15 months after it first published a rule dramatically changing how workplace examinations will be done on every shift at every metal/non-metal mine, MSHA today published a final amended version of that rule. Despite a litigation challenge and widespread concerns raised by stakeholders, the final rule maintains many of the same provisions as originally introduced. The new rule takes effect June 2, 2018.

Continue Reading This is it: MSHA publishes final workplace exam rule with few changes.

A client alert issued today by Husch Blackwell’s environmental practice group details a major reversal of Obama-era policy by the Trump Administration.  The EPA announced it will not issue final regulations under CERCLA Section 108(b) imposing financial responsibility requirements on the hardrock mining industry. Abandoning a December 1, 2016 proposed rule, the EPA emphasized that after carefully evaluating public comments, statutory authority, and the extensive record it had concluded that the minimal environmental risk involved in modern mining practices combined with existing state and federal financial assurance requirements made the proposed rule unnecessary and unduly burdensome.  Read the entire client alert here.

This morning, MSHA posted advance copies of two rules, which it will formally publish tomorrow, to briefly delay and modestly amend its pending 2017 Workplace Examination Rule as expected since early August. The proposed changes appear to address two of the many concerns raised by industry regarding the 2017 rule. Continue Reading MSHA proposes delay and changes to new workplace examination rule

Even without a new Assistant Secretary for OSHA, the Trump Administration has recently deleted numerous Obama-era OSHA plans for workplace safety related rules.  Rules that administration officials have said they plan to overhaul or scale back include: regulations strengthening limits to exposure to beryllium, addressing workplace safety violation in healthcare, and addressing combustible dust and noise in construction.

Several OSHA rulemakings have been changed to “long-term actions,” causing speculation that the administration considers these items to be of low or no priority.  The topics of these rules include emergency response and preparedness, infectious diseases in health care, and cranes and derricks in construction.

Given the Trump administration’s executive order requiring two standards to be removed for every one added, we are speculating that it is not likely OSHA will be adding many new regulations in the near future.

The latest regulatory agenda for OSHA is available here, and a list of completed/discontinued rules is available here.