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The Regulatory Week in Review: August 28, 2015

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  • In the wake of the recent on-air shooting of a Virginia television news reporter and videographer, gun control advocates and a host of politicians have called for stricter federal regulations governing background checks for gun purchases.
  • In response to changes in pollution, weather, and other environmental factors, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule in which it updated its federal water quality standards (WSQ) regulation, which establishes guidelines for water quality management programs, in order to more clearly define how states and authorized tribes can improve water quality.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Inspector General released a report detailing the results of a four-year investigation into solar panel company Solyndra’s application for a $535 million loan guarantee—a process during which the company may have provided the DOE with misleading and inaccurate information, according to the Inspector General’s report.
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may look into Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook’s email to a CNBC reporter containing information on the company’s performance this quarter, as the transmission of this information may have violated the SEC’s fair-disclosure regulation, which addresses the disclosure of material nonpublic information to certain entities or individuals.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned three tobacco companies that the statements on their cigarette packaging asserting the products are “additive-free” or “natural” infringe the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
  • In light of the European Commission’s (EC) Statement of Objections (SO) alleging that Google’s arrangement of its shopping service in search results is anticompetitive, Google filed a response, arguing that the claims in the SO are baseless and fail to “provide a clear legal theory to connect [the SO’s] claims with its proposed remedy.”