Events and News

Senator Spearheads AFS Supported Amendment on OSHA’s Silica Rulemaking in Budget Bill

June 30, 2015

On Thursday, June 25, the full Senate Appropriations Committee accepted by voice vote an amendment by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) which would require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to conduct additional reviews and research before it could finalize the agency’s comprehensive silica rulemaking which is scheduled to be released in 2016. AFS has been a strong advocate of this amendment and AFS members met with Senate offices during the industry’s recent Government Affairs Conference over the significant concerns with the agency’s silica proposal.

The Hoeven amendment is part of the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill and would prevent any funds from being used by OSHA to promulgate or release its silica rule until it studies and addresses the following:

  • Conduct a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act review – OSHA relied on a decades old report and foundry data from the early 1990s.
  • Commission an independent study by the National Academy of Sciences to examine the ability of all impacted industries to comply with proposed exposure limits and the ability of personal protective equipment to safeguard employees, among other issues.

The appropriations bill was reported to the full Senate for debate.