Regulatory Alerts

Listed below are documents published in the Federal Register and open for comment that may significantly affect small businesses. Advocacy encourages affected small businesses to provide the Federal agency issuing the notice with comments on the proposed action and the agency's analysis of its potential impacts on small business. Please share with the Office of Advocacy your comments on these and other regulatory proposals of importance to small businesses.

  • GSA Announces Open Dialogue on Improving Federal Procurement .  The Chief Acquisition Officers Council (CAOC), in coordination with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council), the Chief Information Officers Council (CIOC), the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), is conducting an open dialogue to discuss improvements to the federal acquisition process. 

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have proposed a rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  This proposal would set forth several categories of waters to be included in the definition as well as establish waters that are subject to the act.  The comment period closes July 21, 2014.

  • On April 24, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products issued a proposed rule that would deem formerly unregulated products as “tobacco products” subject to FDA regulation under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009. 

  • On June 10, 2013, EPA issued a proposed rule in the Federal Register concerning formaldehyde emissions standards for composite wood products. EPA has now reopened the comment period for 30 days for that standard and will hold a public meeting for April 28, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Public comments are now due May 8, 2014.

  • EPA is preparing to convene a Small Business Advocacy Review panel to provide input and recommendations for its upcoming proposed rule on Medium- and Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standard.  EPA seeks self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Entities representing small entities may also serve.  Nominations are requested by April 16, 2014.

  • On February 12, 2014, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published the Final Cybersecurity Framework. According to NIST, “the framework allows organizations—regardless of size, degree of cyber risk or cybersecurity sophistication—to apply the principles and best practices of risk management to improve the security and resilience of critical infrastructure.” 

  • On February 6, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board re-issued a proposal that would amend its rules and regulations governing the filing and processing of petitions relating to the representation of employees for purposes of collective bargaining with their employer.

  • On February 10, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final regulations that provide guidance on large employers' shared responsibility for employee health insurance coverage under section 4980H of the Internal Revenue Code.  Under the final regs, the employer mandate will apply to employers with 100 or more full-time employees beginning January 1, 2015. The final rules will apply to midsize businesses with 50 to 99 full-time equivalent employees beginning January 1, 2016. Companies that have fewer than 50 employees are exempt from providing coverage or filling out any forms in any year.

  • On February 10, 2014, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a proposed rule that would extend the compliance date for construction crane operator certification, as well as the existing requirements for employers to ensure that their construction crane operators are qualified to operate the equipment, by three years from November 10, 2014 until November 10, 2017.  OSHA intends to address the issues of crane operator certification and safe operation in the interim.  Comments on the proposed rule are due to OSHA by March 12, 2014.

  • On January 23, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations that provide additional guidance to individual taxpayers who may be liable for the shared responsibility payment for not maintaining minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  The proposed regulations provide that coverage under some government-sponsored programs is not “government-sponsored minimum essential coverage.”  The proposed regulations also address the required contribution for individuals eligible to enroll in an eligible employer-sponsored plan that provides employer contributions to health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) or wellness program incentives.

  • On January 8, EPA published for public comment its proposed Greenhouse Gas (GHG) New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Electric Utility Generating Units (EGUs), under section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act.  This rule would set carbon dioxide performance standards for fossil fuel-fired electric generating units.  The performance standard for fossil fuels other than natural gas (e.g., coal, pet coke, and oil) is based on partial implementation of carbon capture and storage (CCS). Because EPA does not project the future construction of any coal-fired EGUs without CCS in the absence of the rule, it has certified the rule as not having a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities.

  • On December 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a proposed rule to implement Title IV of the JOBS Act by amending Regulation A. Currently, Regulation A securities offerings are limited to $5 million and are subject to each state’s blue sky laws.  The proposed rule would establish two different tiers of securities offerings under Regulation A.  Tier One offerings would be for financings of $5 million or less, and these offerings would still be subject to the existing requirements of Regulation A.  Tier Two offerings would be for up to $50 million and there would be an exemption from a state’s blue sky laws. However, Tier Two offerings would be subject to additional disclosure and auditing requirements.

  • The U.S. - Canada small business team for the Regulatory Cooperation Council will update stakeholders on progress made, and seek feedback on, the Small Business Lens (SBL) in a webinar on Friday, January 17, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 2 pm EST.   

  • On November 8, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its proposed Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule in the Federal Register.  OSHA’s proposed rule would amend its recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep under OSHA’s regulations for recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses.

  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeks comments on a preliminary version of the Cybersecurity Framework (“preliminary Framework”). NIST is developing the Framework as directed by Executive Order 13636, “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.” The Framework will consist of standards, methodologies, procedures and processes that align policy, business, and technological approaches to address cyber risks. 

  • On November 6, 2013, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) announced the new date for the Washington, DC public hearing postponed because of the federal government shutdown.  The hearing is scheduled for November 20, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.  The USITC is seeking information for a report that will identify trade-related barriers that U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) perceive as disproportionately (compared to large firms) affecting their exports to the European Union (EU).  

  • On October 25, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it was extending the comment period and other deadlines for its proposed Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica (Silica) rule, published in the Federal Register on September 13, 2013.  The proposed rule would amend OSHA’s existing silica standard by reducing the permissible exposure limit to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air (50 mg/m3), calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average.  The proposed rule also includes ancillary provisions for employee protection, such as preferred methods for controlling exposure, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and recordkeeping.  OSHA is proposing two separate regulatory texts — one for general industry and maritime, and the other for construction. 

  • On October 23, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a  proposed rule to implement Title III of the JOBS Act, which established the foundation for a regulatory structure for startups and small businesses to raise capital through securities offerings using the Internet through crowdfunding.  The proposed rule would prescribe requirements governing the offer and sale of securities through crowdfunding.   Additionally, the proposed rule would also provide a framework for the regulation of funding portals and brokers that issuers engaged in crowdfunding are required to use. 

  • The Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force seeks public comment from all interested stakeholders on several copyright policy issues: the legal framework for the creation of remixes; the relevance and scope of the first sale doctrine in the digital environment; the appropriate calibration of statutory damages in the contexts of individual file sharers and of secondary liability for large-scale infringement; whether and how the government can facilitate the further development of a robust online licensing environment; and establishing a multistakeholder dialogue on improving the operation of the notice and takedown system for removing infringing content from the Internet under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

  • On October 3, 2013 the Federal Trade Commission published a notice requesting public comment on its proposed information requests to Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) in the wireless communications sector, including manufacturers and other non-practicing entities and organizations engaged in licensing.  The FTC defines PAEs as firms with a business model based primarily on purchasing patents and then attempting to generate revenue by asserting the intellectual property against persons who already practice the patented technology.  The FTC distinguishes PAE’s from other non-practicing entities (NPEs) that primarily seek to develop and transfer technology, such as universities, research entities, and design firms.  The FTC is proposing a study under Section 6(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act that will provide a better understanding of PAE activity and its costs and benefits. 

  • On September 12, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its proposed Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica (Silica) rule in the Federal Register.  OSHA’s proposed rule would amend OSHA’s existing standards for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica by reducing the permissible exposure limit to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air (50 mg/m3), calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average.  The proposed rule also includes ancillary provisions for employee protection, such as preferred methods for controlling exposure, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and recordkeeping.  OSHA is proposing two separate regulatory texts — one for general industry and maritime, and the other for construction.

  • The Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service propose to amend certain regulations regarding incidental take statements.  The changes will address the use of surrogates (e.g. habitat, ecological conditions, or similarly affected species, to express the amount or extent of anticipated

  • The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement proposes to amend and update the regulations by differentiating the requirements for operating dry tree (surface production) and subsea tree production systems on the Outer Continental Shelf and making the regulations easier to read and understand. Comments are due by October 21, 2013.

  • On September 5, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued two proposed regulations to implement the information reporting requirements for insurers and certain employers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  One proposed rule would require large employers to report to the IRS information regarding the health care coverage offered to full-time employees.  The second proposed rule would require insurers, self-insured employers, government-sponsored programs, and entities that provide minimum essential coverage to report information on this coverage to the IRS and to covered individuals.

  • On September 3, 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice announcing that it is initiating the process to consider amending the energy conservation standards for commercial packaged boilers. After concluding review of the available information and public comments, DOE will publish either a notice of the determination that standards do not need to be amended, or a notice of proposed rulemaking including new proposed standards. DOE has prepared a Framework Document that details the analytical approach and scope of coverage for the rulemaking, and identifies several issues about which DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments. DOE will accept written comments, data, and information regarding the Framework Document until October 18, 2013.

  • On August 29, 2013, OMB invited written public comments on the U.S. – Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council’s progress to date and how to address regulatory divergence between the U.S. and Canada governments.  Canada and the U.S. intend to identify opportunities for cooperation that could secure greater alignment between the countries’ regulatory systems. 

  • On September 6, 2013, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) announced the dates for a series of roundtables the agency will hold, with the assistance of the Small Business Administration, across the U.S.  The USITC is seeking information for a report that will identify trade-related barriers that U.S. SMEs perceive as disproportionately (compared to large firms) affecting their exports to the European Union (EU).  Upcoming roundtables are scheduled for Chicago (9/13), Philadelphia (9/23), Raleigh (9/16), Los Angeles (9/23), Atlanta (9/17), New York (9/24), Denver (9/17), Irvine (9/24), Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (9/18), Sacramento 9/25(), Albuquerque (9/18), Boston (9/26), Houston (9/20), Providence (9/27), Salt Lake City (9/20), and  Fresno (9/27).  Public hearings will be held in San Jose, CA on September 26 and Washington, D.C. on October 8.

  • On August 23, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations that provide guidance on the Internal Revenue Code section 45R tax credit available to small “eligible employers” that offer health insurance coverage to their employees.  An eligible employer must have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees for a tax year, the average annual wages must be less than $50,000 per FTE, and the employer must maintain a qualifying arrangement.

  • On July 11, 2012, OMB issued Memorandum M-12-16, “Providing Prompt Payment to Small Business Subcontractors,” to improve cash flow for small businesses and increase small business participation in all levels of Federal contracting. 

  • The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) has extended the public comment period for proposed guidelines for passenger vessels. Comments are now due on January 24, 2014.

  • On July 29, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published in the Federal Register its proposed rule on Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and Issue Certifications as established by the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). 78 Fed. Reg. 45781, July 29, 2013.  This proposed rule establishes a program for accreditation of third-party auditors to conduct food safety audits and issue certifications of foreign facilities and their foods.  This voluntary program is for foreign facilities and foods only.  FSMA does not require FDA to establish a domestic audit program.

  • On July 3, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published in the Federal Register its proposed rule on Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update for CY 2014, Home Health Quality Reporting Requirements, and Cost Allocation of Home Health Survey Expenses. 78 Fed. Reg. 40272, July 3, 2013.  This proposed rule would update the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) rates, including the national, standardized 60-day episode payment rates, the national per-visit rates, the low-utilization payment adjustment (LUPA) add-on, nonroutine medical supplies (NRS) conversion factor, and outlier payments under the Medicare prospective payment system for home health agencies (HHAs), effective January 1, 2014.

  • On July 30, 2013, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) published a Federal Register notice notifying SMEs that the USITC is seeking information for a report that will identify trade-related barriers that U.S. SMEs perceive as disproportionately (compared to large firms) affecting their exports to the European Union (EU).

  • On July 29, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published in the Federal Register its proposed rule on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals as established by the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). 78 Fed. Reg. 45729, July 29, 2013.  This proposed rule requires importers to conduct risk-based foreign supplier verification activities to verify that imported food is not, among other things, adulterated and that it was produced in compliance with FDA’s preventive controls or produce safety requirements, where applicable.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency extends comment periods for proposed rules: Third Party Certification Framework for the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products for 16 days and Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products for 30 days.  Public comments are now due August 26, 2013 and September 9, 2013, respectively.  

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting small businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations to participate as SERs for an SBAR Panel that will explore changes to existing uses of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  This panel will focus on the agency’s development of a proposed rule to revise or end the existing authorized uses of PCBs as appropriate if the conditions under which they were authorized more than 30 years ago have changed.  This rulemaking may address existing liquid-filled PCB use authorizations, PCBs in fluorescent light ballasts, PCBs in natural gas pipelines, and regulatory language clarifications. 

  • On July 10, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a final rule implementing section 201(a) of JOBS Act, which lifts the ban on general solicitation and general advertising.  The SEC rule permits startups, venture capitalists, and hedge funds to openly advertise to raise money in private offerings provided that the issuer of securities takes “reasonable steps” to verify that the purchasers of the securities are accredited investors.  The SEC’s rule includes a non-exclusive list of methods that an issuer may use to verify that a purchaser is an accredited investor. 

  • On June 20, 2013, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service of the Department of Commerce (NMFS) published its plan to periodically review seventy-six existing regulations. Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to review existing rules to determine whether they should be revised or rescinded in order to minimize significant economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities, consistent with the objectives of other applicable statutes.  By December 31, 2013, NMFS will review all such rules issued between 2005 and 2006. In deciding whether change is necessary, NMFS will consider: 1) whether the rule is still needed; 2) what type of complaints or comments have been received concerning the rule from the public; 3) the complexity of the rule; 4) how much the rule overlaps, duplicates or conflicts with other Federal rules, and, to the extent feasible, with State and local governmental rules; and 5) how long it has been since the rule has been evaluated or how much the technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule. Comments are due on July 22, 2013.

  • On June 7, 2013, EPA proposed revisions to its Steam Electric Power Generating effluent guidelines and standards (40 CFR Part 423). The guidelines were first published in 1974, and amended in 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1982. The regulation covers wastewater discharges from power plants operating as utilities. The Steam Electric effluent guidelines and standards are incorporated into NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permits for plants that discharge into waters of the United States. This rulemaking will affect small independently owned utilities, small rural electric cooperative owned utilities, and small municipal owned utilities.

  • On Monday July 1, 2013, the Department of the Interior published a notice announcing a proposed categorical exclusion from the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The exclusion would allow the Fish and Wildlife Service to add species to the list of injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act without preparing an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement.  Species listed under the Lacey Act are prohibited from being imported into the U.S. or transported across state lines. Comments are due by July 31, 2013.

  • On July 2, 2013, the Department of Treasury (Treasury) announced that enforcement of the employer health insurance mandate will be delayed for one year until 2015.  The Affordable Care Act imposes penalties on applicable employers that do not offer minimum essential coverage to full-time employees and dependents.  Treasury stated that the administration will publish formal guidance on the delay within the next week.

  • On June 27, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a notice providing relief from the Affordable Care Act shared responsibility payment for specified individuals who are eligible to enroll in some eligible employer-sponsored health plans with a non-calendar plan year that begins in 2013 and ends in 2014.  IRS Notice 2013-42 provides that individuals eligible to enroll in a non-calendar year, eligible employer-sponsored plan with a 2013-2014 plan year will not be liable for the section 5000A shared responsibility payment for some months in 2014. The transition relief begins in January 2014 and continues through the month in which the 2013-2014 plan year ends.

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting small businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel. This panel will focus on the agency’s review of its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for municipal solid waste landfills. EPA seeks self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Small private landfills are those with revenues of $35.5 million or less and small government-owned landfills serve populations of 50,000 people or less. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs. Self-nominations are requested by July 5, 2013.

  • The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) has released for public comment proposed guidelines for passenger vessels. Developed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the guidelines provide design criteria for newly constructed or newly altered large vessels to ensure that they are accessible to people with disabilities.  As proposed, the guidelines would apply to cruise ships and other vessels that carry over 150 passengers or at least 50 overnight passengers.  They also cover ferries designed to carry 100 or more passengers and tenders allowed to carry 60 or more passengers.  The Board is not proposing requirements for smaller vessels due to design challenges, space constraints, and other factors.  The Access board is also holding a hearing on the proposed guidelines on July 10, 2013, from 9:30 a.m. to Noon at the Access Board Conference Room, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004. Members of the public may participate in person, call-in testimony, or listen in to the hearing.  Comments on the proposed guidelines are due September 12, 2013.  

  • On June 10, 2013, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) extended the comment period for the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking entitled Oil and Gas; Well Stimulation, Including Hydraulic Fracturing, on Federal and Indian Lands. This supplemental notice relates to the proposed rulemaking published on May 11, 2012.  BLM seeks additional comment on the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking which significantly revised the original proposed rule.  Comments on the supplemental proposed rule are now due by August 23, 2013. 

  • On June 10, 2013, EPA published two proposed rules on formaldehyde in composite wood products: Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products and Third-Party Certification Framework for the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products.  In the Emissions Standards rule, EPA is proposing new requirements under the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, of Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  The proposed requirements will implement the statutory formaldehyde emission standards for hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard sold, supplied, offered for sale, or manufactured (including imported) in the United States.  Amongst other provisions, EPA is also including provisions related to laminated products, products made with no added formaldehyde or ultralow-emitting formaldehyde resins, testing, requirements, labeling, and recordkeeping.  

  • On May 24, 2013, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking entitled Oil and Gas; Well Stimulation, Including Hydraulic Fracturing, on Federal and Indian Lands. This supplemental notice relates to the proposed rulemaking published on May 11, 2012.  BLM seeks additional comment on the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking which significantly revised the original proposed rule.  Comments on the supplemental proposed rule are due by June 24, 2013.

  • On February 12th, 2013, the President issued the Executive Order for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (Executive Order 13636). In accordance with Section 8(e) of Executive Order 13636, within 120 days, the General Services Administration and the Department of Defense, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council, are required to make recommendations on the feasibility, security benefits, and relative merits of incorporating security standards into acquisition planning and contract administration and address what steps can be taken to harmonize, and make consistent, existing procurement requirements related to cybersecurity.

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    The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is currently reviewing its regulations governing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Program. OSDBU intends to improve the regulations to provide greater clarity, to streamline the program, and to encourage more VOSBs to apply for verification. OSDBU seeks comments on how best to approach this undertaking. Although OSDBU identified specific issues, it encourages commenters to discuss any issue related to improving these specific regulations and the program.

  • On April 30, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations on the health insurance premium tax credit, providing guidance on determining whether healthcare coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan provides minimum value.

  • On April 24, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) released an Interim Final Rule (IFR) amending the methodology for calculating the prevailing wages to be paid to H-2B workers and U.S. workers recruited under this visa program.  The H-2B visa program allows U.S. seasonal employers to hire temporary foreign non-agricultural workers.  The Wage Methodology IFR eliminates the use of four-tier wage rates based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey and replaces them with the OES arithmetic mean. The Wage Methodology IFR continues to set the prevailing wage based on the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement wage rates, or, at the employers request, the Service Contract Act or Davis-Bacon Act wage determinations, or appropriate private wage surveys.  DOL and DHS are jointly issuing this rule in response to the court’s order in Comite´ de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas v. Solis, which vacated portions of DOL’s previous H-2B wage rule.

  • On April 24, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) released an Interim Final Rule (IFR) amending the methodology for calculating the prevailing wages to be paid to H-2B workers and U.S. workers recruited under this visa program.

  • On April 1, 2013 EPA proposed to remove the numeric standard it had established in December 2009 as part of court-ordered Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) for the construction and development industry.

  • On April 1, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations on the application of the $500,000 deduction limitation for remuneration provided by some health insurance providers under Internal Revenue Code section 162(m)(6).

  • On April 1, 2013, USTR invited written public comment on the proposed TTIP.

  • On March 25, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, proposed to designate critical habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Distinct Population Segment of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) under the Endangered Species Act.

  • On March 19, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announced the opening of an information gathering period regarding the status of the fisher (Martes pennanti) throughout the range of its West Coast distinct population segment (DPS) in the United States.

  • On March 4, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations on the annual health insurance provider fee imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

  • On February 22, 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a notice of availability and request for comments on its Unmanned Aircraft System Test Site Program.

  • On January 30, 2013, the Federal Communication’s Commission (FCC) published a proposed rule that would prohibit the certification, manufacture, importation, sale, or use of 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs).

  • The Department of Labor (DOL) is soliciting comments on its proposal to survey employees’ on general employment laws and classification.

  • The Department of Labor (DOL) is soliciting comments on its proposal to survey employees’ on general employment laws and classification.

  • On January 7, 2013, the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published three items in the Federal Register related to the transport of lithium batteries and other materials.

  • On January 4, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released for public comment its proposed rule on preventive controls established by the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA); this rule focuses on preventing problems that can cause foodborne illness.

  • On January 4, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released for public comment its proposed rule which proposes enforceable safety standards for the production and harvesting of produce on farms.

  • On December 28, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations that that provide guidance on “large employers'” shared responsibility for employee health insurance coverage under Internal Revenue Code section 4980H.

  • On December 3, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations that provide guidance to employers and individuals on the implementation of the additional hospital insurance tax (additional Medicare tax) under the Affordable Care Act.

  • On October 31, 2012, EPA announced that it will review three regulatory actions pursuant to section 610 of the RFA.

  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that is extending the public comment period for its proposed rules implementing the first-inventor-to-file (FITF) provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA).

  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will extend until September 24, 2012, the deadline for commenting on additional proposed modifications to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), which gives parents control over what information websites and online services may collect from children under 13.

  • The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)propose to revise their regulations regarding economic impact analyses conducted for designations of critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973

  • The Fish and Wildlife Service, proposes to list the Austin blind salamander, Jollyville Plateau salamander, Georgetown salamander, and Salado salamander as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

  • Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced the establishment of a national committee to guide and oversee U.S. implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI).

  • On Friday, August 10, 2012, the Federal Acquisition Council published in the Federal Register a proposed regulation: “Small Business Set Asides for Research and Development Contracts.” 

  • On Monday, August 6, 2012, the SBA published amendments to its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Policy Directive.

  • On Monday, August 6, 2012, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announce that it will be holding public Webinars regarding the recent amendments to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Policy Directives.

  • On May 30, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2012-40 to provide guidance on health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs).

  • On May 18, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final regulations on the health insurance premium tax credit.

  • The U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) is organizing a broad stakeholder session in Washington, D.C., on June 20, 2013. This session will provide an opportunity to engage directly with Canadian and U.S. Working Groups to review progress on the implementation of the Joint Action Plan and to discuss other sector-specific issues and priorities. The session will also feature discussion on advancing the Canada-U.S. regulatory cooperation agenda over the coming year and beyond.   Sector specific discussions will take place in the afternoon, including a small business stakeholder session. 

  • The Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy will hold a webinar for small businesses on the U.S. - Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council Small Business Lens on June 13, 2013 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. The cost is free for the first 100 registrants.  

  • The Environmental Protection Agency extends comment periods for proposed rules: Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products for 30 days, and Third Party Certification Framework for the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products for 30 days.  Public comments are now due October 9, 2013 and September 25, 2013, respectively.  

  • SEC Issues Proposed Rule to Amend Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156
    On July 10, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued proposed rules that would amend Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156.  The proposed rule is intended to enhance the SEC’s ability to evaluate and enforce market practices associated with general solicitation and general advertising.   Specifically, the proposed rule would require the filing of a Form D in Rule 506(c) offerings before the issuer engages in general solicitation, require the filing of a closing amendment to Form D after the termination of any Rule 506 offering, require written general solicitation materials used in Rule 506(c) offerings, require the submission of written general solicitation materials used in Rule 506(c) offerings to the SEC, and disqualify an issuer from relying on Rule 506 for one year for 2 future offerings if the issuer did not comply within the last five years with Form D filing requirements in a Rule 506 offering.

  • On February 12, 2013, the President issued an Executive Order for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (Executive Order

    13636). In accordance with Section 8(e) of Executive Order 13636, the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department of Defense

    (DOD) submitted recommendations on the feasibility, security benefits, and relative merits of incorporating security standards into

    acquisition planning and contract administration and addressing what steps can be taken to harmonize, and make consistent, existing

    procurement requirements related to cybersecurity.  On January 23, 2014, the GSA and DOD posted the Final Report of the Joint Working Group on

    Improving Cybersecurity and Resilience through Acquisition on the DOD and GSA Web sites. The report makes six (6) recommendations to improve

    cybersecurity and resilience in Federal acquisitions.