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ua14no94 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (NRC)...
<DOC> FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) Statement of Regulatory Priorities I. Regulatory Priorities The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency charged with protecting consumers and businesses from unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices. Although the agency pursues its mandate primarily through case-by-case enforcement of the Federal Trade Commission Act and other statutes, regulation is an important complement to this law enforcement effort, particularly with respect to consumer protection matters. Commission regulations generally are intended to ensure that consumers receive the information necessary to evaluate competing products and make informed purchasing decisions. The Commission's regulatory efforts for 1994 will encompass consideration of new regulations, modification of existing regulations, and elimination of unneeded regulations. With respect to new regulations, the Commission has been directed by Congress in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPA 92) to establish uniform labeling requirements, if practicable, for alternative fuels (i.e., automotive fuels other than gasoline and diesel, such as compressed natural gas, ethanol, and electricity) and for vehicles that use alternative fuels. The statute provides generally that the rule must require disclosure of ``appropriate'' cost and benefit information to enable consumers to make reasonable purchasing choices and comparisons. The Commission published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on December 10, 1993 (58 FR 64914), and a notice of proposed rulemaking on May 9, 1994 (59 FR 24014). This proceeding is expected to generate considerable interest because of the diverse industries affected by the rule. In July 1994, the Commission convened a public forum with a neutral facilitator to obtain additional public participation in the rulemaking process and to gain the unique perspectives that interaction among interested parties can provide. EPA 92 requires the Commission to issue a final rule by May 9, 1995. EPA 92 also requires the Commission to adopt a rule requiring lamp products to be labeled with the information necessary to enable a consumer to select the most energy efficient lamp that meets the consumer's requirements. The Commission approved this rule on April 25, 1994. In this proceeding, the Commission held a public forum to stimulate broader public interest and involvement. A similar forum was held for the alternative fuels rulemaking. Also, the Commission recently has been directed by Congress in the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act to issue a rule prohibiting deceptive and abusive telemarketing acts and practices. The Act specifies that the rule contain a definition of what constitutes deceptive telemarketing acts and practices, which may include credit card laundering as well as other acts of assisting or facilitating deceptive telemarketing. The purpose of the rulemaking is to provide consumers with protection from telemarketing deception and abuse. It is anticipated that the Commission will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking in February 1995. The statute requires the final rule to be promulgated within 365 days from the date of enactment. With respect to rule modifications, the Commission plans to seek comment later this year regarding possible amendments to its Care Labeling Rule (16 CFR 423 (1994)). This rule requires manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel to attach care labels to garments (for example, dry clean only). The rule currently requires the instructions to be in words, but allows symbols to be used in addition to words. The FTC will seek comments respecting the desirability of using symbols in lieu of words. Symbols could make care instructions more understandable to non-English-speaking consumers, and thus not only better serve a significant minority of American consumers, but also enhance the prospects of export to and import from Mexico and Canada, consistent with the goals of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Commission issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on June 15, 1994 (59 FR 30733). The FTC is also committed to eliminating unnecessary rules and regulations. To this end, the Commission this year is seeking information regarding the costs and benefits of 11 of its trade practice rules and voluntary industry guides. (See 59 FR 2955, January 20, 1994.) This assessment is part of the Commission's ongoing program to review all of its rules and guides every 10 years to determine whether they should be retained, modified, or repealed. Since the beginning of this fiscal year, the Commission has repealed three guides and one rule as a result of this program. (See 59 FR 8527, February 23, 1994, announcing repeal of the Guides for the Greeting Card Industry Relating to Discriminatory Practices, and repeal of the trade regulation rule on Discriminatory Practices in Men's and Boy's Tailored Clothing Industry, 16 CFR parts 244 and 412; and 58 FR 68292, December 27, 1993, announcing repeal of the Guides for Advertising Fallout Shelters, and Guides on Radiation Monitoring Instruments, 16 CFR parts 229 and 232.) With regard to both content and process, the FTC's ongoing and proposed regulatory actions appear compatible with the President's priorities. Substantively, the actions under consideration seek primarily to inform and protect consumers and reduce the regulatory burdens on business. The Commission's efforts this year under EPA 92 also serve to promote environmental protection and conservation of energy resources. Additionally, the Commission's ten-year program for reviewing its existing regulations is in harmony with Section 5(a) of Executive Order 12866 (September 30, 1993; 58 FR 51735), which directs Executive branch agencies to develop a plan to reevaluate periodically all of their significant, existing regulations. Procedurally, the Commission also continues to focus substantial attention on aspects of the regulatory process that Executive Order 12866 seeks to promote: identifying and weighing the costs and benefits of proposed actions and possible alternative actions, and receiving the broadest practicable array of comments from affected consumers, businesses, and the public at large. In sum, therefore, the Federal Trade Commission's regulatory actions are aimed at efficiently and fairly promoting the ability of ``private markets to protect or improve the health and safety of the public, the environment, or the well-being of the American people.'' Executive Order 12866, Sec. I. II. Regulatory Actions The regulatory efforts described in this Plan are not ``significant regulatory actions'' as that term is defined in Executive Order 12866. The Commission nonetheless includes them because their effects will be widespread and of substantial practical value to businesses and consumers, and because they provide examples of the Commission's anticipated regulatory activities for fiscal year 1995. _______________________________________________________________________ FTC ___________________________________________________________ PROPOSED RULE STAGE ___________________________________________________________ 207. THE CARE LABELING RULE Legal Authority: 15 USC 41 et seq CFR Citation: 16 CFR 423 Legal Deadline: None Abstract: The Care Labeling Rule requires manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel to attach cleaning instructions stating what regular care is needed for the ordinary use of the product. The Care Labeling Rule currently requires that care instructions be stated in ``appropriate terms.'' The rule also states that ``any appropriate symbols may be used on care labels or care instructions, in addition to the required appropriate terms, so long as the terms fulfill the requirements of the regulation.'' The rule does not specifically state that the instructions must be set forth in English. The goal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is to establish a trade zone in which goods can flow freely between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Both Canada and Mexico, however, require that garments containing instructions in English also contain instructions in French or Spanish, respectively. Thus, textile industry members are concerned about the length of care labels that contain instructions in three languages. Although manufacturers could separately label garments for each of these three countries, this would increase the costs and reduce the advantages of a large free trade zone. These manufacturers, therefore, propose to use care symbols in lieu of care language. Statement of Need: In addition, environmentalists are interested in reducing the use of dry cleaning solvents. There is some evidence indicating that some solvents may be damaging to the environment. The Care Labeling Rule currently only requires either a washing instruction or a dry cleaning instruction; it does not require both. Thus, some garments that are labeled ``dry clean'' may also be washable, and if the rule required both washing and dry cleaning instructions for these garments, some members of the public might use dry cleaning solvents less frequently. The Commission does not know at present the incidence with which garments that can be both dry cleaned and washed are labeled only with dry cleaning instructions. The Commission has solicited comment on whether it would be desirable to allow the use of symbols in lieu of language on care labels; on whether, and under what circumstances, it is desirable to require washing instructions as well as dry cleaning instructions; and in general, on the costs, benefits, and regulatory and economic impact of an amended Care Labeling Rule. Summary of the Legal Basis: No aspect of this action is required by statute or court order. The Commission has solicited comment on these issues as part of its ongoing program to review periodically all its rules and guides. Any amendment of the Care Labeling Rule will be undertaken pursuant to the general authority granted to the Commission by the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 41 et seq. If the Commission decides to amend the rule, the Commission will determine whether that action must be undertaken according to the extensive rulemaking procedures mandated by section 18 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 57a, or whether other procedural approaches are available and appropriate. Alternatives: In considering whether the rule should be modified to permit the use of symbols in lieu of language, the Commission will consider all existing systems of symbols for care labeling and will seek comment on the benefits and burdens associated with each system. In considering whether the rule should be modified to require a washing instruction in addition to a dry cleaning instruction, the Commission will solicit information as to the extent of the impact of the care label on the incidence of dry cleaning, and the costs and benefits to consumers of washing rather than dry cleaning certain fabrics. The Commission will also consider any comments relevant to the rule suggesting alternative ways of reducing the environmental damage that has been associated with PCE. Anticipated Costs and Benefits: In the notice requesting comment, the Commission requested information about the costs and benefits of the possible changes to the rule. Risks: Perchloroethylene (PCE), the most commonly used dry cleaning solvent, has been designated as a hazardous air pollutant under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act and under many State air toxics regulations. On September 15, 1993, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set national emission standards for new and existing PCE dry cleaning facilities. EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics has been working with the dry cleaning industry to reduce human exposure to PCE. EPA and the dry cleaning industry are also collaborating on a Cleaner Technologies Substitute Assessment (CTSA) for the industry, and as a part of this collaboration, EPA has published a summary of a cleaning process known as Multiprocess Wet Cleaning. This process relies on the application of heat, steam and natural soaps to clean clothes that are typically dry cleaned. If the Commission finds that a significant number of washable garments are labeled only with a ``dry clean'' instruction, changing the rule to require that care instructions state whether the garment can also be washed might reduce risks to public health, safety, and the environment, by encouraging dry cleaners to use multiprocess wet cleaning, and where appropriate, by encouraging consumers to wash, rather than dry clean, certain garments. Timetable: _______________________________________________________________________ Action DFR Cite _______________________________________________________________________ Publication of A59 FR 30733 06/15/94 Comment Period Closes 10/15/94 Commission Determination 01/00/95 Small Entities Affected: Undetermined Government Levels Affected: None Agency Contact: Constance Vecellio Care Labeling Rule Coordinator Division of Enforcement Federal Trade Commission Washington, DC 20580 202 326-2966 RIN: 3084-AA54 _______________________________________________________________________ FTC 208. LABELING REQUIREMENTS FOR ALTERNATIVE FUELS AND ALTERNATIVE-FUELED VEHICLES Legal Authority: 42 USC 13232(a) CFR Citation: 16 CFR 309 Legal Deadline: NPRM, Statutory, April 25, 1994. Final, Statutory, May 9, 1995. Abstract: Section 406(a) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (``EPA 92''), Public Law 102-486, 106 Stat. 2776 (1992), directs the Commission to issue a rule establishing uniform labeling requirements for alternative fuels and alternative-fueled vehicles. The Act does not specify what
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