On Mondays, Rogan’s List features a listing of proposed rule and regulation changes that are currently accepting public comment. Commenting is the way to show government agencies how we feel about these proposed changes. Our comments also become part of a record that will be reviewed by courts if and when a reg change is contested. Courts use comments to judge whether an agency is acting arbitrarily and capriciously.
Section I – ICE, DHS, DOL, NLRB
Section II – everything environmental – EPA, BLM, DOESection III – Civil rights, housing, education, healthcare
Other: More on regulations (tracking the trackers/general information)
(Note: After a couple of weeks items are moved from “Recent” and “Closing soon” into the Roman numeral sections. A note on regulatory processes: there are three stages – Notice, Proposed Rule, and Rule. There’s usually a time lag of a few months to a few years between them, and they must be published in the Federal Register before appearing on Regulations.gov. Comment time varies from 10 days to 2 months, sometimes with extensions.)
This week’s list – the first two weren’t posted on regulations.gov and are significant. The Community Reinvestment Act is closing. A host of proposed regs closing 4/6/2020 and a ton of Covid-19 updates – which may make some of the previous proposed regs moot.
1. Closing April 6 – Monday. Not on regulations. gov website. The Army Corps of
Engineers plan to dredge San Francisco Bay to allow oil tankers to reach Stockton. SAN FRANCISCO BAY TO STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA, NAVIGATION IMPROVEMENT PROJECT US You can read it here: https://www.spn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Projects-and-Programs/Projects-by-Category /Projects-for-Navigable-Waterways/San-Francisco-Bay-to-Stockton-JFB- . Comment instructions below (you comment by email) as well as sample letters. Please write to: SFBaytoStockton@usace.army.mil. Attention: Paul DeMarco. See letter authored by Center for Biological Diversity, Communities For A Better Environment, Friends of the Earth, #SanFranciscoBayKeeper, Sierra Club: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/…/Comments_of_Environmen…Here is another Sample Public Comment you can use: https://docs.google.com/…/1ZDKx4nYJMJlwTxGdTfGYUkHovb…/edit… More info on the issue from Sunflower Alliance: https://www.sunflower-alliance.org/the-army-corps-of-engi…/… And also https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/11/15/18828132.php
2. Comments due April 10, 2020. GMOS in wildlife refuges. Comments due in 10
days. “Public input requested on environmental assessment for genetically engineered crops on national wildlife refuges in the Southeastern United States”. https://www.fws.gov/…/public-input-requested-on-environmen…/ Comments and questions must be submitted in writing to email@example.com or mailed to Pamala Wingrove, Branch Chief, Conservation Planning, USFWS, Southeast
Region, 1875 Century Boulevard NE, Atlanta, GA, 30345. Read more: https://www.commondreams.org/…/trump-administration-propose…, https://www.organicconsumers.org/…/with-nation-distracted-c… and https://biologicaldiversity.org/…/trump-administration-pro…/
3. Comments extended to 4-8-2020. Proposed Rule. Two Measures.1)
Community Reinvestment Act – major implications for Federal Reserve, FDIC and Comptroller of the Currency for neighborhood reinvestment, bank credit standards, and more. ““It’s every bit as bad as we thought, and then some,” says Weisberg, senior campaign analyst at the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, a coalition of community groups across New York City.“ “The proposed changes would weaken the focus of bank activities on low and moderate income (LMI) communities, while increasing the number of assessments banks could fail while still passing CRA requirements.” News release here: https://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2019/nr-ia-2019-147.html – Read more at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/opinion/Community-Reinvestment-Act.html and https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/community-advocates-proposed-changes-to-community -reinvestment-act-regs and https://www.americanbanker.com/news/cra-cheat-sheet-new-regime-would-look-very-d ifferent; https://www.novoco.com/periodicals/articles/proposed-cra-regulations-greeted-great-c oncern-aggregate-balance-sheet-ratio-could-overwhelm-other; and https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/12/business/banks-federal-reserve-community-rein vestment-act.html You may submit comments at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OCC-2018-0008-1960 and 2) related proposal also extended Community Reinvestment Act Regulations https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OCC-2018-0008-1960. Comments template from The Strong, Prosperous, & Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC). http://www.sparcchub.org/2020/03/04/resources-on-nepa-affh-and-cra-proposed-rule s/ – also contains a template for commenting on NEPA, below.
4. Comment extension to 4/13/2020. Gutting fair-housing protections.
“FR-6123-P-02 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing”. Comment here. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=HUD-2020-0012-0010 There is still time to comment on the original proposal, due 3/16/2020. Gutting fair-housing protections. “FR-6123-P-02 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing”. Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=HUD-2020-0011-0001. “…HUD issued a proposal to basically eliminate an Obama-era mandate, outlined in 2015’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, or AFFH, that required certain towns and cities to keep track of, and address, racial bias in housing.” Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/hud-s-fair-housing-policies-could-promote-fur ther-racial-discrimination-n1118636 “Now, in the latest of the Trump administration’s attacks on fair housing, HUD has proposed a new rule that would effectively eliminate AFFH, making housing discrimination easier and entrenching housing segregation. Now, in the latest of the Trump administration’s attacks on fair housing, HUD has proposed a
new rule that would effectively eliminate AFFH, making housing discrimination easier and entrenching housing segregation.” https://nationalfairhousing.org/affh/ with link to petition. Also “The proposed AFFH rule change removes protections for racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and others to access housing without facing discrimination. The new rule would no longer require that local governments or housing authorities address, or even consider, legacies of unequal housing opportunities. This weakening of oversight and accountability for agencies receiving federal housing dollars means that agencies are allowed to implement policies or programs, without consideration for the impact on groups that have been discriminated against in the past.” https://buildhealthyplaces.org/whats-new/affh-rule-change/ and https://shelterforce.org/2020/01/30/affirmatively-dismantling-fair-housing/ Undoes Obama-era fair-housing protections. NRDC has published an opinion. https://www.nrdc.org/experts/sasha-forbes-aicp/regressive-federal-rules-would-set-bac k-decades-progress Also see http://www.sparcchub.org/2020/03/04/resources-on-nepa-affh-and-cra-proposed-rule s/ and http://www.sparcchub.org/2020/03/04/regressive-federal-rules-could-mean-redlining- more-racial-discrimination/
5. Comments due 4/6/2020. Proposed Rule Labor Management Standards
Office (LMSO) also all of Dept. of Labor.. “The Department of Labor is issuing this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to seek public comments on a proposal to establish a system of discretionary secretarial review over cases pending before or decided by the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals and to make technical changes to Departmental regulations governing the timing and finality of decisions of the Administrative Review Board and the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals to ensure consistency with the new discretionary review processes proposed in this rule and established in Secretary’s Order 01-2020″. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=LMSO_FRDOC_0001-0043 This identical rule lists the areas over which the Secretary of Labor would have “discretionary review.” https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OFCCP_FRDOC_0001-0052 Includes employee food safety protections, whistle-blowers, and The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals. Mixed reviews: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/labor-chief-scalia-reins-in-review-b oard-earning-mixed-reviews “Secretary Scalia has placed authority back with the Secretary of Labor and provided that he, and all subsequent Secretaries of Labor, shall have discretion to issue the final decision of the DOL regarding matters the ARB decides in the first instance. With power to issue USDOL’s final decision resting once again with the Secretary of Labor, Secretary Scalia has reinstated the practice that existed before creation of the ARB.” https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/ofccp-week-in-review-march-2020-57320/
6. Comments due 4/6/2020. Proposed Rule. Electric Reliability Organization
Proposal To Retire Requirements in Reliability Standards Under the NERC Standards Efficiency Review. Puts economic considerations over safety. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/06/2020-02171/electric-reliabilit y-organization-proposal-to-retire-requirements-in-reliability-standards-under-the FERC,
Electric Transmission: “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has proposed substantial changes to its policies for awarding ratemaking incentives for new transmission investment. The most fundamental change is that FERC would no longer award incentives based on a proposed project’s risks and challenges but would instead award them based on its economic and reliability benefits. In addition, the incentive for a higher return on equity for project investment would be potentially more generous than under the current policy. Proposal: FERC proposes to discard the risks and challenges approach for evaluating incentive requests and instead will focus on the benefits of new transmission investment. ” https://www.insideenergyandenvironment.com/2020/03/ferc-considering-changes-to-t ransmission-incentives/ Also see https://www.eenews.net/stories/1062640853 Link to pdf: https://www.ferc.gov/CalendarFiles/20200320145741-RM20-10-000.pdf Link to Commssioner Glick comment: https://www.ferc.gov/media/statements-speeches/glick/2020/03-25-20-glick-RM20.as p#.XoDvaIhlBdg Comments instructions on page and also “concerning the information collections and requirements proposed for retirement in this NOPR and the associated burden estimates, may also be sent to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]. For security reasons, comments should be sent by email to OMB at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refer to the appropriate OMB Control Number(s) and Docket Nos. RM19-16-000 and RM19-17-000 in your submission.”
7. Comments due 4/6/2020. Traveling by Air with Service Animals
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/05/2020-01546/traveling-by-air- with-service-animals and https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOT-OST-2018-0068-12959 Defines a service animal under ADA – dogs only. “Under the proposed rulemaking, carriers would no longer be required to recognize emotional support animals as service animals. Passengers currently have an incentive to claim pets as emotional support animals as existing regulations require carriers to transport all emotional support animals at no cost to the passenger.”
8. Comments due 4/6/2020. Major Medicare changes. Medicare and Medicaid
Programs; Contract Year 2021 and 2022 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicaid Program, Medicare Cost Plan Program, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/18/2020-02085/medicare-and-m edicaid-programs-contract-year-2021-and-2022-policy-and-technical-changes-to-the Articles so far: https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/Food-Drugs-Healthcare-Life-Sciences/893068/ CMS-Proposes-Significant-Changes-To-Medicare-Advantage-And-Part-D-For-2021-And- Beyond; https://www.mintz.com/insights-center/viewpoints/2146/2020-02-cms-proposes-signifi cant-changes-medicare-advantage-part-d; https://www.natlawreview.com/article/cms-issues-medicare-advantage-and-part-d-2021
-proposed-rule; https://www.natlawreview.com/article/cms-proposes-significant-changes-to-medicare-a dvantage-part-d-2021-and-beyond-part-1. This is a massive proposal and more will be written/published in coming weeks.
9. Comments due 4/6/2020. Changes to Medicare Advantage plans. Changes to
the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. Program for Contract Year 2021 (CMS-4190-P) https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CMS-2020-0010-0001. For another take on this, see Medicare Advantage plans to get less than 1% pay increase. https://www.modernhealthcare.com/payment/medicare-advantage-plans-get-less-1-pay -increase
10. Comments due 4/13/2020. HUD faith-based initiatives. FR-6130-P-01 Equal
Participation of Faith- Based Organizations in HUD Programs and Activities: Implementation of Executive Order 13831. https://beta.regulations.gov/document/HUD-2020-0017-0001 Read more: https://www.theneat.org/blog
11. Comments due 4/9/2020. (Anti-labor). “Miscellaneous and General
Requirements.” This Proposed Rule was issued by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) Collective bargaining – makes it easier for federal employees to cancel union dues. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FLRA-2020-0003-0001 Read more: https://www.govexec.com/management/2020/03/labor-authority-formally-proposes-ru le-making-it-easier-feds-cancel-union-dues/163890/ and https://www.afge.org/article/afge-takes-flras-union-dues-policy-change-to-court/https:/ /www.afge.org/press-releases/ .Also see https://www.afge.org/publication/afge-statement-on-flra-union-busting-proposed-rule/
12.Comments extended to 4/22/2020. Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/23/2020-05979/simplifying-meal -service-and-monitoring-requirements-in-the-national-school-lunch-and-school Original proposal: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FNS-2019-0007-0001 Rollback of Michelle Obama’s school lunch nutrition guidelines. One of two proposals. Read more here and see below: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-01-17/rollback-proposed-for-michel le-obama-school-lunch-guidelines Comment on simplifying school lunches from a Dietitian who works at a NYC clinic that has a caseload of 1,800 WIC families. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FNS-2019-0007-9135
13. Comments now due 4/22/2020 Streamlining Program Requirements and
Improving Integrity in the Summer Food Service Program https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FNS-2019-0034-0061 Read more: https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2020/01/20/Public-health-advocates-push -back-against-USDA-proposals-to-simplify-school-meal-standards
14. Comments due 3/12/2020- still open for some reason. Proposed Rule.
Extending Natural Gas Export Authorizations to Non-Free Trade Agreement Countries through the Year 2050. Extends LNG export authorizations to 2050 for dozens of corporations listed in the proposal. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=PHMSA-2018-0025-0002 Read Earth Justice article: https://earthjustice.org/features/liquefied-natural-gas-lng-by-rail-tanker-car and Trump Administration Proposes Yet Another Handout to Fracked Gas Industry With Extension of LNG Export Licenses https://www.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2020/02/trump-administration-proposes-yet -another-handout-fracked-gas-industry. Read more https://www.gazettenet.com/Columnist-Johanna-Neumann-32789838 and sign petition: https://environmentamerica.webaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KE Y=36506
15. Comments due 4/17/2020. It’s back. EPA misnamed “Strengthening
Transparency in Regulatory Science.” Proposed rule. Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2018-0259-9322 Read about this measure: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-energy/2020/03/18/trumps-oil-buy-ma y-not-be-so-easy-786170 Background: NY Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/11/climate/epa-science-trump.html and EPA pushback: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/new-york-times-several-glaring-inaccuracies-thats-fi t-print. https://sensiblesafeguards.org/the-epas-censored-science-rule-isnt-just-bad-policy-its-al so-illegal/ https://www.nrdc.org/onearth/epa-says-it-wants-scientific-transparency-what-it-really- wants-control-over-research and https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2019/11/25/science.aba3197
16. Comments due 4/23/2020. Asylees, immigration. Suspension of
Introduction of Persons Into the United States From Designated Foreign Countries or Places for Public Health Purposes https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CDC-2020-0033-0001 Response 3/25/2020 Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis While Protecting Asylum Seekers (Updated March 25, “Far from being rooted in genuine concerns for public health, this new policy is just another attempt to shut down access to asylum at the border. Though nominally issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the order relies heavily on unsubstantiated assertions made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It is predicated on the false assumption that the only possible alternative to turning away asylum-seekers is detaining them in unsafe, overcrowded border facilities for lengthy periods of time. In fact, CBP could instead expeditiously parole those seeking asylum into the United States, where the vast majority have ties to families, friends, or faith-based communities2020) “Far from being rooted in genuine concerns for public health, this new policy is just another attempt to shut down access to asylum at the border. Though nominally issued by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), the order relies heavily on unsubstantiated assertions made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It is predicated on the false assumption that the only possible alternative to turning away asylum-seekers is detaining them in unsafe, overcrowded border facilities for lengthy periods of time. In fact, CBP could instead expeditiously parole those seeking asylum into the United States, where the vast majority have ties to families, friends, or faith-based communities” https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hmQSRWR9xGEGLBy-6b2mstKvYgfGUpi0HQ9 LDa42deY/edit See American Immigration Lawyers Association updates: https://www.aila.org/advo-media/issues/all/covid-19
17. Comments due 4/20/2020. Also immigration. Dept. of State Notice, Asylum.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Affidavit of Relationship https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOS-2020-0002-0001 “In order to access the USRAP through P-3, an applicant must have an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) filed on his or her behalf by an eligible anchor. The AOR also informs the anchor that DNA evidence of all claimed parent-child relationships between the anchor relative and parents and/or unmarried children under 21 is required as a condition of access to P-3 processing; it further informs the anchor that the costs of DNA testing will be borne by the anchor or his or her family members who may apply for access to refugee processing, or their derivative beneficiaries, as the case may be. Successful applicants may be eligible for reimbursement of DNA test costs.”
18. Comments due 4/17/2020. Coal Ash is back – one of two proposed regulations.
Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of CCR; A Holistic Approach to Closure Part B: Alternate Demonstration for Unlined Surface Impoundments; Implementation of Closure. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OLEM-2019-0173-0001 Read more: https://www.environmentallawandpolicy.com/2020/03/epa-issues-part-b-to-its-holistic -approach-to-ccr-unit-closure-proposal/
19. Comments due 4/20/2020. Coal Ash disposal is back. Hazardous and Solid
Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities; Federal CCR Permit Program. Comment here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/20/2019-28440/hazardous-and-s olid-waste-management-system-disposal-of-coal-combustion-residuals-from-electric. Read more: “Only “high hazard” CCR units will be subject to immediate compliance deadlines under a newly proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that revises federal permit requirements for the management of coal combustion residuals (CCRs) at power plants. If finalized, the rule will apply to all coal facilities in Indian country and the 48 U.S. states that have not yet submitted state programs for the EPA’s approval.” https://www.powermag.com/epa-overrides-subpart-d-in-newly-proposed-federal-coal-a sh-permitting-rule/ https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/Environment/899816/Coal-Ash-Rule-Update-E
PA39s-Proposed-Federal-Permit-Program and https://www.steptoe.com/en/news-publications/coal-ash-rule-update-epas-proposed-fe deral-permit-program.html?utm_source=Mondaq&utm_medium=syndication&utm_ca mpaign=LinkedIn-integration; https://www.scsengineers.com/epa-update-coal-combustion-residuals-ccr/
20.Comments due 4/20/2020. Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Seismic
Survey Design and Impacts to Maternal Polar Bear Dens. Proposed rule. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/18/2020-03132/endangered-spec ies-marine-mammals-seismic-survey-design-and-impacts-to-maternal-polar-bear-dens Polar bears are already an endangered species. Environmental groups are starting to weigh in: https://defenders.org/newsroom/oil-and-polar-bears-dont-mix-trump-administration-a sks-public-review-peer-reviewed-polar. On CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/14/world/polar-bears-thinner-fewer-cubs-scn-trnd/ind ex.html
21. Comments due 4/20/2020. Migratory Bird Hunting: Proposed 2020-21
Frameworks for Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FWS-HQ-MB-2019-0004-0008/ Follow-up measure to previous weakening of Migratory Bird Act.
22.Comments due 4/20/2020. Notice, Dept. of State. Meetings: Concerning the
Use of Digital Sequence Information of Genetic Resources https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOS-2020-0005-0001
1. New Regulations.gov beta site – is easier to read but not as functional, as of
March 2020. https://beta.regulations.gov/
2. COVID-19 Update: Charts/graphs from Skopos Labs showing legislative and
regulatory response to COVID-19: https://coronavirus.skoposlabs.com/ Regulations are toward the bottom.
3. Comments due June 1, 2020. Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public
Health Emergency CMS-1744-IFC Display. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CMS-2020-0032-0001and to be published 4/6/2020: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/06/2020-06990/medicare-and- medicaid-programs-policy-and-regulatory-revisions-in-response-to-the-covid-19-public
4. Posted 4/6/2020. Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Policy and Regulatory
Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. “Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today is issuing an unprecedented array of temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to equip the American healthcare system with maximum flexibility to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic” Includes everything from allowing telehealth, payment options, to use of alternative sites. Text states there will be a comment period but none is listed.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/06/2020-06990/med icare-and-medicaid-programs-policy-and-regulatory-revisions-in-response- to-the-covid-19-public More COVID-19 changes-This is an overview:: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/trump-administration-ma kes-sweeping-regulatory-changes-help-us-healthcare-system-address-covid -19 and this: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/additional-backgroundsweepi ng-regulatory-changes-help-us-healthcare-system-address-covid-19-patient Read more: https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/dorm-rooms-as-hospitals-er-telehe alth-cms-creates-unprecedented-flexibi/575174/
5. Comments due 6/1/2020. Rule. Revisions in Response to the COVID-19
Public Health Emergency CMS-1744-IFC Display. summary: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CMS-2020-0032-0001. Already 580 comments.
6. COVID-19 Regulatory Updates; Proposed/Amended Regulations follow these articles. Under the Virus’s Cloak, Trump Pursues Long-Sought Policies. Across multiple agencies. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/us/politics/trump-virus-conservative-policies. html?smid=fb-share and https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/489128-oil-industry-group-asks-trump -administration-to-lessen-regulations
7. 3/26/2020. EPA to relax environmental compliance during COVID-19
emergency. Link to letter: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/oecamemooncovid19 implications.pdf “…there may be constraints on the ability of a facility or laboratory to carry out certain activities required by our federal environmental permits, regulations, and statutes. These consequences may affect reporting obligations and milestones set forth in settlements and consent decrees. Finally, these consequences may affect the ability of an operation to meet enforceable limitations on air emissions and water discharges, requirements for the management of hazardous waste, or requirements to ensure and provide safe drinking water.” American Thoracic Society article: https://yubanet.com/usa/american-thoracic-society-relaxing-environmental-rules-sho ws-poor-judgment-in-the-midst-of-covid-19-outbreak/
8. 3/20/2020, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
(PHMSA) issued a Notice of Stay of Enforcement and Notice of Enforcement Discretion to Operators Affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak (Notice). The Notice is addressed to operators of gas pipelines, hazardous liquid pipelines, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and applies to operators faced with limited resources as a result of the President’s March 13 Declaration of a National Emergency Relating to the Novel Coronavirus Disease Outbreak (National Emergency). The Notice is effective immediately until further notice or modification by PHMSA. In addition, on March 19, PHMSA issued Guidance to State Partners Regarding COVID-19 (Guidance) describing recommended actions for PHMSA’s State Partners and
identifying PHMSA’s planned actions for State programs. Notice of Stay of Enforcement and Notice of Enforcement Discretion. Read it here: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/sites/phmsa.dot.gov/files/2020-03/PHMSA%20Notice%2 0on%20Enforcement.pdf Read more: https://www.natlawreview.com/article/pipeline-safety-update-issue-no-156
9. 3/30/2020. Energy Department approves multiple LNG orders. Notice of
Orders Issued Under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act During February 2020 https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/30/2020-06511/notice-of-orders -issued-under-section-3-of-the-natural-gas-act-during-february-2020 . Here is one such proposal taking comment: Comments due 4/29/2020. Port Arthur LNG Phase II, LLC; Application for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization To Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/30/2020-06512/port-arthur-lng -phase-ii-llc-application-for-long-term-multi-contract-authorization-to-export
10. 3/28/2020. CDC Travel Advisory for NY,NJ and CT.
11. 3/25/2020. Labor. Notice to Suspend Bargaining Over Agency Decisions to Address COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency. Letter to Federal Labor Union. See Health and Safety Concerns of Federal Workers Ignored as Agencies Struggle with Coronavirus Response. https://yubanet.com/usa/health-and-safety-concerns-of-federal-workers-ignored-as-ag encies-struggle-with-coronavirus-response/
12. Comments due 4/24/2020. Should Federal Union members be paid when testifying
before Congress? Notice of Opportunity To Comment on a Request for a General Statement of Policy or Guidance on Official Time for Certain Lobbying Activities. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/25/2020-05992/notice-of-oppo rtunity-to-comment-on-a-request-for-a-general-statement-of-policy-or-guidance-on You may send comments, which must include the caption “National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (Petitioner), Case No. 0-PS-39,” by one of the following methods: Email: FedRegComments@flra.gov . Include “National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (Petitioner), Case No. 0-PS-39” in the subject line of the message. Mail or express mail: Emily Sloop, Chief, Case Intake and Publication, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Docket Room, Suite 200, 1400 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20424-0001. Read more: https://www.fedsmith.com/2020/03/25/should-federal-union-officials-paid-lobby-con gress/ and https://www.fedweek.com/fedweek/flra-considers-further-restrictions-on-official-time / and https://www.afge.org/article/flras-new-move-against-official-time-puts-lives-at-risk.
13. 3/27/2020. Labor. Immigration Services Agency Seeks to Suspend
Bargaining With Union Amid Coronavirus Outbreak. “Wednesday, USCIS Labor and Employee Relations Chief Judy McLaughlin responded by proposing to
suspend all post-implementation bargaining related to any agency actions taken in response to the coronavirus outbreak.” Includes suspending worker protections. https://www.govexec.com/management/2020/03/immigration-services-agency-seeks- suspend-bargaining-union-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/164182/
14. Comments due 5/21/2020. Human Exposure to Radiofrequency
Electromagnetic Fields -proposed rule on radio-frequency exposure and new wireless technology. Involves bandwidth, distances from devices, RF limits of exposure, and other issues. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/06/2020-06966/hu man-exposure-to-radiofrequency-electromagnetic-fields “In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) seeks comment on expanding the range of frequencies for which its radiofrequency (RF) exposure limits apply; on applying localized exposure limits above 6 GHz in parallel to the localized exposure limits already established below 6 GHz; on specifying the conditions and methods for averaging the RF exposure, in both time and area, during evaluation for compliance with the RF exposure limits in the rules; on addressing new RF exposure issues raised by wireless power transfer (WPT) devices; and on the definition of a WPT device.”
15. 4/1/2020. Notice of proposed rulemaking. Locatable Minerals. Concerns rules
governing mining in national forests. “These rules and procedures govern prospecting, exploration, development, mining, and processing operations conducted on National Forest System lands authorized by U.S. mining laws, subsequent reclamation of the land, and any necessary long-term post-closure resource management.” Read it here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/01/2020-06791/locatable-miner als Read more: https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines /us-forest-service-reviewing-environmental-impacts-of-changing-mine-rules-57844292
16. Comments due 8/1/2020. Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders on
Agricultural Innovations Goal: to increase U.S. agricultural production by 40%. “United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeks written stakeholder input on objectives and opportunities leading to research goals and informed product goals to facilitate transformative breakthroughs to enable U.S. agriculture to meet the Department’s goal to increase agricultural production by 40 percent to meet the needs of the global population in 2050 while cutting the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half.” From genetic engineering and automation to use of data and digital resources. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/01/2020-06825/solicitation-of-i nput-from-stakeholders-on-agricultural-innovations
17. Comments due 5/29/2020. National-Environmental Policy Act. NEPA
questionnaire. The Environmental Questionnaire and Checklist (EQC) provides federal financial assistance applicants and DOC staff with a tool to ensure that the necessary project and environmental information is obtained. The EQC was developed to collect data concerning potential environmental impacts that the applicant for federal financial assistance possesses and to transmit that information to the Federal reviewer. Consider recent NEPA proposed rule revising national environment policy in crafting your comment (posted in previous versions of this list mid Jan-Feb 2020.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/30/2020-06543/renewal-of-cur rently-approved-information-collection-comment-request-the-environmental-question naire 18. Comments due 4/23/2020. Natural gas, pipelines. The Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC) has been implementing eminent domain allowances for private energy companies to complete/expand pipeline projects. One such proposal: Double E Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Double E Pipeline Project Comment instructions on this page (at FERC website): https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/30/2020-06560/double-e-pipeli ne-llc-notice-of-availability-of-the-environmental-assessment-for-the-proposed-double Commissioner Richard Glick has been dissenting. https://www.ferc.gov/media/statements-speeches/glick/2020/01-30-20-glick-C-1.asp#. XoDn84hlBdg/
19. 3/24/2020. CMS Withdraws Proposed Medicaid Rule. See (unpublished)
Rule CMS-2421-P here: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201910&RIN=0938-AU 00 From My Modern Healthcare: “The CMS on Tuesday withdrew its proposed rule to crackdown on state Medicaid eligibility determinations from the Office of Management and Budget’s regulatory review process. “This proposed rule would strengthen the integrity of the Medicaid eligibility determination process including verification, changes in circumstance, and redetermination,” the agency said in its description of the rule. The proposed rule was supposed to be published in April. But many healthcare experts worried that tightening eligibility rules would make it tougher for eligible people to enroll in the program and maintain coverage, even if it reduced improper Medicaid enrollment and federal payments to states. “While the specific contents of the rule aren’t known … when finalized, it will put downward pressure on program enrollment,” wrote Chad Mulvany, director of healthcare finance policy, strategy and development for the Healthcare Financial Management Association.” Link to cached version of article (gets around paywall): https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8wj3MW4pE_YJ:https://ww w.modernhealthcare.com/medicaid/cms-withdraws-rule-crack-down-medicaid-eligibili ty+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-b-1-d
20. 3/30/2020 Notice of Designation of Scarce Materials or Threatened
Materials Subject to COVID-19 Hoarding Prevention Measures. No comment – regarding face masks, ventilators, PPE etc. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/30/2020-06641/notice-of-desig nation-of-scarce-materials-or-threatened-materials
21. Comments due 5/1/2020 Notice. EPA pushing back deadline by five years
for National Pollution Discharge system reporting and compliance. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 2020 Issuance of the Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0372-0001 https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/02/2020-04254/national-pollut
ant-discharge-elimination-system-npdes-2020-issuance-of-the-multi-sector-general “The proposed permit, once finalized, will replace the EPA’s existing MSGP that will expire on June 4, 2020. The EPA proposes to issue this permit for five (5) years, and to provide permit coverage to eligible operators in all areas of the country where the EPA is the NPDES permitting authority, including Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico, Indian country lands, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and most U.S. territories and protectorates.”
22. USCIS and Coronavirus. American Immigration Lawyers Association – AILA
is actively engaging with government agencies to obtain the latest information and guidance on how agencies will operate in response to COVID-19. Updates will be posted below as they become available. Resource Center: https://www.aila.org/advo-media/issues/all/covid-19
23. 3/12/2020 Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
and FEHBP Carriers Take Note: CMS and OPM Announce Actions to Address the Threat of Coronavirus https://www.sheppardhealthlaw.com/2020/03/articles/coronavirus/opm-issue-guidan ce/
24. Comments due 6/25/2020. Request for Comments on Additional
Modifications to the 301 Action to Address COVID-19: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. Comment here: Allows exemption of medical equipment from trade duties imposed on China earlier in the Trump administration.”Each comment specifically must identify the particular product of concern and explain precisely how the product relates to the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For example, the comment may address whether a product is directly used to treat COVID-19 or to limit the outbreak, and/or whether the product is used in the production of needed medical-care products. ” https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USTR-2020-0014-0001
25. Posted 3/18/2020. Guidance – allows comments. FDA Guidance on Conduct
of Clinical Trials of Medical Products during COVID-19 Pandemic; Guidance for Industry, Investigators, and Institutional Review Boards https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2020-D-1106-0002 Sets up parameters and standards for COVID-19 in clinical trials. https://www.veristat.com/blog/regulatory-review-covid-19-fda-guidance
26. Comments due 5/26/2020. As a result of wide-market swings, SEC imposes
market-wide circuit breakers. Market Data Infrastructure. Read it here: Use the Commission’s internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed.shtml); or Send an email to email@example.com. Please include File Number S7-03-20 on the subject line. Read it here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=SEC-2020-0431-0001 and read more here: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/preparing-for-market-disruption-circuit-72465/
27. Application deadline extended to 4/15/2020. Internet access for rural
communities. Rural broadband service. Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program. Notice. Rural Utilities Service/ Extension of time to apply for funding under
the broadband pilot program (ReConnect) which provides loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/30/2020-06561/broadband-pilo t-reconnect-program
28. Comments due 5/18/2020. Corollary to the original Trump proposal to put
work requirements on SNAP recipients. Employment and Training Opportunities in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FNS-2019-0008-0001 Read more: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-agriculture/2020/03/06/usda-tightens -job-training-for-food-stamp-recipients-785915 -https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/23/trump-administration-fo od-stamp-proposal-may-remove-3-million/1803077001/ It was blocked in the courts: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommytobin/2020/03/17/federal-judge-finds-food-stam p-restrictions-likely-unlawful-and-blocks-implementation/#77a133136439 Supposedly, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed in the house waives the work requirement temporarily: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/17/what-the-government-is-doing-in-response-to-the -coronavirus-pandemic.html
29. 3/21/2020 Department of Justice seeks new emergency powers amid
coronavirus pandemic. Letter to Congress. Action: write your representatives. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/21/doj-coronavirus-emergency-powers-1400 23 “Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted. ”
30.3/13/2020. Coronavirus testing won’t count against immigrants trying to get
green cards, feds say. Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/immigration/article241196746. html#storylink=cpy “Alert: USCIS encourages all those, including aliens, with symptoms that resemble Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services. Such treatment or preventive services will not negatively affect any alien as part of a future Public Charge analysis. ” https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/public-charge
31. 3/2/2020. Policy. Comments open – no deadline posted. Policy for
Diagnostics Testing in Laboratories Certified to Perform High Complexity Testing under CLIA prior to Emergency Use Authorization for Coronavirus Disease-2019 during the Public Health Emergency Immediately in Effect Guidance for Clinical Laboratories and Food and Drug Administration Staff. Open for comments – deadline not posted. Interesting comments so far. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2020-D-0987-0007 and https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2020-D-0987-0009 – these seem to be identical policy documents. Both open for comments.
32. Comments due 4/14/2020. Privacy Act of 1974: Implementation of
Exemptions; Department of Homeland Security/ALL-043 Enterprise Biometric Administrative Records (EBAR) System of Records https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/16/2020-04985/privacy-act-of-1 974-implementation-of-exemptions-department-of-homeland-securityall-043-enterpris e Read more: “As Governments Build Advanced Surveillance Systems to Push Borders Out, Will Travel and Migration Become Unequal for Some Groups?” https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/governments-build-advanced-surveillance-sys tems
33. 3/12/2020 Federal and State Banking Agencies Encourage Financial
Institutions to Meet Financial Needs of Customers and Members Affected by Coronavirus https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/financial-services-weekly-news-18074/
34.3/9/2020. Rule. Trump Administration to Start Collecting DNA of
Immigrants. (previously posted here as proposed rule.) See above new State Dept. meeting on biometric data-sharing. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/06/812940401/trump-administration-poised-to-start-c ollecting-dna-from-immigration-detainees Link to pdf of Rule. https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-04256.pdf https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/09/2020-04256/dna-sample-col lection-from-immigration-detainees
35. Comments Due: April 13, 2020. Affects multiple areas. FCC OFFICE OF
ECONOMICS AND ANALYTICS SEEKS COMMENT ON THE STATE OF COMPETITION IN THE COMMUNICATIONS MARKETPLACE GN Docket No. 20-60 Reply Comments Due: May 13, 2020 “The competition report may be used by the Commission to help support any proposed changes in media regulations ” http://www.insideradio.com/free/fcc-begins-biennial-review-of-the-audio-marketplace /article_9b3c856e-5df4-11ea-83b4-d7fc6825a7d2.html https://www.broadcastlawblog.com/2020/02/articles/fcc-seeks-comments-on-the-stat e-of-the-communications-marketplace-including-for-audio-and-video/
36.3/6/2020. FDA. Policy for Diagnostics Testing in Laboratories Certified To
Perform High Complexity Testing Under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments Prior to Emergency Use Authorization for Coronavirus Disease-2019 During the Public Health Emergency; Immediately in Effect Guidance for Clinical Laboratories and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Availability Read https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2020-D-0987-0008 And Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2020-D-0987-0009. This is to promote rapid testing capacity.
37. 3/5/2020. Census – Requests for nominations to two committees. Request for
Nominations of Members To Serve on the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/05/2020-04556/request-for-no minations-of-members-to-serve-on-the-national-advisory-committee-on-racial-ethnic-a
nd and https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/05/2020-04552/request-for-no minations-of-members-to-serve-on-the-census-scientific-advisory-committee
38.2/26/2020. Justice Dept. Establishes Office to Denaturalize Immigrants.
From DOJ site – no comments: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-creates-section-dedicated-denatur alization-cases. Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/us/politics/denaturalization-immigrants-justic e-department.html and for background: https://www.aila.org/advo-media/issues/all/featured-issue-denaturalization-efforts-by -uscis
39. Comments due 4/21/2020. Food Standards; General Principles and Food Standards Modernization; Reopening of the Comment Period . This is “re-opened” from 1996. When is milk “milk”? Hundreds of food categories open for revision. This is new, so not much comment yet. Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-1995-N-0062-0016 FDA Reopens Comments on Proposed Rule to Modernize Food Standards of Identity. https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/fda-reopens-comments-on-proposed-rule-40814/ and https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2019/09/02/Do-food-standards-of-identit y-need-refreshing-FDA-to-hold-public-meeting#
40.Comments due 4/28/2020. Dept. of Transportation. Defining Unfair or
Deceptive Practices. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOT-OST-2019-0182-0016. Read more: Critics: Airlines’ proposed would make regulation harder. “Consumer advocates are complaining that a regulation proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation _ at the airline industry’s urging _ would make it harder to penalize airlines for bad behavior and to adopt new rules that protect travelers.” https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/national/story/2020/feb/29/critics-airlines- proposed-would-make-regulation-harder/818761/
41. Comments due 4/28/2020. EPA seeks comment on a toxic chemical. Notice.
Trichloroethylene; Draft Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Risk Evaluation and TSCA Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) Meetings; Notice of Availability, Public Meetings, and Request for Comment. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0500-0001 Great background article from Reveal News: EPA scientists found a toxic chemical damages fetal hearts. The Trump White House rewrote their assessment. https://www.revealnews.org/article/epa-scientists-found-a-toxic-chemical-damages-fet al-hearts-the-trump-white-house-rewrote-their-assessment/ More on TSCA: https://chemicalwatch.com/99822/tsca-new-chemicals-backlog-epa-considers-unilater al-orders#overlay-strip
42. 2/24/2020. USCIS Hiring Freeze on non-asylum Immigration Officers. Not
posted in Federal Register.
43. Posted 2/28/2020. Not taking comments yet. DOT-OST-2020-0023-0001.
Dept. of Transportation; potential anti-environmental implications. Regional Infrastructure Accelerator Program. “(1) What would be an effective form of the accelerator that could influence the development of infrastructure projects, and what type of structure and authority would be required for the establishment of a regional accelerator? Are there examples of such entities from around the country and abroad, or in other sectors that could be used as a model for the Program? (2) What barriers such as regulatory, technical and institutional (public or private) would hinder implementation? What authority should the accelerator(s) have to effectively carry out its mission? “ They only want comments from people with a “role as well as knowledge and experience in developing or delivering such programs.” https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOT-OST-2020-0023-0001
44.Comments due 4/28/2020. Notice. Agency Information Collection Activities:
Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Debt Collection Financial Statement. FEMA Debt Collection. Seemingly innocuous but see CA Legislators response. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FEMA-2019-0004-0002 California lawmakers propose to ban FEMA from asking victims for money back https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/02/26/lawmakers-propose-to-ban-fema-from-as king-victims-for-money-back/
45. Posted 2/20/2020. Waiving laws for the border wall- Homeland Security. Notice. Determination Pursuant to Section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as Amended. Comments not accepted. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DHS_FRDOC_0001-1854 Read synopsis: https://www.lexisnexis.com/LegalNewsRoom/immigration/b/insidenews/posts/dhs-w aives-contract-laws-in-border-wall-push and https://fcw.com/articles/2020/02/18/dhs-waives-border-wall-wolf.aspx “The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has determined, pursuant to law, that it is necessary to waive certain laws, regulations, and other legal requirements in order to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads in the vicinity of the international land border in San Diego County, California, Imperial County, California, Yuma County, Arizona, Pima County, Arizona, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, Cochise County, Arizona, Luna County, New Mexico, Doña Ana County, New Mexico, El Paso County, Texas, Val Verde County, Texas, and Maverick County, Texas.”
46. Application deadline 4/17/2020. Rural School Achievement Program (REAP)
Action: write your representatives. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/01/24/2020-01193/application-dea dline-for-fiscal-year-2020-small-rural-school-achievement-program. Why this is noteworthy: rural schools say this will result in huge cuts to their programs. More info: https://www.mainepublic.org/post/maine-doe-warns-state-could-lose-more-1-million-f ederal-grants-rural-schools. and
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/medicare-change-houston-texas-h ospitals-billion-15042920.php. More on DeVos inept and corrupt assault on education: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2020/02/15/college-accreditation-d epartment-education-betsy-devos-south-dakota-sioux-falls/4746906002/
47. Comments due 4/30/2020. Invitation to comment on the whole regulatory process.
Meetings: Modernizing Services for Regulation Management, https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=GSA-GSA-2019-0002-0025. “GSA’s Office of Regulation Management, within OGP, is interested in conducting a dialogue with the public, including industry, special interest groups, academia, researchers, and individuals about challenges and opportunities related to the modernization of the Electronic Rulemaking Management process. The dialogue begins with this public notice and request for comment.” I would ask that they make titles informative. Sometimes “information collections” have huge ramifications; sometimes they don’t. Titles should indicate what the content is.
48. 2/6/2020. CMS announces new state Medicaid Block grants.
https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/healthy-adult-opportunity-fact-sheet?eTy pe=EmailBlastContent&eId=848785ed-4874-4511-b471-21aecc6d7476 Seen as an attempt to divert funds. The Trump Administration’s Medicaid Block Grant Guidance: Frequently Asked Questions https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/the-trump-administrations-medicaid-block-gra nt-guidance-frequently-asked-questions and Trump Administration’s Harmful Changes to Medicaid https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/trump-administrations-harmful-changes-to-me dicaid See also “Trump’s Medicaid Chief Labels Medicaid ‘Mediocre.’ Is It? https://khn.org/news/trumps-medicaid-chief-labels-medicaid-mediocre-is-it/
49. Comments due 10/09/2020. Status review. Review of Endangered Species
Act, includes plants, birds, animals. “Endangered and Threatened Species: Review of Domestic and Foreign Species that are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened, etc.” Review of species included in endangered species list. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FWS-HQ-ES-2019-0009-0001 With a focus on birds, read this commentary: “A New Bill Aims to Counter the Rollback of a Bedrock Bird Law.” a-new-bill-aims-counter-rollback-bedrock-bird-law
50. Comments extended to 6/30/2020. Extension of Comment Period for the
Port Access Route Study: Alaskan Arctic Coast. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCG-2018-1058-0022 “The Coast Guard is initiating the study to analyze current vessel patterns, predict future vessel needs, and balance the needs of all waterway users by developing and recommending vessel routing measures for the Arctic.” Needless to say, with a melting Arctic and opening up lands for fossil fuel extraction, this proposed rule should receive more comment. Thorough discussion from Friends of the Earth – affiliated website: https://www.arcticpars.org/arcticpars Read this comment from Audubon Society and Ocean Conservancy, among other organizations: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCG-2018-1058-0002 “The remoteness of the region and lack of infrastructure means that the impacts of a serious vessel accident,
especially an oil spill, could be devastating to the marine environment and the people whose lives and livelihoods depend on a healthy ocean.” BLM has already released plans to drill the Arctic Coastal Plain – elsewhere in this document.
51. Comments due 4/6/2020. Proposed rule. Use of the 5.850-5.925 GHz Band. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FCC-2020-0057-0001. You may submit comments, identified by ET Docket No. 19-138, by any of the following methods: Federal Communications Commission’s website: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/ . Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Mail: Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although the Commission continues to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission. People with Disabilities: Contact the Commission to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432. Read more: Tell The FCC What You Think About the Future of 5.9 GHz. https://insidetowers.com/cell-tower-news-tell-the-fcc-what-you-think-about-the-future -of-5-9-ghz/
52. Presidential Executive Order requiring Medicare to pay amount equal to what private insurers pay for services (rather than negotiating lower prices for Medicare recipients). Predicted to bankrupt Medicare. “(b) The Secretary, in consultation with the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, shall submit to the President, through the Assistants to the President for Domestic and Economic Policy, a report within 180 days from the date of this order that identifies approaches to modify Medicare FFS payments to more closely reflect the prices paid for services in MA and the commercial insurance market, to encourage more robust price competition, and otherwise to inject market pricing into Medicare FFS reimbursement.” https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-protecting-improvin g-medicare-nations-seniors/ When it is a proposed rule, will be posted here. Read more: https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-10-04/hiltzik-trump-medicare; https://khn.org/news/trump-speech-offers-dizzying-preview-of-his-health-care-campai gn-strategy/.
Section I – ICE, DHS, DOL, NLRB
1. 1/4/2020. DHS, USCIS, CBP, ICE Share Data With Census After Trump’s
Executive Order https://www.npr.org/2020/01/04/793325772/to-produce-citizenship-data-homeland-se curity-to-share-records-with-census DHS web post: https://www.dhs.gov/publication/dhsallpia-079-department-homeland-security-dhs-im migration-related-information-sharing
2. The Outlook On Immigration In 2020: Important article from Forbes.
3. Proposed regulation on specialized knowledge and H-1B visas. Strengthening the L-1
Nonimmigrant Classification https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201910&RIN=1615-AC45 H-4 EAD: March 2020 is the target date for a proposed rule to rescind an existing regulation that allows many spouses of H-1B visa holders (H-4s) to work on employment authorization documents (EADs). The administration cited such a rule in response to a lawsuit. If the rule is published, expect many comments, which will delay publication of a final rule, and litigation that seeks an injunction to block the regulation should it become final. (See here for additional background.) https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201910&RIN=1615-AC15 Here is the Notice Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H- 1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap- Subject Aliens No comments accepted https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCIS-2019-0014-0001 AILA article on this new process: https://www.aila.org/advo-media/issues/all/h1b-registration-tool
4. From 9/26/2019. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services officials are planning to change all references of the term “foreign national” to “alien” in the agency’s policy manual. Read more here: https://www.aila.org/infonet/tracking-uscis-policy-manual-changes and here: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/immigration-uscis-foreign-nation al-alien. Write your representative.
Section II – EPA, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION – ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY
1. 2/11/2020. Interior Announces Region-Wide Oil and Gas Lease Sale for Gulf of Mexico – All Available Areas in Federal Waters. No comments. Write your legislators. Two items. https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/interior-announces-region-wide-oil-an d-gas-lease-sale-gulf-mexico-2 In the Federal Register: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/12/2020-02717/gulf-of-mexico- outer-continental-shelf-ocs-oil-and-gas-lease-sale-254 and https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/12/2020-02716/gulf-of-mexico- outer-continental-shelf-region-wide-oil-and-gas-lease-sale-254 Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/12/trumps-legacy-drilled-public -lands-and-the-resulting-carbon-emissions and Wilderness Society article as pdf: https://www.wilderness.org/sites/default/files/media/file/TWS_The%20Climate%20R eport%202020_Greenhouse%20Gas%20Emissions%20from%20Public%20Lands_new. pdf
2. 2/12/2020. Trump’s EPA Safe car emissions failure. How Trump Boxed the EPA
Out of a Major Climate Regulation Rollback. The Trump administration’s attempt to kill one of America’s strongest climate policies has been a complete debacle. https://www.govexec.com/oversight/2020/02/how-trump-boxed-epa-out-major-climat e-regulation-rollback/163062/
3. 2/5/2020. Utah Federal Lands: Bear Ears National Monument and Grand
Staircase Escalante – shrinking national monuments. Bureau of Land Management
published blueprint. Due to earthquake and COVID-19 Emergency, the office is close. But there is an artist deadline (!) https://www.blm.gov/get-involved/artist-in-residence/air-sites Petition link below. https://www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-restores-access-blueprint-managing-national- monuments-and-public-lands-utah. “A plan that permits mining, drilling, and grazing on previously protected national monuments in Utah. In December 2017, President Trump shrank two national monuments in Utah, the Bear Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase Escalante, by 85 percent and 46 percent respectively. These monuments were of historical and cultural significance to many communities, especially Native American nations and scientists. Simultaneously, they also harbored valuable coal, oil, gas, and grazing lands. According to New York Times, together, these moves were the largest rollback of public lands protection in U.S. history. On 6th February 2020, the Department of Interior published blueprints that finalized plans to allow mining, drilling, and grazing on these previously protected lands.” https://www.brookings.edu/interactives/tracking-deregulation-in-the-trump-era/ Read more from NRDC: https://www.nrdc.org/onearth/shrinking-bears-ears-and-grand-staircase-escalante-tru mps-monumental-mistake. Take Action: https://act.nrdc.org/letter/4682-national-monuments-200207?source=WBSNMOPET &_ga=2.141382834.1818402474.1581882207-1860121897.1581882207
4. Sept 9, 2019. Plan. (No comment section). National Petroleum Reserve in
Alaska Integrated Activity Plan Bureau of Land Management plan to open Alaska Coastal Plain to oil and petroleum exploration and drilling. BLM eplanning site Alaska Coastal Plain National Petroleum Reserve https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodN ame=renderDefaultPlanOrProjectSite&projectId=117408 Read more here: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/reports/2019/09/10/474256/vast-liq uidation-public-lands-underway-alaska/ Leasing site: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends_ch4/ https://www.ecowatch.com/trump-alaska-refuge-oil-drilling-2640355340.html and https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/09/travel/alaska-arctic-national-wildlife-refuge.ht ml
5. Update 12/23/2019: California to consider zero-emissions vehicles.
https://www.greencarcongress.com/2019/12/20191223-carbzev.html / 9/6/2019 EPA, NHTSA, and DOJ threaten California Air Resources Board and automakers for auto-emissions standard, politicizing EPA and DOJ in anti-environment move. NHTSA: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2018-0067-12444 EPA letter to CA: https://www.epa.gov › documents › epa.dot_puts_california_on_notice.pdf and DOJ story here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/justice-dept-launches-antitrus t-probe-of-automakers-over-their-fuel-efficiency-deal-with-california/2019/09/06/29a 22ee6-d0c7-11e9-b29b-a528dc82154a_story.html?noredirect=on. “California officials, who have repeatedly asserted the state’s rights under the 1970 Clean Air Act, criticized the inquiry as politicization to impose the Republican president’s policies.” Read more
here: https://www.greencarcongress.com/2019/09/20190919-onerule.html . Other federal announcements pertaining to CA auto emissions standards: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/trump-administration-announces-one-national-pro gram-rule-federal-preemption-state-fuel and https://www.nhtsa.gov/corporate-average-fuel-economy/safe and https://www.nhtsa.gov/document/safe-vehicles-rule-part-1-fr-notice-09192019 Comment email addresses for EPA officials by area: Email addresses for EPA https://www.epa.gov/dockets/where-send-comments-epa-dockets#regional
6. Multiple items posted undoing the Clean Air Act piecemeal. “NESHAP” is
“National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.” https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/risk-and-technology-review-nati onal-emissions-standards-hazardous . This link shows postings and comment dates: https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/risk-and-technology-review-nati onal-emissions-standards-hazardous#status Read more here, including a good explanation of how this works: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/miscellaneous-coating-manufacturing-20449/ and https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/municipal-solid-waste-landfills-neshap-65928/
7. Posted February 2020. Allowing more toxic substances. Notice. Certain New
Chemicals or Significant New Uses; EPA proposed significant new uses of toxic chemicals. Comments due 3/25/2020. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/24/2020-02892/significant-new -use-rules-on-certain-chemical-substances-20-2b . Read more here: https://news.bloombergenvironment.com/environment-and-energy/epa-shifts-timeline -for-chemical-risk-evaluations and http://blogs.edf.org/health/2019/08/08/trump-epa-caves-again-to-industry-demands- on-new-chemicals-and-workers-pay-the-price/ and https://chemicalwatch.com/84049/epa-proposes-26-tsca-significant-new-use-rules#ov erlay-strip
8. July 14, 2019 Multiple BLM Notices and Proposed Rules with links to
comment pages. Constantly updated. https://www.esa.org/public-policy/stay-informed/federal-register-opportu nities/
9. July 14, 2019 Multiple Ozone Standards – EPA is doing this state-by-state.
10. Comments must be received on or before midnight EDT September 25, 2020.
Exposure of Underground Miners to Diesel Exhaust Request for Information; reopening of the rulemaking record for public comments. Because of comments, comment period extended to Sept. 25, 2020. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=MSHA-2014-0031-0185 Federal Register version comment period ends 09/25/2020 https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/03/25/2019-05443/exposure-of-und
erground-miners-to-diesel-exhaust Update – “The comment period for the request for information, published on June 8, 2016 (81 FR 36826), which was scheduled to close on March 26, 2019 (58 FR 12904) is extended. An important comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=MSHA-2014-0031-0180 “This reopened RFI takes into account information originally gathered and shared from NIOSH, NCI, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which shows a correlation to exposure to diesel exhaust, a classified human carcinogen, and negative impact on miners health (Exposure of Underground Miners to Diesel Exhaust, 81 Fed. Reg. 110, 36826-36827 (June 8, 2016). On page 36827, stakeholders, MSHA, and the Diesel Exhaust Health Effects Partnership (Partnership) decided that more research and complex questions needed to be gathered and answered before allowing miners to continue working in DPM in the air. Potential for new technology and stricter standards that are in compliance with EPA DPM standards. “https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=MSHA-2014-0031-0182 And this study: https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/press-releases/2012/DieselMinersPressRelease
11. 2019 BLM oil and gas lease sales – still for sale. Website listing upcoming sales:
https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/nepa/nepa_register.do And the site doing the selling where you can buy leases starting at $2 and acre: https://www.energynet.com/govt_listing.plSee the calendar of government leases sales here: https://www.energynet.com/calendar.pl
12. BLM’s own e-planningsite:
Section III – CIVIL RIGHTS, TITLE IX, HEALTH, EDUCATION, FOOD, BANKING, HOUSING and FCC
1. Posted 1/27/2020. From HUD – Imposing additional restrictions on aid to
Puerto Rico. “Allocations, Common Application, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements for Community Development Block Grant Mitigation Grantees; Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Allocation.” Notice-Action. Not accepting comments. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/01/27/2020-01334/allocations-com mon-application-waivers-and-alternative-requirements-for-community-development-bl ock Read more: https://www.theweeklyjournal.com/business/more-restrictions-to-puerto-rico-s-aid-rai se-questions/article_d7810692-3ca4-11ea-a868-cba9a436a6ce.html. Background on U.S. withholding aid to Puerto Rico: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-trump-refuses-aid-puerto-rico-earthq uakes-20200109-leu5ushanzcnlehtnqucr6btze-story.html and from Representative Velazquez: “Congress approved this disaster relief almost two years ago and these ongoing delays speak to the Administration’s disdain for the people of Puerto Rico.” https://velazquez.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/vel-zquez-release-hud-puerto -rico-funds
2. Posted 1/27/2020. Notice. No comment. HUD disaster relief. Allocations,
Common Application, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements for Disaster
Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Grantees, https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/01/27/2020-01204/allocations-com mon-application-waivers-and-alternative-requirements-for-disaster-community HUD’s program funds slow to reach applicants because of “the bureaucratic knot that governs disaster relief funds administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.” https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/25/florida-sits-on-900m-in-aid-while-storm- victims-wait-103629
3. Comments due 3/11/2020. CMS rolls out basic health plan funding. Basic Health
Program; Federal Funding Methodology for Program Year 2021. Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CMS-2020-0011-0001 https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/10/2020-02472/basic-health-pr ogram-federal-funding-methodology-for-program-year-2021. Impact unknown but some states responding to federal ACA cuts: Adopting a State-Based Health Insurance Marketplace Poses Risks and Challenges. https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/adopting-a-state-based-health-insurance-mark etplace-poses-risks-and-challenges 4. 1/22/2020. DOJ Announcement. Attorney General William P. Barr Announces the
Establishment of the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice “ – to address, among other things,
· Refusals by State and local prosecutors to enforce laws or prosecute categories of
· The need to promote public confidence and respect for the law and law enforcement officers; https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-william-p-barr-announces-establish ment-presidential-commission-law Raising concerns with the NAACP: https://www.naacpldf.org/press-release/the-doj-announces-details-of-the-presidents-la w-enforcement-commission-reaffirming-the-civil-rights-concerns-around-its-establish ment
5. October, 2019. Medicaid work requirements – effect on states. From Center
on Budget and Policy Priorities: https://www.cbpp.org/health/states-experiences-confirming-harmful-effec ts-of-medicaid-work-requirements One in a string of proposals, analyzed here: https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/understanding-the-intersection-of-medicaid- and-work-what-does-the-data-say/ and https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/medicaid-waiver-tracker-approved-and-pend ing-section-1115-waivers-by-state/
6. Coming as a proposed regulation. From June: Proposal to recalculate how the
Federal government calculates poverty rates so as to reduce benefits to poor people. This was a notice – proposed rule will follow sometime. I’m putting this here as a place-holder because it’s coming. This notice received thousands of comments. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OMB-2019-0002-0001 Article about it here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/07/us/politics/trump-poverty-level-proposal.htm
7. lExtending Medicaid provisions: Some include work-requirements. These
are by state. Some have comments open – usual time period is one month. Those with open comments are at the top of the list. Some good news: https://khn.org/morning-breakout/medicaid-expansion-becoming-more-politically-pal atable-as-link-to-obama-administration-fades-in-peoples-minds / https://public.medicaid.gov/connect.ti/public.comments/whatsNew
8. Not posted as a regulation but followed as policy. State Medicaid block
grants. Many view this as a way to cut Medicaid to individuals. Also see link to state updates above. https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/medicaid-what-to-watch-in-2019-from-the-a dministration-congress-and-the-states/ Tracking info: https://www.kff.org/health-reform/fact-sheet/tracking-section-1332-state-innovation- waivers/ Kaiser Health News take here: https://khn.org/news/block-grants-medicaid-faq/
Other: More on regulations – tracking the trackers and general information
Federal Government Sites:
2. Overview of Trump Regulatory actions: See White House Complete Government
“Reform” plan – it is sweeping and alarming: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Government-Reform-and-R eorg-Plan.pdf and their regulations office: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-regulatory-affairs/
3. Tracking regulations by Agency and Industry:
4. USCIS Federal Register Announcements:
Link to Tracking the Trackers – websites providing updates, data, and links.
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