Tuesday, January 8, 2013

DHS Publishes Semiannual Regulatory Agenda

Today DHS (along with the other major Executive Branch organizations) published their Fall 2012 Regulatory Agenda in the Federal Register (78 FR 1586-1593). This is supposed to include a brief explanation of those items on the Department’s Unified Agenda which is likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Ammonium Nitrate Rule

As I expected the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program does make the Department’s list of significant rulemakings (RIN 1601–AA52), under the “Long Term Actions” category. The only new information here is that DHS does not expect to publish a final rule for this program until December of 2013. That would be just about two years after the close of the comment period on the NPRM for this rulemaking; if that date is actually met. There is (as expected) no explanation why this rulemaking was left off the 2012 Unified Agenda.

Coast Guard Rules

Only one of the four Coast Guard rules that I had identified as being of specific interest to readers of this blog made it to the DHS list of significant rulemakings, the Updates to Maritime Security (RIN 1625-AB38) rulemaking. As I noted in an earlier blog post , the Coast Guard expects (hold your breath on this timing) to publish their NPRM on this rule in April of this year. This NPRM was first ‘expected to be published’ in March of 2010.

TSA Rules

The General Aviation Security rulemaking (RIN 1652-AA53) is the only TSA rule to make it to the significant rulemakings list that might be of specific interest to the chemical security or cybersecurity communities. Actually including that here is a bit of a stretch, but I did need to have something to show for the TSA. So it was either this or the Aircraft repair station security rulemaking.

Significance – None

The whole publication of this Unified Agenda and its associated regulatory plans is really an exercise in bureaucratic back scratching. Rules are routinely proposed and implemented without making it to the Agenda. The publication dates from the Agenda are almost never met. And rules disappear from the Agenda without notice or reason. But, it is the closest thing to a regulatory plan that the Executive Branch actually has.

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