Category: Regulatory Developments

OSHA Launches Confined Space Enforcement Programs

Two regional offices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched regional emphasis programs (REP) to enforce the agency’s permit-required confined spaces standard (29 CFR §1910.146) in the transportation and tank-cleaning industries. OSHA’s Region 5 office (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) initiated an REP effective August 2, and the agency’s Region 6 […]

Marine Corps Denied Immunity and Ordered to Pay Pollution Penalties

On Thursday, July 29, 2021, in a split decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Marine Corps must pay the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s (NCDEQ) fine for excess air pollution emissions at its Craven County Air Station Cherry Point facility.   The decision reversed a federal district court […]

OSHA Seeks Input on Power Press Standard

On July 28, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) called for stakeholder input on updating its mechanical power press standard (29 CFR §1910.217). The OSHA standard, originally issued in 1971, was based on the 1971 edition of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) industry consensus standard for mechanical power presses (ANSI B11.1), which has […]

SEC Closely Scrutinizing Green Investments and Climate-Related Disclosures

Melissa Hodgman, acting director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Enforcement Division, indicated that the SEC expects to look more closely at “green” investments in the future. Her comments were made at a Managed Funds Association webcast, according to Law 360. Her remarks come on the heels of the SEC’s March 4, 2021, announcement […]

GAO Recommends Significant Changes for EPA to Reach NPDES Compliance Goal

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that almost 11,000 facilities exceeded their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitted wastewater discharge limits and illegally discharged wastewater pollutants in 2018. “EPA has a goal to reduce by half significant noncompliance with individual NPDES permits by the end of FY 2022,” according to the GAO. “But the […]

NY Sets August 5 Infectious Disease Plan Deadline

Employers in New York state must have an infectious disease exposure prevention plan in place by August 5, according to a state Department of Labor spokesperson. However, the precautions under the plans only go into effect when state public health authorities make a “highly contagious communicable disease” declaration. At the moment, there is no such […]

OSHA Cites NJ Contractor for Settlement Agreement Violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a Bergen County, New Jersey, roofing contractor with violating a settlement agreement and 10 new safety violations. The agency is now seeking $600,741 in penalties for the new violations. Janiec Roofing Inc. of Lodi, New Jersey, entered into a settlement agreement with OSHA after two 2019 inspections […]

EPA Considers Placing Limits on PFAS in Drinking Water

On July 12, 2021, the EPA announced per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are among a new group of contaminants being considered for monitoring under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The PFAS were part of the EPA’s “Draft Contaminant Candidate List 5 (CCL 5), which provides the latest list of drinking water contaminants that are known […]

Ignoring OSHA Safety Standard Not ‘Reasonable’ Accommodation

Most employers know the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires them to consider a disabled employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation so she can perform an essential function of her position. In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (whose rulings apply to all New York employers) held an employee’s […]