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• Publication Date: 06/14/1994
• Publication Type: Proposed Rules
• Fed Register #: 59:30560-30562
• Standard Number: 1910; 1915; 1926; 1928
• Title: Indoor Air Quality; Proposed Rule

Notice: On December 17, 2001 OSHA withdrew its Indoor Air Quality proposal and terminated the rulemaking proceedings, see Federal Register 66:64946.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1926 and 1928

[Docket No. H-122]

RIN 1218-AB37

Indoor Air Quality; Proposed Rule

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Extension of Comment Period and Rescheduling of Public Hearing.

SUMMARY: By this document, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is extending the comment period and dates for submitting notices of intention to appear, as well as hearing testimony and evidence, and is postponing the public hearing on the proposed rule on indoor air quality which was published on April 5, 1994 (59 FR 15968). The comment period was to end on June 29, 1994; public hearings were scheduled to begin on July 12, 1994. Following publication of the proposal, thirteen written requests to extend the comment period or postpone the public hearing were received. As a result of these requests, OSHA is extending the comment period to August 13, 1994. Public hearings will be scheduled to begin on September 20, 1994.

DATES: Comments must be postmarked on or before August 13, 1994. Notices of Intention to Appear at the public hearing must be postmarked on or before August 5, 1994. Testimony and evidence to be submitted at the hearing must be postmarked by August 13, 1994. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, September 20, 1994 in Washington, DC.

ADDRESSES: Comments are to be submitted in quadruplicate or 1 original (hard copy) and 1 disk (5-1/4 or 3-1/2) in WP 5.0, 5.1, 6.0 or Ascii to: Docket Office, Docket No. H-122, room N-2625, U. S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; Telephone: (202) 219-7894. Any information not contained on disk, e.g., studies, articles, etc., must be submitted in quadruplicate.

Notices of intention to appear and testimony and evidence are to be submitted in quadruplicate to: Mr. Thomas Hall, Division of Consumer Affairs, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., room N-3649, Washington, DC 20210; Telephone: (202) 219-8615.

The hearing will be held in the auditorium, of the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. James F. Foster, Office of Public Affairs, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, room N-3649, U. S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; Telephone: (202) 219-8151.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On April 5, 1994, OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking on indoor air quality (59 FR 15968 et seq.). The proposal covered a broad range of issues falling into two major categories: (1) General indoor air quality as manifested in sick building syndrome and building related illnesses; and (2) environmental tobacco smoke.

Extension of the Comment Period and Re-scheduling of the Public Hearings

Thus far OSHA has receive thirteen written requests to extend the comment period or re-schedule the public hearing to a later date. These requests have been received from: Business Council on Indoor Air (Exh. 9-121), Law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky, and Walker (Exh. 9-2265), National Energy Management Institute (Exh. 9-229), Barrera Associates, Inc. (Exh. 9-539), R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (Exh. 9-540), Clean Air Device Manufacturers Coalition (Exh. 9-1610), ICF Kaiser Environment and Energy Group (Exh. 9-1612), Philip Morris (Exh. 9-2202), Total Indoor Environmental Quality Coalition (Exh. 9-541), American Nurses Association (Exh. 9-2263), National Licensed Beverage Association (Exh. 9-2264), United Technologies Carrier (Exh. 9-1613) and United Air Specialists, Inc (Exh. 9-2288). The requesters believe that a number of factors including the amount and complexity of information relied on in the proposal, the desire of interested persons to submit extensive comments and for various trade associations to coordinate among their members justify a modest extension of time. Based on these requests, the Agency has agreed to an extension of the comment period and has re-scheduled the public hearings to allow more time for interested persons to adequately prepare their response to the OSHA proposal. OSHA's rules for participating in its rulemaking were printed in the proposal (59 FR 16034). All persons interested in participating in this proceeding are requested to review these rules in their entirety. For public convenience these procedures are summarized below.

Notice of Intention to Appear at the Informal Hearing

Pursuant to section 6(b)(3) of the OSH Act, an informal public hearing will be held on the IAQ proposal in Washington, DC from September 20 through October 14, 1994. The hearing may be extended if this period is not adequate to accommodate all those filing valid notices of intention to appear at the public hearing or the hearing may be shortened if the schedule is completed earlier.

The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 1994 in the auditorium of the Frances Perkins Building, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.

Persons desiring to participate at the informal public hearing must file a notice of intention to appear by August 5, 1994. The notice of intention to appear must contain the following information:

1. The name, address, and telephone number of each person to appear;

2. The capacity in which the person will appear;

3. The approximate amount of time required for the presentation;

4. The issues that will be addressed;

5. A brief statement of the position that will be taken with respect to each issue; and

6. Whether the party intends to submit documentary evidence and, if so, a brief summary of it.

The notice of intention to appear shall be mailed to Mr. Thomas Hall, OSHA Division of Consumer Affairs, Docket No. H-122, U. S. Department of Labor, room N-3647, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; Telephone: (202) 219-8615.

A notice of intention to appear may also be transmitted by facsimile to (202) 219-5986, by the same date, provided that the original and 3 copies are sent to the same address and postmarked by the due date.

Individuals with disabilities wishing to attend the hearing should contact the hearing management officer, Mr. Thomas Hall, to obtain appropriate accommodations at the hearing.

Filing of Testimony and Evidence Before the Hearing

Any party requesting to appear at the hearing or anyone who intends to submit documentary evidence, must provide in quadruplicate the testimony and evidence to be presented at the informal public hearing. One copy shall not be stapled or bound and must be suitable for copying. These materials must be provided to Mr. Thomas Hall, OSHA Division of Consumer Affairs at the address above and must be postmarked no later than August 13, 1994.

Each submission will be reviewed carefully in light of the amount of time requested in the notice of intention to appear. In instances where the information contained in the submission does not justify the amount of time requested, a more appropriate amount of time will be allocated and the participant will be notified of that fact prior to the informal public hearing.

Any party who has not complied with the above requirement may be denied an opportunity to participate or may be requested to return for questioning at a later time.

Any party who has not filed a notice of intention to appear may be allowed to testify for no more than 10 minutes as time permits, at the discretion of the Administrative Law Judge, but will not be allowed to question other witnesses. Because of the great amount of interest that the proposal has generated thus far, there may not be enough time to accommodate those individuals wishing to make short presentations who have not filed valid notices of intention to appear; however, efforts will be made to allow such short presentations.

Notices of intention to appear, testimony and evidence will be available for inspection and copying at the Docket Office at the address noted above.

Conduct and Nature of Hearing

The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. on September 20, 1994. At that time, any procedural matters relating to the proceeding will be resolved.

The nature of an informal rulemaking hearing is established in the legislative history of section 6 of the OSH Act and is reflected by OSHA's rules of procedure for hearings (29 CFR 1911.15(a)). Although the presiding officer is an Administrative Law Judge and questioning by interested persons is allowed on crucial issues, the proceeding is informal and legislative in nature. The Agency's intent, in essence, is to provide interested persons with an opportunity to make effective oral presentation which can proceed expeditiously in the absence of procedural restraints which impede or protract the rulemaking process.

Additionally, since the hearing is primarily for information gathering and clarification, it is an informal administrative proceeding rather than an adjudicative one. The technical rules of evidence, for example, do not apply. The regulations that govern hearings (29 CFR part 1911) and the pre-hearing guidelines to be issued for this hearing will ensure fairness and due process and also facilitate the development of a clear, accurate and complete record. These rules and guidelines will be interpreted in a manner that furthers the development of a clear record. Thus, questions of relevance, procedure and participation generally will be decided so as to favor the development of the record.

The hearings will be conducted in accordance with 29 CFR part 1911. It should be noted that 1911.4 specifies that the Assistant Secretary may, upon reasonable notice, issue alternative procedures to expedite proceedings or for other good cause. The hearing will be presided over by an Administrative Law Judge who makes no decision or recommendation on the merits of OSHA's proposal. The responsibility of the Administrative Law Judge is to ensure that the hearing proceeds at a reasonable pace and in an orderly manner. The Administrative Law Judge, therefore, will have all powers necessary and appropriate to conduct a full and fair informal hearing as provided in 29 CFR Part 1911, including the powers:

1. To regulate the course of the proceedings;

2. To dispose of procedural requests, objections and comparable matters;

3. To confine the presentations to the matters pertinent to the issues raised;

4. To regulate the conduct of those present at the hearing by appropriate means;

5. In the judge's discretion, to question and permit the questioning of any witness and to limit the time for questioning; and

6. In the Judge's discretion, to keep the record open for a reasonable, stated time to receive written information and additional data, views and arguments from any person who has participated in the oral proceedings.

OSHA recognizes that there may be interested persons or organizations who, through their knowledge of the subject matter or their experience in the field, would wish to endorse or support the whole proposal or certain provisions of the proposal. OSHA welcomes such supportive comments, including any pertinent data and cost information which may be available, in order that the record of this rulemaking will present a balanced picture of the public response on the issues involved.

Authority and Signature

This document was prepared under the direction of Joseph A. Dear, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U. S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. It is issued pursuant to section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1593, 29 U.S.C. 655).

Signed at Washington, DC, this 6th day of June 1994.

Joseph A. Dear,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc. 94-14323 Filed 6-13-94; 8:45 am]


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