New regs for Wednesday: Pension cuts, trade, hazardous materials

New regs for Wednesday: Pension cuts, trade, hazardous materials
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Wednesday’s edition of the Federal Register contains new foreign trade regulations and an application for multiemployer pension cuts.

Here’s what is happening:

Trade: The Commerce Department is moving forward with new foreign trade regulations.

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of the Census announced Tuesday changes to the export reporting requirements under the foreign trade regulations.

The new rule goes into effect in 90 days. 

Pensions: The Department of the Treasury is considering new pension cuts.

The United Furniture Workers Pension Fund A is seeking to reduce the amount it pays retired workers, a move it claims is necessary to ensure the long-term survival of this multiemployer pension fund.

The UFW Pension Fund applied to the Treasury Department for relief on March 15.

The public has 45 days to comment.

Animals: The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) declined to protect certain black bears and tortoises.

In response to petitions to list tortoises founded in the Mojave desert as endangered, and add new protections for Florida black bears, the FWS said Tuesday that these protections are not warranted.

The decision goes into effect immediately.

Hazardous materials: The Department of Transportation is raising the penalties for companies that knowingly violate hazardous material regulations.

The Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced Tuesday it is increasing the fines to match inflation.

The maximum penalty when someone dies because of the violation will be $182,877. If no one dies or is seriously injured, the maximum penalty would be $78,376.

The minimum penalty will be $471.

The new penalties go into effect immediately.