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Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Office; Jeff Hannapel & Christian Richter, The Policy Group, Washington, D.C. WASHINGTON ALERT


House Releases Toxic Substances Control Act Reform Draft


THE MEASURE'S FOCUS IS TO IMPROVE PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN THE SAFETY OF CHEMICALS. U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.),


chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environ- ment and the Economy Subcommittee, unveiled draft legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform legislation the week of Feb. 24. Shimkus’s measure, the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA), aims to improve public confidence in the safety of chemicals produced and used in the U.S. Te American Foundry Society signed a coalition letter supporting the legislation, which recognizes the im- portance of a workable chemical regula- tory system to U.S. manufacturing. Shimkus highlighted three key issues to be addressed in the bill: the extent to which it would preempt state regulations; chemical industry fears that their confidential business information on chemicals could be disclosed; and


ON THE HILL


AFS Highlights Key Concerns For Injury/Illness Reporting Rule


Last month, AFS urged the Occupation- al Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to withdraw its proposed Improved Track- ing of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule that would require most metalcasting facilities to report injury and illness data more often, submit reports in new elec- tronic formats, and allow the agency to release the raw data to the general public. AFS believes the agency has failed to explain how collecting the information will improve workplace safety or how OSHA will manage the information once it is collected. Furthermore, OSHA hasn’t yet developed the electronic forms and website to submit the information. AFS is unsure how OSHA will redact the thou- sands of names of employees from the forms. Publishing the information collected is expected to make it more challenging for safety professionals within metalcasting facilities to focus on preventing hazards instead of reporting injuries.


EPA Announces New Sulfur Emission Limits


On March 3, the U.S. Environmen- tal Protection Agency (EPA) released stricter emissions standards for cars and trucks that limit the amount of sulfur that can be used in gasoline. The Tier 3 standards announced would lower sulfur content by 60% starting in 2017. The Tier 3 standards also include a new require- ment for vehicle tailpipe emissions, which makes it easier for U.S. automak- ers to sell the same cars in all 50 states. The requirements follow a California limit that starts in 2017. EPA’s tailpipe standards will be phased in for model years 2017-2025.


According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), the standards would raise gas prices while providing little environ- mental gain. The group also claims a 2017 deadline for meeting the standards could cause an interruption in supply. API says the proposed standards would hike gas prices by 6-9 cents per gallon.


OSHA Issues Site-Specific Targeting Program for 2014


In February, OSHA outlined its 2014 Site-Specific Targeting (SST) program, which is based on injury and illness rates collected from a 2012 survey of 80,000 establishments in high hazard industries with 20 or more employees, including the metalcasting industry. This year’s primary inspection list is similar to last year’s program. Targeted manufacturing establishments include those with DART rates of 7.0 or greater and DAFWII case rates of 5.0 or greater. If an area office completes all inspec- tions on the Primary Inspection List, it can proceed to the Secondary Inspec- tion List, which includes establishments having DART rates of 5.0 or higher and DAFWII case rates of 4.0 or greater. The program went into effect Feb. 2 and will remain in effect for one year.


For additional information, contact Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Off ice,


202-842-4864, ssalmon@afsinc.org. April 2014 MODERN CASTING | 17


the degree to which the bill should pri- oritize reviews of new chemicals posing the greatest concerns. TSCA is a fed-


eral chemical law from 1976 that authorized the U.S. Environmen- tal Protection Agency (EPA) to collect data on new chemicals to evaluate and assess possible health and environmental risks. But EPA isn’t required to review existing chemicals. Supporters of a stronger law argue more than 80,000 chemicals currently are on the market, but few have been fully assessed for the risks they pose to health and the environment. Republican efforts to revamp TSCA in the Senate are based on legislation


(S. 1009) drafted by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), which he co-authored in 2013 with the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D- N.J.). Rep. Shimkus acknowledged he and others working on TSCA revisions in the Republican-controlled House will have to


find some middle ground in the months ahead, given that it would have to clear the Democratic-controlled Senate. Te House subcommittee held its


first hearing on CICA March 12, and the chairman hopes to have a markup of a bill by the end of March. Timing for a vote on the bill before the full Energy and Commerce Committee is anticipat- ed in late spring or early summer.


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