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Regulatory Update: New hours of service rules now in effect
NACD
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced yesterday that the new hours of service rules are now in full effect. Lawsuits are pending on the new rules, but FMCSA proceeded to implement the rules before the cases are decided, stating that industry has had 18 months to adopt the new HOS rules. First announced by FMCSA in December 2011, the rules limit the average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours, down from the previous maximum of 82 hours. The new rule also allows truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights from the hours of 1 to 5 a.m., and requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift. The final HOS rule retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day. FMCSA says companies and drivers who commit egregious violations of the rule could face the maximum penalties for each offense. Trucking companies and passenger carriers that allow drivers to exceed driving limits by more than three hours could be fined $11,000 per offense, and the drivers themselves could face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense. Further information, including "Hours-of-Service Logbook Examples," is available on the FMCSA website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/HOS.
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Regulatory Update: Senate examines chemical regulation after fatal incidents
Last week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing a hearing titled, Oversight of Federal Risk Management and Emergency Planning Programs to Prevent and Address Chemical Threats, Including the Events Leading Up to the Explosions in West, TX, and Geismar, LA. During the hearing, Committee Chair Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chastised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a lack of urgency in taking measures to prevent chemical incidents and praised the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board for their investigations and recommendations. The topic of chemical reactive hazards received substantial attention in the hearing, and Boxer advocated adding reactive hazards to the Clean Air Act Risk Management Program list. The subject of EPA using the Clean Air Act General Duty Clause to require facilities to implement inherently safer technologies (IST) was also discussed. Click here for more information, including Boxer's opening statement, the witness testimony and a recording of the entire hearing.
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Legislative Update: House groups advance bills to fund DOT hazmat programs
Last week, the Senate and House Appropriations Committees both approved fiscal year 2014 transportation appropriations bills. The Senate bill includes $45 million for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's hazardous materials safety program, approximately $2.75 million more than the 2013 level, while the House roughly keeps the 2013 level of $42.8 million. Both bills fully fund the Hazardous Materials Emergency Planning grant program at $28.3 million. Neither the Senate nor the House bills accounted for DOT Special Permit user fees, as President Barack Obama proposed in his budget; however, the Senate report accompanying the bill says the "user fee is fully justified" and could be established through the regulatory process. This is a troubling development, and NACD will continue to work to ensure that those who need DOT Special Permits are not ultimately subject to user fees. It is unclear when the full Senate and House will vote on the bills. Congress is on break this week for the Fourth of July. Click here for more information on the Senate bill and here for more information on the House bill.
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Regulatory Update: EPA issues SNURS for 17 chemicals
On June 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published final Significant New Use Rules in the Federal Register for 17 chemicals that were subject to pre-manufacture notices. Fifteen of these chemical substances are subject to TSCA section 5(e) consent orders. The final SNURs for these substances are based on and consistent with the provisions in the underlying consent orders. The final SNURs designate as a significant new use manufacture (including import) or processing in the absence of the protective measures required in the corresponding consent orders. The final SNURs for the 2 remaining substances are not subject to a consent order under TSCA section 5(e).
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Regulatory Update: OSHA eyes exit routes to ensure no obstructions
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding compliance officers to check for adequate means of egress at all workplaces. This emphasis on obstruction-free exits follows the recent fire and explosion that killed at least 119 workers on June 4, 2013, at a poultry processing plant in China. A memorandum sent to the agency's regional administrators and state plan designees directs field inspectors, when conducting inspections, to be mindful of whether employers have provided and maintained adequate means of egress from work areas. This includes checking that an adequate number of exit routes are provided, that the exit routes are free and unobstructed, and that exit doors are not locked. See OSHA's Emergency Exit Routes Fact Sheet for more information on employers' responsibilities to ensure that their workers are able to exit the workplace quickly and safely.
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Regulatory Update: OSHA's National Emphasis Program on isocyanates
Last week, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a National Emphasis Program to protect workers from adverse health effects of exposure to isocyanates. The initiative combines enforcement and outreach efforts to raise awareness of employers, workers and safety and health professionals of the serious health effects associated with occupational exposure to isocyanates. OSHA states that the health effects of exposure to isocyanates include occupational asthma, irritation of the skin (dermatitis) and mucous membranes (eyes, nose and throat), hypersensitivity pneumonitis and chest tightness. The agency is focusing on 11 industries, ranging from paints and coatings manufacturing to boat building to automotive repair and maintenance, as part of this NEP. Click here for a copy of OSHA's directive and here for the agency's informational Web page on isocyanates.
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Regulatory Compliance Resources: OSHA, SCHC to sponsor free July 25 webinar on revised hazard communication standard
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication have announced a free webinar, Hazard Communication 2012: One Year of Implementation, to take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, July 25. This webinar will focus on issues associated with classification, labeling, safety data sheets, training, as well as how manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers can meet compliance requirements during the transition period. The webinar will feature experts from OSHA who will also discuss guidance materials on the rule. The webinar is intended to answer many of the questions OSHA has received in this first year of Hazard Communication 2012 implementation. Please click here to register.
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Regulatory Update: EPA issues fact sheet on isotopes
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently posted a fact sheet that summarizes existing guidance to help chemical manufacturers understand how to comply with the Toxic Substances Control Act's Section 5 reporting requirements for chemical substances that contain isotopic modification to an element in the substances. The fact sheet gives information on how to report chemical substances that have different isotopes, or variations, of the same elements. It also provides information on how to describe the isotopes of an element if it has been intentionally changed from the way in which it naturally occurs. Chemical substances must be reported to the TSCA Inventory. EPA states that the fact sheet helps stakeholders understand that if the isotope, or variation, of a chemical substance is not currently on the TSCA inventory, it is subject to TSCA's new chemical reporting requirements. The agency encourages manufacturers to consult with EPA representatives to determine if a new chemical notice is required. If so, manufacturers should be able to compile the information necessary for a TSCA section 5 new chemical notification, and a notification (i.e., a premanufacture notice or exemption request) can be submitted within a one-year timeframe. Click here for more information.
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  General Business Interest


Bill to revise chemical regulation getting scrutiny
The Inquirer
Eaten any Bisphenol A from food in that plastic storage bin lately? Sat on a couch laced with flame retardants? Both chemicals have been linked to numerous health problems, including developmental delays. Legislation now working through Congress has everything to do with whether these and thousands of other chemicals in daily use are deemed safe. Or harmful. For now, we don't really know how dangerous many compounds are because a federal law that governs their regulation is weak and outdated, experts say.
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Damaged chemical plant still too dangerous for investigators to enter
The Times-Picayune
The federal investigation into the deadly chemical accident at the Williams Olefins plant in Geismar, La., is stalled temporarily because the facility remains too dangerous for investigators to enter, a Senate committee was recently told. The probe of the June 13 accident, which killed two workers and injured 114 others, centers on the failure of a heat exchanger and associated piping attached to the distillation tower, according to Rafael Moure-Eraso, chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.
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Senate approves Foxx to head Transportation Department
Reuters
The U.S. Senate recently voted 100-0 to approve Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx to head the U.S. Transportation Department, handing him the job as tight budgets are forcing lawmakers to rethink how to fund huge U.S. infrastructure needs.
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Tightening of capacity coming from new HOS
Truckinginfo
An expectation of capacity tightening comes as carriers report how they will respond to new HOS regulations taking effect on July 1. The way their shippers work to minimize the impact of these changes will also affect this lowering utilization. A recent survey by Transport Capital Partners shows three-quarters of carriers are expecting lower utilization with the new hours-of-service regulations.
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White House proposes new round of truck emissions reductions
Commercial Carrier Journal
The trucking industry can expect another round of emissions regulations, courtesy a second-term climate change initiative from President Barack Obama. Truck makers, who worked with the White House on the original heavy-duty vehicle plan, say they support the effort to improve fuel economy — but any new standards must make economic sense for truck owners.
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Ohio law that shields details of fracking chemicals may violate federal statute
The Columbus Dispatch
Oil and gas companies that use an Ohio law to shield information about fracking chemicals from emergency-management officials and first responders might be in violation of federal law, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The state law, passed in 2001, requires that drilling companies share information about hazardous chemicals only with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which is supposed to keep the information available for local officials. But federal EPA officials take a different view.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword "FRACKING."


ATA report: Freight volumes will grow through 2024
Transport Topics
Freight volumes through 2024 are projected to increase by more than 20 percent for all modes of transportation, with trucking taking a larger share, according to a new report by American Trucking Associations. ATA's U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2024, a collaboration among ATA, IHS Global Insight and Martin Labbe Associates, states that trucking continues to be the leading mode of transportation and projects its share of tonnage will increase.
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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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