[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 38 (Wednesday, February 26, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 10760-10762]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-04116]



6 CFR Chapter I

8 CFR Chapter I

19 CFR Chapter I

33 CFR Chapter I

44 CFR Chapter I

46 CFR Chapters I and III

49 CFR Chapter XII

[Docket No. DHS-2014-0006]

Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations; Request for Public 

AGENCY: Office of the General Counsel, DHS.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (Department or DHS) is 
seeking comments from the public on specific existing significant DHS 
rules that the Department should consider as candidates for 
modification, streamlining, expansion, or repeal. These efforts will 
help DHS ensure that its regulations contain necessary, properly 
tailored, and up-to-date requirements that effectively achieve 
regulatory objectives without imposing unwarranted costs.
    DHS is seeking this input pursuant to the process identified in 
DHS's Final Plan for the Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations. 
According to the Final Plan, DHS will initiate its retrospective review 
process, on a three-year cycle, by seeking input from the public. The 
most helpful input will identify specific regulations and include 
actionable data supporting the nomination of specific regulations for 
retrospective review.

DATES: Written comments are requested on or before March 28, 2014. 
Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-
2014-0006, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charlotte Skey, Senior Regulatory 
Economist, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Homeland 
Security. Email: [email protected].


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I. Public Participation

    Interested persons are invited to comment on this notice by 
submitting written data, views, or arguments using the method 
identified in the ADDRESSES section.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number for this notice. All comments received will be posted 
without change to http://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

II. Background

    On January 18, 2011, the President issued Executive Order 13563, 
``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' to ensure that Federal 
regulations seek more affordable, less intrusive means to achieve 
policy goals and that agencies give careful consideration to the 
benefits and costs of those regulations. 76 FR 3821. The Executive 
Order required each Executive Branch agency to develop a preliminary 
plan to periodically review its existing regulations to determine 
whether any regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or 
repealed so as to make the agency's regulatory program more effective 
or less burdensome in achieving its regulatory objectives.
    DHS's approach to conducting retrospective review focuses on public 
openness and transparency and on the critical role of public input in 
conducting retrospective review. To that end, DHS published a notice 
and request for comments in the Federal Register on March 14, 2011. 76 
FR 13526. In that notice, DHS solicited public input on how DHS should 
structure its retrospective review and which DHS rules would benefit 
from retrospective review. On June 6, 2011, DHS published a notice of 
availability; request for comments announcing the availability and 
seeking comment on its Preliminary Plan for the Retrospective Review of 
Existing Regulations. 76 FR 32331. DHS considered this public input as 
it developed a Final Plan.
    On August 22, 2011, DHS issued its Final Plan for the Retrospective 
Review of Existing Regulations (Final Plan or DHS Final Plan). The DHS 
Final Plan is available online at http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/dhs-ogc-final-retrospective-review-plan-8-22-11-final.pdf. The Final 
Plan established a process for identifying regulations that may be 
obsolete, unnecessary, unjustified, excessively burdensome, or 
counterproductive. Under the Final Plan, DHS (and/or a DHS component) 
will publish a notice in the Federal Register every three years seeking 
public input regarding the regulations that should be subject to 
retrospective review. The previous Federal Register notice from DHS 
seeking such public input was published in 2011. 76 FR 13526. The 
notice published today in the Federal Register requesting nominations 
for additional regulations that should be subject to retrospective 
review fulfills the DHS commitment to seek public input via the Federal 
Register on a three-year cycle.
    It is important to note that DHS continually evaluates its 
regulatory program for rules that are candidates for retrospective 
review. DHS does so through legally mandated retrospective review 
requirements (e.g., Unified Agenda reviews and reviews under section 
610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act) and through other informal and 
long-established mechanisms (e.g., use of Advisory Councils, feedback 
from DHS field personnel, input from internal working groups, and 
outreach to regulated entities). This Federal Register notice 
supplements these existing extensive DHS retrospective review 

    \1\ Twice a year, DHS posts a progress report on the DHS Web 
site; the report provides the status of DHS regulations currently 
under retrospective review. The most recent progress report was 
published in July 2013 and is available on the DHS Web site at 

II. DHS's Regulatory Responsibility

    DHS's mission is to ensure a homeland that is safe, secure, and 
resilient against terrorism and other hazards. The Department carries 
out its mission through the Office of the Secretary and 28 components, 
including the following seven operational components: U.S. Citizenship 
and Immigration Services, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement, U.S. Secret Service, and Transportation Security 
    Our mission gives us five main areas of responsibility: (1) Prevent 
terrorism and enhance security; (2) secure and manage our borders; (3) 
enforce and administer our immigration laws; (4) safeguard and secure 
cyberspace; and (5) ensure resilience to disasters. To further these 
areas, DHS has responsibility for a broad range of regulations. For 
example, to secure and manage our borders, DHS regulates people and 
goods entering and exiting the United States. DHS, to combat terrorism, 
regulates aviation security, high-risk chemical facilities, and 
infrastructure protection. DHS also issues regulations to administer 
immigration and citizenship benefits as well as regulations covering 
maritime safety and environmental protection. Finally, DHS promulgates 
a wide range of regulations concerning disaster preparedness, response, 
and recovery.

III. Request for Input

A. Importance of Public Feedback

    A central tenet of the DHS Final Plan is the critical and essential 
role of public input in driving and focusing DHS retrospective review. 
Because the impacts and effects of a rule tend to be widely dispersed 
in society, members of the public--especially the regulated entities of 
our rulemakings--are likely to have useful information, data, and 
perspectives on the benefits and burdens of our existing regulations. 
Given this importance of public input, the primary factor for rule 
section in DHS retrospective review is public feedback.

B. Maximizing the Value of Public Feedback

    This notice contains a list of questions, the answers to which will 
assist DHS in identifying those regulations that may benefit from DHS 
retrospective review. DHS encourages public comment on these questions 
and seeks any other data commenters believe are relevant to DHS's 
retrospective review efforts. The DHS Final Plan provides instruction 
on the type of feedback that is most useful to the Department:

    DHS will afford significantly greater weight to feedback that 
identifies specific regulations, includes actionable data, or 
provides viable alternatives that meet statutory obligations and 
regulatory objectives. Feedback that simply states that a 
stakeholder feels strongly that DHS should change a regulation, but 
does not contain specific information on how the proposed change 
would impact the costs and benefits of the regulation, is much less 
useful to DHS. DHS is looking for new information and new economic 
data to support any proposed changes. (emphasis added)

    We highlight a few of those points here, noting that comments that 
will be most useful to DHS are those that are guided by the principles 
below. Commenters should consider these principles as they answer and 
respond to the questions in this notice.
     Commenters should identify, with specificity, the 
regulation at issue, providing the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 
cite where available.
     Commenters should provide, in as much detail as possible, 
an explanation why a regulation should be modified,

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streamlined, expanded, or repealed, as well as specific suggestions of 
ways the Department can better achieve its regulatory objectives.
     Commenters should provide specific data that document the 
costs, burdens, and benefits of existing requirements. Commenters might 
also address how DHS can best obtain and consider accurate, objective 
information and data about the costs, burdens, and benefits of existing 
regulations and whether there are existing sources of data that DHS can 
use to evaluate the post-promulgation effects of its regulations over 
     Particularly where comments relate to a rule's costs or 
benefits, comments will be most useful if there are data and experience 
under the rule available to ascertain the rule's actual impact. For 
that reason, we encourage the public to emphasize those rules that have 
been in effect for a sufficient amount of time to warrant a fair 
     Comments that rehash debates over recently issued rules 
will be less useful.

C. List of Questions for Commenters

    The below nonexhaustive list of questions is meant to assist 
members of the public in the formulation of comments and is not 
intended to restrict the issues that commenters may address:
    (1) Are there regulations that simply make no sense or have become 
unnecessary, ineffective, or ill advised and, if so, what are they? Are 
there regulations that can simply be repealed without impairing the 
Department's regulatory programs and, if so, what are they?
    (2) Are there regulations that have become outdated and, if so, how 
can they be modernized to better accomplish their regulatory 
    (3) Are there regulations that are still necessary, but have not 
operated as well as expected such that a modified, stronger, or 
slightly different approach is justified?
    (4) Does the Department currently collect information that it does 
not need or effectively use to achieve regulatory objectives?
    (5) Are there regulations that are unnecessarily complicated or 
could be streamlined to achieve regulatory objectives in more efficient 
ways? If so, how can they be streamlined and/or made less complicated?
    (6) Are there regulations that have been overtaken by technological 
developments? Can new technologies be leveraged to modify, streamline, 
or do away with existing regulatory requirements?
    (7) Are there any Departmental regulations that are not tailored to 
impose the least burden on society, consistent with achieving the 
regulatory objectives?
    (8) How can the Department best obtain and consider accurate, 
objective information and data about the costs, burdens, and benefits 
of existing regulations? Are there existing sources of data the 
Department can use to evaluate the post-promulgation effects of 
regulations over time?
    (9) Are there regulations that are working well that can be 
expanded or used as a model to fill gaps in other DHS regulatory 
    (10) Are there any regulations that create difficulty because of 
duplication, overlap, or inconsistency of requirements?
    The Department notes that this notice is issued solely for 
information and program planning purposes. Responses to this notice do 
not bind DHS to any further actions related to the response.

Christina E. McDonald,
Associate General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2014-04116 Filed 2-25-14; 8:45 am]