Regulatory Recap: May 9 to May 16, 2011

The Recap returns after its break during the final exam period at the University of Pennsylvania. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule under the Dodd-Frank Act to increase the minimum amount of a client's money that an investment adviser must manage in order to charge performance fees to the client. An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule increased the amount of glyphosate residue allowed in corn crops and fields. Glyphosate is a key ingredient in weed killer that some argue is carcinogenic. See related RegBlog post. The EPA announced its second annual "Battle of Buildings" national competition, in which hundreds of commercial buildings are competing for the greatest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. At the cement industry's request, the EPA will reconsider portions of its new hazardous air emission standards for cement plants. The Food and Drug Administration amended its color additive regulations to allow a yellow food color additive to broiler chicken skin. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a rule to expand wireless and broadband coverage in rural areas. According to a recent report, communities without access to high-speed access may be crippled economically. The FCC adopted a rule to establish the first national program to provide deaf-blind individuals with access to the Internet and advanced telecommunications and information services. The Obama administration has yet to appoint nominees to lead three financial regulatory agencies, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or to several positions created by Dodd-Frank. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued an interim rule recalculating the base level a flood would reach in many counties around the country. The changes reflect new scientific or technical data and affect flood insurance premium rates. Two consumer groups, Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen, are lobbying the Obama Administration to appoint Elizabeth Warren as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). All but three Republicans in the Senate signed a letter to President Obama objecting to his administration's plans for the CFPB and saying they would not support any nominee to head it.

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