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Industry attorneys are welcoming EPA's recent approval of a new chemical that took a narrow view of the substance's “reasonably foreseen uses” that the agency is required to consider, but are urging officials to clarify whether the approach is intended to apply more broadly to agency reviews of other new chemicals under the revised toxics law.

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A three-judge federal appellate panel appeared skeptical during recent oral argument of a construction company's challenge to OSHA's “controlling employer” policy, suggesting the agency should be granted deference to interpret its authority and that officials are better positioned than courts to interpret ambiguous statutes.

The Labor Department's (DOL) Inspector General has launched an audit of OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program (WPP) in several Western states after mounting pressure from years of audits related to a major Wells Fargo prosecution as well as internal complaints from a former agency investigator.

Massachusetts officials are signaling strong pushback against a Trump administration proposed rule that could allow for new uses of asbestos, with state environment officials raising early concerns and seeking a six month delay in the rulemaking while the state's attorney general (AG) works with other Democratic AGs to oppose the plan.

A group of 47 Democrats is concerned that a Labor Department (DOL) proposal to weaken rules prohibiting minors from working in certain hazardous operations has not been adequately reviewed for potential safety risks to teen workers, writing in a recent letter that they are unaware of any formal NIOSH review of the underlying data informing the plan.

OSHA has issued its final rule delaying until Dec. 12 some provisions of its Obama-era beryllium standard in order to complete a separate rule that will roll back aspects of the underlying regulation as agreed to in a settlement with industry groups, but the move is facing criticism from some worker advocates though others are grudgingly accepting it.

Business groups are urging the Supreme Court to review and reverse a California high court ruling that backed the state's use of supplemental enforcement powers to address workplace safety violations, fearing it will allow nearly two dozen other states operating under OSHA-approved plans to use their unapproved state laws to address alleged violations.

Business groups and industry attorneys are threatening aggressive advocacy, including reviving stayed suits challenging OSHA's injury and illness recordkeeping program, to address concerns that the Trump administration's planned rollback of an Obama-era rule does not go far enough to remove aspects of the rule employers oppose.

EPA is defending its framework for reviewing new chemicals, including risks to workers, under the revised toxics law against an environmentalist lawsuit by arguing that the policy is consistent with the 2016 law, but also says the framework is a draft that it might never finalize and therefore critics lack legal standing for their challenge.

Labor and public interest groups are faulting OSHA's recent pledge to support three committees that advise the agency's rulemaking and enforcement efforts as “disingenuous,” arguing that the agency has failed to fill the panels, including a construction advisory committee that has not met in more than a year and currently has no members.

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Democratic lawmakers are urging the Trump administration to withdraw a proposed rule seeking to scrap most requirements of an Obama-era final rule strengthening EPA's facility accident prevention program, arguing the rollback would increase facility risks that disproportionately harm minority and low-income communities.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that first responders may not have adequate information to help minimize their safety risks when responding to incidents at chemical facilities, backing Democrats' recent calls to include data sharing provisions included in a now-stalled Obama-era EPA rule in the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) chemical facility safety program.

Voters in Missouri have overwhelmingly rejected a Republican backed “right to work” law during an Aug. 7 special election, sending signals to lawmakers facing reelection in November that organized labor -- concerned that such measures undercut workplace safety and other rules -- may still be playing a strong hand in the midterms.

EPA is extending by several weeks its deadline for public input on the Trump administration's proposed rule scaling back the Obama-era update to the agency's facility accident prevention program to allow input on data EPA recently added to a public docket after environmentalists noted it was missing and requested additional time for comment.