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.
(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 – regulations are still a moving target as some are extended or suspended, supposedly temporarily – it’s difficult to keep track of. Ending soon are two items related to the National Environmental Policy Act – one from EPA, the other from Dept of Energy. The entire act was recently up for comment, you will remember. New – besides more COVID-19-related items, are Rodenticide review – yes, they’re back. They do this every year. Also new – Endangered Mexican wolves. And USDA food policy relating to aid to farmers – will this round go to Ag-business again? Work requirements for food-stamp recipients, and more.
1. 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-curre ntly-approved-information-collection-comment-request-the-environmental-questionnair e
2. Posted 3/31/2020. Notice. DOT-OST-2020-0023-0002. Dept. of Transportation; Regional Infrastructure Accelerator Program. Slated to close 30 days after posting but still open for comment. Potential anti-environmental implications.“The Build America Bureau (the Bureau) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (Department or DOT) is seeking input from interested parties with the intent to gather as much information as possible before implementing the 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.” Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOT-OST-2020-0023-0002 Good article on infrastructure planning from NextCity: https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/building-infrastructure-that-reflects-our-values
3. Comments due 6/1/2020 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-polluta nt-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.”
4. Comments due 6/1/2020. Dept. Of Energy Proposed Rule. National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures – applies to natural gas import and export. Only a 30-day comment period – loophole for LNG or Liquid Natural Gas Exports . “opponents of natural gas exports may find it more difficult — should this proposal be finalized as offered — to argue that adverse environmental effects outweigh the economic benefits of exporting the commodity, as they have attempted to argue on judicial review.” Read more at https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/natural-gas/050820- doe-proposes-regulation-to-keep-nepa-reviews-limited-for-lng-exports Read it and comment at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOE-HQ-2020-0017-0001 See als0 #1 under Section II Environmental & BLM new postings on Bureau of Land Management NEPA implementation. (Not accepting comments.)
5. Comments due 5/26/2020. Multiple requests to Export Domestically Produced Natural Gas. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOE_FRDOC_0001-3981; https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOE_FRDOC_0001-3980
6. Comment period now extended to 7/19/2020. 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.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OLEM-2019-0361-0001 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/ and https://earthjustice.org/features/coal-ash-contamination-georgia-groundwater; 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/
7. 5/27/2020. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Notice of Hearing. Commission Agenda and Priorities – a public hearing concerning the Commission’s agenda and priorities for fiscal years 2021 and 2022. All attendees should pre-register for the Webinar. To pre-register for the Webinar, please visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/ register/ 3513228129651454990 and fill in the information. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Detailed instructions for the hearing participants and other interested parties will be made available on the CPSC website on the public calendar: https://cpsc.gov/ newsroom/ public-calendar. The FY 2021 Budget Request can be found at: http://www.cpsc.gov/ about-cpsc/ agency-reports/ performance-and-budget.
8. 4/15/2020. Traveling by Air with Service Animals. As of 5/23 still accepting comments post-deadline. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOT-OST-2018-0068-12959
9. Comments now due 6/5/2020. 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 and “Notices” have no explanatory information in the title.
10. Comments due 6/5/2020. Agency Information Collection Activities; New Collection: Sponsor Deeming and Agency Reimbursement. Immigration – allows USCIS to collect information from federal aid-granting agencies. Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCIS-2019-0026-0024 Read more: “USCIS is not authorized to use the SAVE system to collect information from benefits-granting agencies “ from NY Immigration Coalition comment: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCIS-2019-0026-0014
11. Comments due 6/7/2020. Federal Wildlife Refuges Proposed Rule. 2020-2021 Station-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations. Opens National Wildlife Refuges to sport hunting and fishing. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FWS-HQ-NWRS-2020-0013-0001 Docket ID: FWS-HQ-NWRS-2020-0013-0001. Article about – https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/trump-hunting-wildlife-reserve-environm ent-animals-refuge-fish-a9460196.html and https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/2020/04/massive-hunting-fishing -expansion-would-open-up-oregon-wildlife-refuges.html
12.Comments extended to 6/17/2020. Corollary to the original Trump proposal to put work requirements on SNAP recipients. Employment and Training Opportunities in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Original proposal: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FNS-2019-0008-0001 Extension: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/18/2020-10536/employment-and -training-opportunities-in-the-supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-extension-of 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-foo d-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-stamp -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 Also see https://civileats.com/2020/04/13/what-more-states-allowing-snap-recipients-to-buy-fo od-online-means-for-food-security/ and https://time.com/5836504/usda-snap-appeal-rule-change/
13. Comments due 6/1/2020. Meetings: 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FNS-2019-0001-6698 and read more with link to petition: https://beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/2020/04/tell-usda-that-organic-production -matters-to-nutrition-guidelines/ Petition: https://secure.everyaction.com/TcySKaLEJU6qqZyvRQv9TQ2?emci=be2c0951-7b81-ea1 1-a94c-00155d03b1e8&emdi=ea000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&ceid=
14. 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/
15. Comments due June 1, 2020. Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency CMS-1744-IFC Display. Involves loosening some regulations, allowing telehealth, fee schedules, and more. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CMS-2020-0032-0013 Read more: https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/dorm-rooms-as-hospitals-er-telehealth-cms-crea tes-unprecedented-flexibi/575174/
16. Comments due 6/15/2020. Management of Acute and Chronic Pain: Request for Comment https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CDC-2020-0029-0001 CDC seeking comment on using opiods for pain. Article about here: https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2020/4/19/cdc-seeking-comment-from-pain -stakeholders
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-updated daily- useful resource and overview: https://coronavirus.skoposlabs.com/ Regulations are toward the bottom. Also see all pending regulatory “requests for information open for comment” here: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. More than 126 Federal employees have died of coronavirus: https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2020/05/these-federal-agencies-have-seen-most- covid-19-deaths/165578/ See also (5/1/2020) More Than 10,000 Federal Employees Have Contracted COVID-19 https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2020/04/more-10000-federal-employees-have-c ontracted-covid-19/164986/ See suspended and temporary immigration actions here: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/immigration-updates-may-2020-80219/ and https://baylegal.org/homepage/baylegals-covid-19-response/immigration-measures-in- response-to-covid-19/ See Immigration notices open for comment: https://www.aila.org/advo-media/submit-feedback-notices-requests-for-comment. Environmental protections relaxed under cover of COVID-19: https://www.ecowatch.com/trump-dismantles-environmental-protections-under-cover -of-coronavirus-2645989316.html?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2 and, generally, https://www.ewg.org/release/epa-chief-environmental-and-public-health-rollbacks-ma ke-things-better
3. Pandemic Emergency COVID-19. 481 Notices, Actions and Proposed Rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency posted in the last 30 days (up to 5/24/2020). These range from finance to employment to EPA, the CARES Act, and more. https://www.regulations.gov/searchResults?rpp=25&po=0&s=coronavirus&fp=true&dc t=FR%2BPR%2BN%2BO&np=30 Read more regarding healthcare: https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/19/9-ways-covid-19-forever-upend-health-care/ and regarding environment: https://earthjustice.org/blog/2020-may/justice-in-the-time-of-two-crises-covid-and-cli mate-change?utm and https://earthjustice.org/features/lawyering-in-time-of-covid
4. Comments due 6/20/2020. EPA Proposed Rule. Guidance: Administrative Procedures for Issuance and Public Petitions. Major implications for how the EPA listens to, or doesn’t regard, public input on policy t0 include “cost-benefit analysis” of environmental regulation. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2020-0128-0001 Read more: How a revised calculation could hurt future climate rules https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063128561 and https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/epa-proposes-rule-to-improve-83492/
5. Comments due 7/6/2020. EPA Notice. Pesticide Registration Review: Draft Human Health and/or Ecological Risk Assessments for Several Rodenticides: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0139-0019 Much has been written about how anticoagulant rodenticides endanger wildlife. Read more: https://islandconnectionnews.com/bobcats-and-deer/
6. Comments due 8/20/2020. FTC Proposed Rule. Health Breach Notification. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC-2020-0045-0001 Should companies have to notify you of a breach of your personal health information that they collect? “For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 20, 2020. Please write “Health Breach Notification Rule, 16 CFR part 318, Project No. P205405” on the comment.” Shouldn’t HIPPA cover this? Read more: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/health-law-and-business/ftc-seeks-input-on-health-da ta-breach-notification-rule
7. Comments due 6/22/2020. Funding Availability: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Additional Commodities Request for Information. USDA financial assistance for farms hurt during the coronavirus pandemic. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FSA-2020-0004-0003 Will the USDA aid go to agribusiness as previous bailouts have done or help struggling farms? Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/government-has-earmarked-billions-hel p-farmers-there-will-be-winners-n1209346 and from Environmental Working Group: https://www.ewg.org/agmag/2020/05/usda-pandemic-bailout-funds-will-go-largest-w ealthiest-farms
8. Comments due 6/15/2020. Proposed Rule. Notice of intent to prepare a supplement to an environmental impact statement. Mexican Wolves. In response to a court order regarding introduction of endangered Mexican Wolves in the Southwest. “We will make a new essentiality determination for the experimental population of Mexican wolves in the MWEPA under section 10(j) of the Act. We are interested in feedback from the public and our partners on the benefits or potential impacts to the Mexican wolf or the public and our partners of an “essential” versus “nonessential” designation.” https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FWS-R2-ES-2020-0007-0001 Read more: https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/new-mexico-wolf-pack-destroye d-after-alpha-female-killed-yearling-flees-2020-05-20/
9. Comments due 6/15/2020. Funeral Industry Practices Rule. Proposed Rule. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FTC-2020-0014-0001 Should Consumer protections be strengthened? Should prices be posted? Should overpricing be prohibited? Timely measure in light of COVID-19. See 24 Attorneys General response here: https://www.michigan.gov/som/0,4669,7-192-47796-528176–,00.html
10. 3/17/2020. COVID-29 Testing Policy. Given the unreliable nature of some tests, important guidance. 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-0987-0012 and https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2020-D-0987-0009; Read more: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/fda-increases-scrutiny-of-covid-19-75106/ and https://www.law360.com/articles/1272112/the-way-forward-for-covid-19-testing-in-the -us
11. Posted 5/13/2020. Comments not accepted. Determination Pursuant to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act; Correction. Homeland Security forgot to include Tucson in the areas covered by the border wall. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DHS-2020-0004-0002 Read more about the border wall and communities that have acted: https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/border_wall/index.html Ranchers oppose – https://www.rdrnews.com/2020/05/04/county-seeks-larger-role-in-mexican-wolf-pop ulation-plan/
12. 5/14/2020. H-2B visas. Homeland Security Temporary Rule, no comments allowed. Temporary Changes to Requirements Affecting H-2B Nonimmigrants Due to the COVID-19 National Emergency. Allows employment of employees with pending applications. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/14/2020-10486/temporary-chan ges-to-requirements-affecting-h-2b-nonimmigrants-due-to-the-covid-19-national and https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-2b-temporary-non -agricultural-workers. Read more https://www.aila.org/infonet/dhs-announces-temporary-changes-to-h-2b However, this is coming: They Lost Their Jobs. Now They May Have to Leave the U.S. The Trump administration is unlikely to allow laid-off holders of H-1B and other work visas to extend their stay in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/12/us/foreign-workers-visas-immigrants.html?sm typ=cur&smid=tw-nytnational
13. 4/28/2020. Trump uses Defense Production Act to designate meatpackers as critical infrastructure. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-delegating-authority -dpa-respect-food-supply-chain-resources-national-emergency-caused-outbreak-covid-1 9/ Meanwhile CDC: Nearly 5,000 Meat Processors Infected by COVID-19 -At least 20 employees have died, new data from federal government shows, http://www.feedandgrain.com/news/cdc-nearly-5000-meat-processors-infected-by-cov id-19 and multiple unions oppose the action: https://apnews.com/2469fda933b534024c72f1bcf43af593 and Federal Inspectors Decry Lack of Transparency on Meat Plant Coronavirus Outbreaks -The agency has also stopped taking questions from employees, inspectors say. 4 USDA inspectors have died of coronavirus. https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2020/05/federal-inspectors-decry-lack-transpare ncy-meat-plant-coronavirus-outbreaks/165451/ Recent news about: 5/15/2020 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/15/us-coronavirus-meat-packing-plan ts-food and a lawsuit: https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/6009/food-safety-and-worker-adv ocacy-organizations-file-legal-action-to-implement-mandatory-worker-safety-standards -at-meatpacking-facilities
14. COVID-19. United States Postal Service (USPS). Trump appoints donor to head agency as “More than 2,000 postal employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and 46 have died from related symptoms. ” https://www.govexec.com/management/2020/05/new-postmaster-general-met-tepid-r esponse-mailers-employees/165226/ Read more: https://www.govexec.com/management/2020/05/usps-board-again-loses-its-quorum- amid-further-leadership-turmoil/165372/ as 3% of the USPS workforce has tested positive for coronavirus: https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2020/05/usps-tests-new-ways-protect-employee s-coronavirus/165514/
15. To be published 5/29/2020. Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) Proposed Rule (CMS-1735-P). https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/29/2020-10122/medicare-progr ams-hospital-inpatient-prospective-payment-systems-for-acute-care-hospitals-and-the CMS’s explanation: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/fiscal-year-fy-2021-medicare-hospital-inp atient-prospective-payment-system-ipps-and-long-term-acute Some preliminary analysis and comment: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/cms-releases-fy-2021-medicare-ipps-and-74921/ https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/cms-proposed-inpatient-payment-rul e-for-2021-8-things-to-know.html ; https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/cms-releases-fy-2021-inpatient-46607/; and https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/finance/2021-ipps-proposed-rule-cms-proposes- increased-payment-rates-new-ms-drg-car-t Expect more analysis in the coming weeks, especially on the long-term care funding.
16. Comments due 7/27/2020. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Emergency Preparedness for Small Modular Reactors and Other New Technologies; Proposed Rule. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NRC-2015-0225-0071. “NRC FLOATS NEW SMALL REACTOR EMERGENCY RULES: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday proposed alternative emergency preparedness requirements for new nuclear plant designs such as light water reactors and small modular reactors. The new proposal would reduce the size of emergency planning zones that plants must set aside around their reactors, which currently stands at 10 miles for existing nuclear plants.” https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-energy/2020/05/14/house-tees-up-vot e-without-clean-energy-787599 “NRC Commissioner Jeff Baran objected to the proposal as “a radical departure from more than 40 years of radiological emergency planning” in comments accompanying the proposal.” https://www.utilitydive.com/news/nrc-commissioner-blasts-proposed-emergency-prep aredness-rules-for-smrs-as-a/577827/
17. Posted 5/11/2020, Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P., Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, LP; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order. Pipeline to enable LNG Exports – Oregon. “The Jordan Cove LNG project is a proposal to transport fracked gas from the Rockies and Canada across southern Oregon to Coos Bay where it will be turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a giant new terminal, put on large tankers and sent overseas. A 36-inch fracked gas pipeline called Pacific Connector would travel 229 miles from Malin to Coos Bay, cutting through Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos counties. From the text: “Petition for Declaratory Order (Petition) finding that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality waived its authority to issue certification for the Jordan Cove LNG Terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act” – You can comment by putting your information in at https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx – they will send you a comment link. To comment, put docket #s Docket Nos. CP17-495-003 and CP17-494-003 in the heading. Read it here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/11/2020-10003/jordan-cove-ene rgy-project-lp-pacific-connector-gas-pipeline-lp-notice-of-petition-for-declaratory and read about it here: https://www.nolngexports.org/ Suggestions for comment: 30 days is not enough time; federal regulators should not elevate corporations over state and local environmental concerns.
18. 5/18/2020. Rule. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Movement of Certain Genetically Engineered Organisms. “These regulations govern the introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment) of certain genetically engineered (GE) organisms.” Also known as The Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient (SECURE) Rule. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/18/2020-10638/movement-of-c ertain-genetically-engineered-organisms Makes it easier to distribute GMOs. There is pushback: “Center for Food Safety senior attorney Sylvia Wu said in a statement Friday that the USDA was trying to use a needed update to an outdated set of rules to push through yet another industry-friendly policy that could have ramifications for the country’s food supply.” https://progressivepartyusa.com/progressive-news/anything-but-secure-advocates-dec ry-usda-rule-allowing-big-ag-to-set-its-own-regulations-on-gmos/ and https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/usda-modernizes-30-year-old-genetic-engi neering-rule/
19. 5/18/2020. CDC Reorganization and redefinition of roles. Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/18/2020-10598/statement-of-or ganization-functions-and-delegations-of-authority Expect more comment in the coming weeks given CDC’s performance during the pandemic.
20. Comments due 7/7/2020. Notice. Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status: Bayer/Monsanto; Maize Genetically Engineered for Dicamba, Glufosinate, Quizalofop, and 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid Tolerance with Tissue-specific Glyphosate Tolerance Facilitating the Production of Hybrid Maize Seed – involves engineering glyphosate [RoundUP] tolerance facilitating the production of hybrid maize seed. Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=APHIS-2020-0021-0001
21. Comments due 6/10/2020. EPA Proposed Rule. Leaves out neurotoxin methyl bromide as candidate for regulation. Preliminary Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Fourth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List. Read it and comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0583-0001. Read more about how this affects one state: https://portcitydaily.com/local-news/2020/05/01/deep-dive-part-i-wilmington-reside nts-never-told-about-toxic-substance-used-next-door/ and https://portcitydaily.com/local-news/2020/05/02/deep-dive-part-ii-with-little-regulati on-over-half-of-new-hanover-county-may-be-overexposed-to-a-toxic-chemical/ General article about: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/environmental-protection-agency-extends-49176/
22. Comments due 6/29/2020. EPA Proposed Rule (1 of 2) refusing to regulate soot, among other particulates. Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0072-0069 Read critique here: Unbelievable’ Timing: As Coronavirus Rages, Trump Disregards Advice to Tighten Clean Air Rules. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/climate/coronavirus-soot-clean-air-regulations. html and https://theconversation.com/epa-decides-to-reject-the-latest-science-endanger-public- health-and-ignore-the-law-by-keeping-an-outdated-fine-particle-air-pollution-standard -136226
23. Comments due 7/27/2020. Proposed Rules, Small Business Administration. List of Rules To Be Reviewed Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Sweeping Proposed Rules to review Obama-era small business regulations, impacting minority, women and veteran-owned businesses, among others. “SBA is seeking comment on whether the rules should be continued without change, amended, or rescinded.” https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=SBA-2020-0017-0001 and https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=SBA-2020-0018-0001
24. Comments due 6/29/2020. EPA Proposed Rule: Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA_FRDOC_0001-25354. Read more: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/epa-scientists-said-us-should-tighten-key -air-pollution-limit-agency-s-head-just-said and see articles above.
25. Comments due 6/23/2020. HHS OIG Proposed Rule. Grants, Contracts, And Other Agreements: Fraud and Abuse; Information Blocking; Office of Inspector General’s Civil Money Penalty Rules. Read it and comment here. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=HHSIG-2020-0001-0001. You may recall that Trump fired the HHS IG. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/01/us/politics/trump-health-department-watchdo g.html Read more about proposed rule here: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/oig-penalties-expand-to-grant-and-97111/ and https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/oig-proposed-rule-on-civil-money-75068/
26. Comments due 8/02/2020. Request for Information-Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, Chaired by the National Science Foundation; Extension of Public Comment Period. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/27/2020-08857/request-for-inf ormation-interagency-arctic-research-policy-committee-chaired-by-the-national-scienc e Email comments to IARPCPlan@nsf.gov. Send written submissions to Roberto Delgado, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314. Stated goals – one might ask how these comport with all the plans to drill in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and other degradations proposed for the Arctic by the U.S.:
* Enhance understanding of health determinants and improve the well-being of Arctic residents; * Advance process and system understanding of the changing Arctic Start Printed Page 19032atmospheric composition and dynamics and the resulting changes to surface energy budgets; * Enhance understanding and improve predictions of the changing Arctic sea ice cover; * Increase understanding of the structure and function of Arctic marine ecosystems and their role in the climate system and advance predictive capabilities; * Understand and project the mass balance of glaciers, ice caps, and the Greenland Ice Sheet, and their consequences for sea level rise; * Advance understanding of processes controlling permafrost dynamics and the impacts on ecosystems, infrastructure, and climate feedbacks; * Advance an integrated, landscape-scale understanding of Arctic terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and the potential for future change;
* Strengthen coastal community resilience and advance stewardship of coastal natural and cultural resources by engaging in research related to the interconnections of people, and natural and built environments; and * Enhance frameworks for environmental intelligence gathering, interpretation, and application toward decision support. The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) website: https://www.iarpccollaborations.org/arctic-research-plan-2022-2026.html
27. Comments due 6/12/2020. Proposed rule allowing firearms on Army Corps of Engineers projects – includes lots of waterways. Rules and Regulations Governing Public Use of Water Resource Development Projects Administered by the Chief of Engineers. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=COE-2018-0008-0001 Read more: https://www.newsweek.com/army-corps-engineers-hunting-firearms-1500156 and from gun ownership group: https://www.ammoland.com/2020/04/trump-administration-to-abolish-one-of-americ as-biggest-gun-free-zones/#axzz6KjgDdOlT
28. Comments due 7/02/2020. Carbaryl and Methomyl Registration Review; Draft Endangered Species Act Biological Evaluations; Extension of Comment Period. EPA weakens protections. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/27/2020-08877/carbaryl-and-m ethomyl-registration-review-draft-endangered-species-act-biological-evaluations Read more from Center for Biological Diversity: “Today’s assessments of carbaryl and methomyl were the result of extensive litigation and the EPA reaching a legal settlement with the Center in which it committed to assess the risks that eight of the nation’s most harmful pesticides pose to protected plants and animals. To date the EPA has never once implemented a nationwide Endangered Species Act consultation on pesticides, as required under the Act.” https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/rump-epas-new-rules-for-assessi ng-pesticide-risks-ignore-many-harms-to-endangered-species-2020-03-12/
29. 4/27/2020 Rule. Delays Real ID requirement for one year to October 2021. Minimum Standards for Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards Acceptable by Federal Agencies for Official Purposes. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/27/2020-08481/minimum-stan dards-for-drivers-licenses-and-identification-cards-acceptable-by-federal-agencies-for “DHS takes this action without prior notice and public comment.”
30. Comments due 9/18/2020.USDA Proposed Rule. Identifying Regulatory Reform Initiatives. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USDA-2017-0002-0001 Comments are all over the place, some slamming Ag. Sec. Perdue, others advocating less CO2 or less regulation. Still it is an opportunity to advocate for farmworker protections, sustainable agriculture and organic methods and to end factory-farming an use of GMOs.
31. Federal COVID-19 responses in the news. Many actions are policy decisions not posted on regulations.gov. Note: Trump administration has posted hundreds COVID-19-related notices and proposals in the last 60 days. See below:
● 4/17/2020. Why Is Trump Gutting Regulations That Save Lives? Smart safeguards, designed by specialists, protect public health and safety. Cass R. Sunstein https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/17/opinion/coronavirus-trump-regulations.ht ml?referringSource=articleShare
● 4/18/2020. White House moves to weaken EPA rule on toxic compounds ” [Delaware Sen. Tom] Carper wrote to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Friday to object to the White House push for weakening of the rule, newly revealed in the documents. Carper said it appeared that Beck, who was moved to the White House from a top regulatory job at the Trump EPA, “sought to make it more difficult for EPA to use its authority … to protect Americans from these harmful substances.’ ” https://www.columbiadailyherald.com/news/20200418/white-house-moves-to-we aken-epa-rule-on-toxic-compounds See EPA Announces Enforcement Discretion Policy for COVID-19 Pandemic https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-enforcement-discretion-policy-c ovid-19-pandemic Read more: https://www.environmentalleader.com/2020/03/epa-pollution-rules-pandemic/ and https://environmentamerica.org/news/ame/more-dozen-attorneys-general-deman d-epa-rescind-pandemic-polluter-policy and https://yubanet.com/world/covid-19-environmental-roll-back-irrational-and-irresp onsible-rights-expert/
● 4/17/2020 VA Instructs Coronavirus-Exposed Staff to Continue Working, Places Those Who Don’t in AWOL Status “This is the absolute worst-case scenario of anything I have ever experienced in my nursing career,” according to one registered nurse.” https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2020/04/va-instructs-coronavirus-exposed-s taff-continue-working-places-those-who-dont-awol-status/164693/
● 4/16/2020 OSHA and Worker Safety during pandemic. Millions of Essential Workers Are Being Left Out of COVID-19 Workplace Safety Protections, Thanks to OSHA https://www.propublica.org/article/millions-of-essential-workers-are-being-left-ou t-of-covid-19-workplace-safety-protections-thanks-to-osha and https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2020/04/millions-essential-workers-are-bein g-left-out-covid-19-workplace-safety-protections-thanks-osha/164701/
32.Posted 4/15/2020. Homeland Security Notice, border wall. Comments not accepted. Determination Pursuant to Section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as Amended. “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 Starr County, Texas.” https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DHS-2020-0016-0001. Read more: Trump Ramps Up Border Wall Land Grabs Amid Pandemic Lockdowns https://www.ozy.com/news-and-politics/trump-ramps-up-border-wall-land-grabs-ami d-pandemic-lockdowns/309145/ and https://www.govexec.com/management/2020/04/border-wall-construction-continues- during-coronavirus-pandemic/164609/ “Filed Wednesday, the new waivers would allow for construction of physical barriers and walls without the formal environmental studies and other procedural steps typical of this type of construction along the border.” https://www.valleymorningstar.com/2020/04/15/more-wall-waivers-filed-for-starr/
33.Comments due 6/9/20202. Good news. EPA Notice. Recent Specifications Review and Request for Information on WaterSense Program. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OW-2020-0026-0001. No changes to toilet and faucet standards despite Trump criticism https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/07/politics/epa-trump-water-toilet-faucet/index.html
34.Comments due 7/20/2020. Proposed Rule, Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Transfer of Very Low-Level Waste to Exempt Persons for Disposal. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NRC-2020-0065-0001 Allow waste in landfills. Read more: https://ens-newswire.com/2020/04/08/low-level-radioactive-waste-could-go-to-local-l andfills/ and https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/490988-advocates-raise-questions-abo ut-proposal-to-allow-some-nuclear
35. Comment period extended to 7/20/2020. 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#
36. 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 “PHMSA’s Notice recognizes that, because of limited personnel resources and the need to meet operational and maintenance needs, pipeline operators may not be able to fully comply with federal pipeline safety regulations related to operator qualification (OQ), control room management (CRM), and drug testing requirements.”
37. 4/1/2020. Notice of proposed rulemaking. Locatable Minerals. Comment period not available yet. 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 DOE study published April 2020 regarding “locatable minerals” https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/04/f73/Critical%20Material s%20Supply%20Chain%20White%20Paper%20April%202020.pdf Read more: https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines /us-forest-service-reviewing-environmental-impacts-of-changing-mine-rules-57844292
38. 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
39. 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
40. Posted 3/18/2020. Guidance, allows comments, no deadline posted. 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. Note 4/26/2020: Do we need to state that none of the President’s comments should be considered in guidance standards?
41. 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
42. Nominations must be received on or before August 1, 2020. This could be critically important for upcoming election as well as proportional representation. 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 43. 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.”
Section I – ICE, DHS, DOL, NLRB
1. 4/27/2020. Presidential Proclamation. Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/27/2020-09068/susp ension-of-entry-of-immigrants-who-present-a-risk-to-the-united-states-labo r-market-during-the From the text: “There is no way to protect already disadvantaged and unemployed Americans from the threat of competition for scarce jobs from new lawful permanent residents by directing those new residents to particular economic sectors with a demonstrated need not met by the existing labor supply.” “The proclamation creates several exceptions to this 60-day suspension, including health care workers, EB-5 investors, spouses of U.S. citizens, children of U.S. citizens, adoptees, members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and aliens whose entry is determined to be in the national interest by the Department of State or the Department of Homeland Security.” Read more https://www.aila.org/infonet/proclamation-suspending-entry-immigrants and Trump Makes End Run Around Congress to Fundamentally Restructure Decades-Old Immigration Law. https://yubanet.com/usa/trump-makes-end-run-around-congress-to-fundamentally-rest ructure-decades-old-immigration-law/
2. 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
3. The Outlook On Immigration In 2020: Important article from Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2020/01/06/the-outlook-on-immigration -in-2020/#1b0ee3143abd
4. 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.nafsa.org/professional-resources/browse-by-interest/compilation-agency-i nitiatives-unified-agenda-regulatory-and-deregulatory) See agenda here: 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 See https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/why-trump-s-plan-to-put-re strictions-on-h-1b-visa-may-not-help-us-workers-120052100143_1.html and AILA article on this new process: https://www.aila.org/advo-media/issues/all/h1b-registration-tool
5. 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. 5/11/2020. Overview of Trump-era environmental regulation dismantling: Trump dismantles environmental protections under cover of coronavirus: Administration is weakening protections ahead of the election, making changes that could take years for a Democratic president to undo. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/10/trump-environmental-blitzkrieg -coronavirus
2. 5/1/2020. Multiple Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sales make the news – Notice, not accepting comment, petition posted below other entries. National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures for the Bureau of Land Management (516 DM 11) https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/01/2020-09301/national-enviro nmental-policy-act-implementing-procedures-for-the-bureau-of-land-management-516 -dm and National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures for the Bureau of Land Management (516 DM 11) (2nd of 2) https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/13/2020-05095/national-enviro nmental-policy-act-implementing-procedures-for-the-bureau-of-land-management-516 -dm Read more: Proposed BLM Interim Guidance to Provide Relief for Oil & Gas Operators https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/proposed-blm-interim-guidance-to-75936/ and https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/30/public-lands-sale-trump-cor onavirus-environmental-regulations; Hunters oppose the leasing: https://mybighornbasin.com/excessive-blm-oil-and-gas-leases-prevent-access-to-publi c-lands/; from Utah: https://www.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2020/04/utah-groups-bureau-land-manage ment-halt-comment-periods-and-major-decisions; Petiton here: https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/our-public-lands-in-utah-and-beyond-are-under-thre at/
3. 4/30/2020. Rule undoing the Clean Air Act. The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/30/2020-06967/the-safer-affor dable-fuel-efficient-safe-vehicles-rule-for-model-years-2021-2026-passenger-cars-and
4. 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
5. 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.4/21/2020. US Army Corps of Engineers Plan to dredge San Francisco Bay to Port of Stockton. Environmental Groups Oppose U.S. Army Corps Plan to Dredge the Bay for Bigger Oil Tankers – Read it here: https://www.spn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Projects-and-Programs/Projects-by-Categor y/Projects-for-Navigable-Waterways/San-Francisco-Bay-to-Stockton-JFB-/ Read more: https://baynature.org/2020/04/16/environmental-groups-oppose-u-s-army-corps-plan -to-dredge-the-bay-for-bigger-oil-tankers/ and https://www.sfchronicle.com/environment/article/San-Francisco-Bay-dredging-fuels-a n-unexpected-14872080.php; https://www.sierraclub.org/mother-lode/delta-sierra/port-stockton
6. 4/20/2020 Anniversary of Deep Water Horizon Spill – implications for Alaska. Also see Interagency Arctic Research Notice below. Read more: https://www.alaskawild.org/blog/its-been-10-years-since-deepwater-horizon-and-offsh ore-drilling-remains-a-threat/; https://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/interior-departments-proposed-rule-modern ization-values-oil-and-gas-industr/engineering. Leasing site: https://www.boem.gov/about-boem/alaska-leasing-office
7. 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/
8. 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
9. 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
10. Update 3/26/2020: EPA watchdog to review pollution plans after threat to withhold California highway funding. https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/489746-eps-watchdog-to-review-pollut ion-plans-at-center-of-agency-threat Previous history: California to consider zero-emissions vehicles. https://www.greencarcongress.com/2019/12/20191223-carbzev.htm. 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
11. 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/
12. Posted April 2020. Allowing more toxic substances. Notice. Certain New Chemicals or Significant New Uses; EPA proposed significant new uses of toxic chemicals. Comments due 6/03/2020 – includes polyfluoroalkyl substances. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/04/2020-08714/significant-new -use-rules-on-certain-chemical-substances-20-15e . Read more here: https://www.startribune.com/white-house-moves-to-weaken-epa-rule-on-toxic-compo unds/569736002/ and “and their presence in the environment is concerning because they are harmful to humans (causing liver damage, endocrine disruption, fertility decrease, and cancer) and to wildlife.” https://www.sfei.org/news/pfas-stays-san-francisco-bay#sthash.90xlxepC.dpbs 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
13. 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/
14. July 14, 2019 Multiple Ozone Standards – EPA is doing this state-by-state. https://www.regulations.gov/searchResults?rpp=25&po=0&s=ozone&fp=tr ue&ns=true
15. 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
16. 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
17. BLM’s own e-planningsite: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/nepa/nepa_register. do
Section III – CIVIL RIGHTS, TITLE IX, HEALTH, EDUCATION, FOOD, BANKING, HOUSING and FCC
1. 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/
2. 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/.
3. 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 crimes;
· 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
4. 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/
5. Coming as a proposed regulation. 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
6. 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
7. 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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