Presumption of Service Connection for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, 57072-57074 [E9-26580]

Download as PDF 57072 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 212 / Wednesday, November 4, 2009 / Rules and Regulations responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Energy Effects We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under that order because it is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211. Technical Standards The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards. WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Environment We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023–01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321–4370f), and have concluded this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2–1, paragraph (34)(g), of the Instruction. This rule involves a regulation establishing a safety zone. An environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:16 Nov 03, 2009 Jkt 220001 List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165 Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways. ■ For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows: (d) Effective period. This section is effective from 12:45 p.m. through 9:30 p.m. on November 9, 2009. Dated: October 10, 2009. P.M. Gugg, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port San Francisco. [FR Doc. E9–26574 Filed 11–3–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS ■ 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1226, 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701, 3306, 3703; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05–1, 6.04–1, 6.04–6, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107–295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. 38 CFR Part 3 2. A new temporary § 165.T11–249 is added to read as follows: ■ § 165.T11–249 Safety Zone; Corporate Party on Hornblower Yacht, Fireworks Display, San Francisco, CA (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All waters of the San Francisco Bay from the surface to the bottom, within a 100 foot radius of the fireworks launch site located at 37°46′39.90″ N, 122°23′06.78″ W (NAD 83) proximate to Pier 30–32 from 12:45 p.m. until 9 p.m. on November 9, 2009; and within 1,000 feet of the same launch site from 9 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on November 9, 2009. (b) Definitions. As used in this section, ‘‘designated representative’’ means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer operating a Coast Guard vessel and a Federal, State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port (COTP) San Francisco in the enforcement of the safety zone. (c) Regulations. (1) Under the general regulations in § 165.23, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP or the COTP’s Representative. (2) The safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the COTP or a designated representative. (3) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone must contact the COTP or a designated representative to obtain permission to do so. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the COTP or the designated representative. Persons and vessels may request permission to enter the safety zones on VHF–16 or through the 24hour Command Center at telephone (415) 399–3547. PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 RIN 2900–AN05 Presumption of Service Connection for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Department of Veterans Affairs. Final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: This document adopts as a final rule the interim final rule amending the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) adjudication regulations to establish a presumption of service connection for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for any veteran who develops the disease at any time after separation from service. This amendment implements the decision by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish such a presumption based on a November 2006 report by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine on the association between active service and ALS. DATES: Effective Date: November 4, 2009. Applicability Date: This final rule shall apply to all applications for benefits that are received by VA on or after September 23, 2008, the effective date of the interim final rule, and to all applications for benefits that were pending before VA, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on that date. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas J. Kniffen, Chief, Regulations Staff (211D), Compensation and Pension Service, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461–9366. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On September 23, 2008, VA published in the Federal Register (73 FR 54691) an interim final rule that established at new § 3.318 a presumption of service connection for ALS for any veteran who develops the disease at any time after separation from service. We provided a 60-day comment period that ended on November 24, E:\FR\FM\04NOR1.SGM 04NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 212 / Wednesday, November 4, 2009 / Rules and Regulations 2008. We received comments from 12 members of the general public and 1 each from the ALS Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Most of the comments from the general public came from family members of veterans affected by this disease, expressing gratitude and the belief that this decision was long overdue. Based on the rationale set forth in the interim final rule and this final rule, we adopt the provisions of the interim final rule as a final rule without change. WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Administrative Procedure Act This document affirms the amendment made by the interim final rule that is already in effect. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs concluded that, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d)(3), there was good cause to dispense with advance public notice and opportunity to comment on this rule and good cause to publish the interim final rule with an immediate effective date. The interim final rule was necessary to implement immediately the Secretary’s decision to establish a presumption of service connection for ALS for veterans with that diagnosis. Delay in the implementation of this presumption would have been contrary to the public interest. Because the survival period for persons suffering from ALS is generally 5 years or less from the onset of symptoms, any delay would have been extremely detrimental to veterans who are currently afflicted with ALS. Veterans with ALS may not be taking alleviating medications, participating in muscle and speech therapy, or receiving proper assistance for daily functions due to financial hardship or their lack of having service-connected status for their disability. Moreover, in all likelihood, some veterans would have died from this rapidly progressive disease during a period for prior public comment. These veterans obviously would not have received any benefit from a presumption that is implemented after a public-comment period. In order to benefit veterans currently suffering from ALS as quickly as possible, it was critical that VA established this presumption immediately. Conditions for Presumptive Service Connection The ALS Association expressed support for this regulation and stated its belief that 90 continuous days of service in the military and a diagnosis of ALS are sufficient to establish presumptive service connection for that disease. New § 3.318 generally establishes VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:16 Nov 03, 2009 Jkt 220001 presumptive service connection for ALS if a veteran had at least 90 continuous days of active military, naval, or air service and developed ALS at any time after separation from such service. We made no changes based on this comment. Exceptions to the Presumption of Service Connection The ALS Association was concerned that the presumption of service connection for ALS would not apply ‘‘when there is affirmative evidence that ALS was not caused by military service or was caused by a veteran’s own willful misconduct.’’ However, it conceded that there is ‘‘very little likelihood that either of those standards will be met with regard to any particular claim,’’ as we stated in the supplementary information of the interim final rule. We made no changes based on this comment. Outreach Services We received several comments about VA contacting family survivors of affected veterans concerning new § 3.318, increasing awareness of ALS, and performing research regarding the disease. VA is taking steps to inform both veterans with ALS and family survivors of veterans with ALS about this regulation and realizes the importance of all of these issues. These issues, however, are beyond the scope of this rulemaking. We made no changes based on these comments. Eligibility for Survivor Benefits We received comments concerning the availability of survivor benefits to survivors of veterans who died from ALS before the effective date of the interim final rule. A veteran’s survivor who establishes that the veteran died from ALS before September 23, 2008, may be eligible for dependency and indemnity compensation pursuant to new § 3.318, but would not be entitled to any retroactive benefits before September 23, 2008 (see discussion below). The laws concerning survivor benefits, however, are not specifically addressed by this rulemaking. For information about such benefits, those who are interested may call VA for assistance at 1–888–GIBILL1 (442–4551) for education benefits, or at 1–800–827– 1000 for all other VA benefits. They may also contact VA on the Internet at http://www.gibill.va.gov for education claims or at https://iris.va.gov for other information. We made no changes based on these comments. Expedited Claims The ALS Association recommended that VA consider adopting formal PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 57073 processes for expediting claims for veterans with ALS because of the rapidly progressive and terminal nature of the disease. VA is aware of the need for expediting claims for ALS and has taken steps to assure that this happens. However, this issue is beyond the scope of this rulemaking. We made no changes based on this comment. Use of Assistive Technology ASHA commented that it ‘‘strongly supports this presumption’’ and that this presumption would help veterans with ALS receive necessary treatment, such as the use of a speech-generating device. We note that VA already provides assistive technological devices to veterans to help them overcome challenges they face in coping with various diseases. Issues relating to treatment, however, are not part of this rulemaking. We made no changes based on this comment. Effective Date of Benefits Several commenters urged VA to provide benefits for awards based on new § 3.318 retroactive to the date of claim, even if the claim was originally filed and/or denied before September 23, 2008, the effective date of the interim final rule. New § 3.318 is applicable prospectively to claims filed on or after September 23, 2008, and to all applications for benefits that were pending before VA, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on that date. Under 38 U.S.C. 5110(g), the effective date of any award of disability compensation or dependency and indemnity compensation made pursuant to new § 3.318 will be assigned in accordance with the facts found but cannot be earlier than the effective date of the interim final rule or the date one year prior to the date of application, whichever is later. VA therefore cannot assign an effective date prior to September 23, 2008, for an award of benefits made pursuant to new § 3.318. We made no changes based on this comment. Unfunded Mandates The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of‘1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in an expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any given year. This rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector. E:\FR\FM\04NOR1.SGM 04NOR1 57074 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 212 / Wednesday, November 4, 2009 / Rules and Regulations Executive Order 12866 Executive Order 12866 directs agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The Executive Order classifies a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget, as any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of entitlement recipients; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. VA has examined the economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this final rule and has concluded that it is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 because it is likely to result in a rule that may raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. Paperwork Reduction Act This document contains no provisions constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3521). Regulatory Flexibility Act The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601–612. The rule could affect only VA beneficiaries and will not directly affect small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this rule is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analyses requirements of sections 603 and 604. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program numbers and titles for this rule are as follows: 64.109, Veterans Compensation for ServiceConnected Disability; and 64.110, Veterans Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for Service-Connected Death. List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 3 Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Disability benefits, Health care, Pensions, Radioactive materials, Veterans, Vietnam. Approved: October 9, 2009. John R. Gingrich, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs. PART 3–ADJUDICATION Accordingly, the interim rule amending 38 CFR part 3 which was published at 73 FR 54691 on September 23, 2008, is adopted as a final rule without change. ■ [FR Doc. E9–26580 Filed 11–3–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: EPA is finalizing approval of revisions to the California Air Resources Board portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions were proposed in the Federal Register on June 26, 2009 and concern volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from consumer products. We are approving State rules that regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act as amended in 1990 (CAA or the Act). DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective on December 4, 2009. ADDRESSES: EPA has established docket number EPA–R09–OAR–2009–0353 for this action. The index to the docket is available electronically at http:// www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stanley Tong, EPA Region IX, (415) 947–4122, tong.stanley@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Throughout this document, ‘‘we,’’ ‘‘us’’ and ‘‘our’’ refer to EPA. Table of Contents 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R09–OAR–2009–0353; FRL–8979–9] Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, California Air Resources Board Consumer Products Regulations Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AGENCY: I. Proposed Action II. Public Comments and EPA Responses III. EPA Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Proposed Action On June 26, 2009 (74 FR 30481), EPA proposed to approve the following regulations into the California SIP. TABLE 1—SUBMITTED REGULATIONS Adopted/ amended WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES Regulation Regulation title California Code of Regulations Title 17, Division 3, Chapter 1, Subchapter 8.5—Consumer Products. California Code of Regulations Title 17, Division 3, Chapter 1, Subchapter 8.5—Consumer Products. California Code of Regulations Title 17, Division 3, Chapter 1, Subchapter 8.5—Consumer Products. California Air Resources Board—Test Method 310 ..... Article 1—Antiperspirants and Deodorants .................. 05/06/2005 03/27/2008 Article 2—Consumer Products ..................................... 09/26/2007 03/27/2008 Article 3—Aerosol Coating Products ............................ 09/26/2007 03/27/2008 Method 310—Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in Consumer Products and Reactive Organic Compounds in Aerosol Coating Products. 05/06/2005 03/27/2008 VerDate Nov<24>2008 15:16 Nov 03, 2009 Jkt 220001 PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\04NOR1.SGM 04NOR1 Submitted

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 212 (Wednesday, November 4, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57072-57074]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-26580]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 3

RIN 2900-AN05


Presumption of Service Connection for Amyotrophic Lateral 
Sclerosis

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document adopts as a final rule the interim final rule 
amending the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) adjudication 
regulations to establish a presumption of service connection for 
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for any veteran who develops the 
disease at any time after separation from service. This amendment 
implements the decision by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to 
establish such a presumption based on a November 2006 report by the 
National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine on the association 
between active service and ALS.

DATES: Effective Date: November 4, 2009.
    Applicability Date: This final rule shall apply to all applications 
for benefits that are received by VA on or after September 23, 2008, 
the effective date of the interim final rule, and to all applications 
for benefits that were pending before VA, the United States Court of 
Appeals for Veterans Claims, or the United States Court of Appeals for 
the Federal Circuit on that date.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas J. Kniffen, Chief, Regulations 
Staff (211D), Compensation and Pension Service, Veterans Benefits 
Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, 
NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-9366.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On September 23, 2008, VA published in the 
Federal Register (73 FR 54691) an interim final rule that established 
at new Sec.  3.318 a presumption of service connection for ALS for any 
veteran who develops the disease at any time after separation from 
service.
    We provided a 60-day comment period that ended on November 24,

[[Page 57073]]

2008. We received comments from 12 members of the general public and 1 
each from the ALS Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing 
Association (ASHA). Most of the comments from the general public came 
from family members of veterans affected by this disease, expressing 
gratitude and the belief that this decision was long overdue. Based on 
the rationale set forth in the interim final rule and this final rule, 
we adopt the provisions of the interim final rule as a final rule 
without change.

Administrative Procedure Act

    This document affirms the amendment made by the interim final rule 
that is already in effect. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs concluded 
that, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d)(3), there was good cause to 
dispense with advance public notice and opportunity to comment on this 
rule and good cause to publish the interim final rule with an immediate 
effective date. The interim final rule was necessary to implement 
immediately the Secretary's decision to establish a presumption of 
service connection for ALS for veterans with that diagnosis. Delay in 
the implementation of this presumption would have been contrary to the 
public interest.
    Because the survival period for persons suffering from ALS is 
generally 5 years or less from the onset of symptoms, any delay would 
have been extremely detrimental to veterans who are currently afflicted 
with ALS. Veterans with ALS may not be taking alleviating medications, 
participating in muscle and speech therapy, or receiving proper 
assistance for daily functions due to financial hardship or their lack 
of having service-connected status for their disability. Moreover, in 
all likelihood, some veterans would have died from this rapidly 
progressive disease during a period for prior public comment. These 
veterans obviously would not have received any benefit from a 
presumption that is implemented after a public-comment period.
    In order to benefit veterans currently suffering from ALS as 
quickly as possible, it was critical that VA established this 
presumption immediately.

Conditions for Presumptive Service Connection

    The ALS Association expressed support for this regulation and 
stated its belief that 90 continuous days of service in the military 
and a diagnosis of ALS are sufficient to establish presumptive service 
connection for that disease. New Sec.  3.318 generally establishes 
presumptive service connection for ALS if a veteran had at least 90 
continuous days of active military, naval, or air service and developed 
ALS at any time after separation from such service. We made no changes 
based on this comment.

Exceptions to the Presumption of Service Connection

    The ALS Association was concerned that the presumption of service 
connection for ALS would not apply ``when there is affirmative evidence 
that ALS was not caused by military service or was caused by a 
veteran's own willful misconduct.'' However, it conceded that there is 
``very little likelihood that either of those standards will be met 
with regard to any particular claim,'' as we stated in the 
supplementary information of the interim final rule. We made no changes 
based on this comment.

Outreach Services

    We received several comments about VA contacting family survivors 
of affected veterans concerning new Sec.  3.318, increasing awareness 
of ALS, and performing research regarding the disease. VA is taking 
steps to inform both veterans with ALS and family survivors of veterans 
with ALS about this regulation and realizes the importance of all of 
these issues. These issues, however, are beyond the scope of this 
rulemaking. We made no changes based on these comments.

Eligibility for Survivor Benefits

    We received comments concerning the availability of survivor 
benefits to survivors of veterans who died from ALS before the 
effective date of the interim final rule. A veteran's survivor who 
establishes that the veteran died from ALS before September 23, 2008, 
may be eligible for dependency and indemnity compensation pursuant to 
new Sec.  3.318, but would not be entitled to any retroactive benefits 
before September 23, 2008 (see discussion below). The laws concerning 
survivor benefits, however, are not specifically addressed by this 
rulemaking. For information about such benefits, those who are 
interested may call VA for assistance at 1-888-GIBILL1 (442-4551) for 
education benefits, or at 1-800-827-1000 for all other VA benefits. 
They may also contact VA on the Internet at http://www.gibill.va.gov 
for education claims or at https://iris.va.gov for other information. 
We made no changes based on these comments.

Expedited Claims

    The ALS Association recommended that VA consider adopting formal 
processes for expediting claims for veterans with ALS because of the 
rapidly progressive and terminal nature of the disease. VA is aware of 
the need for expediting claims for ALS and has taken steps to assure 
that this happens. However, this issue is beyond the scope of this 
rulemaking. We made no changes based on this comment.

Use of Assistive Technology

    ASHA commented that it ``strongly supports this presumption'' and 
that this presumption would help veterans with ALS receive necessary 
treatment, such as the use of a speech-generating device. We note that 
VA already provides assistive technological devices to veterans to help 
them overcome challenges they face in coping with various diseases. 
Issues relating to treatment, however, are not part of this rulemaking. 
We made no changes based on this comment.

Effective Date of Benefits

    Several commenters urged VA to provide benefits for awards based on 
new Sec.  3.318 retroactive to the date of claim, even if the claim was 
originally filed and/or denied before September 23, 2008, the effective 
date of the interim final rule. New Sec.  3.318 is applicable 
prospectively to claims filed on or after September 23, 2008, and to 
all applications for benefits that were pending before VA, the United 
States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or the United States Court 
of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on that date. Under 38 U.S.C. 
5110(g), the effective date of any award of disability compensation or 
dependency and indemnity compensation made pursuant to new Sec.  3.318 
will be assigned in accordance with the facts found but cannot be 
earlier than the effective date of the interim final rule or the date 
one year prior to the date of application, whichever is later. VA 
therefore cannot assign an effective date prior to September 23, 2008, 
for an award of benefits made pursuant to new Sec.  3.318. We made no 
changes based on this comment.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of`1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in an expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any given year. This rule will have no such effect on 
State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

[[Page 57074]]

Executive Order 12866

    Executive Order 12866 directs agencies to assess all costs and 
benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is 
necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits 
(including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, 
and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The Executive 
Order classifies a ``significant regulatory action'' requiring review 
by the Office of Management and Budget, as any regulatory action that 
is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on 
the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material 
way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, 
jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or 
tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency 
or interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) 
materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user 
fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of entitlement 
recipients; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of 
legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth 
in the Executive Order.
    VA has examined the economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and 
policy implications of this final rule and has concluded that it is a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 because it is 
likely to result in a rule that may raise novel legal or policy issues 
arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the 
principles set forth in the Executive Order.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This document contains no provisions constituting a collection of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-
3521).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-
612. The rule could affect only VA beneficiaries and will not directly 
affect small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this 
rule is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility 
analyses requirements of sections 603 and 604.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program numbers and 
titles for this rule are as follows: 64.109, Veterans Compensation for 
Service-Connected Disability; and 64.110, Veterans Dependency and 
Indemnity Compensation for Service-Connected Death.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 3

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Disability benefits, 
Health care, Pensions, Radioactive materials, Veterans, Vietnam.

    Approved: October 9, 2009.
John R. Gingrich,
Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs.

PART 3-ADJUDICATION

0
Accordingly, the interim rule amending 38 CFR part 3 which was 
published at 73 FR 54691 on September 23, 2008, is adopted as a final 
rule without change.

[FR Doc. E9-26580 Filed 11-3-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P