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Legislative Update: Bipartisan TSCA reform bill introduced
NACD
Last week, a diverse group of senators from both sides of the aisle introduced the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013, S. 1009, a bill to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act. Led by Sens. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and David Vitter, R-La., the bill has 20 cosponsors — 11 Democrats and 9 Republicans. The National Association of Chemical Distributors applauds the efforts of the senators to come together on producing a bipartisan agreement to address human health and the environment. "This bipartisan bill is an important step in modernizing the way we assess the safety of chemicals, with members of both parties having rolled up their sleeves to produce collective language. While there is still much to review, we are hopeful that the provisions of the bill will enhance safety, while maintaining America's ability to compete in today's global marketplace," stated NACD President Chris Jahn. NACD and others in the industry have provided input to many of the co-sponsors and the Environment and Public Works Committee during stakeholder dialogue meetings and through numerous hearings since 2008. Click here to view the statement from Lautenberg and Vitter.
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Regulatory Compliance Resources: NACD to hold TSCA webinar on June 6
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently increased its frequency of Toxic Substances Control Act compliance audits on industry, including NACD members. To help members stay compliant with TSCA requirements and to be prepared for an EPA audit, NACD will host a webinar, "TSCA – More Than 'Toxic' Chemicals, More Than Manufacturing Regulations," on Thursday, June 6, at 12 noon Eastern time. During this webinar, Lynn Bergeson and Kathleen Roberts of NACD Environmental Regulatory Partner Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., will review the various TSCA sections and provide an analysis of how the regulations apply not only to chemical manufacturers, but to chemical distributors who use, store, repackage, formulate, process, dispose of and/or import chemical products. If you have questions on whether your operations are subject to TSCA regulations or on the specific requirements of the law, you will not want to miss this timely webinar. Click here to register today.
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Regulatory Alert: Roadside inspection blitz to take place June 4-6
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced "Roadcheck 2013." Through this initiative, thousands of law enforcement officers will blanket North America's roadways for 72 continuous hours beginning Tuesday, June 4, and ending Thursday, June 6, to conduct comprehensive safety inspections of trucks and buses and to enforce safety belt use. Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world, with approximately 17 trucks or buses being inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during the 72-hour period. CVSA sponsors the annual Roadcheck with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).
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Legislative Update: Bipartisan legislation to reduce regulatory burdens introduced in House and Senate
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., along with six co-sponsors (3 Republicans and 3 Democrats) reintroduced bipartisan legislation last week to reform the federal regulatory process. The Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 2122), which passed the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress, reforms the current federal rulemaking process to lower the costs and improve the quality of new regulations. Companion legislation was also introduced by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, with eight co-sponsors (4 Republicans, 3 Democrats and 1 Independent who caucuses with Democrats). The Regulatory Accountability Act requires federal agencies to choose the lowest cost rulemaking alternative that meets statutory objectives, improves agency fact-gathering, fact-finding and identification of regulatory alternatives, requires advance notice of proposed major rulemakings to increase public input before costly agency positions are proposed, and fortifies judicial review of new agency regulations.
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Legislative Update: West Fertilizer explosion continues to be focus on Capitol Hill
Last month's tragic West Fertilizer explosion continues to remain a focus of attention on Capitol Hill. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has responded to Sen. Barbara Boxer's recent request for information about the explosion. In the letter to the senator, the CSB lists numerous areas of inquiry the agency will pursue in the investigation, including an analysis of the adequacy of existing standards for the safe handling and storage of ammonium nitrate; the application of fire codes to the West facility; hazardous facility siting, zoning and land-use planning; ammonium nitrate detonation mechanisms; inherently safer alternatives; the EPA Risk Management Program; emergency preparedness for chemical disasters; and firefighter training and hazard awareness. Click here for a copy of the letter. Boxer had also requested information from the EPA. It is likely the Environment and Public Works Committee, which Boxer chairs, will hold hearings on the West explosion in the near future.
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Regulatory Update: U.S. Chamber issues report on 'Sue and Settle'
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released a report titled Sue and Settle: Regulating Behind Closed Doors, which found that the "sue and settle" process, where environmental advocacy groups sue federal agencies to issue regulations by a specific deadline, is being abused, resulting in interested parties being shut out of regulatory decisions by key federal agencies. The report identifies at least 60 different occasions between 2009 and 2012 where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chose not to defend itself in lawsuits brought by special interest advocacy groups and in each case agreed to settlements on terms favorable to those groups. These settlements directly resulted in EPA agreeing to propose more than 100 new regulations, many of which would impose compliance costs in the tens of millions and even billions of dollars. As a result of the sue and settle process, the agency submits to the binding terms of settlement agreements, using congressional-appropriated funds to achieve the demands of specific outside groups. This process also allows agencies to avoid the normal protections built into the rulemaking process — review by the Office of Management and Budget and the public and compliance with executive orders — as the agency's new obligation is created. Legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate to curtail the sue and settle process.
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Legislative Update: CBO issues report on carbon taxes
The Congressional Budget Office has released a report on the effects of a proposal by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to impose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions of $20 per ton. The report found it would raise revenue, diminish real (inflation-adjusted) wages and reduce emissions in the U.S., but little globally. CBO found the tax would raise $1.5 trillion in taxes over a decade, but it would drive up the cost of energy and "ultimately drive up prices for goods and services throughout the economy." The report also found that, while the tax would result in incremental benefits environmentally by reducing U.S. emissions by 8 percent, the benefit would be modest because other countries such as China and India are growing rapidly and it would take significant cuts on their part to have an impact on global warming.
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Industry Update: 'Stop the Frack Attack' calls for anti-fracking week of action June 2-9, but prospects for mobilization and possible impact unclear
"Stop the Frack Attack," an activist umbrella organization, has announced a "week of action" June 2-9 to protest hydraulic fracturing. The organization is calling on local supporters across the country to engage in protests. Any demonstrations, if they materialize, are most likely to be nonviolent attempts to generate publicity, although potentially confrontational activities cannot be ruled out. The event is a clear example of those opposed to the practice of hydraulic fracturing leveraging social media to broaden the reach of their message and to expand their ability to mobilize. However, just because calls to protest are issued on social media, that does not mean demonstrations will in fact materialize. Protests are possible in places such as Colorado and Washington, D.C.
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  General Business Interest


PHMSA revisits package opening rule
Hazardous Cargo Bulletin
The U.S. PHMSA has issued an NPRM under HM-258B, proposing amendments to the DOT's enhanced inspection, investigation and enforcement authority. Specifically, it is proposing to amend the provision relating to DOT agents opening packages to include requirements for perishable hazardous materials.
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How does CSA affect small carriers?
Truckinginfo
Despite all of the folklore that has been built around it, at its core, CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) is simply a program used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to track and evaluate carriers based on compliance and crash history. Carriers that do not score well in the system are the ones FMCSA will spend time warning or investigating.
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Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


How Vitter and Lautenberg struck a deal on chemical safety legislation
The Times-Picayune
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., surprised many when he announced a compromise with New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg on chemical regulations. How did they come together to create a bipartisan approach?
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Shale gas prompts $72 billion in planned chemical investments
FuelFix
As many as 46,000 permanent jobs in the chemical industry will be created if all of the chemical and plastics projects that have been announced to take advantage of plentiful and low-cost supplies of natural gas are built, according to a study recently released by the American Chemistry Council. By 2020, the report found the projects could lead to another 264,000 jobs in supplier industries and 226,000 additional jobs in communities where workers live and spend money, generating $200 billion in additional payroll.
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DOT nominee sails through first confirmation hearing
Fleet Owner
"Smooth sailing" characterized the confirmation hearing for Transportation Secretary nominee Anthony Foxx before the U.S. Senate's Commerce Committee, with the current mayor of Charlotte, N.C., addressing a wide variety of transportation issues.
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Dow Chemical's distribution and transportation risk management program
Logistics Viewpoints
Steve Banker writes, "Large chemical and oil and gas companies are, in general, far more advanced in their supply chain risk management practices than companies in other industries. But my coverage of this area convinces me that Dow Chemical, in particular, is one of the most advanced companies in the world in supply chain risk management. Dow Chemical has revenues of $57 billion and employs 54,000 people around the world. It makes and ships agricultural, plastics and chemical products to customers in 160 countries."
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