Law & Order

GOVERNMENT UPDATES I-9 FORM VERIFYING WORKER ELIGIBILITY

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently revised the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9), which all employers must complete when hiring a worker in the United States. Key to the revision is the removal of five documents for proof of identity and employment eligibility: Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-570); Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570); Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-151); the unexpired Reentry Permit (Form I-327); and the unexpired Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571).

IRS INCREASES MILEAGE-RATE DEDUCTION TO REFLECT HIGH GAS PRICES

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has increased the standard business-mileage deduction to 50.5 cents for all business miles driven beginning January 1, 2008. This is a $0.2 cents-a-mile increase over the 2007 rate and reflects higher prices for fuel during 2007. The calculation also includes all other aspects of buying and operating a vehicle such as depreciation, insurance, tires, etc.

FEDS ADOPT CALIFORNIA WAY TO REGULATE VOCs FROM AEROSOL SPRAY PAINTS

As of January 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will limit volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from aerosol cans, such as spray paints, primers and clear coatings. The EPA rule is similar to a standard already established by California and subsequently adopted by Washington state and Oregon. The rule applies to manufacturers and distributors of aerosol products which are used for both industrial applications and by do-it-yourselfers.

COURT REJECTS FUEL-ECONOMY RULES FOR LIGHT TRUCKS AND SUVs

A federal appeals court in California rejected fuel-economy standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for model year 2008–2011 light trucks, vans and SUVs. The court ruled that the NHTSA had made several errors in the rulemaking, such as a failure to adequately weigh the economic benefits of reduced carbon-dioxide emissions if the agency had issued stricter corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards and a failure to limit the total number of large vehicles that could be produced under the standards. The lawsuit was brought by four envir

TELL CONGRESS TO SUPPORT TOUGH YET ACHIEVABLE FUEL-ECONOMY STANDARDS

The U.S. Senate approved sweeping energy legislation last June that includes a provision to dramatically increase the CAFE standards for both cars and light trucks. It would require a combined CAFE average of 35 mpg by 2020, a 40% increase from today’s standards. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of an energy bill last August, but House lawmakers put off a decision on how high to boost CAFE standards for automobiles.

CALIFORNIA SUES EPA OVER GREENHOUSE GAS WAIVER REQUEST

California filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to act on the state’s tailpipe emissions waiver request. Earlier this year, Governor Schwarzenegger notified the federal government that a lawsuit would be filed if the EPA continued to delay action on California's request for authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for cars and light trucks sold in the state.

MASSACHUSETTS COMMITTEE PASSES SEMA-MODEL STREET-ROD/CUSTOM VEHICLE LEGISLATION

SEMA-model legislation to create a vehicle registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles and provide for special license plates for these vehicles was approved by the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee. The chairman of the committee indicated that the bill will be fast-tracked through the process.

MERCURY USED IN AUTO SWITCHES SUBJECT TO NEW REGULATION

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will now require at least 90 days advance notice from anybody who intends to manufacture, import or process mercury for use in aftermarket auto products. While the automakers are now using chemical substitutes, mercury is still found in some switches for aftermarket products, such as lighting equipment and antilock braking systems. The mercury can be subsequently released into the environment as the vehicle and its parts are dismantled, recycled and scrapped. The EPA rule applies to elemental mercury in the following uses:

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