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Legislative Update: Congress focusing on West Fertilizer fire
NACD
The West Fertilizer Co. fire has been gaining increased attention from Capitol Hill, and judging by the Congressional letters this week, the political scrutiny is likely to grow increasingly intense. Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has announced plans to conduct an Environment and Public Works Committee investigation of the fire. On the House side, ranking members are calling for a Blue Ribbon Commission to investigate the incident.
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Regulatory Victory: STB rejects Union Pacific proposed tariff on TIH materials
Last week, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board issued a decision denying a petition by the Union Pacific Railroad Company that sought a declaratory order finding reasonable certain tariff provisions that would require shippers of Toxic Inhalation Hazards to indemnify UP against all liabilities, other than those resulting from the railroad's fault or negligence. In the decision, the STB stated, "UP has not provided adequate support for requiring shippers to protect UP from smaller, non-catastrophic risks and from liabilities not due to the presence of TIH. Therefore, we deny UP's petition for a declaratory order."
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Regulatory Input Needed: DHS to hold additional CFATS focus group in Chicago – May 23
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has scheduled another Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Chemical Security Assessment Tool Focus Group session to be held in the Chicago area on Thursday, May 23. This follows two other focus groups that DHS hosted earlier this year in Houston and West Chester, Penn. The focus groups are a means for DHS to collect feedback regarding the CSAT Tool, and the input will be used to drive the functional requirements development for the next generation of the CSAT suite of tools, including the Top-Screen, Site Vulnerability Assessment, and Site Security Plan.
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SPONSORED CONTENT


Regulatory Resources: Chemical Security Summit to be held July 10-11 in Baltimore
Mark your calendars — the 2013 Chemical Sector Security Summit is scheduled for July 10-11 in Baltimore. The Summit is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council, of which NACD is an active member. Key topics for 2013 include chemical security regulations update, cybersecurity, Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards for Tier 3&4 facilities and more. Registration will be available soon, and there is no registration fee associated with this event. Please watch for additional communications from NACD and keep checking www.dhs.gov/chemicalsecuritysummit to find out more on how to sign up.
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Regulatory Update: GAO finds room for improvement in EPA chemical assessment and control programs
On April 29, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report titled Toxic Substances: EPA Has Increased Efforts to Assess and Control Chemicals but Could Strengthen Its Approach. The report includes the results of a performance audit that GAO conducted on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's chemical assessment and control programs from December 2011 to March 2013. GAO reviewed the extent to which:
  1. EPA has made progress implementing its new approach for managing toxic chemicals with the goal of ensuring the safety of chemicals using its existing authorities;
  2. The new approach positions EPA to achieve its goal of ensuring the safety of chemicals.
GAO concluded that, although EPA has implemented a new approach to managing existing chemicals, it should take further action, such as promulgating rules under Section 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act to require chemical companies to report chemical toxicity and exposure-related data submitted to foreign agencies and to require chemical companies to report exposure-related data from processors to EPA. Click here for a copy of the report. Click here for a detailed analysis of the report from NACD Environmental Regulatory Partner Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

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  General Business Interest


At Texas fertilizer plant, a history of theft, tampering
Reuters
The Texas fertilizer plant that exploded two weeks ago, killing 14 people and injuring about 200, was a repeat target of theft by intruders who tampered with tanks and caused the release of toxic chemicals, police records reviewed by Reuters show. Police responded to at least 11 reports of burglaries and five separate ammonia leaks at West Fertilizer Co. over the past 12 years, according to 911 dispatch logs and criminal offense reports Reuters obtained from the McLennan County Sheriff's office in Waco, Texas, through an Open Records Request. Some of the leaks, including one reported in October 2012, were linked to theft or interference with tank valves. According to one 2002 crime report, a plant manager told police that intruders were stealing four to five gallons of anhydrous ammonia every three days. The liquid gas can be used to cook methamphetamine, the addictive and illicit stimulant.
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Senate committee schedules May 9 vote on McCarthy's EPA nomination
Bloomberg BNA
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote May 9 on the nomination of Gina McCarthy to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, committee chair Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., announced May 2. Boxer previously told reporters the committee would vote on McCarthy's nomination May 8, but Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and other Republicans on the committee requested a postponement, arguing that McCarthy had not completely responded to a request for information.
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NPTC's Schweitzer: Plan for new HOS rules as written
Fleet Owner
Speaking at a conference held by the National Private Truck Council, NPTC's Richard P. Schweitzer was direct about the new hours of service rules: "Plan on the new rules going into effect on July 1 as they are written." NPTC and 14 other associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, filed an amicus brief in support of two lawsuits concerning the proposed changes to the HOS regulations, telling the court that "this is not just a trucking rule but something that affects all manufacturers." While the court heard oral arguments March 15, no deadline was set for a decision and "the judges did not appear willing to rescind or remand the rule for changes," he observed.
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CSA: Painting a truer picture
Truckload Authority
Dave Heller, director of Safety and Policy at the Truckload Carriers Association, says the work of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Compliance, Safety, Accountability plan is commendable — but not yet finished. "Any change in CSA is going to be significant for any carrier under the measurement of the CSA program," Heller said. "However, for it to really matter, the changes that need to be made have not been made yet. Any change will help paint a better picture [of safety], but they need to make it more perfect."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How will Texas explosion impact chemical security laws? (National Journal)
Senator: Texas explosion has exposed 'toothless' chemical regulations (The Hill)
EPA hopes 'work plan' assessments will generate data for more chemicals (Chemical Regulation Reporter via Bloomberg BNA)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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Chemistry Council makes safety code compliance mandatory for membership
Chemical Regulation Reporter via Bloomberg BNA
The American Chemistry Council was scheduled to unveil a new Product Safety Code May 6, outlining best practices that member companies must follow to help ensure the safe development and use of chemicals. ACC members will have to comply with the code and "adherence with those practices will be mandatory and regularly verified by independent auditors," according to ACC's announcement.
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Oil and gas producers join truckers for improved road safety
Truckinginfo
Oil and gas companies have joined forces with the trucking industry to promote improved road safety and traffic management in heavily traveled producing areas like the Eagle Ford in south central Texas, the Marcellus region in the Northeast and the Bakken in the upper Midwest. The American Petroleum Institute, the American Trucking Associations and the National Tank Truck Carriers have collected nearly two dozen recommendations for roadway safety and more considerate driving practices. The recommendations will be used as important reminders for member companies and to help develop informational materials on the need to provide safe and responsible trucking operations for the mutual benefit of producers, transporters and the communities in which they operate.
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Fracking giant Halliburton nixes North Carolina's chemical disclosure rule
News & Observer
After more than six months of congenial meetings, the North Carolina Mining & Energy Commission was set to approve its first fracking rule, perhaps the most important of all the safety rules the commission will write to protect the public and safeguard the environment. The standard spells out which chemicals fracking operators have to publicly disclose when drilling natural gas wells in North Carolina. But commissioners learned at the last minute that the proposal they approved in committee in March is on ice. The problem: Fracking giant Halliburton has told North Carolina's environmental regulators the rule goes too far.
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Moody's sees minor trouble ahead for chemicals, utilities
AOL Energy
Moody's analysts are have weighed in on prospects for liquefied natural gas exports from the U.S., forecasting that chemical companies and utilities could see some negative impact from higher domestic natural gas prices, but not enough to bring down their credit ratings.
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Trucking adds 11,700 jobs as unemployment rate drops
Transport Topics
Trucking added 11,700 jobs in April as the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a four-year low 7.5 percent, the Labor Department said. U.S. payrolls expanded by 165,000 workers following a revised 138,000 increase in March that was larger than the 88,000 first reported. Revised figures showed the trucking industry lost 6,300 jobs in March, which was fewer than the 6,900 decline reported last month.
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Is your lift truck ready to retire?
DC Velocity
Lift trucks are the "workhorses of the warehouse" — essential tools for shipping, receiving, picking and putaway. But no piece of equipment can last forever; sooner or later, every lift truck will reach the point when it should be put out to pasture, so to speak. How do you know when it's time to say goodbye?
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NACD NewsBrief
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Valerie Hunt, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2690   
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Caitlin O'Donnell, NACD Manager, Communications, 703.527.6223   

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