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• Publication Date: 05/27/1997
• Publication Type: Meeting
• Fed Register #: 62:28649-28650
• Standard Number: 1910; 1910.1047
• Title: Notice of Public Meeting on Review of the Ethylene Oxide Standard (29 CFR 1910.1047)

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1910

[Docket No. H-200-C]

Notice of Public Meeting on Review of the Ethylene Oxide Standard (29 CFR 1910.1047)

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.


SUMMARY: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is conducting a review of the Ethylene Oxide standard in order to determine, consistent with Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review and Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, whether this standard should be maintained without change, rescinded, or modified in order to make it more effective or less burdensome in achieving its objectives, to bring it into better alignment with the objectives of Executive Order 12866, or to make it more consistent with the objectives of the Regulatory Flexibility Act to achieve regulatory goals while imposing as few burdens as possible on small employers.

Written public comments on all aspects of compliance with the Ethylene Oxide standard are welcomed. OSHA will also hold a stakeholder's meeting to provide an opportunity for interested parties to comment on whether the Ethylene Oxide standard should be eliminated, modified, or continued without change to obtain the objectives described above.

DATES: The public meeting will be held on Monday, June 30, 1997. The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 12:00 p.m. Written comments should be received by August 1, 1997 in the OSHA Docket Office at the address listed below.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in Room N3437 of the Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.

Requests to appear and written comments: OSHA requests that any person wishing to appear at the public meeting notify OSHA in writing. To assure that time is provided for oral comments, the request should be received by OSHA no later than Monday, June 23, 1997, and should identify the person and/or organization intending to appear, address and phone/fax number, the amount of time requested, and a brief summary of the comments to be presented. Please send written requests to appear to Nancy Dorris at the address listed below. All comments received from interested parties will be included in Docket H-200-C, and will be available for public review in the OSHA Docket Office, Room N2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, Telephone (202) 219-7894.

Persons with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact Nancy Dorris, by Monday, June 23, 1997, at the address indicated below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nancy Dorris, Office of Regulatory Analysis, Directorate of Policy, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N3627, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, Telephone (202) 219-4690, extension 134, Fax (202) 219-4383.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1984, OSHA promulgated a health standard for Ethylene Oxide (29 CFR 1910.1047) with a permissible exposure limit of 1 part per million parts of air (1 ppm) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (49 FR 25734, June 22, 1984). The basis for this action was a determination, based on animal and human data, that exposure to Ethylene Oxide presents a carcinogenic, mutagenic, genotoxic, reproductive, neurologic and sensitization hazard to workers. The standard provides for, among other requirements, methods of exposure control, personal protective equipment, measurement of employee exposures, training, medical surveillance, signs and labels, regulated areas, emergency procedures, and recordkeeping. An action level of 0.5 ppm as an 8-hour time weighted average is included as the level above which employers must initiate certain compliance activities such as periodic employee exposure monitoring and medical surveillance. In instances where the employer can demonstrate that employee exposures are below the action level, the employer is not obligated to comply with most of the requirements of the standard. In 1988, OSHA amended the Ethylene Oxide standard by adopting an excursion limit of 5 ppm averaged over a sampling period of 15 minutes (53 FR 11414, April 6, 1988).

OSHA estimated in the Final Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Ethylene Oxide standard that the standard would have an annual cost of $35.5 million (49 FR 25734, June 22, 1984). OSHA also estimated that between 457 and 871 cancer fatalities would be prevented over a fifty year period as a result of the standard.

OSHA has selected the Ethylene Oxide standard for review in accordance with the regulatory review provisions at Section 5 of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, 51739, Oct. 4, 1993) and Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The purpose of the review is to determine whether the standard should be continued without change, rescinded, or amended to make it more effective or less burdensome in achieving its objectives, to bring it into better alignment with the objectives of Executive Order 12866, or to make it more consistent with the objectives of the Regulatory Flexibility Act to achieve regulatory goals while imposing as little burden as possible on small employers. In the event the Agency determines, based on the results of this review, that the rule should be rescinded or modified, appropriate rulemaking will be initiated.

An important step in the review process involves the gathering and analysis of information from affected persons about their experience with the rule and any material changes in circumstances since issuance of the rule. This notice requests written comments and announces a public meeting to provide an opportunity for interested parties to comment on the continuing need for, adequacy or inadequacy, and potential improvement of this rule. Comment concerning the following subjects would assist the Agency in determining whether to retain the standard unchanged or to initiate rulemaking for purposes of revision or recission:

1. The benefits and utility of the rule in its current form and, if amended, in its amended form;

2. Whether potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives to the standard exist;

3. The continued need for the rule;

4. The complexity of the rule;

5. Whether and to what extent the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other Federal, State, and local governmental rules;

6. Information on any new developments in technology, economic conditions, or other factors affecting the ability of affected firms to comply with the Ethylene Oxide rule;

7. Alternatives to the rule or portions of the rule that would minimize significant impacts on small businesses while achieving the objectives of the Occupational Safety and Health Act; and

8. The effectiveness of the standard as implemented by small entities.

Persons making timely written requests to speak at the public meeting will be given priority for oral comments, as time permits. Other persons wishing to speak should register at the meeting from 8:30 to 9:00. OSHA will make every effort to accommodate individuals wishing to speak at the public meeting.

Authority: This document was prepared under the direction of Gregory R. Watchman, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.

Signed at Washington, D.C., this 20th day of May, 1997.

Gregory R. Watchman,
Acting Assistant Secretary.

[FR Doc. 97-13799 Filed 5-23-97; 8:45 am)


Federal Registers - Table of Contents

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