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EPA and OSHA Regulatory Agenda Update for Spring 2019

May 30, 2019 By
Last week, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the U.S. Federal government released the Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.

The regulatory plan and agenda is published twice a year. It identifies regulatory priorities and provides details about the most significant regulatory actions that Federal agencies expect in the future.

In this post, we highlight the EPA and OSHA rules that are in the Final Rule Stage, and that are particularly relevant to the Enablon community. Regulation Identifier Numbers (RIN) and links are also provided. As a reminder, the agenda specifies three stages of rulemaking: Prerule, Proposed Rule, and Final Rule.

EPA Rules in the Final Rule Stage

Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States” 2040-AF75

In 2015, the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’” rule was published. In February 2017, the Federal government initiated a review of the 2015 rule to rescind or replace it. The proposed rule was published on February 14, 2019, as a second step in a two-step process to revise the definition of “Waters of the United States”. The revised definition is planned to be finalized after the review of public comments. The final rule is planned to be published in December 2019 according to the agenda.

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutant Emissions: Petroleum Refinery Sector 2060-AT18

The Refinery Sector Rule was promulgated in December 2015. In February 2016, the EPA was petitioned to reconsider some aspects of the final rule. The Agency granted reconsideration of five aspects of the final rule. This rule finalizes the EPA’s response to the issues for which the Agency granted reconsideration. The final rule is planned to be published in June 2019 according to the agenda.

Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources Reconsideration 2060-AT54

In June 2016, the EPA finalized the “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources” rule. In October 2018, the Agency proposed amendments, including changes to the frequency for monitoring fugitive emissions at well sites and compressor stations, requirements for pneumatic pumps at well sites, and requirements that a professional engineer certify when meeting these requirements is technically infeasible. The final rule is planned to be published in September 2019 according to the agenda.

Emission Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Existing Electric Utility Generating Units; Revisions to Emission Guideline Implementing Regulations; Revisions to New Source Review Program 2060-AT67

In April 2017, the EPA announced its review of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The Agency proposed to repeal the CPP in October 2017. In August 2018, the EPA signed the proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule as a replacement for the CPP. The final rule is planned to be published in June 2019 according to the agenda.

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Revisions to the Refrigerant Management Program’s Extension to Substitutes 2060-AT81

In 2016, the EPA finalized a rule updating the refrigerant management requirements under the Clean Air Act. This action revisits aspects of the 2016 rule’s extension of the refrigerant management requirements to substitutes like hydrofluorocarbons. The final rule is planned to be published in August 2019 according to the agenda.

The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks 2060-AU09

The EPA proposed rules to adjust the GHG emissions standards for model years 2021 through 2026 light-duty vehicles. The Agency established national GHG emissions standards under the Clean Air Act that extend through 2025. This rulemaking proposed adjustments to these standards. The final rule is planned to be published in June 2019 according to the agenda.

OSHA Rules in the Final Rule Stage

Standards Improvement Project IV 1218-AC67

OSHA’s Standards Improvement Projects (SIPs) aim to remove or revise duplicative, unnecessary, and inconsistent safety and health standards. This latest project identified revisions to existing OSHA standards, with most of the revisions to its construction standards. The Agency also proposed to remove from its standards the requirements that employers include an employee’s social security number on exposure monitoring, medical surveillance and other records. The final rule was published on May 14, 2019.

Exposure to Beryllium NPRM to Review General Industry Provisions 1218-AD20

In 2017, OSHA published its Beryllium final rule where a new 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 0.2 µg/m3 was established. In response to stakeholder feedback, and to resolve pending litigation, the Agency promulgated a direct final rule to clarify aspects of the standard and proposed additional revisions to certain provisions. The revisions are generally designed to clarify the standard in response to stakeholder questions or to simplify compliance. The Agency is currently reviewing comments. The final rule is planned to be published in December 2019 according to the agenda.

Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds in Construction and Shipyard Sectors 1218-AD21

In 2017, OSHA published its Beryllium final rule. The Agency concluded that a new 8-hour TWA PEL of 0.2 µg/m3 was needed. After a review of stakeholder feedback and a review of the applicability of existing OSHA standards, OSHA is reconsidering the need for ancillary provisions in the beryllium standards for the construction and shipyards sectors. OSHA proposed to revoke ancillary provisions applicable to the construction and shipyard sectors, but to retain the new lower PEL of 0.2 µg/m3 and the short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 2.0 µg/m3. The Agency is currently reviewing comments. The final rule is planned to be published in December 2019 according to the agenda.

Also, even though it is not yet in the final rule stage, it’s good to note the latest on the Update to the Hazard Communication Standard (1218-AC93) on the classification and labeling of chemicals, and safety data sheets. Currently the HCS is based on the 3rd revision of GHS. The update would align it with the 7th revision of GHS. OSHA is providing a tentative date of December 2019 for a proposed rule, but the law firm Jackson Lewis is instead anticipating a proposed rulemaking in September 2020.

Dates provided in the regulatory agenda, as well as the status of rules, are subject to change. The information provided by the EPA and the Department of Labor should not be viewed as a commitment, but as a general indication of where things stand and where they are headed.

For more information, see the full Spring 2019 Agency Rule List for the EPA and the Agency Rule List for the Department of Labor.

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Categories: EHS

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