NACD NewsBrief
May. 14, 2013

Legal Victory: Court strikes down NLRB poster rule
NACD
Last week, District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a National Labor Relations Board rule that would have required almost 6 million employers to post a "Notice of Employee Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act" in their workplaces. After the NLRB issued this rule in 2011, several legal challenges were filed, including one by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, of which NACD is a member. In the decision, the Court said the NLRB went too far by declaring that an employer's failure to post the required notice was an unfair labor practice. The judges ruled that, under the National Labor Relations Act, employers do not need to post the NLRB notice.More

Regulatory Input Needed: DHS plans CFATS focus group in Chicago on May 23

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is seeking industry participation in a Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Chemical Security Assessment Tool Focus Group session to be held in the Chicago area Thursday, May 23. This follows two other focus groups DHS hosted earlier this year in Houston and West Chester, Pa. The focus groups are a means for DHS to collect feedback regarding the CSAT Tool, and the agency will use the input collected to drive the functional requirements development for the next generation of the CSAT suite of tools, including the Top-Screen, Site Vulnerability Assessment and Site Security Plan. It is important for DHS to have chemical distributor input, so if you are able to participate, please contact Mary Blackmoor at mary.blackmoor@hq.dhs.gov or (703) 603-4621. More

Regulatory Update: New CFATS fact sheet shows increase in security plan approval pace

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released a new Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards fact sheet. The document provides basic information on CFATS and the latest numbers about facilities in the program. DHS reports that as of May 1, 2013, 380 Site Security Plans had been authorized and 85 had been approved following inspections. DHS has also completed 1,242 compliance assistance visits. DHS also notes that more than 3,000 facilities have voluntarily removed, reduced or modified their holdings of chemicals of interest. In recent months, DHS has picked up the pace of SSP reviews and inspections. The agency has conducted inspections at several Tier 3 facilities although it has not yet finished inspecting all of the facilities in the higher Tiers 1 and 2. For a copy of the fact sheet, go to www.dhs.gov/publication/cfats-update-fact-sheet. More

Regulatory Update: EPA issues SNURS for 16 chemicals

On May 9, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a notice in the Federal Register announcing Significant New Use Rules for 15 chemicals that were the subject of premanufacture notices under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This action requires persons who intend to manufacture, import or process any of these 15 chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by the rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. The required notification will provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs. According to EPA, six of the chemicals posed concerns about workers or the general population, and 11 posed ecological concerns. EPA states that written adverse or critical comments, or notice of intent to submit adverse or critical comments, on one or more of the SNURs must be submitted on or before June 10. The SNURs will take effect on July 8. For a copy of the SNURs, including the list of chemicals, go to www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-05-09/pdf/2013-11061.pdf.More

Regulatory Compliance Resources: OSHA, SCHC to sponsor free July 25 webinar on revised hazard communication standard

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication have announced a free webinar, Hazard Communication 2012: One Year of Implementation, to take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, July 25. This webinar will focus on issues associated with classification, labeling, safety data sheets, training, as well as how manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers can meet compliance requirements during the transition period. The webinar will feature experts from OSHA who will also discuss guidance materials on the rule. The webinar is intended to answer many of the questions OSHA has received in this first year of Hazard Communication 2012 implementation. This webinar is free but registration is required. Please click here to register. More

Regulatory Compliance Resources: FMCSA updates hours of service page

With the new Hours-of-Service rules scheduled to take effect on July 1, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has updated its HOS website with new information for drivers and others. Although the HOS rule is in court and there is a chance that at least part of it will be vacated, FMCSA has stated the rule will take effect in July as scheduled. The HOS information, including the latest updates, are available at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos/index.htm. More

Regulatory Update: EPA agrees to post 'Notices of Intent to Sue'

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently agreed to post on its website all "Notices of Intent to Sue" the agency. Organizations that plan to file citizen suits against EPA must submit a "notice of intent to sue" to the agency at least 60 days prior to filing any lawsuit. After these citizen suits are filed, the private parties and EPA often engage in closed-door negotiations and ultimately enter into consent decrees, which require EPA to undertake the actions demanded by the private parties. This practice is commonly known as "sue and settle." For several years, industry groups led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have sought transparency in the "sue and settle" process as well as the ability to find out from the government, in a timely manner, when a notice of intent to sue under the citizen suit provisions of environmental statutes is filed. More

GAO slams Homeland Security over TWIC card readers
Truckinginfo
A new Government Accountability Office report to Congress has some far-from-kind words about the Transportation Security Administration and biometric readers used in the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program, overseen by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and coordinated along with the U.S. Coast Guard.More

After West blast, chemical stockpiles scrutinized
The Texas Tribune
As authorities continue to investigate the cause of the West, Texas, explosion and state and federal lawmakers discuss whether new regulations and greater oversight are needed, stockpiles of chemicals stored in communities across the state are becoming the subject of intense concern.More

Crackdown: FMCSA's putting extra muscle into shutting down truck fleets
Commercial Carrier Journal
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been on a tear over the past year with the issuance of imminent-hazard out-of-service orders. FMCSA statistics show a nearly fivefold increase — from 10 to 48 — in imminent-hazard out-of-service orders issued from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2012 for bus and truck fleets. While official numbers from FMCSA show fairly level numbers between fiscal 2011 and 2012, one trucking consultant has seen Unfit/Out-of-Service orders spike for carriers found in serious noncompliance after not following through on corrective action plans — a do-or-die fix-it list.More

FMCSA to eliminate 'defect-free' equipment reports for motor carriers
Land Line
Motor carriers that operate more than one truck are currently required to retain records of post-trip driver-vehicle inspection reports known as DVIRs, regardless of whether the report shows any defects to the equipment. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans to file a rule to eliminate the reporting requirement if a post-trip inspection finds no equipment defects. Drivers would still be required to conduct post-trip inspections, but would only be required to fill out a DVIR if the inspection found any defects to report to the motor carrier. More

'Chemicals of concern' list still wrapped in OMB red tape
The Center for Public Integrity
It has been three years since the "chemicals of concern" list landed at the White House Office of Management and Budget. The list, which the Environmental Protection Agency wants to put out for public comment, includes bisphenol A, a chemical used in polycarbonate plastic water bottles and other products; eight phthalates, which are used in flexible plastics; and certain flame-retardant compounds called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs. The EPA wants to highlight these chemicals because "they may present an unreasonable risk to human health and/or the environment," the agency says. But any such listing must first be vetted by the OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OIRA.More

Nations agree to phase out toxic chemical HBCD
Agence France-Presse via Global Post
Governments have agreed to phase out the use of the toxic chemical HBCD and restrict trade in four other dangerous substances, the head of the United Nations' anti-pollution division said at the close of a two-week international summit on chemicals and toxins.More

Veterans in the driver's seat
Truckinginfo
In the past two years, 34 states have adopted laws that allow motor vehicle departments to waive the CDL skills test for qualified military veterans, the Obama administration says in a new report. Nine more states plus the District of Columbia are considering legislation to do the same thing. And under a new law, states may issue commercial licenses to military personnel who live in another state. These are among several initiatives currently underway that could help relieve a driver shortage that apparently is growing worse.More

Trucking conditions continue to improve in March
Truck News
Conditions improved on an already favorable environment for trucking in March, according to the latest results from FTR's Trucking Conditions Index, with a reading of 13.3 on the Index. The TCI is designed to summarize a full collection of industry metrics, with a reading above zero indicating a generally positive environment for truckers. More