Environmental Law Portal

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Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations. 

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Showing 19 posts by Jayni A. Lanham.

OSHA Issues Direct Final Standard Amending Beryllium Standards for General Industry with Attention to Dermal Contact

OSHA has clarified its January 9, 2017 occupational health standard on beryllium.  On May 4, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published clarifying amendments in a direct final rule (DFR) for general industry with respect to the definitions of “Beryllium Work Area” (BWA) and “emergency,” and the meaning of the terms “dermal contact” and “beryllium concentration.”  The amendments also clarify key provisions with respect to recycling and disposal and with respect to dermal skin exposure to trace amounts of beryllium.[1] Read More ›

California Supreme Court Allows Unfair Competition and False Advertising Claims Against Employer Arising From Workplace Accident

A recent California Supreme Court decision held that employees can sue their employers for workplace safety violations under the State’s consumer protection laws.  See Solus Industrial Innovations, Inc. v. Superior Court of Orange County, 4 Cal.5th 316 (February 8, 2018).  The practical impact of this decision is that claims arising from workplace accidents, which have traditionally been addressed through an administrative process, could give rise to civil claims for unfair competition or false advertising, at least in California.  Read More ›

Washington OSHA Issues Draft PSM Rule for Refineries

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) recently released a new draft safety rule that would increase existing Process Safety Management (PSM) requirements for petrochemical refining facilities in the state of Washington.  The draft rule, which was released on January 16, 2018, arrives on the heels of California’s “PSM for Refineries” standard issued last fall and several years after an explosion with multiple fatalities at a refinery in Anacortes, Washington.  If finalized, Washington’s draft PSM rule would affect at least five large refineries owned by major energy companies.  Read More ›

D.C. Circuit Rejects Industry Challenges to Silica Rule and Remands to OSHA for Further Consideration on Medical Removal Protections

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected all industry challenges to an Obama-era rule on worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica in a December 22, 2017 ruling.  In its written decision, the court held that OSHA’s Final Rule for Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica (the “Silica Rule”) was supported by substantial evidence and rejected the industry claims that the rule was too stringent.  In response to a union challenge, the court agreed with the union claim that OSHA did not adequately explain its decision to omit medical removal protections from the final version of the Silica Rule, and remanded to OSHA to reconsider or further explain its decision on medical removal protections.  As a result of the Court’s ruling, construction employers must remain in compliance with all of the Silica Rule’s requirements, and general industry and maritime employers must prepare to come into compliance by June 23, 2018. Read More ›

OSHA Proposes December 1, 2017 Deadline for First Phase of Electronic Reporting, Foreshadows Rulemaking on Anti-Retaliation Provisions

On June 28, 2017, OSHA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register delaying the initial compliance deadline for the electronic submission of worker injury and illness logs to December 1, 2017. Read More ›

EPA Delays Effective Date of RMP Rule Amendments, Environmental Groups File Challenge

On June 14, 2017, EPA published a final rule in the Federal Register delaying the effective date of its Risk Management Program (RMP) rule amendment package for twenty months, until February 19, 2019.[1] EPA’s decision was immediately challenged by a coalition of environmental groups. Read More ›

OSHA Indefinitely Delays Electronic Reporting Requirements

Last week, the Labor Department indefinitely delayed enforcement of at least the first phase-in deadline of its electronic reporting requirements for injury and illness logs. Specifically, OSHA’s Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements website states that:

OSHA is not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs at this time, and intends to propose extending the July 1, 2017 date by which certain employers are required to submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A electronically. Read More ›

OSHA’s “Volks” Rule Invalidated

Last week, President Donald Trump signed a joint resolution passed by the House and Senate overturning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) rule titled “Clarification of Employers’ Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness.”[1] The cancellation of the rule effectively means that employers cannot be cited for injury and illness recordkeeping violations older than six months. Read More ›

EPA Stays RMP Rule Amendments and Grants Petition for Reconsideration

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stayed the implementation of a significant revision of the Risk Management Program (RMP) rule pending the receipt of additional comments. Simultaneously, EPA has granted a request for a motion for reconsideration filed by several trade associations whose industry members would be affected by the rule changes, setting up the possibility that EPA will significantly amend the rule or rescind the rule amendment package. Read More ›

OSHA Issues New Beryllium Standards

After more than 40 years of trying, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a rule to reduce its occupational exposure limits for beryllium, a toxic metal used in various industries.[1]  Upon effect, the final rule will reduce the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium and establish short-term exposure limits.  It will also require employers to both implement controls to limit worker exposure to beryllium and to establish programs to provide medical monitoring.  The final rule is intended to protect a worker population of approximately 62,000 workers.  It sets specific standards for three industries: general, construction, and shipyards, with a staggered timeline for compliance.  The final rule can be accessed here. Read More ›