DG Digest: U.S. DOT Releases Draft (FY 2022-2026) Strategic Framework

The FRA announced its 2022 drug and alcohol testing rates for covered railroad employees.  An Amtrak special test train rolls through Sumner, Washington in June of 2021.  Photo © 6/2021 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

Happy New Year!  The week just ended finds the nation entering 2022 and finishing up another busy holiday season—now it’s time to bear down, get through the rest of the winter, and head into what we certainly all hope will be a springtime marked by progress and improvement.  If your resolutions include keeping up more effectively with the changing regulatory scene, you’ve come to the right place—our blog will track the changes this year and keep our readers up to date on how to comply!  Meanwhile, the Labelmaster family wishes you all the best for the New Year, and a healthy and happy 2022.  Here’s the latest news:


49 U.S.C. Section 6503 requires that the Secretary of Transportation develop a 5-year transportation research and development strategic plan to guide future Federal transportation research and development activities. DOT is in the process of updating its strategic plan for FY 2022-2026 and released a Draft Strategic Framework in December 2021. The Draft Strategic Framework can be accessed here.


In accordance with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of and soliciting public comment on the draft scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 2: Supplemental Evaluation Including Legacy Uses and Associated Disposals of Asbestos. In the Part 2 risk evaluation for asbestos, EPA will evaluate the conditions of use of asbestos (including other types of asbestos fibers in addition to chrysotile) that EPA had excluded from Part 1 as legacy uses and associated disposals, as well as any conditions of use of asbestos in talc and talc-containing products. EPA is also opening a 45-calendar day comment period on the draft scope to allow for the public to provide additional data or information that could be useful to the Agency in finalizing the scope of the risk evaluation; comments may be submitted to this docket. Comments must be received on or before February 14, 2022. See how to comment right here.

In accordance with the Presidential directive of January 20, 2021, ‘‘Revocation of Certain Executive Orders Concerning Federal Regulation,’’  the agency is rescinding its March 2, 2020 final rule describing certain Agency procedures for conducting onsite civil inspections. This rule applies to on-site civil inspections conducted by federally credentialed EPA civil inspectors, federally credentialed contractors and Senior Environmental Employment employees conducting inspections on behalf of EPA.

The inspection rule being rescinded converted a subset of what had been long-standing civil inspection practices, guided by applicable agency policies, into rules of Agency procedure by which ‘‘all’’ civil inspections ‘‘shall be conducted.’’ The EPA states that “although not altering the rights of parties outside of EPA, the change from an Agency practice to a rule of procedure reduces the flexibility that is inherent in implementing agency policies in a case-by-case manner. The procedures for inspections must be adaptable to the site-specific conditions that the Agency faces in conducting its investigations.” By rescinding the 2020 inspection rule, EPA states that it is restoring the flexibility needed when carrying out civil inspections under a myriad of circumstances. This rule became effective on December 30, 2021.  See the full rule here.


The agency announced its minimum annual random drug and alcohol testing rates for covered service and maintenance-of-way (MOW) employees for calendar year 2022. Rates mostly remain the same as 2021 or are slightly lowered.  This determination took effect December 29, 2021.  See the specific rates for different employee status groups here.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is soliciting comments concerning the proposed revision of the current information collection requirements contained in the regulation regarding Recordkeeping and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. The Occupational Safety and Health Act prescribes certain employers maintain records of job-related injuries and illnesses. The injury and illness records are intended to provide data needed by OSHA to carry out enforcement and intervention activities to provide workers a safe and healthy work environment. The data are also needed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to report on the number and rate of occupational injuries and illnesses in the country. This notice initiates the process for OSHA to request an extension of the current OMB approval. Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent or received) by February 28, 2022. See how to comment here.

The agency is requesting renewal of its emergency record keeping standard regarding the reporting of COVID-19 illnesses and deaths in employee workforces at employers with more than ten employees. See the renewal request here.

The agency also is asking for a renewal of its ICR regarding the use of beryllium in industry. The heavy metal poses a hazard if not handled with care. See the renewal here.

Chemical Safety Board

The board announced its first meeting of 2022. The meeting will be virtual and held on January 26th. The Chemical Safety Board assists federal agencies like PHMSA and OSHA with investigating chemical hazard incidents and determining ways to mitigate future risks. See the details and how to participate here.

Labelmaster is a full-service provider of products, shipping and training software, and professional consulting services to assist the DG and HS&E professional to comply with national and international regulations. See our full line of solutions at www.labelmaster.com.

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