Cal/OSHA reviews permissible exposure limit process

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Dec. 9, 2011 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On Thursday, December 8th, Health Experts Advisory Committee (HEAC), under the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, met in Oakland.  Cal/OSHA deals strictly with workplace safety and hazards. In public statements, the new Cal/OSHA Chief, Ellen Widess, has expressed the need to review the Permissible Emission Limit process in light of the agency’s (Department of Industrial Relations) scarce resources.

One possible implication of the review is less independent analysis by Cal/OSHA and more deference to the assessments of other agencies such as the Office of Environmental Health Hazards Assessment.  While manufacturers appreciate the transparency and checks and balances in the current adoption process, there has been frustration over the Division’s plodding progress.

Earlier in the year, AB 553 was introduced by Assemblymember William Monning (D-Santa Cruz), which CMTA opposed.  The bill would have mandated the use of the lowest qualitative risk assessment of several environmental agencies severely limiting the consensus building that proposed standards must pass to move through the current HEAC process to adoption.  This bill was held on “Suspense” in Assembly Appropriations in May.  It would have resulted in lower Permissible Emission Limits than industry would ordinarily be required to meet.  The result would probably have been higher and unreasonable compliance costs without justification.

CMTA will be monitoring the regulatory and legislative situation on this topic closely, providing comments as appropriate.

For more details on the Dec. 8th meeting: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/DoshReg/5155Meetings_2011.htm

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