On February 16, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), published in the Federal Register a document [Docket No. CDC–2015–0045] delaying until March 21, 2017 the effective date of a final rule, published on January 19, 2017 (82 Fed. Reg. 6278), titled “Possession, Use, and Transfer of Select Agents and Toxins; Biennial Review and Enhanced Biosafety Requirements”

In a parallel document, on February 16, 2017, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) also published in the Federal Register a document [Docket No. APHIS–2014–0095] delaying until March 21, 2017 the effective date of a final rule, published on January 19, 2017 (82 Fed. Reg. 6197–6210), amending the select agent and toxin regulations in several ways, including the addition of provisions to address the inactivation of select agents, provisions addressing biocontainment and biosafety, and clarification of regulatory language concerning security, training, incident response, and records.

Both actions are based on the memorandum of January 20, 2017 from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff entitled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review.” This memorandum directed the heads of Executive Departments and Agencies to temporarily postpone for sixty days from the date of the memorandum the effective dates of all regulations that had been published in the Federal Register but had not yet taken effect.