The Regulatory Week in Review: January 22, 2016

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The D.C. Circuit denies a motion for a stay of the Clean Power Plan, President Obama vetoes a joint resolution that would invalidate the Clean Water Rule, and more…

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IN THE NEWS

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order in which it removed Cuba from its “Exclusion List”—a list identifying the countries and facilities for which United States-based companies can provide only limited telecommunications services —a move that now allows U.S. telecom carriers to offer telephone and Internet service to Cuba without separate approval from the FCC, and which the Commission says will “promote open communications, and help foster bilateral communications between the United States and Cuba.”
  • Several days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy reportedly discussed the agency’s efforts to improve water quality in Flint, Michigan, where the city’s drinking water was found to contain lead, the EPA’s Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman announced that she will be resigning from her position, which includes managing the EPA’s work in Michigan, reportedly as a result of allegations about her response to Flint’s “drinking water crisis.”
  • In the wake of three coal mining-related fatalities since the start of 2016, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a statement announcing its plans to strengthen its enforcement and outreach efforts concerning coal-mining safety, and also issued a “Call to Safety” for coal mine operators and miners, calling on them to be extra vigilant about safety hazards while working in the coal mines.
  • In an effort “to ensure the safety and effectiveness of medical devices . . . in the face of potential cyber threats,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published draft guidance that provides medical device companies with recommendations to prevent security breaches when medical devices are in use, and encourages those companies to develop methods for managing cybersecurity risk.

WHAT WE’RE READING THIS WEEK

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a Staff Discussion Note evaluating current regulations of virtual currencies, such as bitcoin. The IMF staff argued that national regulators must ensure their regulations do not discourage innovation, while international bodies could establish uniformity in virtual currency regulations by creating “international standards and best practices.”