OSHA Instruction STP 2.22A CH-3 FEB 27, 1990 Office of State Programs
SUBJECT: Changes to the State Plan Policies and Procedures Manual
A. Purpose. This instruction transmits a corrected Chapter III of the
State Plan Policies and Procedures Manual.
B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.
C. Action. Remove the existing Chapter III and insert the corrected
Chapter III. File A copy of this transmittal instruction in the appropriate
OSHA Directive System binder as a record of the change.
D. Explanation. A new Chapter III is being transmitted to correct the odd
pages which showed Ch-3 instead of change Ch-2.
Bruce Hillenbrand, Director Federal-State Operations
DISTRIBUTION: National, Regional and Area Offices State Designees State
Plan Monitoring Personnel OSHA Training Institute
OSHA Instruction STP 2.22A CH-3 FEB 27, 1990 Office of State Programs
CHANGES TO STATE PLANS:
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR SUBMISSION, REVIEW AND APPROVAL
A. Introduction. Section 18(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act
requires that State occupational safety and health programs be "at least as
effective" as the Federal program. 29 CFR Part 1902.3(d)(1), "Criteria for
State Plans," states that a State plan shall provide a program for the
enforcement of the State standards which is, or will be, "at least as
effective" as that provided in the Act, and shall provide assurances that the
State's enforcement program will continue to be "at least as effective" as
the Federal program. 29 CFR Part 1953, "Changes to State Plans for the
Development and Enforcement of State Standards," set forth policy and
procedures by which the Assistant Secretary will exercise authority under
Section 18(c) of the Act to approve modifications or changes to State plans.
29 CFR Part 1953 defines Federal program changes, State-initiated changes,
developmental changes, and evaluation changes and the procedures for approval
or rejection which are followed in these cases. This chapter provides
further directions for the submission, review and approval of changes to
State plans. It also delineates the roles and responsibilities of the
National Office, the Regions and the States. This chapter does not apply to
the submission and processing of State response to Federal standards actions.
These procedures are covered by OSHA Instruction STP 2-1.17, October 30,
1978; and, OSHA Instruction STP 2-1.19, October 30, 1978.
B. Roles and Responsibilities.
1. States. The States are responsible for:
C. State Plan Content and Documentation. The State, Region and National
office shall establish and maintain their State plan documents in a uniform
format, for easy reference by OSHA and the public, and so that the plan
document can be updated and kept current in an orderly fashion. An outline
of the State plan document is provided in D. below which will assist in the
establishment and maintenance of State plan documents.
a. Responding to Federal program changes in a timely manner.
2. Regions. The Regional Administrator, or designated
representative, is responsible for:
b. Notifying the Region of a State-initiated change in a timely
manner and submitting any necessary plan supplement.
c. Preparing and submitting plan supplements for all categories
of State plan changes in a timely manner, or submitting documentation showing
why a supplement in response to a Federal program change should not be
required. A plan supplement is not required when a previously submitted
State plan provision is already at least as effective as a Federal program
change or where the Federal change would have no impact on the State
d. Providing documentation in the plan supplement, when the
State change differs from the Federal program, identifying the specific
differences and showing how the State change maintains the at least as
effective status of the program.
a. Informing the States of requirements regarding State plan
changes, and assuring timely State submission of plan
3. National Office. The Directorate of Federal-State Operations
through the Office of State Programs (OSP) is responsible for:
b. Providing technical assistance to the State as needed in
preparing a plan supplement, including providing the State, upon request,
with an advisory opinion as to whether the changes it proposes will meet the
requirements for approval. The Region shall consult as appropriate with the
Directorate of Federal-State Operations before providing an advisory
c. Determining whether a plan supplement is required for a
d. Performing an initial review of each plan supplement
submitted for approval, working with the State to address any identified
e. Determining the acceptability of minor State plan changes
that do not require a plan supplement.
f. Recommending approval or rejection of each plan supplement
submitted for a major State plan change to the Directorate of Federal-State
Operations, with supporting rationale as necessary.
a. Establishing policies and procedures for the submission,
review and approval of changes to State plans.
b. Ensuring that quarterly reports are prepared and transmitted
to the Regions and States for tracking State response to Federal program
changes, and determining whether a new or revised Federal policy or procedure
as described in an OSHA directive is a Federal program change requiring State
c. Coordinating the National office review of a plan supplement
and recommending approval or disapproval to the Assistant
d. Preparing Federal Register notices on approval or rejection
of State plan changes.
D. Organization of A State Plan. Listed below is an outline of the State
plan document format to be used in maintaining the plan:
1. Table of Contents (to be updated as new documents are added).
E. Updating Official Copy of State Plan.
2. Plan Narrative (updated as appropriate).
a. Comprehensive enabling legislation and any additional
legislation relating to the plan, including legislation establishing programs
for which there is no parallel in the Federal program.
(1) Inspection regulation comparable to OSHA's 29 CFR 1903.
c. State Plan Policies and Procedures Documents.
(2) Recordkeeping and reporting regulations equivalent to OSHA's 29 CFR Part 1904.
(3) Variance regulations comparable to OSHA's 29 CFR part 1905.
(4) Appeal and review procedures comparable to OSHA's 29 CFR Part 2200.
(5) Regulations covering discrimination against Employees exercising Rights under the Law comparable to OSHA's 29 CFR 1977.
(6) Regulations covering State activities/programs for which there is no Federal parallel.
(7) All other regulations governing the programs.
(8) Occupational Safety and Health Standards. (If different
from the Federal or copies of promulgation documents and reference to Federal
(1) Field Operations Manual (FOM)
d. Inter-Agency Agreement(s), if applicable.
(2) OSHA Technical Manual (OTM)
(3) Procedures for State activities and programs for which there is no Federal parallel.
(4) Other policies documents and directives.
(5) Minor Federal Program Changes (see page 21).
e. State Poster(s). (Public sector must be covered either in the poster for the private sector or in a separate poster for the public sector.)
f. Voluntary compliance programs (including employer/ employee
training and section 18(b) on-site consultation).
g. Description of health laboratory services and/or agreement
for laboratory services.
h. State organization chart and staffing.
i. Current section 23(g) grant.
j Latest annual evaluation report and State response.
k. Federal Register notices approval.
NOTE: Referenced documents in j., k., and l. above need not
be resubmitted, but should be inserted by Regional/National Office, and State
in their official copies of the plan.
1. In order to assure that all State plans reflect current
policies, procedures and operations, and so that the plan can be updated and
kept current, all States shall submit an updated, consolidated plan document
within two years of the issuance date of this revision to the SPM. However,
States seeking consideration for final approval under section 18(e) of the
OSH Act are required to submit an updated consolidated State plan as a
condition for 18(e) consideration.
F. Plan Supplements.
2. States shall submit two copies of their updated, consolidated
plan to their Regional Administrator, identifying any significant changes,
(e.g. legislation, regulations) which have not been previously submitted to
OSHA. The Regional Administrator shall review the plan for completeness and
forward one copy through the Office of Field Programs to the Director of
3. Once a State plan supplement is approved, the State, Region and
National Office will be able to insert dated replacement document pages in
their official copy of the plan. For identical changes, they may instead
insert the State submitted cover sheet describing how references in the
Federal document correspond to the State's structure.
1. Definition. A major plan change is a change to a State plan
which has an impact on the effectiveness of a State program. A plan
supplement is a package submitted by a State to the Region transmitting a
description and documentation of a major plan change.
G. Description of Plan Changes. Described below are the four categories of
plan changes: Federal program changes, State-initiated changes,
developmental changes, and evaluation changes.
2. When Required. All major plan changes will require a plan
supplement; minor plan changes which do not have an impact on the
effectiveness of a State program will require only a response and not a plan
supplement, but the effectiveness of their implementation is subject to
evaluation under OSHA's State plan monitoring and evaluation
3. Frequency of Submission. There are two types of plan
supplements that are prepared in response to Federal program changes: those
in response to changes to the Field Operations Manual (FOM)/OSHA Technical
Manual (OTM) and non-FOM/OTM changes. A State is not required to submit plan
supplements more often than twice a year. As agreed upon by the Region and
State, a State may coordinate its submission of non-FOM/OTM plan supplements to
coincide with the FOM/OTM supplements (see I.1.(3)(a) of this Chapter) or use
an alternate schedule. Except for major State-initiated changes, which
require a shorter plan supplement timeframe, plan supplement due dates shall
be set so that a State has at least 6 months from issuance of Federal program
changes or State adoption of other types of State plan changes to submit the
supplement to the Region.
1. Federal Program Changes. Subpart C of 29 CFR Part 1953.20
provides that a plan supplement shall be required when the Assistant
Secretary determines that an alteration in the Federal program could render a
State program less effective than OSHA's if it is not similarly modified.
Examples of such Federal program changes are revisions in safety or health
enforcement policies or procedures (including changes to field operations
manuals), and regulatory changes in the Federal program (including
recordkeeping and reporting requirements). The Federal Program Change
paragraph of an OSHA Instruction will indicate whether a Federal program
change is major by requiring a plan supplement. Minor Federal program
changes do not require a plan supplement. 29 CFR Part 1955.3(a)(3) provides
that failure by a State to maintain its program in accordance with the
appropriate changes in the Federal program may, in the case of States without 18(e)
final approval, and, shall, in the case of States with final approval, result
in the initiation of plan withdrawal proceedings.
H. Advisory Opinions. Advisory opinions are designed to provide a State
with a basis for implementing a change to its approved plan with a
preliminary determination from OSHA that the change will not render the State
plan less effective as provided by 29 CFR Part 1953.50.
2. State-Initiated Changes. In accordance with Subpart E of 29 CFR
Part 1953.40, any change to a State plan that is undertaken by a State on its own initiative, for its own purposes, instead of
being in response to a Federal requirement, is categorized as a
a. State-initiated changes include actions which would affect
use of grant funds under section 23(g) of the Act or matching State funds;
coverage of additional issues under the plan; State plan status in relation
to criteria for continued approval; necessity for concurrent Federal
enforcement; and legislative, regulatory or administrative policy changes
which impact on the effectiveness of the State program. These latter policy
changes include such things as a reassignment of enforcement personnel,
legislation restricting coverage under the plan, new enforcement policies
differing significantly from the Federal model and establishment of new
programs for which there is no Federal parallel, etc. Minor State-initiated
changes do not require a plan supplement.
3. Developmental Changes. According to 29 CFR Part 1953.10, each
State with a developmental plan must set forth in its plan those changes
which are designed to make its program at least as effective as the Federal
program and a timetable for making such changes. A developmental change
includes documentation on the completion of these developmental steps as well
as amendments required in response to failure to meet any steps in the
developmental schedule. A plan supplement is required under 29 CFR Part
1953.11 whenever a State completes a developmental step or fails to meet any
b. Court cases or administrative decisions in individual cases,
except as they are reflected in State legislative, regulatory, or
administrative policy changes, are not considered plan changes but
documentation must be submitted by States in accordance with Part II, Chapter
III, C.1. of this manual. Such actions are subject to evaluation under the
OSHA State plan monitoring and evaluation system (see Chapter IV,
4. Evaluation Changes. According to 29 CFR Part 1953.30, an
evaluation change supplement may be required when evaluations of a State
program under the OSHA State plan monitoring and evaluation procedures show
that some substantive aspect of a State plan has an adverse impact on the
implementation of the State program and needs revision.
1. A State may request in writing an advisory opinion from the
Region prior to implementing a plan change or submitting a plan supplement.
A State is encouraged to seek an advisory opinion prior to implementing any
plan change which differs significantly from the Federal program.
I. Procedures for Notification, Submission, Review and Approval of Plan
Changes and Supplements. The requirements for State notification and plan
supplement submission vary somewhat for the four categories of plan changes;
however, the procedures for reviewing them are generally the same.
2. After consultation with the National Office, as appropriate, the
Region shall provide a written opinion to the State on the acceptability of
the proposed change.
3. An advisory opinion is not binding on the Assistant Secretary in
making a final decision on the plan supplement. The Assistant Secretary
shall not proceed against the State with respect to any action taken in good
faith upon OSHA's advice, where all relevant facts were presented and where
such action was promptly discontinued upon notification by the Assistant
4. When a State submits a plan supplement for which an advisory
opinion has been provided, it must identify any differences from the material
originally submitted for opinion.
1. State Notifications, Acknowledgments and Submissions.
a. Federal Program Changes.
(1) Notification to State.
b. State-initiated Changes.
(a) The Directorate of Administrative Programs shall send 1
copy of each Federal Program Change (FPC) directive to the States directly
from the printing facility. In addition, two copies are sent to each Region
for its transmission to the State.
(b) The Region shall formally transmit a copy of each FPC
directive to the State for tracking purposes, using a two-way memorandum
following the example contained in Appendix P. The Region shall also
maintain on the FPC log a record of each change and advise the State on the
content of the FPC if requested by the State.
1 The Region shall formally transmit to the State all
FPC directives requiring a plan supplement, with a two-way memorandum (see
Appendix P for sample format) noting that a plan supplement is required and
stating what the due dates are for response and plan supplement submission.
The Region and State may agree on a different number of copies to be forwarded routinely to the State.
2 The Region shall send FPC directives not requiring a
plan supplement to the State at least monthly, with a two-way memorandum (see
Appendix P for sample) noting that the changes do not require plan
supplements and providing instructions regarding the State response to the
FPC directives, including acknowledgment due dates and indication of State's
(2) State Response.
(a) Due Date. The time frame for State response to all FPC
directives begins upon the date of issuance of the directive. The State
shall respond to all FPC's in writing to the Regional Office as soon as the
State's intention is known, but no later than 70 calendar days after the date
of issuance through the OSHA directives system (10 days for mailing and 60
days for response). Major FPC's may occasionally require an earlier due date.
The State shall make every effort to respond as early as possible to all
FPC's, especially major ones. Knowing the State's intent at an early stage
regarding a new OSHA compliance policy or initiative is of great importance to the OSHA
national program for its own planning and policy
(b) Contents of State Response via Two-way Memorandum. The
State's acknowledgment on the two-way memorandum shall indicate whether the
State intends to adopt a policy that is identical to or different from the
Federal policy. If the State intends to adopt a different policy, the State
shall provide a general description of the policy and any plans developed for
implementing the change. If the State intends to adopt an identical policy,
the acknowledgment memorandum may fulfill the requirements for a plan
supplement if appropriate documentation is provided as described in I.2a.
(3) Plan Supplement Submission.
(a) Field Operations Manual or OSHA Technical Manual
Federal Program Changes. While compliance directives will continue to be
issued on an ongoing basis, they will be incorporated into the FOM and OTM
through change instructions no more than twice a year, as needed (April 1 and
October 1 are the target dates). States must respond to these directives as
they occur by indicating their intent (adopt identical, adopt "at least as effective" alternative, not adopt)
but plan change documentation, through State FOM and OTM plan supplements, is
required to be submitted no more than twice a year in response to OSHA's
consolidation in the Field Manuals. Thus, the State shall have 6 months from
the issuance date to submit a plan supplement in response to the issuance of
an FOM or OTM or change thereto. (September 30 and March 31 would be the 6
month due dates if the Manuals are issued on the April 1 and/or October 1
target dates). However, if the Manuals are not issued on April 1 and October
1, the States shall have 6 months from the issuance date to submit a plan
supplement in response to the issuance of a FOM or OTM
(b) If an FOM/OTM change is not issued within six months of
a change directive's issuance and the State is adopting a different policy
and/or procedure, the State shall inform the Regional Administrator of
implementation of the change and describe the State's different policy and/or
procedure. This documentation must be submitted by the close of the calendar
quarter following the target date which affords the State a 6 month period
for implementation of the change, but a formal plan supplement
would not be required until issuance of the next Federal
FOM/OTM change. (Directives will have a statement if they will ultimately be
incorporated into the FOM/OTM.
(c) Other Federal Program Changes. The State must likewise
respond to non-FOM/OTM FPC's as they occur by indicating their intent and
shall submit plan supplements, as required, to the Region for non-FOM/OTM
FPCs twice a year on a schedule that is agreed upon by the State designee and
the Regional Administrator. If desired, the schedule may coincide with the
schedule for the FOM/OTM plan supplements, but must provide for submission at
least twice a year.
(1) State Notification to Region. The State shall notify the
Region in writing within 30 days of initial State action on a State-initiated
plan change. In addition, the State shall provide immediate telephone
notification to the Region followed by submission of supporting documentation
for State-initiated changes concerning any major change. A major change,
which has an impact on the State's ability to administer its plan effectively
or which would require the exercise of Federal authority to ensure
employee protection, includes but is not limited to the following:
2. Format for State Submission of Plan Supplements. The State
shall submit four copies of any required plan supplement to the Region in
accordance with the timeframes discussed above for each category of plan
change. The plan supplement shall consist of a cover letter describing the
plan change, a revised table of contents for the plan if necessary,
documentation that the policy or procedure has been adopted and distributed
to appropriate staff (e.g., copies of legislation, regulations, directives,
etc.), and dated replacement document pages with an indication of page number
and/or placement to be inserted in the State plan document. The following
additional requirements apply as appropriate.
(a) State match for 23(g) funding;
c. Developmental Changes.
(b) Significant increase or decrease in personnel;
(c) Coverage of issues under the plan; and
(d) Significant legislative, regulatory, or administrative
(2) Plan Supplement Submission. For major State-initiated plan
changes, States shall also submit a plan supplement containing replacement
pages for the plan to the Region no later than 60 days after notifying the
Regional Administrator of occurrence of the State-initiated change or in such
shorter timeframe as may be agreed upon by the Region and State. Other State
initiated changes may be submitted at any time generally not to exceed 6,
months after the change occurred.
(1) Completed Developmental Changes. The State shall submit
plan change supplements in completion of developmental steps in accordance
with its approved developmental schedule.
d. Evaluation Changes. The State shall respond to OSHA
recommendations for evaluation changes in accordance with requirements and
timeframes established by the official transmittal of a special study or
annual evaluation report containing such a recommendation.
(2) Missed Developmental Steps. When a developmental step is
missed, the State shall immediately document the reasons in writing to the
Region. If a State fails to submit a required supplement when the
developmental step was scheduled for completion and has not documented the
reasons and requested approval of a new completion date, the Region shall
notify the State that a supplement is required within no more than 30 days or
a written notification containing the following information:
(a) An explanation of why the step was not completed.
(b) A new date for completion of the step.
(c) A revised developmental schedule showing specific
actions that the State proposes to take whenever the missed step would
require a new timetable.
(d) A demonstration that the current operating program is
substantial enough to contribute to the protection of employees in the State
through the enforcement of standards. If a State does not meet its
developmental step, the State must assure that it will still complete all
developmental steps within the three year period.
(1) If monitoring findings contained in a special study or
annual evaluation report document the need for a major substantive change in
a State plan, the report shall contain a specific recommendation establishing
the requirements therefore and timeframe for submission of a plan
(2) A State shall respond to a recommendation for an evaluation
plan change supplement by:
(a) Submission of a plan supplement or a timetable for
completion of the change when necessary, with related documentation on the
impact of the change on the State plan and its responsiveness to the Federal
evaluation report or special study, or
(b) The State may show cause, in response to the request
for an evaluation change supplement, why a supplement should not be required
on the ground that the State program is meeting the requirements for an at
least as effective program.
a. Identical Changes. If the State change is identical to a
corresponding OSHA policy or procedure, the State plan supplement, in
addition to the general documentary requirements listed above shall include
either a revised version of the Federal document reflecting the State's own
statutory, regulatory or organizational structure, or a cover sheet
describing how references in the Federal document correspond to the State's
3. Regional Office Review Procedures.
b. Different Changes. If the State change is substantively
different from a corresponding OSHA policy or procedure, the State plan
supplement, in addition to the general documentary requirements listed above,
shall contain a listing of each significant difference (with page numbers).
For each difference listed, the supplement shall include a rationale for the
adoption of an alternative provision, with a statement on how the State plan
change is at least as effective as the OSHA policy or
NOTE: Change Directives. For a plan supplement responding
to changes consolidated in the FOM or OTM or other procedural directives, the
State shall also ensure that the supplement indicates for each significant
Federal change listed in the OSHA directive whether the State's plan change
is identical or substantively different.
c. Other Changes. In addition to the general documentary
requirements listed above, if the State change is one for which there is no
OSHA counterpart, the State should coordinate preparation of the plan
supplement with Regional Administrator to identify, what policy and
procedures OSHA would apply in the same circumstances, and document that the
new State policy is at least as effective as the applicable Federal policy.
Where the State initiated change establishes a program for which there is no
Federal parallel, all necessary and related legislation, regulations, and
procedures must be submitted. Documentation must be provided as to how this
program will interface with existing State activities and will not detract
from the basic Federally-mandated program. The State shall propose, after consultation with the Region,
performance measures for evaluation of major, new State-specific program
activities when there is no other means of obtaining data for the evaluation.
a. Because the failure to submit a plan supplement has an
adverse effect on State plan administration and effectiveness, the Regional
Administrator shall notify the State when a plan supplement is overdue and
request the State to submit the supplement within a reasonable time period.
Assistance should be offered and a timetable for corrective action and
interim procedures to maintain program effectiveness developed. Upon
continued refusal or failure of a State to submit a required plan
supplement(s), the Regional Administrator shall submit a report to the
Director of Federal-State Operations assessing the impact on State plan
effectiveness and recommending appropriate action including the possible
initiation of formal rejection-type proceedings; reinstitution of Federal
enforcement; revocation of 18(e); and, initiation of plan
4. National Office Review Procedures. The Director of Federal-State Operations shall:
b. Upon submission of a State plan supplement, the Regional
Administrator shall direct a Regional Office line-by-line review. The
Regional Administrator shall notify the State as soon as possible but no
later than 6 months from receipt of the acceptability of the plan change,
with a copy to the Directorate of Federal-state Operations. The Regional review shall:
(1) Ensure that any independent State provisions and substantive
differences from OSHA provisions have been identified and explained by the
State, with appropriate reference to page numbers and sections of the
c. If the Region's initial review determines that clarification
or supplementary information is necessary in order for the Region to make a
recommendation, the Regional Administrator shall notify the State in writing
of any additional requirements and establish a timeframe for their
submission, generally not to exceed 30 days.
(2) Address whether the State change enables the State to
maintain a program which is at least as effective as the OSHA program and
should be approved by the Assistant Secretary.
d. Upon completion of the Region's review, the Regional Administrator shall:
(1) Obtain State comments, as appropriate, regarding the
preliminary determination on whether the State change enables the State to
maintain a program which is at least as effective as the OSHA
(a) If the Regional Administrator concludes that the State
policy or procedure does not appear to be at least as effective as the
Federal, the State shall be afforded the opportunity to submit written
comments, within 30 days of notification. The State's comments shall be
included in the Region's submission to the National Office.
(b) The Regional Administrator shall consider the State's
written comments in formulating a recommendation to the Assistant Secretary
on whether the State change should be approved or rejected.
(2) Submit three copies of the State plan supplement and any
State comments thereon to the Director of Federal-State Operations through
the Office of Field Programs with a cover memorandum containing:
(a) The Region's assessment, as applicable, of whether each
independent or different State provision in the plan supplement enables the
State to maintain a program at least as effective as the OSHA program
(include specific references to the plan as appropriate).
(b) The Region's overall determination on whether the State change enables the State to maintain a program which is at least as effective as OSHA's.
(c) A recommendation for approval or rejection of the plan supplement by the Assistant Secretary.
(3) Send a copy of the Region's comments and recommendations to the State.
NOTE: The Regional Administrator shall determine the
acceptability of minor FPC's and State initiated changes that do not require
a plan supplement. The Federal Program Change paragraph of an OSHA
Instruction states whether a plan supplement is required for a Federal
Program Change (FPC). The Regional Administrator may choose to submit minor
FPC's and State initiated changes to the National Office for information
purposes only. Documentation of minor changes shall be maintained by the
State and Region in Appendix C.(5) of the revised State Plan document.
a. Coordinate the National Office review of the State plan
supplement and Regional recommendations.
5. Approval of Plan Supplements,
b. Provide a copy of any different or independent State plan
change to other National Office Directorates or Department of Labor agencies with a functional interest in the
change and request their written comments, specifying that the office or
agency has 30 days to respond. Resolve any differences of opinion on
acceptability of the State change resulting from the National Office
c. As provided in 29 CFR Part 1902.11, determine whether public
comment should be sought to assist in determining whether the Assistant
Secretary should approve or reject the State change. The public comment
requirements may be waived for any good cause which is consistent with
applicable law, such as where the change was adopted by a State in accordance
with the State's procedural requirements, including the opportunity for
public participation. A public comment period is generally not required for
a plan supplement, except where State policy differs significantly and its
effectiveness is not clear. If a determination is made that public
participation is necessary, a Federal Register notice will be published
providing a reasonable period for submission of comments.
d. Advise the Regional Administrator in writing if the National
Office review identifies deficiencies in the plan change supplement. The
State shall be afforded an opportunity through the Regional Administrator to
submit a written response, generally within 30 days, addressing any
identified deficiencies by submitting a revised supplement or additional
information, or a notice of intent to revise the supplement with a
e. Make a determination on whether to recommend the Assistant
Secretary's approval or rejection of the State change upon completion of the
National Office review, and consideration of any public comments and
additional information or comments submitted by the State or Region. A
decision on approval ordinarily shall be made within 6 months of receipt from the Region.
a. Notification to State. The Director of Federal-State
Operations shall notify the Regional Administrator in writing when a plan
change supplement has been approved for publication in the Federal Register.
The Regional Administrator shall in turn notify the State.
6. Rejection of Plan Supplements. If National Office review, which
may in appropriate cases include publication in the Federal Register of a
request for public comment, results in the Assistant Secretary's
determination that the State change should be rejected, rejection of the
change in whole or part shall be initiated after due notice to the State
through proceedings under 29 CFR Part 1902.17 et al. Because a major plan
change has an impact on the effectiveness of a State plan, these proceedings
could include or lead to the initiation of withdrawal of approval of the
State plan itself or revocation of final approval. Refusal or failure of the
State to submit a required plan supplement may result in a similar
b. Federal Register Publication.
(1) The only plan change supplements which as a rule will
require publication in the Federal Register are those which relate to
legislation, regulations, and procedures. Decisions on Federal Register
publication and/or codification of other major plan change supplements will
be made on a case-by-case basis.
(2) At least annually, the Director of Federal-State Operations
shall prepare for the Assistant Secretary's signature and publication in the Federal
Register a notice announcing the approval of any plan change supplements for
a State in the areas noted in (1) which have been found to provide for a
program which is at least as effective as OSHA's. An update to 29 CFR 1952,
Changes to State plans, shall be incorporated under one of the following
headings: Legislation; Regulations; Procedures; Organization; and Other.
a. Notice of Hearing. The Assistant Secretary shall publish a
notice in the Federal Register about the plan change
supplement and provide an opportunity for a formal hearing and decision on
possible rejection of the plan change (and/or revoking final approval or
withdrawal of State plan approval in whole or in part). The State shall
publish a similar notice.
b. Tentative Decision. On the basis of the whole record of any
previous written comments received or any hearing held, the Assistant
Secretary shall publish a tentative decision in the Federal Register either
approving or rejecting the plan change (or State plan). Interested persons
participating in the hearing shall have an opportunity to file exceptions to
the tentative decision and objections to such exceptions.
c. Formal Decision. The Assistant Secretary shall then publish
a formal decision in the Federal Register ruling upon each exception and