Investment Advisors Still May Sell to Their Clients

     WASHINGTON (CN) - Investment advisers with a sideline as broker-dealers may continue to sell securities held in the proprietary accounts of their firms to their advisory clients, according to regulations issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
     The regulations adopt temporary rules the commission issued after a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The court decision made broker-dealers offering fee-based brokerage accounts subject to the Advisers Act of 1940, which required that they register as investment advisers, provide written trade-by-trade disclosures, and obtain trade-by-trade consent after the client had received the disclosure.
     After financial firms complained that compliance would force them to cease to offer trading services to clients, the SEC adopted the current rule, which provides an alternative means for broker-dealers to comply with the Advisers Act. The broker-dealers may obtain revocable standing consent from clients to conduct trades and to provide post-trade statements disclosing the capacity in which the broker-dealer acted and that the client authorized the transaction. Broker-dealers also must provide each client with an annual report itemizing principal transactions, to comply.
     This rule will sunset Dec. 31, 2010.

DOE Wants More Efficient Industrial Light Bulbs

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The Department of Energy wants to see if metal halide lamps between 150 and 500 watts, mostly used in industrial applications, can be made more efficient.
     A public meeting will be held in January 2010 to discuss the framework the department will use to evaluate the available technology and economic feasibility of increased efficiency.

More NE Atlantic Fish Stocks Are Overfished

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The North East Atlantic stocks of pollack and three types of flounder are overfished and in need of immediate rebuilding plans, according the National Marine Fisheries Service.
     To rebuild overfished stocks the agency proposes significant catch reductions, including a total ban in some areas by the gillnet, longline-hook and trawler fisheries.
     Under proposed plans, witch flounder and Georges Bank winter flounder, stocks would be rebuilt by 2017, with a 75-percent probability of success. Pollock and northern windowpane flounder stocks would be rebuilt by 2017, but the agency can not determine the probability of success due to limited data. The rebuilding plans are assumed to begin in 2010.

800 Sea Turtles Hooked in Gulf, Says Fishery Council

     WASHINGTON (CN) - Over a recent 30-month period, more than 800 loggerhead sea turtles were caught on longline fishing hooks, and nearly half were dead or comatose, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.
     Although the hooking of loggerheads is mostly incidental to legitimate fishing, the scale of the problem threatens the ability of the turtle to survive in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. The council has proposed a total ban on the use of bottom longline gear in the reef fish fishery east of Cape San Blas, Fla., from June through August. A draft amendment of how the ban would be implemented has been presented to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval.
     The council also proposes to reduce the number of bottom longline vessels operating in the fishery through two means. A longline endorsement would be provided only to permitted vessels with demonstrated average annual landings of 40,000 pounds of reef fish taken by fish traps or longlines during 1999-2007 and the number of hooks allowed onboard each longline vessel to would be restricted to 1,000 hooks total, only 750 of which may be fished or rigged for fishing at any given time.

Chemical Manufacturers Get Alternate Standards

     WASHINGTON (CN) - Chemical manufacturers will be limited to the discharge of .03 grains of particulate matter per dry standard cubic foot at the exhaust of particulate matter control devices.
     This alternative standard may be applied in place of the installation of control devices that have a 95 percent particulate matter reduction efficiency.
     The agency expects that this alternative will significantly reduce monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements for small process emitters. The alternative standard does not apply to research or laboratory facilities.

Groups Get EPA to Change Lead Monitoring

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to lower the lead emission threshold at which monitoring agencies are required to conduct lead monitoring near a lead source to 0.50 tons per year from an emissions threshold of 1.0 tons per year.
     The agency's proposed action is in response to a petition filed by the National Resources Defense Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and other environmental organizations. The groups argued that the emission and population thresholds required for automatic monitoring were too high.
     In a previous proposal, the agency required monitoring only when the population exposed to the emission source was greater than 1 million. In response to the petition, the agency has lowered the population threshold to 500,000.