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OSHA has taken another step toward pulling back the Obama administration's worker injury and illness reporting rule, asking federal courts in Oklahoma and Texas to delay industry litigation challenging the rule to allow incoming Trump Labor Department officials time to consider the case.

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Alexander Acosta, President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next labor secretary, is balking at requests from Senate Democrats to preserve Obama-era OSHA rules strengthening silica standards due to the administration's deregulatory orders, but he backed the need to adequately fund safety inspections even in the face of budget cuts.

Top Senate environment committee Republicans are hedging on whether a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to rescind EPA's chemical facility safety rule will reach the Senate floor, raising fresh doubts about the measure's prospects even as EPA is said to be concerned about its administrative reconsideration of the regulation.

The Trump administration has, for the second time, delayed the effective date of the Obama OSHA's final beryllium rule, agreeing to examine concerns raised by an industry group and its congressional backers over the rule's coverage of the construction and shipyard sectors, though the agency has rebuffed, for now, industry calls for a longer delay.

A coalition of GOP states is petitioning EPA to delay by an additional 15 months the effective date of the Obama administration's final rule updating the agency's facility accident prevention program, saying more time is needed beyond the current delayed June deadline for EPA to weigh whether to revise or outright repeal the regulation.

Worker safety programs at OSHA and elsewhere across the federal government are facing massive cuts under President Donald Trump's fiscal year 2018 budget blueprint, which calls for a 21 percent cut to the Labor Department (DOL), which funds OSHA, and elimination of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB).

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's decision to reconsider the Obama administration's final rule overhauling the agency's facility accident prevention program hinged on federal investigators' ruling that arson caused the West, TX, fire driving the rulemaking, backing industry assertions that the finding is a threshold issue that undermines the need for the rule.

The industry petition that prompted the Trump administration to agree to reconsider the Obama-era overhaul of EPA's risk management plan (RMP) facility accident prevention program tees up numerous issues on which the agency may seek public input, including the threshold question of whether the finding that arson caused the fire that drove the rulemaking undermines the need for the final rule.

The Trump administration has narrowed OSHA's legal push to preserve the agency's authority to expand an inspection beyond the circumstances of an employee's injury, arguing inspectors had “reasonable suspicion” to check for some additional hazards, while dropping, for now, Obama-era arguments that OSHA could conduct an even broader review.

Industry and labor groups are offering competing arguments in lawsuits challenging the Obama OSHA's landmark final rule overhauling limits for workers' exposures to silica dusts, with unions faulting industry assertions that the prior limits adequately protected workers and industry rebuffing union calls for stronger protections and medical surveillance.

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President Donald Trump is expected to soon sign a resolution revoking the Obama administration's policy requiring federal agencies to consider worker safety and other labor law violations in procurement after the Senate narrowly approved the measure.

The Business Roundtable (BRT), which represents CEOs of many major U.S. corporations, is urging the Trump administration to overhaul the regulatory review process by requiring all new rules from OSHA and other agencies to include a retrospective review plan to reduce or eliminate courts' deference to agency interpretations of laws, and several other steps.

A federal appeals court has granted United Steelworkers' (USW) request to intervene in support of the Obama administration's OSHA rule setting standards to protect workers from beryllium exposures, allowing the union to defend a rule that its members have sought for years but which industry is challenging.

Senate Democrats are seeking answers from the White House on how it will enforce President Donald Trump's executive order limiting OSHA, EPA and other agencies' ability to enact new rules, especially whether the rules' benefits will be taken into account.