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Regulatory Resources: Last chance to register for NACD Regulatory and Legislative Outlook webinar — Jan. 9
Please join NACD Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jennifer Gibson and Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Shanahan at 12 noon Eastern time this Thursday, Jan. 9, for a 2014 Regulatory and Legislative Outlook webinar. Federal agencies have already begun releasing regulatory proposals as a result of White House Executive Order 13650 Improving Chemical Safety and Security. Jennifer Gibson will review these proposals as well as other developments related to the Executive Order. She will also discuss other regulatory initiatives that members can expect from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, Department of Homeland Security, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and others. Also during the webinar, John Shanahan will discuss recent developments on Capitol Hill regarding NACD's key legislative issues of Toxic Substances Control Act modernization, chemical security and clarification of the Clean Air Act General Duty Clause and prospects for movement on these issues in 2014. It is not too late to join this free webinar: Click here to register.
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Regulatory Update: Chemical Safety and Security Executive Order regulatory options paper released
As part of Executive Order 13650 – Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, the Obama administration late last week released an options paper for regulatory changes in response to section 6(a) of the Order, which calls for chemical policy, regulation and standards modernization. The options paper includes both mandatory and voluntary measures for discussion.
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Regulatory Update: Registration open for January 2014 Listening Sessions for Chemical Safety and Security Executive Order
Registration is available for January 2014 listening sessions on President Barack Obama's Executive Order 13650 — Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security. The sessions will take place Wednesday, Jan. 8, in Sacramento, Calif.; Thursday, Jan. 9 (evening) and Friday Jan. 10 (day) in Los Angeles; Tuesday, Jan. 14, in Washington, D.C.; and Friday, Jan. 24, in Houston. NACD members are strongly encouraged to participate in these listening sessions.
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Regulatory Update: FDA releases major food defense proposed rule
On Christmas Eve, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published in the Federal Register a major proposed rule on food defense as required by the Food Safety Modernization Act. The proposal would require domestic and foreign facilities to address vulnerable processes in their operations to prevent acts on the food supply intended to cause large-scale public harm. It would also require certain businesses to have a written food defense plan that addresses significant vulnerabilities in a food operation. Click here for a summary of/fact sheet on the proposal. Written comments are due to the FDA by March 31. The FDA will also hold a public meeting on the proposal in Washington on Feb. 20. For complete information on the proposal, including a copy of the full proposed rule, the public meeting notice and additional information, click here.
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Regulatory Update: Company reaches $7.9 million settlement with EPA over Clean Air Act General Duty Clause violations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a settlement of $7.9 million under which AL Solutions, a West Virginia-based metal recycler, has agreed to implement extensive, company-wide safeguards to prevent future accidental releases of hazardous chemicals from its facilities, resolving alleged Clean Air Act violations stemming from an explosion at the company's New Cumberland, W. Va., facility that killed three people. EPA primarily cited the company for violations of the Clean Air Act General Duty Clause, which imposes a general duty on facilities producing, processing, handling or storing extremely hazardous substances to identify hazards, design and maintain a safe facility, take actions to prevent releases and minimize the consequences of potential releases. Under the settlement, AL Solutions agreed to spend $7.8 million to upgrade its facility and processes. The company will also pay a $100,000 penalty to the EPA for the Clean Air Act accident prevention violations. For more information on the settlement, click here.
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Regulatory Update: DOT issues another safety alert on hazmat rail classifications
Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a safety alert to notify the public about the recent derailments and fires indicating that the Bakken crude oil may be more flammable than traditional heavy crude oil. PHMSA is reinforcing the requirement "to properly test, characterize, classify and where appropriate sufficiently degasify hazardous materials prior to and during transportation." This advisory is a follow-up to the PHMSA and Federal Railroad Administration joint safety advisory published Nov. 20, 2013 [78 FR 69745]. To read the safety alert and preliminary guidance, click here.
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Regulatory Victory: NLRB poster rule put to rest
Industry has won a final victory in the lawsuits challenging the National Labor Relations Board's rule attempting to force private employers to post a "Notice of Employee Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act." This proposed rule was struck down by two separate circuit courts of appeals, one on statutory and the other on constitutional grounds. Last Thursday was the deadline by which the NLRB would have had to file its petition to the Supreme Court to request review of those appeals court decisions or request additional time to do so. The Board did not file, so industry has won a final victory in the case. This is a big win over the over-active NLRB. NACD has been involved in the challenges to this rule and other NLRB overreaches through our involvement with the Coalition for a Democratic Workforce.
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Tax Update: Federal tax expirations and new rules for 2014
Both the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation and Congressional Research Service have recently released lists of expiring tax provisions, some of which may impact your bottom line. The Joint Committee on Taxation released a list of expiring tax provisions in 2013 and beyond, while CRS was limited to an overview and a list of the temporary tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013 under current law. In addition, regulators have set new business rules that went into effect Jan. 1. These rules and tax provisions could have a big impact on the industry in 2014.
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INDUSTRY TOPICS


E-logs, drug and alcohol clearinghouse top rules list for 2014
Truckinginfo
Trucking will go into 2014 with two major safety proposals pending: electronic logs and a searchable database containing the results of driver drug and alcohol tests. The logging proposal is awaiting clearance from the White House Office of Management and Budget. It was scheduled to be published before the end of the year but will not show up until next month at the earliest. Details are under wraps but in general the proposal will call for near-universal use of e-logs.
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CSB draft report proposes overhaul of refining industry in California
Fire Engineering
In a draft report released to the public in late December, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board proposes recommendations for substantial changes to the way refineries are regulated in California. Titled "Regulatory Report: Chevron Richmond Refinery Pipe Rupture and Fire," the CSB draft calls on California to replace the current patchwork of largely reactive and activity-based regulations with a more rigorous, performance-based regulatory regime — similar to those successfully adopted overseas in regions such as the United Kingdom, Norway and Australia — known as the "safety case" system.
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EPA releases screening data on 1,800 chemicals, announces ToxCast Data Challenges
Sustainable Brands
"EPA's use of cost-effective advanced chemical screening techniques has transformed this country's knowledge of the safety of almost 2,000 chemicals currently in use," said Lek Kadeli, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development. "[This] release marks an important milestone in communicating and improving our understanding of the impact chemicals have on human health and the environment." Along with announcing the availability of data on these chemicals of concern, the Environmental Protection Agency has announced the ToxCast Data Challenges, a series of challenges inviting the science and technology community to help provide solutions for how new chemical screening data can be used to predict potential health effects. Challenge winners will receive awards for their innovative research ideas.
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EPA launches email tracking system for pesticide registration applications
Bloomberg BNA
The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pesticide Programs launched a new e-mail tracking system for pesticide registration applications on Dec. 31, the agency confirmed to Bloomberg BNA in a Jan. 2 email. The EPA said the system generates automated e-mails to pesticide registrants at seven different points in the registration decision process, including when the EPA completes the technical screening of a registration application and when the agency reaches its regulatory decision on the application.
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FMCSA looking for input on entry-level carrier testing
Commercial Carrier Journal
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is holding a listening session Jan. 13 in Nashville, Tenn., to seek input from industry stakeholders and the public at large on the entry level motor carrier testing rule it must craft, stipulated by the MAP-21 highway funding act.
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FMCSA shuts down 2 South Carolina trucking operations
Fleet Owner
Saying they represented imminent hazards to public safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered two affiliated Waterboro, S.C.-based trucking operations and the owner-driver of one of the companies to stop operating in interstate commerce.
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2014: Prosperity, regulatory chokehold and driver demand
Overdrive
2014 promises to be a good year for owner-operators. Good, at least, if you don't mind an increasingly restrictive regulatory environment. The overall economy was strong enough for the Federal Reserve to ease its stimulus measures in mid-December. Earlier in the month, unemployment fell to its lowest rate in five years. The stock market concluded its best year since 1997. Trucking, too, has some things going for it. Half of fleet executives polled in November by Commercial Carrier Journal, Overdrive's sister publication, expected business conditions to be "better" or "much better" in the next six months.
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NACD NewsBrief
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