Events and News

Congressman Works to Include Language in Appropriations Bill Requiring OSHA to Conduct Additional Reviews Before Finalizing Silica Standard

March 2, 2016

Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) is circulating a Dear Colleague letter in the House of Representatives urging lawmakers to sign a letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) Labor funding bill include language that would prohibit funding for OSHA to promulgate or implement a silica rule until additional studies and reports are completed.  OSHA is expected to finalize its silica rulemaking in the next few months. Huizenga’s district has the highest concentration of foundries in the state, and Eagle Alloy, Muskegon, Michigan, has been working closely with his office to keep him apprised of the critical impact the silica rule will have on the foundry industry.

AFS has been vocal in highlighting its concerns with OSHA’s proposed silica rulemaking, which will have far-reaching effects on the metalcasting industry, as well as other key sectors. As proposed, the rule will likely force some metalcasting facilities to close or shift production offshore and impact the long-term productivity, profitability and competitive structure of the industry. 

The provision that Rep. Huizenga is offering mirrors language included in the Senate’s FY 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which AFS supported last year. AFS has sent letters to lawmakers located in metalcasting districts urging them to sign onto Huizenga’s silica letter. In addition, AFS has been coordinating efforts with the construction and general industry groups impacted by the rulemaking. 

If your metalcasting facility would like to weigh-in with an email or letter urging your House lawmaker to sign onto the Huizenga House Labor-HHS Appropriations Silica Letter, contact Stephanie Salmon in the AFS Washington Office, ssalmon@afsinc.org.  The cut-off date for signatures on the letter is March 18.