Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DHS Retrospective Review of Regulations

DHS published a notice in today’s Federal Register (79 FR 10760-10762) seeking public comments on specific existing significant DHS rules. DHS is publishing this notice as part of a review of these rules to determine if there are candidates for modification, streamlining, expansion, or repeal. This review takes place every three years with the last notice appearing in the Federal Register on March 14th, 2011 (76 FR 13526-13528); 63 responses were received for that notice.

Covered Rules

The notice specifies the chapters within the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) that are being reviewed. The list below adds to that the specific parts of those chapters that might be of specific interest to readers of this blog.

6 CFR Chapter 1 – Homeland Security Regulations
Part 27 – CFATS
Part 29 – Protected critical infrastructure information

33 CFR Chapter I – Coast Guard Regulations
Part 105 – Maritime security - Facilities

46 CFR Chapter I – Coast Guard Regulations
Part 151 – Barges carrying bulk liquid hazardous material cargoes
Part 153 – Ships carrying bulk liquid, liquefied gas, or compressed gas hazardous material cargoes

49 CFR Chapter XII – TSA regulations
Part 1515 – Appeal and waiver of security threat assessments for individuals
Part 1520 – Protection of security sensitive information
Part 1572 – Credentialing and security threat assessments
Part 1580 – Railroad transportation security

Information Requested

The notice provides specific guidance for the types of comments and the details requested in those comments. It also lists 10 specific questions that it would like to see answered in the responses:

(1) Are there regulations that simply make no sense or have become unnecessary, ineffective, or ill advised and, if so, what are they? Are there regulations that can simply be repealed without impairing the Department's regulatory programs and, if so, what are they?
(2) Are there regulations that have become outdated and, if so, how can they be modernized to better accomplish their regulatory objectives?
(3) Are there regulations that are still necessary, but have not operated as well as expected such that a modified, stronger, or slightly different approach is justified?
(4) Does the Department currently collect information that it does not need or effectively use to achieve regulatory objectives?
(5) Are there regulations that are unnecessarily complicated or could be streamlined to achieve regulatory objectives in more efficient ways? If so, how can they be streamlined and/or made less complicated?
(6) Are there regulations that have been overtaken by technological developments? Can new technologies be leveraged to modify, streamline, or do away with existing regulatory requirements?
(7) Are there any Departmental regulations that are not tailored to impose the least burden on society, consistent with achieving the regulatory objectives?
(8) How can the Department best obtain and consider accurate, objective information and data about the costs, burdens, and benefits of existing regulations? Are there existing sources of data the Department can use to evaluate the post-promulgation effects of regulations over time?
(9) Are there regulations that are working well that can be expanded or used as a model to fill gaps in other DHS regulatory programs?
(10) Are there any regulations that create difficulty because of duplication, overlap, or inconsistency of requirements?

Public Comments

Comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket # DHS-2014-0006) and should be submitted by March 28th, 2014.

The notice closes by reminding the public that DHS is under no specific obligation to respond to or take action on any of the comments submitted.

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