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Regulatory Update — Chemical Executive Order Report Calls for Agencies to Consider Major Regulatory Expansions
Last Friday, the Interagency Working Group (IWG) established by White House Executive Order 13650 — Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security publicly released a milestone document: Actions to Improve Chemical Facility Safety and Security — A Shared Commitment — Report for the President. The report calls on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security to expand the scope and coverage of their respective regulatory programs. In addition, the report calls for the agencies to issue an alert and consider regulations to mandate the consideration and use of inherently safer technologies. Click here for NACD's full regulatory update that provides key highlights of the report, and click here for NACD's comments on the report release.
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Legislative Update — NACD Asks Congress to Delay Enforcement of Hours-of-Service Restart Provision
Last week, NACD, along with over 90 trade associations and companies, signed onto a coalition letter addressing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) new hours-of-service (HOS) restart regulations. The letter was sent to Senate Appropriations Committee members, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), Transportation Subcommittee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME). The letter asks Senate appropriators to consider delaying for one year the enforcement of the harmful hours-of-service restart provisions. Safety groups have expressed their opposition to this effort and sent a letter to the same Committee Members asking they not make any modifications to the new rule until after an FMCSA-led study has been completed.
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Legislative Update — NACD Signs Letter Supporting the Expansion of Small Business Expensing
NACD signed onto a letter this week along with a coalition of organizations representing small businesses to Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Ron Kind (D-WI) in support of H.R. 4457, the America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014. H.R. 4457 would restore the Section 179 small business expensing level to $500,000 and permanently index the level to inflation. Legislation expanding Section 179 expensing has been enacted eight times since 2003; however, the expensing limits were temporary, and the limit reverted back to $25,000 at the beginning of 2014. It is important to note that the small business expensing is not a loophole and does not lead to a loss in revenue for the government. It simply allows companies to maximize investments in their own businesses, which fuels expansion and adds jobs. To read the full letter, please click here.
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Regulatory Update — OSHA to Hold Public Meeting on Emergency Response and Preparedness
Last week, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an informal stakeholder meeting on emergency response and preparedness. The meeting will take place in Washington, D.C., on July 30. In 2007, OSHA issued a Request for Information (RFI) that solicited comments from the public to evaluate what action, if any, the Agency should take to further address emergency response and preparedness. OSHA states that recent events, such as the April 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, that killed several emergency responders, and an analysis of the information provided in response to the 2007 RFI, make it clear that emergency responder health and safety continues to be an area of ongoing concern. OSHA plans to use the information received in response to the 2007 RFI and obtained at the July stakeholder meeting when considering a proposed standard for emergency response and preparedness. As outlined in last week's Chemical Executive Order Status Report, OSHA is also considering adding a provision to its Process Safety Management standard requiring chemical facilities and emergency responders to coordinate with each other. For a copy of the meeting announcement, click here.
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Legislative Update — More Than 100 House Members Sign Letter Supporting LIFO
Reps. James Lankford (R-OK) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) recently led an effort to rally opposition to the repeal of the Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) method of accounting. Recent comprehensive tax reform efforts have made the phase-out of LIFO a source of augmented revenue for the government to finance other initiatives. The enormous increases in tax liability for some companies that would accompany this accounting change has created significant backlash from the business community.
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Regulatory Resources — Registration Available for July 22-24 Chemical Security Summit
Registration is open for the 2014 Chemical Security Summit, which will take place July 22-24 at the Baltimore Convention Center. There is no registration fee for the Summit. Space is limited, and hundreds have already signed-up; so please click here to register soon. Sessions will include updates and lessons learned on the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), the latest on Executive Order 13650 — Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, international security trends, transportation security, and more. NACD Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jennifer Gibson serves on the Summit planning committee and will moderate panels on Transportation Security and CFATS Alternative Security Plans.
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Political Update — A Few Surprises in Early Primary Elections
Primary season is among us, and so far it has been relatively calm and predictable. Two early surprises, however, include the defeat of the oldest serving member of Congress, 91-year-old Ralph Hall (R-TX-4), and the forced runoff between six-term incumbent Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel. The runoff election to determine whether Sen. Cochran stays for a seventh term will be held on June 24. Two other races to watch this week are the Senate contest in South Carolina where Lindsey Graham (R-SC) looks to win a third term and the House race in central Virginia where House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA-7) looks to defend his seat against a surging tea party-backed candidate. Two open, safe-Democrat seat primaries to watch this week are the eighth district of Virginia where long-term incumbent Jim Moran (D-VA-8) is retiring and the second district of Maine where Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME-2) is retiring to run for Governor. If you would like more updates on key House and Senate races in 2014 or to learn more about NACD's Responsible Distribution PAC, please contact Ben Traynham.
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Senate Panel Votes to Suspend Hours of Service Restart Pending Study
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted by a wide margin June 5 to suspend the current 34-hour restart provision of the hours of service rule while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration studies the impact of the rule.
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Trucking Groups Praise Legislation to Suspend 2013 Restart Changes
Commercial Carrier Journal
Groups representing various segments of the trucking industry have been quick to praise passage of an amendment to the Transportation Department funding bill that would suspend the new restart provisions in hours-of-service regulations for one year.
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THUD Bill Heads to Senate for Final Vote; Committees Talk Highway Funding
Better Roads
Highway funding is a hot topic in the Senate as the Appropriations Committee moves the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill to the full Senate floor, the Commerce Committee evaluates the House's plan to use U.S. Postal Service savings for transportation revenue and the Finance Committee seeks funding for highway and transit projects.
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House Proposes 1-Year Highway Bill
Go By Truck News
The U.S. House of Representatives has proposed a one-year extension of the current highway bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century. The proposal confirms rumors that House members were looking at the U.S. Postal Service as a potential source of revenue for transportation needs. The $14-$15 million price tag of the extension would be covered by a transfer from general funds, which would in turn be covered by the elimination of most Saturday mail delivery.
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Roadcheck Safety Inspections Target Driver Logs, Hazmat Transport
Transport Topics
Federal, state and local safety officials kicked off the annual Roadcheck event June 3 with the goal of pulling in 17 trucks and buses per minute across North America for 30-step, Level 1 safety inspections. In recent years, about one-fifth of the vehicles inspected during Roadcheck and almost 5 percent of the drivers were placed out of service after evaluation by state troopers and other inspectors.
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CSA's Fallout: SMS/Safety Rating System Disconnect Compounds Problems
CSA was intended as an improvement to FMCSA's Safestat rating system that used primarily out-of-service violations uncovered during onsite company investigations in determining a carrier's rating. Given the agency's small staff relative to the size of the motor carrier population, the system was limited in the number of carriers it could rate, as well as the currency of those ratings.
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PHMSA Crude Hauling Proposal Could Have Broad Implications
Bulk Transporter
A recent review of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA's) rulemaking proposal for rail shipments of crude oil suggests that it could have a much broader impact. The rulemaking came in response to several serious and tragic accidents in the United States and Canada over the past several years involving shipments of crude oil from the shale plays in those countries.
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PwC US Issues 2014 Tax Rate Benchmarking for Industrial Products Sector
Industrial Distribution
Average effective tax rates over the past three years have continued to edge upward for industrial products and automotive sectors, reflecting a modest rebound in the global business climate that is leading to increased profits at many companies.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Regulatory Resources — TSCA Audit Interest Surveys Due Friday June 6 (NACD)
EPA Moves to Improve Emergency Planning; Inspections Focus on Chemical Hazards During Emergency Responses (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Trucking Groups List Suggestions, Concerns for FMCSA's Clearinghouse Rule (Commercial Carrier Journal)

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NACD NewsBrief
Colby Horton, Executive 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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