January 5, 2015

Time, Money and Teacher Prep

From: Inside Higher Ed

By Michael Stratford

WASHINGTON — Several dozen higher education groups said Friday that the U.S. Department of Education was lowballing an estimate of how much its proposal to tighten regulation of teacher preparation programs would cost colleges and states.

The American Council on Education and other groups urged the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to take a second look at the estimates and use a third party to verify their validity.

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January 2, 2015

Net neutrality to dominate D.C.’s tech agenda

Editor’s Note: The FCC’s net neutrality actions will be subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Data Quality Act. See here.

From: Politico

The FCC will soon issue a new set of Open Internet rules, and Republicans in Congress are already making plans to push back.

By

For the White House, a major win on net neutrality might come at a cost — scuttling everything else on Washington’s tech and telecom agenda next year.

December 31, 2014

Oil and Gas Regulatory Push Coming from Obama Administration

From: The Waall Street Journal

Methane Emissions, Fracking, Arctic Drilling, Rail Tanker Cars All Would Be Subject to New Rules

By Amy Harder

The Obama administration is planning to release in the coming months a series of regulations on the oil and natural gas industry, a response to the nation’s energy boom that also is aimed at burnishing President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy in his final two years.

The coming rules—at least nine in total—would include the first-ever federal standards addressing methane emissions, stricter controls on hydraulic fracturing, drilling requirements in the Arctic, new rules governing oil shipped by trains and tougher standards on offshore drilling technology.

December 29, 2014

Industry Proposes A ‘Micro Drone’ Rule As Regulatory Deadline Looms

From: Forbes

Today, the UAS America Fund, LLC announced their formal request to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a proposed regulation to govern all commercial operations for extremely lightweight drones operated at low altitudes.  The petition — which is supported by a scientific study using FAA data — lays out a segmented approach to regulating different categories of UAS.  The scientific study was conducted by a former NASA engineer who served as a member of the orbital debris analysis team for the space shuttle Columbia accident investigation.

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December 19, 2014

EPA on Reviewing Vehicle-Emission Standards

From: Genesco Republic/Blog

By Ernesta Jones, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has assembled representatives of small businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations to provide advice for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel. This panel will focus on the agency’s proposed extension of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards beyond model year 2018.

December 18, 2014

First coal ash regulations in the offing

From: The Hill

By Timothy Cama

The Obama administration will soon finish rules aimed at controlling pollution from toxic coal ash, making good on a promise it made less than two months after President Obama’s inauguration.

The rules would be the first federal standards regulating coal ash, a byproduct from coal-burning power plants that contains substances like arsenic, mercury and chromium, frequently stored in ponds next to rivers or other waterways.

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December 11, 2014

Final rule trims truck inspection paperwork requirement

From: Fleet Owner

A final rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) going into effect Dec. 18 will absolve truck drivers of the responsibility to file reports for the 95% of pre- and post-vehicle inspections where no equipment problems or safety concerns are discovered – a change the agency expects will save the industry $1.7 billion annually.

Yet David Heller, director of safety & policy at the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), emphasized to Fleet Owner that the majority of those savings will only really be experienced by carriers still filing paper-based reports.

December 10, 2014

FAA Is Closer To Issuing New Rules Governing Drones, Says Former White House Official

From: The Gospel Herald

By Mark Albertson

Lisa Ellman, a former White House senior advisor on technology and now counsel at the law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge, told an audience of company executives at a meeting of the Bay Area Council in San Francisco on Monday that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has sent a draft of new rules governing the use of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) to the White House for review. “The rules are literally being written as we speak,” Ellman told the group.

December 2, 2014

Fall 2014 Unified Agenda – DHS

From: Chemical Facility Security News

[T]he OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) published the 2015 Fall Unified Agenda, what is supposed to be a comprehensive listing of regulations that the Executive Branch is working on.

DHS Unified Agenda
Last May I reported that there were there were 11 rulemaking actions being undertaken by the Department of Homeland Security that might be of specific interest to readers of this blog. This update only lists six of those rulemakings; one rulemaking (the ANSP) was moved up from the Long-Term Agenda. Those rulemakings include:

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December 1, 2014

Drones Face Critical Moment As White House Prepares To Act

From: Forbes

Gregory S. McNeal

The White House is currently reviewing a series of policy initiatives related to the integration of drones into the national airspace. At the conclusion of the policy review process, the White House will act on both the FAA’s sUAS rule and on matters related to privacy. For an industry begging for clear rules that won’t stifle innovation, the next few weeks will be the most critical since the passage of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.

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