August 7, 2014

Cigars Face Uncertain Future

From: Convenience Store Decisions

The c-store industry continues to monitor the FDA’s deeming rules regarding cigars and what it means going forward.

By Howard Riell, Associate Editor

The federal government’s recent decisions concerning tobacco products, specifically cigars, underscore the need for vigilance and involvement on the part of convenience store operators, not just to maintain category sales, but to avoid regulatory issues.

In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its proposed regulation deeming, among other tobacco products (OTP), cigars as subject to the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. In July, the FDA extended the comment period until Aug. 8.

August 4, 2014

Adoption of Electronic Signatures will Greatly Improve Government Productivity

From: TechAmerica Policy Blog

by Michael Spierto, Director of Cybersecurity Policy, TechAmerica

In a letter dated July 14 2014, US Senators John McCain and Ron Wyden, and Congresswoman Anna Eschoo wrote to the Secretary of Commerce asking for an update on the implementation of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-SIGN) Act. The law was enacted in 2000, but fourteen years later it appears that all government agencies have still not fully implemented this law. The question is: why?

OMB Still Reviewing PHMSA Oil Spill ANPRM

From: Chemical Facility Security News


I was sure that I must have missed the OMB notice that their Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) had approved the PHMSA ANPRM for Revisions to Oil Spill Prevention and Response Plans for Rail Transport that was published in Friday’s Federal Register. This morning I just went back and checked the OIRA web site and that ANPRM is still under review.

It is more than a little odd that the three Administration agencies; PHMSA, OIRA, and Federal Register; are acting in such an uncoordinated manner. I suspect that someone at DOT decided that the two rules (the HHFT NPRM and the Oil Spill ANPRM) just had to be published together and damn the niceties of the regulatory approval process.

July 31, 2014

FERC says it’s working with EPA on Clean Power Plan

From: Penn Energy

Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 29 told a congressional committee that they are working closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to make sure the coal-averse Clean Power Plan doesn’t destabilize the grid.

FERC Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur was one of those testifying before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power about the plan, designed to reduce CO2 emissions from existing power plants. The plan is expected to force the closure of a number of coal-fired power plants on top of those already being forced to shut due to EPA programs like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

July 27, 2014

Study: Obama to issue $34B in regulations after the midterm elections

From: The Hill

By Benjamin Goad

A new report from the conservative American Action Forum (AAF) has identified tens of billions of dollars worth of proposed regulations that are scheduled to be issued after November’s midterm elections.

The report, based on information culled from the Obama administration’s formal rule-making agenda, follows a federal finding that politics were at play in the delays of major regulations ahead of the 2012 election.

The AAF study counted 15 major regulations with associated projected costs of roughly $34 billion that are due in November, December and January.

July 24, 2014

A Broadcaster’s Guide To Washington Issues

From: TVNewsCheck

By David Oxenford and David O’Connor


TV Closed Captioning —

In February, the FCC adopted significant new closed captioning obligations for broadcasters, which will be phased in over time.  To begin with, the FCC clarified that the closed captioning rules apply to mixed English-Spanish programming, to on-demand programming, and to low power TV stations.  The FCC also clarified that snippets of English or Spanish on programs that are otherwise in a different language do not need to be captioned.

July 21, 2014

FinCEN closer to finalizing customer due diligence proposal

From: Association of Corporate Counsel

BuckleySandler LLP

On July 14, the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) concluded its review of a long-awaited FinCEN proposal to establish customer due diligence requirements for financial institutions, sending the rule back to FinCEN. In its spring 2014 rulemaking agenda, Treasury updated the timeline for the rule to indicate it could be proposed in July with a 60 day comment period. OIRA’s public records do not provide information about what, if any, changes OIRA sought or required prior to FinCEN finalizing the proposal. The public portion of the FinCEN rulemaking has been ongoing since February 2012 when FinCEN released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit comment on potential requirements for financial institutions to (i) conduct initial due diligence and verify customer identities at the time of account opening; (ii) understand the purpose and intended nature of the account; (iii) identify and verify all customers’ beneficial owners; and (iv) monitor the customer relationship and conduct additional due diligence as needed. FinCEN subsequently held a series of roundtable meetings, summaries of which it later published.

July 16, 2014

Laboratory Heads Urge OMB Not to Release FDA Guidance on the Regulation of Laboratory-Developed Tests

From: ARUP Laboratories

Letter Signed by Laboratory Directors of Nation’s Top Academic Medical Centers Warns That FDA Regulations Would Stifle Innovation and Compromise Patient Care

SALT LAKE CITY, July 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Leading diagnostic innovators and laboratory directors from the nation’s most respected nonprofit, academic medical centers have issued a letter urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) not to release Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance for laboratory-developed tests (LDTs). Spearheaded by Edward R. Ashwood, MD, president and CEO of ARUP Laboratories and professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, the letter states that FDA regulation would add yet another cumbersome layer to the already heavily regulated approval process for LDTs.

July 15, 2014

NATO Show 2014: State of the (Nicotine) Industry


Briant offers an insider’s view of taxes, regulations and restrictions 

By Mitch Morrison, Vice President & Group Editor

It could be 2016 before the FDA takes official control over cigars, pipe tobacco and e-cigarettes. In the meantime, myriad proposals, from President Obama’s near-doubling of the Federal Excise Tax to local and state initiatives to increase tobacco taxes and restrict the sale of e-cigs, should keep the country’s 175,000 sellers of tobacco products on alert.


“Even if they issued these proposed regulations tomorrow, it could be at least two years before they would go into effect.”

July 14, 2014

US Chicken Council Welcomes Modernisation of Poultry Inspection

From: The Poultry Site

US – National Chicken Council (NCC) has welcomed the newly proposed voluntary code to modernise the US poultry inspection system aimed at reducing foodborne illness, as well as setting up a new web site to aid understanding of the differences between the new and old systems of broiler carcass inspection.

The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has sent its proposed rule to modernise the US poultry inspection system to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review, according to the NCC Washington Report. The notice is available on the OMB’s web site.