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EPA's Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) is urging the agency to bolster proposed revisions to its facility accident prevention program to ensure citizens and first responders know the chemical hazards in their communities and how to respond to a release, backing advocates' criticism that the proposal does not go far enough to improve disclosure.

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EPA has issued its first regulatory determinations under the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), finding that four new chemicals are “not likely to present an unreasonable risk” to workers, the first set of affirmative safety findings the agency must now make before new substances may enter the marketplace under the new law.

OSHA and the New York State Workers' Compensation Board have reached an agreement to improve investigations and share data on workplace violations, signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that appears to advance OSHA's goal of better using data to promote compliance with labor laws given limited resources for inspections.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is postponing significant revisions to the list of chemicals covered under its industrial facility security program, focusing its forthcoming proposed rule on other priorities, which may include streamlining standards and creating a process for companies to remove chemicals from the program.

Top Democratic lawmakers are backing labor unions' petition urging OSHA to issue a workplace violence prevention standard that would require healthcare and social service employers to create violence prevention programs, arguing the rate of violence at the facilities is “high and rising,” and that current enforcement is ineffective.

OSHA is implementing controversial anti-retaliation provisions of its new injury reporting rule through a legal settlement with a major employer even as industry groups are seeking a speedy court ruling to block the provisions before they take effect next month -- though the agency last week delayed enforcement of the requirement until November.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is dropping plans for a long-stalled rule regulating the sale of ammonium nitrate, an ingredient used in explosives and as fertilizer, and is instead asking the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review substances that may be used in improvised explosives to support broader future oversight.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is launching an improved process for ranking the risk of industrial facilities under its Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, saying the updated method for assigning risk levels to facilities will reduce time companies spend reporting and increase confidence in DHS reviews.

House appropriators advanced a fiscal 2017 spending bill that continues efforts to block OSHA priorities for bolstering its process safety management (PSM) facility accident prevention rule, directing the agency not to enforce a 2015 policy memo tightening its PSM exemption for fertilizer retailers, and opposing efforts to regulate ammonium nitrate under PSM.

OSHA advisors have issued guidance to help employers craft programs for protecting temporary workers from injuries and illnesses on work sites, and recommended that the agency pilot test the new methods at cooperating job sites to ensure the advice, which could inform OSHA's own guidance for protecting temporary workers, is effective.

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OSHA appears on schedule to issue by July 1 an interim final rule boosting maximum penalties for safety and health violations by almost 80 percent to catch up with inflation since 1990, after the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) recently completed review of the rule scheduled to take effect Aug. 1.

The White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has begun review of the Labor Department's draft interim final rule that will allow OSHA to significantly increase penalties for a host of workplace safety requirements, a measure that Congress required the agency to issue in time for it to take effect Aug. 1.

Producers of cement and concrete block are dropping their stand-alone legal challenge to OSHA's recent overhaul of its silica standards and are instead seeking to intervene in support of the brick industry's suit.

OSHA is seeking public comment on its plan to expand and strengthen its Process Safety Management Program (PSM) facility accident prevention rule, including plans to extend the rule's requirements to the oil and gas industry and require safer technologies analysis in a host of other sectors.