Today, the Department of Energy issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend its regulations governing compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposals focus primarily on the Department’s categorical exclusion provisions, and reflect the first update to these provisions in thirteen years. The Department sought public input earlier this year to assist in the preparation of the current proposals.
The Department of Energy announced today that it has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the United States Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) to enable the Department’s lab and facility management and operation (M&O) contractors to employ the CBCA for mediation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution services. Earlier this year, the Department clarified that M&O contractors are permitted to include binding arbitration clauses in their contracts with others, and, indeed, that arbitration may often be a desirable alternative to litigation where disputes
Because of the role wireless technologies will play in the evolution toward a smarter national grid, one of the recommendations in DOE’s report, The Communications Requirements of Smart Grid Technologies, was that members of the utility sector become more engaged in the federal advisory committees that provide input on key policy issues related to the Smart Grid, including spectrum management and network reliability issues. Last week, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Adm
On December 8, 2010, the Department of Energy General Counsel’s office hosted a seminar on the topic of spectrum policy, attended by approximately fifty representatives of the utility industry. At this spectrum policy seminar, senior officials from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) provided information on spectrum policy issues in light of the role wireless communications will play in the deployment of Smart Grid technologies. They reviewed the current spectrum management process and
The Department last week invited interested parties to submit views on the proper application of waivers establishing alternative test procedures for existing large-capacity residential clothes washer models and units. We received responses from several parties, which can be found below.
The Department of Energy published a final rule establishing procedures under which a former employee of the executive branch may obtain approval to make communications to DOE solely for the purpose of furnishing scientific or technological information during the period the former employee is subject to post-employment restrictions set forth in 18 U.S.C. 207(a), (c), and (d).
The Department of Energy has recently granted several requests for waivers establishing an alternative test procedure for certain large-capacity residential clothes washer models. We have now received follow-up questions about the proper application of these waivers. Since these questions affect multiple manufacturers and the public, we have decided the proper course is to invite interested parties to submit views on the proper application of these waivers to existing clothes washer models and units by Tuesday, December 7th.
The Department of Energy has settled the civil penalty action it initiated against Air-Con International for Air-Con’s sale of air conditioners in the United States that used more energy than allowed by federal law. On September 20, 2010, based on Air-Con’s responses to a DOE subpoena, DOE ordered Air-Con to stop selling noncompliant air conditioners in the United States and proposed civil penalties for the noncompliant units sold by the company.