U.S. House representative calls for tighter restrictions on recreational drones, the FTC coordinates with other agency investigations of Volkswagen, and more…
IN THE NEWS
- During a congressional hearing on drone safety ahead of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) expected expansion of commercial drone use, U.S. House Representative Rick Larsen called on Congress and the FAA to tighten restrictions on recreational drones.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reportedly has started coordinating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies as they investigate Volkswagen’s alleged multi-year violations of emission standards under the Clean Air Act.
- In an action brought by a dozen states concerning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’s jointly promulgated rule that changed the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted a stay of the rule pending the court’s determination of whether it has subject matter jurisdiction.
- The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) stated its plans to publish a Safety Advisory recommending that railroads add “closer and more detailed inspections” of rails, after finding that a broken railroad track caused a West Virginia train accident in February.
- California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, legislation that sets up a regulatory framework for the use of medical marijuana as part of an effort to ensure patient access to the drug while also providing ample oversight over its sale, production, and distribution.
- In an effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions and prevent ozone depletion, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule that adds requirements for companies’ sale and use of ozone-depleting and non-ozone-depleting refrigerants.
- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued recommendations to airlines aimed at preventing fires caused by lithium batteries, including suggesting that airlines require employees to notify passengers that they cannot carry lithium batteries in their luggage.
- The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and California regulators reportedly began investigating Anheuser-Busch InBev’s acquisitions of distributors for possible violations of antitrust law, in light of the fact that these acquisitions allegedly impose barriers preventing craft brewers from entering the beer market.
WHAT WE’RE READING THIS WEEK
- In a recent article for the Columbia Law Review, Professor Wendy E. Wagner considered the relationship between agency review and presidential authority in assessing “science-intensive rules.” She argued that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) departs from the transparency of agency review, and that a more compatible approach between the parties would improve review of such rules.
- The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined in a recent report the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) briefing for the Senate Armed Services Committee about additive manufacturing, otherwise known as 3D printing, which is being implemented in furtherance of a number of department missions. The report suggests that the Department of Defense designate a “focal point” to systematically track department-wide activities and results, as well as communicate those results within the agency.