[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 196 (Tuesday, October 11, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 70060-70061]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-24344]

Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.


Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 196 / Tuesday, October 11, 2016 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 70060]]


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-2016-0072]

Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations--A Focus on Burden 
Reduction; Request for Public Input

AGENCY: Office of the General Counsel, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of Retrospective Review Initiative and request for 


SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (Department or DHS) is 
seeking comments from the public on specific existing significant DHS 
regulations that the Department should consider as candidates for 
streamlining or repeal. These efforts will help us ensure that DHS 
satisfies its statutory obligations and achieves its 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. Input 
that will be most helpful to DHS is input that identifies specific 
regulations and includes actionable data supporting the nomination of 
specific regulations for retrospective review.

DATES: Written comments are requested on or before November 10, 2016 
Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-
2016-0072, 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].


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 E.O. 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 of, 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. DHS published its previous Federal Register 
notice seeking such public input on February 26, 2014. 79 FR 10760. 
Today's notice, which requests nominations for existing significant DHS 
regulations that DHS should streamline or repeal, fulfills the DHS 
commitment to seek public input via the Federal Register on a three-
year cycle.
    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 efforts.\1\

    \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. DHS published its most recent progress 
report in July 2016, and the report is available on the DHS Web site 
at http://www.dhs.gov/latest-progress under ``DHS July 2016 
Retrospective Review Plan Report.''


[[Page 70061]]

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 its components, 
including the following 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 
    Leading a unified national effort, DHS has five core missions: (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 regulation tend to be widely 
dispersed in society, members of the public--especially the regulated 
entities of rulemakings--are likely to have useful information, data, 
and perspectives on the benefits and burdens of existing DHS 
regulations. Given this importance of public input, the primary factor 
for regulation selection in DHS retrospective review is public 

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 be streamlined or 
repealed in order to reduce burden. 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 

    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 below 
principles. Commenters should consider these principles as they answer 
and respond to the questions in this notice.
     For this notice, DHS is focusing on reducing the burdens 
of its regulations and is not seeking comment on actions that might 
increase the net cost of the DHS regulatory program.
     Commenters should identify, with specificity, the 
regulation at issue, providing the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 
cite where available.
     Commenters should provide, in as much detail as possible, 
an explanation why a regulation should be streamlined or repealed in 
order to reduce burdens, 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

    We provide the below nonexhaustive list of questions to assist 
members of the public in the formulation of comments, and we do not 
intend it 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 DHS modernize them to accomplish our regulatory objectives at a 
lower cost?
    (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 use effectively to achieve regulatory objectives?
    (5) Are there regulations that are unnecessarily complicated or 
that DHS could streamline to achieve regulatory objectives in more 
efficient ways? If so, how can DHS make them less complicated and/or 
more streamlined?
    (6) Are there regulations that have been overtaken by technological 
developments? Can DHS leverage new technologies to 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 statutory 
obligations and 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 minimize 
burden and that DHS can use as a model for other DHS regulatory 
    (10) Are there any regulations that create difficulty because of 
duplication, overlap, or inconsistency of requirements?
    The Department issues this notice 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. 2016-24344 Filed 10-7-16; 8:45 am]