Alternatives: One alternative would be to leave the current 
regulations unchanged. As noted above, the current regulations are 
effective in preventing the interstate movement of infected animals, 
but do not address reservoirs of brucellosis and tuberculosis that 
exist in certain States, and thus do not address the root cause of such 
infection. They also are written in a prescriptive manner which does 
not allow States to take into consideration scientific developments and 
other emerging information in determining how best to deal with 
infected animals and herds. Finally, APHIS' current regulations 
governing the importation of cattle and bison do not always address the 
risk that such animals may pose of spreading bovine tuberculosis or 
brucellosis.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Certain additional costs may be 
incurred by producers as a result of this rule. For example, the 
proposed rule would impose new interstate movement restrictions on 
rodeo, event, and exhibited cattle and bison and impose additional 
costs for producers of such cattle and bison. These new testing 
requirements could cost, in aggregate, between $651,000 and $1 million. 
Also, the proposed additional restrictions for the movement of captive 
cervids could result in additional costs for producers. Adhering to 
these new requirements may have a total cost to the captive cervid 
industry of between about $157,000 and $485,000 annually.
    States and tribes would incur costs associated with this proposed 
rule, in particular in developing animal health plans for bovine 
tuberculosis and brucellosis. The proposed animal health plans for 
brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis would build significantly on 
existing operations with respect to these diseases. We anticipate that 
all 50 States and as many as 3 tribes would develop animal health 
plans. Based on our estimates of plan development costs, the total cost 
of the development of these 53 animal health plans could be between 
about $750,000 and $2.9 million. We expect that under current 
circumstances, four or five States are likely to develop recognized 
management area plans as proposed in this rule as part of their animal 
health plans. Based on our estimates of recognized management area plan 
development costs, the cost of developing recognized management area 
plans by these States could total between $56,000 and $274,000.
    While direct effects of this proposed rule for producers should be 
small, whether the entity affected is small or large, consolidation of 
the brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis regulations is expected to 
benefit the affected livestock industries. Disease management would be 
more focused, flexible and responsive, reducing the number of producers 
incurring costs when disease concerns arise in an area. Also, the 
competitiveness of the United States in international markets depends 
on its reputation for producing healthy animals. The proposed rule 
would enhance this reputation through its comprehensive approach to the 
control of identified reservoirs of bovine tuberculosis or brucellosis 
in wildlife populations in certain parts of the United States and more 
stringent import regulations consistent with domestic restrictions. We 
expect that the benefits would justify the costs.
    Risks: If we do not issue this proposed rule, reservoirs of 
brucellosis and tuberculosis that exist in certain States will not be 
adequately evaluated and addressed. Additionally, our current 
regulations regarding the importation of cattle and bison do not always 
address the risk that such animals may pose of spreading brucellosis or 
bovine tuberculosis.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   02/00/14
NPRM Comment Period End.............   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.

[[Page 916]]

    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State, Tribal.
    Additional Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.
    Agency Contact: Langston Hull, National Center for Import and 
Export, Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service, 4700 River Road, Unit 39, Riverdale, MD 20737, Phone: 301 851-
3300.
    C William Hench, Senior Staff Veterinarian, Ruminant Health 
Programs, National Center for Animal Health Programs, VS, Department of 
Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 2150 Centre 
Avenue, Building B-3E20, Ft. Collins, CO 80526, Phone: 970 494-7378.
    RIN: 0579-AD65

USDA--APHIS

6. Establishing a Performance Standard for Authorizing the Importation 
and Interstate Movement of Fruits and Vegetables

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450; 7 U.S.C. 7701 to 7772; 7 U.S.C. 7781 
to 7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 318 and 319.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rulemaking would amend our regulations governing the 
importations of fruits and vegetables by broadening our existing 
performance standard to provide for consideration of all new fruits and 
vegetables for importation into the United States using a notice-based 
process. It would also remove the region- or commodity-specific 
phytosanitary requirements currently found in these regulations. 
Likewise, we are proposing an equivalent revision of the performance 
standard in our regulations governing the interstate movements of 
fruits and vegetables from Hawaii and the U.S. territories (Guam, 
Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and 
the removal of commodity-specific phytosanitary requirements from those 
regulations. This proposal would allow for the consideration of 
requests to authorize the importation or interstate movement of new 
fruits and vegetables in a manner that enables a more flexible and 
responsive regulatory approach to evolving pest situations in both the 
United States and exporting countries. It would not, however, alter the 
science-based process in which the risk associated with importation or 
interstate movement of a given fruit or vegetable is evaluated or the 
manner in which risks associated with the importation or interstate 
movement of a fruit or vegetable are mitigated.
    Statement of Need: The revised regulations are needed to streamline 
the administrative process involved in consideration of fruits and 
vegetables currently not authorized for interstate movement or 
importation, while continuing to provide opportunity for public comment 
and engagement on the science and risk-based analysis associated with 
such imports and interstate movements. The proposal would also enable 
us to adapt our import requirements more quickly in the event of any 
changes to a country's pest or disease status or as a result of new 
scientific information or treatment options.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Under section 7701 of the Plant Protection 
Act (PPA), given that the smooth movement of enterable plants and plant 
products into, out of, or within the United States is vital to the U.S. 
economy, it is the responsibility of the Secretary of Agriculture to 
facilitate exports, imports, and interstate commerce in agricultural 
products and other commodities that pose a risk of harboring plant 
pests or noxious weeds in ways that will reduce, to the extent 
practicable, as determined by the Secretary, the risk of dissemination 
of plant pests or noxious weeds. Decisions regarding exports, imports, 
and interstate commerce are required to be based on sound science.
    Alternatives: We considered taking no action at this time and 
leaving the regulations as they are currently written. We decided 
against this alternative because leaving the regulations unchanged 
would not address the needs identified immediately above.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Consumers and businesses would 
benefit from the more timely access to fruits and vegetables for which 
entry or movement would currently require rulemaking. This benefit 
would be reduced to the extent that certain businesses would face 
increased competition for the subject fruits and vegetables sooner due 
to their more timely approval. APHIS has not identified other costs 
that may be incurred because of the proposed rule.
    Risks: The performance-based process more closely links APHIS' 
decision to authorize importation of a fruit or vegetable with the pest 
risk assessment and brings us in line with other countries that 
authorize importation of a fruit or vegetable with the pest risk 
assessment. Some countries have viewed the rulemakings for fruits and 
vegetables that follow completion of the pest risk assessment as a non-
technical trade barrier and may have slowed the approval of U.S. 
exports (including, but not limited to, fruits and vegetables) into 
their markets, or placed additional restrictions on existing exports 
from the United States.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/14
NPRM Comment Period End.............   05/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal.
    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: Matthew Rhoads, Associate Executive Director, Plant 
Health Programs, PPQ, Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service, 4700 River Road, Unit 131, Riverdale, MD 
20737-1231, Phone: 301 851-2133.
    RIN: 0579-AD71

USDA--APHIS

7. User Fees for Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Services

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7701 to 7772; 7 U.S.C. 7781 to 7786; 7 
U.S.C. 8301 to 8317; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 49 U.S.C. 80503
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 354.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rulemaking would amend the user fee regulations by 
adding new fee categories and adjusting current fees charged for 
certain agricultural quarantine and inspection services that are 
provided in connection with certain commercial vessels, commercial 
trucks, commercial railroad cars, commercial aircraft, and 
international passengers arriving at ports in the customs territory of 
the United States. It would also adjust the fee caps associated with 
commercial vessels, commercial trucks, and commercial railcars. Based 
on the conclusions of a third party assessment of the user fee program 
and on other

[[Page 917]]

considerations, we have determined that revised user fee categories and 
revised user fees are necessary to recover the costs of the current 
level of activity, to account for actual and projected increases in the 
cost of doing business, and to more accurately align fees with the 
costs associated with each fee service.
    Statement of Need: Regarding certain agricultural quarantine and 
inspection services that are provided in connection with certain 
commercial vessels, commercial trucks, commercial railroad cars, 
commercial aircraft, and international passengers arriving at ports in 
the customs territory of the United States, we have determined that 
revised user fee categories and revised user fees are necessary to 
recover the costs of the current level of activity, to account for 
actual and projected increases in the cost of doing business, and to 
more accurately align fees with the costs associated with each fee 
service.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 2509(a) of the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation, and Trade (FACT) Act of 1990 (21 U.S.C. 136a) authorizes 
APHIS to collect user fees for certain agricultural quarantine and 
inspection (AQI) services. The FACT Act was amended on April 4, 1996, 
and May 13, 2002. The FACT Act, as amended, authorizes APHIS to collect 
user fees for AQI services provided in connection with the arrival, at 
a port in the customs territory of the United States, of commercial 
vessels, commercial trucks, commercial railroad cars, commercial 
aircraft, and international passengers. According to the FACT Act, as 
amended, these user fees should recover the costs of:
     Providing the AQI services for the conveyances and the 
passengers listed above;
     Providing preclearance or preinspection at a site outside 
the customs territory of the United States to international passengers, 
commercial vessels, commercial trucks, commercial railroad cars, and 
commercial aircraft;
     Administering the user fee program; and
     Maintaining a reasonable reserve.
    In addition, the FACT Act, as amended, contains the following 
requirement:
     The fees should be commensurate with the costs with 
respect to the class of persons or entities paying the fees. This is 
intended to avoid cross-subsidization of AQI services.
    Alternatives: APHIS focused on three alternatives composed of 
different combinations of paying classes. The first or preferred 
alternative is the proposed rule; the second alternative differed from 
the first by not including user fees for recipients of AQI treatment 
services; and under the third alternative, recipients of commodity 
import permits and pest import permits would pay user fees, in addition 
to the classes that would pay fees under the proposed rule. The latter 
two alternatives were rejected.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The proposed changes in user fees 
would ensure that the program can continue to protect America's 
agricultural industries and natural resource base against invasive 
species and diseases while more closely aligning, by class, the cost of 
AQI services provided and user fee revenue received.
    Risks: AQI services benefit U.S. agricultural and natural resources 
by protecting them from the inadvertent introduction of foreign pests 
and diseases that may enter the country and the threat of intentional 
introduction of pests or pathogens as a means of agroterrorism. In the 
extreme, failure to maintain the nation's biosecurity could disrupt 
American agricultural production, erode confidence in the U.S. food 
supply, and destabilize the U.S. economy.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   04/00/14
NPRM Comment Period End.............   06/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal.
    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: William E Thomas, Senior Agriculturist, Office of 
the Deputy Administrator, PPQ, Department of Agriculture, Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service, 4700 River Road, Unit 130, Riverdale, 
MD 20737, Phone: 301 851-2306.
    Michael Peranio, Chief, User Fees, Financial Services Branch, FMD, 
MRPBS, Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service, 4700 River Road, Unit 55, Riverdale, MD 20737, Phone: 301 851-
2852.
    RIN: 0579-AD77

USDA--RURAL HOUSING SERVICE (RHS)

Proposed Rule Stage

8. Civil Rights Compliance Requirements

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 100-259; 29 U.S.C. 794; Pub. L. 94-135; 42 
U.S.C. 6101 et seq.; Pub. L. 94-239; 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.; EO 11246; 
Pub. L. 88-352; 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.; Pub. L. 90-284; 42 U.S.C. 3601 
to 3619; Pub. L. 100-430; Pub. L. 92-318; 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.; Pub. 
L. 93-112; EO 12898
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 15; 12 CFR 202; 28 CFR 42; 45 CFR 90; 41 CFR 60 
to 64; 24 CFR 14; 7 CFR 1901-E; 7 CFR 1940-D.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: In this proposed rule the Rural Housing Service (RHS) 
proposes to effectuate a comprehensive civil rights regulation to 
provide detailed guidelines to improve compliance with applicable 
enacted civil right laws. Mechanisms for monitoring compliance by USDA 
field offices and recipients of Federal financial assistance at all 
levels will decrease the Agency's vulnerability that exists due to 
compliance issues.
    Statement of Need: The 1901-E is the current civil rights 
compliance regulation covering Rural Development programs which was 
published in 1977. The 1940-D will update and replace the information 
provided in the 1901-E which addresses limited elements of civil rights 
compliance and limited information on enforcement policies and 
procedures. This proposed rule will increase the understanding of civil 
rights compliance requirements under title VI and applicable civil 
rights laws which will directly reduce the number of complaints 
received by customers, applicants, borrowers, grantees, recipients and 
beneficiaries.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This information is used by Rural 
Development to comply with the Department of Justice (DOJ) title VI 
Regulation 28 CFR part 42 subpart F to insure that Federal agencies 
which extend Federal financial assistance properly enforce title VI of 
the Civil Rights Act and similar provisions in Federal grant statutes. 
Additionally, section 42.407--``Procedures to Determine Compliance'' 
established Rural Development requirements to conduct pre-award and 
post-award compliance reviews. The requirement to conduct compliance 
reviews is also based on the requirements of Executive Order 12250.
    Alternatives: The alternative to publishing this rule is to 
continue to use the 1901-E as it is written.

[[Page 918]]

    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This proposed rule will not impose 
any new costs for the public (customers, applicants, borrowers, 
grantees, recipients and/or beneficiaries) of Rural Development's loan 
and grant programs. The proposed rule will align Rural Development's 
civil rights enforcement policies with laws and regulations which are 
already federal law. This rule will also align Rural Development civil 
rights regulations with USDA departmental regulations. On average Rural 
Development received 250 complaints each year. It is estimated that 
each complaint costs on average $10,000 to process. Lawsuits and 
findings of discrimination add to this cost.
    Risks: There are no risks associated with publishing or not 
publishing this rule but there may be inferred risk to recipients or 
beneficiaries due to non-compliance issues.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Renata Robinson, Department of Agriculture, Rural 
Housing Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250, 
Phone: 202 692-0070, Email: renata.robinson@wdc.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0575-AA83

USDA--RHS

9. Loan Packager Certification

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 42 U.S.C. 1480
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 3550.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: In the Single Family Housing (SFH) direct loan program, 
the current loan application packaging process is an informal 
arrangement and the packagers' level of program knowledge and 
expertise, as well as their level of service, is inconsistent. To 
address this, the Rural Housing Service (RHS) is proposing to amend its 
regulations for the SFH direct loan program to create a certified loan 
application process. Certified packagers will promote the direct loan 
program in eligible communities; informally prescreen interested 
parties to determine their likelihood of qualifying for the program; 
and fully prepare and document the loan application package on behalf 
of the applicant for submission to the Agency. The certified loan 
application process will include the requirements for eligible 
individuals to obtain the designation of an Agency-certified loan 
application packager and the requirements for qualified nonprofit 
organizations and public agencies that employ certified packagers. 
These requirements will cover experience, training, proficiency, and 
structure. The process will also include Agency-approved independent 
nonprofit organizations that serve as intermediaries and perform 
quality assurance reviews on packaged loan applications prior to 
submission to the Agency. In addition, RHS is proposing to set 
limitations on the loan application packaging fee. The fee may not 
exceed two percent of the average area loan limit nationwide; the 
Administrator will periodically set a maximum dollar amount for the fee 
within this limit and set different maximum dollar amounts for 
certified packagers working with and without intermediaries. These 
amounts will be published on the Agency's Web site as an attachment to 
HB-1-3550.
    Agency financing of the packaging fee will remain dependent on the 
borrower's repayment ability and the total secured indebtedness 
limitation outlined in 7 CFR 3550.63.
    Statement of Need: Formalizing the loan application process will 
allow for Agency oversight; it will also ensure minimum competency 
standards.
    By establishing a vast network of competent, experienced, and 
committed Agency-certified packagers, this action will benefit low- and 
very low-income people who wish to achieve homeownership in rural areas 
by increasing their awareness of the Agency's housing program, 
increasing specialized support available to them to complete the 
application for assistance, and improving the quality of loan 
application packages submitted on their behalf.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The SFH direct loan program was authorized 
by the Housing Act of 1949, as amended.
    Alternatives: The alternative to implementing a certified loan 
application packaging process is maintaining the status quo, which is 
problematic for the following reasons:
    With voluntary early retirement authority and voluntary separation 
incentive payments offered in the first quarter of Fiscal Years 2012 
and 2013, the number of Rural Development staff available to process 
section 502 loan applications has been severely reduced. Without 
operational restructuring and redistribution, program participants will 
experience unprecedented and significant delays in loan application 
processing.
    The current procedure allows loan application packaging under an 
informal arrangement, which results in inconsistencies in the 
packagers' level of program knowledge and expertise as well as their 
level of service.
    Limited travel budgets restrict the Rural Development staffs' 
ability to target underserved areas (such as Indian reservations, 
colonias counties, and persistent poverty counties).
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits:
    Cost/benefit to the borrowers: With an interest rate of 3.75%, 
which is the program's full note interest rate that has been in effect 
as of September 2013, and with a standard term of 33 years, a packaging 
fee of $1,500 will cost the borrower $6.62/month ($1,500 x .00441; the 
amortization factor for this extra loan amount). Because many borrowers 
receive the maximum payment assistance allowed, the amount billed for 
the fee may be reduced down to $4.46/month ($1,500 x .00297 the 
amortization factor for this extra loan amount at 1% for 33 years). In 
FY 2012, the families served through the direct single family housing 
program had an average annual income of $27,600. At most, the increase 
in the monthly payment represents .02 percent of the allowable 
qualifying ratios ($6.62/$27,600). All other factors aside, the 
packaging fee should not adversely impact an applicant's eligibility.
    For borrowers that choose to apply through the certified loan 
application packaging process, their increased loan costs are more than 
offset by the benefits they will experience (largely being made aware 
of an affordable homeownership program that they may not have otherwise 
heard of because of the Agency's reduced physical presence in rural 
areas and having a knowledgeable and committed packager hold their hand 
through the entire application process).
    Cost/benefit to the Agency: The training costs associated with this 
action is approximately $39,600 per fiscal year in comparison to 
maintaining the status quo. The one-time cost to modify the program's 
loan origination system to create a new data element to track 
applications obtained through the certified loan application process is 
$100,000.
    Implementing a certified loan application process will save the 
Agency approximately $1.5 million in salaries and expenses per fiscal 
year in comparison to maintaining the status quo.
    Risks: There may be some limited opposition to the loan application

[[Page 919]]

packaging fee from affordable housing advocates, but the Agency 
believes the substantial measure by which the process's merits outweigh 
potential drawbacks will be widely recognized. The loan application 
packaging fee outlined in the proposed rule is significantly higher 
than the amount currently allowed. However, the fee also ensures 
critical outreach and support for families and individuals who might 
otherwise have little chance of securing a mortgage. Moreover, engaging 
the services of a certified packager is completely at the applicant's 
discretion-the borrower has the option of electing to proceed without 
the additional assistance afforded by the fee. The allowable fee 
reflects the additional responsibilities that will be placed on those 
involved in the certified loan application packaging process 
(principally submitting viable loan application packages to expedite 
the Agency's underwriting review); and the fee can be financed with the 
SFH loan, adding little to the required monthly payment. The rule also 
furthers the government's partnering opportunities with private 
organizations. The proposed certification process is not mandatory. 
Individuals and entities that do not meet the requirements for 
certification may still package on behalf of an applicant but any fee 
charged will not be an allowable loan purpose.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   08/23/13  78 FR 52460
NPRM Comment Period End.............   10/22/13
NPRM Comment Period Extended........   11/01/13  78 FR 65582
Final Action........................   09/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Brooke Baumann, Senior Loan Specialist, Department 
of Agriculture, Rural Housing Service, STOP 0783, 1400 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250, Phone: 202 720-1474, Fax: 202 720-
2232, Email: brooke.baumann@wdc.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0575-AC88

USDA--FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICE (FNS)

Proposed Rule Stage

10. Child Nutrition Program Integrity

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-296
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR part 210; 7 CFR part 215; 7 CFR part 220; 7 CFR 
part 225; 7 CFR part 226; 7 CFR part 235.
    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.
    Risks: None identified.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/14
NPRM Comment Period End.............   05/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in EO 13132.
    Agency Contact: James F. Herbert, Regulatory Review Specialist, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center 
Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 305-2572, Email: 
james.herbert@fns.usda.gov.
    Lynnette M. Williams, Chief, Planning and Regulatory Affairs 
Branch, Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 
Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 605-4782, Email: 
lynnette.williams@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AE08

USDA--FNS

11. Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related 
to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-296
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 226.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposal would implement section 221 of the Healthy, 
Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-296, the Act) which requires 
USDA to review and update, no less frequently than once every 10 years, 
requirements for meals served under the Child and Adult Care Food 
Program (CACFP) to ensure that meals are consistent with the most 
recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans and relevant nutrition science.
    Statement of Need: Section 221 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act 
of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-296, the Act) requires USDA to review and update, 
no less frequently than once every 10 years, requirements for meals 
served under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to ensure 
that meals are consistent with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for 
Americans and relevant nutrition science. The Act also clarifies the 
purpose of the program, restricts the use of food as a punishment or 
reward, outlines requirements for milk and milk

[[Page 920]]

substitution, and introduces requirements for the availability of 
water. This rule will establish the criteria and procedures for 
implementing these provisions of the Act.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 221 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 improve the 
nutritional quality of meals served and the overall health of children 
participating in the CACFP. Most CACFP meals are served to children 
from low-income households. At this time, we cannot estimate the 
financial impact the proposed rule will have on State agencies, 
sponsoring organizations, and child care institutions, but we expect 
that there will be a small cost increase associated with the 
implementation of improved meal pattern requirements. A regulatory 
impact analysis will be conducted to determine these cost implications.
    Risks: None identified.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   02/00/14
NPRM Comment Period End.............   05/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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, 3101 Park Center 
Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 305-2572, Email: 
james.herbert@fns.usda.gov.
    Lynnette M. Williams, Chief, Planning and Regulatory Affairs 
Branch, Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 
Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 605-4782, Email: 
lynnette.williams@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AE18

USDA--FNS

12. Enhancing Retailer Eligibility Standards in SNAP

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Sec. 3, U.S.C. 2012; Sec. 9, U.S.C. 2018
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 271.2; 7 CFR 278.1.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rulemaking will address the criteria used to 
authorize redemption of SNAP benefits (especially by restaurant-type 
operations).
    Statement of Need: Sections 3(k), (p) and (r), Section 7, and 
Section 9 of the Food and Nutrition Act and Title 7 Parts 271, 274, and 
278 of the Code of Federal Regulations provide factors for determining 
the eligibility of retail food stores to participate in the 
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (''SNAP''). The Food and 
Nutrition Service (FNS) has published a notice requesting information 
from any and all interested parties on opportunities to enhance 
retailer definitions and requirements in a manner that improves access 
to healthy food choices for SNAP participants as well as program 
integrity, and ensures that only those retailers that effectuate the 
purpose of SNAP are authorized to accept benefits. FNS is requesting 
information to understand what policy changes and, as needed, statutory 
changes, should be considered for retailer authorizations. FNS will use 
this information in determining how to make positive progress in the 
available healthy choices for program participants at authorized SNAP 
retail stores. FNS will propose revisions to existing regulations 
following this process of gathering stakeholder input.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 3(k) of the Food and Nutrition Act 
of 2008 (the Act) generally (with limited exception) (1) requires that 
food purchased with SNAP benefits be meant for home consumption and (2) 
forbids the purchase of hot foods with SNAP benefits. The intent of 
those statutory requirements can be circumvented by selling cold foods, 
which may be purchased with SNAP benefits, and offering onsite heating 
or cooking of those same foods, either for free or at an additional 
cost. In addition, Section 9 of the Act provides for approval of retail 
food stores and wholesale food concerns based on their ability to 
effectuate the purposes of the Program.
    Alternatives: Because this proposed rule is under development, 
alternatives are not yet articulated.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The proposed changes will allow FNS 
to improve access to healthy food choices for SNAP participants and to 
ensure that participating retailers effectuate the purposes of the 
Program. FNS anticipates that these provisions will have no significant 
costs to States.
    Risks: None identified.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   05/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: State.
    Agency Contact:, Charles H. Watford, Regulatory Review Specialist, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center 
Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 605-0800, Email: 
charles.watford@fns.usda.gov.
    Lynnette M. Williams, Chief, Planning and Regulatory Affairs 
Branch, Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 
Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 605-4782, Email: 
lynnette.williams@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AE27

USDA--FNS

Final Rule Stage

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

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 1786
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 246.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, November 30, 2006.
    CN and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-265) requires 
issuance of a final rule within 18 months of the release of the IOM 
Report.
    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 Act of 1966, as 
amended, section 17; especially 17(b)(14) and 17(f)(11).
    Alternatives: FNS developed a regulatory impact analysis that 
addressed a variety of alternatives that

[[Page 921]]

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. 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. 
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 Rule..........................   02/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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, 3101 Park Center 
Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 305-2572, Email: 
james.herbert@fns.usda.gov.
    Lynnette M Williams, Chief, Planning and Regulatory Affairs Branch, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center 
Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 605-4782, Email: 
lynnette.williams@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AD77

USDA--FNS

 Prorule

14. 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 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, and 
others were new program options the FCEA created that State agencies 
may include in their administration of the program. FNS did consider 
alternatives within these mandatory and optional FCEA provisions 
addressed in the rule. For example, under the new optional provision 
implementing section 4119 of the FCEA, Telephonic Signature Systems, 
FNS considered what specific conditions must be satisfied for a 
signature to be considered a spoken signature.
    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, including 
that 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 Action........................   03/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Agency Contact: Charles H Watford, Regulatory Review Specialist, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center 
Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 605-0800, Email: 
charles.watford@fns.usda.gov.
    Lynnette M Williams, Chief, Planning and Regulatory Affairs Branch, 
Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center 
Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302, Phone: 703 605-4782, Email: 
lynnette.williams@fns.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0584-AD87

USDA--FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE (FSIS)

Proposed Rule Stage

15. Records To Be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores 
That Grind Raw Beef Products

    Priority: Other Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR 320.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: FSIS is proposing to amend its recordkeeping regulations 
to specify that all official establishments and retail stores that 
grind raw beef products for sale in commerce must 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 product and identify 
the names of those source materials.
    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

[[Page 922]]

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 to 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 traceback and traceforward 
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 conduct traceback and traceforward 
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 will fully 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 or 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 will fully 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.
    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 76,093 
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 
recordkeeping costs would be approximately $1.46 million. Agency costs 
of approximately $0.01 million 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 estimated averted Shiga 
toxin-producing E.coli illnesses of $1.06 million and $0.58 million due 
to averted cases of Salmonellosis.
    Total benefits from this rule are estimated to be $1.64 million, 
with a net annual benefit of $0.13 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 faster 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 
STECs 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 estimates that the annual costs of STEC and 
salmonellosis illnesses that will continue to be incurred without this 
rule is $1.64 million, which comes from an estimated $1.06 million due 
to illnesses associated with STECs and an estimated $0.58 million due 
to cases of salmonellosis.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Victoria Levine, Program Analyst, Issuances Staff 
(IS), Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 
Office of Policy and Program Development, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Room 6079, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-3700, Phone: 202 690-
3184, Fax: 202 690-0486, Email: victoria.levine@fsis.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0583-AD46

USDA--FSIS

Final Rule Stage

16. 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.

[[Page 923]]

    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 Action........................   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Rachel Edelstein, Assistant Administrator, Office 
of Policy and Program Development, Department of Agriculture, Food 
Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 350-E JLW 
Building, Washington, DC 20250-3700, Phone: 202 205-0495, Fax: 202 720-
2025, Email: rachel.edelstein@fsis.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0583-AD32

USDA--FSIS

17. 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: FSIS is developing final regulations to amend 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 intends to 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 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........................   05/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 924]]

    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: Rick Harries, Director, Import/Export Coordination 
and Policy Development Staff (IECPDS), Department of Agriculture, Food 
Safety and Inspection Service, Office of Policy and Program 
Development, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 2147, South Building, 
Washington, DC 20250-3700, Phone: 202 720-6508, Fax: 202 720-7990, 
Email: rick.harries@fsis.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0583-AD41

USDA--FSIS

18. Common or Usual Name for Raw Meat and Poultry Products Containing 
Added Solutions

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 601 to 695; 21 U.S.C. 451 to 470
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR 317.2(e); 9 CFR 381.117(h).
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: FSIS is developing final regulations to establish a 
common or usual name for raw meat and poultry products that contain 
added solutions, and that do not meet a standard of identity. FSIS 
proposed to amend the meat and poultry labeling regulations to require 
that the common or usual name must include an accurate description of 
the raw meat or poultry component, the percentage of added solution, 
and the individual ingredients or multi-ingredient components in the 
solution listed in descending order of prominence by weight. The Agency 
also proposed that the print for all words in the common or usual name 
appears in a single easy-to-read type style and color, and on a single 
color-contrasting background. The Agency also intends to remove the 
standard of identity for ``ready-to-cook poultry products to which 
solutions are added'' (9 CFR 381.169).
    Statement of Need: Without adequate labeling information, consumers 
likely cannot distinguish between raw meat and poultry product that 
contain added solutions and single-ingredient meat and poultry 
products. Added solutions are a characterizin component of a product 
likely to affect consumer's purchasing decisions. Therefore, to ensure 
that labels adequately inform consumers that a meat and poultry product 
contains added solutions, the Agency is establishing a common or usual 
name for products containing added solutions.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 21 U.S.C. 601(n)(1), (n)(2), (n)(9); 
453(h)(1), (h)(3), (h)(9).
    Alternatives:
    1. No Action. FSIS considered taking no action but did not select 
this alternative because a consumer research study submitted to the 
Agency showed that consumers view information about these additives as 
important factors in their purchasing decisions.
    2. Require the word ``enhanced'' in the product's common or usual 
name, or the use of the term ``enhanced'' in the containing statement, 
e.g., ``enhanced with 15 percent solution.'' FSIS did not select this 
alternative because the word implies that the product is improved by 
the addition of the solution. The intent of this rule is to increase 
transparency to consumers, not to suggest that the product is either 
better or worse than a raw product without the added solution. In 
addition, consumer research showed that the containing statement, 
``enhanced with up to 15 percent solution of water salt, and sodium 
phosphates'' was preferred by fewer study participants (about 10 
percent fewer) than the use of the description ``contains up to 15 
percent water, salt, and sodium phosphates.
    3. Require that the common or usual name of the added solutions 
product include an accurate description of the raw meat or poultry 
component, the percentage of added solution, and the common or usual 
name of the ingredients in the solution, with all of the print in a 
single font size, color, and style on a single-color contrasting 
background (the proposed amendments). FSIS selected this alternative 
because it is likely to improve consumer awareness and understanding 
that raw meat or poultry product contains an added solution. Requiring 
the percentage of the solution and the ingredient of the solution as 
part of the common or usual name is information consumers need to make 
informed purchasing decisions.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The amendments will require 
establishments that manufacture raw meat and poultry products with 
added solution to modify or redesign the product label, effective 
December 2016, the Uniform Compliance Date for Food Labeling. FSIS's 
estimates that the one-time total cost of modifying labels for all 
federally inspected processors is $80 million, as central estimate. The 
amendments will improve public awareness of product identities by 
providing truthful and accurate labeling of meat and poultry products 
to clearly differentiate products containing added solutions from 
single-ingredient products. Consumers can better determine whether 
products containing added solutions are suitable for their personal 
dietary needs through increased product name prominence.
    Risks: None.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   07/27/11  76 FR 44855
NPRM Comment Period End.............   09/26/11  .......................
NPRM Comment Period Reopened........   11/08/11  76 FR 69146
NPRM Comment Period End.............   01/09/12  .......................
Final Action........................   03/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Rosalyn Murphy-Jenkins, Director, Labeling and 
Program Delivery Staff (LPDS), Department of Agriculture, Food Safety 
and Inspection Service, Office of Policy and Program Development, 
Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 8-148, Mailstop 
5273, Washington, DC 20250-5273, Phone: 301 504-0879, Fax: 202 245-
4792, Email: rosalyn.murphy-jenkins@fsis.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0583-AD43

USDA--FSIS

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

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 601 to 695
    CFR Citation: 9 CFR 317.2(e)(3).
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: FSIS has proposed regulations 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 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. This rule would require that 
the product name for such beef products include the descriptive 
designation ``mechanically tenderized'' and accurate description of the 
beef component. The rule would also require

[[Page 925]]

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, this rule would 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 stating 
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 necessary 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.
    Alternatives: The Agency considered two options: Option 1, extend 
labeling requirements to include vacuum tumbled beef products and 
enzyme-formed beef products; and Option 2, extend the proposed labeling 
requirements to all needle- or blade-tenderized meat and poultry 
products.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The proposed rule estimated the one-
time cost to produce labels for mechanically tenderized beef at $1.05 
million or $2.62 million, if this rule is in effect before the added 
solutions rule. The annualized cost is $140,000 for 10 years at a 7 
percent discount rate or $349,000 over 10 years at a 7 percent discount 
rate, if this rule is in effect before the added solutions rule.
    The proposed rule estimated the expected number of E. coli O157:H7 
illnesses prevented would be 453 per year, with a range of 133 to 
1,497, if the predicted percentages of beef steaks and roasts are 
cooked to an internal temperature of 160 [deg]F (or 145 [deg]F and 3 
minutes of dwell time). These prevented illnesses amount to $1,486,000 
per year in benefits with a range of $436,000 to $4,912,000.
    Therefore, the expected annualized net benefits are $296,000 to 
$4,772,000 with a primary estimate of $1,346,000. If, however, this 
rule is in effect before the added solutions rule, the expected 
annualized net benefits are then $1,137,000, with a range of $87,000 to 
$4,563,000, plus the unquantifiable benefits of increased consumer 
information and market efficiency, minus an unquantified consumer 
surplus loss and an unquantified cost associated with food service 
establishments changing their standard operating procedures.
    Risks: FSIS estimates that approximately 1,965 illnesses annually 
is attributed to mechanically tenderized beef, either with or without 
added solutions. If all the servings are cooked to a minimum of 
160[emsp14][deg]F then the number of illnesses drops to 78. This number 
of illness is due to a data set for all STEC and not just O157 data. 
From the risk assessment, 1,887 out of 1,965 illnesses were estimated 
to be prevented annually if mechanically tenderized meat were cooked to 
160 degrees.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   06/10/13  78 FR 34589
NPRM Comment Period End.............   08/09/13  .......................
NPRM Comment Period Extended........   08/09/13  78 FR 48631
Final Action........................   06/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Rosalyn Murphy-Jenkins, Director, Labeling and 
Program Delivery Staff (LPDS), Department of Agriculture, Food Safety 
and Inspection Service, Office of Policy and Program Development, 
Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 8-148, Mailstop 
5273, Washington, DC 20250-5273, Phone: 301 504-0879, Fax: 202 245-
4792, Email: rosalyn.murphy-jenkins@fsis.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0583-AD45

USDA--FOREST SERVICE (FS)

Proposed Rule Stage

20. Forest Service Manual 2020--Ecological Restoration and Resilience 
Policy

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Not Yet Determined
    CFR Citation: None.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This policy establishes a common definition for 
ecological restoration and resilience that is consistent with the 2012 
Land Planning rule. The directive will provide additional guidance in 
implementing the definition throughout Forest Service program areas by 
incorporating it into the Forest Service Manual.
    Restoration objectives span a number of initiatives in various 
program areas, including the invasive species strategy, recovery of 
areas affected by high-severity fires, hurricanes, and other 
catastrophic disturbances; fish habitat restoration and remediation; 
riparian area restoration; conservation of threatened and endangered 
species; and restoration of impaired watersheds and large-scale 
watershed restoration projects. The restoration policy will allow 
agency employees to more effectively communicate Forest Service work in 
meeting restoration needs at the local, regional, and national levels. 
Currently an internal Forest Service interim policy for this proposed 
directive has been implemented in the field units, without any issues. 
Incorporating the definition into the Forest Service Manual will bring 
the FS policy into alignment with current ecological restoration 
science and with congressional and FS authorizations and initiatives.
    Statement of Need: There is a critical need for ecological 
restoration on National Forest System lands and the concept of 
restoration is threaded throughout existing Agency authorities and 
collaborative efforts such as the National Fire Plan. However, without 
a definition in FS' Directive System there has not been consistent 
interpretation and application. An established policy is necessary for 
consistency and for the landscape to better weather disturbances, 
especially under future environmental conditions.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Forest Service proposes to amend the 
Forest Service Manual (FSM) to add a new title: FSM 2020 Ecological 
Restoration and Resilience. The proposed directive reinforces adaptive 
management, use of science, and collaboration in planning and decision 
making. These foundational land management policies, including use of 
restoration to achieve desired conditions, underwent formal public 
review during revision of the Planning Rule (36 CFR 219) and amendment 
of associated directives (FSM 1900, 1920).
    Alternatives: No alternatives were considered as an established 
policy is necessary for Agency consistency.

[[Page 926]]

    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The promulgation of this directive 
will have no monetary effect to the Agency or the public. The proposed 
directive will help agency employees and partners more effectively 
communicate restoration needs and accomplishments at the local, 
regional, and national levels.
    Risks: There is no risk identified with this rulemaking. The Forest 
Service has been accomplishing ecological restoration work for many 
years but has not specifically and consistently referred to it as 
``restoration'' until recently. This final directive brings agency 
policy into alignment with field operations and current and emerging 
ecological restoration science and terminology.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proposed Directive..................   09/12/13  78 FR 56202
Proposed Directive Comment Period      11/12/13
 End.
Final Directive.....................   09/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: LaRenda C King, Assistant Director, Directives and 
Regulations, Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, ATTN: ORMS, D&R 
Branch, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0003, Phone: 
202 205-6560, Email: larendacking@fs.fed.us.
    RIN: 0596-AC82

USDA--FS

Final Rule Stage

21. Land Management Planning Rule Policy

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 302; 16 U.S.C. 1604; 16 U.S.C. 1613
    CFR Citation: 36 CFR 219.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Forest Service promulgated a new Land Management 
Planning rule in April 2012. This rule streamlined the Forest Service's 
paperwork requirements and expanded the public participation 
requirements for revising National Forest's Land Management Plans. On 
February 27, 2013, the Forest Service published proposed directives (78 
FR 13316) that will update the current directives, which provide Forest 
Service internal guidance on how to implement the 2012 planning rule. 
The directives will allow full implementation of the Land Management 
Planning rule, which will enable the Forest Service to reduce the time 
to revise expired plans from 4 to 5 years to 2 to 3 years. These 
directives, once finalized, will enable the National Forests to revise 
their management plans under the new rule.
    Statement of Need: The existing direction in the Forest Service 
Manual 1920 and the Forest Service Handbook 1909.12 regarding Land 
Management Planning needs to be updated to support implementation of 
the 2012 Planning Rule (36 CFR 219). This will bring the planning 
directives in line with the new planning rule and clarify substantive 
and procedural requirements to implement the rule. The updated 
directives would implement a planning framework that fosters 
collaboration with the public during land management planning, and is 
science-based, responsive to change, and promotes social, economic, and 
ecological sustainability.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Forest Service promulgated a new land 
management planning regulation at 36 CFR 219 (the ``2012 Planning 
Rule''). The final Planning rule and record of decision was published 
on April 9, 2012 (77 FR 21162).
    Alternatives: The Forest Service must finalize the directives to 
bring the FS's internal directives in-line with the CFR.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: No new costs to the agency or the 
public are associated with these directives. The amended directives 
would result in more effective and efficient planning within the 
Agency's capability.
    Risks: There are no risks to the public or to the Forest Service 
associated with this rulemaking.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proposed Rule.......................   02/27/13  78 FR 13316
Comment Period End..................   04/29/13  .......................
Final Rule..........................   02/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: LaRenda C King, Assistant Director, Directives and 
Regulations, Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, ATTN: ORMS, D&R 
Branch, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0003, Phone: 
202 205-6560, Email: larendacking@fs.fed.us.
    RIN: 0596-AD06

USDA--OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY (AgSEC)

Proposed Rule Stage

22. Nondiscrimination in Programs or Activities Conducted by the United 
States Department of Agriculture

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 29 U.S.C. 794
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 15d.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: USDA proposes to amend its regulation on 
nondiscrimination in programs or activities conducted by the 
Department. This regulation, adopting the nondiscrimination principles 
of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and applying them to 
programs and activities conducted by USDA, was first established in 
1964. The changes are proposed to clarify the roles and 
responsibilities of USDA's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil 
Rights and USDA agencies in enforcing nondiscrimination in programs or 
activities conducted by the Department and to strengthen USDA's civil 
rights compliance and complaint processing activities to better protect 
the rights of USDA customers.
    Statement of Need: The intent of the proposal is to clarify the 
roles and responsibilities of OASCR and USDA agencies in enforcing non-
discrimination in programs or activities conducted by the Department 
(``conducted programs'') and to strengthen USDA's civil rights 
compliance and complaint processing activities to better protect the 
rights of USDA customers. This regulation does not address those 
programs for which the Department provides Federal financial assistance 
\1\ (``assisted programs'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Federally assisted programs are programs and activities 
receiving financial assistance through a third party such as a State 
or municipal government, university, or organization. Federally 
conducted programs, which are those programs covered in this 
regulation are programs and activities receiving assistance directly 
from USDA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Summary of Legal Basis: 5 U.S.C. 301; 29 U.S.C. 794. This 
regulation when it was first established adopted the nondiscrimination 
principles of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964--protections on 
the bases of race, color, and national origin--and applied them to 
programs and activities conducted by USDA (see 29 Federal Register (FR) 
16966, creating 7 CFR part 15, subpart b, referring to 
nondiscrimination in direct USDA programs and activities, now found at 
7 CFR section 15d). However, in efforts to provide fair services to all 
program participants, USDA expanded the protected bases for

[[Page 927]]

its conducted programs to include religion, sex, age, marital status, 
familial status, sexual orientation, disability, and whether any 
portion of a person's income is derived from public assistance 
programs. The regulation was last revised in 1999 (64 FR 66709, Nov 30, 
1999).
    Alternatives: Maintaining the status quo would not provide USDA 
with a uniform requirement for reporting and tabulating the race, 
ethnicity, and gender data across USDA's diverse program areas. It 
would also not encourage the early resolution of customers' complaints 
in accordance with the Secretary of Agriculture's Blueprint for 
Stronger Service, nor would it strengthen USDA's ability to ensure that 
all USDA customers receive fair and consistent treatment, and align the 
regulations with USDA's civil rights goals.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: OASCR anticipates that there will be 
a small cost to the public who are served by USDA's conducted programs 
through the data collection requirement should they volunteer to 
provide the data.
    Risks: OASCR has not identified any risks associated with this 
proposed action.
    Timetable:

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Anna G. Stroman, Acting Chief, Policy Division, 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Department of 
Agriculture, Office of the Secretary, Reporter's Building, 300 7th St. 
SW., Room 618, Washington, DC 20024, Phone: 202 205-5953, Email: 
anna.stroman@ascr.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0503-AA52

USDA--RURAL BUSINESS--COOPERATIVE SERVICE (RBS)

Proposed Rule Stage

23. Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program

    Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 U.S.C. 801 is 
undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 4287; 7 CFR 4279.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program 
regulations were last rewritten in 1996. While there have been some 
minor modifications to the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program regulations 
since 1996 to implement Farm Bill provisions etc., some refinements to 
the regulation need to be made to enhance the program, improve 
efficiency, correct minor inconsistencies, clarify the regulations to 
make them more clear and easier to understand, and ultimately reduce 
delinquencies.
    The Agency held several lender meetings throughout the country to 
see how changes to the program could benefit lenders who utilize the 
program and make it more attractive for them. The proposed changes 
being considered should lower the subsidy rate, thereby increasing 
supportable loan level, which is critical to program success as the 
program's budget is proposed to be decreased. The proposed rule is 
intended to increase lending activity, expand business opportunities, 
and create more jobs in rural areas, particularly in areas that have 
historically experienced economic distress.
    There is no expected cost associated with implementation of the 
rule.
    Statement of Need: With the passage of the 2008 Farm Bill, there is 
the need to conform certain portions of the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program 
regulations with requirements found in the 2008 Farm Bill, such as the 
addition of cooperative equity security guarantees, the locally and 
regionally grown agricultural food products initiative, and exceptions 
to the rural area definition. In addition, with the passage of time, 
the Agency has identified enhancements that will improve program 
delivery and/or administration, leverage program resources, better 
align the regulation with the program's goals and purposes, clarify the 
regulations to make them easier to understand, and reduce delinquencies 
and defaults. These enhancements will also help to improve program 
subsidy costs. By lowering program subsidy costs over time, the Agency 
will be able to better leverage the budget authority provided by 
Congress. This will allow the Agency to guarantee a higher total dollar 
amount of loan requests and, assuming the same average size of loans 
being guaranteed, to guarantee more loans. A reduction in program 
subsidy costs will manifest in more funds available for additional 
projects, further improving the economic conditions of rural America. 
This should result in increased lending activity, the expansion of 
business opportunities, and the creation of more jobs in rural areas.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Consolidated Farm and Rural Development 
Act, as amended by the 2008 Farm Bill.
    Alternatives: The only alternative would be the status quo 
alternative, which is not an acceptable alternative.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The benefits of the enhanced rule 
are that the rule is expected to reduce loan losses, lower the subsidy 
rate, and provide program delivery enhancements. The program changes 
have a cumulative effect of lowering the program cost; however, the 
amount of the change in cost cannot be estimated with any reasonable 
precision.
    Risks: The only identified risk is not getting the rule published.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Proposed Rule.......................   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Brenda Griffin, Loan Specialist, B&I Processing 
Division, Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative 
Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250, Phone: 202 
720-6802, Fax: 202 720-6003, Email: brenda.griffin@wdc.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0570-AA85

USDA--RBS

Final Rule Stage

24. Rural Energy for America Program

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8107
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 4280-B.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Agency implemented an interim rule for the Rural 
Energy for America Program (REAP) on April 14, 2011, to revise and 
update the existing Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency 
Improvement Program established under the Farm Security and Rural 
Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill).
    This interim rule revised and updated the existing Renewable Energy 
System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Program (7 CFR 4280, subpart) 
that was implemented in response to the Renewable Energy and Energy 
Efficiency Program (section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill). The interim 
rule implemented the provisions found in section 9006 of the 2002 Farm 
Bill as amended and various provisions found in fiscal year 2010 
notices of funding availability (NOFAs) published in the

[[Page 928]]

Federal Register. The interim rule provides grants for energy audits 
and renewable energy development assistance; grants for renewable 
energy system feasibility studies; and financial assistance (grants, 
guaranteed loans) for energy efficiency improvements and renewable 
energy systems. The 2002 Farm Bill as amended directs that at least 20 
percent of funds be used for grants of $20,000 or less, up to 10 
percent for feasibility studies, and up to 4 percent of mandatory funds 
for energy audits. Eligible entities for energy audits and renewable 
energy development assistance include units of State, tribal, or local 
government; an instrumentality of a State, tribal, or local government; 
land grant or other institutions of higher education; rural electric 
cooperatives; or public power entities. Eligible entities for renewable 
energy feasibility study and financial assistance for energy efficiency 
improvements and renewable energy systems include agricultural 
producers and rural small businesses.
    The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) published a Proposed 
Rule on April 12, 2013, with a 60-day comment period to implement 
additional changes to REAP to further improve program delivery (e.g., 
through the simplification of the application process).
    Statement of Need: While the interim rule implemented provisions 
required by the 2008 Farm Bill and included in the fiscal year 2010 
NOFAs, there are additional changes to be made in order to reduce the 
burden to applicants and improve program delivery. In order to achieve 
these changes, it is necessary to propose changes to 7 CFR 4280, 
subpart B, and then, at a later date, to implement a final rule.
    Summary of Legal Basis: REAP was authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill, 
which made available $55,000,000 in mandatory funding for 2009, 
$60,000,000 mandatory funding for 2010, $70,000,000 mandatory funding 
for 2011 and 2012, and $25,000,000 in discretionary funding for each 
fiscal year 2009 through 2012. The program provides for grants and 
guaranteed loans for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency 
improvements, and grants for feasibility studies and energy audit and 
renewable energy development assistance. The purpose of the program is 
to reduce the energy consumption and increase renewable energy 
production.
    Alternatives: The alternatives are to (1) continue operating the 
program under the 7 CFR 4280, subpart B as it currently is written; (2) 
revise 7 CFR 4280, subpart B based on public comments received on the 
interim rule and issue a final rule; or (3) publish a proposed rule and 
then final rule, taking into account comments received on both the 
interim rule and the proposed rule.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Benefits of the rule may include a 
reduction in energy consumption, an increase in renewable energy 
production and reduced burden for certain loan and grant applications.
    Risks: The risk associated with this regulatory initiative is that 
by the time a Final Rule is published, the need will be diminished 
because there may not be any funding available to the program.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   04/14/11  76 FR 21109
Interim Final Rule Effective........   04/14/11
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      06/13/11
 End.
NPRM................................   04/12/13  78 FR 22044
Final Action........................   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Kelley Oehler, Branch Chief, Department of 
Agriculture, Rural Business--Cooperative Service, STOP 3225, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-3225, Phone: 202 720-
6819, Fax: 202 720-2213, Email: kelley.oehler@wdc.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0570-AA76

USDA--OFFICE OF PROCUREMENT AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (OPPM)

Final Rule Stage

25. Biopreferred Program Guidelines Revisions

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 110-246
    CFR Citation: 7 CFR 3201.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The 2008 Farm Bill requires USDA to address how the 
BioPreferred Program will designate complex products and intermediate 
materials and feed stocks and make other changes to update program 
guidelines.
    Statement of Need: Changes in the Guidelines for Designating 
Biobased products are necessary for USDA to comply with legislative 
mandates driving the program. The proposed regulation would be 
published as final.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Office of Procurement and Property 
Management (OPPM) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the 
Federal Register on May 1, 2012 (77 FR 25632) proposing to amend 7 CFR 
section 3201, subpart A, the ``Guidelines for Designating Biobased 
Products for Federal Procurement'' (Guidelines). Section 3201, which 
established the Federal biobased products preferred procurement 
program, was authorized by section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural 
Investment Act of 2002 (FSRIA), 7 U.S.C. 8102 and was amended by the 
Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) on June 18, 
2008. This regulatory action proposed to revise certain text within the 
current section 3201 to address program requirements that were changed 
or added by the 2008 Farm Bill. The proposed amendments provide the 
framework for implementing the requirements that USDA: (1) Designate 
biobased ``intermediate ingredients and feedstocks'' and ``finished 
products'' for preferred procurement by Federal agencies; (2) designate 
items composed of intermediate ingredients and feedstocks that have 
been designated if the content of the designated intermediate 
ingredients and feedstocks exceeds 50 percent of the item; and (3) 
provide information as to the availability, price, performance, and 
environmental and public health benefits of materials and items that 
have been designated for Federal preferred procurement.
    Alternatives: There are no alternatives as this action was mandated 
by Congress.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: We expect that this final rule will 
result in benefits that justify its cost, but we do not have 
information necessary to quantify those benefits. This final rule will 
allow USDA to expand the Federal procurement preference for biobased 
products to those intermediate ingredients and feedstocks not presently 
represented in the program. The expansion will create additional market 
opportunities for manufacturers and vendors of intermediate ingredients 
and feedstocks as the Government begins to purchase and use such 
products. As a result of the increased opportunities and use, American 
farmers and forest landowners should expect to see increased demand for 
their raw feedstock materials as the demand for biobased products 
grows. In addition, by increasing the scope of products available under 
the program, the regulatory action should assist the Government with 
the goals established for sustainable procurement set under Executive 
Order 13514. As additional biobased products become available for 
Federal procurement, Government

[[Page 929]]

Agencies will have increased opportunities to buy and use these 
products.
    This rulemaking was determined to be significant for the purposes 
of Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), and was 
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. It will not have an 
annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more and will not 
result in a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual 
industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic 
regions.
    Risks: After receiving public comment on the proposed rule USDA has 
determined the new rule poses no significant risks nor will it 
negatively impact Indian tribal governments or their members.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   05/01/12  77 FR 25632
NPRM Comment Period End.............   07/02/12  .......................
Final Action........................   04/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal.
    Agency Contact: Ron Buckhalt, Manager, BioPreferred Program, Office 
of Procurement and Property Management, Department of Agriculture, 
Office of Procurement and Property Management, 361 Reporters Building, 
300 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20250, Phone: 202 205-4008, Fax: 202 
720-8972, Email: ronb.buckhalt@dm.usda.gov.
    RIN: 0599-AA18
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 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 2013. During the next year, 
NOAA plans to publish six 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 
Services (NMFS), the National Ocean Service (NOS), and the National 
Environmental

[[Page 930]]

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 2013, 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 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

[[Page 931]]

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. 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.
    2. Proposed Rule to Designate 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.
    3. Final Rule to Designate Critical Habitat for the Hawaiian Monk 
Seal (0648-BA81): NOAA Fisheries is developing a final rule to 
designate critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal in the main and 
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. In response to a 2008 petition from the 
Center for Biological Diversity, Kahea, and the Ocean Conservancy to 
revise Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat, NOAA Fisheries published a 
proposed rule in June 2011 to revise Hawaiian monk seal critical 
habitat by adding critical habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands and 
extending critical habitat in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. 
Proposed critical habitat includes both marine and terrestrial habitats 
(e.g., foraging areas to 500 meter depth, pupping beaches, etc.). To 
address public comments on the proposed rule, NOAA Fisheries is 
augmenting its prior economic analysis to better describe the 
anticipated costs of the designation. NOAA Fisheries is analyzing new 
tracking data to assess monk seal habitat use in the main Hawaiian 
Islands. That may lead to some reduction in foraging area critical 
habitat for the main Hawaiian Islands to better reflect where preferred 
foraging features may be found.
    4. Proposed Rule to List Critical Habitat for Arctic Ringed Seals 
(0648-BC56): NOAA Fisheries published a final rule to list the Arctic 
ringed seal as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act 
(ESA) in December 2012. This rulemaking would designate critical 
habitat for the Arctic ringed seal. The proposed critical habitat 
designation would be in the northern Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas 
within the current range of the species.
    5. Proposed Rule to List Critical Habitat for Beringia Distinct 
Population of Bearded Seals (0648-BC55): NOAA Fisheries published a 
final rule to list the Beringia Distinct Population Segment of the 
bearded seal as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act 
(ESA) in December 2012. This rulemaking would designate critical 
habitat for the Beringia distinct population segment of the bearded 
seal. The proposed critical habitat designation would be in the 
northern Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas within the current range of 
the species.
    6. Final Rule for the Removal of the Sunset Provision of the Final 
Rule Implementing Vessel Speed Restrictions to Reduce the Threat of 
Ship Collisions With North Atlantic Right Whales (0648-BB20): In 2008 
NOAA Fisheries promulgated a regulation designed to reduce the 
likelihood of deaths and serious injuries to endangered North Atlantic 
right whales that result from collisions with ships. The rule 
implemented speed restrictions of no more than 10 knots applying to all 
vessels 65 ft long or greater in certain locations and times of the 
year along the east coast of the U.S. In view of uncertainties 
regarding the manner in which ships and whales interact and the burdens 
imposed on vessel operators, the rule included a sunset clause under 
which the rule would expire on December 9, 2013. NOAA Fisheries has 
proposed removing the sunset provision with the current restrictions 
remaining in place eliminating or reinstating the sunset provision, 
studies and metrics that might be used to evaluate the existing rule, 
and future modifications that should be considered.
    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

[[Page 932]]

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:

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, which will add to BIS' 
export control purview, military related items that the President 
determines no longer warrant control under rules administered by the 
State Department.

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.
    In FY 2013, BIS activities crossed an important milestone with 
publication of two final rules that began to put ECRI policies into 
place. An Initial Implementation rule (73 FR 22660, April 16, 2013) 
sets in place the structure under which items the President determines 
no longer warrant control on the United States Munitions List will be 
controlled on the Commerce Control List. It also revises license 
exceptions and regulatory definitions, including the definition of 
``specially designed'' to more make those exceptions and definitions 
clearer and to more close align them with the International Traffic in 
Arms Regulations, and adds to the CCL certain military aircraft, gas 
turbine engines and related items. A second final rule (78 FR 40892, 
July 8, 2012) followed on by adding to the CCL military vehicles, 
vessels of war submersible vessels, and auxiliary military equipment 
that President determined no longer warrant control on the USML. BIS 
expects to publish additional ECRI final rules in FY 2014.

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 
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

[[Page 933]]

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
          RIN                  Title           reduce burdens on small
                                                     businesses?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0648-XC164.............  Final Rule
                          Implementing a
                          Targeted Acadian
                          Redfish Fishery
                          for Sector
                          Vessels.
0648-BC50..............  Exempted Fishery
                          for the Spiny
                          Dogfish Fishery
                          in the Waters
                          East and West of
                          Cape Cod, MA.
0648-BC25..............  Regulatory         Yes.
                          amendment to
                          revise
                          requirements for
                          the annual Crab
                          Economic Data
                          Reports under
                          the Bering Sea
                          and Aleutian
                          Islands Crab
                          Rationalization
                          Program.
0648-BA93..............  Regulatory
                          amendment to
                          modify the
                          Groundfish
                          Retention
                          Standard Program.
0648-BB79..............  Proposed Rule to   ............................
                          Implement
                          Changes to the
                          Regulations for
                          Designating
                          Critical Habitat
                          under the
                          Endangered
                          Species Act.
0648-BB80..............  Proposed Rule to   ............................
                          Amend the
                          Definition of
                          Destruction or
                          Adverse
                          Modification of
                          Critical Habitat
                          under the
                          Endangered
                          Species Act.
0648-BB81..............  Proposed Rule to   ............................
                          Amend the
                          Regulations
                          Governing the
                          Issuance of
                          Incidental Take
                          Statements under
                          Section 7 of the
                          Endangered
                          Species Act.
0648-BC24..............  Final Rule to      ............................
                          Revise
                          Regulations for
                          Conducting
                          Impact Analyses
                          for Critical
                          Habitat
                          Designations
                          under the
                          Endangered
                          Species Act.
0694-AF03..............  Export Control
                          Reform
                          Initiative:
                          Strategic Trade
                          Authorization
                          License
                          Exception.
0694-AF17..............  Proposed Revision  ............................
                          to the Export
                          Administration
                          Regulations:
                          Control of Items
                          the President
                          Determines No
                          Longer Warrant
                          Control Under
                          the United
                          States Munitions
                          List.
0694-AF36..............  Proposed 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 934]]

 
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 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.
0694-AF65..............  Revisions to the
                          Export
                          Administration
                          Regulations:
                          Initial
                          Implementation
                          of Export
                          Control Reform.
0694-AF87..............  Export             ............................
                          Administration
                          Regulations:
                          Control of
                          Spacecraft
                          Systems and
                          Related Items
                          the President
                          Determines No
                          Longer Warrant
                          Control Under
                          the United
                          States Munitions
                          List.
0651-AC82..............  Reduction of Fees
                          for Trademark
                          Applications.
0651-AC54..............  Setting and
                          Adjusting Patent
                          Fees.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

BILLING CODE 3410-12-P

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Statement of Regulatory Priorities

Background

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest Federal department 
consisting of three Military departments (Army, Navy, and Air Force), 
nine Unified Combatant Commands, 17 Defense Agencies, and ten DoD Field 
Activities. It has 1,412,674 military personnel and 886,975 civilians 
assigned as of June 30, 2013, 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 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.

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 935]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         Rule Title
                                                        (*expected to
                        RIN                         significantly reduce
                                                      burdens on small
                                                         businesses)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0701-AA76.........................................  Air Force Freedom of
                                                     Information Act
                                                     Program.
0701-AA77.........................................  Air Force Privacy
                                                     Act Program.
0703-AA87.........................................  United States Navy
                                                     Regulations and
                                                     Official Records.
0703-AA90.........................................  Guidelines for
                                                     Archaeological
                                                     Investigation
                                                     Permits and Other
                                                     Research on Sunken
                                                     Military Craft and
                                                     Terrestrial
                                                     Military Craft
                                                     Under the
                                                     Jurisdiction of the
                                                     Department of the
                                                     Navy.
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.
0750-AG47.........................................  Safeguarding
                                                     Unclassified
                                                     Controlled
                                                     Technical
                                                     Information (DFARS
                                                     Case 2011-D039).
0750-AG62.........................................  Patents, Data, and
                                                     Copyrights (DFARS
                                                     Case 2010-D001).
0750-AH11.........................................  Only One Offer--
                                                     Further
                                                     Implementation
                                                     (DFARS Case 2013-
                                                     D001).
0750-AH54.........................................  Performance-Based
                                                     Payments (DFARS
                                                     Case 2011-D045).
0750-AH86.........................................  Forward Pricing Rate
                                                     Proposal Adequacy
                                                     Checklist (DFARS
                                                     Case 2012-D035).
0750-AI03.........................................  Approval of Rental
                                                     Waiver Requests
                                                     (DFARS Case 2013-
                                                     D006).
0790-AI24.........................................  DoD Freedom of
                                                     Information Act
                                                     (FOIA) Program
                                                     Regulation.
0790-AI30.........................................  Defense Contract
                                                     Management Agency
                                                     (DCMA) Privacy
                                                     Program.
0790-AI42.........................................  Personnel Security
                                                     Program.
0790-AI51.........................................  DoD Freedom of
                                                     Information Act
                                                     (FOIA) Program;
                                                     Amendment.
0790-AI63.........................................  Alternative Dispute
                                                     Resolution.
0790-AI71.........................................  National Industrial
                                                     Security Program
                                                     (NISP): Procedures
                                                     for Government
                                                     Activities.Relating
                                                     to Foreign
                                                     Ownership, Control
                                                     or Influence
                                                     (FOCI).
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-AI80.........................................  National Industrial
                                                     Security Program:
                                                     Industrial Security
                                                     Procedures for
                                                     Government
                                                     Activities.
0790-AI84.........................................  National Defense
                                                     Science and
                                                     Engineering
                                                     Graduate (NDSEG)
                                                     Fellowships.
0790-AI87.........................................  Defense Logistics
                                                     Agency Freedom of
                                                     Information Act
                                                     Program.
0790-AI88.........................................  Shelter for the
                                                     Homeless.
0790-AI92.........................................  Inspector General;
                                                     Privacy Act;
                                                     Implementation.
0790-AJ03.........................................  DoD Privacy Program.
0790-AJ04.........................................  Unlawful
                                                     Discrimination (On
                                                     the Basis of Race,
                                                     Color, National
                                                     Origin, or Age in
                                                     Programs or
                                                     Activities
                                                     Receiving Federal
                                                     Financial
                                                     Assistance From the
                                                     DoD).
0790-AJ05.........................................  End Use Certificates
                                                     (EUCs).
0790-AJ06.........................................  Voluntary Education
                                                     Programs.
0790-AJ07.........................................  Historical Research
                                                     in the Files of the
                                                     Office of the
                                                     Secretary of
                                                     Defense (OSD).
0790-AJ10.........................................  Enhancement of
                                                     Protections on
                                                     Consumer Credit for
                                                     Members of the
                                                     Armed Forces and
                                                     Their Dependents.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             COMPLETED RULES
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0710-AA66.........................................  Civil Monetary
                                                     Penalty Inflation
                                                     Adjustment Rule.
0710-AA60.........................................  Nationwide Permit
                                                     Program Regulations
                                                     *.
0750-AH19.........................................  Accelerated Payments
                                                     to Small Business
                                                     (DFARS Case 2011-
                                                     D008).
0750-AH70.........................................  Defense Trade
                                                     Cooperation Treaty
                                                     With Australia and
                                                     the United Kingdom
                                                     (DFARS Case 2012-
                                                     D034).
0750-AH87.........................................  System for Award
                                                     Management Name
                                                     Changes, Phase 1
                                                     Implementation
                                                     (DFARS Case 2012-
                                                     D053).
0790-AI54.........................................  Defense Support of
                                                     Civilian Law
                                                     Enforcement
                                                     Agencies.
0790-AI86.........................................  Defense Logistics
                                                     Agency Privacy
                                                     Program.
                                                    DoD also removed 32
                                                     CFR part 513,
                                                     ``Indebtedness of
                                                     Military
                                                     Personnel,''
                                                     because the part is
                                                     obsolete and the
                                                     governing policy is
                                                     now codified at 32
                                                     CFR part 112.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Administration Priorities

1. Rulemakings That Are Expected To Have High Net Benefits Well In 
Excess Of Costs
    The Department plans to--
     Finalize the rule to implement section 806 of the National 
Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011), as amended 
by section 806 of the NDAA for FY 2013. Section 806 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 in order to minimize the potential risk for purchased 
supplies and services to maliciously introduce unwanted functions and 
degrade the integrity and operation of sensitive information technology 
systems.
     Revise the DFARS to improve awareness, compliance, and 
enforcement of DoD policies on combating trafficking in persons. The 
rule will further improve stability, productivity, and certainty in the 
contingency operations that DoD supports and ensure that DoD 
contractors do not benefit from the use of coerced labor.
     Finalize the rule to implement section 818 of the NDAA for 
FY 2012 relating to the detection and avoidance of counterfeit parts. 
The rule would address contractor responsibilities for detecting and 
avoiding the use or inclusion of counterfeit electronic parts or 
suspect counterfeit electronic parts, the use of trusted suppliers, and 
requirements for contractors to report counterfeit electronic parts and 
suspect counterfeit electronic parts. The rule seeks to preclude the 
introduction of counterfeit material that could compromise DoD weapon 
and information systems.
2. Rulemakings of Particular Interest to Small Businesses
    The Department plans to--

[[Page 936]]

     Revise the DFARS to implement new prescriptions and clause 
formats for part 219, Small Business Programs, clauses with alternates. 
This proposed rule, with its unique prescriptions for the basic version 
and each alternate for solicitation provisions and clauses, will 
facilitate the use of automated contract writing systems. The inclusion 
of the full text of the alternate clause in the regulation should make 
the terms of the alternate clearer to the offerors and contractors by 
clarifying paragraph substitutions. As a result, inapplicable 
paragraphs from the basic clause that are superseded by the alternate 
will not be included in solicitations or contracts, reducing the 
potential for confusion.
     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. 
Removal of the obsolete implementing coverage for 10 U.S.C. 2323 will 
bring DFARS up to date and provide accurate and indisputable 
regulations affecting the small business and vendor communities.
3. Rulemakings That Streamline Regulations, Reduce Unjustified Burdens, 
and Minimize Burdens on Small Businesses
    The Department plans to--
     Finalize the rule for DFARS to implement section 803 of 
the NDAA for FY 2011 to allow a covered litigation support contractor 
access to technical, proprietary, or confidential data for the sole 
purpose of providing litigation support.
     Revise the DFARS to standardize solicitation provisions 
and contract clauses relating to information technology Cloud Services.
     Revise the DFARS to reduce the frequency of submission of 
subcontracting reports.
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 Cases 2012-D057, 2013-D005, 2013-D014, 2013-D025; 
and 2013-D026;--Propose 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. The inclusion of the full text of the alternate 
clauses in the regulation for use in solicitations and contracts should 
make the terms of the alternate clauses clearer to offerors and 
contractors by clarifying paragraph substitutions. As a result, 
inapplicable paragraphs from the basic clause that are superseded by 
the alternate will not be included in solicitations or contracts, 
reducing the potential for confusion.
     DFARS Case 2013-D037--removes redundant DFARS coverage on 
contractors performing private security functions under a contract that 
requires performance during contingency operations, in an area of 
combat operations, or in an area of other significant military 
operations. These requirements have been incorporated into the FAR, so 
the DFARS coverage is no longer required.
     DFARS 2013-D033--deletes unnecessary text from the DFARS 
to increase clarity of the proposal adequacy checklist. Item 19 on the 
checklist is being deleted as it overlaps and duplicates other 
information addressed by other items on the checklist.

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 improve information security controls 
by addressing the requirements for safeguarding unclassified controlled 
technical information. This rule implements security measures to 
safeguard unclassified DoD information within contractor information 
systems from unauthorized access and disclosure and to prescribe 
reporting to DoD certain cyber intrusion events that affect DoD 
information resident on or transiting through contractor unclassified 
information systems.
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 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) The final rule is expected to be published the first 
quarter of FY 2014.
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: Mission Compatibility Evaluation Process. 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 first quarter of FY 2014.
4. Military Community and Family Policy, Department of Defense
    The Department of Defense proposes new policies, responsibilities, 
and procedures for the operation of voluntary education programs within 
DoD. Additionally, the Department

[[Page 937]]

plans to publish a rule regarding child development programs:
     Proposed Rule: Voluntary Education Programs. In this 
proposed rule, the Department of Defense (DoD) discusses new policy, 
responsibilities, and procedures for the operation of voluntary 
education programs within DoD. The new policies discussed in the rule 
include the following. All educational institutions providing education 
programs through the DoD Tuition Assistance (TA) Program will provide 
meaningful information to students about the financial cost and 
attendance at an institution so military students can make informed 
decisions on where to attend school; not use unfair, deceptive, and 
abusive recruiting practices; and provide academic and student support 
services to Service members and their families. New criteria are 
created to strengthen existing procedures for access to military 
installations by educational institutions. An annual review and 
notification process is required if there are changes made to the 
uniform semester-hour (or equivalent) TA caps and annual TA ceilings. 
Military Departments will be required to provide their Service members 
with a joint services transcript (JST). The DoD Postsecondary Education 
Complaint System is implemented for Service members, spouses, and adult 
family members to register student complaints. The Military Departments 
are authorized to establish Service-specific TA eligibility criteria 
and management controls. DoD anticipates publishing a final rule in the 
second quarter of FY 2014.
     Interim Final Rule: Child Development Programs (CDPs): In 
this interim final rule, the Department of Defense updates policy, 
responsibilities, and procedures for providing care to minor children 
birth through age 12 of individuals eligible for care in DoD CDPs to 
include center-based care, family child care (FCC), school-age care 
(SAC), supplemental child care, and community based care. The subject 
areas in this rule include authorizing the publication of supporting 
guidance for the implementation of CDP policies and responsibilities 
(including child development training modules, program aids, and other 
management tools) and establishment of the DoD Effectiveness Rating and 
Improvement System (ERIS). DoD anticipates publishing a final rule in 
the second quarter of FY 2014.
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:
     Proposed Rule: TRICARE; Reimbursement of Long Term Care 
Hospitals. The proposed 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 
proposed rule implements a reimbursement methodology similar to that 
furnished to Medicare beneficiaries for services provided by long term 
care hospitals. DoD anticipates publishing a proposed rule in the 
second quarter of FY 2014.
     Interim Final Rule: CHAMPUS/TRICARE: Pilot Program for 
Refills of Maintenance Medications for TRICARE Life Beneficiaries 
through the TRICARE Mail Order Program. This interim final rule 
implements section 716 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239), which establishes a 5-year pilot 
program that would generally require TRICARE for Life beneficiaries to 
obtain all refill prescriptions for covered maintenance medications 
from the TRICARE mail order program or military treatment facility 
pharmacies. Covered maintenance medications are those that involve 
recurring prescriptions for chronic conditions, but do not include 
medications to treat acute conditions. Beneficiaries may opt out of the 
pilot program after 1 year of participation. This rule includes 
procedures to assist beneficiaries in transferring covered 
prescriptions to the mail order pharmacy program. This regulation is 
being issued as an interim final rule in order to comply with the 
express statutory intent that the program begin in calendar year 2013. 
DoD anticipates publishing an interim final rule in the first quarter 
of FY 2014.
     Final Rule: TRICARE: Certified Mental Health Counselors. 
This rule was published as an interim final rule on December 27, 2011 
(76 FR 80741), in order to meet the congressional requirement set forth 
in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 
2011, section 724, which required the Department of Defense to 
prescribe regulations by June 20, 2011, to establish the criteria, as 
had previously been studied in accordance with section 717 of the NDAA 
2008, that would allow licensed or certified mental health counselors 
(MHCs) to be able to independently provide care to TRICARE 
beneficiaries and receive payment for those services. Under current 
TRICARE requirements, MHCs are authorized to practice only with 
physician referral and supervision. This IFR establishes a transition 
period to allow MHCs to gain the requisite education, examination, and 
post-master's clinical experience for the new category of qualified 
mental health professionals, ``TRICARE Certified Mental Health 
Counselors,'' who will be authorized to practice independently under 
TRICARE, as well as phase out the category of MHC who require referral 
and supervision from TRICARE authorized physicians. DoD anticipates 
finalizing this rule in the second quarter of FY 2014.
6. Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, Department of Defense
    The Department of Defense plans to publish a final rule regarding 
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program Procedures:
     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 wellbeing of all persons covered by the regulation. An 
interim final rule was published on April 11, 2013 (78 FR 21715). DoD 
anticipates publishing a final rule in the second quarter of FY 2014.
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. The

[[Page 938]]

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 2014.
8. Chief Information Officer, Department of Defense
    The Department of Defense plans to amend the voluntary cyber 
security information sharing program between DoD and eligible cleared 
defense contractors:
     Proposed Rule: Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Voluntary 
Cyber Security/Information Assurance (CS/IA) Activities. The Department 
proposes to amend the DoD-DIB CS/IA Voluntary Activities regulation (32 
CFR part 236) in response to Section 941 National Defense Authorization 
Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 which requires the Secretary of 
Defense to establish procedures that require each cleared defense 
contractor (CDC) to report when a network or information system that 
meets the criteria reports cyber intrusions. DoD anticipates publishing 
a proposed rule in the second or third quarter of FY 2014.
BILLING CODE &P

DOD--OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY (OS)

Proposed Rule Stage

26.  Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Cyber Security/Information 
Assurance (CS/IA) Activities; Amendment

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: E.O. 12829
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR 236.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule amends the DoD-DIB CS/IA Voluntary Activities 
regulation in response to section 941 National Defense Authorization 
Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 which requires the Secretary of 
Defense to establish procedures that require each cleared defense 
contractor (CDC) to report when a network or information system that 
meets the criteria reports cyber intrusions.
    Statement of Need: The Department of Defense (DoD) will amend the 
DoD-DIB CS/IA Voluntary Activities (32 CFR part 236) regulation to 
incorporate changes as required by section 941 NDAA for FY 2013 to 
include mandated cyber intrusion incident reporting by all cleared 
defense contractors (CDCs).
    Summary of Legal Basis: This regulation is proposed under the 
authorities of section 941 NDAA for FY 2013.
    Alternatives: DoD analyzed the requirements in section 941 NDAA for 
FY 2013 and determined that implementation must be accomplished through 
the rulemaking process. This will allow the public to comment on the 
implementation strategy.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Implementing the amended rule to 
meet the requirements of section 941 NDAA for FY 2013 affects 
approximately 8,700 CDCs. Each company will require DoD approved medium 
assured certificates to submit the mandatory cyber incident reporting 
to the DoD access controlled Web site. The cost per certificate is 
$175. In addition, it is estimated that the average burden per reported 
incident is 7 hours which includes identifying the cyber incident 
details, gathering and maintaining the data needed, reviewing the 
collection of information to be reported, and completing the report. 
Note, these costs are the same as those associated with 32 CFR part 236 
(DoD-DIB CS/IA Voluntary Activities), but are now applicable across a 
larger population of defense contractors. The benefit of this amended 
rule is satisfying the legal mandate from section 941 NDAA for FY 2013 
as well as informing the Department of incidents that impact DoD 
programs and information. DoD needs to have the ability to assess the 
strategic and operational impacts of cyber incidents and determine 
appropriate mitigation activities.
    Risks: There will likely be significant public interest in DoD's 
implementation of section 941 NDAA for FY2013. DoD will need to assure 
the public that DoD will provide for the reasonable protection of trade 
secrets, commercial or financial information, and information that can 
be used to identify a specific person that may be evident through the 
cyber incident reporting and media analysis.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Vicki Michetti, Department of Defense, Office of 
the Secretary, 6000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-6000, Phone: 
703 604-3177, Email: vicki.d.michetti.civ@mail.mil.
    RIN: 0790-AJ14

DOD--OS

Final Rule Stage

27. Service Academies

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 10 U.S.C. 301
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR 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. 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........................   02/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: DoD Instruction 1322.22.

[[Page 939]]

    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

28. Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Procedures

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 10 U.S.C. ch 47 Sec. 113
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR 105.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    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 
(SAPR) 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; 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 servicemembers 
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, health 
care 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 health care 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 
health care 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 servicemembers, 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..................   04/11/13  78 FR 21715
Interim Final Rule Effective........   04/11/13  .......................
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      06/10/13  .......................
 End.
Final Action........................   11/00/13  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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


[[Page 940]]



DOD--OS

29. Operational Contract Support

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 110-181
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR 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 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 5 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........................   03/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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

30. Mission Compatibility Evaluation Process

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 111-383, sec 358
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR 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

[[Page 941]]

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. 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........................   01/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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--OS

31. Child Development Programs (CDPS)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 10 U.S.C. 1783, 10 U.S.C. 1791 through 1800, 10 
U.S.C. 2809, and U.S.C. 2812
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR 79.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This interim final rule revises 32 CFR part 79 to: (a) 
Update policy, responsibilities, and procedures for providing care to 
minor children birth through age 12 of individuals eligible for care in 
DoD Child Development Programs (CDPs) to include center-based care, 
family child care (FCC), school-age care (SAC), supplemental child 
care, and community based care; (b) authorize the publication of 
supporting guidance for the implementation of CDP policies and 
responsibilities, including child development training modules, program 
aids, and other management tools; and (c) establish the DoD 
Effectiveness Rating and Improvement System (ERIS). This rule is being 
published as an interim final rule to extend child care benefits to 
same-sex spouses of military service members and DoD civilian 
employees.
    Statement of Need: This interim final rule revises 32 CFR part 79 
to update policy, responsibilities, and procedures for providing care 
to minor children birth through age 12 of individuals eligible for care 
in DoD CDPs to include center-based care, family child care (FCC), 
school-age care (SAC), supplemental child care, and community based 
care.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This rule is proposed under the authorities 
of sections 1783, 1791 through 1800, 2809 and 2812 of title 10, United 
States Code (U.S.C.).
    Alternatives: Without this rule, the Department of Defense's Child 
Development Programs (CDPs) would be operating according to guidance 
that is 20 years old and does not take into account necessary critical 
procedures and policies to ensure that children within DoD CDPs are 
cared for in a safe and developmentally appropriate setting.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The preliminary estimate of the 
anticipated cost associated with this rule for the fiscal year is 
approximately $980,000.00. This estimated cost is for the operation of 
the entire DoD CDP and includes funding from the DoD (from the Office 
of the Secretary of Defense as well as the military services) and fees 
paid by parents. These funds provide care to more than 200,000 children 
and youth in a variety of settings to include child development 
centers, family child care homes, school age care programs, and 
community based care. The operation of these programs is a key 
workforce issue for military members and families. The anticipated 
benefits associated with this rule include:
    (1) The streamlining and consolidating of two outdated instructions 
into a single instruction providing policy for the DoD CDP.
    (2) Guidance and procedures which will provide a safe and secure 
environment for military children to grow.
    (3) Establishment of a more standardized approach to each military 
services CDP, still allowing for the variances dictated by the unique 
mission of specific branches and installations.
    (4) Clarification of the benefits provided to military members with 
same sex spouses.
    Risks: The degree of risk to the public is minimal. There are no 
anticipated negative effects of the rule on any entity.
    Timetable:

[[Page 942]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   02/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: DoD Instruction 6060.02.
    Agency Contact: Eddy Mentzer, Department of Defense, 4800 Mark 
Center Drive, Suite 03G15, Alexandria, VA 22350, Phone: 571 372-0857.
    RIN: 0790-AI81

DOD--OS

32.  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; EO 13607
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR 68.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: In this proposed rule, the Department of Defense (DoD) 
discusses new policy, responsibilities, and procedures for the 
operation of voluntary education programs within DoD. The new policies 
discussed in the rule include the following: All educational 
institutions providing education programs through the DoD Tuition 
Assistance (TA) Program will provide meaningful information to students 
about the financial cost and attendance at an institution so military 
students can make informed decisions on where to attend school; not use 
unfair, deceptive, and abusive recruiting practices; and provide 
academic and student support services to servicemembers and their 
families. New criteria are created to strengthen existing procedures 
for access to military installations by educational institutions. An 
annual review and notification process is required if there are changes 
made to the uniform semester-hour (or equivalent) TA caps and annual TA 
ceilings. Military Departments will be required to provide their 
servicemembers with a joint services transcript (JST). The DoD 
Postsecondary Education Complaint System is implemented for 
servicemembers, spouses, and adult family members to register student 
complaints. The Military Departments are authorized to establish 
service-specific TA eligibility criteria and management controls.
    Statement of Need: The Department of Defense (DoD) proposed rule 
identifies programs that provide active duty Service members with 
quality educational opportunities to enhance their academic achievement 
which in turn improves job performance and promotion potential. The 
overall outcome goal of these programs is to ensure the DoD has the 
best educated and best military force possible. In the proposed rule, 
DoD implements policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes 
procedures for the operation of voluntary education programs within 
DoD.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This regulation is proposed under the 
authorities of sections 2007 and 2005 of title 10, United States Code.
    Alternatives: No alternatives are possible.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Costs are controlled through 
limitations emplaced in the DoD Uniform Tuition Assistance policy with 
course and yearly caps. Subject to appropriations, each servicemember 
pays no more than $250.00 per semester-unit for tuition and fees 
combined. Each servicemember participating in off-duty, voluntary 
education is eligible for up to $4,500.00, in aggregate, for each 
fiscal year. This limitation allows all servicemembers that voluntarily 
participate to continue their education. 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 2012 was $660.5 million, which included 
tuition assistance and operational costs. This funding provided 
approximately 539,000 individuals (servicemembers and their adult 
family members) the opportunity to participate in voluntary education 
programs around the world.
    Voluntary education programs have a positive effect on our 
servicemembers and their adult family members, providing ways to 
advance their personal education, career aspirations, and prepare them 
for future vocational pursuits. Additionally, partnerships with 
educational institutions also have a positive effect on the global 
economy. The services have worked with approximately 3,500 colleges and 
universities worldwide (both regionally and nationally accredited by an 
accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education) in 
reference to TA.
    Risks: There are no risks.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   08/14/13  78 FR 49382
Correction..........................   08/21/13  78 FR 51678
NPRM Comment Period End.............   09/30/13  .......................
Final Action........................   02/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Carolyn Baker, Department of Defense, Office of the 
Secretary, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22350, Phone: 571 
372-5355.
    RIN: 0790-AJ06

DOD--DEFENSE ACQUISITION REGULATIONS COUNCIL (DARC)

Final Rule Stage

33. Safeguarding Unclassified Controlled Technical Information (DFARS 
CASE 2011-D039)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 41 U.S.C. 1303; Pub. L. 112-239
    CFR Citation: 48 CFR 204; 48 CFR 212; 48 CFR 252.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: DoD is issuing an interim rule to amend the Defense 
Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to add a DFARS 
subpart and associated contract clauses to address requirements for the 
safeguarding of unclassified information within contractor information 
systems as specified in Executive Order 13556, Controlled Unclassified 
Information. DoD published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking 
(ANPR), and notice of public meeting in the Federal Register at 75 FR 
9563 on March 3, 2010, to provide the public an opportunity for input 
into the initial rulemaking process. A proposed DFARS rule was 
published in the Federal Register at 76 FR 38089 on June 29, 2011, to 
implement adequate security measures to safeguard unclassified DoD 
information within contractor information systems from unauthorized 
access and disclosure, and to prescribe reporting to DoD with regard to 
certain cyber intrusion events that affect DoD information resident on 
or transiting through contractor unclassified information systems. 
After comments were received on the proposed rule it was decided that 
the scope of the rule would be modified to reduce the information 
covered. This interim rule addresses safeguarding requirements that 
cover only unclassified controlled

[[Page 943]]

technical information, and reporting the compromise of unclassified 
controlled technical information. DoD anticipates this rule may have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
DoD invites comments from small business concerns and other interested 
parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities.
    Statement of Need: The Department of Defense (DoD) interim rule is 
in support of existing DoD information policy in DoD 5200.1-R, 
Information Security Program Regulation; Under Secretary of Defense 
(Intelligence) Directive Type Memorandum (DTM), April 17, 2004; DTM 08-
027, entitled Security of Unclassified DoD Information on Non-DoD 
Information Systems, September 16, 2010, and other applicable DoD 
issuances. DoD requires this amendment to the DFARS to accomplish the 
following:
    a. Avoid compromise of unclassified computer networks on which 
controlled technical information is resident on or transiting through 
contractor information systems, and prevent the exfiltration of 
controlled technical information.
    b. Improve the protection of controlled technical information by 
employing enhanced security measures, as identified in the clause, to 
appropriately protect controlled technical information from 
unauthorized disclosure, loss, or exfiltration.
    c. Implement tracking and reporting of controlled technical 
information incursions to (1) assess the impact of loss; and (2) better 
understand methods of loss.
    d. Standardize procedures for tracking and reporting intrusions.
    Additionally, this interim rule is part of DoD's effort to enhance 
the protection of DoD information, and it also partially implements the 
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 section 
941 requirement to mandate contractor reporting of information created 
by or for DoD that has been potentially compromised by a penetration of 
a contractor network.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 41 U.S.C. 1303 and section 941 of the 
National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2013.
    Alternatives: There are no significant alternatives to accomplish 
the stated objectives of this rule. DoD considered regulatory 
requirements that were deemed to be complementary, but not adequate as 
an alternative to this rule.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This rule improves national security 
by implementing safeguards that strengthen information security 
controls to unclassified controlled technical information within 
contractor information systems from unauthorized access and disclosure. 
This rule benefits both the Government and contractors.
    Risks: None.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   03/03/10  75 FR 9563
ANPRM Comment Period End............   05/03/10
NPRM................................   06/29/11  76 FR 38089
NPRM Comment Period End.............   08/29/11
NPRM Comment Period Extended........   12/16/11  76 FR 55297
NPRM Comment Period Extended........   10/28/11  76 FR 66889
NPRM Comment Period End.............   12/16/11
Final Action........................   11/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal.
    Agency Contact: Manuel Quinones, Department of Defense, Defense 
Acquisition Regulations Council, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite15D07-2, 
Alexandria, VA 22350, Phone: 571 372-6088, Email: 
manuel.quinones@osd.mil.
    RIN: 0750-AG47

DOD--DARC

34. Requirements Relating to Supply Chain Risk (DFARS Case 2012-D050)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 41 U.S.C. 1303; Pub. L. 111-383, sec 806; Pub. L. 
112-239, sec 806
    CFR Citation: 48 CFR 208; 48 CFR 212; 48 CFR 215; 48 CFR 233.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, July 7, 2011, section 806 of the 
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, as 
amended by section 806 of the NDAA for FY 2013.
    Within 180 days from enactment of the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, which was enacted on January 7, 
2011.
    Abstract: DoD is issuing an interim rule amending the Defense 
Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a 
section of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal 
Year (FY) 2011, as amended by the NDAA for FY 2013. This interim rule 
revises the DFARS to implement section 806 of the Ike Skelton National 
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, Public Law 111-383; 
entitled ``Enhancement of Whistleblower Protections for Contractor 
Employees,'' made extensive changes to 10 U.S.C. 2409, entitled 
``Contractor employees: protection from reprisal or disclosure.
    Statement of Need: The Department of Defense is required to 
implement in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation protection 
against risks to the supply chain affecting National Security Systems 
(NSSs). Additionally, DOD Instruction (DODI) 5200.44 (November 5, 2012) 
Protection of Mission Critical Functions to Achieve Trusted Systems and 
Networks (TSN), recognizes the need to improve supply chain risk 
management.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This interim rule is required under the 
authorities of section 806 of the National Defense Authorization Act 
(NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2011 (Pub. L. 111-383), as amended by section 
806 of the NDAA for FY 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239).
    Alternatives: DoD considered two possible alternatives to protect 
against risks to the National Security Systems. However, consistent 
with the stated objectives of Section 806 of the NDAA for FY 2011, as 
amended, and Department of Defense Instruction 5200.44 (November 5, 
2012), no viable alternatives exist. The first possible alternative 
included having all contractors report, on all contracts, the nature of 
the supply chain risk mitigation efforts they have applied to their 
manufacturing processes. This alternative would be unduly burdensome 
for both contractors and the government and was therefore rejected. The 
second alternative is not to have section 806 clauses applicable to 
commercial and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) items and purchases 
below the simplified acquisition threshold. However, the requirements 
of section 806 should apply to the procurement of commercial items 
(including COTS items); because the intent of the statute is to protect 
the supply chain, which in turn protects all NSSs. Commercial and 
commercial off-the-shelf information technology supplies and services 
often become parts of the NSSs. To protect the NSSs, using the 
authority of Public Law 111-383, as amended by Public Law 112-239, 
requires application in all information technology supply and services 
contacts. Therefore, exempting commercial (including COTS) items from 
application of the statute would negate the intended effect of the 
statute. This second alternative was also rejected as a viable 
alternative.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This interim rule will mitigate the 
risk and potential harm to the National Security

[[Page 944]]

Systems (NSS) and protect the integrity of the supply chain to NSS by 
avoiding sabotage, maliciously introducing unwanted functions, or other 
subversion of the design, integrity, manufacturing, production, 
installation, operation or maintenance of systems. Ultimately, DoD 
anticipates significant savings to taxpayers by reducing the risk of 
unsafe products entering our supply chain, which pose serious threats 
or risks to sensitive government information technology systems.
    Risks: There is risk to the National Security Systems if unwanted 
functions are allowed to penetrate the DoD supply chain. This risk to 
NSS, if left unmitigated, threatens the security of sensitive 
information technology systems and puts in jeopardy the safety of our 
military forces.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   11/00/13  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Manuel Quinones, Department of Defense, Defense 
Acquisition Regulations Council, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite15D07-2, 
Alexandria, VA 22350, Phone: 571 372-6088, Email: 
manuel.quinones@osd.mil.
    RIN: 0750-AH96

DOD--DARC

35. Enhancement of Contractor Employee Whistleblower Protections (DFARS 
Case 2013-D010)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 41 U.S.C. 1303; Pub. L. 112-239, sec 827
    CFR Citation: 48 CFR 203; 48 CFR 252.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, January 2, 2013, section 827 of 
the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239). July 2, 2013 or within 
180 days from enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act 
(NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239), which was enacted 
on Jan 2, 2013.
    Abstract: DoD is issuing an interim rule amending the Defense 
Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement 
statutory amendments to whistleblower protections for contractor 
employees. DoD is revising the DFARS to implement a policy enhancing 
the whistleblower protections for contractor employees as modified by 
section 827 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2013 (Pub. L. 112-239, enacted January 2, 2013). Section 827, entitled 
``Requirements for Information Relating to Supply Chain Risk,'' as 
amended by section 806 of the NDAA for FY 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239), and 
allows the DoD to consider the impact of supply chain risk in specified 
types of procurements related to National Security Systems (NSS). 
Section 806 defines supply chain risk as ''the risk that an adversary 
may sabotage, maliciously introduce unwanted function, or otherwise 
subvert the design, integrity, manufacturing, production, distribution, 
installation, operation, or maintenance of a covered system so as to 
surveil, deny, disrupt, or otherwise degrade the function, use, or 
operation of such system.''
    Statement of Need: The Department of Defense (DoD) is issuing an 
interim rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation 
Supplement (DFARS) to implement amendments made by section 827 of the 
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. Section 827 
amends 10 U.S.C. 2409 and 10 U.S.C. 2324(k), making the changes 
applicable to DoD and NASA. Each agency is amending its FAR supplement.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Public Law 112-239, section 827 and 41 
U.S.C. 1303.
    Alternatives: There are no significant alternatives to accomplish 
the stated objectives of this rule. DoD considered several alternatives 
with emphasis on reducing the burden on small entities. Because of the 
terms used in the statute, DoD is unable to exempt small entities or to 
establish a dollar threshold for coverage. Regardless of the size of 
the business, a whistleblower employee must be protected from 
retaliation by his/her employer.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The costs associated with implanting 
the amendments to existing protections for contractor whistleblower 
employees, as a result of changes to the law, are minimal. Benefit: The 
rule proposes to strengthen protections for contractor personnel who 
disclose incidents of fraud, waste, and abuse of DoD contracts.
    Risks: There is potential risk to the public on cases involving 
fraud, waste, and abuse of DoD contracts going unreported for fear of 
inadequate protections for whistleblowers under the law.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   11/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Manuel Quinones, Department of Defense, Defense 
Acquisition Regulations Council, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite15D07-2, 
Alexandria, VA 22350, Phone: 571 372-6088, Email: 
manuel.quinones@osd.mil.
    RIN: 0750-AH97

DOD--DARC

36.  Allowability of Legal Costs for Whistleblower Proceedings 
(DFARS Case 2013-D022)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 41 U.S.C. 1303; Pub. L. 112-239, sec 827; 10 
U.S.C. 2324(k)
    CFR Citation: 48 CFR 216; 48 CFR 231; 48 CFR 252.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, January 2, 2013, section 827(g) 
and (i) of the NDAA for fiscal year 2013 (Pub. L. 113-239).
    Abstract: DoD is issuing an interim rule amending the Defense 
Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a 
section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 
that amends the allowability of legal costs incurred by a contractor 
related to whistleblower proceedings. This interim rule is to implement 
paragraphs 827(g) and (i) of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 113-239). Section 827(g) expands the cost 
principle at 10 U.S.C. 2324(k) to apply the cost principle on 
allowability of costs related to legal and other proceedings to costs 
incurred by contractors in proceedings commenced by a contractor 
employee submitting a complaint under 10 U.S.C. 2409 (whistleblowing), 
and include as specifically unallowable, legal costs of a proceeding 
that results in an order to take corrective action under 10 U.S.C. 
2409.
    Statement of Need: DoD requires this action to implement paragraphs 
827(g) and (i) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 
Year 2013 (Pub. L. 113-239). Section 827(g) expands the cost principle 
at 10 U.S.C. 2324(k) to apply the cost principle on allowability of 
costs related to legal and other proceedings to costs incurred by 
contractors in proceedings commenced by a contractor employee 
submitting a complaint under 10 U.S.C. 2409 (whistleblowing), and 
include as specifically unallowable, legal costs of a proceeding that 
results in an order to take corrective action under 10 U.S.C. 2409.

[[Page 945]]

    This interim rule revises the DFARS subparts 216.3 and 231.2 and 
adds a new clause at 252.216 to implement paragraphs (g) and (i) of 
section 827 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2013 (Pub. L. 113-239).
    Summary of Legal Basis: The legal basis for this rule is section 
827(g) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 
(Pub. L. 112-239), enacted on January 2, 2013.
    Alternatives: DoD was unable to identify any alternatives to the 
rule that would reduce the impact on the public, particularly on small 
entities, and still meet the requirements of the statute.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: There is no significant cost to the 
Government; however, there is potential cost to a contractor involved 
in the submission of a whistleblower complaint that results in a 
monetary penalty to the contractor or an order for the contractor to 
take corrective measures. Benefits include potential savings to 
taxpayers, since costs incurred by the contractor are disallowed as a 
result of one of its employee's filing a complaint under 10 U.S.C. 
2409.
    Risks: There is risk to a contractor if a contractor employee 
commenced a proceeding by submitting a complaint under 10 U.S.C. 2409, 
and if that proceeding resulted in imposition of a monetary penalty or 
an order to take corrective action under 10 U.S.C. 2409.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   11/00/13  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Manuel Quinones, Department of Defense, Defense 
Acquisition Regulations Council, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite 15D07-2, 
Alexandria, VA 22350, Phone: 571 372-6088, Email: 
manuel.quinones@osd.mil.
    RIN: 0750-AI04

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

Proposed Rule Stage

37. Tricare; Reimbursement of Long Term Care Hospitals

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 10 U.S.C. 1079(j)(2)
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR 199.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The proposed 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 
proposed rule implements a reimbursement methodology similar to that 
furnished to Medicare beneficiaries for services provided by long-term 
care hospitals.
    Statement of Need: The rule is necessary to meet the statutory 
provision to use Medicare reimbursement rules to the extent 
practicable.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Congress established enabling legislation 
under section 707 of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal 
year 2002 (NDAA-02), Public Law 107-107 (December 28, 2001) changing 
the statutory authorization in 10 U.S.C. 1079(j)(2) that TRICARE 
payment methods for institutional care shall be determined to the 
extent practicable, in accordance with the same reimbursement rules 
used by Medicare.
    Alternatives: This rule implements statutorily required provisions 
for adoption and implementation of Medicare institutional reimbursement 
rules which are consistent with well established congressional 
objectives. No other alternative is applicable.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: It is projected that implementation 
of this rule will result in a health care savings of $71 million in 
year one of implementation.
    Risks: The proposed rule implements statutorily required provisions 
for adoption and implementation of Medicare institutional reimbursement 
systems which are consistent with well established congressional 
objectives. No risk to the public is applicable.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   02/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal.
    Agency Contact: Ann N. Fazzini, Department of Defense, Office of 
Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs, 1200 Defense Pentagon, 
Washington, DC 20301, Phone: 303 676-3803.
    RIN: 0720-AB47

DOD--DODOASHA

Final Rule Stage

38. Tricare: Certified Mental Health Counselors

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 10 U.S.C. ch 55
    CFR Citation: 32 CFR 199.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, June 20, 2011, section 724 of 
NDAA 2011.
    Congressional requirement set forth in the National Defense 
Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, section 724, which 
required the Department of Defense to prescribe regulations by June 20, 
2011, to establish the criteria, as had previously been studied in 
accordance with section 717 of the NDAA 2008, that would allow licensed 
or certified mental health counselors to be able to independently 
provide care to TRICARE beneficiaries and receive payment for those 
services.
    Abstract: This rule was published as an interim final rule (IFR) in 
order to meet the congressional requirement set forth in the National 
Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, section 
724, which required the Department of Defense to prescribe regulations 
by June 20, 2011, to establish the criteria, as had previously been 
studied in accordance with section 717 of the NDAA 2008, that would 
allow licensed or certified mental health counselors (MHCs) to be able 
to independently provide care to TRICARE beneficiaries and receive 
payment for those services. Under current TRICARE requirements, MHCs 
are authorized to practice only with physician referral and 
supervision. This IFR establishes a transition period to allow MHCs to 
gain the requisite education, examination, and post-master's clinical 
experience for the new category of qualified mental health 
professionals, ``TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselors,'' who will 
be authorized to practice independently under TRICARE, as well as phase 
out the category of MHC who require referral and supervision from 
TRICARE authorized physicians.
    Statement of Need: The Interim Final Rule provides 9.6 million 
TRICARE beneficiaries access to a new category of qualified mental 
health professionals whose qualifications confirm their ability to 
diagnose and treat mental health disorders found in the military 
population, as well as the psychosocial issues experienced by military 
members, retirees, and family members. During the transition period of 
the IFR, the criteria for the MHCs have not changed and will allow 
continuity of care for beneficiaries who are receiving

[[Page 946]]

services from supervised MHCs under the current system. A continued 
robust, quality provider pool is available for TRICARE beneficiaries to 
access when seeking medically necessary and appropriate mental health 
counseling services in the MHS purchased care system.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The legal authority for this interim final 
rule is section 724 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
Fiscal Year 2011, Public Law 111-383, which required the Department of 
Defense to prescribe regulations to establish the criteria that would 
allow licensed or certified mental health counselors to be able to 
independently provide care to TRICARE beneficiaries and receive payment 
for those services.
    Alternatives: This action is required by statute, therefore, there 
are no alternatives.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The anticipated cost associated with 
this rule is under $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for 
inflation. The benefits are that TRICARE will be in compliance with its 
statutory provisions, and mental health of beneficiaries who receive 
services from TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselors will be 
improved.
    Risks: Failure to implement this will mean that TRICARE regulations 
are not most appropriately implementing the changes legislated by 
TRICARE statutory provisions.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   12/27/11  76 FR 80741
Interim Final Rule Effective........   12/27/11
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      02/27/12
 End.
Final Action........................   11/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Patricia Moseley, Department of Defense, Office of 
Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs, Defense Pentagon, Washington, 
DC 22301, Phone: 703 681-0064.
    RIN: 0720-AB55

DOD--DODOASHA

39. CHAMPUS/TRICARE: Pilot Program for Refills of Maintenance 
Medications for Tricare for Life Beneficiaries Through the TRICARE Mail 
Order Program

    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 199.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This interim final rule implements section 716 of the 
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-
239), which establishes a 5-year pilot program that would generally 
require TRICARE for Life beneficiaries to obtain all refill 
prescriptions for covered maintenance medications from the TRICARE mail 
order program or military treatment facility pharmacies. Covered 
maintenance medications are those that involve recurring prescriptions 
for chronic conditions, but do not include medications to treat acute 
conditions. Beneficiaries may opt out of the pilot program after 1 year 
of participation. This rule includes procedures to assist beneficiaries 
in transferring covered prescriptions to the mail order pharmacy 
program. This regulation is being issued as an interim final rule in 
order to comply with the express statutory intent that the program 
begin in calendar year 2013.
    Statement of Need: The Department of Defense (DoD) proposed rule 
establishes processes for the new program of refills of maintenance 
medications for TRICARE for Life beneficiaries through military 
treatment facility pharmacies and the mail order pharmacy program.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This regulation is proposed under 5 U.S.C. 
301; 10 U.S.C. ch 55; 32 CFR section 199.21.
    Alternatives: The rule fulfills a statutory requirement, therefore, 
there are no alternatives.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The effect of the statutory 
requirement, implemented by this rule, is to shift a volume of 
prescriptions from retail pharmacies to the most cost effective points-
of-service venues of military treatment facility pharmacies and the 
mail order pharmacy program. This will produce savings to the 
Department of approximately $104 million per year and savings to 
beneficiaries of approximately $34 million per year in reduced 
copayments.
    Risks: Loss of savings to both the Department and beneficiaries. No 
risk to the public.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   11/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: RADM Thomas McGinnis, Department of Defense, Office 
of Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs, 1200 Defense Pentagon, 
Washington, DC 20301-1200, Phone: 703 681-2890.
    RIN: 0720-AB60
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 student 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 
2013-2014 school year about 55 million students will attend an 
estimated 130,000 elementary and secondary schools in approximately 
13,600 districts, and about 21 million students will enroll in degree-
granting postsecondary schools. All of these

[[Page 947]]

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.
    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. We also continue to seek 
greater public participation in our rulemaking activities through the 
use of transparent and interactive rulemaking procedures and new 
technologies.
    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. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended

    Gainful Employment. The Secretary proposes amendments to the 
regulations for the Federal Student Aid programs authorized under title 
IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). The proposed 
amendments follow a negotiated rulemaking conducted by the Department 
in the fall of 2013. Specifically, a negotiating committee met in 
September and November of 2013 to prepare proposed regulations 
regarding measures for determining whether certain postsecondary 
educational programs lead to gainful employment in a recognized 
occupation, the conditions under which these educational programs 
remain eligible for the title IV Federal Student Aid programs, and 
requirements for reporting and disclosure of relevant information.
    150% Regulations. The Secretary published interim final regulations 
with a request for public comment on May 16, 2013 (78 FR 28954), to 
amend the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan 
Program) regulations to reflect changes made to the program by the 
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Pub. L. 
112-141. Specifically, these interim final regulations reflected the 
provisions in MAP-21 that amended the HEA to extend the 3.4 percent 
interest rate on Direct Subsidized Loans from July 1, 2012, through 
June 30, 2013, and to ensure that a new borrower on or after July 1, 
2013, may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent 
of the published length of the educational program in which the 
borrower is enrolled. Under the changes made by MAP-21, if the borrower 
exceeds this Direct Subsidized Loan limit, the borrower also becomes 
responsible for the accruing interest on the Direct Subsidized Loans. 
We intend to publish final regulations by January 2014.

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.
    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. Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

    The Secretary published a notice of proposed rulemaking on 
September 18, 2013 (78 FR 57324), to amend regulations under Part B of 
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regarding local 
maintenance of effort (MOE) to ensure that all parties involved in 
implementing, monitoring,

[[Page 948]]

and auditing local educational agency (LEA) compliance with MOE 
requirements understand the rules. Specifically, we are 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 an 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.

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
          RIN                 Title of         to significantly reduce
                             rulemaking      burden on small businesses?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1810-AB16..............  Title I--          No.
                          Improving the
                          Academic
                          Achievement of
                          the
                          Disadvantaged.
1820-AB64..............  Assistance to      No.
                          States for the
                          Education of
                          Children with
                          Disabilities--Pu
                          blic Benefits or
                          Insurance.
1820-AB65..............  Assistance to      No.
                          States for the
                          Education of
                          Children with
                          Disabilities--Ma
                          intenance of
                          Effort.
1820-AB66..............  American Indian    No.
                          Vocational
                          Rehabilitation
                          Services Program.
1820-AB67..............  Disability and     No.
                          Rehabilitation
                          Research
                          Projects and
                          Centers Program:
                          Disability and
                          Rehabilitation
                          Research:
                          Research
                          Fellowships;
                          Special Projects
                          and
                          Demonstrations
                          for Spinal Cord
                          Injuries.
1840-AD05..............  Title IV of the    No.
                          Higher Education
                          Act of 1965, as
                          Amended--Income-
                          Based Repayment,
                          Income-
                          Contingent
                          Repayment, and
                          Total and
                          Permanent
                          Disability.
1840-AD08..............  Titles III and V   No.
                          of the Higher
                          Education Act,
                          as Amended.
1840-AD11..............  Federal Pell       Yes.
                          Grant Program.
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.
1840-AD14..............  Negotiated         Undetermined.
                          Rulemaking Under
                          Title IV of HEA.
1840-AD15..............  Gainful            No.
                          Employment.
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.
     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

40.  Gainful Employment

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001 to 1003; 20 U.S.C. 1070g; 20 U.S.C. 
1085; 20 U.S.C. 1088; 20 U.S.C. 1091 to 1092; 20 U.S.C. 1094; 20 U.S.C. 
1099c; 20 U.S.C. 1099c-1
    CFR Citation: 34 CFR 668.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Secretary proposes amendments to the regulations for 
the Federal Student Aid programs authorized under title IV of the 
Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). The proposed amendments 
follow a negotiated rulemaking conducted by the Department in the fall 
of 2013. Specifically, a negotiating committee met in September and 
November of 2013 to prepare proposed regulations regarding measures for 
determining whether certain postsecondary educational programs lead to 
gainful employment in a recognized occupation, the conditions under 
which these educational programs remain eligible for the title IV 
Federal Student Aid programs, and requirements for reporting and 
disclosure of relevant information.
    Statement of Need: The Secretary proposes amendments to the 
regulations for the title IV, HEA Federal Student Aid programs. The 
proposed amendments follow a negotiated rulemaking conducted by the 
Department in September and November of 2013 to prepare proposed 
regulations regarding measures for determining whether certain

[[Page 949]]

postsecondary educational programs lead to gainful employment in a 
recognized occupation, the conditions under which these educational 
programs remain eligible for the title IV Federal Student Aid programs, 
and requirements for reporting and disclosure of relevant information.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Secretary proposes amendments to the 
regulations for the Federal Student Aid programs authorized under title 
IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).
    Alternatives: To be determined.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: To be determined.
    Risks: To be determined.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   02/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: John A. Kolotos, Department of Education, Office of 
Postsecondary Education, Room 8018, 1990 K Street NW., Washington, DC 
20006-8502, Phone: 202 502-7762, Email: john.kolotos@ed.gov.
    RIN: 1840-AD15
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P

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 improve 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-AC46..............  Alternative        This rule is expected to
                          Efficiency         reduce burden on small
                          Determination      manufacturers of covered
                          Methods and        products and equipment.
                          Alternate Rating
                          Methods.
1904-AC70..............  Waiver and         This rule is expected to
                          Interim Waiver     reduce burden on small
                          for Consumer       manufacturers of covered
                          Products and       products and equipment.
                          Commercial and
                          Industrial
                          Equipment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 Distribution Transformer and Microwave Oven 
standards, which were already published in 2013, have an estimated net 
benefit to the nation of up to $16.3 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 about three 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.

Estimate of Combined Aggregate Costs and Benefits

    The regulatory actions included in this Regulatory Plan for battery 
chargers

[[Page 950]]

and external power supplies, walk-in coolers and freezers, metal halide 
lamp fixtures, manufactured housing, commercial refrigeration 
equipment, residential furnace fans, and commercial and industrial 
electric motors may provide significant benefits to the Nation. DOE 
believes that the benefits to the Nation of the proposed energy 
standards for metal halide lamp fixtures, commercial refrigeration 
equipment and walk-in coolers and freezers (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 7.19 to 7.49quads over thirty years. The net 
benefit to the Nation was estimated to be between $11.16 billion 
(seven-percent discount rate) and $31.57 billion (three-percent 
discount rate). DOE believes that the proposed energy standards for 
external power supplies, residential furnace fans, and commercial and 
industrial electric motors 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 rulemakings for external power supplies, 
residential furnace fans, and commercial and industrial electric 
motors.
BILLING CODE &P

DOE--ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY (EE)

Proposed Rule Stage

41. Energy Conservation Standards for Walk-in Coolers and Walk-in 
Freezers

    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. 6313(f)(4)
    CFR Citation: 10 CFR 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 
performance based 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: DOE believes that the benefits to 
the Nation of the proposed energy standards for commercial 
refrigeration equipment (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 5.39 quads over 30 years and the benefit to the Nation will be 
between $8.6 billion and $24.3 billion.
    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.
NPRM Comment Period Extended........   04/14/10  75 FR 41103
Comment Period End..................   05/28/10
NPRM................................   09/11/13  78 FR 55781
NPRM Comment Period End.............   11/12/13
Final Action........................   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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: Comments pertaining to this rule may be 
submitted electronically to WICF-2008-STD-0015@ee.doe.gov.
    URL for More Information: www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/rulemaking.aspx/ruleid/30.
    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

DOE--EE

42. Energy Efficiency Standards for Metal Halide Lamp Fixtures

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6295(hh)(2)
    CFR Citation: 10 CFR 431.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, January 1, 2012.
    Abstract: Section 324 of the Energy Independence and Security Act 
of 2007 amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to require DOE 
issue a final rule by January 1, 2012, to determine if the energy 
conservation standards should be amended.
    Statement of Need: EPCA requires minimum energy efficiency 
standards for certain appliances and commercial equipment, including 
metal halide lamp fixtures.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Title III of the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA or the Act), Public Law 94-163 (42 
U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), established the Energy Conservation 
Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles. Pursuant to EPCA, 
any new or amended energy conservation standard that the U.S. 
Department of Energy (DOE) prescribes for certain products, such as 
metal halide lamp fixtures, shall be designed to achieve the maximum 
improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and 
economically justified (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)), and result in a

[[Page 951]]

significant conservation of energy. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(B))
    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 metal halide lamp 
fixtures (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 range 
from 0.80 quads to 1.1 quads over 30 years and the benefit to the 
Nation will be between $0.95 billion and $3.2 billion.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice: Public Meeting, Framework      12/30/09  74 FR 69036
 Document Availability.
Comment Period End..................   01/29/10
Notice: Public Meeting, Data           04/01/11  76 FR 18127
 Availability.
Comment Period End..................   05/16/11
NPRM................................   08/20/13  78 FR 51464
NPRM Comment Period End.............   10/21/13
Final Action........................   01/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    URL For More Information: www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/commercial/metal_halide_lamp_ballasts.html.
    URL For Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Lucy DeButts, Office of Buildings Technologies 
Program, EE-2J, Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable 
Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, Phone: 202 
287-1604, Email: lucy.debutts@ee.doe.gov.
    RIN: 1904-AC00

DOE--EE

43. Energy Efficiency Standards for Manufactured Housing

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 17071
    CFR Citation: 10 CFR 460.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, December 19, 2011.
    Abstract: The rule would establish energy efficiency standards for 
manufactured housing and a system to ensure compliance with, and 
enforcement of, the standards.
    Statement of Need: EISA 2007 requires minimum energy efficiency 
standards for appliances, which has the effect of eliminating 
inefficient appliances and equipment from the market.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 413 of EISA 2007, 42 U.S.C. 17071, 
directs DOE to develop and publish energy standards for manufactured 
housing.
    Alternatives: The statute requires DOE to conduct a rulemaking to 
establish standards based on the most recent version of the 
International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), except in cases in which 
the Secretary finds that the IECC is not cost effective or a more 
stringent standard would be more cost effective based on the impact of 
the IECC on the purchase price of manufactured housing and on total 
lifecycle construction and operating costs.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Because DOE has not yet proposed 
energy efficiency standards, 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 for 
increased energy efficiency that are economically justified. Estimates 
of energy savings will be provided when DOE issues the notice of 
proposed rulemaking.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   02/22/10  75 FR 7556
ANPRM Comment Period End............   03/24/10
Request for Infommation.............   06/25/13  78 FR 37995
NPRM................................   09/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    URL For More Information: www.energycodes.gov/status/mfg_housing.stm.
    URL For Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Mohammed Khan, Office of Building Technologies 
Program, EE-2J, Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable 
Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, Phone: 202 
586-7892, Email: mohammed.khan@ee.doe.gov.
    RIN: 1904-AC11

DOE--EE

44. Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial Refrigeration 
Equipment

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6313(c)(5)
    CFR Citation: 10 CFR 431.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, January 1, 2013.
    Abstract: DOE is reviewing and updating energy conservation 
standards, as required by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, to 
reflect technological advances. All amended standards must be 
technologically feasible and economically justified. As required by 
EPCA, DOE published previously a final rule establishing energy 
conservation standards for ice-cream freezers, self-contained 
commercial refrigerators, freezers, and refrigerator-freezers without 
doors, for equipment manufactured after January 1, 2012. (74 FR 1092, 
Jan. 9, 2009) DOE is required to issue a final rule for this second 
review of energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration 
equipment no later than January 1, 2013.
    Statement of Need: EPCA requires minimum energy efficiency 
standards for certain appliances and commercial equipment, including 
commercial refrigeration equipment.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Title III of the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA or the Act), Public Law 94-163 (42 
U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), established the Energy Conservation 
Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles. Pursuant to EPCA, 
any new or amended energy conservation standard that the U.S. 
Department of Energy (DOE) prescribes for certain products, such as 
commercial refrigeration equipment, shall be designed to achieve the 
maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically 
feasible and economically justified (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)), and 
result in a significant conservation of energy. (42 U.S.C. 
6295(o)(3)(B))
    Alternatives: The statute requires DOE to conduct rulemakings to 
review

[[Page 952]]

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 commercial 
refrigeration equipment (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 quad over 30 years and the benefit to the Nation will be between 
$1.61 billion and $4.07 billion.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice: Public Meeting, Framework      05/06/10  75 FR 24824
 Document Availability.
Comment Period End..................   06/07/10
Notice: Public Meeting, Data           03/30/11  76 FR 17573
 Availability.
Comment Period End..................   05/16/11
NPRM................................   09/11/13  78 FR 55889
NPRM Comment Period End.............   11/12/13
Final Action........................   02/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    URL for More Information: www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standard/rulemaking.aspx/ruleid/27.
    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.
    RIN: 1904-AC19

DOE--EE

45. Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnace Fans

    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 (f)(4)(D)
    CFR Citation: 10 CFR 430.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, December 31, 2013.
    Abstract: DOE is initiating its first rulemaking to consider new 
energy conservation standards or energy use standards for purposes of 
circulating air through duct work, as required under 42 U.S.C. 
6295(f)(4)(D). DOE commonly refers to these products as ``residential 
furnace fans.'' EPCA, as amended, requires DOE to publish a final rule 
establishing any final energy conservation or energy use standards not 
later than December 31, 2013.
    Statement of Need: EPCA requires minimum energy efficiency 
standards for certain appliances and commercial equipment, including 
residential furnace fans.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Title III of the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA or the Act), Public Law 94-163 (42 
U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), established the Energy Conservation 
Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles. Pursuant to EPCA, 
any new or amended energy conservation standard that the U.S. 
Department of Energy (DOE) prescribes for certain products, such as 
residential furnace fans, shall be designed to achieve the maximum 
improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and 
economically justified (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)), and result in a 
significant conservation of energy. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(B)
    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      06/03/10  75 FR 31323
 Document Availability.
Comment Period End..................   07/06/10  .......................
Preliminary Analysis................   07/10/12  77 FR 40530
Comment Period End..................   09/10/12  .......................
NPRM; Public Meeting................   10/25/13  78 FR 64067
NPRM Comment Period End.............   12/24/13  .......................
Public Meeting......................   12/03/13  .......................
Final Action........................   12/00/13  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in EO 13132.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Ronald B. Majette, Program Manager, Office of 
Building Technologies Program, EE-2J, Department of Energy, Energy 
Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20585, Phone: 202 586-7935, Email: 
ronald.majette@ee.doe.gov.
    Related RIN: Related to 1904-AC21.
    RIN: 1904-AC22

DOE--EE

46. Energy Efficiency Standards for Certain Commercial and Industrial 
Electric Motors

    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. 6313(b)(4)(B)
    CFR Citation: 10 CFR 431.25.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, December 19, 2012.
    Abstract: Consistent with changes made by the Energy Independence 
and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007), DOE is amending its electric 
motor standards by expanding the scope of the electric

[[Page 953]]

motors that would be regulated. Under the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended, DOE must publish a final rule 
determining whether to amend its standards no later than 24 months 
after the effective date of the previous final rule.
    Statement of Need: EPCA requires minimum energy efficiency 
standards for certain appliances and commercial equipment, including 
commercial and industrial electric motors.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Title III of the Energy Policy and 
Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA or the Act), Public Law 94-163 (42 
U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified), established the Energy Conservation 
Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles. Pursuant to EPCA, 
any new or amended energy conservation standard that the U.S. 
Department of Energy (DOE) prescribes for certain products, such as 
electric motors, shall be designed to achieve the maximum improvement 
in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically 
justified (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)), and result in a significant 
conservation of energy. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(B)).
    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      09/28/10  75 FR 59657
 Document Availability.
Comment Period End..................   11/24/10  .......................
Preliminary Analysis................   07/23/12  77 FR 43015
Comment Period End..................   09/07/12  .......................
NPRM................................   11/00/13  .......................
Final Action........................   05/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in EO 13132.
    International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to 
have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of 
international interest.
    URL For More Information: www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/commercial/electric_motors.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: Duplicate of 1904-AC14.
    RIN: 1904-AC28

DOE--EE

Final Rule Stage

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

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 6295(u)
    CFR Citation: 10 CFR 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 along with standards for other classes 
of external power supplies that DOE determines satisfy the necessary 
statutory criteria. 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 would include any amended or new standards as part of 
that final rule. DOE completed this determination in 2012. 75 FR 27170 
(May 14, 2010)
    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:

[[Page 954]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
               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
Request for Information.............   03/26/13  78 FR 18253
RFI Comment Period End..............   05/28/13
Final Action........................   12/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in E.O. 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.
    URL For Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    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
BILLING CODE-P

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Statement of Regulatory Priorities for Fiscal Year 2014

    As the lead federal agency responsible for protecting the health of 
all Americans and providing supportive services for vulnerable 
populations, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 
implements programs that strengthen the health care system; advance 
scientific knowledge and innovation; improve 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.
    The Department's regulatory agenda for Fiscal Year 2014 advances 
this mission by issuing rules that will: Increase access to health care 
for all Americans and strengthen the Medicare program, the nation's 
largest insurance provider; support the President's commitment to 
implement strategies to reduce gun violence; build from previous 
experiences to safeguard the nation's food supply; promote children's 
health and well-being through programs that target those critical early 
years; arm consumers with information to help them make healthy 
choices; and marshal the best research and technology available to 
streamline and modernize the health care delivery and medical product 
availability systems. This overview highlights several regulations that 
best exemplify these priorities.
Expanding Coverage in the Private Health Care Market and Strengthening 
Medicare
    The Department continues to implement Affordable Care Act 
provisions that expand health insurance coverage and promote health 
care security for all Americans. Millions of Americans--including 
women, families, seniors, and small business owners--are already 
benefitting from the Affordable Care Act. As the Department begins open 
enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplaces, we will continue to 
provide guidance to states, providers, and insurers to enhance the 
experience of individuals and families accessing the Marketplaces. In 
addition, the Department plans to publish other rules that would 
enhance the protections of the Affordable Care Act.
    [ssquf] For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 
(CMS) is preparing to monitor and update policies related to the Health 
Insurance Marketplaces based on experience with initial open enrollment 
to address emerging needs of states, health care providers, and 
insurers.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Exchange: Eligibility, Enrollment, and Appeals Updates 
Proposed Rule (RIN: 0938-AS02).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] CMS, along with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, 
recently published a final rule to implement the Mental Health Parity 
and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008, which requires parity 
between mental health or substance use disorder benefits and medical/
surgical benefits with respect to financial requirements and treatment 
limitations under group health plans and health insurance coverage 
offered in connection with a group health plan. The Affordable Care Act 
builds on MHPAEA and requires coverage of mental health and substance 
use disorder services as one of ten essential health benefits 
categories. Under the essential health benefits rule, individual and 
small group health plans are required to comply with these parity 
regulations. This rule, in conjunction with the Affordable Care Act 
provisions will expand mental health and substance use disorder 
benefits and parity protections for 62 million Americans.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ http://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/health-insurance/index.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CMS has also identified a number of opportunities to strengthen the 
Medicare program by updating rules related to health care payments and 
issuing rules to help root out potential waste, fraud, and abuse.
    [ssquf] In one such rule, CMS will propose certain qualification 
standards regarding the types of prosthetic and orthotic devices 
billable to the Medicare program.\3\ This rule continues the 
Department's efforts to identify and eliminate avenues for Medicare 
fraud and works to protect the Medicare Trust Fund.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and 
Supplies (DMEPOS): Special Payment Rules (RIN: 0938-AR84).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] In addition, CMS will update several Medicare provider 
payment rules to better reflect the state of practice and be responsive 
to feedback from providers.\4\ These rules, which are published 
annually, provide predictability for health care providers so they can 
manage their finances appropriately.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System for Acute Care 
Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System 
and Fiscal Year 2015 Rates (RIN: 0938-AS11); CY 2015 Revisions to 
Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other 
Revisions to Medicare Part B (0938-AS12); CY 2015 Hospital 
Outpatient PPS Policy Changes and Payment Rates, and CY 2015 
Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System Policy Changes and Payment 
Rates (0938-AS15).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Advancing Strategies To Reduce Gun Violence
    On April 23, 2013, the Department published an Advance Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) requesting public input on issues

[[Page 955]]

related to the HIPAA Privacy Rule and reporting to the National Instant 
Criminal Background Check System (NICS) the identities of individuals 
subject to a federal mental health prohibitor that disqualifies the 
individuals from possessing or receiving a firearm. The ANPRM also 
announced the Department's consideration of a proposal to modify the 
HIPAA Privacy Rule to expressly permit certain covered entities to 
disclose to NICS the identities of individuals subject to the federal 
mental health prohibitor. This NPRM will address public comments 
received in response to the ANPRM and includes proposals to help 
facilitate NICS reporting.
Safeguarding the Nation's Food Supply
    FDA will continue its work to implement the Food Safety 
Modernization Act and other statutory authorities related to food 
safety, working with public and private partners to build a new system 
of food safety oversight. In the past year, FDA has issued significant 
proposed rules on preventive controls for human food and produce 
safety, as well as foreign supplier verification for importers and 
accreditation of third-party auditors. This year, FDA will continue its 
work to enhance its oversight of the nation's food supply, including 
publishing rules that will help curb the development of antimicrobial 
resistance in food products. For example:
    [ssquf] FDA recently issued a proposed rule establishing preventive 
controls in the manufacture and distribution of animal feeds.\5\ This 
regulation, as well as a companion piece related to human foods, 
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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and 
Risk-Benefit Preventive Controls for Food for Animals Proposed Rule 
(RIN: 0910-AG10).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] In another proposed rule, FDA is codifying a provision in 
the Animal Drug User Fee Amendments of 2008 that requires sponsors of 
antimicrobial new animal drug products to annually report the amount of 
antimicrobial active ingredient in those drugs that are sold or 
distributed for use in food-producing animals, as well as outline other 
requirements for collecting additional drug distribution data. This 
rule will help FDA address the problem of antimicrobial resistance and 
will help ensure that FDA has the necessary information to examine 
safety concerns related to the use of antibiotics in food-producing 
animals.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Reports of Distribution and Sales Information for 
Antimicrobial Active Ingredients Used in Food-Producing Animals 
Proposed Rule (RIN: 0910-AG45).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Promoting Children's Health and Well-Being
    The Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) regulatory 
portfolio includes rules that promote children's health and well-being 
by strengthening programs that serve children and their families. 
Specifically, ACF rules support the President's Early Learning 
Initiative: A series of new investments that will establish a continuum 
of high-quality early learning for a child--beginning at birth and 
continuing to age five.
    [ssquf] For example, one final rule would provide the first 
comprehensive update of Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) 
regulations since 1998.\7\ 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. This final 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 
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 work for low-income parents and promotes children's 
learning and healthy development.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Child Care and Development Fund Reforms to Support Child 
Development and Working Families Final Rule (RIN: 0970-AC53).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] Another final rule would amend Head Start program 
eligibility standards, as a component of an ongoing effort to 
strengthen the Head Start program and help ensure for children and 
families most in need access to this high-quality educational 
program.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Head Start Eligibility Determination Final Rule (RIN: 0970-
AC46).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Empowering Americans To Make Healthy Choices in the Marketplace
    As of 2010, more than one-third of U.S. adults \9\ and 17% of all 
children and adolescents \10\ 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.\11\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html.
    \10\ http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/index.html.
    \11\ http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Building on the momentum of the First Lady'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.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ 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.\13\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Food Labeling: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in 
Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments Final Rule (RIN: 
0910-AG57).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] 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.\14\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ Food Labeling: Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food Sold in 
Vending Machines Final Rule (RIN: 0910-AG56).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] 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

[[Page 956]]

on the label to help consumers maintain healthy dietary practices.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Food Labeling; Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement 
Facts Labels Proposed Rule (RIN: 0910-AF22).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] 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 healthy dietary practices.\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably 
Be Consumed At One Eating Occasion; Duel Column Labeling; and 
Modifying the Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed Final Rule 
(RIN: 0910-AF23).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reducing the Harms of Tobacco Use
    In 2009, Congress enacted the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco 
Control Act, which authorized FDA to regulate tobacco for the first 
time in history. Under the Tobacco Control Act, FDA has responsibility 
for regulating the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of 
tobacco products to protect the public health and for reducing tobacco 
use by minors. In the coming year, FDA plans to issue a proposed rule 
that would clarify which products containing tobacco, in addition to 
cigarettes, are subject to FDA oversight.\17\ This rule would also 
allow FDA to establish regulatory standards on the sale and 
distribution of tobacco products, such as age-related access 
restrictions and rules on advertising and promotion, as appropriate, to 
protect public health. This rule will help FDA target its efforts to 
identify and regulate tobacco products that are intended to entice 
children and youth.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ ``Tobacco Products'' Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and 
Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and 
Tobacco Control Act (RIN: 0910-AG38).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modernizing Medical Product Safety and Availability
    In 2012, Congress gave FDA new authorities under the Food and Drug 
Administration Safety and Innovation Act to support its core mission of 
safeguarding the quality of medical products available to the public 
while ensuring the availability of innovative products to promote the 
public health. Similar to its work in the food safety, nutrition, and 
tobacco control spheres, FDA works diligently to implement regulations 
springing from this new statutory authority with a focus on enhancing 
FDA oversight and protecting the quality of medical products in the 
global drug supply chain; improving the availability of needed drugs 
and devices; and promoting better-informed decisions by health 
professionals and patients.
    [ssquf] For example, a newly issued regulatory proposal would 
require manufacturers of certain drugs, such as drugs used for cancer 
treatments, anesthesia drugs, and other drugs that are critical to the 
treatment of serious diseases and life-threatening conditions, to 
report discontinuances or interruptions in the manufacturing of these 
products.\18\ This rule would help FDA address and potentially prevent 
drug shortages and would help inform providers and public health 
officials earlier about potential drug shortages.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ Revision of Postmarketing Reporting Requirements: Permanent 
Discontinuance or Interruption in Manufacturing of Certain Drug and 
Biological Products (Drug Shortages) Proposed Rule (RIN: 0910-AG88).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] Another recent proposed rule would update FDA's regulations 
to reflect the increased use of generic drugs in the current 
marketplace and create parity between brand name and generic drug 
manufacturers with regards to the ability to update product labeling. 
In this rule, FDA would propose to allow generic drug manufacturers to 
independently update product labeling to reflect certain types of newly 
acquired safety information through submission of a ``changes being 
effected'' supplement, irrespective of whether the revised labeling 
differs from that of the corresponding brand name drug.\19\ The rule 
would also propose the process by which information regarding a 
``changes being effected'' labeling supplement would be made publicly 
available during FDA's review, so that the public can have timely 
access to this information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ Supplemental Applications Proposing Labeling Changes for 
Approved Drugs Proposed Rule (RIN: 0910-AG94).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 updating rules to align 
with emerging health and safety standards, eliminating outdated 
procedures, streamlining rules, and providing flexibility to use 
technology.
    [ssquf] CMS continues its retrospective review efforts by proposing 
rules to update safety standards, eliminate redundancies, and reduce 
burden for patients and providers. For example, one proposed rule would 
amend the fire safety standards for hospitals, long-term care 
facilities, intermediate care facilities for the intellectually 
disabled (ICFs/ID), ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), hospices which 
provide in-patient services, religious non-medical health care 
institutions, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) 
facilities.\20\ Further, this proposed rule would adopt the most recent 
edition of the Life Safety Code (LSC) and eliminate references in our 
regulations to all earlier editions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Health Care Facilities 
Proposed Rule (RIN: 0938-AR72).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] In another rule, CMS, working with the Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention and the Office for Civil Rights, will amend the 
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) regulations 
to allow laboratories to provide patients with direct access to 
completed test results at the patient's request.\21\ This rule supports 
the Administration's transparency initiative by allowing consumers to 
make informed decisions about their care and treatment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ CLIA Program and HIPAA Privacy Rule: Patients' Access to 
Test Reports (RIN: 0938-AQ38).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ssquf] In a major undertaking, the Department and White House 
Office of Science and Technology Policy will propose revisions to the 
ethical rules governing research on human subjects, often referred to 
as the Common Rule.\22\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ Human Subjects Research Protections: Enhancing Protections 
for Research Subjects and Reducing Burden, Delay, and Ambiguity for 
Investigators Proposed Rule (RIN: 0937-AA02).

HHS--OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS (OCR)

Proposed Rule Stage

48. HIPAA Privacy Rule and the National Instant Criminal Background 
Check System (NICS)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 104-191; President's Gun Violence 
Reduction Executive Actions
    CFR Citation: 45 CFR 164.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would modify the Health Insurance 
Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to 
expressly permit certain HIPAA covered entities to disclose to

[[Page 957]]

the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) the 
identities of individuals who are subject to a Federal ``mental health 
prohibitor'' that disqualifies them from possessing or receiving a 
firearm.
    Statement of Need: This proposed rule is needed to ensure that 
entities that perform involuntary commitments or make adjudications 
causing individuals to be disqualified from possessing or receiving a 
firearm under the Federal mental health prohibitor can report to the 
NICS.
    Summary of Legal Basis: On January 16, 2013, President Barack Obama 
announced 23 Executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence across the 
nation, including a specific commitment to address unnecessary legal 
barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and 
Accountability Act, which may prevent states from making information 
available to the NICS.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The rule does not establish any new 
requirements and is expected to be cost neutral. Possible unquantified 
benefits include increased flexibility for States and covered entities 
to report to the NICS, and increased public safety as a result of 
increased reporting to the NICS.
    Risks: Not applicable.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   04/23/13  78 FR 23872
ANPRM Comment Period End............   06/07/13
NPRM................................   12/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: State.
    URL For More Information: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy.
    Agency Contact: Andra Wicks, Department of Health and Human 
Services, Office for Civil Rights, 200 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20201, Phone: 202 205-2292, Fax: 202 205-4786, Email: 
andra.wicks@hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0945-AA05

HHS--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA)

Proposed Rule Stage

49. Food Labeling; Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts 
Labels

    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: 21 CFR 101.9; 21 CFR 101.36.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: FDA is proposing to amend the labeling regulations for 
conventional foods and dietary supplements to provide updated nutrition 
information on the label to assist consumers in maintaining healthy 
dietary practices. If finalized, this rule will modernize the nutrition 
information found on the Nutrition Facts label, as well as the format 
and appearance of the label.
    Statement of Need: Almost all of the regulations for the nutrition 
labeling of foods and dietary supplements have not been amended since 
mandatory nutrition labeling was first required in 1993. New scientific 
evidence and consumer research has become available in the last 18 
years that can be used to update the content and appearance of 
information on the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels so that 
consumers can use the information more effectively to select foods that 
will assist them to maintain healthy dietary practices.
    Summary of Legal Basis: FDA's legal basis derives from sections 
201, 403, and 701(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
    Alternatives: The Agency will consider different options for the 
amount of time that manufacturers have to come into compliance with the 
requirements of this regulation, when finalized, so that the economic 
burden to industry can be minimized.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: If finalized, this rule will affect 
all foods that are currently required to bear nutrition labeling. It 
will have a significant cost to industry because all food labels will 
have to be updated. Much of the information currently provided on the 
Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels is based on old reference 
values and scientific information. The proposed changes would provide 
more current information to assist consumers in constructing a 
healthful diet. The potential benefit from the proposed rule stems from 
the improvement in diet among the U.S. population. Diet is a 
significant factor in the reduction in risk of chronic diseases such as 
coronary heart disease, certain types of cancer, stroke, diabetes, and 
obesity.
    Risks: If information on the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts 
label is not updated, reference values that serve as the basis for the 
percent Daily Value will continue to be based on old scientific 
evidence, and consumers could believe that they are consuming an 
appropriate amount of nutrients when, in fact, they are not. In 
addition, consumers would not be able to determine the amount of 
specific nutrients in a food product because mandatory declaration of 
those nutrients is not currently required. Furthermore, consumers may 
continue to overlook information on the label because it is not 
displayed prominently on the label. Changes to the reference values, 
nutrients declared on the label, and changes to the format and 
appearance of the label would reduce the risk of consumers making food 
choices in the absence of necessary information.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   07/11/03  68 FR 41507
ANPRM Comment Period End............   10/09/03
Second ANPRM........................   04/04/05  70 FR 17008
Second ANPRM Comment Period End.....   06/20/05
Third ANPRM.........................   11/02/07  72 FR 62149
Third ANPRM Comment Period End......   01/31/08
NPRM................................   12/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in EO 13132.
    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 EO 
13563.
    Agency Contact: Blakeley Fitzpatrick, Interdisciplinary Scientist, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, 
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-830), HFS-830, 5100 
Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740, Phone: 240 402-1450, 
Email: blakeley.fitzpatrick@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AF22


[[Page 958]]



HHS--FDA

50. Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be 
Consumed at One-Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, 
Modifying, and Establishing Certain RACCs

    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: 21 CFR 101.9; 21 CFR 101.12.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: FDA is proposing to amend its labeling regulations for 
foods to provide updated Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs) 
for certain food categories. If finalized, this rule would provide 
consumers with nutrition information based on the amount of food that 
is customarily consumed, which would assist consumers in maintaining 
healthy dietary practices. In addition to updating certain RACCs, FDA 
is also considering amending the definition of single-serving 
containers; amending the definition of serving size for breath mints; 
and providing for dual-column labeling, which would provide nutrition 
information per serving and per container, for certain containers.
    Statement of Need: The regulations for serving sizes for nutrition 
labeling of foods have not been amended since mandatory nutrition 
labeling was first required in 1993. New scientific evidence, 
consumption data, and consumer research has become available in the 
last 18 years that can be used to update the serving size information 
on Nutrition Facts labels to reflect the amount of food customarily 
consumed. This will allow consumers to use the serving size information 
more effectively to select foods that will promote maintenance of 
healthy dietary practices.
    Summary of Legal Basis: FDA's legal basis derived from sections 
201, 403 and 701(a) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
    Alternatives: The Agency will consider different options for the 
amount of time that manufacturers have to come into compliance with the 
requirements of this regulation, if finalized, so that the economic 
burden to industry can be minimized. The Agency also intends to publish 
this regulation simultaneously with other regulations requiring changes 
to Nutrition Fact labels to ease economic burden on manufacturers.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: If finalized, this rule will affect 
most foods that are currently required to bear nutrition labeling. It 
will have a significant cost to industry because food labels on all 
affected foods will have to be updated. Much of the information 
currently provided on the Nutrition Facts labels is based on old 
reference values and scientific information. The proposed changes would 
provide more current information to assist consumers in constructing a 
healthful diet.
    Risks: If serving size information on the Nutrition Facts label is 
not updated, reference amounts customarily consumed that serve as the 
basis for serving sizes will continue to be based on old consumption 
data. Proposed updates to the serving size listed on the Nutrition 
Facts label will be based on current nationwide consumption data. 
Without these updates, consumers will not have current information to 
assist them in constructing a healthy diet.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   04/04/05  70 FR 17010
ANPRM Comment Period End............   06/20/05
NPRM................................   12/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, State.
    Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined 
in EO 13132.
    International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to 
have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of 
international interest.
    Agency Contact: Cherisa Henderson, Nutritionist, Department of 
Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, HFS-830, 5100 
Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740, Phone: 202 402-1450, Fax: 
301 436-1191, Email: cherisa.henderson@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AF23

HHS--FDA

51. 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.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321; 21 U.S.C. 331; 21 U.S.C. 342; 21 
U.S.C. 350c; 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 507.
    Legal Deadline: NPRM, Statutory, October 2011, Final Rule to 
publish 9 months after close of comment period.
    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),

[[Page 959]]

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.
    To the extent the regulations are related to communicable disease, 
FDA's legal authority also derives from sections 311, 361, and 368 of 
the Public Health Services Act (42 U.S.C. 243, 264 and 271). Finally, 
FDA is acting under the direction of section 1002(a) of title X of 
FDAAA of 2007 (21 U.S.C. 2102) which requires the Secretary to 
establish processing standards for pet food.
    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.
    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...............................    10/29/13  78 FR 64736
NPRM Comment Period End............    02/26/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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

52. ``Tobacco Products'' Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and 
Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco 
Control Act

    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. 301 et seq.; The Federal Food, Drug, and 
Cosmetic Act; Pub. L. 111-31; The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco 
Control Act
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act 
(Tobacco Control Act) provides the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own 
tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic 
Act (FD&C Act), as amended by the Tobacco Control Act, permits FDA to 
issue regulations deeming other tobacco products to be subject to the 
FD&C Act. This proposed rule would deem products meeting the statutory 
definition of ``tobacco product'' to be subject to the FD&C Act and 
would specify additional restrictions.
    Statement of Need: Currently, the Family Smoking Prevention and 
Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) provides FDA with immediate 
authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own 
tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. The Tobacco Control Act also permits 
FDA to issue regulations deeming other tobacco products that meet the 
statutory definition of ``tobacco product'' to also be subject to the 
Food Drug & Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). This regulation is necessary to 
afford FDA the authority to regulate these products which include 
hookah, electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, other novel 
tobacco products, and future tobacco products.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This should include a description of the 
legal basis for the action and whether any aspect of the action is 
required by statute or court order (section 4(c)(I)(C) of EO 12866).
    Section 901 of the FD&C Act, as amended by the Tobacco Control Act, 
permits FDA to issue regulations deeming other tobacco products to be 
subject to the FD&C Act. Section 906(d) provides FDA with the authority 
to propose restrictions on the sale and distribution of tobacco 
products, including restrictions on the access to, and the advertising 
and promotion of, tobacco products if FDA determines that such 
regulation would be appropriate for the protection of the public 
health.
    Alternatives: This should describe, to the extent possible, the 
alternatives the agency has considered or will consider for analysis 
(section 4(c)(1)(B) of EO 12866). Special consideration should be given 
to flexible approaches that ``reduce burdens'' and maintain ``freedom 
of choice for the public'' (section 4 of EO 13563).
    In addition to the benefits and costs of the proposed rule, FDA has 
estimated the benefits and costs of several alternatives to the 
proposed rule: deeming only, but exempt newly-deemed products from 
certain requirements; exempt certain classes of products from certain 
requirements; deeming only, with no additional provisions; and changes 
to the compliance periods.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This should include ``preliminary 
estimates of the anticipated costs and benefits'' of the regulatory 
action (section 4(c)(1)(B) of E.O. 12866). Under E.O. 13563, agencies 
must ``use the best available

[[Page 960]]

techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and 
costs as accurately as possible.'' Consistent with previous guidance we 
have provided concerning the implementation of E.O. 12866, the 
description of costs should include both capital (upfront) costs and 
annual (recurring) costs. If the benefits are difficult to quantify, we 
encourage you, to the extent possible, to use nominal units (for 
example, health effects or injuries avoided) for benefits. Avoid the 
misclassification of transfer payments as costs or benefits. You should 
appropriately discount both costs and benefits. To the extent that you 
cannot quantify costs and benefits, you should describe them in 
narrative form. (The Unified Agenda format does not permit the use of a 
columnar format for cost and benefit information. Please provide these 
data using a narrative format.)
    The proposed rule has two parts: one part deems all tobacco 
products to be subject to the FD&C Act; the other part proposes 
additional provisions that would apply to newly-deemed products as well 
as to other covered tobacco products. The proposed deeming action 
differs from most public health regulations in that it is an enabling 
regulation. In other words, in addition to directly subjecting newly-
deemed ``tobacco products'' to the substantive requirements of Chapter 
IX of the FD&C Act, it enables FDA to issue further public health 
regulations related to such products. Thus, almost all the potential 
benefits and most of the costs that flow from the proposed deeming 
action would be realized in stages over the long term. The proposed 
rule would generate some immediate quantifiable benefits by dissuading 
smokers of small and large cigars, thereby improving health and 
longevity; it would impose costs in the form of registration, 
submission, labeling, and other requirements.
    Risks: This should include, if applicable, a description of ``how 
the magnitude of the risk addressed by the action relates to other 
risks within the jurisdiction of the agency'' (section 4(c)(1)(D) of 
E.O. 12866). You should include 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 reduction 
effort to other risks and risk reduction efforts within the agency's 
jurisdiction.
    Adolescence is the peak time for tobacco use initiation and 
experimentation. In recent years, new and emerging tobacco products, 
sometimes referred to as ``novel tobacco products,'' have been 
developed and are becoming an increasing concern to public health due, 
in part, to their appeal to youth and young adults. Non-regulated 
tobacco products come in many forms, including electronic cigarettes, 
nicotine gels, and certain dissolvable tobacco products (i.e., those 
dissolvable products that do not currently meet the definition of 
smokeless tobacco under 21 U.S.C. 387(18) because they do not contain 
cut, ground, powdered, or leaf tobacco and instead contain nicotine 
extracted from tobacco), and these products are widely available. This 
deeming rule is necessary to provide FDA with authority to regulate 
these products (e.g., registration, product and ingredient listing, 
user fees for certain products, premarket requirements, and 
adulteration and misbranding provisions). In addition, the additional 
restrictions that FDA seeks to promulgate for the proposed deemed 
products would reduce initiation and increase cessation (particularly 
among youth). This rule is consistent with other approaches that the 
Agency has taken to address the tobacco epidemic and is particularly 
necessary given that consumer use may be gravitating to the proposed 
deemed products.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   12/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    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: May Nelson, Regulatory Counsel, Department of 
Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Center for 
Tobacco Products, 9200 Corporate Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20850, Phone: 
877 287-1373, Fax: 240 276-3904, Email: may.nelson@fda.hhs.gov
    RIN: 0910-AG38

HHS--FDA

53. Reports of Distribution and Sales Information for Antimicrobial 
Active Ingredients Used in Food-Producing Animals

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 360b(l)(3)
    CFR Citation: 21 CFR 514.80.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: Section 105 of the Animal Drug User Fee Amendments of 
2008 amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) to 
require that the sponsor of each antimicrobial new animal drug product 
submit an annual report to the Food and Drug Administration on the 
amount of each antimicrobial active ingredient in the drug product that 
is sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals, including any 
distributor-labeled product. In addition to codifying these 
requirements, FDA is exploring additional drug distribution data 
collection.
    Statement of Need: Section 105 of the Animal Drug User Fee 
Amendments of 2008 (ADUFA) amended section 512 of the FD&C Act to 
require that the sponsor of each new animal drug product that contains 
an antimicrobial active ingredient submit an annual report to the Food 
and Drug Administration (FDA, the Agency) on the amount of each 
antimicrobial active ingredient in the drug product that is sold or 
distributed for use in food-producing animals, including information on 
any distributor-labeled product. This legislation was enacted to assist 
FDA in its continuing analysis of the interactions (including drug 
resistance), efficacy, and safety of antibiotics approved for use in 
both humans and food-producing animals (H. Rpt. 110-804). This proposed 
rulemaking is to codify these requirements. In addition, FDA is 
exploring the establishment of other reporting requirements to provide 
for the collection of additional drug distribution data, including 
reporting sales and distribution data by species.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 105 of ADUFA (110 Pub. L. 316; 122 
Stat. 3509) amended section 512 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360b) to 
require that sponsors of applications for new animal drugs containing 
an antimicrobial active ingredient submit an annual report to the Food 
and Drug Administration on the amount of each such ingredient in the 
drug that is sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals, 
including information on any distributor-labeled product. FDA is also 
issuing this rule under its authority under section 512(l) of the FD&C 
Act to collect information relating to approved new animal drugs.
    Alternatives: This rulemaking codifies the Congressional mandate of 
ADUFA section 105. The annual reporting required under ADUFA is 
necessary to address potential problems concerning the safety and 
effectiveness of antimicrobial new animal drugs. Less

[[Page 961]]

frequent data collection would hinder this purpose.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Sponsors of antimicrobial drugs sold 
for use in food-producing animals currently report sales and 
distribution data to the Agency under section 105 of ADUFA; this 
rulemaking will codify a current statutory requirement. There may be a 
minimal additional labor cost if any other reporting requirement is 
proposed. Additional data beyond the reporting requirements specified 
in ADUFA section 105 will help the Agency better understand how the use 
of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals 
may relate to antimicrobial resistance.
    Risks: Section 105 of ADUFA was enacted to address the problem of 
antimicrobial resistance, and to help ensure that FDA has the necessary 
information to examine safety concerns related to the use of 
antibiotics in food-producing animals. 154 Cong. Rec. H7534.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   07/27/12  77 FR 44177
ANPRM Comment Period End............   09/25/12  .......................
ANPRM Comment Period Extended.......   11/26/12  77 FR 59156
NPRM................................   04/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Sharon Benz, Supervisory Animal Scientist, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, 
Center for Veterinary Medicine, MPN-4, Room 2648, HFV-220, 7529 
Standish Place, Rockville, MD 20855, Phone: 240 453-6864, Email: 
sharon.benz@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG45

HHS--FDA

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

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    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 discontinuances or interruptions in the 
manufacturing 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. The regulation may include biological products 
within the notification requirements if it would benefit public health.
    Statement of Need: The Food and Drug Administration Safety and 
Innovation Act (FDASIA), Public Law 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:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   11/04/13  78 FR 65904
NPRM Comment Period End.............   01/03/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20903, Phone: 301 
796-0737.
    RIN: 0910-AG88

HHS--FDA

55. Supplemental Applications Proposing Labeling Changes for Approved 
Drugs and Biological Products

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321; 21 U.S.C. 331; 21 U.S.C. 352; 21 
U.S.C. 353; 21 U.S.C. 355; 21 U.S.C. 371; 42 U.S.C. 262; * * *
    CFR Citation: 21 CFR 314.70; 21 CFR 314.97; 21 CFR 314.150; 21 CFR 
601.12.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would amend the regulations regarding 
new drug applications (NDAs), abbreviated new drug applications 
(ANDAs), and biologics license applications (BLAs) to revise and 
clarify procedures for changes to the labeling of an approved

[[Page 962]]

drug to reflect certain types of newly acquired information in advance 
of FDA's review of such change. The proposed rule would describe the 
process by which information regarding a ``changes being effected'' 
(CBE) labeling supplement submitted by an NDA or ANDA holder would be 
made publicly available during FDA's review of the labeling change. The 
proposed rule also would clarify requirements for the NDA holder for 
the reference listed drug and all ANDA holders to submit conforming 
labeling revisions after FDA has taken an action on the NDA and/or ANDA 
holder's CBE labeling supplement. These proposed revisions to FDA's 
regulations would create parity between NDA holders and ANDA holders 
with respect to submission of CBE labeling supplements.
    Statement of Need: In the current marketplace, approximately 80 
percent of drugs dispensed are generic drugs approved in ANDAs. ANDA 
holders, like NDA holders and BLA holders, are required to promptly 
review all adverse drug experience information obtained or otherwise 
received, and comply with applicable reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements. However, under current FDA regulations, ANDA holders are 
not permitted to use the CBE supplement process in the same manner as 
NDA holders and BLA holders to independently update product labeling 
with certain newly acquired safety information. This regulatory 
difference recently has been determined to mean that an individual can 
bring a product liability action for ``failure to warn'' against an NDA 
holder, but generally not an ANDA holder. This may alter the incentives 
for generic drug manufacturers to comply with current requirements to 
conduct robust postmarketing surveillance, evaluation, and reporting, 
and to ensure that their product labeling is accurate and up-to-date. 
Accordingly, there is a need for ANDA holders to be able to 
independently update product labeling to reflect certain newly acquired 
safety information as part of the ANDA holder's independent 
responsibility to ensure that its product labeling is accurate and up-
to-date. Allowing ANDA holders to update product labeling through CBE 
supplements in the same manner as NDA holders and BLA holders may 
improve communication of important, newly acquired drug safety 
information to prescribing healthcare providers and the public.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) and 
the PHS Act (42 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) provide FDA with authority over the 
labeling for drugs and biological products, and authorize the Agency to 
enact regulations to facilitate FDA's review and approval of 
applications regarding the labeling for those products. FDA's authority 
to extend the CBE supplement process for certain safety-related 
labeling changes to ANDA holders arises from the same authority under 
which FDA's regulations relating to NDA holders and BLA holders were 
issued.
    Alternatives: FDA considered several alternatives that would allow 
certain requirements of the proposed rule to vary, such as proposing a 
new category of supplements for certain labeling changes being effected 
in 30 days.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The economic benefits to the public 
health from adoption of the proposed rule are not quantified. By 
allowing all application holders to update labeling based on newly 
acquired information that meets the criteria for a CBE supplement, 
communication of important drug safety information to prescribing 
health care providers and the public could be improved. The primary 
estimate of the costs of the proposed rule includes costs to ANDA and 
NDA holders for submitting and reviewing CBE supplements.
    Risks: This proposed rule is intended to remove obstacles to the 
prompt communication of safety-related labeling changes that meet the 
regulatory criteria for a CBE supplement. The proposed rule may 
encourage generic drug companies to participate more actively with FDA 
in ensuring the timeliness, accuracy, and completeness of drug safety 
labeling in accordance with current regulatory requirements. FDA's 
posting of information on its Web site regarding the safety-related 
labeling changes proposed in pending CBE supplements would enhance 
transparency and facilitate access by health care providers and the 
public so that such information may be used to inform treatment 
decisions.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   11/13/13  78 FR 67985
NPRM Comment Period End.............   01/13/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Janice L. Weiner, Senior Regulatory Counsel, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, 
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, WO 51, Room 6304, 10903 New 
Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, Phone: 301 796-3601, 
Fax: 301 847-8440, Email: janice.weiner@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG94

HHS--FDA

56. Veterinary Feed Directive

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 21 U.S.C. 354; 21 U.S.C. 360b; 21 U.S.C. 360ccc; 
21 U.S.C. 360ccc-1; 21 U.S.C. 371
    CFR Citation: 21 CFR 514; 21 CFR 558.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Animal Drug Availability Act created a new category 
of products called veterinary feed directive drugs (VFD drugs). This 
rulemaking is intended to provide for the increased efficiency of the 
VFD program.
    Statement of Need: Before 1996, two options existed for regulating 
the distribution of animal drugs, including drugs in animal feed: (1) 
over-the-counter (OTC) and (2) prescription (Rx). In 1996 the Animal 
Drug Availability Act (ADAA) created a new category of products called 
veterinary feed directive (VFD) drugs. VFD drugs are new animal drugs 
intended for use in or on animal feed, which are limited to use under 
the professional supervision of a licensed veterinarian in the course 
of the veterinarian's professional practice. In order for animal feed 
containing a VFD drug to be used in animals, a licensed veterinarian 
must first issue an order, called a veterinary feed directive (or VFD), 
providing for such use. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, the 
Agency) finalized its regulation to implement the VFD-related 
provisions of the ADAA in December 2000.
    Since that time, FDA has received informal comments that the VFD 
process is overly burdensome. As a result, FDA began exploring ways to 
improve the VFD program's efficiency. To that end, FDA published an 
advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on March 29, 2010 (75 FR 15387), 
and draft text of a proposed regulation, which it published April 13, 
2012 (77 FR 22247). The proposed revisions to the VFD process are also 
intended to support the Agency's initiative to transition certain new 
animal drug products containing medically important antimicrobial drugs 
from an OTC status to a status that requires veterinary oversight.
    The proposed rule, if finalized, will make the following changes to 
the VFD

[[Page 963]]

regulations at section 558.6 (21 CFR 558.6): 1) Reorganize the VFD 
regulations to make them more user-friendly. This proposal will replace 
the six subsections of the existing regulations with three subsections 
that better identify what is expected from each party involved in the 
VFD process; 2) Provide increased flexibility for licensed 
veterinarians and animal producers to align with the most recent 
practice standards, technological and medical advances, and practical 
considerations, to assure the safe and effective use of VFD drugs; 3) 
Provide for the continued availability through the current feed mill 
distribution system of those Category I drugs that move to VFD 
dispensing status. This will prevent potential shortages of 
antimicrobial drugs needed by food animal producers for judicious 
therapeutic uses on their farms and ranches; and 4) Lower the 
recordkeeping burden for all involved parties to align with other feed 
manufacturing recordkeeping requirements, thus eliminating the need for 
two separate filing systems.
    Summary of Legal Basis: FDA's authority for issuing this rule is 
provided in the ADAA (Pub. L. 104-250), which amended the Federal Food, 
Drug, & Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) by establishing section 504.
    Alternatives: An alternative to the proposed rule that would ease 
the burden on VFD drug manufacturers would be to allow additional time 
to comply with the proposed labeling requirements for currently 
approved VFD drugs, for example, 1 or more years after the final rule 
becomes effective. This would not affect any new VFD drug approvals 
after the effective date of the final rule, and it could provide a 
transition period for current VFD manufacturers to coordinate the 
labeling changes to the specimen labeling, representative labeling, the 
VFD form itself, and advertising within the usual frequency of label 
changes.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The estimated one-time costs to 
industry from this proposed rule, if finalized, are the costs to review 
the rule and prepare a compliance plan. In addition FDA estimates that 
the government will incur costs associated with reviewing the VFD drug 
labeling supplements that are expected to be submitted by VFD drug 
manufacturers. The expected benefit of this proposal is a general 
improvement in the efficiency of the VFD process. Additionally, the 
reduction in veterinarian labor costs due to this rule is expected to 
result in an annual cost savings.
    Risks: As FDA begins to implement the judicious use principles for 
medically important antimicrobial drugs based on the framework set 
forth in Guidance for Industry 209, which published April 13, 
2012, it is critical that the Agency makes the VFD program as efficient 
as possible for stakeholders while maintaining adequate protection for 
human and animal health. The provisions included in this proposed rule 
are based on stakeholder input received in response to multiple 
opportunities for public comment, and represent FDA's best effort to 
strike the appropriate balance between protection of human and animal 
health and programmatic efficiency.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   03/29/10  75 FR 15387
ANPRM Comment Period End............   06/28/10
NPRM................................   11/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Sharon Benz, Supervisory Animal Scientist, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, 
Center for Veterinary Medicine, MPN-4, Room 2648, HFV-220, 7529 
Standish Place, Rockville, MD 20855, Phone: 240 453-6864. Email: 
sharon.benz@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG95

HHS--FDA

Final Rule Stage

57. Food Labeling: Calorie Labeling of Articles of 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: FDA published a proposed rule 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 is issuing a final rule, and taking this action to 
carry out section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care 
Act.
    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 
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 initially estimated that the total cost of complying with section 
4205 of the Affordable Care Act and this rulemaking would 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

[[Page 964]]

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 would 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........................   02/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 EO 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

58. 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: FDA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register 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 is issuing a final rule, and taking this 
action to carry out section 4205 of the Patient Protection and 
Affordable Care Act.
    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 
initially estimated that the total cost of section 4205 and this 
rulemaking would 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 (which are subject to change in the final rule) included 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 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........................   02/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 EO 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

[[Page 965]]

Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740, Phone: 240 402-2126, 
Email: daniel.reese@fda.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0910-AG57

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

Proposed Rule Stage

59. Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Health Care Facilities (CMS-
3277-P)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 1302; 42 U.S.C. 1395
    CFR Citation: 42 CFR 403; 42 CFR 416; 42 CFR 418; 42 CFR 460; 42 
CFR 482; 42 CFR 483; 42 CFR 485.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would amend the fire safety standards 
for hospitals; critical access hospital long-term care facilities; 
intermediate care facilities for the intellectually disabled; 
ambulatory surgery centers hospices, which provide in-patient services; 
religious non-medical health care institutions; and programs of all-
inclusive care for the elderly facilities. Further, this proposed rule 
would adopt the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code and eliminate 
references in our regulations to all earlier editions.
    Statement of Need: By adopting the 2012 editions of the Life Safety 
Code (NFPA 101) and the Health Care Facilities Code (NFPA 99) we will 
bring CMS standards up-to-date with the most recent requirements. 
Currently, Medicare and Medicaid facilities are following the 2000 NFPA 
101 Life Safety Code standards, and CMS regulations do not require 
compliance with NFPA 99.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The rule would amend certain provisions of 
the Social Security Act in order to adopt fire safety standards for 
hospitals, critical access hospitals, long-term care facilities, 
intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual 
disabilities, ambulatory surgery centers, hospices which provide 
inpatient services, religious non-medical health care institutions, and 
programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly facilities.
    Alternatives: None. A rule is needed to update requirements for 
Medicare and Medicaid facilities.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: We estimate that the effect of this 
rule will not be economically significant and the cost for facilities 
to implement this rule will be minimal.
    Risks: None. We expect the health care, fire safety, and building 
safety communities will support this rule.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   01/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under EO 
13563.
    Agency Contact: Kristin Shifflett, Health Insurance Specialist 
Clinical Standard Group, Department of Health and Human Services, 
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Center for Clinical Standards 
and Quality, Mail Stop S3-02-01, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 
21244, Phone: 410 786-4133, Email: kristin.shifflett@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AR72

HHS--CMS

60. Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies 
(DMEPOS): Special Payment Rules (CMS-6012-P)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 1395m(h)(1); Pub. L. 106-554 (BIPA), sec 
427
    CFR Citation: 42 CFR 424.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would specify the qualification 
standards and the type of prosthetic and orthotic devices billable to 
the Medicare program. It also proposes the accreditation deadline for 
the entities billing orthotics and prosthetics and identifies the 
DMEPOS product categories exempt from accreditation requirements.
    Statement of Need: CMS believes it is the intent of the Congress to 
strengthen DMEPOS supplier standards in order to protect beneficiaries 
and ensure the integrity of the Medicare program. Historically, there 
has been no Medicare requirement that a supplier of prosthetics and 
custom fabricated orthotics be certified or meet educational 
requirements other than what a state law may require. This proposed 
rule would provide a basis to improve the quality of orthotics and 
prosthetics furnished to Medicare beneficiaries by establishing minimum 
national supplier and practitioner qualifications and accreditation 
requirements for DMEPOS suppliers.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 1834(h) of the Social Security Act 
(the Act) establishes the payment rules for orthotics and prosthetics 
that are described in section 1861(s)(9) of the Act and in our 
regulations.
    Alternatives: None. A rule is necessary to implement the proposed 
provisions.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This proposed rule is expected to 
provide savings for the Medicare program by establishing stringent 
safeguards that would protect the Medicare Trust Fund. It would also 
provide a basis to improve the provision and the quality of prosthetics 
and custom fabricated orthotics to Medicare beneficiaries by 
establishing that DMEPOS suppliers have the qualifications, specialized 
education, training, licensure, and certification.
    Risks: Not publishing this proposed rule puts Medicare 
beneficiaries at risk. Beneficiaries would be best served by 
establishing safeguards that would provide a basis to improve the 
provision of quality prosthetics and custom fabricated orthotics to 
Medicare beneficiaries by establishing practitioner qualifications and 
accreditation requirements for DMEPOS suppliers.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   05/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Sandra Bastinelli, Health Insurance Specialist, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & 
Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244, Phone: 
410 786-3630, Email: sandra bastinelli@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AR84

HHS--CMS

61.  Eligibility, Enrollment, and Appeals Updates (CMS-9949-P)

    Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 U.S.C. 801 is 
undetermined.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 11-148 secs 1301 to 1304; secs 1311 to 
1313; secs 1321 and 1322; secs 1331 and 1332; secs 1334 and 1402
    CFR Citation: 45 CFR 155; 45 CFR 156.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule would update policy based on 
experience with initial open enrollment.
    Statement of Need: The Affordable Care Act establishes an initial 
open

[[Page 966]]

enrollment period beginning October 1, 2013, and annual open enrollment 
periods in subsequent years. CMS expects that updates or revisions to 
existing policy may be necessary based on our experience with the 
initial open enrollment. These updates would be implemented before the 
second open enrollment period begins.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This rule would address updates to 
provisions included in Title I of the Affordable Care Act.
    Alternatives: None. Revisions made to the existing Exchange 
regulations would require rulemaking.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: An estimate of costs or benefits 
will be completed once the necessary policy updates have been 
determined.
    Risks: If this rule is not published, the Exchanges may not 
continue to function optimally.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   02/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, State.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Manasse Spencer, Health Insurance Specialist, 
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & 
Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244, Phone: 
410 786-1642, Email: spencer.manasse@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AS02

HHS--CMS

62.  Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System for Acute 
Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment 
System and Fiscal Year 2015 Rates (CMS-1607-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, 2014. Final, Statutory, 
August 1, 2014.
    Abstract: This annual 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 2015 IPPS and LTCHs at least 60 days before October 1, 2014.
    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, 2014.
    Alternatives: None. This implements a statutory requirement.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Total expenditures will be adjusted 
for FY 2015.
    Risks: If this regulation is not published timely, inpatient 
hospital and LTCH services will not be paid appropriately beginning 
October 1, 2014.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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: Roechel Kujawa, 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: 410 786-9111, Email: 
roechel.kujawa@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AS11

HHS--CMS

63.  CY 2015 Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician 
Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Medicare Part B (CMS-1612-P)

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Social Security Act, secs 1102, 1871 and 1848
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, November 1, 2014.
    Abstract: This annual 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 apply to 
services furnished beginning January 1, 2015.
    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, 2014, and an implementation date of January 1, 2015.
    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 2015.
    Risks: If this regulation is not published timely, physician 
services will not be paid appropriately, beginning January 1, 2015.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   06/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Kathy Bryant, Deputy Director, Division of 
Practitioner

[[Page 967]]

Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare 
& Medicaid Services, Mail Stop C4-01-27, 7500 Security Boulevard, 
Baltimore, MD 21244, Phone: 410 786-3448, Email: 
kathy.bryant@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AS12

HHS--CMS

64.  CY 2015 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System 
(PPS) Policy Changes and Payment Rates, and CY 2015 Ambulatory Surgical 
Center Payment System Policy Changes and Payment Rates (CMS-1613-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, 2014.
    Abstract: This annual proposed rule would revise the Medicare 
hospital outpatient prospective payment system (PPS) to implement 
statutory requirements and changes arising from our continuing 
experience with this system. The proposed rule 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. 
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 2015 OPPS and ASC payment system at least 60 days before January 1, 
2015.
    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, 2015.
    Alternatives: None. This is a statutory requirement.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Total expenditures will be adjusted 
for CY 2015.
    Risks: If this regulation is not published timely, outpatient 
hospital and ASC services will not be paid appropriately beginning 
January 1, 2015.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   06/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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, Mail Stop C4-03-06, 
7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244, Phone: 410 786-4617, 
Email: marjorie.baldo@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AS15

HHS--CMS

Final Rule Stage

65. CLIA Programs And HIPAA Privacy Rule; Patients' Access to Test 
Reports (CMS-2319-F)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 263a
    CFR Citation: 42 CFR 493; 45 CFR 164.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This CMS-CDC-OCR rule amends the Clinical Laboratory 
Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) regulations to specify that, upon 
a patient's request, the laboratory may provide access to completed 
test reports that, using the laboratory's authentication process, can 
be identified as belonging to that patient. Subject to conforming 
amendments, the rule retains the existing provisions that provide for 
release of test reports to authorized persons and, if applicable, the 
individuals (or their personal representative) responsible for using 
the test reports and, in the case of reference laboratories, the 
laboratory that initially requested the test. In addition, this rule 
also amends the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 
1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to provide individuals the right to receive 
their test reports directly from laboratories by removing the 
exceptions for CLIA-certified laboratories and CLIA-exempt laboratories 
from the provision that provides individuals with the right of access 
to their protected health information.
    Statement of Need: The current CLIA regulations and related laws of 
the states and territories pose potential barriers to the laboratory 
exchange of test reports directly with the patient. This rule 
implements changes that support of the Secretary's efforts of achieving 
patient-centered and health IT-enabled health care and allow patients 
direct access to their test reports from a laboratory
    Summary of Legal Basis: The final rule removes the exceptions to an 
individual's right of access related to CLIA and CLIA-exempt 
laboratories. HIPAA-covered laboratories will be required to provide an 
individual (or the individual's personal representative) with access, 
upon request, to the individual's completed test reports (and other 
information maintained in a designated record set) in accordance with 
the provisions of section 164.524 of the Privacy regulations.
    Alternatives: Several alternatives were considered before selecting 
the approach in this final rule to provide access to laboratory test 
reports upon a patient's request. One alternative would have been to 
leave the regulations as written without making any changes. However, 
this option would leave in place the restrictions on patients' direct 
access to their laboratory test results and would therefore impede the 
goal of promoting patient-centered health care. Another alternative 
would have been to revise the definition of ``authorized person'' under 
CLIA to specifically include a patient as an authorized person. This 
alternative was not considered feasible because the definition of 
``authorized person'' in the CLIA regulations also permits individuals 
to order tests, and it defers to state law for authorization. A last 
alternative considered would have been to require the laboratory to 
automatically provide each test report directly to each patient rather 
than the permissive approach to provide patients access to their 
reports upon request. However, this alternative would have

[[Page 968]]

had the potential of significantly increasing the cost for laboratories 
since 100 percent of the 350 million to 703 million test reports issued 
annually would need to be provided to the patients.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: We estimate that this rule will not 
have an economically significant impact on laboratories. It will 
facilitate the ability of patients to compare test results over time 
and to share this information with future physicians or multiple 
physicians. This improved information sharing is likely to improve 
health care, especially for patients and providers who do not have 
access to electronic health records in the near term.
    Risks: None. This rule will allow laboratories to use existing 
processes for patient access or develop new procedures that are 
appropriate for their facility. It expands an individual's right of 
access to include receiving test reports directly from laboratories. 
This rule does not alter the role of the ordering or treating provider 
in reporting and explaining test results to patients.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   09/14/11  76 FR 56712
NPRM Comment Period End.............   11/14/11  .......................
Final Action........................   11/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: State.
    Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under EO 
13563.
    Agency Contact: Judith Yost, Director, Division of Laboratory 
Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare 
& Medicaid Services, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, 7500 
Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850, Phone: 410 786-3531, 
Email: judith.yost@cms.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0938-AQ38

HHS--ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (ACF)

Final Rule Stage

66. Head Start Eligibility Determination

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 9801 et seq.
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule would amend Head Start program regulations to 
clarify and strengthen procedures for determining eligibility for Head 
Start program enrollment, including procedures to document and verify 
such eligibility. The intent is to reduce the risk of providing Head 
Start services to persons who are ineligible for those services.
    Statement of Need: This final rule will amend Head Start program 
regulations to clarify and strengthen procedures for determining 
eligibility for Head Start program enrollment, including procedures to 
document and verify such eligibility. The intent is to reduce the risk 
of providing Head Start services to persons who are ineligible for 
those services. The final rule directly responds to the findings of an 
investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that the 
Head Start program is at risk of having over-income children enrolled 
while legitimate under-income and categorically eligible children are 
put on wait lists.
    Summary of Legal Basis: This final rule is published under the 
authority granted to the Secretary of Health and Human Services by 
section 644(c) of the Head Start Act, as amended by the Improving Head 
Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, as well as sections 
645(a)(1)(A) and 645A(c) of the Act.
    Alternatives: Upon learning of GAO's investigation findings, the 
Administration for Children and Families (ACF) immediately took 
numerous actions within our statutory and regulatory authority to 
respond to GAO's findings and to bolster program integrity efforts 
across the Head Start and Early Head Start programs; prevent future 
fraud and mismanagement; and ensure that every slot is reserved for an 
eligible child. For example, ACF issued a Program Instruction on May 
10, 2010, entitled, ''Income Eligibility for Enrollment'' (ACF-PI-HS-
10-01), which reminds grantees of their legal obligations to verify the 
eligibility of each child served and determine eligibility in 
accordance with the Head Start statute and regulations, as well as the 
serious consequences for falsifying eligibility determinations. 
However, we believe GAO's findings necessitate the implementation of 
new enrollment procedures, as contained in this final regulation, in 
order to reiterate and strengthen the requirements. Therefore, we are 
issuing this final regulation with requirements for Head Start and 
Early Head Start agency staff regarding verification, documentation, 
and certification of the information submitted by the applicants prior 
to determining if a pregnant woman or child is eligible for 
participation in a Head Start or Early Head Start program. This final 
regulation will ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent in conformance 
with the purpose and requirements of the Head Start Act and that the 
neediest children and families in our country benefit from the 
program's services.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: There will not be a significant 
economic impact from this final rule. The estimated total cost of 
implementation of these rules for all grantees is approximately 
$132,188 annually.
    Risks: Not applicable.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   03/18/11  76 FR 14841
NPRM Comment Period End.............   04/18/11  .......................
Final Action........................   04/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Colleen Rathgeb, Division Director, Policy and 
Budget, HS, Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for 
Children and Families, 1250 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20024, 
Phone: 202 205-7378, Email: colleen.rathgeb@acf.hhs.gov.
    RIN: 0970-AC46

HHS--ACF

67. 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 98.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This 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.
    Statement of Need: The CCDF program has far-reaching implications 
for America's poorest children. It provides child care assistance to 
1.6

[[Page 969]]

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 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 final 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 final 
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 final 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 final rule directly 
benefit children and parents who use CCDF assistance to pay for child 
care. The 1.6 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 final rule will vary depending on a State's 
specific situation. ACF does not believe the costs of this final 
regulatory action would be economically significant and that the 
tremendous benefits to low-income children justify costs associated 
with this final rule.
    Risks: Not applicable.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   05/20/13  78 FR 29422
NPRM Comment Period End.............   08/05/13  .......................
Final Action........................   06/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 2013 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

[[Page 970]]

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 
2013 regulatory plan and in the agenda support the Department's 
responsibility areas listed above. These regulations 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); Public Law 109-295 (Oct. 4, 2006); the Consolidated Natural 
Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA), Public Law No. 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); the Consolidated Security, Disaster 
Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, Public Law 110-329 
(Sep. 30, 2008), and the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (SRIA), Public 
Law 113-2 (Jan. 29, 2013).
    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-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 1995 Amendments
                                                     to the
                                                     International
                                                     Convention on
                                                     Standards of
                                                     Training,
                                                     Certification, and
                                                     Watchkeeping (STCW)
                                                     for Seafarers,
                                                     1978.
1625-AB38.........................................  Update to Maritime
                                                     Security.
1625-AB80.........................................  Revision to
                                                     Transportation
                                                     Worker
                                                     Identification
                                                     Credential (TWIC)
                                                     Requirements for
                                                     Mariners.
1625-XXXX.........................................  Inland Waterways
                                                     Navigation
                                                     Regulations.
1651-AA96.........................................  Definition of Form I-
                                                     94 to Include
                                                     Electronic Format.
1651-AA94.........................................  Internet Publication
                                                     of Administrative
                                                     Seizure/Forfeiture
                                                     Notices.
1651-XXXX.........................................  Passenger List/Crew
                                                     List I-418.
1652-AA43.........................................  Modification of the
                                                     Aviation Security
                                                     Infrastructure Fee
                                                     (ASIF) (Market
                                                     Share).
1652-AA61.........................................  Standardized
                                                     Vetting,
                                                     Adjudication, and
                                                     Redress Services.
1653-AA44.........................................  Amendment to
                                                     Accommodate Process
                                                     Changes with SEVIS
                                                     II Implementation.
1660-AA75.........................................  Debris Removal:
                                                     Eligibility of
                                                     Force Account Labor
                                                     Straight-Time Costs
                                                     Under the Public
                                                     Assistance Program
                                                     for Hurricane
                                                     Sandy.
1660-AA77.........................................  Change in Submission
                                                     Requirements for
                                                     State Mitigation
                                                     Plans.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

[[Page 971]]

 
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.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DHS participates in some international regulatory cooperation 
activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to significant 
regulations. For example, the U.S. 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 the U.S. 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 U.S. 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-
U.S. 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-U.S. 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, the U.S. 
Coast Guard 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 2013 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 2013 regulatory plan for DHS regulatory components, 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 
to amend regulations regarding continued employment authorization for 
nonimmigrant workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
Islands (CNMI)--only Transitional Worker (CW-1) classification. 
Finally, USCIS will 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
    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. This final rule amends DHS and Department of Justice (DOJ) 
regulations to comply with the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 
2008 (CNRA). The CNRA extends the immigration laws of the United States 
to the Consolidated Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). In 2009, USCIS 
issued an interim final rule to implement conforming amendments to the 
DHS and DOJ regulations. This joint DHS-DOJ final rule titled 
``Application of Immigration Regulations to the CNMI'' would finalize 
the 2009 interim final rule.
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

[[Page 972]]

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) and U 
nonimmigrants (victims of criminal activity). 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. DHS and DOJ 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 2013 
Regulatory Plan below, contribute to the fulfillment of those 
responsibilities and reflect our regulatory policies.
    Implementation of the 1995 Amendments to the International 
Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping 
(STCW) for Seafarers, 1978. 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 Coast Guard complies with the STCW 
Convention's requirements. The Coast Guard published a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on November 17, 2009, and supplemental NPRMs 
(SNPRMs) on March 23, 2010 and August 1, 2011. 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. 
The Coast Guard has reviewed and analyzed public comments to the SNPRM, 
and intends to publish a final rule complying with the requirements of 
the newly amended STCW Convention. This rulemaking is associated with 
DHS's retrospective review and analysis efforts.
    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

[[Page 973]]

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 regulation, the Coast Guard is taking into 
account the characteristics of OSVs, 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. CBP is also automating some procedures that increase 
efficiencies and reduce the costs and burdens to travelers. 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 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. During the next fiscal year, CBP intends to issue a final rule 
that will finalize the two ESTA rulemakings, the 2008 ESTA interim 
final rule and the 2010 ESTA fee interim final rule.
    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. 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. 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.
    On November 25, 2008, CBP published an interim final rule titled 
``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 ended on June 1, 2009. 
CBP has conducted a structured review of data elements for which CBP 
provided certain flexibilities for compliance in the interim final rule 
and is analyzing the comments in light of the structured review. 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 Consolidated 
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 Guam 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

[[Page 974]]

Program. CBP intends to issue a final rule during the next fiscal year.
    Definition of Form I-94 To Include Electronic Format. On March 27, 
2013, CBP published an interim final rule titled ``Definition of Form 
I-94 to Include Electronic Format.'' DHS issues the Form I-94 to 
certain aliens and uses the Form I-94 for various purposes such as 
documenting status in the United States, the approved length of stay, 
and departure. DHS generally issues the Form I-94 to aliens at the time 
they lawfully enter the United States. The rule amended the DHS 
regulations to add a new definition of the term ``Form I-94,'' which 
includes the collection of arrival/departure and admission or parole 
information by DHS, whether in paper or electronic format. The 
definition also clarified various terms that are associated with the 
use of the Form I-94 to accommodate an electronic version of the Form 
I-94. The rule also added a valid, unexpired nonimmigrant DHS admission 
or parole stamp in a foreign passport to the list of documents 
designated as evidence of alien registration. These revisions to the 
regulations will enable DHS to transition to an automated process 
whereby DHS will create a Form I-94 in an electronic format based on 
passenger, passport and visa information DHS currently obtains 
electronically from air and sea carriers and the Department of State as 
well as through the inspection process. CBP intends to publish 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 U.S. 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 2014, 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 (FEMA) does not have any 
significant regulatory actions planned for fiscal year 2014.

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

    The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) does not have 
any significant regulatory actions planned for fiscal year 2014.

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 2014, 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; enabling Libyan nationals, who were 
previously barred from doing so, to engage in aviation or nuclear-
related studies in the United States; 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 DHS 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 final standards will reflect 
existing ICE and other DHS detention policies.
    This regulation is in response to the President's May 17, 2012 
Memorandum titled ``Implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act.'' The 
President issued the Memorandum on the same day that 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 and institute rules or 
procedures necessary to satisfy the requirements of PREA. Additionally, 
the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), which 
was enacted on March 7, 2013, included a section addressing sexual 
abuse in custodial settings. On December 19, 2012, DHS issued a 
proposed rule, which proposed standards for preventing, detecting, and 
responding to sexual abuse and assault in DHS confinement facilities. 
DHS intends to issue the final rule during fiscal year 2014.
    Enabling Libyan Nationals To Engage in Aviation or Nuclear-Related 
Studies in the United States. ICE is considering regulatory action that 
would rescind the regulatory provisions promulgated in 1983 that 
terminated the nonimmigrant status and barred the granting of certain 
immigration benefits to Libyan nationals and foreign nationals acting 
on behalf of Libyan entities who are engaging in or seeking to obtain 
studies or training in aviation maintenance, flight operations, or 
nuclear-related fields. As the U.S. and U.N. have lifted most of the 
restrictions and sanctions that had been imposed toward Libya, the U.S. 
Government and the Government of Libya have normalized their 
relationship and are working to establish robust diplomatic, military, 
and economic ties. The rescission of this regulation would permit DHS 
and other agencies of the U.S. Government to continue to improve 
outreach to Libyan counterparts. This rulemaking would rescind the 
restrictions that deny nonimmigrant status and benefits to a specific 
group of Libyan nationals. DHS intends to issue a rulemaking on this 
matter in fiscal year 2014.
    Updating and Enhancing Limitations on Designated School Official 
Assignment and Study by F-2 and M-2 Nonimmigrants. ICE is working on 
revising 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. In 
addition, ICE is working to modify the regulatory 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,

[[Page 975]]

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 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 National Protection and Programs Directorate's (NPPD) vision is 
a safe, secure, and resilient infrastructure where the American way of 
life can thrive. NPPD leads the national effort to protect and enhance 
the resilience of the nation's physical and cyber infrastructure.
    Ammonium Nitrate Security Program. Recognizing both the economic 
importance of ammonium nitrate and the fact that ammonium nitrate is 
susceptible to use by terrorists in explosive devices, Congress granted 
DHS 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 section 563 of the Fiscal Year 2008 DHS 
Appropriations Act, which amended the Homeland Security Act of 2002. 
This authority is contained in a new Secure Handling of Ammonium 
Nitrate subtitle of the Homeland Security Act (HSA) (Subtitle J, 6 
U.S.C. 488-488i).
    The Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate provisions of the HSA 
direct DHS to promulgate regulations requiring potential buyers and 
sellers of ammonium nitrate to register with DHS, in order to obtain 
ammonium nitrate registration numbers from DHS. The HSA also requires 
DHS to screen each applicant against the Terrorist Screening Database. 
The statute also requires sellers of ammonium nitrate to verify the 
identities of those individuals seeking to purchase ammonium nitrate; 
to record certain information about each sale or transfer of ammonium 
nitrate; and to report thefts and losses of ammonium nitrate to federal 
authorities.
    On October 29, 2008, DHS published an Advance Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (ANPRM) for a Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Program. 
DHS received a number of public comments. DHS reviewed those comments 
and published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on August 3, 2011. 
DHS accepted public comments concerning the NPRM until December 1, 
2011, and is now reviewing and adjudicating the public comments as the 
Department moves forward in developing a final rule for an Ammonium 
Nitrate Security Program.
    The final rule is intended to aid the Federal Government in its 
efforts to prevent the misappropriation of ammonium nitrate for use in 
acts of terrorism and to limit terrorists' abilities to threaten the 
Nation's critical infrastructure and key resources. By securing the 
Nation's supply of ammonium nitrate through the implementation of this 
rule, it will be more difficult for terrorists to obtain ammonium 
nitrate materials for use in terrorist acts.

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 2014, 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 
intends to issue a final rule to amend its civil aviation regulations 
to address whether 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). TSA published 
an NPRM on March 26, 2012, 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). 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. 
On November 18, 2009, TSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM). 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

[[Page 976]]

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 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 2014.

DHS Regulatory Plan for Fiscal Year 2014

    A more detailed description of the priority regulations that 
comprise DHS's fall 2013 regulatory plan follows.

DHS--OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY (OS)

Final Rule Stage

68. Ammonium Nitrate Security Program

    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: 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, sec 563, 
subtitle J--Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate, Pub. L. 110-161
    CFR Citation: 6 CFR 31
    Legal Deadline: NPRM, Statutory, May 26, 2008, Publication of 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Final, Statutory, December 26, 2008, 
Publication of Final Rule.
    Abstract: This rulemaking will implement the December 2007 
amendment to the Homeland Security Act entitled ``Secure Handling of 
Ammonium Nitrate.'' The amendment requires the Department of Homeland 
Security 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.''
    Statement of Need: Pursuant to section 563 of the 2008 Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, subtitle J--Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate, 
Public Law 110-161, the Department of Homeland Security is required to 
promulgate a rulemaking to create a registration regime for certain 
buyers and sellers of ammonium nitrate. This rule would create that 
regime, and 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 could 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 should be much more difficult for terrorists to 
obtain ammonium nitrate materials for use in improvised explosive 
devices. As a result, there is a direct value in the deterrence of a 
catastrophic terrorist attack using ammonium nitrate, such as the 
Oklahoma City attack that killed over 160 and injured 853 people.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 563 of the 2008 Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, subtitle J--Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate, 
Public Law 110-161, authorizes and requires this rulemaking.
    Alternatives: The Department considered several alternatives when 
developing the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program proposed rule. The 
alternatives considered were: (a) Register individuals applying for an 
AN Registered User Number using a paper application (via facsimile or 
the U.S. mail) rather than through in person application at a local 
Cooperative Extension office or only through a web-based portal; (b) 
verify AN Purchasers through both an Internet based verification portal 
and call center rather than only a verification portal or call center; 
(c) communicate with applicants for an AN Registered User Number 
through U.S. Mail rather than only through email or a secure web-based 
portal; (d) establish a specific capability within the Department to 
receive, process, and respond to reports of theft or loss rather than 
leverage a similar capability which already exists with the Bureau of 
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); (e) require AN 
Facilities to maintain records electronically in a central database 
provided by the Department rather than providing flexibility to the AN 
Facility to maintain their own records either in paper or 
electronically; (f) require agents to register with the Department 
prior to the sale or transfer of ammonium nitrate involving an agent 
rather than allow oral confirmation of the agent with the AN Purchaser 
on whose behalf the agent is working; and (g) exempt explosives from 
this regulation rather than not exempting them. As part of its notice 
of proposed rulemaking, the Department sought public comment on the 
numerous alternative ways in which the Department could carry out the 
requirements of the Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate provisions of 
the Homeland Security Act.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: In its proposed rule, the Department 
estimated the number of entities that purchase ammonium nitrate to 
range from 64,950 to 106,200. These purchasers include farms, 
fertilizer mixers, farm supply wholesalers and cooperatives (co-ops), 
golf courses, landscaping services, explosives distributors, mines, 
retail garden centers, and lab supply wholesalers. The Department 
estimated the number of entities that sell ammonium nitrate to be 
between 2,486 and 6,236, many of which are also purchasers. These 
sellers include ammonium nitrate fertilizer and explosive 
manufacturers, fertilizer mixers, farm supply wholesalers and co-ops, 
retail garden centers, explosives distributors, fertilizer applicator 
services, and lab supply wholesalers. Individuals or firms that provide 
transportation services within the distribution chain may be 
categorized as sellers, agents, or facilities depending upon their 
business relationship with the other parties to the transaction. The 
total number of potentially regulated farms and other businesses ranges 
from 64,986 to 106,236 (including overlap between the categories).
    The cost of the proposed rule ranges from $300 million to $1,041 
million over 10 years at a 7 percent discount rate. The primary 
estimate is the mean which is $670.6 million. For comparison, at a 3 
percent discount rate, the cost of the program ranges from $364 million 
to $1.3 billion with a primary (mean) estimate of $814 million. The 
average annualized cost for the program ranges from $43 million to $148 
million (with a mean of $96 million), also employing a 7 percent 
discount rate.
    Because the value of the benefits of reducing risk of a terrorist 
attack is a function of both the probability of an attack and the value 
of the consequence, it is difficult to identify the particular risk 
reduction associated with the implementation of this rule. These 
elements and related qualitative benefits include point of sale 
identification requirements and requiring individuals to be screened 
against the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), resulting in known bad 
actors being denied the ability to purchase ammonium nitrate.
    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 preventing the misappropriation or use 
of ammonium nitrate in acts of terrorism, this rulemaking will support 
the Department's efforts to prevent terrorist attacks and reduce the 
Nation's vulnerability to terrorist attacks. This rulemaking is 
complementary to other

[[Page 977]]

Department programs seeking to reduce the risks posed by terrorism, 
including the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program (which 
seeks in part to prevent terrorists from gaining access to dangerous 
chemicals) and the Transportation Worker Identification Credential 
program (which seeks in part to prevent terrorists from gaining access 
to certain critical infrastructure), among other programs.
    Risks: Explosives containing ammonium nitrate are commonly used in 
terrorist attacks. Such attacks have been carried out both domestically 
and internationally. The 1995 Murrah Federal Building attack in 
Oklahoma City claimed the lives of 167 individuals and demonstrated 
firsthand to America how ammonium nitrate could be misused by 
terrorists. In addition to the Murrah Building attack, the Provisional 
Irish Republican Army used ammonium nitrate as part of its London, 
England bombing campaign in the early 1980s. More recently, ammonium 
nitrate was used in the 1998 East African Embassy bombings and in the 
November 2003 bombings in Istanbul, Turkey. Additionally, since the 
events of 9/11, stores of ammonium nitrate have been confiscated during 
raids on terrorist sites around the world, including sites in Canada, 
England, India, and the Philippines.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ANPRM...............................   10/29/08  73 FR 64280
Correction..........................   11/05/08  73 FR 65783
ANPRM Comment Period End............   12/29/08
NPRM................................   08/03/11  76 FR 46908
Notice of Public Meetings...........   10/07/11  76 FR 62311
Notice of Public Meetings...........   11/14/11  76 FR 70366
NPRM Comment Period End.............   12/01/11
Final Rule..........................   03/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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.
    URL For More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL For Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Jon MacLaren, Chief, Rulemaking Section, Department 
of Homeland Security, Office of the Secretary, Infrastructure Security 
Compliance Division (NPPD/ISCD), Mail Stop 0610, 245 Murray Lane SW., 
Arlington, VA 20598-0610, Phone: 703 235-5263, Email: 
jon.m.maclaren@hq.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1601-AA52

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

Proposed Rule Stage

69. 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 2; 8 CFR 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.'' Before DHS publishes a new 
proposed rule, DHS will consider 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

[[Page 978]]

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:

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               Action                    Date            FR Cite
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NPRM................................   12/07/00  65 FR 76588
NPRM Comment Period End.............   01/22/01  .......................
NPRM................................   06/00/14  .......................
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    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 6030, Washington, DC 20259, Phone: 202 272-1614, Fax: 
202 272-1994, Email: ted.h.kim@uscis.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1615-AA41

DHS--USCIS

70. 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 1; 8 CFR 207; 8 CFR 208; 8 CFR 240; 8 CFR 244; 
8 CFR 1001; 8 CFR 1208; 8 CFR 1240.
    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 when the applicant's actions were 
taken when the applicant was under duress.
    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 individuals who 
engaged in persecution of others under duress. 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:

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    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Ronald W. Whitney, Deputy Chief, Refugee and Asylum 
Law Division, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services, Office of Chief Counsel, 20 Massachusetts Avenue 
NW., Washington, DC 20529, Phone: 415 293-1244, Fax: 202 272-1411, 
Email: ronald.w.whitney@uscis.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1615-AB89

DHS--USCIS

71. Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

    Priority: Other Significant.

[[Page 979]]

    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 certain H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B 
nonimmigrants who have begun the process of seeking lawful permanent 
resident status through employment. 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: DHS believes that 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. 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. Congress has 
expressed concern 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.
    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:

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    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

72. Application of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims 
Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to Unaccompanied Alien Children 
Seeking Asylum

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 110-457
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule implements the provisions of the William 
Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 
(TVPRA), Public Law 110-457, 122 Stat. 5074 (Dec. 23, 2008) relating to 
unaccompanied alien children seeking asylum. Specifically, the rule 
proposes to amend Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department 
of Justice (DOJ) regulations relating to asylum applications filed by 
unaccompanied alien children. The rule will amend both DHS and DOJ 
regulations to reflect that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 
(USCIS) has initial jurisdiction over any asylum application filed by 
an unaccompanied alien child. The rule will also add new special 
procedures for all children in interviews before USCIS officers and for 
unaccompanied alien children in proceedings before immigration judges 
in the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
    Statement of Need: The TVPRA mandated promulgation of regulations 
taking into account the specialized needs of unaccompanied alien 
children and addressing both procedural and substantive aspects of 
handling unaccompanied alien children's cases. This rule will replace 
existing agency guidance on the specialized needs of unaccompanied 
alien children. The rule will also incorporate policies in agency 
guidance implementing the TVPRA. Such guidance has been in effect since 
March 2009 and, based on experience gained in following the guidance, 
will be revised in the rule.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The purpose of this rule is to comply with 
the TVPRA mandate to promulgate regulations taking into account the 
specialized needs of unaccompanied alien children and addressing both 
procedural and substantive aspects of handling unaccompanied alien 
children's cases.
    Alternatives: N/A.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: This rule will codify existing 
agency

[[Page 980]]

guidance on the specialized needs of unaccompanied alien children in 
accordance with implementing the TVPRA. In addition, the regulation 
will codify improvements that DHS has implemented over the passage of 
time since TVPRA to incorporate lessons learned and operational 
efficiencies for USCIS and EOIR. DHS anticipates that this rule would 
result in benefits both to the Federal Government by streamlining the 
processing of cases for asylum by unaccompanied children, and to the 
public by ensuring that DHS regulations are transparent in the 
eligibility and application requirements for this vulnerable 
population. DHS anticipates that any costs associated with establishing 
eligibility for asylum under the TVPRA would be outweighed by the 
benefits of this rulemaking.
    Risks: N/A.
    Timetable:

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               Action                    Date            FR Cite
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NPRM................................   09/00/14  .......................
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    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal.
    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 6030, Washington, DC 20259, Phone: 202 272-1614, Fax: 
202 272-1994, Email: ted.h.kim@uscis.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1615-AB96

DHS--USCIS

73. Administrative Appeals Office: Procedural Reforms To Improve 
Efficiency

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 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; 6 U.S.C. 112
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR 103; 8 CFR 204; 8 CFR 205; 8 CFR 210; 8 CFR 
214; 8 CFR 245a; 8 CFR 320; 8 CFR 105 (new); . . .
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This proposed rule revises the requirements and 
procedures for the filing of motions and appeals before the Department 
of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 
and its Administrative Appeals Office. The proposed changes are 
intended to streamline the existing processes for filing motions and 
appeals and will reduce delays in the review and appellate process. 
This rule also proposes additional changes necessitated by the 
establishment of DHS and its components.
    Statement of Need: This rule proposes to make numerous changes to 
streamline the current appeal and motion processes which: (1) Will 
result in cost savings to the Government, applicants, and petitioners; 
and (2) will provide for a more efficient use of USCIS officer and 
clerical staff time, as well as more uniformity with Board of 
Immigration Appeals appeal and motion processes.
    Summary of Legal Basis: 5 U.S.C. 301; 5 U.S.C 552; 5 U.S.C. 552a; 8 
U.S.C. 1101 and notes 1102, 1103, 1151, 1153, 1154, 1182, 1184, 1185 
note (sec. 7209 of Pub. L. 108-458; title VII of Pub. L. 110-229), 
1186a, 1187, 1221,1223, 1225 to 1227, 1255a, and 1255a note, 1281, 
1282, 1301 to 1305, 1324a, 1356, 1372, 1379, 1409(c), 1443 to 1444, 
1448, 1452, 1455, 1641, 1731 to 1732; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 48 U.S.C. 1901, 
1931 note; section 643, Public Law 104-208, 110, Stat. 3009-708; 
section 141 of the Compacts of Free Association with the Federated 
States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and with 
the Government of Palau; title VII of Public Law 110-229; Public Law 
107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (6 U.S.C. 1 et seq.); Public Law 82-414, 66 
Stat. 173, 238, 254, 264; title VII of Public Law 110-229; E.O. 12356.
    Alternatives: The alternative to this rule would be to continue 
under the current process without change.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: As a result of streamlining the 
appeal and motion process, DHS anticipates quantitative and qualitative 
benefits to DHS and the public. We also anticipate cost savings to DHS 
and applicants as a result of the proposed changes.
    Timetable:

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NPRM................................   09/00/14  .......................
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    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: Previously 1615-AB29 (CIS 2311-04), which 
was withdrawn in 2007.
    Agency Contact: William K. Renwick, Supervisory Citizenship and 
Immigration Appeals Officer, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, Administrative Appeals Office, 
Washington, DC 20529-2090, Phone: 703 224-4501, Email: 
william.k.renwick@uscis.dhs.gov.
    Related RIN: Duplicate of 1615-AB29.
    RIN: 1615-AB98

DHS--USCIS

74. Enhancing Opportunities for H-1B1, CW-1, 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 204; 8 CFR 214; 8 CFR 248; 8 CFR 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 and researchers. Additionally, it proposes to 
amend regulations regarding continued employment authorization for 
nonimmigrant workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
Islands (CNMI)--Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) classification. DHS 
proposes changes that would harmonize the regulations for E-3, H-1B1, 
and CW-1 nonimmigrant classifications with existing regulations for 
other similarly situated nonimmigrant classifications. DHS is proposing 
these changes to the regulations to benefit these high-skilled workers 
and CW-1 transitional workers by removing unnecessary hurdles that 
place such workers at a disadvantage when compared to similarly 
situated workers in other visa classifications.
    Statement of Need: DHS proposes changes to harmonize the 
regulations for E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrant classifications with 
the existing regulations for other, similarly situated nonimmigrant 
classifications. These changes to the regulations would benefit these 
highly skilled workers and CW-1 transitional workers by removing 
unnecessary hurdles that place such workers at a disadvantage when 
compared to similarly situated workers in other visa classifications.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The portion of the proposed rule 
addressing E-3 and H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrant classifications would 
extend the period of authorized employment while requests for an

[[Page 981]]

extension of stay for these employment-based nonimmigrant visa 
classifications are being reviewed. The regulations at 8 CFR 
274a.12(b)(20) generally provide aliens in specific nonimmigrant 
classifications with authorization to continue employment with the same 
employer for a 240-day period beyond the period specified on the 
Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94, as long as a timely application 
for an extension of stay is filed on an alien's behalf. This provision 
applies only to the classifications specified in the regulation which 
does not currently include the E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrant 
classifications. By harmonizing the regulations for E-3, H-1B1, and CW-
1 nonimmigrants with the other listed nonimmigrant classifications, 
this proposed rule would provide equity for these nonimmigrants 
relative to other nonimmigrant classifications.
    The proposed rule also would help employers of E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 
nonimmigrants avoid potential interruptions of employment for E-3, H-
1B1, and CW-1 employees during the period that requests for an 
extension of these employment-based nonimmigrant visa classifications 
are being reviewed. These disruptions could result in lost wages for an 
employee and lost productivity for an employer. DHS does not have data 
on the number of employers or E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 nonimmigrants 
experiencing disruption in employment by not receiving an approval of 
the extension before the expiration date specified on the Arrival-
Departure Record or the duration (length of time) of any disruption. 
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) through (F) 
to establish that the EB-1 professor or researcher is recognized 
internationally as outstanding in his or her academic field. Similar to 
the benefits of harmonizing E-3, H-1B1, and CW-1 provisions, the 
harmonization of the evidentiary requirements for EB-1 outstanding 
professors and researchers with other comparable employment-based 
immigrant classifications would provide equity for EB-1 outstanding 
professors and researchers relative to those other employment-based 
visa categories. The proposed rule may also facilitate petitioners' 
recruitment of the EB-1 outstanding professors and researchers by 
expanding the range of evidence that may be adduced to support their 
petitions.
    Timetable:

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NPRM................................   04/00/14  .......................
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    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    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-AC00

DHS--USCIS

Final Rule Stage

75. 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; Pub. L. 113-4
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR 103; 8 CFR 212; 8 CFR 214; 8 CFR 274a; 8 CFR 
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 streamlines 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. Several reauthorizations, including the Violence Against Women 
Act (VAWA) of 2013, Public Law 113-4, have made amendments to the T 
nonimmigrant status provisions of the Immigration and Naturalization 
Act. This rule implements those amendments.
    Statement of Need: T nonimmigrant status is available to eligible 
victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons who: (1) Are victims 
of a severe form of trafficking in persons (defined by section 103 of 
the TVPA), (2) are physically present in the United States, American 
Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of 
entry, on account of trafficking (including the alien having been 
allowed entry into the United States for participation in investigative 
or judicial processes associated with an act or perpetrator of 
trafficking), (3) have complied with any reasonable request for 
assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking 
in persons (or are under 18 years of age or are unable to cooperate due 
to physical or psychological trauma), and (4) 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 and 
implements statutory amendments to these elements, streamlines 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 provide immigration relief 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 provide victims with immigration benefits and 
services, keeping in mind the purpose of the T visa also being a law 
enforcement tool, DHS is considering and using suggestions from 
stakeholders in developing this regulation. These suggestions came in 
the form of public comment to the 2002 interim final rule as well as 
from over ten years of experience with the T nonimmigrant status 
program, including regular meetings with stakeholders and regular 
outreach events.
    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

[[Page 982]]

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; and (3) Streamlining the application process 
for victims.
    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..................   12/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State.
    Additional Information: Transferred from RIN 1115-AG19.
    Agency Contact: Maureen A. Dunn, Chief, Family Immigration and 
Victim Protection Division, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, Office of Policy and Strategy, 20 
Massachusetts Avenue NW., Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20529, Phone: 202 
272-1470, Fax: 202 272-1480, Email: maureen.a.dunn@uscis.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1615-AA59

DHS--USCIS

76. 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; Pub. L. 113-4
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR 103; 8 CFR 204; 8 CFR 212; 8 CFR 214; 8 CFR 
299.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This rule sets forth application and eligibility 
requirements for U 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 fiscal year. This rule 
establishes the procedures to be followed 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 file a 
petition and evidentiary guidance to assist in the petitioning process. 
Eligible victims will be allowed to remain in the United States if 
granted U nonimmigrant status. The Trafficking Victims Protection 
Reauthorization Act of 2008, Public Law 110-457, and the Violence 
Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2013, Public Law 113-4, made amendments to 
the U nonimmigrant status provisions of the Immigration and Nationality 
Act. The Department of Homeland Security had issued an interim final 
rule in 2007. DHS will issue another interim final rule to make the 
changes required by the legislation.
    Statement of Need: This regulation is necessary to allow alien 
victims of certain crimes to petition for U nonimmigrant status. U 
nonimmigrant status is available to eligible victims of certain 
qualifying criminal activity who: (1) Has suffered substantial physical 
or mental abuse as a result of the qualifying criminal activity; (2) 
the alien possesses information about the crime; (3) the alien has 
been, is being, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or 
prosecution of the crime; and (4) the criminal activity took place in 
the United States, including military installations and Indian country, 
or the territories or possessions of the United States. This rule 
addresses the eligibility requirements that must be met for 
classification as a U nonimmigrant alien and implements statutory 
amendments to these requirements, streamlines the procedures to 
petition for U nonimmigrant status, and provides evidentiary guidance 
to assist in the petition process.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Congress created the U nonimmigrant 
classification in the Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act of 2000 
(BIWPA) to provide immigration relief for alien victims of certain 
qualifying criminal activity and who are helpful to law enforcement in 
the investigation or prosecution of these crimes.
    Alternatives: To provide victims with immigration benefits and 
services and keeping in mind the purpose of the U visa as a law 
enforcement tool, DHS is considering and using suggestions from 
stakeholders in developing this regulation. These suggestions came in 
the form of public comment from the 2007 interim final rule as well as 
USCIS' six years of experience with the U nonimmigrant status program, 
including regular meetings and outreach events with stakeholders and 
law enforcement.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: DHS estimated the total annual cost 
of this interim rule to petitioners to be $6.2 million in the interim 
final rule 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 and cost of traveling to visit a 
USCIS Application Support Center. DHS is currently in the process of 
updating our cost estimates since U nonimmigrant visa petitioners are 
no longer required to pay the biometric services fee.
    The anticipated benefits of these expenditures include assistance 
to victims of qualifying criminal activity and their families and 
increases in arrests and prosecutions of criminals nationwide. 
Additional benefits include heightened awareness by law enforcement of 
victimization of aliens in their community, and streamlining the 
petitioning process so that victims may benefit from this immigration 
relief.
    Risks: There is a statutory cap of 10,000 principal U nonimmigrant 
visas that may be granted per fiscal year at INA 214(p)(2). Eligible 
petitioners who are not granted principal U-1 nonimmigrant 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 U-1 petitioners and their families, USCIS will use 
various means to prevent the removal of U-1 petitioners and their 
eligible family members on the waiting list, including exercising its 
authority to allow deferred action, parole, and stays of removal, in 
cooperation with other DHS components.
    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..................   09/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 983]]

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State.
    Additional Information: Transferred from RIN 1115-AG39.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Maureen A. Dunn, Chief, Family Immigration and 
Victim Protection Division, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, Office of Policy and Strategy, 20 
Massachusetts Avenue NW., Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20529, Phone: 202 
272-1470, Fax: 202 272-1480, Email: maureen.a.dunn@uscis.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1615-AA67

DHS--USCIS

77. Application of Immigration Regulations to the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 110-229
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR 208 and 209; 8 CFR 214 and 215; 8 CFR 217; 8 
CFR 235; 8 CFR 248; 8 CFR 264; 8 CFR 274a.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, November 28, 2009, Consolidated 
Natural Resources Act (CNRA) of 2008.
    Abstract: This final rule amends the Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations to 
comply with the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA). The 
CNRA extends the immigration laws of the United States to the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). This rule 
finalizes the interim rule and implements conforming amendments to 
their respective regulations.
    Statement of Need: This rule finalizes the interim rule to conform 
existing regulations with the CNRA. Some of the changes implemented 
under the CNRA affect existing regulations governing both DHS 
immigration policy and procedures and proceedings before the 
immigration judges and the Board. Accordingly, it is necessary to make 
amendments both to the DHS regulations and to the DOJ regulations. The 
Secretary and the Attorney General are making conforming amendments to 
their respective regulations in this single rulemaking document.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Congress extended the immigration laws of 
the United States to the CNMI. The stated purpose of the CNRA is to 
ensure effective border control procedures, to properly address 
national security and homeland security concerns by extending U.S. 
immigration law to the CNMI (phasing-out the CNMI's nonresident 
contract worker program while minimizing to the greatest extent 
practicable the potential adverse economic and fiscal effects of that 
phase-out), to maximize the CNMI's potential for future economic and 
business growth, and to assure worker protections from the potential 
for abuse and exploitation.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Costs: The interim rule established 
basic provisions necessary for the application of the INA to the CNMI 
and updated definitions and existing DHS and DOJ regulations in areas 
that were confusing or in conflict with how they are to be applied to 
implement the INA in the CNMI. As such, that rule made no changes that 
had identifiable direct or indirect economic impacts that could be 
quantified.
    Benefits: This final rule makes additional regulatory changes in 
order to lessen the adverse impacts of the CNRA on employers and 
employees in the CNMI and assist the CNMI in its transition to the INA.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   10/28/09  74 FR 55725
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      11/27/09  .......................
 End.
Correction..........................   12/22/09  74 FR 67969
Final Action........................   09/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Additional Information: CIS 2460-08.
    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.
    Related RIN: Related to 1615-AB76, Related to 1615-AB75.
    RIN: 1615-AB77

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

Final Rule Stage

78. 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. 71; 46 U.S.C. 73; DHS 
Delegation No. 0170.1
    CFR Citation: 46 CFR 10; 46 CFR 11; 46 CFR 12; 46 CFR 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 NPRMs (SNPRM) 
on March 23, 2010 and August 1, 2011.
    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

[[Page 984]]

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 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..........................   11/00/13  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 EO 13563.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Mark Gould, Project Manager, CG-OES-1, Department 
of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. 
Avenue SE., STOP 7509, Washington, DC 20593-7509, Phone: 202 372-1409, 
Email: mark.c.gould@uscg.mil.
    RIN: 1625-AA16

DHS--USCG

79. 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 62; 33 CFR 66; 33 CFR 160; 33 CFR 161; 33 CFR 
164; 33 CFR 165; 33 CFR 101; 33 CFR 110; 33 CFR 117; 33 CFR 151; 46 CFR 
4; 46 CFR 148.
    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 The 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

[[Page 985]]

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 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..........................   06/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    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, 2703 Martin 
Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., STOP 7501, Washington, DC 20593-7501, 
Phone: 202 372-1218, Email: michael.d.lendvay@uscg.mil.
    Jorge Arroyo, Project Manager, Office of Navigation Systems (CG-
NAV-1), Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin 
Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., STOP 7418, Washington, DC 20593-7418, 
Phone: 202 372-1563, Email: jorge.arroyo@uscg.mil.
    Related RIN: Related to 1625-AA93, Related to 1625-AB28.
    RIN: 1625-AA99

DHS--USCG

80. 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.
    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

[[Page 986]]

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 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. In an 
ANPRM, published in March of 2009, and NPRM, published in April of 
2013, the Coast Guard 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. We considered several alternatives in 
the formulation of this proposal. These alternatives were based on risk 
analysis of different combinations of facility and vessel populations 
facing TWIC reader requirements. The preferred alternative selected 
allowed the Coast Guard to target the highest risk entities while 
minimizing the overall burden.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The main cost drivers of this rule 
are the acquisition and installation of TWIC readers and the 
maintenance of the affected entity's TWIC reader system. Initial Costs, 
which we would distribute over a phased-in implementation period, 
consist predominantly of the costs to purchase, install, and integrate 
approved TWIC readers into their current physical access control 
system. Recurring annual costs will be driven by costs associated with 
canceled card list updates, opportunity costs associated with delays 
and replacement of TWICs that cannot be read, and maintenance of the 
affected entity's TWIC reader system. As reported in the NPRM 
Regulatory Analysis, the total 10-year total industry and government 
cost for the TWIC is $234.3 million undiscounted and $186.1 discounted 
at 7 percent. The benefits of the rulemaking include the enhancement of 
the security of vessel ports and other facilities by ensuing that only 
individuals who hold valid TWICs are granted unescorted access to 
secure areas at those locations. Rule We estimate the annualized cost 
of this rule to industry to be $26.5 million at a 7 percent discount 
rate.
    Risks: USCG used risk-based decision-making to develop this 
rulemaking. Based on this analysis, the Coast Guard has proposed 
requiring higher-risk vessels and facilities to meet the requirements 
for electronic TWIC inspection, while continuing to allow lower-risk 
vessels and facilities to use TWIC as a visual identification 
credential.
    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................................   03/22/13  78 FR 20558
NPRM Comment Period Extended........   05/10/13  78 FR 27335
NPRM Comment Period Extended End....   06/20/13  .......................
Final Rule..........................   04/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    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), 2703 
Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., STOP 7501, Washington, DC 20593-
7501, Phone: 202 372-1133, Email: loan.t.o'brien@uscg.mil.
    Related RIN: Related to 1625-AB02.
    RIN: 1625-AB21

DHS--USCG

81. 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.

[[Page 987]]

    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:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   02/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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: LCDR Heather Mattern, Program Manager (CG-ENG-1), 
Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther 
King Jr. Avenue SE., STOP 7509, Washington, DC 20593-7509, Phone: 202 
372-1361, Email: heather.r.mattern@uscg.mil.
    RIN: 1625-AB62

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

Final Rule Stage

82. Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements 
(Section 610 Review)

    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: Pub. L. 109-347, sec 203; 5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 
66; 19 U.S.C. 1431; 19 U.S.C. 1433 to 1434; 19 U.S.C. 1624; 19 U.S.C. 
2071 (note); 46 U.S.C. 60105
    CFR Citation: 19 CFR 4; 19 CFR 12.3; 19 CFR 18.5; 19 CFR 103.31a; 
19 CFR 113; 19 CFR 123.92; 19 CFR 141.113; 19 CFR 146.32; 19 CFR 149; 
19 CFR 192.14.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This final rule implements the provisions of section 203 
of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006. On 
November 25, 2008, CBP published an interim final rule (CBP Dec. 08-46) 
in the Federal Register (73 FR 71730), that finalized most of the 
provisions proposed in the NPRM. The interim final rule did not 
finalize six data elements that were identified as areas of potential 
concern for industry during the rulemaking process and, for which, CBP 
provided some type of flexibility for compliance with those data 
elements. CBP solicited public comment on these six data elements, 
conducted a structured review, and also invited comments on the revised 
Regulatory Assessment and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. [See 
73 FR 71782-85 for regulatory text and 73 CFR 71733-34 for general 
discussion.] The remaining requirements of the rule were adopted as 
final. CBP plans to issue a final rule after CBP completes a structured 
review of the flexibilities and analyzes the comments.
    Statement of Need: This rule improves CBP's risk assessment and 
targeting capabilities and enables the agency to facilitate the prompt 
release of legitimate cargo following its arrival in the United States. 
The information will assist CBP in increasing the security of the 
global trading system and, thereby, reducing the threat to the United 
States and world economy.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Pursuant to section 203 of the Security and 
Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-347, 6 U.S.C. 
943) (SAFE Port Act), the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting 
through the Commissioner of CBP, must promulgate regulations to require 
the electronic transmission of additional data elements for improved 
high-risk targeting, including appropriate security elements of entry 
data for cargo destined to the United States by vessel prior to loading 
of such cargo on vessels at foreign seaports.
    Alternatives: CBP is considering whether to maintain the 
flexibilities on the data elements that were not finalized in the 
interim final rule.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: CBP is currently developing a 
regulatory impact analysis based on the comments and the structured 
review of the data elements not finalized in the interim final rule.
    Risks: No risks.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   01/02/08  73 FR 90
NPRM Comment Period End.............   03/03/08
NPRM Comment Period Extended........   02/01/08  73 FR 6061
NPRM Comment Period End.............   03/18/08
Interim Final Rule..................   11/25/08  73 FR 71730
Interim Final Rule Effective........   01/26/09
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      06/01/09
 End.
Correction..........................   07/14/09  74 FR 33920
Correction..........................   12/24/09  74 FR 68376
Final Action........................   08/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Craig Clark, Program Manager, Vessel Manifest & 
Importer Security Filing, Office of Cargo and Conveyance Security, 
Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20229, Phone: 202 344-
3052, Email: craig.clark@cbp.dhs.gov.
    RIN: 1651-AA70

DHS--USCBP

83. 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

[[Page 988]]

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 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 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: The rule fulfills the requirements of section 
711 of the 9/11 Act to develop and implement a fully automated 
electronic travel authorization system in advance of travel for VWP 
travelers. The advance information allows CBP to determine before their 
departure whether VWP travelers are eligible to travel to the United 
States and to determine 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. ESTA increases national security by 
allowing for vetting of subjects of potential interest before they 
depart for the United States. It promotes legitimate travel to the 
United States by providing for greater efficiencies in the screening of 
travelers thereby 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 (Pub. L. 110-53) and 
section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 
1187.
    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 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 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........................   01/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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/.

[[Page 989]]

    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--USCBP

84. Implementation of the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program (Section 610 
Review)

    Priority: Other Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: Pub. L. 110-229, sec 702
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR 100.4; 8 CFR 212.1; 8 CFR 233.5; 8 CFR 235.5; 
19 CFR 4.7b; 19 CFR 122.49a.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, November 4, 2008, Pub. L. 110-
229.
    Abstract: This rule amends Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
regulations to implement section 702 of the Consolidated Natural 
Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA). This law extends the immigration laws of 
the United States to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands 
(CNMI) and provides for a joint visa waiver program for travel to Guam 
and the CNMI. This rule implements section 702 of the CNRA by amending 
the regulations to replace the current Guam Visa Waiver Program with a 
new Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program. 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. This rule also establishes six ports of entry in 
the CNMI for purposes of administering and enforcing the Guam-CNMI Visa 
Waiver Program. Section 702 of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act 
of 2008 (CNRA), subject to a transition period, extends the immigration 
laws of the United States to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
Islands (CNMI) and provides for a visa waiver program for travel to 
Guam and/or the CNMI. On January 16, 2009, the Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS), through CBP, issued an interim final rule in the 
Federal Register replacing the then-existing Guam Visa Waiver Program 
with the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program and setting forth the 
requirements for nonimmigrant visitors seeking admission into Guam and/
or the CNMI under the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program. As of November 28, 
2009, the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program is operational. This program 
allows nonimmigrant visitors from eligible countries to seek admission 
for business or pleasure for entry into Guam and/or the CNMI without a 
visa for a period of authorized stay not to exceed forty-five days. 
This rulemaking would finalize the January 2009 interim final rule.
    Statement of Need: Previously, aliens who were citizens of eligible 
countries could apply for admission to Guam at a Guam port of entry as 
nonimmigrant visitors for a period of fifteen (15) days or less, for 
business or pleasure, without first obtaining a nonimmigrant visa, 
provided that they are otherwise eligible for admission. Section 702(b) 
of the CNRA, supersedes the Guam visa waiver program by providing for a 
visa waiver program for Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands (Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program). Section 702(b) 
required DHS to promulgate regulations within 180 days of enactment of 
the CNRA to allow nonimmigrant visitors from eligible countries to 
apply for admission into Guam and the CNMI, for business or pleasure, 
without a visa, for a period of authorized stay of no longer than 
forty-five (45) days.
    Under the interim final rule, a visitor seeking admission under the 
Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program must be a national of an eligible country 
and must meet the requirements enumerated in the current Guam visa 
waiver program as well as additional requirements that bring the Guam-
CNMI Visa Waiver Program into soft alignment with the U.S. Visa Waiver 
Program provided for in 8 CFR 217. The country eligibility requirements 
take into account the intent of the CNRA and ensure that the 
regulations meet current border security needs. The country eligibility 
requirements are designed to: (1) Ensure effective border control 
procedures, (2) properly address national security and homeland 
security concerns in extending U.S. immigration law to the CNMI, and 
(3) maximize the CNMI's potential for future economic and business 
growth. This interim rule also provided that visitors from the People's 
Republic of China and Russia have provided a significant economic 
benefit to the CNMI. However, nationals from those countries cannot, at 
this time, seek admission under the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program due 
to security concerns. Pursuant to section 702(a) of the CNRA, which 
extends the immigration laws of the United States to the CNMI, this 
rule also establishes six ports of entry in the CNMI to enable the 
Secretary of Homeland Security (the Secretary) to administer and 
enforce the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program is based 
on congressional authority provided under 702(b) of the Consolidated 
Natural Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA).
    Alternatives: None.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: CBP is currently evaluating the 
costs and benefits associated with finalizing the interim final rule. 
The most significant change for admission to the CNMI as a result of 
the rule was for visitors from those countries who are not included in 
either the existing U.S. Visa Waiver Program or the Guam-CNMI Visa 
Waiver Program established by the rule. These visitors must apply for 
U.S. visas, which require in-person interviews at U.S. embassies or 
consulates and higher fees than the CNMI assessed for its visitor entry 
permits. These are losses associated with the reduced visits from 
foreign travelers who no longer visited the CNMI upon implementation of 
this rule. The anticipated benefits of the rule were enhanced security 
that would result from the federalization of the immigration functions 
in the CNMI.
    Risks: No risks.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   01/16/09  74 FR 2824
Interim Final Rule Effective........   01/16/09
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      03/17/09
 End.
Technical Amendment; Change of         05/28/09  74 FR 25387
 Implementation Date.
Final Action........................   06/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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.
    URL for More Information: www.regulations.gov.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Paul Minton, CBP Officer (Program Manager), 
Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20229, Phone: 202 344-
2723, Email: paul.a.minton@cbp.dhs.gov.

[[Page 990]]

    Related RIN: Related to 1651-AA81.
    RIN: 1651-AA77

DHS--USCBP

85. Definition of Form I-94 to Include Electronic Format

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101; 8 U.S.C. 1103; 8 U.S.C. 1201; 8 
U.S.C. 1301; 8 U.S.C. 1303 to 1305; 5 U.S.C. 301; Pub. L. 107-296, 116 
stat 2135; 6 U.S.C. 1 et seq.
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR 1.4; 8 CFR 264.1(b).
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: Currently, CBP generally issues the Form I-94 to aliens 
at the time they lawfully enter the United States. CBP is transitioning 
to an automated process whereby it will create a Form I-94 in an 
electronic format based on passenger, passport, and visa information 
currently obtained electronically from air and sea carriers and the 
Department of State as well as through the inspection process. The Form 
I-94 is issued by DHS to certain aliens upon arrival in the United 
States or when changing status in the United States. The Form I-94 is 
used to document arrival and departure and provides evidence of the 
terms of admission or parole. Prior to this rule, the Form I-94 was 
solely a paper form that was completed by the alien upon arrival. After 
the implementation of the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) 
following 9/11, CBP began collecting information on aliens traveling by 
air or sea to the United States electronically from carriers in advance 
of arrival. For aliens arriving in the United States by air or sea, CBP 
obtains almost all of the information contained on the paper Form I-94 
electronically and in advance via APIS. The few fields on the Form I-94 
that are not collected via APIS are either already collected by the 
Department of State and transmitted to CBP or can be collected by the 
CBP Officer from the individual at the time of inspection. This means 
that CBP no longer needs to collect Form I-94 information as a matter 
of course directly from aliens traveling to the United States by air or 
sea. At this time, the automated process will apply only to aliens 
arriving at air and sea ports of entry.
    Statement of Need: This rule makes the necessary changes to the 
regulations to enable CBP to transition to an automated process whereby 
CBP will create an electronic Form I-94 based on the information in its 
databases.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Section 103(a) of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act (INA) generally authorizes the Secretary of Homeland 
Security to establish such regulations and prescribe such forms of 
reports, entries, and other papers necessary to carry out his or her 
authority to administer and enforce the immigration and nationality 
laws and to guard the borders of the United States against illegal 
entry of aliens.
    Alternatives: CBP considered two alternatives to this rule: 
eliminating the paper Form I-94 in the air and sea environments 
entirely and providing the paper Form I-94 to all travelers who are not 
B-1/B-2 travelers. Eliminating the paper Form I-94 option for refugees, 
applicants for asylum, parolees, and those travelers who request one 
would not result in a significant cost savings to CBP and would harm 
travelers who have an immediate need for an electronic Form I-94 or who 
face obstacles to accessing their electronic Form I-94. A second 
alternative to the rule is to provide a paper Form I-94 to any 
travelers who are not B-1/B-2 travelers. Under this alternative, 
travelers would receive and complete the paper Form I-94 during their 
inspection when they arrive in the United States. The electronic Form 
I-94 would still be automatically created during the inspection, but 
the CBP Officer would need to verify that the information appearing on 
the form matches the information in CBP's systems. In addition, CBP 
would need to write the Form I-94 number on each paper Form I-94 so 
that their paper form matches the electronic record. As noted in the 
analysis, 25.1 percent of aliens are non-B-1/B-2 travelers. Filling out 
and processing this many paper Forms I-94 at airports and seaports 
would increase processing times considerably. At the same time, it 
would only provide a small savings to the individual traveler.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: With the implementation of this 
rule, CBP will no longer collect Form I-94 information as a matter of 
course directly from aliens traveling to the United States by air or 
sea. Instead, CBP will create an electronic Form I-94 for foreign 
travelers based on the information in its databases. This rule makes 
the necessary changes to the regulations to enable CBP to transition to 
an automated process.
    Both CBP and aliens would bear costs as a result of this rule. CBP 
would bear costs to link its data systems and to build a Web site so 
aliens can access their electronic Forms I-94. CBP estimates that the 
total cost for CBP to link data systems, develop a secure Web site, and 
fully automate the Form I-94 fully will equal about $1.3 million in 
calendar year 2012. CBP will incur costs of $0.09 million in subsequent 
years to operate and maintain these systems. Aliens arriving as 
diplomats and students would bear costs when logging into the Web site 
and printing electronic I-94s. The temporary workers and aliens in the 
``Other/Unknown'' category bear costs when logging into the Web site, 
traveling to a location with public internet access, and printing a 
paper copy of their electronic Form I-94. Using the primary estimate 
for a traveler's value of time, aliens would bear costs between $36.6 
million and $46.4 million from 2013 to 2016. Total costs for this rule 
for 2013 would range from $34.2 million to $40.1 million, with a 
primary estimate of costs equal to $36.7 million.
    CBP, carriers, and foreign travelers would accrue benefits as a 
result of this rule. CBP would save contract and printing costs of 
$15.6 million per year of our analysis. Carriers would save a total of 
$1.3 million in printing costs per year. All aliens would save the 
eight-minute time burden for filling out the paper Form I-94 and 
certain aliens who lose the Form I-94 would save the $330 fee and 25-
minute time burden for filling out the Form I-102. Using the primary 
estimate for a traveler's value of time, aliens would obtain benefits 
between $112.6 million and $141.6 million from 2013 to 2016. Total 
benefits for this rule for 2013 would range from $110.7 million to 
$155.6 million, with a primary estimate of benefits equal to $129.5 
million.
    Overall, this rule results in substantial cost savings (benefits) 
for foreign travelers, carriers, and CBP. CBP anticipates a net benefit 
in 2013 of between $59.7 million and $98.7 million for foreign 
travelers, $1.3 million for carriers, and $15.5 million for CBP. Net 
benefits to U.S. entities (carriers and CBP) in 2013 total $16.8 
million. CBP anticipates the total net benefits to both domestic and 
foreign entities in 2013 range from $76.5 million to $115.5 million. In 
our primary analysis, the total net benefits are $92.8 million in 2013. 
For the primary estimate, annualized net benefits range from $78.1 
million to $80.0 million, depending on the discount rate used.
    Risks: N/A.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interim Final Rule..................   03/27/13  78 FR 18457
Interim Final Rule Comment Period      04/26/13  .......................
 End.

[[Page 991]]

 
Interim Final Rule Effective........   04/26/13  .......................
Final Action........................   10/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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: Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 
13563.
    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.
    RIN: 1651-AA96

DHS--TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (TSA)

Proposed Rule Stage

86. 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 1520; 49 CFR 1570; 49 CFR 1580; 49 CFR 1582 
(new); 49 CFR 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 address 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 (9/11 Act). As required by the 9/11 Act, 
the rulemaking will propose that certain railroads, public 
transportation agencies, and over-the-road bus companies provide 
security training to their frontline employees in the areas of security 
awareness, operational security, incident prevention and response, and 
security exercises that test effectiveness of training. The rulemaking 
will also propose extending 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 and over-the-road buses. The regulation will 
take into consideration any current security training requirements or 
best practices.
    Statement of Need: Employee training is an important and effective 
tool for averting or mitigating potential terrorist attacks by 
terrorists or others with malicious intent who may target surface 
transportation and plan or perpetrate actions that may cause 
significant injuries, loss of life, or economic disruption.
    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 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 surface mode 
transportation employees.
    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................................   08/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Local.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Chandru (Jack) Kalro, Deputy Director, Surface 
Division, 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 
227-1145, Fax: 571 227-2935, Email: jack.kalro@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Monica Grasso, Ph.D., Manager, Economic Analysis Branch--Cross 
Modal Division, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation 
Security Administration, Office of Security Policy and Industry 
Engagement, TSA-28, HQ, E10, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 
20598-6028, Phone: 571 227-3329, Email: monica.grasso@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, 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, HQ, E12, 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

87. 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, 5103A, 44903 and 44936; 46 U.S.C. 
70105; 6 U.S.C. 469; Pub. L. 110-53, secs. 1411, 1414, 1520, 1522 and 
1602
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intends 
to

[[Page 992]]

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. The 
scope of the rulemaking will include transportation workers from all 
modes of transportation who are required to undergo an STA, including 
surface maritime and aviation workers. In accordance with the 
Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 
Act), the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) will address STAs for 
frontline employees for public transportation agencies and railroads.
    In addition, TSA will propose fees to cover the cost of all STAs. 
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 reduce reliance on appropriations 
for certain vetting services; minimize redundant background checks; and 
increase transportation security by enhancing identification and 
immigration verification standards.
    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 assess security in all modes 
of transportation and minimize threats to national and transportation 
security. TSA is required to vet certain aviation workers pursuant to 
49 U.S.C. 44903 and 44936. TSA is required to vet individuals with 
unescorted access to maritime facilities pursuant to 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.
    Pursuant to 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) for 
commercial drivers licensed 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 in the field of transportation 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 for applicants to receive credentials through the 
mail rather than returning to the enrollment center. These alternatives 
are discussed in detail in the proposed 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 benefits of the NPRM are that it would reduce reliance on 
appropriations to cover certain vetting services; improve security by 
requiring new and enhanced vetting; reduce the need for redundant 
background checks; and improve TSA's vetting product, process, and 
structure. TSA estimates that the NPRM would result in a cost savings 
to the alien flight student program. The estimated total savings for 
alien flight students, over a 5-year period is approximately $18 
million at 7 percent discount rate.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   08/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under E.O. 
13563.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Hao--y Tran Froemling, Acting Director, Program 
Management Division, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation 
Security Administration, Office of Intelligence and Analysis, TSA-10, 
HQ, E6, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6010, Phone: 571 
227-2782, Email: haoy.froemling@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Monica Grasso Ph.D., Manager, Economic Analysis Branch-Cross Modal 
Division, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security 
Administration, Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement, TSA-
28, HQ, E10, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6028, Phone: 
571 227-3329, Email: monica.grasso@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, 
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

Final Rule Stage

88. 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 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

[[Page 993]]

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: Pursuant to the requirements of section 611 of Vision 
100--Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act and section 1616 of the 9/
11 Commission Act of 2007, the Transportation Security Administration 
(TSA) is developing a regulation to improve the security of domestic 
and foreign aircraft repair stations. TSA published a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on November 18, 2009, and requested public 
comment by January 19, 2010. At the request of the stakeholders, TSA 
extended the comment period to February 19, 2010; this provided the 
aviation industry and other interested entities and individuals 
additional time to submit comments. The NPRM proposed to require 
certain repair stations that are certificated by the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) to adopt and carry out a security program. TSA is 
working on a final rule that would finalize this rulemaking project. 
Throughout the development of this rulemaking, TSA has coordinated its 
efforts with the FAA to ensure that the rulemaking 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) 
proposed 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 NPRM proposed to 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 that TSA 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 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: In the NPRM, TSA anticipated costs 
to aircraft repair stations mainly related to the establishment of 
security programs. The NPRM estimated total cost of the program is 
$344.4 million (10-year, undiscounted) and $241 million (discounted at 
7 percent). 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 also used a break-even analysis to assess the 
trade-off between the beneficial effects and the costs of implementing 
the rulemaking. The NPRM break-even analysis used three attack 
scenarios to determine the degree to which the rule must reduce the 
overall risk of a terrorist attack in order for the expected benefits 
to justify the estimated rule costs. TSA is revising the NPRM costs and 
benefits estimates for the final rule.
    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. In the regulation, 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..........................   11/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Shawn Gallagher, Regional Security Inspector, 
Compliance Programs, Repair Stations, Department of Homeland Security, 
Transportation Security Administration, Office of Security Operations, 
TSA-29, HQ, E5, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6029, Phone: 
571 227-4005, Email: shawn.gallagher@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Monica Grasso, Ph.D., Manager, Economic Analysis Branch--Cross 
Modal Division, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation 
Security Administration, Office of Security Policy and Industry 
Engagement, TSA-28, HQ, E10, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 
20598-6028, Phone: 571 227-3329, Email: monica.grasso@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, 
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--TSA

89. 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: None
    Abstract: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intends 
to issue a final rule to address whether 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). The NPRM was published on March 26, 2012, to comply 
with the decision rendered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 
District of 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.
    Statement of Need: TSA is issuing a final rule 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

[[Page 994]]

(D.C. 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: As alternatives to the preferred regulatory proposal 
presented in the NPRM, TSA examined three other options. These 
alternatives include a continuation of the screening environment prior 
to 2008 (no action), increased use of physical pat-down searches that 
supplements primary screening with walk through metal detectors 
(WTMDs), and increased use of explosive trace detection (ETD) screening 
that supplements primary screening with WTMDs. These alternatives, and 
the reasons why TSA rejected them in favor of the proposed rule, are 
discussed in detail in Chapter 3 of the AIT NPRM Regulatory Evaluation.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: TSA reports that the net cost of AIT 
deployment from 2008-2011 has been $841.2 million (undiscounted) and 
that TSA has borne over 99 percent of all costs related to AIT 
deployment. TSA projects that from 2012-2015 net AIT related costs will 
be approximately $1.5 billion (undiscounted), $1.4 billion at a three 
percent discount rate, and $1.3 billion at a seven percent discount 
rate. During 2012-2015, TSA estimates it will also incur over 98 
percent of AIT-related costs with equipment and personnel costs being 
the largest categories of expenditures.
    The operations described in this rule produce benefits by reducing 
security risks through the deployment of AIT that is capable of 
detecting both metallic and non-metallic weapons and explosives. 
Terrorists continue to test our security measures in an attempt to find 
and exploit vulnerabilities. The threat to aviation security has 
evolved to include the use of non-metallic explosives. AIT is a proven 
technology based on laboratory testing and field experience and is an 
essential component of TSA's security screening because it provides the 
best opportunity to detect metallic and nonmetallic anomalies concealed 
under clothing.
    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................................   03/26/13  78 FR 18287
NPRM Comment Period End.............   06/24/13  .......................
Final Rule..........................   09/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    URL for Public Comments: www.regulations.gov.
    Agency Contact: Chawanna Carrington, Project 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: 571 227-2958, 
Fax: 571 227-1931, Email: chawanna.carrington@tsa.dhs.gov.
    Monica Grasso, Ph.D., Manager, Economic Analysis Branch--Cross 
Modal Division, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation 
Security Administration, Office of Security Policy and Industry 
Engagement, TSA-28, HQ, E10, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 
20598-6028, Phone: 571 227-3329, Email: monica.grasso@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, 
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--U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (USICE)

Proposed Rule Stage

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

    Priority: Other Significant.
    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 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................................   11/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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.
    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:

[[Page 995]]

703 603-3414, Email: katherine.h.westerlund@ice.dhs.gov.
    Related RIN: Previously reported as 1615-AA19.
    RIN: 1653-AA63

DHS--USICE

Final Rule Stage

91. 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 115.
    Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, September 3, 2013, VAWA 
Reauthorization Act.
    VAWA Reauthorization Act.
    Abstract: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to 
issue final regulations setting detention standards to prevent, detect, 
and respond to sexual abuse and assault in DHS confinement facilities. 
These regulations address and respond to public comments received on 
the notice of proposed rulemaking published December 19, 2012, at 77 FR 
75300.
    Statement of Need: The purpose of this rulemaking is to finalize 
regulations setting standards to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual 
abuse in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confinement facilities. 
The standards build on current U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 
(ICE) Performance Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS) and other 
DHS detention policies. Also, this rulemaking is a response to the 
President's May 17, 2012 Memorandum, ``Implementing the Prison Rape 
Elimination Act,'' which directs all agencies with Federal confinement 
facilities to propose rules or procedures setting standards to prevent, 
detect, and respond to sexual abuse in confinement facilities. In 
addition, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 
requires DHS to publish a final rule adopting national standards for 
the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of rape and sexual 
assault in immigration detention and holding facilities. See Public Law 
113-4 (Mar. 7, 2013).
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The final rule will impose standards 
to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse and assault in DHS 
confinement facilities. These facilities consist of immigration 
detention facilities and holding facilities. The standards will 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 rule will 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 regulation and the costs of implementing the rule. The 
break-even analysis uses the monetized estimates of incidents avoided 
to determine the degree to which the regulation 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 rule will 
include a Regulatory Impact Assessment.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   12/19/12  77 FR 75300
NPRM Comment Period Extended........   02/07/13  78 FR 8987
NPRM Comment Period End.............   02/19/13  .......................
NPRM Extended Comment Period End....   02/26/13  .......................
Final Action........................   11/00/13  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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

DHS--USICE

92.  Rescinding Suspension of Enrollment for Certain F and M 
Nonimmigrant Students From Libya and Third Country Nationals Acting on 
Behalf of Libyan Entities

    Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 U.S.C. 801 is 
undetermined.
    Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101; 8 U.S.C. 1102; 8 U.S.C. 1103; 8 
U.S.C. 1182; 8 U.S.C. 1184; 8 U.S.C. 1186a; 8 U.S.C. 1187; 8 U.S.C. 
1221; 8 U.S.C. 1281; 8 U.S.C. 1282; 8 U.S.C. 1301 to 1305; 8 U.S.C. 
1372; 48 U.S.C. 1806
    CFR Citation: 8 CFR 214.5.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its 
regulations by rescinding the regulatory provisions promulgated in 1983 
that terminated the nonimmigrant status and barred the granting of 
certain immigration benefits to Libyan nationals and foreign nationals 
acting on behalf of Libyan entities who are engaging in or seeking to 
obtain studies or training in aviation maintenance, flight operations, 
or nuclear-related fields. The United States Government and the 
Government of Libya have normalized their relationship and most of the 
restrictions and sanctions imposed by the United States and the United 
Nations toward Libya have been lifted. Therefore, DHS, after 
consultation with the Department of State and the Department of 
Defense, is considering rescinding the restrictions that deny 
nonimmigrant status and benefits to a specific group of Libyan 
nationals.
    Statement of Need: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will 
amend its regulations by rescinding the regulatory provisions 
promulgated in 1983 that terminated the nonimmigrant status and barred 
the granting of certain immigration benefits to Libyan nationals and 
foreign nationals acting on behalf of Libyan entities who are engaging 
in or seeking to obtain studies or training in aviation maintenance, 
flight operations, or nuclear-related fields. The United States 
Government and the Government of Libya have normalized their diplomatic 
relations and most of the restrictions and sanctions imposed by the 
United States and the United Nations toward Libya have been lifted. 
Therefore, DHS, after consultation with the Department of State and the 
Department of Defense, finds it necessary to rescind the restrictions 
that deny nonimmigrant status and benefits to a specific group of 
Libyan nationals.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The regulatory action will rescind 
the regulation which prohibits Libyan

[[Page 996]]

nationals, or any other foreign nationals acting on behalf of Libyan 
entities, from engaging in aviation maintenance, flight operation, or 
nuclear-related studies or training in the United States. The 
rescission would permit DHS and other agencies of the U.S. government 
to provide training and technical assistance in the justice, defense, 
and border security sectors to the new Libyan government. This will 
contribute to the growing relationship between the two governments.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Final Action........................   03/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: 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: 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.
    RIN: 1653-AA69
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) 2014 highlights some of 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.
    The rules highlighted in the Regulatory Plan for FY 2014 focus on 
the following elements of establishing sustainable communities: 
promoting energy efficiency in construction and rehabilitation of 
housing assisted with HUD funds, and planning for and implementing pre-
disaster and adaptative mitigation strategies to establish disaster-
resilient communities. The focus on energy efficiency is consistent 
with President Obama's call, in his State of the Union Address, for 
Federal, State and local Governments and the American public to focus 
on investments in energy efficiency.
    Promoting Energy Efficiency. Given the scale and scope of HUD's 
expenditures on utilities, at a time of shrinking Federal budgets, this 
is a critical fiscal issue as well as one that has significant 
implications for housing affordability and the financial security of 
the HUD-assisted housing market. The level of expenditures on energy-
related rental costs by HUD is substantial, both in relation to HUD's 
annual budget and total energy-related expenditures by the Federal 
Government. In the marketplace, energy costs are also a significant 
cost burden for lower-income families. This burden, especially when 
added to housing and transportation costs, can create difficulties for 
these families in covering other household expenses. Energy costs can 
also affect the financial stability of multifamily housing. Secretary 
Donovan's direction that energy efficiency be prioritized in HUD 
programs and this Regulatory Plan is consistent with these realities.
    Establishing Disaster-Resilient Communities. The devastation caused 
by Hurricane Sandy reminded the nation of the importance of 
establishing building codes to help ensure that housing is located and 
built to withstand the impacts of existing risks and those associated 
with future climate change, in hard hit regions and across the country. 
HUD's strategic plan focuses on promoting the use of climate-resilient 
and disaster resistant development patterns, building siting, design, 
and construction. Such focus should help facilitate the establishment 
of disaster-resilient and sustainable communities.

Priority: Promoting Energy Efficiency While Maintaining Affordability

    Much of HUD's portfolio of public and assisted housing was built 
before the advent of modern energy codes, creating both environmental 
and affordability challenges for building owners, residents, and the 
Federal Government. Toward that end, HUD has been reviewing energy-
efficiency standards across the Department to work toward standardizing 
energy efficiency and green goals and establishing uniform tracking and 
reporting systems. One of the concerns in applying energy efficiency 
standards to HUD's public and assisted housing or to new HUD-assisted 
housing construction or rehabilitation is that it could potentially 
affect the affordability of such housing. In the regulatory action 
described herein, HUD (together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA)) proposes to bring HUD programs into compliance with the most 
recent energy efficiency codes required by the Energy Independence and 
Security Act of 2007 (EISA) and to present an analysis that the 
compliance with the updated codes would not negatively affect the 
availability or affordability of new construction of single and 
multifamily housing covered by EISA.
Regulatory Action: HUD-USDA Joint Notice on Affordability 
Determination--Energy Efficiency Standards
    The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) establishes 
procedures for HUD and the USDA to adopt revisions to the 2006 
International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE 90.1-2004, 
subject to (1) a determination that the revised codes do not negatively 
affect the availability or affordability of new construction of single 
and multifamily housing covered by the Act, and (2) a determination by 
the Secretary of Energy that the revised codes ``would improve energy 
efficiency.'' This action would announce HUD's and USDA's preliminary 
determination that the 2009 IECC and (with the exception of Hawaii) 
ASHRAE 90.1-2007 will not negatively affect the affordability and 
availability of housing covered by the Act.
    As required by the Energy Conservation and Production Act, the 
Department of Energy (DOE) has published Final Determinations that the 
2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standards would improve energy 
efficiency. This Notice therefore announces the results of HUD and 
USDA's analysis of housing impacted by the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-
2007.
    In this notice, HUD submits that ``affordability'' is a measure of 
whether a home built to the updated energy code is affordable to 
potential home buyers or renters and ``availability'' of housing is a 
measure associated with whether builders will make such housing 
available to consumers at the higher

[[Page 997]]

code level--i.e., whether the higher cost per unit as a result of 
complying with the revised code will impact whether that unit is likely 
to be built or not.
    Based on DOE findings on improvements in energy efficiency and 
energy savings, and HUD and USDA determinations on housing 
affordability and availability presented in the notice, HUD and USDA 
submit for comment that HUD and USDA have determined that adoption of 
the codes will not adversely impact the affordability or the 
availability of the covered housing.

Priority: Assessing Energy and Physical Needs of Public Housing

    HUD's energy strategy is designed to address the issue of 
residential energy costs, an aging public and assisted housing stock, 
and growing fiscal demands on HUD's budget to cover household and 
rental property utility costs. HUD also hopes to address the 
disproportionate energy cost burden on low- and moderate-income 
families, and improve the health and quality of HUD-assisted housing 
for building residents. Toward that end, through the Recovery Act 
Management and Performance System, work has begun to enable the 
collection of energy-efficient unit data and establish a baseline for 
tracking energy investments made through the Public Housing Capital 
Fund grant program.
Regulatory Action: Public Housing Energy Audits and Physical Needs 
Assessments
    This final rule updates and enhances HUD's requirements for energy 
audits and physical needs assessments (PNA's) conducted by housing 
authorities in order to assess the energy needs and physical needs of 
their projects. The revisions to the energy audit requires the 
performance of substantially more useful energy audits than the current 
regulation and lays the foundation for potential future incentives or 
other tools for implementing energy conservation measures or green 
measures. Also, the rule facilitates greater synchronization between 
the energy audit and the PNA, so that energy audit data can be better 
integrated into the PNA and allow for future capital planning 
activities which take into consideration possible energy savings. By 
requiring greater coordination between the PNA and the energy audit, 
the rule ensures that energy-saving recommendations from the energy 
audit may result in work items to address physical needs.

Priority: Building for Resiliency While Maintaining Affordability

    As communities begin to recover from the devastating effects of 
Hurricane Sandy, HUD has determined that it is important to recognize 
lessons learned and employ mitigation actions that ensure that 
structures located in floodplains are built or rebuilt stronger, safer, 
and less vulnerable to future flooding events.
Regulatory Action: Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands; 
Building at Base Flood Elevations Plus 1
    This proposed rule would require that new construction and 
substantial improvements to structures in a floodplain be elevated or 
flood-proofed to a base flood elevation of best available data of the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) plus one foot. HUD's 
experience in the wake of Hurricane Sandy indicates that unless 
structures in floodplains are properly designed, constructed and 
elevated, they may not withstand future severe flooding events. 
Building to FEMA's best available data plus one foot will reduce 
property damage, economic loss, and loss of life, and will also benefit 
homeowners by reducing flood insurance rates. The best available data 
plus one foot standard proposed by this rule was made after considering 
the last ten years of FEMA flood mitigation efforts and provides, in 
HUD's view, the best assessment of risk. This higher elevation provides 
an extra buffer of one foot above the best available data to ensure the 
long term resilience of communities. It also takes into account 
projected sea level rise, which is not considered in current FEMA maps 
and flood insurance costs. Building to this standard will, consistent 
with the executive order, reduce the risk of flood loss, minimize the 
impact of floods on human safety, health, and welfare, and promote 
sound, sustainable, long-term planning informed by a more accurate 
evaluation of risk and take into account possible sea level rise.

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 2014. HUD expects that the neither the total 
economic costs nor the total efficiency gains will exceed $100 million.

Priority Regulations in HUD's FY 2014 Regulatory Plan

HUD--OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

Proposed Rule Stage

Affordability Determination--Energy Efficiency Standards
    Priority: Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 12709; 42 U.S.C. 6833; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d)
    CFR Citation: 24 CFR Chapter 1.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) 
establishes procedures for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban 
Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to 
adopt revisions to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code 
(IECC) and ASHRAE 90.1-2004, subject to (1) a determination that the 
revised codes do not negatively affect the availability or 
affordability of new construction of single and multifamily housing 
covered by the Act, and (2) a determination by the Secretary of Energy 
that the revised codes ``would improve energy efficiency.'' \1\ This 
Notice announces HUD and USDA's preliminary determination that the 2009 
IECC and (with the exception of Hawaii) ASHRAE 90.1-2007 will not 
negatively affect the affordability and availability of housing covered 
by the Act. As of July 2013, 32 States plus the District of Columbia, 
Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam have already adopted the 
2009 IECC, its equivalent or a higher standard for single family homes, 
and 38 States plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. 
Virgin Islands, and Guam have adopted ASHRAE 90.1-2007, its equivalent 
or a higher standard for multifamily buildings. The remaining States 
committed to adopting these codes under provisions of the American 
Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. For those States that 
have not yet adopted either of these standards, this Notice relies on 
several studies that show that these codes are overwhelmingly cost 
effective, in that the incremental cost of the 2009 IECC code is 
typically less than 0.5% of total construction costs, and those costs 
pay for themselves very quickly through energy savings. According to 
one study, simple paybacks for the 2009 IECC average 3.45 years, and 
``mortgage paybacks'' on these additional

[[Page 998]]

investments are typically less than 1 year (on average 10.25 months).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Section 
481(d).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Statement of Need: Section 481 of the Energy Independence and 
Security Act of 2007 (EISA) amends the energy code provisions contained 
in Section 109 of Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 
1990 (Cranston-Gonzalez). Section 109(a) of Cranston-Gonzalez, as 
amended by EISA, allowed for HUD and USDA to collaborate and develop 
their own energy efficiency building standards for statutorily 
specified HUD and USDA programs if the agencies developed standards met 
or exceeded the 2006 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2004. However, if the two 
agencies did not act on this option, EISA specifies that the 2006 IECC 
and ASHRAE 90.1-2004 would apply.
    The two agencies did not develop independent energy efficiency 
building standards, and therefore the 2006 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2004 
currently apply to covered HUD and USDA programs. Section 109(d) of 
Cranston-Gonzalez establishes procedures for updating agency standards 
following revisions to the 2006 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2004 code 
standards. Section 109(d) provides that revisions to the IECC or ASHRAE 
codes will apply to HUD and/or USDA's programs if (1) either agency 
``make(s) a determination that the revised codes do not negatively 
affect the availability or affordability'' of new construction housing 
covered by the Act, and (2) the Secretary of the Department of Energy 
(DOE) has made a determination under section 304 of the Energy 
Conservation and Production Act (42 U.S.C. 6833) that the revised codes 
would improve energy efficiency (see 42 U.S.C. 12709(d)). Since DOE has 
made its determination of improved efficiency, HUD and USDA must assess 
the impact of the more recent codes on the affordability and 
availability of HUD- and USDA-funded new construction is currently 
being assessed by the two agencies. This notice presents that 
assessment.
    Summary of Legal Basis: In the absence of HUD and USDA developing 
their own energy efficiency codes, EISA provides for the automatic 
application of 2006 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2004. As revised IECC and 
ASHRAE codes are produced, under EISA, HUD and USDA must, following 
DOE's determination of revised codes improving energy efficiency (if 
that is in fact DOE's determination), provide an assessment of the 
impact of the revised codes on the affordability and availability of 
housing under the covered programs. If HUD and USDA determine no 
negative impact, the revised codes then become the applicable codes.
    Alternatives: The alternative provided to HUD and USDA under EISA 
was to develop their own energy efficiency codes. HUD and USDA did not 
exercise that option. IECC and ASHRAE are familiar energy codes, 
revised codes, as required by statute, are reviewed by DOE as a measure 
to determine improved or enhanced energy efficiency. A new energy 
efficiency code developed by HUD and USDA would have introduced a new 
code with which builders would have to comply. As the joint HUD-USDA 
notice states, well over 30 States have adopted IECC and ASHRAE as 
governing building codes.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: In its assessment of improved 
efficiency, which includes a cost-benefit analysis, for each of the 35 
States and the District of Columbia examined by DOE, DOE identified 
every building element that would change as a result of adopting the 
2009 IECC in that State. Assuming a standard reference house, DOE used 
a computer model to assess building energy savings that would be 
achieved under the new code. DOE's model assumed a 2,400 square foot 
house with regional modifications to foundation systems that reflect 
local building practices. After analyzing the impact for each state, 
DOE found that, on a national basis, compliance with the 2009 IECC will 
yield an annual median cost savings of $243.37, ranging from a high of 
$468 in Kansas to a low of $200.50 in Massachusetts.
    With respect to costs, and based on studies that DOE relied upon it 
was determined that the weighted average incremental cost of complying 
with the 2009 IECC over existing state codes would be $840.77, yielding 
a median annual energy cost savings of $243.37, for a simple payback of 
3.45 years. This weighted average incremental cost of $840.77 
represents less than 0.32 percent of the average cost of a new home 
estimated by BCAP in 2009 ($267,451).
    Risks: This rule poses no risk to public health, safety, or the 
environment.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   11/00/13
NPRM Comment Period End
Final Action
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: No.
    Agency Contact: Michael Freedberg, Office of Sustainable Housing 
and Communities, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 
Phone: 202-402-4366.
    RIN: 2501-ZA01
BILLING CODE-P

HUD--OFFICE OF PUBLIC AND INDIAN HOUSING

Final Rule Stage

Public Housing Energy Audits and Physical Needs Assessments
    Priority: Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 1437g, 42 U.S.C. 1437z-2, 42 U.S.C. 
1437z-7, and 3535(d)
    CFR Citation: 24 CFR Parts 905, 965.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: This final rule revises: (1) HUD's energy audit 
requirements applicable to HUD's public housing program for the purpose 
of clarifying such requirements, as well as identifying energy 
conservation measures (ECMs) that need to be addressed in the audit and 
procedures for improved coordination with physical needs assessments; 
and (2) HUD's existing codified regulations governing a physical needs 
assessment (PNA) undertaken by a public housing agency (PHA). A PNA 
identifies all of the work that a PHA would need to undertake to bring 
each of its projects up to the applicable modernization and energy 
conservation standards.
    With respect to the energy audit requirements, the final rule 
distinguishes between ``core ECMs'' that must be addressed and 
``advanced ECMs'' that may be addressed. The rule establishes minimum 
requirements for energy auditors. With respect to the PNA, this rule 
would require PHAs to project the current modernization and life-cycle 
replacement repair needs of its projects over a 20-year period, rather 
than a 5-year period, because the 20-year period coincides better with 
the useful life of individual properties and their building components 
and systems to ensure the long-term viability of the property. 
Additionally, this rule provides for integration of the performance of 
the PNA with the performance of an energy audit, and basic 
qualifications for PNA providers.
    Statement of Need: In an environment of competing priorities, 
managers need tools to prioritize needs and to model alternative 
strategies. A PNA an energy audit are essential tools to a long term 
strategy for the proactive management of property to move away from 
inefficient and reactionary management that contributes to property 
deterioration and obsolescence. Strategies to reduce

[[Page 999]]

energy costs are key to HUDs mission of providing long term affordable 
housing to those most in need--funds spent on utilities are not spent 
on property improvements and reduce the proportion of tenant rent 
payments that are used more usefully for physical maintenance and 
improvement. Energy audits reveal strategies for saving limited 
resources that can be recycled into more improvements than would 
otherwise occur.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-
58 (Approved August 8, 2005), amended section 9(d)(1) of the U.S. 
Housing Act of 1937, 42 U.S.C. 1437g(d)(1), to add at subparagraphs (K) 
and (L), as two of the capital and management activities under the 
capital fund, improvement of energy use and water efficiency, and 
``integrated utility management and capital planning to maximize energy 
conservation and efficiency measures.'' This rule provides for the 
integrated utility management and capital planning necessary to fulfill 
this mandate.
    Alternatives: HUD determined that its primary alternative was to 
not revise its regulations concerning physical needs assessment and 
energy audits. Other than inaction, there is not an alternative to: 
Extending the requirement to perform a physical needs assessment to all 
PHAs to provide the data needed for better management of the Capital 
Fund; to changing the current 5-year term of the required PNA to a 20-
year term to create a useful strategic planning tool for authorities, 
and to provide HUD with longer term visibility of needs in the housing 
portfolio; or to implementing provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 requiring ``integrated utility management and capital planning to 
maximize energy conservation and efficiency measures.'' However, the 
current lack of integration between energy audits and the PNA, as well 
as the overly short life-cycle planning period, make inaction a non-
viable approach when it comes to assuring that HUD's requirements for 
the capital fund are in compliance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, 
that the PHA's capital needs will be met, and that actions taken to 
meet those needs will be integrated with necessary energy improvements.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: With respect to the energy audit, 
there are minor costs to the extent that the requirements for the 
energy audit in this rule exceed the current requirements. HUD's 
analysis suggests that using conservative assumptions, the economic 
burden of energy audits to PHAs would be $39,864,536 ($32.86x 
1,213,163) every 5 years, or $7,972,907 annually. A mitigating 
adjustment of 50 percent to account for the existing burden is not an 
unreasonable assumption. Such an adjustment would reduce the 5-year and 
annual additional burden to $19,932,268 and $3,986,453, respectively.
    With respect to PNAs, HUD estimates that full compliance with the 
rule will cost PHAs, collectively, up to $29 million once every 5 years 
or an average of $5.9 million annually. The rule will not have any 
budgetary impact to the Federal Government, as costs to implement the 
PNA will be accommodated within HUD's existing budget authority.
    There are also benefits to this rule. With respect to energy 
audits, for example, if this rule resulted in a 10 percent increase in 
efficiency, that would translate into significant savings for PHAs, 
which often pay for utilities in the form of a utility allowance for 
residents. With respect to PNAs, benefits include identifying capital 
expenses far enough in advance to allow for consideration of the most 
efficient method of payment; identifying synergies in the timing and 
intensity of capital improvements, and avoiding duplicative or wasteful 
expenditures; making possible a preventive maintenance strategy to 
maximize the useful life of property components; encouraging the 
implementation of energy efficiency measures; and increased occupancy 
and enhanced health and safety as a result of more habitable units.
    Risks: This rule poses no risk to public health, safety, or the 
environment.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   11/17/11  .......................
NPRM Comment Period End.............    1/18/12  .......................
Final Action........................    3/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: No.
    Agency Contact: Jeffrey Riddel, Director, Office of Capital 
Improvements, Office of Public and Indian Housing, U.S. Department of 
Housing and Urban Development, Phone: 202 402-7378.
    RIN: RIN 2577-AC84, RIN-2577-AC81
BILLING CODE-P

HUD--OFFICE OF COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Proposed Rule Stage

Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands; Building at Base 
Flood Elevations Plus 1
    Priority: Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 3535(d) and 4332; and Executive Order 
11991, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p.123
    CFR Citation: 24 CFR Parts 50 and 55.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: As communities begin to recover from the devastating 
effects of Hurricane Sandy, HUD has determined that it is important to 
recognize lessons learned to employ mitigation actions that ensure that 
structures located in floodplains are built or rebuilt stronger, safer, 
and less vulnerable to future flooding events. As a result, this 
proposed rule would require that new construction and substantial 
improvements to structures in a floodplain be elevated or flood-proofed 
to the base flood elevation of the best available data of the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) plus one foot. For non-residential 
structures that are not critical actions,, HUD is also proposing that 
grantees may, as an alternative to designing and building at base flood 
elevation plus one foot, design and construct projects such that below 
the flood level, using the best available flood data plus one foot, the 
structure is flood-proofed. HUD would, except for changing ``base flood 
level'' to ``base flood elevation plus one foot,'' adopt the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency's definition of flood-proofing. Building to 
this standard will, consistent with Executive Order 11988 (Floodplain 
Management), reduce the risk of flood loss, minimize the impact of 
floods on human safety, health, and welfare, and promote sound, 
sustainable, long-term planning informed by a more accurate evaluation 
of risk and take into account possible sea level rise.
    Statement of Need: HUD's experience in the wake of Hurricane Sandy 
is that unless structures in floodplains are properly designed, 
constructed and elevated, they may not withstand future severe flooding 
events. Building to FEMA's best available data plus one foot will 
reduce property damage, economic loss, and loss of life, and will also 
benefit homeowners by reducing flood insurance rates. The best 
available data plus one foot standard proposed by this rule was made 
after considering the last ten years of FEMA flood mitigation efforts 
and provides, in HUD's view, the best assessment of risk. This higher

[[Page 1000]]

elevation provides an extra buffer of one foot above the best available 
data to ensure the long term resilience of communities. It also takes 
into account projected sea level rise, which is not considered in 
current FEMA maps and flood insurance costs.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Executive Order 11988 (E.O. 11988) 
entitled, ``Floodplain Management'' issued May 24, 1977 (published on 
May 25, 1977 at 42 FR 26951) requires Federal agencies to avoid to the 
extent possible the long and short-term adverse impacts associated with 
the occupancy and modification of floodplains and to avoid direct and 
indirect support of floodplain development wherever there is a 
practicable alternative. A floodplain refers to the lowland and 
relatively flat areas adjoining inland and coastal waters including 
flood-prone areas of offshore islands that, at a minimum, are subject 
to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year (often 
referred to as the ``100-year'' flood or ``base flood''). Consistent 
with E.O. 11988, when no practicable alternative exists to floodplain 
development, HUD requires the design or modification of the proposed 
action to minimize potential adverse impact to and from the floodplain. 
HUD has implemented E.O. 11988 and its 8 step review process through 
regulations at 24 CFR part 55.
    Alternatives: Two alternatives exist that would produce the same 
effect as the current rule, an actuarially fair flood insurance program 
and complete prohibition of new construction or substantial 
rehabilitation in areas below an equivalent flood plain level, which as 
mentioned below in the discussion of an anticipated costs and benefits, 
averages to approximately the 250-year level. The actuarially fair 
flood insurance program would need to be established by legislation and 
the complete prohibition of new construction or substantial 
rehabilitation in areas below and equivalent flood plain level is 
action that would likely need to be taken by State and/or local 
jurisdictions and likely not to occur. Therefore this rule is 
undertaken to help ensure that HUD funds are used prudently in 
connection with any new construction or substantial rehabilitation in 
areas below flood plain level.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Increasing the base elevation of a 
structure in a floodplain will increase the construction cost and 
decrease the annual flood insurance premium. The additional cost for 
each additional foot of vertical elevation varies from 0.3 percent-0.5 
percent of the base building cost.\1\ The construction cost for 
multifamily properties averages $100,000 per unit for new construction. 
The average size of HUD-assisted properties in 100-year floodplains is 
approximately 100 units. [2] Thus, construction costs per property 
total approximately $10.0 million. Applying the midpoint of the cost 
range stated above, 0.4 percent, construction costs would increase by 
$40,000 per property. HUD estimates that approximately 75 properties 
are placed in service annually in 100-year floodplains and therefore 
would be affected by this rule. It is not clear, however, how many of 
these are built to BFE+1, so these estimates should be considered an 
upper bound. The aggregate annual cost of adding this increase to an 
owners mortgage at 3.5 percent, would increase costs $3.264 million 
assuming a 3 percent discount rate and $2.146 million assuming a 7 
percent discount rate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ In 2012, Congress passed the Flood Insurance Reform Act 
which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and 
other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the National 
Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run. Key provisions of the 
legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true 
flood risk. Depending on when actuarially fair rates are applied, 
the impact of this rule would significantly decrease as the market 
failure, which this rule addresses, is eliminated.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The benefits of this rule include decreased flood insurance 
premiums for property owners and decreased costs to tenants to avoided 
search costs for temporary replacement housing and lost wages. The 
annual premium for the maximum multifamily coverage of $250,000 at the 
100-year flood level is $1,359. This decreases to $660 at one foot 
above the 100-year flood plain level for an annual savings of $699. 
Assuming a 30-year useful life and returns to these savings to the 
owner of 3.5 percent annually, the discounted savings for a property 
totals $23,303, and $1.748 million in aggregate assuming a 3 percent 
discount rate, and $13,962 per property or $1.047 million in aggregate 
assuming a 7 percent discount rate.
    The significant benefits also accrue to tenants who avoid costs of 
moving from a flooded property. The family cost of moving a two-bedroom 
apartment costs approximately $800 plus lost wages. This analysis uses 
the national median hourly wage reported by BLS of $16.71. If an 
affected households' wage earners are unable to work for a combined 40 
hours each due to a flood-related apartment search and move, a family 
would lose $668. Combined, a flood would cost each tenant $1,468. There 
is a 1 percent chance each year that a 100-year flood will occur. 
Increasing the base elevation by one foot would place the building, on 
average, to a 250-year flood plane, which has a 0.4 percent probability 
of occurring each year. Thus, this rule decreases the annual risk by 
0.6 percent. The discounted value of decreased expected tenant costs is 
$8.81 per tenant ($1,468 * 0.6%). The discounted 30-year value of these 
avoided costs is $178 per tenant assuming a 3 percent discount rate and 
$117 per tenant assuming a 7 percent discount rate. Aggregating over 
100 tenants per property and 75 properties, the total benefit to 
tenants is $1.334 million assuming a 3 percent discount rate and $0.877 
million assuming a 7 percent discount rate.
    There are also unvalued benefits to tenants of avoiding relocation. 
Being forced to relocate on short notice creates considerable stress 
and uncertainty for families. Further, some families may not be able to 
find affordable housing in their immediate area and will be forced to 
move far, sometimes out of State. Long distance moves removes a family 
from their local social network leads and adds additional stress not 
only on adults, but also on children who may be forced to enroll in 
difference schools.
    Finally, this rule also eliminates renovations and replacements 
that are paid for by FEMA insurance claims. Flood damage could require 
various internal renovations and replacement of necessary building 
utility systems, including electrical and heating systems. Although 
flood insurance covers $250,000, this analysis assumes approximately 
$50,000 in damage per property. This damage represents a cost to 
society that would otherwise not have occurred in the presence of 
actuarially fair insurance rates. The discounted value of this cost for 
100 properties totals $0.454 million assuming a 3 percent discount rate 
and $0.299 million assuming a 7 percent discount.
    Valued benefits of this rule total $3.536 million assuming a 3 
percent discount rate and $2.223 million assuming a 7 percent discount.
    Risks: This rule poses no risk to public health, safety, or the 
environment.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   01/01/14  .......................
NPRM Comment Period End
Final Action
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: No.

[[Page 1001]]

    Agency Contact: Danielle Schopp, Director Office of Environment and 
Energy, Office of Community Planning and Development, U.S. Department 
of Housing and Urban Development, Phone: 202-708-1201.
    RIN: 2501

HUD--OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY (HUDSEC)

Proposed Rule Stage

93.  Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands; Building 
Elevation (FR-5717)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 3535(d); ; 42 U.S.C. 3001, et seq., EO 
11990; EO 11988
    CFR Citation: 24 CFR 50; 24 CFR 55.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: As communities begin to recover from the devastating 
effects of Hurricane Sandy, HUD has determined that it is important to 
recognize lessons learned to employ mitigation actions that ensure that 
structures located in floodplains are built or rebuilt stronger, safer, 
and less vulnerable to future flooding events. As a result, this 
proposed rule would require, as part of the decisionmaking process 
established to ensure compliance with Executive Order 11988 (Floodplain 
Management) that new construction or substantial improvement in a 
floodplain be elevated or floodproofed to the base flood elevation of 
the Federal Emergency Management Agency's best available data plus one 
foot. Building to this standard will, consistent with the executive 
order, reduce the risk of flood loss, minimize the impact of floods on 
human safety, health, and welfare, and promote sound, sustainable, 
long-term planning informed by a more accurate evaluation of risk and 
take into account possible sea level rise. This rule also proposes to 
revise a categorical exclusion available when HUD performs the 
environmental review by making it consistent with changes to a similar 
categorical exclusion that is available to HUD grantees or other 
responsible entities when they perform the environmental review. This 
change will make the review standard identical regardless of whether 
HUD or a grantee is performing the review.
    Statement of Need: HUD's experience in the wake of Hurricane Sandy 
is that unless structures in floodplains are properly designed, 
constructed and elevated, they may not withstand future severe flooding 
events. Building to FEMA's best available data plus one foot will 
reduce property damage, economic loss, and loss of life, and will also 
benefit homeowners by reducing flood insurance rates. The best 
available data plus one foot standard proposed by this rule was made 
after considering the last ten years of FEMA flood mitigation efforts 
and provides, in HUD's view, the best assessment of risk. This higher 
elevation provides an extra buffer of one foot above the best available 
data to ensure the long term resilience of communities. It also takes 
into account projected sea level rise, which is not considered in 
current FEMA maps and flood insurance costs.
    Summary of Legal Basis: Executive Order 11988 (E.O. 11988) 
entitled, ``Floodplain Management'' issued May 24, 1977 (published on 
May 25, 1977 at 42 FR 26951) requires Federal agencies to avoid to the 
extent possible the long and short-term adverse impacts associated with 
the occupancy and modification of floodplains and to avoid direct and 
indirect support of floodplain development wherever there is a 
practicable alternative. A floodplain refers to the lowland and 
relatively flat areas adjoining inland and coastal waters including 
flood-prone areas of offshore islands that, at a minimum, are subject 
to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year (often 
referred to as the ``100-year'' flood or ``base flood''). Consistent 
with E.O. 11988, when no practicable alternative exists to floodplain 
development, HUD requires the design or modification of the proposed 
action to minimize potential adverse impact to and from the floodplain. 
HUD has implemented E.O. 11988 and its 8 step review process through 
regulations at 24 CFR part 55.
    Alternatives: Two alternatives exist that would produce the same 
effect as the current rule, an actuarially fair flood insurance program 
and complete prohibition of new construction or substantial 
rehabilitation in areas below an equivalent flood plain level, which as 
mentioned below in the discussion of an anticipated costs and benefits, 
averages to approximately the 250-year level. The actuarially fair 
flood insurance program would need to be established by legislation and 
the complete prohibition of new construction or substantial 
rehabilitation in areas below and equivalent flood plain level is 
action that would likely need to be taken by State and/or local 
jurisdictions and likely not to occur. Therefore this rule is 
undertaken to help ensure that HUD funds are used prudently in 
connection with any new construction or substantial rehabilitation in 
areas below flood plain level.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Increasing the base elevation of a 
structure in a floodplain will increase the construction cost and 
decrease the annual flood insurance premium. The additional cost for 
each additional foot of vertical elevation varies from 0.3 percent-0.5 
percent of the base building cost. The construction cost for 
multifamily properties averages $100,000 per unit for new construction. 
The average size of HUD-assisted properties in 100-year floodplains is 
approximately 100 units. [2] Thus, construction costs per property 
total approximately $10.0 million. Applying the midpoint of the cost 
range stated above, 0.4 percent, construction costs would increase by 
$40,000 per property. HUD estimates that approximately 75 properties 
are placed in service annually in 100-year floodplains and therefore 
would be affected by this rule. It is not clear, however, how many of 
these are built to BFE+1, so these estimates should be considered an 
upper bound. The aggregate annual cost of adding this increase to an 
owners mortgage at 3.5 percent, would increase costs $3.264 million 
assuming a 3 percent discount rate and $2.146 million assuming a 7 
percent discount rate.
    The benefits of this rule include decreased flood insurance 
premiums for property owners and decreased costs to tenants to avoided 
search costs for temporary replacement housing and lost wages. The 
annual premium for the maximum multifamily coverage of $250,000 at the 
100-year flood level is $1,359. This decreases to $660 at one foot 
above the 100-year flood plain level for an annual savings of $699. 
Assuming a 30-year useful life and returns to these savings to the 
owner of 3.5 percent annually, the discounted savings for a property 
totals $23,303, and $1.748 million in aggregate assuming a 3 percent 
discount rate, and $13,962 per property or $1.047 million in aggregate 
assuming a 7 percent discount rate.
    The significant benefits also accrue to tenants who avoid costs of 
moving from a flooded property. The family cost of moving a two-bedroom 
apartment costs approximately $800 plus lost wages. This analysis uses 
the national median hourly wage reported by BLS of $16.71. If an 
affected households' wage earners are unable to work for a combined 40 
hours each due to a flood-related apartment search and move, a family 
would lose $668. Combined, a flood would cost each tenant $1,468. There 
is a 1 percent chance each year that a 100-year flood will occur. 
Increasing the base elevation by one foot would place the building, on 
average, to a 250-year

[[Page 1002]]

flood plane, which has a 0.4 percent probability of occurring each 
year. Thus, this rule decreases the annual risk by 0.6 percent. The 
discounted value of decreased expected tenant costs is $8.81 per tenant 
($1,468 * 0.6%). The discounted 30-year value of these avoided costs is 
$178 per tenant assuming a 3 percent discount rate and $117 per tenant 
assuming a 7 percent discount rate. Aggregating over 100 tenants per 
property and 75 properties, the total benefit to tenants is $1.334 
million assuming a 3 percent discount rate and $0.877 million assuming 
a 7 percent discount rate.
    There are also unvalued benefits to tenants of avoiding relocation. 
Being forced to relocate on short notice creates considerable stress 
and uncertainty for families. Further, some families may not be able to 
find affordable housing in their immediate area and will be forced to 
move far, sometimes out of state. Long distance moves removes a family 
from their local social network leads and adds additional stress not 
only on adults, but also on children who may be forced to enroll in 
difference schools.
    Finally, this rule also eliminates renovations and replacements 
that are paid for by FEMA insurance claims. Flood damage could require 
various internal renovations and replacement of necessary building 
utility systems, including electrical and heating systems. Although 
flood insurance covers $250,000, this analysis assumes approximately 
$50,000 in damage per property. This damage represents a cost to 
society that would otherwise not have occurred in the presence of 
actuarially fair insurance rates. The discounted value of this cost for 
100 properties totals $0.454 million assuming a 3 percent discount rate 
and $0.299 million assuming a 7 percent discount.
    Valued benefits of this rule total $3.536 million assuming a 3 
percent discount rate and $2.223 million assuming a 7 percent discount.
    Risks: This rule poses no risk to public health, safety, or the 
environment.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   02/00/14  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Jerimiah Sanders, Environmental Review Division, 
Office of Community Planning and Development, Department of Housing and 
Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410, Phone: 202 
402-4571.
    RIN: 2501-AD62

HUD--HUDSEC

94.  Affordability Determination--Energy Efficiency Standards 
(FR-5647-N-01)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: Not Yet Determined
    CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) 
requires the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to adopt the most recent 
revisions to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and 
ASHRAE 90.1-2004, subject to (1) a determination that the revised codes 
do not negatively affect the availability or affordability of new 
construction of single and multifamily housing covered by the Act, and 
(2) a determination by the Secretary of Energy that the revised codes 
``would improve energy efficiency.'' This Notice announces HUD and 
USDA's preliminary determination that the 2009 IECC and (with the 
exception of Hawaii) ASHRAE 90.1-2007 will not negatively affect the 
affordability and availability of housing covered by the Act. As of 
November 2012, 32 States plus the District of Columbia have already 
adopted the 2009 IECC for single family homes, and 35 States plus the 
District of Columbia have adopted ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for multifamily 
buildings. The remaining States are committed to adopting these codes 
under provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) 
of 2009. For those States that have not yet adopted either of these 
standards, this Notice relies on several studies that show that these 
codes are overwhelmingly cost effective, in that the incremental cost 
of the 2009 IECC code is typically less than 0.5 percent of total 
construction costs, and those costs pay for themselves very quickly 
through energy savings. According to one study, simple paybacks for the 
2009 IECC average 3.45 years, and ``mortgage paybacks'' on these 
additional investments are typically less than 1 year (on average 10.25 
months).
    Statement of Need: Section 481 of the Energy Independence and 
Security Act of 2007 (EISA) amends the energy code provisions contained 
in Section 109 of Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 
1990 (Cranston-Gonzalez). Section 109(a) of Cranston-Gonzalez, as 
amended by EISA, allowed for HUD and USDA to collaborate and develop 
their own energy efficiency building standards for statutorily 
specified HUD and USDA programs if the agencies developed standards met 
or exceeded the 2006 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2004. However, if the two 
agencies did not act on this option, EISA specifies that the 2006 IECC 
and ASHRAE 90.1-2004 would apply.
    The two agencies did not develop independent energy efficiency 
building standards, and therefore the 2006 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2004 
currently apply to covered HUD and USDA programs. Section 109(d) of 
Cranston-Gonzalez establishes procedures for updating agency standards 
following revisions to the 2006 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2004 code 
standards. Section 109(d) provides that revisions to the IECC or ASHRAE 
codes will apply to HUD and/or USDA's programs if (1) either agency 
``make(s) a determination that the revised codes do not negatively 
affect the availability or affordability'' of new construction housing 
covered by the Act, and (2) the Secretary of the Department of Energy 
(DOE) has made a determination under section 304 of the Energy 
Conservation and Production Act (42 U.S.C. 6833) that the revised codes 
would improve energy efficiency (see 42 U.S.C. 12709(d)). Since DOE has 
made its determination of improved efficiency, HUD and USDA must assess 
the impact of the more recent codes on the affordability and 
availability of HUD- and USDA-funded new construction is currently 
being assessed by the two agencies. This notice presents that 
assessment.
    Summary of Legal Basis: In the absence of HUD and USDA developing 
their own energy efficiency codes, EISA provides for the automatic 
application of 2006 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2004. As revised IECC and 
ASHRAE codes are produced, under EISA, HUD and USDA must, following 
DOE's determination of revised codes improving energy efficiency (if 
that is in fact DOE's determination), provide an assessment of the 
impact of the revised codes on the affordability and availability of 
housing under the covered programs. If HUD and USDA determine no 
negative impact, the revised codes then become the applicable codes.
    Alternatives: The alternative provided to HUD and USDA under EISA 
was to develop their own energy efficiency codes. HUD and USDA did not 
exercise that option. IECC and ASHRAE are familiar energy codes, 
revised codes, as required by statute, are reviewed by DOE as a measure 
to determine improved or enhanced energy

[[Page 1003]]

efficiency. A new energy efficiency code developed by HUD and USDA 
would have introduced a new code with which builders would have to 
comply. As the joint HUD-USDA notice states, well over 30 States have 
adopted IECC and ASHRAE as governing building codes.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: In its assessment of improved 
efficiency, which includes a cost-benefit analysis, for each of the 35 
States and the District of Columbia examined by DOE, DOE identified 
every building element that would change as a result of adopting the 
2009 IECC in that State. Assuming a standard reference house, DOE used 
a computer model to assess building energy savings that would be 
achieved under the new code. DOE's model assumed a 2,400 square foot 
house with regional modifications to foundation systems that reflect 
local building practices. After analyzing the impact for each State, 
DOE found that, on a national basis, compliance with the 2009 IECC will 
yield an annual median cost savings of $243.37, ranging from a high of 
$468 in Kansas to a low of $200.50 in Massachusetts.
    With respect to costs, and based on studies that DOE relied upon it 
was determined that the weighted average incremental cost of complying 
with the 2009 IECC over existing state codes would be $840.77, yielding 
a median annual energy cost savings of $243.37, for a simple payback of 
3.45 years. This weighted average incremental cost of $840.77 
represents less than 0.32 percent of the average cost of a new home 
estimated by BCAP in 2009 ($267,451).
    Risks: This rule poses no risk to public health, safety, or the 
environment.
    Timetable:

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: Undetermined.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Michael Freedberg, Department of Housing and Urban 
Development, Office of the Secretary, 451 7th St. SW., Washington, DC 
20410, Phone: 202 402-4366.
    RIN: 2501-AD64

HUD--OFFICE OF PUBLIC AND INDIAN HOUSING (PIH)

Final Rule Stage

95. Public Housing Energy Audits and Physical Needs Assessments (FR-
5507)

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 3535(d)
    CFR Citation: 24 CFR 905.300.
    Legal Deadline: NPRM, Statutory, December 2011.
    Abstract: This final rule consolidates the Physical Needs 
Assessment (PNA) rule (FR-5361) with the Public Housing Energy Audit 
rule (FR-5507). With respect to the energy audit, the rule would 
distinguish between ``core energy conservation measures'' (ECMs) that 
must be addressed and ``advanced ECMs'' that may be addressed. The rule 
would also establish minimum requirements for energy auditors and moves 
the energy audit requirements to a different part of HUD's title of the 
Code of Federal Regulations. With respect to the PNA, the rule would 
require public housing agencies to project current modernization and 
life-cycle replacement repair needs of its projects over a 20-year 
period, rather than a 5-year period, to better coincide with the useful 
life of individual properties and their building components and systems 
to ensure the long-term viability of the property. HUD would 
consolidate these two rules to facilitate greater synchronization 
between the energy audit and the PNA, so that energy audit data can be 
better integrated into the PNA and allow for future capital planning 
activities that take into consideration possible energy savings.
    Statement of Need: In an environment of competing priorities, 
managers need tools to prioritize needs and to model alternative 
strategies. A PNA an energy audit are essential tools to a long-term 
strategy for the proactive management of property to move away from 
inefficient and reactionary management that contributes to property 
deterioration and obsolescence. Strategies to reduce energy costs are 
key to HUDs mission of providing long-term affordable housing to those 
most in need--funds spent on utilities are not spent on property 
improvements and reduce the proportion of tenant rent payments that are 
used more usefully for physical maintenance and improvement. Energy 
audits reveal strategies for saving limited resources that can be 
recycled into more improvements than would otherwise occur.
    Summary of Legal Basis: The Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 
109-58 (Approved August 8, 2005), amended section 9(d)(1) of the U. S. 
Housing Act of 1937, 42 U.S.C. 1437g(d)(1), to add at subparagraphs (K) 
and (L), as two of the capital and management activities under the 
capital fund, improvement of energy use and water efficiency, and 
``integrated utility management and capital planning to maximize energy 
conservation and efficiency measures.'' This rule provides for the 
integrated utility management and capital planning necessary to fulfill 
this mandate.
    Alternatives: HUD determined that its primary alternative was to 
not revise its regulations concerning physical needs assessment and 
energy audits. Other than inaction, there is not an alternative to: 
extending the requirement to perform a physical needs assessment to all 
PHAs to provide the data needed for better management of the Capital 
Fund; to changing the current 5 year term of the required PNA to a 20 
year term to create a useful strategic planning tool for authorities, 
and to provide HUD with longer term visibility of needs in the housing 
portfolio; or to implementing provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 requiring ``integrated utility management and capital planning to 
maximize energy conservation and efficiency measures''. However, the 
current lack of integration between energy audits and the PNA, as well 
as the overly short life-cycle planning period, make inaction a non-
viable approach when it comes to assuring that HUD's requirements for 
the capital fund are in compliance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, 
that the PHA's capital needs will be met, and that actions taken to 
meet those needs will be integrated with necessary energy improvements.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: With respect to the energy audit, 
there are minor costs to the extent that the requirements for the 
energy audit in this rule exceed the current requirements. HUD's 
analysis suggests that using conservative assumptions, the economic 
burden of energy audits to PHAs would be $39,864,536 ($32.86 x 
1,213,163) every 5 years, or $7,972,907 annually. A mitigating 
adjustment of 50 percent to account for the existing burden is not an 
unreasonable assumption. Such an adjustment would reduce the 5-year and 
annual additional burden to $19,932,268 and $3,986,453, respectively.
    With respect to PNAs, HUD estimates that full compliance with the 
rule will cost PHAs, collectively, up to $29 million once every 5 years 
or an average of $5.9 million annually. The rule will not have any 
budgetary impact to the Federal Government, as costs to

[[Page 1004]]

implement the PNA will be accommodated within HUD's existing budget 
authority.
    There are also benefits to this rule. With respect to energy 
audits, for example, if this rule resulted in a 10 percent increase in 
efficiency, that would translate into significant savings for PHAs, 
which often pay for utilities in the form of a utility allowance for 
residents. With respect to PNAs, benefits include identifying capital 
expenses far enough in advance to allow for consideration of the most 
efficient method of payment; identifying synergies in the timing and 
intensity of capital improvements, and avoiding duplicative or wasteful 
expenditures; making possible a preventive maintenance strategy to 
maximize the useful life of property components; encouraging the 
implementation of energy efficiency measures; and increased occupancy 
and enhanced health and safety as a result of more habitable units.
    Risks: This rule poses no risk to public health, safety, or the 
environment.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   11/17/11  76 FR 71287
NPRM Comment Period End.............   01/18/12
Final Action........................   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Jeffrey Riddel, Director, Capital Program Division, 
Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Public and 
Indian Housing, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410, Phone: 202 
402-7378.
    RIN: 2577-AC84
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 401 
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.
    In implementing these priorities through its regulations, the 
Department

[[Page 1005]]

will 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 FWS establishes migratory bird hunting 
seasons in partnership with flyway councils composed of State fish and 
wildlife agencies. 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, BLM uses Resource Advisory Councils to advise 
on management of public lands and resources. These citizen-based groups 
allow individuals from all backgrounds and interests to have a voice in 
management of public lands.
    In June 2013, NPS published the final rule revising the 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.

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 into DOI's 
annual regulatory plan.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \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 existing regulations, 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. 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.
    Under section 6 of Executive Order 13563 ``Improving Regulation and 
Regulatory Review'' (Jan. 18, 2011), the following Regulation 
Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated with 
retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final 
retrospective review of regulations plan.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Reduces burdens on small
              Bureau                   Title & RIN             Description                   business?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Office of Natural Resources        Oil and Gas Royalty  DOI is exploring a        Yes.
 Revenue.                           Valuation.           simplified market-based
                                   1012-AA13..........   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.
Fish and Wildlife Service........  ESA Section 7        Court decisions rendered  No.
                                    Consultation         over the last decade
                                    Process;             regarding the adequacy
                                    Incidental Take      of incidental take
                                    Statements.          statements have
                                   1018-AX85..........   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. A proposed
                                                         rule published on
                                                         September 4, 2013. The
                                                         proposed regulatory
                                                         changes 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.

[[Page 1006]]

 
Fish and Wildlife Service........  Regulations          The proposed rule would   No.
                                    Governing            amend existing
                                    Designation of       regulations governing
                                    Critical Habitat     the designation of
                                    Under Section 4 of   critical habitat under
                                    the ESA.             section 4 of the
                                   1018-AX86..........   Endangered Species Act.
                                                         The proposed amendments
                                                         would make minor edits
                                                         to the scope and
                                                         purpose, add and remove
                                                         some definitions, and
                                                         clarify the criteria
                                                         for designating
                                                         critical habitat. A
                                                         number of factors,
                                                         including litigation
                                                         and FWS's 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.
Fish and Wildlife Service........  Policy Regarding     This draft policy would   No.
                                    Implementation of    articulate our position
                                    Section 4(b)(2) of   on how we consider
                                    the Endangered       partnerships and
                                    Species Act.         conservation plans,
                                   1018-AX87..........   habitat conservation
                                                         plans, tribal lands,
                                                         military lands, and
                                                         Federal lands in the
                                                         exclusion process. This
                                                         draft policy is meant
                                                         to complement the
                                                         proposed amendments to
                                                         our regulations
                                                         regarding exclusions
                                                         from critical habitat
                                                         and is intended to
                                                         clarify expectations
                                                         regarding critical
                                                         habitat and provide for
                                                         a credible,
                                                         predictable, and
                                                         simplified critical-
                                                         habitat-exclusion
                                                         process. This policy
                                                         would foster 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.
Fish and Wildlife Service........  ESA Section 7        The proposed rule would   No.
                                    Consultation         amend the existing
                                    Regulations;         regulations governing
                                    Definition of        section 7 consultation
                                    ``Destruction or     under the Endangered
                                    Adverse              Species Act to revise
                                    Modification'' of    the definition of
                                    Critical Habitat.    ``destruction or
                                   1018-AX88..........   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.
                                                         The revised definition
                                                         will provide the
                                                         Services and Federal
                                                         agencies with greater
                                                         clarity in how to
                                                         ensure that any action
                                                         they authorize, fund,
                                                         or carry out is not
                                                         likely to result in the
                                                         destruction or adverse
                                                         modification of
                                                         critical habitat,
                                                         consistent with section
                                                         7(a)(2) of the ESA. 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.........  Procedures for       The Department is         No.
                                    Establishing that    examining its
                                    an Indian Group      regulations governing
                                    Exists as an         the process and
                                    Indian Tribe.        criteria by which
                                   1076-AF18..........   Indian groups are
                                                         federally acknowledged
                                                         as Indian tribes to
                                                         determine how
                                                         regulatory changes
                                                         could increase
                                                         transparency,
                                                         timeliness, efficiency,
                                                         and flexibility, while
                                                         maintaining the
                                                         integrity of the
                                                         acknowledgment process.
National Park Service, Fish and    Commercial Filming   This joint effort         Yes.
 Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land   on Public Lands.     between the National
 Mgt), Bureau of Reclamation, and  1024-AD30..........   Park Service, Fish and
 Bureau of Indian Affairs.                               Wildlife Service,
                                                         Bureau of Land
                                                         Management, Bureau of
                                                         Reclamation, and Bureau
                                                         of Indian Affairs has
                                                         created consistent
                                                         regulations and a
                                                         unified DOI fee
                                                         schedule for commercial
                                                         filming and still
                                                         photography on public
                                                         land. It provides the
                                                         commercial filming
                                                         industry with a
                                                         predictable fee for
                                                         using Federal lands,
                                                         while earning the
                                                         Government a fair
                                                         return for the use of
                                                         the land. The final
                                                         regulation was
                                                         published on August 22,
                                                         2013. The proposed fee
                                                         schedule with request
                                                         for public comment was
                                                         published on the same
                                                         date. Following comment
                                                         analyses a final fee
                                                         schedule will be
                                                         published.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 sections give an overview of some of the major 
regulatory priorities of DOI bureaus and offices.

[[Page 1007]]

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. BIA's mission is to 
enhance the quality of life, promote economic opportunity, and 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 
standards; the review will determine whether a uniform standard would 
better meet the needs of students at Bureau-funded schools. With regard 
to undergraduate education, the Bureau of Indian Education 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. 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.
     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. In the coming year, the Bureau also plans to revise 
regulations regarding rights-of-way (25 CFR 169); Indian Reservation 
Roads (25 CFR 170); and certain regulations specific to the Osage 
Nation.
Bureau of Land Management
    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, 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 
resources. In undertaking its management responsibilities, 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 20 years ago and do not reflect modern technology. In 
seeking to modernize its requirements and ensure the protection of our 
Nation's public lands, BLM has proposed a rule that would disclose to 
the public 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.
     Creating a competitive process for offering lands for 
solar and wind energy development.
    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 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.
     Preventing waste of produced oil and gas and regulating 
use for beneficial purposes.
    A proposed rule would cover the prevention of waste by minimizing 
the amount of venting and flaring that takes place on oil and gas 
production facilities on Federal and Indian lands. It would also 
delineate which activities qualify for 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.
     Seeking public input on managing waste mine methane.
    BLM plans to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) 
requesting information from the public that might assist the bureau in 
the establishment of a program to capture, use, or destroy waste mine 
methane from Federal coal leases and Federal leases for other solid 
minerals.
     Ensuring a fair return to the American taxpayer for oil 
shale development.
    The rule would encourage responsible development of federal oil 
shale resources and evaluate necessary safeguards to protect scarce 
water resources and important wildlife habitat while assuring a fair 
royalty to the American people.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) promotes energy 
independence, environmental protection and economic development through 
responsible, science-based management of offshore conventional and 
renewable energy resources. It is dedicated to fostering the 
development of both conventional and renewable energy and mineral 
resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in an

[[Page 1008]]

efficient and effective manner, balancing the need for economic growth 
with the protection of the environment and conservation of the nation's 
scarce resources. The Bureau is committed to fostering the expansion of 
domestic energy production, domestic energy independence and providing 
essential revenues to support the economic development of the country. 
BOEM thoughtfully considers and balances the potential environmental 
impacts involved in exploring and extracting these resources. BOEM's 
near-term regulatory agenda will focus on a number of issues, 
including:
     Expanding renewable energy resources.
    As part of President Obama's comprehensive plan to move our economy 
toward domestic clean energy sources, BOEM is holding offshore 
renewable energy lease sales for the first time in U.S. history. BOEM 
is preparing to develop a number of standards and criteria to 
facilitate the more effective use of wind turbine technology on the 
OCS. The Bureau is completing a rulemaking to provide additional time 
for applicants for renewable projects to submit certain plans for which 
BOEM found the regulatory timeline to be unreasonable. This is designed 
to provide an appropriate balance between ensuring diligent progress on 
our renewable energy leases and accounting for the needs of renewable 
energy developers.
    Two proposed rulemakings address recommendations submitted to BOEM 
by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and its 
stakeholders. Specifically, these include recommendations to: Develop 
and incorporate state of the art wind turbine design standards and to 
clarify the role of Certified Verification Agents as part of the 
process of designing, fabricating, and installing offshore wind energy 
facilities for the OCS.
     Promoting safe drilling activities on the Alaska Outer 
Continental Shelf.
    BOEM, jointly with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental 
Enforcement (BSEE), is developing proposed rules to promote safe, 
responsible, and effective drilling activities on the Alaska Outer 
Continental Shelf, while also ensuring the protection of Alaska's 
coastal communities and the marine environment.
     Protecting the Environment.
    In a continuing effort to minimize the risk that oil spills will 
occur and that the effects of any future potential spills can be 
minimized and fully mitigated, BOEM is raising the limits of liability 
associated with future spills up to the statutory maximum. BOEM is also 
revising its regulations designed to oversee the Oil Spill Financial 
Responsibility process for which it is responsible. In addition, 
working in close conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard and the 
Department of Justice, BOEM is making a concerted effort to make sure 
that all necessary resources will be made available to address all 
potential contingencies of an oil spill and associated damages.
     Updating BOEM's Air Quality Program.
    Until recently, the Department of the Interior (DOI) has exercised 
jurisdiction for air quality only for OCS sources operating in the Gulf 
of Mexico. In fiscal year 2012, Congress expanded DOI's authority by 
transferring to it responsibility for monitoring OCS air quality off 
the north coast of Alaska. In light of this change, BOEM is undertaking 
a thorough review of its air quality program. BOEM intends to exercise 
its mandate by ensuring the responsible development of natural 
resources in both regions by ensuring that regulations are developed to 
appropriately balance environmental needs and requirements against the 
needs for economic development. In doing this, BOEM is consulting and 
coordinating its efforts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the 
National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.
     Protecting OCS Sand, Gravel, and Shell Resources.
    In light of the continuing need to provide resources to protect the 
coast from natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, BOEM is developing 
policies and goals to formally address the use of OCS sand, gravel, or 
shell resources funded by the Federal government. These policies are 
intended to ensure that necessary sand and gravel resources remain 
available to help communities that have been harmed by hurricanes and 
other disasters, so that beaches and other natural resources can 
effectively be restored, without adversely impacting the development of 
transmission lines and pipelines needed for energy development 
projects. Taken together, these policies will ensure that the 
development of renewable and conventional energy resources continues to 
take place in areas adjacent to key sand and gravel resource zones and 
that sand and gravel resources continue to be available for 
construction projects, shore protection, beach replenishment, or 
wetlands restoration purposes.
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
    BSEE's mission is to regulate 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 BSEE FY 2012-2015 Strategic 
Plan, which includes two strategic goals to focus the Bureau's 
priorities in fulfillment of its mission:
    [squ] 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.
    [squ] 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.
    BSEE has identified the following four areas of regulatory 
priorities: (1) Compliance; (2) Oil Spill Response; (3) Alaska; 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

[[Page 1009]]

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.
     Alaska.
    BSEE is working with BOEM on a joint proposed rule to promote safe, 
responsible, and effective drilling activities on the Alaska OCS while 
ensuring protection of Alaska's communities and marine environment.
     Managing and Mitigating Risk.
    BSEE will develop a proposed rule containing requirements on 
blowout preventers and critical reforms in the areas of well design, 
well control, casing, cementing, real-time monitoring, and subsea 
containment. This proposed rule will address and implement multiple 
recommendations resulting from various investigations from the Macondo 
blowout.
Office of Natural Resources Revenue
    The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) will continue to 
collect, account for, and disburse 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:
     Simplifying 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.
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 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:
     Critical habitat regulations under the Endangered Species 
Act (ESA).
    FWS will issue rules 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.
     Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act regulatory reform.
    In an effort to promote renewable energy while carrying out our 
responsibility to protect certain species of birds, 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.
     Protecting 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.
     Making regulations more user-friendly.
    We will issue rules to amend the format of the ESA 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.
National Park Service
    NPS preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and 
values within more than 400 units of the

[[Page 1010]]

National Park System encompassing nearly 84 million acres of lands and 
waters for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future 
generations. 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 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.
    NPS' regulatory priorities for the coming year include:
     Managing Off Road Vehicle Use
    (1) Curecanti National Recreation Area: A proposed rule published 
in July of 2013. The rule would 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 would provide 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) Fire Island National Seashore: The rule would define applicable 
terms, designates driving routes, driving conditions, and establishes 
permit conditions for ORV use within Fire Island National Seashore.
    (3) Wrangell St.-Elias National Preserve: The rule would (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.
    (4) Lake Meredith NRA: The rule would designate ORV routes, 
addresses required safety equipment, speed limits and clarifies ORV use 
for the benefit of NPS personnel and the public.
    (5) Glen Canyon NRA: The rule would authorize ORV use, designate 
routes and areas, and establish criteria for operation of ORVs.
 Managing Bicycling
    NPS rules would authorize and manage designate bicycles routes and 
allow for management of bicycle use on designated routes at Cuyahoga 
Valley National Park, New River Gorge National River, Chattahoochee 
NRA, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and Lake Meredith National 
Recreation Area.
 Implementing 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.
    (21) A new rule would establish a process for disposition of 
Unclaimed Human Remains and Funerary Objects discovered after November 
16, 1990, on Federal or Indian Lands.
    (2) A rule revising the existing regulations would describe the 
NAGPRA process in plain language with clear time parameters, eliminate 
ambiguity, clarify terms, and include Native Hawaiians in the process. 
The rule would eliminate unnecessary requirements for museums and would 
not add process or new information collection.
 Regulating Non-Federal Oil and Gas Activity on NPS Land
    The rule would account for new technology and industry practices, 
eliminate regulatory exemptions, update new legal requirements, remove 
caps on bond amounts, and allow the NPS to recover compliance costs 
associated with administering the regulations.
Bureau of Reclamation
    The Bureau of Reclamation's mission is to manage, develop, and 
protect water and related resources in an environmentally and 
economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. To 
accomplish this mission, we employ management, engineering, and science 
to achieve effective and environmentally sensitive solutions.
    Reclamation projects provide: Irrigation water service, municipal 
and industrial water supply, hydroelectric power generation, water 
quality improvement, groundwater management, fish and wildlife 
enhancement, outdoor recreation, flood control, navigation, river 
regulation and control, system optimization, and related uses. We have 
continued to focus on increased security at our facilities. As we 
undertake our responsibilities, we are continually reviewing the 
regulations and policies that govern our work and considering potential 
improvements to streamline our processes while protecting our nation's 
water resources and the environment.
BILLING CODE 4310-10-P

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ)--FALL 2013

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 foreign and domestic threats, to provide 
Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime, to seek just 
punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior, and to ensure the 
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 law enforcement and immigration. 
These initiatives are summarized below. In addition, several other 
components of the Department carry out important responsibilities 
through the regulatory

[[Page 1011]]

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 Division
    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: 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 
fiscal year 2015. 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. The Department will also 
be revising its regulations for Coordination of Enforcement of Non-
Discrimination in Federally Assisted Programs.
    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 early fiscal year 2014, the Department plans to propose 
amendments to both its title II and title III ADA regulations and the 
Department plans to propose amendments to its section 504 regulations 
to implement the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 in the last quarter of 
fiscal year 2014.
    Captioning and Audio 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 audio description in movie theaters. In 
the movie theater context, ``closed captioning'' refers to captions 
that only the patron requesting the closed captions can see because the 
captions are delivered to the patron at or near the patron's seat. 
Audio description is a technology that enables individuals who are 
blind or have low vision to enjoy movies by providing a spoken 
narration of key visual elements of a visually delivered medium, such 
as actions, settings, facial expressions, costumes, and scene changes.
    Since 1991, there have been many technological advances in the area 
of closed captioning and audio 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 would either 
replace or augment digital cinema or make any regulatory requirements 
for captioning and audio description more difficult or expensive to 
implement. The Department received approximately 1171 public comments 
in response to its movie captioning and audio description ANPRM. The 
Department is in the process of completing its review of these comments 
and expects to publish an NPRM addressing captioning and audio 
description in movie theaters in early fiscal year 2014.
    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

[[Page 1012]]

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 early fiscal year 2014 with the publication 
of the title III NPRM to follow towards the middle of fiscal year 2014.
    The final rulemaking initiatives from the 2010 ANPRMs are included 
in the Department's long-term priorities projected for fiscal year 
2015:
    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 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 that people with communication disabilities 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 fiscal year 2015.
    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 early fiscal year 2015 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 fiscal 
year 2015.
    Coordination of Enforcement of Non-Discrimination in Federally 
Assisted Programs. In addition to the foregoing disability-related 
regulatory initiatives, the Department is planning to revise the co-
ordination regulations implementing title VI of the Civil Rights Act, 
which have not been updated in over 30 years. Among other things, the 
updates will revise outdated provisions, streamline procedural steps, 
streamline and clarify provisions regarding information and data 
collection, promote opportunities to encourage public engagement, and 
incorporate current law regarding meaningful access for individuals who 
are limited English proficient.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
    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 explosives, and to assist 
State, local, and other Federal law enforcement agencies in reducing 
crime and violence. The Department is including one rulemaking 
initiative from ATF in its Regulatory Plan. The Department is planning 
to finalize a proposed rule to amend ATF's regulations regarding the 
making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act. As 
proposed, this rule would (1) add a definition for the term 
``responsible person''; (2) require each responsible person of a 
corporation, trust or legal entity to complete a specified form, and to 
submit photographs and fingerprints; and (3) modify the requirements 
regarding the certificate of the chief law enforcement officer.
    ATF will continue, as a priority during fiscal year 2014, to seek 
modifications to its regulations governing commerce in firearms and 
explosives. ATF plans to issue regulations to finalize the current 
interim rules 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). 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 applications for explosives licenses or permits and proposed 
revocation of such licenses and permits. In addition, ATF also has 
several other rulemaking initiatives as part of the Department's 
rulemaking agenda.
    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.

[[Page 1013]]

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
    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 2014, 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 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.
Bureau of Prisons
    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.
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
    On March 1, 2003, pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 
(HSA), the responsibility for immigration enforcement and border 
security and for providing immigration-related services and benefits, 
such as naturalization, immigrant petitions, and work authorization, 
was transferred from the Justice Department's former Immigration and 
Naturalization Service (INS) to the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS). However, the immigration judges and the Board of Immigration 
Appeals (Board) in EOIR remain part of the Department of Justice. The 
immigration judges adjudicate approximately 400,000 cases each year to 
determine whether aliens should be ordered 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 conducting 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, 
including, but not limited to: a joint regulation with DHS to provide 
guidance on a number of issues central to the adjudication of 
applications for asylum and withholding of removal; a joint regulation 
with DHS to provide, with respect to applicants who are found to have 
engaged in persecution of others, a limited exception for actions taken 
by the applicant under duress; a joint regulation with DHS to implement 
procedures that address the specialized needs of unaccompanied alien 
children in removal proceedings pursuant to the William Wilberforce 
Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008; a proposed 
regulation to establish procedures for the filing and adjudication of 
motions to reopen removal, deportation, and exclusion proceedings based 
upon a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel; and a proposed 
regulation to improve the recognition and accreditation process for 
organizations and representatives that appear in immigration 
proceedings before EOIR. 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 1014]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
               RIN                      Title            Description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1140-AA42........................  Importation of   The regulations in
                                    Arms,            27 CFR 447 and 479
                                    Ammunition and   generally provide
                                    Implements of    that firearms,
                                    War and          ammunition, and
                                    Machine Guns,    defense articles
                                    Destructive      may not be imported
                                    Devices, and     into the United
                                    Certain Other    States except
                                    Firearms;        pursuant to a
                                    Extending the    permit. Section
                                    Term of Import   447.43 provides
                                    Permits.         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       future rulemaking
                                    Review Under     concerning appeals
                                    E.O. 13563 of    of DHS decisions (8
                                    8 CFR Parts      CFR part 1103),
                                    1003, 1103,      documentary
                                    1211, 1212,      requirements for
                                    1215, 1216,      aliens (8 CFR parts
                                    1235.            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

96. Implemenation of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (Title II and 
TitleE 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 35; 28 CFR 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: In order to ensure consistency in application of the 
ADA Amendments Act across titles I, II and III of the ADA, this rule is 
intended to be consistent with the language of the EEOC's rule 
implementing the ADA Amendments Act with respect to title I of the ADA 
(employment). The Department will, however, consider alternative 
regulatory language suggested by commenters so long as it maintains 
that consistency.
    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. According 
to the Department's preliminary analysis, it is anticipated that the 
rule will cost between $36.32 million and $61.8 million in the first 
year (the year with the highest costs). The Department estimates that 
in the first year of the implementation of the proposed rule, 
approximately 142,000 students will take advantage of additional 
testing accommodations than otherwise would have been able to without 
the changes made to the definition of disability to conform to the ADA 
Amendments Act. The Department believes that this will result in 
benefits for many of these individuals in the form of significantly 
higher earnings potential. The Department expects that the rule will 
also have significant non-quantifiable benefits to persons with newly 
covered disabilities in other contexts, such as benefits of non-
exclusion from the programs, services and activities of state and local 
governments and public accommodations, and the benefits of access to 
reasonable modifications of policies, practices and procedures to meet 
their needs in a variety of contexts. 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.

[[Page 1015]]

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................................   11/00/13  .......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Agency Contact: Rebecca B. Bond, Chief, Department of Justice, 
Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, 950 Pennsylvania Ave. 
NW., Washington, DC 20530, Phone: 800 514-0301.
    RIN: 1190-AA59

DOJ--CRT

97. 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 39; 28 CFR 41; 28 CFR 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's preliminary 
assessment in this early stage of the rulemaking process is that this 
rule will 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. The Department's Section 504 rule 
will incorporate the same changes made by the ADA Amendments Act to the 
definition of disability as are included in the proposed changes to the 
ADA title II and title III rules (1190-AA59), which will be published 
in the Federal Register in the near future. Therefore, we do not 
believe that the revisions to the Department's existing Section 504 
federally assisted regulations will have any additional economic 
impact, because public and private entities that receive federal 
financial assistance from the Department are also likely to be subject 
to titles II or III of the ADA. The Department expects to consider 
further the economic impact of the proposed rule on the Department's 
existing Section 504 federally conducted regulations, but anticipates 
that the rule will not be economically significant within the meaning 
of Executive Order 12866. This is because the revisions to these 
regulations will only apply to the Department's programs and activities 
and how those programs and activities are operated so as to ensure 
compliance with the nondiscrimination requirements of Section 504. In 
the NPRM, the Department will be soliciting public comment in response 
to its initial assessment of the impact of the proposed rule.
    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................................   09/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Agency Contact: Rebecca B. Bond, Chief, Department of Justice, 
Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, 950 Pennsylvania Ave. 
NW., Washington, DC 20530, Phone: 800 514-0301.
    RIN: 1190-AA60

DOJ--CRT

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

    Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 U.S.C. 801.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq.
    CFR Citation: 28 CFR 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

[[Page 1016]]

disabilities. The ADA requires that public accommodations provide 
individuals with disabilities 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 with disabilities 
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 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 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 disabilities 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, including alternative implementation schedules and 
technical requirements applicable to certain Web features or based on a 
covered entity's size. The Department will solicit public comment 
addressing its proposed 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 services 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. At this stage 
in the process, the Department is not yet able to provide a preliminary 
estimate of costs and benefits .
    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................................   04/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 1017]]

    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: Rebecca B. Bond, Chief, Department of Justice, 
Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, 950 Pennsylvania Ave. 
NW., Washington, DC 20530, Phone: 800 514-0301.
    RIN: 1190-AA61

DOJ--CRT

99. Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Movie Captioning and 
Audio Description

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq.
    CFR Citation: 28 CFR 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 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................................   12/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Businesses.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Rebecca B. Bond, Chief, Department of Justice, 
Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, 950 Pennsylvania Ave. 
NW., Washington, DC 20530, Phone: 800 514-0301.
    RIN: 1190-AA63

DOJ--CRT

100. 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 35.
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Department published an ANPRM on July 26, 2010, RIN 
1190-

[[Page 1018]]

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 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................................   12/00/13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined.
    Small Entities Affected: Governmental Jurisdictions.
    Government Levels Affected: Local, State.
    Federalism: Undetermined.
    Additional Information: Split from RIN 1190-AA61.

[[Page 1019]]

    Agency Contact: Rebecca B. Bond, Chief, Department of Justice, 
Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, 950 Pennsylvania Ave. 
NW., Washington, DC 20530, Phone: 800 514-0301.
    RIN: 1190-AA65

DOJ--BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES (ATF)

Proposed Rule Stage

101. Machine Guns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; 
Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Corporation, Trust, or 
Other Legal Entity With Respect To Making or Transferring a Firearm

    Priority: Other Significant.
    Legal Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805
    CFR Citation: 27 CFR 479
    Legal Deadline: None.
    Abstract: The Department of Justice is planning to finalize a 
proposed rule to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, 
Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regarding the making or 
transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act. As proposed, 
the rule would (1) add a definition for the term ``responsible 
person''; (2) require each responsible person of a corporation, trust 
or legal entity to complete a specified form, and to submit photographs 
and fingerprints; and (3) modify the requirements regarding the 
certificate of the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO).
    Statement of Need: The current firearms regulations permit a 
corporation, partnership, trust or other legal entity to submit 
applications to ATF to acquire firearms registered under the National 
Firearms Act (NFA) without a responsible person of such an entity 
having to meet requirements currently in place for individuals that 
seek to ensure that prohibited persons do not gain access to NFA 
firearms (i.e., undergo a background check, provide a certificate of a 
CLEO).
    Summary of Legal Basis: This rulemaking is in response to a 
petition for rulemaking. No aspect of this rulemaking is required by 
statute or court order.
    Alternatives: The Agency is soliciting public comment on how the 
application process can be made more efficient and effective.
    Anticipated Cost and Benefits: Total annual costs are estimated at 
$14.9 million and encompass costs to legal entities associated with the 
application, ATF processing costs, and costs to local and State 
agencies in providing the CLEO certificate. There will be public safety 
benefits as the provisions will enable ATF to ensure that responsible 
persons within legal entities are not prohibited from possessing NFA 
firearms under Federal, State, or local law.
    Risks: This proposed rule may prevent a prohibited person, who is a 
responsible person in a legal entity, from obtaining an NFA firearm and 
using it to commit a violent crime.
    Timetable:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Action                    Date            FR Cite
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NPRM................................   09/09/13  78 FR 55014
NPRM Comment Period End.............   12/09/13
Final Action........................   06/00/14
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No.
    Small Entities Affected: No.
    Government Levels Affected: None.
    Agency Contact: Brenda R. Friend, Attorney, Department of Justice, 
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York 
Avenue NE., Washington, DC 20226, Phone: 202 648-7070.
    RIN: 1140-AA43
BILLING CODE 4410-BP-P

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Fall 2013 Statement of Regulatory Priorities

    For over 100 years, the Labor Department has been central to safe 
guarding and expanding the American Dream for American working 
families. The Department's Fall 2013 Regulatory Agenda supports that 
mission--specifically, Secretary Perez's goal to develop and implement 
policies that create opportunity for everyone who wants it. These 
include policies that provide the opportunities for:
     Workers to acquire the skills they need to succeed;
     Employers to have the skilled workforce required to 
compete in a global economy;
     Employees to earn a fair day's pay for a fair day's work;
     Veterans to thrive in the civilian economy;
     Persons with disabilities to contribute productively to 
the workforce;
     Improved health benefits and a dignified retirement; and,
     Safe and healthy work environments, fully protected by 
anti-discrimination laws.
    This narrative describes several of the Department's Plan/Prevent/
Protect, Openness and Transparency, Risk Reduction, and Regulatory 
Review and Burden Reduction initiatives. The Fall 2013 Regulatory 
Agenda utilizes this combination of approaches as one piece of the 
strategy to advance the Department's mission and the Secretary's goal.
    Plan/Prevent/Protect. The regulatory actions that comprise the 
Department's Plan/Prevent/Protect approach are designed to ensure 
employers and other regulated entities are in full compliance with the 
law every day, not just when the Department of Labor engages an 
employer. First announced with the Spring 2010 Regulatory Agenda, this 
strategy shifts the burden of ensuring compliance from the Department--
which cannot and does not want to inspect every workplace--to the 
regulated entity itself. Employers, unions, and others who follow the 
Department's Plan/Prevent/Protect strategy will assure compliance with 
employment laws before Labor Department enforcement personnel ever have 
to arrive at their doorsteps. Most important, rules published under 
this strategy will continue to assure that workers get the safe, 
healthy, diverse, family-friendly, and fair workplaces they deserve. In 
the Fall 2013 Regulatory Agenda, the Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration 
(MSHA) will propose regulatory actions furthering the Department's 
implementation of the Plan/Prevent/Protect strategy.
    Openness and Transparency. Greater openness and transparency also 
continue to be central to the Department's compliance and regulatory 
strategies. The Fall 2013 Regulatory Plan demonstrates the Department's 
continued commitment to these two goals, not only as stakeholder 
engagement strategies, but also an important means to achieve 
compliance in the regulated community. The Department believes that 
when employers, workers, advocates, and members of the public have 
greater access to information concerning workplace conditions and 
expectations, achieving compliance is not only possible but often also 
becomes a cooperative exercise. Openness and transparency encourage 
greater levels of compliance by the regulated community, enhance 
awareness among workers of their rights and benefits, and provide 
employers with clear expectations, actionable data, and a level playing 
field on which to build their businesses.
    Risk Reduction. When the Department identifies specific hazards and 
risks to

[[Page 1020]]

worker health, safety, security, or fairness, the Department will 
utilize its regulatory powers to limit the risk to workers. The Fall 
2013 Regulatory Agenda includes risk reduction initiatives to address 
such specific concerns, many of which are discussed in this document.
    Regulatory Review and Burden Reduction. 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 protecting the health, welfare, safety, and the 
environment for all Americans--a goal at the core of the Labor 
Department's mission--while fostering economic growth, job creation, 
and competitiveness. The Department's Fall 2013 Regulatory Agenda also 
aims to achieve more efficient and less burdensome regulations through 
a retrospective review of the Labor Department regulations.
    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.'' The plan identified several burden-reducing 
regulatory projects. Projects such as OSHA's Standard Improvement 
Project--Phase IV (SIP IV) and OSHA's Revising to Record Requirements 
in the Mechanical Power Presses Standard are both expected to produce 
savings for the covered community.
    The Department is also taking action to eliminate regulations that 
are no longer effective or enforceable. This effort has included the 
removal of obsolete ETA's Job Training Partnership Act program 
regulations. The effort will continue with the removal of attestation 
requirements for facilities using nonimmigrant aliens as registered 
nurses in the H-1A program (authorized by the Immigration Nursing 
Relief Act of 1999); removal of attestation requirements for employers 
using F-1 students in off-campus work (authorized by the Immigration 
Act of 1990); and removal of remove obsolete regulations regarding 
labor certification process requirements for logging employment and 
non-H-2A agricultural employment. This agenda includes 13 retrospective 
review projects.
    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 each subsequent update can 
be found at http://www.dol.gov/regulations/.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Whether it is  expected to
                                 Title of        significantly reduce
 Regulatory Identifier No.      rulemaking         burdens on small
                                                      businesses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1218-AC34..................  Bloodborne       No.
                              Pathogens.
1218-AC67..................  Standard         Yes.
                              Improvement
                              Project--Phase
                              IV (SIP IV).
1218-AC74..................  Review/Lookback  To Be Determined.
                              of OSHA
                              Chemical
                              Standards.
1218-AC80..................  Revising Record  No.
                              Requirements
                              in the
                              Mechanical
                              Power Presses
                              Standard.
1218-AC81..................  Cranes and       No.
                              Derricks in
                              Construction:
                              Amendments.
1219-AB72..................  Criteria and     To Be Determined.
                              Procedures for
                              Proposed
                              Assessment of
                              Civil
                              Penalties
                              (Part 100).
1250-AA05..................  Sex              To Be Determined.
                              Discrimination
                              Guidelines.
1210-AB47..................  Amendment of     Yes.
                              Abandoned Plan
                              Program.
1205-AB59..................  Equal            To Be Determined.
                              Employment
                              Opportunity in
                              Apprenticeship
                              and Training,
                              Amendment of
                              Regulations.
1205-AB62..................  Implementation   No.
                              of Total
                              Unemployment
                              Rate Extended
                              Benefits
                              Trigger and
                              Rounding Rule.
1205-AB65..................  Labor            No, action will not
                              Certification    increase burden to small
                              Process for      businesses as regulatory
                              Logging          provisions are no longer
                              Employment and   operative.
                              Non-H-2A
                              Agricultural
                              Employment.
1205-AB66..................  Attestations by  No, action will not
                              Employers        increase burden to small
                              Using F-1        businesses as regulatory
                              Students in      provisions are no longer
                              Off-Campus       operative.
                              Work.
1205-AB67..................  Attestations by  No, action will not
                              Facilities       increase burden to small
                              Using            businesses as regulatory
                              Nonimmigrant     provisions are no longer
                              Aliens as        operative.
                              Registered
                              Nurses.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Department's Plan/Prevent/Protect, Openness and Transparency, 
and Risk Reduction initiatives work in concert with its implementation 
of E.O. 13563. These regulations strengthen protections for workers 
while maintaining flexibility for businesses to comply. By requiring 
employers and other regulated entities to take full ownership of their 
compliance with clearly defined Department regulations; by promoting 
greater openness and transparency for employers and workers alike; and 
by encouraging regulated entities to adopt a strategy that includes 
planning and prevention, the Labor Department believes it can increase 
compliance with its regulations across all regulated entities. The 
increased effectiveness of this compliance strategy will enable the 
Department to create opportunity--both for businesses to comply in the 
way that is most efficient, least burdensome, and in line with their 
existing business practices, and for workers to labor in safe and 
healthy environments. A discussion of several of these initiatives 
follows.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
    OSHA's regulatory program is designed to help workers and employers

[[Page 1021]]

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 that place American 
workers at risk of serious injury, illness, and death are the focus of 
several initiatives on OSHA's regulatory agenda. In addition to 
targeting specific hazards, OSHA is focusing on proposing changes to 
systematic processes that would modernize the culture of safety in 
America's workplaces. OSHA continues work on its retrospective review 
projects that when completed will both update outdated regulations and 
reduce burdens on regulated employers. OSHA's retrospective review 
projects include consideration of the Bloodborne Pathogens standard, 
updating consensus standard references in OSHA standards, phase IV of 
OSHA's standard improvement project (SIP IV), and reviewing Permissible 
Exposure Limits of various hazardous chemicals.
OSHA Plan/Prevent/Protect Initiatives
     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. 
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.
    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 routes of transmission.) 
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 and 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 on this topic.
     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 four well attended stakeholder meetings across 
the country. 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 who have implemented 
similar injury and illness prevention programs have reduced 
significantly 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 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.
OSHA Openness and Transparency Initiatives
     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. Under the proposed 
rule, OSHA will explore requiring employers to submit electronically to 
the Agency data required by its part 1904 regulations governing the 
Recording and Reporting of Occupational Injuries. OSHA learned from 
stakeholders that most large employers already maintain their part 1904 
data electronically. As a result, electronic submission will constitute 
only a minimal additional 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 
would not add to or change the recording criteria or definitions in 
part 1904. The proposed rule would only modify 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 2013 Regulatory Agenda, OSHA proposes to issue procedural 
rules that will establish consistent and transparent procedures for the 
filing of whistleblower complaints under seven statutes. 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.
OSHA Risk Reduction Initiatives
     Silica. OSHA has announced a proposed rule aimed at 
curbing lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
and kidney disease in America's workers. The proposal seeks to lower 
worker exposure to crystalline silica, which kills hundreds of workers 
and sickens thousands more each year. Once the full effects of the rule 
are realized, OSHA estimates that the proposed rule would result in 
saving nearly 700 lives per year and prevent 1,600 new cases of 
silicosis annually. 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 work environments, MSHA will also utilize information provided 
by OSHA to undertake regulatory action related to silica exposure in 
mines.
     Preventing Backover Injuries and Fatalities. According to 
the Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, backing accidents caused 
at least 75 occupational deaths in 2011. 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

[[Page 1022]]

use radio frequency (RFID) and magnetic field generators on equipment 
to detect electronic tags worn by workers. OSHA is collecting 
information on this hazard and researching emerging technologies that 
may help reduce this risk. OSHA published an RFI on March 27, 2012 
seeking information from the public; the comment period ended on July 
27, 2012. The Agency has held stakeholder meetings in Washington, DC 
and Arlington, TX, and is also conducting site visits to employers.
     Reinforced Concrete in Construction. Currently, workers 
performing steel reinforcing suffer injuries caused by unsafe material 
handling, structural collapse, and impalement by protruding reinforcing 
steel dowels, among others. OSHA IMIS data indicates that 31 workers 
died while performing work on or near post-tensioning operations or 
reinforcing steel between 2000 and 2009. Current rules regarding 
reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities may not adequately 
address hazards facing workers engaged in these activities. OSHA has 
published an RFI seeking information about the hazards associated with 
reinforcing operations in construction.
OSHA Regulatory Review and Burden Reduction Initiatives
     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 implemented.
     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 without diminishing employee protections. OSHA has 
published an RFI in the Federal Register asking the public for 
candidate ideas for improvements in its construction safety standards 
(77 FR 72781: December 6, 2012). Candidate ideas were presented to the 
Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health at its May and 
August 2013 meetings.
     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 to reflect newer 
scientific data that indicate that significant occupational health 
risks exist at levels below OSHA's current 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.
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
    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. 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.
MSHA Plan/Prevent/Protect Initiatives
     Proximity Detection Systems for Continuous Mining Machines 
in Underground Coal Mines. From 1984 to 2012, there have been 33 
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. MSHA published a 
proposed rule to address the danger that miners face when working near 
continuous mining machines in underground coal mines. 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 mine operators to equip certain mobile machines, with 
proximity detection systems. Miners working near mobile machines face 
pinning, crushing, and striking hazards that have resulted, and 
continue to result, in accidents involving life threatening injuries 
and death. Proximity detection technology can prevent these types of 
accidents by detecting the presence of personnel or equipment within a 
certain distance of the machine. The proposal would strengthen 
protections for miners by reducing the potential for pinning, crushing, 
or striking accidents in underground mines.
MSHA Risk Reduction Initiatives
     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 National 
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (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 at 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 to the explosion. The IR report also included 
recommendations for regulatory actions. In response to the 
recommendations, MSHA expects to 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 demonstrate its commitment to protecting the most 
vulnerable

[[Page 1023]]

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. 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 NIOSH, and other groups to 
address the exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica. As an 
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.
MSHA Regulatory Review and Burden Reduction Initiative
     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.
OFCCP Plan/Prevent/Protect Initiative
     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 1980 based on 1970 
Census data, the most current data available at the time. The goals for 
the utilization of women in construction occupations were issued in 
1978, and extended indefinitely in 1980, were also developed using 1970 
Census data. The proposed rule would remove these outdated goals and 
provide 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 Regulatory Review and Burden Reduction Initiative
     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. 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. 
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 141 
million individuals covered by an estimated 701,000 private retirement 
plans, 2.3 million health plans, and similar numbers of other welfare 
benefit plans, which together hold $7.3 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 America's 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 also encourage greater 
levels of compliance by the regulated community and improve awareness 
among workers of their rights and benefits. EBSA's Fall 2013 agenda 
expands 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 the Abandoned Plan Program amendments.
EBSA Risk Reduction Initiative
     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

[[Page 1024]]

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 129 million individuals in employer-sponsored 
plans. EBSA will continue its work to ensure a smooth implementation of 
the legislation's market reforms, minimize disruption to existing plans 
and practices, and strengthen America's health care system.
     Enhancing Participant Protections by Reducing Conflicts of 
Interest. EBSA plans to re-propose amendments to its regulations to 
reduce harmful conflicts of interest by clarifying the circumstances 
under which a person will be considered a ``fiduciary'' when providing 
investment advice to retirement plans and other employee benefit plans, 
to participants and beneficiaries of such plans, and to owners of 
individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The amendments would consider 
current practices of investment advisers and the expectations of plan 
officials and participants who receive investment advice, as well as 
changes that have occurred in the investment marketplace and in the 
ways advisers are compensated since the current regulation's issuance. 
These compensation arrangements frequently subject advisers to harmful 
conflicts of interest that can compromise the quality of advice given 
to plan participants and IRA owners. 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 and not to act on conflicts 
of interest when providing the investment advice relied upon by 
millions of plan sponsors and workers.
EBSA Openness and Transparency Initiative
    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 1210-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. In 2010 EBSA 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 that 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 published 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 (RIN 1210-
AB20). In further support of this initiative, EBSA also is developing 
proposed amendments to a safe harbor regulation (29 CFR section 
2550.404a-4) that will provide plan fiduciaries with more certainty 
that they have discharged their obligations under section 404(a)(1)(B) 
of ERISA in selecting an annuity plan provider and contract for benefit 
distributions from an individual account retirement plan (RIN: 1210-
AB58).
EBSA Regulatory Review and Burden Reduction Initiative
     Abandoned Plan Program Amendment. In 2006, the Department 
published regulations that facilitate the 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 has six years of experience with this program and 
believes certain changes would improve the 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 because of 
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. 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 overall cost it would take to terminate and wind up such 
plans. This will result in larger benefit distributions to participants 
and beneficiaries in 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. 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.

[[Page 1025]]

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. OLMS 
also implements a federal transportation law by ensuring that workplace 
rights of mass transit employees will be protected whenever federal 
funds are used to acquire, improve, or operate a transit system.
OLMS 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 American Job Centers. The programs within ETA promote 
ladders of opportunity 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 
sought in the 21st century's economy.
ETA Regulatory Review and Burden Reduction
     Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship and 
Training, Amendment of Regulations. The revision of the National 
Apprenticeship Act's Equal Opportunity in Apprenticeship and Training 
(EEO) regulations is a critical element in the Department's vision to 
promote and expand registered apprenticeship opportunities, and to meet 
the changing workforce, demographic and industry needs. The regulation 
will help eliminate much of the uncertainty around the current 
regulations; simplifying outdated procedures and requirements, while 
establishing clearer expectations with regard to EEO on behalf of 
apprenticeship sponsors. 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, and the proposed regulation 
will provide consistency with Federal EEO laws developed over the last 
35 years. ETA proposes to update part 30 EEO in the Apprenticeship and 
Training regulations to ensure that they act in concert with the 2008 
revised part 29 rule. The proposed EEO regulations also will further 
Secretary Perez's vision to create more opportunities 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.
     Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program; 
Implementing the Total Unemployment Rate As An Extended Benefits 
Indicator and Amending For Technical Corrections. This rule will update 
regulations to conform to existing law and State practice. It will 
benefit State Unemployment Insurance systems by removing any potential 
confusion between complying with guidance and current Federal 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 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

[[Page 1026]]

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 19 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 and 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 motorcoaches.
    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 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

[[Page 1027]]

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-AJ90.................................  Effective Tether System (Tether Rule)    ........................
                                                (RRR).
2. 2120-AJ94.................................  Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS)     ........................
                                                (RRR).
3. 2120-AJ97.................................  14 CFR Part 16; Rules of Practice for                          Y
                                                Federally-Assisted Airport Enforcement
                                                Proceedings (RRR).
4. 2120-AK01.................................  Combined Drug and Alcohol Testing                              Y
                                                Programs for Operators Conducting
                                                Commercial Air Tours (RRR).
5. 2120-AK11.................................  Minimum Altitudes for Use of Autopilots  ........................
                                                (RRR).
6. 2120-AK28.................................  Part 61 and 91 Recommended Rule Changes  ........................
                                                (RRR).
7. 2120-AK32.................................  Acceptance Criteria for Portable Oxygen  ........................
                                                Concentrators Used Onboard Aircraft
                                                (RRR).
8. 2125-AF44.................................  Administration of Engineering and        ........................
                                                Design Related Service Contracts (RRR).
9. 2126-AB46.................................  Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance;                           Y
                                                Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report (RRR).
10. 2126-AB47................................  Electronic Signatures (E-Signatures)                           Y
                                                (RRR).
11. 2126-AB49................................  Elimination of Redundant Maintenance                           Y
                                                Rule (RRR).
12. 2127-AK99................................  Federal Motor Vehicle Standard No. 108;                        Y
                                                Lamps, reflective devices, and
                                                associated equipment--Color Boundaries
                                                (RRR).
13. 2127-AL05................................  Amend FMVSS No. 210 to Incorporate the                         Y
                                                Use of a New Force Application Device
                                                (RRR).
14. 2127-AL24................................  Rapid Tire Deflation Test in FMVSS No.   ........................
                                                110 (RRR).
15. 2130-AC27................................  Positive Train Control Systems                                 Y
                                                Amendments (RRR).
16. 2130-AC32................................  Positive Train Control Systems: De                             Y
                                                Minimis Exception, Yard Movements, En
                                                Route Failures; Miscellaneous Grade
                                                Crossing/Signal and Train Control
                                                Amendments (RRR).
17. 2130-AC40................................  Qualification and Certification of       ........................
                                                Locomotive Engineers; Miscellaneous
                                                Revisions (RRR).
18. 2130-AC41................................  Hours of Service Recordkeeping;          ........................
                                                Electronic Recordkeeping Amendments
                                                (RRR).
19. 2130-AC43................................  Safety Glazing Standards; Miscellaneous  ........................
                                                Revisions (RRR).
20. 2130-AC44................................  Revisions to Signal System Reporting     ........................
                                                Requirements (RRR).
21. 2132-AB02................................  Major Capital Investment Projects (RRR)  ........................
22. 2132-AB03................................  Environmental Impact and Related         ........................
                                                Procedures (RRR).
23. 2133-AB79................................  Administrative Claims, Part 327 (RRR)..  ........................
24. 2137-AE38................................  Hazardous Materials: Compatibility With  ........................
                                                the Regulations of the International
                                                Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (RRR).
25. 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).
26. 2137-AE70................................  Hazardous Materials: Revision of                               Y
                                                Requirements for Fireworks Approvals
                                                (RRR).
27. 2137-AE72................................  Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas                                 Y
                                                Transmission Pipelines(RRR).
28. 2137-AE78................................  Hazardous Materials: Miscellaneous                             Y
                                                Amendments (RRR).
29. 2137-AE79................................  Hazardous Materials: Miscellaneous                             Y
                                                Amendments; Petitions for Rulemaking
                                                (RRR).
30. 2137-AE80................................  Hazardous Materials: Miscellaneous                             Y
                                                Pressure Vessel Requirements (DOT Spec
                                                Cylinders) (RRR).
31. 2137-AE81................................  Hazardous Materials: Reverse Logistics                         Y
                                                (RRR).
32. 2137-AE82................................  Hazardous Materials: Incorporation of                          Y
                                                Certain Special Permits and Competent
                                                Authorities into the HMR (RRR).
33. 2137-AE85................................  Pipeline Safety: Periodic Updates of     ........................
                                                Regulatory References to Technical
                                                Standards and Miscellaneous Amendments
                                                (RRR).
34. 2137-AE86................................  Hazardous Materials: Requirements for    ........................
                                                the Safe Transportation of Bulk
                                                Explosives (RRR).
35. 2137-AE87................................  Hazardous Materials: Harmonization with  ........................
                                                International Standards (RRR).
36. 2137-AE91................................  Hazardous Materials: Rail Petitions and                        Y
                                                Recommendations to Improve the Safety
                                                of Railroad Tank Car Transportation
                                                (RRR).
37. 2137-AE94................................  Pipeline Safety: Operator                                      Y
                                                Qualification, Cost Recovery and Other
                                                Pipeline Safety Proposed Changes
                                                Miscellaneous Amendments Related to
                                                Reauthorization and Petitions for
                                                Rulemaking (RRR*).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 1028]]

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 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)
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 1029]]

    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 2014, 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 
Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections III
     Carrier-Supplied Medical Oxygen, Accessible In-Flight 
Entertainment Systems, Service Animals, and Accessible Lavatories on 
Single-Aisle Aircraft.
    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 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 2014 
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.
     Respond to recommendations from Part 23 Reorganization 
Aviation Rulemaking Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) for improving 
safety and reducing certification costs for general aviation. The ARC 
recommendations include a broad range of policy and regulatory changes 
that it believes could significantly improve the safety of general 
aviation aircraft while simultaneously reducing certification and 
modification costs for these aircraft. Among the ARC's recommendations 
is a suggestion that compliance with part 23 requirements be 
performance-based, focusing on the complexity and performance of an 
aircraft instead of the current regulations based on weight and type of 
propulsion. In announcing the ARC's recommendations, the Transportation 
Secretary said ``Streamlining the design and certification process 
could provide a cost-efficient way to build simple airplanes that still 
incorporate the latest in safety initiatives. These changes have the 
potential to save money and maintain our safety standing--a win-win 
situation for manufacturers, pilots and the general aviation community 
as a whole.''
     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

[[Page 1030]]

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 2013 through 2014 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 slot 
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 has 
analyzed MAP-21 to identify congressionally directed rulemakings. These 
rulemakings will be the FHWA's top regulatory priorities for the coming 
year. 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.
    During Fiscal Year 2014, FHWA will continue its focus on improving 
the quality and performance of our Nation's highway systems by creating 
national performance management measures and standards to be used by 
the States to meet the national transportation goals identified in 
section 1203 of MAP-21 under the following rulemaking initiatives:
     National Goals and Performance Management Measures 
(Safety) (RIN: 2125-AF49)
     National Goals and Performance Management Measures 
(Bridges and Pavement) (RIN: 2125-AF53)
     National Goals and Performance Management Measures 
(Congestion Reduction, CMAQ, Freight, and Performance of Interstate/
Non-Interstate NHS) (RIN: 2125-AF54).

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 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, 
commercial drivers, commercial motor vehicles, and State agencies 
receiving certain motor carrier safety grants and issuing commercial 
drivers' licenses.
    FMCSA's regulatory plan for FY 2014 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) Electronic Logging Devices (RIN 2126-AB20), (2) 
Carrier Safety Fitness Determination (RIN 2126-AB11), and (3) 
Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (RIN 2126-
AB18).
    Together, these priority rules could help to substantially improve 
commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety

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on our Nation's highways by improving FMCSA's ability to provide safety 
oversight of motor carriers and commercial drivers.
    In FY 2014, FMCSA plans to issue a supplemental notice of proposed 
rulemaking on Electronic Logging Devices (RIN 2126-AB20) to establish: 
(1) minimum performance and design standards for hours-of-service (HOS) 
electronic logging devices (ELDs); (2) requirements for the mandatory 
use of these devices by drivers currently required to prepare HOS 
records of duty status (RODS); (3) requirements concerning HOS 
supporting documents; and (4) measures to address concerns about 
harassment resulting from the mandatory use of ELD