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OSHA Extends Comment Period on PSM Regulations

On March 5th, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it will be extending the deadline for public comments related to its Request For Information (RFI) on potential changes to Process Safety Management regulations to March 31st. The RFI is part of a broader effort by the Obama Administration to address chemical safety and security after the tragedy in West, Texas last year. More information on the OSHA RFI can be found here. GCCA is working with like-minded partners including the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) to develop comments in response to OSHA’s proposals.

House Passes Regulatory Reform Legislation

On Thursday, February 27th, the House of Representatives passed the All Economic Regulations are Transparent Act of 2013 (ALERT Act) by a margin of 236-179. The ALERT Act is designed to improve the transparency of the regulatory process by requiring federal agencies to submit monthly and annual reports of planned rules to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). These reports would include information about planned regulations, estimated costs and benefits and the estimated timeline for completion. The legislation requires that these reports be made available to the public. The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) joined over 100 organizations in sending a letter to Congress urging passage of this and several other regulatory reform bills. A copy of that letter is included in this post.


Uncertainty Looms for Transporters of Food

Although there have been a number of reviews of the Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) proposed rule regarding sanitary transportation of food, the implications of the Sanitary Food Transportation and the Food Safety Modernization Act on carriers (“transporters”) are uncertain at best.

The proposed FDA rule outlines broad expectations without being specific about the means of accomplishing those requirements. Although carriers are the primary target of the rule, shippers are accountable for establishing and informing the carrier of required sanitary and temperature requirements for the transport of food. Continue reading

New Deadlines for Final Food Safety Rules

The industry has more time to comment on the Sanitary Transport of Food and Feed rule given a very recent settlement and Consent Decree that removed any prior deadlines for public comment periods. The added time, according to Center for Food Safety, will allow for “more robust public participation throughout the rulemaking process.” Accordingly, the original deadline provided for Sanitary Transport of Food and Feed of May 31, 2014 for the close of comments is no longer operative. The deadlines for issuing the final rules for each of the FSMA rulemakings are revised as set forth below. Continue reading

OSHA Publishes Rule on FSMA Retaliation Complaints

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently published an interim final rule establishing procedures and time frames for handling retaliation complaints under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The FSMA statute provides employees who disclose information about a possible violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act with protection against retaliation from businesses engaged in the manufacture, processing, packing, transporting, distribution, reception, holding or importation of food. The interim final rule establishes procedures, burdens of proof, remedies and statutes of limitations similar to other whistleblower protection statutes that OSHA administers. The public comment period for the rule ends on April 14th. The Federal Register notice can be found at:

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