Standards and Safeguards in 2013

Agencies rolled out few health, safety, or environmental standards in the first quarter of 2013, despite hopes that President Obama would commit more attention to agencies' regulatory agendas after winning reelection. But in the spring, the gears began to move as the administration focused on implementing crucial public protections and the new director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Howard Shelanski, made good on his promise to cut the backlog of rules waiting for review at OIRA. With the gridlock on legislation in Congress, many are looking for the administration to be more active in moving rules and action through the executive branch.

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Shining a Light on Office of Management and Budget Rule Review Abuse

While anecdotes about the manipulation of the federal regulatory review process by the White House Office of Management and Budget have circulated for years, a recent Washington Post article on the delay of potentially controversial rules by the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) prior to the 2012 elections is truly shocking.

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Hydrogen Fluoride – A Toxic Chemical in Your Neighborhood?

Across the nation, 167 industrial facilities currently store and use hydrogen fluoride, a dangerous and highly toxic gas, in their manufacturing processes. In the past 15 years, 129 incidents have occurred, causing 100 injuries and five deaths, a high accident rate given the number of facilities. Many of these facilities are located in densely populated areas, and a release of hydrogen fluoride could put millions in danger. However, safer alternatives to this toxic chemical are available. Find out if you live near one of these facilities with a new map by the Center for Effective Government.

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ALEC’s Latest Trojan Horse: The Attack on Standards and Safeguards Moves to the States

In recent years, special interests and their allies in Congress have pushed a number of dangerous proposals to "reform" the rulemaking process to undermine the standards and safeguards that guarantee clean air and water, safe workplaces, healthy food, and safe medicines. Now, these same special interests are pushing similar proposals in the states. Many of these so-called "reforms" expand or institutionalize requirements that delay and weaken important regulations and increase the already outsized influence of corporations in setting environmental, food, consumer, and worker safety policies.

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ALEC Takes Attacks on Health, Safety Standards to the States

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2013—A study released today by the Center for Effective Government calls on states to reject a push by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and others to undermine public standards and safeguards set at the state level.

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OSHA Proposes Requirements for Employers to File Workplace Injury and Illness Information Online

On Nov. 8, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed a new rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses by transitioning to an online system for employers to submit such information. 

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OSHA Provides New Tools for Worker Chemical Protections

In an effort to improve protection of workers from exposure to toxic chemicals, OSHA recently unveiled two new tools on their website to assist companies and their workers. The first resource is a toolkit to identify safer chemicals that can be used in place of more hazardous ones.

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Agency Extends Comment Period on Long-Overdue Worker Safety Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on Oct. 25 that it is extending the public comment period for a proposed rule to lower worker exposure to crystalline silica. Silica dust can be deadly; it kills hundreds of workers every year and sickens thousands more. OSHA stated that in response to requests for an extension, it will give stakeholders an additional 47 days beyond the original Dec. 11 deadline to submit comments on the proposal.

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Senate Briefing Highlights Causes of Regulatory Delays

On Oct. 25, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights and Agency Action, chaired by Sen.

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American Workers Can't Report Health, Safety Violations on the Job Without Fear of Retaliation

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2013—A study released today by the Center for Effective Government calls for better protections for workers who report health and safety hazards on the job.

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