OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

February 3, 1995

Phyllis G. Thompson, Ph.D.
Project Director CSEPP Technical Training
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Washington, D.C. 20472

Dear Dr. Thompson:

This letter is in response to your January 3, letter to Ms. Dorothy Daugherty, Agency Liaison Officer with the Office of the Secretary. Your letter and the supporting documentation indicate that you do not feel that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) standard on Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER - 29 CFR 1910.120) would apply to community response personnel. Based upon a review of the information that you have provided this agency, coupled with the requirements for states to develop a State Emergency Response under SARA Title III, OSHA disagrees with your findings; community responders would be covered by 29 CFR 1910.120.

We appreciate your review and analysis on the coverage of community responders. The information you provided will be considered in any further evaluation of jurisdictional issues related to the HAZWOPER standard.

Should you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Ruth McCully, Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 219-8036.


John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programss