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 http://www.osha.gov.

May 25, 1995

Mr. Dana A. Smith
Manager, Safety and Health
Rayonier - Jesup Mill
Post Office Box 2070
Jesup, Georgia 31545

Dear Mr. Smith:

This in response to letter of May 9, addressed to the Assistant Secretary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), concerning your request for a permanent variance and an interim order from 29 CFR 1910.261(g)(17)(i) regarding pressure vessel safety valve configuration. Your request was forwarded to the Directorate of Technical Support for a response.

We are currently evaluating your request to determine if it merits consideration for a permanent variance. We will contact you when the evaluation is completed.

Regarding your request for an interim order, OSHA acknowledges that the Agency's regulation (29 CFR 1905) provides for interim relief where a permanent variance has been sought. However, OSHA has long held that section 6(d) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which provides for the grant of permanent variances, does not provide for the grant of interim relief. Therefore, the provisions of 29 CFR 1905.11, which address the grant of interim relief, are inoperative.

If you have any questions concerning your variance request, please contact Juanita Jones in the Office of Variance Determination at (202) 219-7193.


Charles E. Adkins, CIH
Directorate of Technical Support