Engine Products Group ask Supreme Court to Take Up E15 Case

The Engine Products Group, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider a court of appeal's decision not to hear a case against the Environmental Protection Agency's allowance of E15, or gas with 15 percent ethanol, in the overall fuel supply.

The petition asks the Supreme Court to reconsider a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in August that none of the parties had standing in the case challenging the EPA's decision to grant partial waivers approving the sale of gasoline containing E15. The petition asks the Supreme Court to accept the case for review. If the Supreme Court does so, the parties will then ask the court to reverse the appeals court's ruling and find the parties have the right to challenge the EPA's partial waiver decisions that allow the sale of E15 for some passenger cars and light trucks, but not older vehicles or in motorcycles, boats and off-road engines.


Merchant Mariner Medical Evaluation Program

The Coast Guard is seeking public comment regarding the merchant mariner medical evaluation program. Section 718 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2012 directed the Commandant of the Coast Guard to submit to Congress an assessment of the Coast Guard National Maritime Center's merchant mariner medical evaluation program and alternatives to the program. Congress specifically asked the Coast Guard to include an analysis of how a system similar to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners program, and the Federal Aviation Administration's Designated Aviation Medical Examiners program, could be applied by the Coast Guard in making medical fitness determinations for issuance of merchant mariners' documents. The Coast Guard will accept comments from the public on the perceived benefits and concerns with adopting a similar program for the medical evaluation of merchant mariners.

Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before May 2, 2013 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.


MPA Advisory to Hold Conference Call

Notice is hereby given of a meeting via web conference call of the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (Committee). The web conference calls are open to the public, and participants can dial in to the calls. Participants who choose to use the web conferencing feature in addition to the audio will be able to view the presentations as they are being given. Members of the public wishing to listen in should contact Lauren Wenzel at the email or telephone number below for the call-in number and passcode.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, May 1, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. EDT. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Refer to the Web page listed below for the most up-to-date meeting agenda.


Reauthorization of Magnuson Begins

The first in a series of congressional oversight hearings regarding Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization was held on March 13. As House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Richard "Doc" Hastings (R-Wash.) noted in his opening remarks at the hearing, "Judging by the number of bills to amend the Magnuson-Stevens Act introduced last Congress, there is certainly an interest among members — and their constituents — in modifying the act."

Those bills contain a number of ideas for amending Magnuson: modifying the annual catch limit requirement; adding flexibility to stock rebuilding timelines; adding transparency to the regional fishery management councils and their science and statistical committees; new uses for money collected from fisheries fines and penalties; modifying disaster assistance provisions; and a definition and restrictions on catch share management programs.


Medical Waivers for Merchant Mariner Credential Applicants With a History of Seizure Disorders

The Coast Guard is seeking public comment regarding criteria for granting medical waivers to merchant mariners with a history of seizure disorders. Coast Guard regulations provide that convulsive disorders (also known as seizure disorders) are conditions that may lead to disqualification for a merchant mariner credential (MMC). Because a significant number of merchant mariner applicants have suffered from seizure disorders, it is important for the Coast Guard to develop and publish clear guidance regarding how such MMC applicants are evaluated. Prior to issuing a policy change on when waivers should be granted for seizure disorders, the Coast Guard will accept comments from the public on whether the proposed criteria adequately address safety concerns.

Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before April 24, 2013 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date. 


Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)--Reader Requirements

The Coast Guard announces a public meeting to take place on Thursday, April 18, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport, 1999 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia 22202. The building is accessible by taxi, public transit, and privately-owned conveyance. Please note that the session may adjourn early if all business, concerns, and questions are addressed. They will post a written summary of the meeting and oral comments in the docket.


Proposed New Survey of Charter Boat and Headboat Angler Interactions With Sea Turtles

The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

Written comments must be submitted on or before May 6, 2013.

Rep. Sensenbrenner Introduces New Bill Blocking E15

Rep. Sensenbrenner (joined by Broun, Griffin, Hall, Smith, Westmoreland) introduced HR 875, to overturn the E15 waivers until the completion of a comprehensive National Academy of Sciences study on mid-level ethanol blends. 

$26 Annual User Fee to Renew COI

 The Coast Guard proposes to amend its regulations to separately list an annual fee for renewals of endorsements upon the Certificate of Documentation. The Coast Guard is required to establish user fees for services related to the documentation of vessels. This proposed rule would separately list a fee of $26 to cover the current costs of the vessel documentation services provided by the Coast Guard.

Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before May 3, 2013 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

Wicker, Vitter Introduce Bill to Roll Back Ethanol Requirement for Gasoline

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and David Vitter (R-La.) on February 14, introduced legislation to block an increase in the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline. The bill would overturn Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) waivers that allowed gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15). The higher blend of ethanol has been found to cause engine damage, reduce fuel efficiency, and contribute to higher corn prices and rising food costs for American consumers.