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Civil Penalty Amounts Increased by OSHA

The U.S. Department of Labor published a final rule in the Federal Register that increases penalty amounts to adjust for inflation across its various agencies, including OSHA. The penalty increases are effective as of January 13, 2017.

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2017 Construction General Permit Available on February 16—Mark Your Calendars!

Upon the imminent publication of a notice of final permit issuance in the FR, all 10 EPA regions will issue the 2017 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for stormwater discharges from construction activities to waters of the United States, better known as the construction general permit (CGP). Succeeding the 2012 CGP, the 2017 CGP will become effective for 5 years beginning February 16, 2017.

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Report Reveals Environmental Violations Top Federal Crimes List

Surprisingly, the most common federal crime committed by an “organizational offender” in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 was environmental, according to a recent report from the United States Sentencing Commission. The average fine for an organizational offender was almost $23 million. Let’s take a closer look at the report and draw a couple of takeaway points for environment, health, and safety (EHS) managers.

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Airline Settlement Benefits Newark Baggage Handlers

There’s relief in sight—both physical and legal—for United Airlines’ baggage handlers at New Jersey’s Newark Airport. According to OSHA, United baggage handlers reported at least 622 musculoskeletal injuries from 2011 to early 2015. Learn more about this significant job safety settlement.

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One Million Affected by Pesticide Changes

Yesterday we discussed a case where a company faced nearly $4.9 million in fines for alleged violations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules for protecting workers from exposure to restricted use pesticides (RUPs). Today we will review amendments to the regulations for RUP applications that could affect over 1 million RUP applicators nationwide.

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Proposal Looks to Add NGP to Toxics Release Inventory

In a proposal that will likely be viewed by the new administration as another attack by the Obama administration on fossil fuels, the EPA is seeking to add natural gas processing (NGP) facilities to the industrial sectors that must report under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), better known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).

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Disturbing Symptoms Discovered in Welders

Welders exposed to low levels of manganese showed signs of neurological problems that have experts concerned. Keep reading for details.

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Huge Fine for Pesticide Worker Safety Violations

A global chemical and seed manufacturer was recently fined millions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violations of several rules related to pesticides, including the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Today we’ll look at how this company ran afoul of its responsibilities when it comes to what the EPA considers the most dangerous pesticides: restricted use pesticides (RUPs). Tomorrow we will review amendments to the regulations for RUP applications that could affect over 1 million applicators nationwide.

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OSHA Will Pursue Violence Standard to Protect Healthcare Workers

As one of his final acts while serving as assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, outgoing OSHA chief David Michaels has granted petitions to begin rulemaking to protect healthcare workers from violence. Find out what the agency is planning.

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Bureau of Land Management Issues Last-Minute Coal-Scoping Study

The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a scoping report that is the first step in a process that will produce a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) in 2019 on the management of coal leasing on public land, says the BLM. The intent of the report is to present options to improve the federal coal-leasing program in four areas: (1) fair-mark-value (FMV) return to the public; (2) accounting for and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; (3) improving resource management and protection; and (4) increasing the efficiency of the leasing process.

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