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



Te U.S. Occupational

Safety and Health Administra- tion (OSHA) sent its crystalline silica rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review on December 21, 2015. Te rule is one of the agency’s top priori- ties. OMB reviews are limited to 90 days, but are extended in many cases.

Te text of the rule is not

shared with the public until the final rule is released. When OSHA proposed

the rule in September 2013, it drastically reduced the permis- sible exposure level (PEL) from 100 micrograms per cubic meter to 50 µg/cu. m, with an action level of 25 µg/cu. m. Te silica proposal also would require metalcasting facilities to implement administrative and engineering controls and a series of ancillary provisions, such as exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, best practices and the establishment of regulated calls for a hier- archy of mandating engineering and workplace controls over simply providing personal protective equipment (PPE) such


OSHA Posts Its New Injury Reporting Form

On December 24, 2015, the U.S. Oc- cupational Safety and Health Admin- istration (OSHA) announced its long delayed online injury reporting form is now available to employers to satisfy its recordkeeping rule (29 C.F.R. 1904.39), requiring employers to provide notifica- tion of fatalities within eight hours and hospitalizations, amputations or eye losses within 24 hours. The recordkeep- ing rule took effect on Jan. 1, 2015. In addition to asking for the em-

ployer’s name, address and contact information, the form requests: • A description of what happened. • The names of the victims. • What the injured employee was doing before the incident.

• The type of injury. • What object or substance “directly harmed” the employee.

Employers are still permitted to report incidents by contacting their local OSHA office or calling the agency’s 24-hour ho- tline at 800-321-6742 to make reports. The form can be found at https://www.osha. gov/pls/ser/serform.html

House Votes on Resolution to Block EPA Water Rule

On January 14, the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to resolution S. J. Res. 22 to nullify the EPA’s Clean Water Rule by a vote of 253-166. The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule promul- gated by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers would bring within the jurisdic- tion of the Corps a much wider array of private and public property deemed to be “wetlands” than under current regula- tions. The disapproval resolution was passed by the Senate in November, 53-44. The votes in each chamber were well short of the necessary two-thirds majority

to override a presidential veto. The fate of the rule will be decided in the courts, which are working through a series of challenges to the regulation. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has issued a nationwide stay of the WOTUS regulation.

Business Associations Challenge Ambient Air Quality Standards

A group of business associations, including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), AFS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, recently filed a petition for review to challenge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule that significantly lowered the primary ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) standard from 75 ppb to 70 ppb.

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

202/842-4864, February 2016 MODERN CASTING | 17

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sent its crystal- line silica rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget for final review, and is working to finalize the changes before the end of President Obama’s term.

as respirators, and it specifically bars job rotation as a method of attaining compliance. OSHA received more than 1,700 comments on the proposed rule and heard testimony from more than 200 stakeholders, including AFS, during public hearings on the proposal. In addition, AFS provided extensive and detailed comments to OSHA through- out the rulemaking process, including key economic and technological feasibility is- sues, as well as how the best available science shows that the current OSHA PEL is ap-

propriate to protect against silica-related disease, provided it is adhered to strictly. According to the agency’s regulatory agenda released

in November, the final silica rule is expected to be re- leased this month. However, the number of stakeholders impacted by the

rulemaking may lengthen the OMB review and the release will likely slip to March or April.

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