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A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Kentucky issued an indictment against an individual for transportation of radioactive material generated from fracking activities without compliance with US Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.
The White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) recently published in the Federal Register a final rule, Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act. The final rule is the latest in a series of actions taken by the Trump administration and the CEQ to “modernize and clarify” the CEQ’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing regulations to “facilitate more efficient, effective, and timely NEPA reviews by Federal agencies in connection with proposals for agency action.”
To comply with the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, the NRC must amend its decommissioning financial assurance mechanisms in 10 CFR Part 30. The NRC promulgated these regulations in the 1980s and 1990s to allow licensees to use parent company and self-guarantee decommissioning financial assurance mechanisms. Owners and/or operators and parent company guarantors could qualify to use these guarantee mechanisms by either meeting financial test metrics or minimum guarantor bond credit rating criteria.
The NRC Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) recently issued Revision 4 to Office Instruction LIC-203, “Procedural Guidance for Categorical Exclusions, Environmental Assessments, and Considering Environmental Issues.” The update reflects recent NRC organizational changes and internal procedures related to the agency’s environmental review activities. These changes do not impose any new obligations on NRC applicants. However, a proper understanding of the agency’s internal processes can be helpful in developing successful licensing strategies. The key changes are summarized below.
The NRC recently issued its report to Congress on the best practices for the establishment and operation of local community advisory boards (CABs) associated with decommissioning nuclear power plants.
The comment period for the NRC’s draft Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) on true identity verification requirements closed on June 15, 2020. The industry had asked for and received a 45-day extension from the original April 30 deadline to provide comments.

Our colleagues in the False Claims Act practice have just announced the publication of Civil False Claims and Qui Tam Actions, Fifth Edition. This comprehensive two-volume treatise— frequently cited by federal and state courts as authority on the False Claims Act (FCA)—provides a full history of the FCA, an in-depth analysis of its liability provisions and the case law interpreting them, extensive perspectives on FCA practice and procedure, and a survey of state and local false claims laws.

The US Department of the Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) published proposed rule changes on May 21 addressing when parties must notify the Committee of proposed transactions.
The US Department of Labor’s chief administrative law judge (ALJ) issued an administrative order and notice on June 1, indefinitely suspending all in-person hearings before the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ).
The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently published a new rule to give the Secretary of Labor discretion to review Administrative Review Board (ARB) decisions. In 1996, the Secretary of Labor established the ARB while simultaneously granting it the authority and assigning it the responsibility to issue final agency decisions—after review or on appeal—of matters arising under various worker protection laws, including the many whistleblower protection laws administered by the DOL.