April 11, 2018

Changes on the Horizon for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Regulations On Take of Threatened Species

From: Lexology

Rebecca D. Barho and Stephanie N. Clark | Nossaman LLP

On Monday, April 2, 2018, multiple news outlets reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) submitted a proposal to change its existing policy regarding the prohibition on “take” for species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). The proposed policy would mark a change in FWS rules and policy providing a blanket prohibition on “take” of most threatened species under FWS jurisdiction. Under the proposed rule blanket application of the take prohibition would not apply to newly-listed threatened species, although those species listed prior to the effective date of a final rule would retain protection under the blanket prohibition on take of threatened species.

April 6, 2018

NOAA speeds up remote sensing license reviews amid broader regulatory changes

From: Space News

by 

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One reason for the decreased review time is the establishment of a memorandum of understanding last year involving the Departments of Commerce, State, Defense and Interior, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, establishing procedures for interagency reviews for commercial remote sensing license applications. That agreement has been invoked 14 times in the last year to enable the processing of license applications “in a timely manner,” she said.

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SILVER SPRING, Md. — The small office that currently handles licensing of commercial remote sensing systems says it’s made major progress in processing license applications, even as the government moves ahead with broader reforms.

March 29, 2018

US EPA poised to weaken 2022-25 fuel economy targets

From: Platts.com

The Trump administration is expected to move to weaken US fuel economy standards for 2022-25 model year cars this week ahead of a regulatory deadline Sunday, setting up a confrontation with the California Air Resources Board over its stricter standards.

The Environmental Protection Agency submitted its final determination to the White House for review on Friday, according to the Office of Management and Budget website, but details have not been made public.

Read Complete Article

 

March 28, 2018

Net Neutrality Rollback Takes Next Step to Implementation

From: Multichannel

FCC submits enhanced transparency estimates to OMB, Federal Register

By: John Eggerton

On Tuesday (March 27) the FCC signaled it has submitted the enhanced information-collection portion of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order to the Office of Management and Budget, according to the Federal Register, which plans to publish that OMB submission March 28.

The rollback of the internet regulations — which was approved by a divided commission Dec. 14, 2017 — can’t take effect until the Office of Management and Budget gets comment on that information collection, approves it, and the FCC then sets a date for the rules to go into effect.

March 21, 2018

Facebook Faces Growing Pressure Over Data and Privacy Inquiries

From: New York Times

By 

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators and state prosecutors are opening investigations into Facebook. Politicians in the United States and Europe are calling for its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to testify before them. Investors have cut the value of the social networking giant by about $50 billion in the past two days.

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“Investors are reacting to fears of regulation and the consequences of regulation,” said Brian Wieser, a senior research analyst at Pivotal Research Group. “The scale of errors can only lead one to conclude these are systemic problems.”

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March 20, 2018

FDA to Evaluate Minimally or Non-Addictive Cigarette Product Standard, Also Plans to Look at Flavors and Premium Cigars

From: JDSupra

Jonathan Havens | Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Earlier today, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced FDA’s issuance of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to explore a product standard to lower nicotine in cigarettes to minimally or non-addictive levels (Nicotine ANPRM).  Gottlieb’s announcement comes nearly eight months after the Agency unveiled its planned tobacco regulatory policy shift to place nicotine, and the issue of addiction, at the center of FDA’s tobacco regulatory efforts, which we discussed here.

In addition to offering some of the details of the Nicotine ANPRM, Gottlieb also indicated today that FDA will soon issue two additional ANPRMs: one to seek comment on the role that flavors – including menthol – play in initiation, use, and cessation of tobacco products (Flavor ANPRM), and a second to solicit additional comments and data related to the regulation of premium cigars (Premium Cigar ANPRM).  As reported by Inside Health Policy on March 7, 2018, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has already cleared the Menthol ANPRM and the Premium Cigar ANPRM.

February 15, 2018

Harassment guidance for employers awaits approval from White House

From: The Hill

The White House is reviewing an Obama-era proposal from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that would update federal guidance for employers on preventing harassment in the workplace.

Released before the “Me Too” movement, and just 10 days before President Trump took office, the proposal most notably extends the EEOC’s interpretation of sex-based harassment to include harassment based on gender identity and sexual orientation, among other things.

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February 6, 2018

The ATF Received 36,000 Comments on Bump Stocks. They’re Overwhelmingly Anti-Regulation.

From: The Trace

Sean Campbell and Daniel Nass

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The Trace downloaded the text of more than 32,000 of the comments and used computer scripts to parse and analyze them. The comments overwhelmingly opposed regulating bump stocks. Only 13 percent were in support of the proposal to regulate the devices. (Another 2 percent didn’t express a clear stance.)

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The public comments collected by the ATF are intended to inform the agency’s decision of whether to reclassify bump stocks and subject them to regulation. If the agency chooses to propose a new rule, it would be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for approval, before being published in the Federal Register.

February 1, 2018

Overseas Observation on EB-5 Reform

Editor’s Note: See CRE Petitions DHS to Reform the EB-5 Program to Create Jobs in Rural America & Areas of High Unemployment. The article below has been translated from the Chinese original.

From: www.afinance.cn

Outreach Abroad Observation | EB-5 Reform, Second Boot is Shaky

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Overseas Liu Jiani: Recently, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the United States White House (Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OIRA), The official website (WWW.REGINFO.GO) updated the implementation time of the EB-5 reform program of the United States Immigration Bureau, from September 1 this year planned for April 2018 to February 2018. What does that mean? From a professional point of view, the Immigration Department’s move is aimed at urging Congress to implement EB-5 reforms as soon as possible.

January 31, 2018

EPA & Army Corps Send WOTUS Rule to OIRA

From: Mondaq

Definition Of “Waters Of The U.S.” Remains Uncertain

Troutman Sanders LLP

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In July, the current Administration promulgated a new proposed rule that would rescind the 2015 final rule, pending issuance of a more substantive rulemaking that reevaluates the definition of waters of the U.S.  Congress is simultaneously considering making a statutory amendment to the definition of “waters of the U.S.” Federal Regulatory Certainty for Water Act, H.R. 1261, 115th Cong. (2017).  In response to the recent Supreme Court decision, the Trump Administration now intends to finalize a rule to revise the “applicability date” of the rule (to 2020, to allow time for the Administration to replace the rule) before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals can withdraw its stay of the 2015 final rule.  EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers reportedly sent a final rule late last week to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review.