Pushing Employers Out of the Regulatory Process

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 22, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

CMTA and a growing coalition of business interests oppose AB 815 (Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View) which would significantly change the way the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopts new safety regulations. 

AB 815 would require the Standards Board to adopt standards for any hazardous substance for which there is a quantitative risk assessment prepared or published by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).  AB 815 would further require that each standard adopted by the Standards Board include a permissible exposure limit that is based on the OEHHA risk assessment. 

The problem lies with the Standards Board having to defer to the scientific expertise of OEHHA, including recommendations for permissible exposure limits (PEL), unless new scientific evidence is made known.  The current process, which takes into account current science from multiple sources, feasibility and enforceability, as well as commentary and recommendations by labor leaders, employers and industrial hygienists, would be lost.  California policymakers would no longer have access to other information on the economic or social impact of regulations that are being adopted. 

CMTA believes that the current system is the most effective for ensuring sensible, feasible and enforceable standards.  The best way to adopt safety and health regulations is to leave the hands of regulators untied by allowing them to consider all of the available information and ideas from the interested and affected parties.  The parties most affected by proposed regulations should have honest opportunities to impact those regulations through advisory committees and public hearings.  AB 815 would turn advisory committees and public hearings into useless exercises if the Standards Board would ultimately have to disregard that testimony and adopt a PEL based only on the data from OEHHA.

CMTA will continue to oppose this bill both individually and with the help of the coalition.

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