#FedFeed

Note to our readers: beginning with this edition, #FedFeed will be published weekly on Mondays.

This week’s #FedFeed includes: (1) FHA to remove inspector roster, protection plan on high LTV ratio mortgages as insurance precondition on new construction; (2) FDA seeks stronger warning suggestions on smokeless tobacco; (3) NHTSA reports LED lamps no more effective than incandescent in brake lights rear-end impact avoidance; (4) Comment period extended on issue of genetically altered salmon; and (5) small business health options (SHOP) announced as part of Affordable Care Act.

FHA to remove inspector roster, protection plan on high LTV ratio mortgages as insurance precondition on new construction.  The Federal Housing Authority seeks public comment thru April 8, 2013 on its proposed rule to streamline the inspection and home warranty requirements for FHA single-family mortgage insurance. First, HUD proposes to remove the regulations for the FHA Inspector Roster. Second, HUD would also remove the regulations requiring 10-year protection plans in order to qualify for high loan-to-value (LTV), FHA-insured mortgages as a condition of closing for newly constructed single-family homes.

FDA seeks stronger warning suggestions on smokeless tobacco.  The Food and Drug Administration seeks public comments thru April 1, 2013, supported by scientific evidence, regarding what changes to the smokeless tobacco product warnings, if any, would promote greater public understanding of the risks associated with the use of smokeless tobacco products.  They seek to improve upon the four existing warnings (1) WARNING: This product can cause mouth cancer; (2) WARNING: This product can cause gum disease and tooth loss; (3) WARNING: This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes; and (4) WARNING: Smokeless tobacco is addictive.  Comments and supporting evidence should address how any changes in the warnings would affect both users’ and nonusers’ understanding of the risks associated with the use of smokeless tobacco products.

NHTSA reports LED lamps no more effective than incandescent in brake lights rear-end impact avoidance.  The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration seeks public comment thru June 28, 2013 in response to the publication of its Technical Report analyzing the crash-reduction benefits of light-emitting diode (LED) stop lamps and LED center high-mounted stop lamps (CHMSL) using real-world crash data. Previous work on this subject included laboratory experiments that suggest LED lamps were more beneficial than incandescent lamps at preventing rear-impact collisions. NHTSA statistically compared the overall ratio of rear-impact crashes to a control group of frontal impacts before and after the switch to LED. Overall, the analysis does not support a firm conclusion about whether LED stop lamps and LED CHMSL are more effective than incandescent lamps.

Comment period extended on issue of genetically altered salmon.  The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it has extended the public comment period until April 26, 2013 to respond to the draft environmental assessment and preliminary finding of “No Significant Impact” concerning the introduction of genetically engineered Atlantic salmon.

Small business health options (SHOP) announced as part of Affordable Care Act.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services seeks public comments until April 1, 2013 on its plans to implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act related to the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).  Specifically, the proposed rule amends existing regulations regarding triggering events and special enrollment periods for qualified employees and their dependents and would implement a transitional policy regarding employees’ choice of Qualified Health Plans (QHPS) in the shop.