Dec. 30, 2009 by Matt Shudtz

Regulatory Highs and Lows of 2009: OSHA and Toxics

CPRBlog asked some of our regular bloggers to give us some suggestions for the high and low points of the regulatory year. We began by taking the Bush Administration’s “midnight regulations” off the table, so that we could focus in on the Obama Administration’s impact to date. CPR Policy Analyst Matt Shudtz offers up a number of items, below, focusing on the positive:

At OSHA, several high points: 

The leadership of David Michaels (as Assistant Secretary, the head of OSHA) and Jordan Barab (as Deputy Assistant Secretary), both of whom seem intent on putting OSHA back on task – protecting workers – after years of agency wheel-spinning.

OSHA’s enforcement sweep of construction sites in Texas, in which the agency brought inspectors from other regions to conduct unannounced inspections. Actual enforcement of the laws! Texas earned the honor because it has the highest rate of construction fatalities in the nation.

Assessing meaningful fines. OSHA proposed the largest fine in its history this year. Under the proposal, BP would pay $87.4 million for safety violations and its failure to correct hazards at the Texas City refinery, where an explosion killed 15 workers and injured 170 in 2005.

At EPA, and …

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