The nation completed another very difficult of week coping with the coronavirus pandemic as well as emerging civic strife engendered by very unfortunate current events. Here’s hoping that along with health, that peace and justice make a quick return for all the people of our nation. There were several items of interest in the regulatory world, with a major action by the FMCSA affecting CMV driver hours-of-service rules perhaps chief among them. Here’s all the latest:
The agency revised the hours of service (HOS) regulations to provide greater flexibility for drivers subject to those rules without adversely affecting safety. In the action, the agency:
- expands the short-haul exception to 150 air-miles and allows a 14-hour work shift to take place as part of the exception
- expands the driving window during adverse driving conditions by up to an additional 2 hours
- requires a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time), and
- allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break; and modifies the sleeper berth exception to allow a driver to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least 7, rather than at least 8 hours of that period in the berth and a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside or outside of the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours, and that neither qualifying period counts against the 14- hour driving window.
The agency will conduct a virtual public meeting in advance of certain international meetings. The first meeting will be held in advance of the 39th session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS) to be held as a virtual symposium in early July 2020, in Geneva, Switzerland. OSHA, along with the U.S. Interagency Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Coordinating Group, plans to consider the comments and information gathered at this public meeting when developing the U.S. Government positions for the UNSCEGHS meeting. The virtual public meeting will take place approximately two weeks preceding the international meeting. Specific information for each meeting will be posted when available on the OSHA website. See details here.
The agency is finalizing amendments to the definition of small manufacturer, including a new definition for small government, in accordance with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Changes to the small manufacturer definition impact certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements established under TSCA. EPA is also finalizing other minor changes. This final rule is effective June 29, 2020.
EPA is extending the comment period for a notice issued in the Federal Register of January 27, 2020, announcing the availability of the preliminary lists of manufacturers (including importers) of 20 chemical substances that have been designated as a High-Priority Substance for risk evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and for which fees will be charged. The original comment period and window for self-identification was previously extended by 60-days, and this document provides an additional extension, from May 27, 2020 to June 15, 2020.
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