DG Digest: New York State Proposes Skirting Lax Federal Environmental Policy

The US Surface Transportation Board (STB) is seeking nominees for its Transportation Advisory Committee; an important conduit for shippers to interact with the nation’s freight rail carriers. A BNSF local train rolls through Auburn, Washington on June 4th, 2017 with a rake of autorack car carriers. Photo ©6/2017 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.


June rolls the summer in with continuing low levels of US regulatory activity; perhaps the biggest news is the preparations under way for the big July UNECE meeting over in Geneva, Switzerland.  Will new international proposals impact the regulatory outlook here?  We’ll keep an eye on it for you!  Meanwhile, here is this week’s news of note:

  • It’s UNECE pre-meeting time again!  On Tuesday, June 20, 2017, OSHA will conduct a public meeting to discuss proposals in preparation for the 33rd session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS) to be held July 10 through July 12, 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland. OSHA, along with the U.S. Interagency GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals) 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. OSHA also will give an update on the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC).
  • Also, on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will conduct a public meeting (See Docket No. PHMSA–2017–0037 Notice No. 2017– 02) to discuss proposals in preparation for the 51st session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNSCETDG) to be held July 3 to July 7, 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland. During this meeting, PHMSA is also requesting comments relative to potential new work items that may be considered for inclusion in its international agenda. PHMSA will also provide an update on recent actions to enhance transparency and stakeholder interaction through improvements to the international standards portion of its Web site. Here’s your attendance portal
  • OSHA has also announced the very first “Safe & Sound Week” which will be June 12 – 18, 2017.  The agency hopes to focus employer attention on the overall benefits of maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.  A variety of resources and activities are available; see the link here

State of New York

In environmental news of note, the State of New York is proposing a mandatory disclosure regimen for the ingredients in household cleaning supplies, among other things.  This follows a trend which is seeing some states attempt to enact regulations which are rather more stringent than current federal law.  How it will impact manufacturers and distributors if passed, and how it will be received in terms of its legality when set against the Interstate Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, remain open questions.  Find out more here

State of California

Cal OSHA, the Golden State’s analog to the federal OSHA, concluded a revised agreement with that agency setting out the restive reposnsiblities of each within Califonia’s borders.  In general, federal OSHA will handle matters on US government property and in adjjacnet US territorial waters, while Cal OSHA will look after everything else.  See the revised agreement here

Surface Transportation Board (STB)

The nation’s agency handling railroad and shipper interaction is looking for nominees for its Transportation Advisory Council.  This is a place for shippers to have significant input into how the nation’s railroads do business with them.  Interested in participating?  Find out more here


The agency has withdrawn consideration of its November 2014 proposed rulemaking that would have significantly increased financial responsibility for motor carriers, freight forwarders, and transport brokers; this in line with the Trump Administration’s focus on reducing regulatory burdens on business.  In practical terms this means that the current rules regarding the required fiscal health of players in the nation’s road transport game are not changing any time soon.  Find out more here

Labelmaster is a full service provider of products and services for the Hazardous Materials and Dangerous Goods professional, shippers, transport operators, and EH&S providers. See our full line of solutions at www.labelmaster.com.

The Labelmaster Blog—Where Hazmat Matters | Subscribe Now!

Related posts