Legislative & Regulatory Overview

2018 SOCMA Legislative & Regulatory Calendar 
Updates to keep you on track with all the latest legislative and regulatory developments affecting the specialty chemical industry

EPA | Risk Management Programs Under the Clean Air Act | Comment Deadline | July 31, 2018 
The U.S. EPA is requesting public comment on several proposed changes to the final Risk Management Program Amendments rule (Amendments rule) issued on January 13, 2017. EPA is proposing to rescind amendments relating to safer technology and alternatives analyses, third-party audits, incident investigations, information availability, and several other minor regulatory changes. EPA is also proposing to modify amendments relating to local emergency coordination and emergency exercises, and to change the compliance dates for these provisions.
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OSHA | Safe + Sound Week Event | August 13, 2018 
The second annual Safe + Sound Week will be held Aug. 13-19, 2018. The event is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the value of workplace safety and health programs. These programs can help employers and workers identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving a company’s financial bottom line. Throughout this week, organizations are encouraged to host events and activities that showcase the core elements of an effective safety and health program, including: management leadership, worker participation, and finding and fixing workplace hazards. For more information and to sign-up for email updates, visit the Safe + Sound Week webpage. 
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EPA | TSCA Nanomaterial Reporting | Reporting Deadline | August 14, 2018 
Persons who manufactured or processed a discrete form of a reportable chemical substance during the three-year period before Aug. 14, 2017, must report to the EPA by Aug. 14, 2018. Persons who intend to manufacture or process a discrete form of a reportable chemical substance on or after Aug. 14, 2017, must report to the EPA at least 135 days b/f manufacturing or processing the substance unless the person hasn't formed an intent to manufacture or process 135 days before the manufacturing or processing begins. In that case, the information must be filed within 30 days of formulating the intent. The Working Guidance on EPA's Section 8(a) Information Gathering Rule on Nanomaterials in Commerce, released in August, covers a variety of issues related to compliance with these requirements. 
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EPA | Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science | Filing Deadline | August 17, 2018 
The notice and comment concerns a regulation intended to strengthen the transparency of EPA regulatory science. The proposed regulation provides that when EPA develops regulations, including regulations for which the public is likely to bear the cost of compliance, with regard to those scientific studies that are pivotal to the action being taken, EPA should ensure that the data underlying those are publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation. In this notice, EPA solicits comment on this proposal and how it can best be promulgated and implemented in light of existing law and prior Federal policies that already require increasing public access to data and influential scientific information used to inform federal regulation.
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OSHA | Status and Future of OSHA’s Policy of Public Shaming | Webinar | August 21, 2018 
During the Obama Administration, employer shaming became a significant enforcement tool and came in many forms, from increasing use of enforcement press releases that included embarrassing and inflammatory quotations about employers, to maintaining a public bad actors list in connection with the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, and the coup de gras of publishing a Rule by which OSHA will collect and publish employers’ injury and illness data and details about fatalities.  The Trump Administration has signaled it will take a different approach to public shaming, but the vestiges of these policies still remain.
Read more in Bloomberg BNA EHS Quarterly Review Third Quarter 2017

EPA | Clean Water Act Hazardous Substances Spill Prevention | Comment Deadline | August 24, 2018 
EPA has released a proposed Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasures (SPCC) rule for chemical hazardous substances. Based on EPA’s analysis of the frequency and impacts of reported Clean Water Act hazardous substance discharges and the existing framework of EPA regulatory programs and regulations currently in place, the Agency is not proposing any additional regulatory requirements at this time. The agency conducted a review of existing federal and state regulatory programs (NPDES, RCRA, RMP, PSM, EPCRA, PHMSA, etc.) and found that the existing framework of requirements in these regulations already serve to prevent Clean Water Act hazardous substance discharges. In its review of the most commonly discharged hazardous substances (PCBs, Chlorine, Sulfuric Acid, Benzene, Toluene, etc.), EPA also determined that the majority of these chemicals are currently subject to accident prevention regulatory requirements, and therefore, decided that imposing any new SPCC rule would be duplicative and unnecessary. 
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EPA | Guidance for Creating Generic Names for TSCA Confidential Chemical Substances | Comment Deadline | August 27, 2018 
EPA has made available the following guidance document: “Guidance for Creating Generic Names for Confidential Chemical Substance Identity Reporting under TSCA.” This guidance document, which is required by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended in 2016 by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, provides information to assist companies in creating structurally descriptive generic names for chemical substances whose specific chemical identities are claimed confidential, for the purposes of protecting the specific chemical identities from disclosure while describing the chemical substance as specifically as practicable, and for listing substances on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory.
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OSHA | Lessons Learned from OSHA’s Updated Walking/Working Surfaces Rule | Webinar | September 18, 2018 
Slips, trips and falls are among the leading causes of work-related injuries and fatalities in the U.S., and continue to pose problems for all employers.  In November 2016, OSHA published its updated Walking / Working Surfaces (WWS) Standard, the regulation that governs slips, trips and fall hazards in general industry, after decades of attempts to amend the Rule.  The Final Rule was intended to modernize and harmonize OSHA’s various regulations focused on fall hazards, based on advances in fall protection technologies and methods, and lessons learned over the decades. Now, just over a year since the new WWS Rule has gone into effect, many questions remain for employers with respect to modifying workplace practices and physical installations, especially those related to fall protection, fixed ladders, and scaffolding.
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About SOCMA Government Relations

SOCMA’s Government Relations staff acts as a voice for our members on Capitol Hill and in the many regulatory agencies, working to promote understanding of the impact of laws and regulations on the chemical industry's ability to compete in world markets. SOCMA influences proposed and pending laws and regulations by advocating sound science as the basis for regulation and by working to promote responsible alternatives to sometimes costly government actions.

SOCMA supports public policy initiatives that promote cost-effective pollution prevention, competitiveness and operational flexibility. We also support the public’s right to know about the benefits, safety and risks associated with our chemicals and will continue to ensure that information provided to the public does not conflict with national security obligations.

Our Government Relations staff is responsible for keeping members informed of relevant legislative initiatives and recommending appropriate actions to SOCMA’s Board of Governors. We regularly host programs and events, as well as develop products and services, to inform our members about legislative and regulatory developments and help their facilitate timely compliance. We encourage all SOCMA members to participate in Government Relations committees as a way to stay informed and involved in the legislative and regulatory issues that affect specialty chemical manufacturers. By participating in a committee our members have opportunities for professional development and leadership among their peers.

Learn more about SOCMA Government Relations, here.

SOCMA Letter to President Donald Trump

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