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Regulatory Update: House offers health care guide for small business
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The House Small Business Committee has released documents to help small businesses learn about the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that will begin to take effect in 2013 and 2014. The guides describe each provision in plain English and include the committee's view on the small business consequences for each measure.

Committee Chairman Sam Graves, R-Mo., said, "The health care law has been a drain on private sector job creation, but our committee will strive to help America's small businesses overcome their compliance difficulties. I want to help [businesses] be successful, no matter what the national regulatory climate is. With this report, we are trying to give them some tools to plan ahead."

Chemicals Update: Coalition issues guide on safer chemical alternatives
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In early December, the group BizNGO, a coalition of non-governmental organizations, universities, government agencies and businesses, released The Guide to Safer Chemicals. This guide sets benchmarks for how manufacturers, retailers and purchasers can track their progress in using chemicals in products that are safer for human health and the environment.

According to BizNGO, the Guide is consistent with the organization's four goals of knowledge and disclosure of product chemistry, assessment and avoidance of hazards, a commitment to continuous improvement, and support of public policies and industry standards.

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State Regulatory Update: California releases green-chemistry reports; revised proposal anticipated soon
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The California Department of Toxic Substances Control recently announced the availability of 10 outside peer reviews that evaluated the science behind the Safer Consumer Product Regulations. Although some of the reviews offered suggestions for improvements to the Safer Consumer Products Regulations, for the most part, they concluded that the DTSC's approach was based on sound science.

The reviews are available online here and are open to comment until January 4, 2013.

In related news, the DTSC is expected to release a revised version of the Safer Consumer Products Regulations within the next few days. Interested parties likely will have 30 days to comment on the proposal.

REACH Update: ECHA publishes names of REACH-registered companies
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The European Chemicals Agency recently published the names of companies that have registered substances under REACH, unless the companies previously claimed confidentiality. ECHA says that with this information, the database is now easily searchable by registrant name.

The agency continues to add information to the database, including additional registrants and assessment results for persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances.

The database can be accessed online here.

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  •   General Business Interest

    FMCSA implements improvements to its Safety Measurement System
    U.S. Department of Transportation    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implemented 11 new improvements to its Safety Measurement System. The changes, developed over several months with feedback from the public and stakeholders throughout the industry, will enhance the agency's ability to identify and take action against trucks and buses with safety and compliance concerns. More

    Dialogue on crash data needed, Graves tells feds
    Today's Trucking    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    American Trucking Associations said it has demonstrated how CSA lacks enough data on the industry to give meaningful scores for the majority of carriers. According to the ATA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has said it has sufficient violation data to assess 40 percent of active carriers in at least one category, but only enough to "assign a percentile rank or score" in at least one category to 12 percent of active carriers. The vast majority of these carriers, ATA highlighted, are only assigned a score in one category. More

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    FMCSA orders 2 companies to shut down
    Truckinginfo    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered LEX Express Inc. (DBA Lincolnland Express) of Champaign, Ill., and Ben Gordon Enterprises LLC (DBA Gordon's Tree Service) of Slidell, La., to immediately cease all transportation services. FMCSA shut down Ben Gordon Enterprises after an investigation found the company had willfully violated a federal out-of-service order, while Lincolnland Express was shuttered when it failed to provide an approved action plan to ensure safety compliance in the wake of numerous violations. More

    House bill would require pilot program for DOT hair test for drugs
    Truckinginfo    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wisc., introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives requiring the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct a pilot program to evaluate the use of hair samples to test commercial drivers for illicit drug use. American Trucking Associations applauded the move. More

    LaHood waiting until 2013 to determine Cabinet future
    GateHouse News Service via The Register-Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood may be sticking around for at least a little while longer. The former Illinois congressman, now the only Republican in President Barack Obama's Cabinet, said he and Obama don't plan to discuss until next year whether or not he'll stay on for part or all of the president's next term. They had an initial discussion shortly after Election Day and "will continue to talk after the first of the year and we'll see where it takes us," LaHood told a Rotary Club recently. More

    Western states look to capitalize on energy boom
    Fuel Fix    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Petroleum producers in southeastern New Mexico are on track to pump out 80 million barrels of oil this year — numbers that haven't been seen since the 1970s. In Texas and North Dakota, the oilfields are booming. Companies are exploring possible shale plays in more pockets around the West, and there are no signs that Wyoming stands to lose its position as the nation's top coal producer. More


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