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• Publication Date: 08/07/1997
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 62:42535
• Title: Office of Environment, Safety and Health; Notice of Addendum to Memorandum of Understanding: Savannah River Site, Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Office of Environment, Safety and Health; Notice of Addendum to Memorandum of Understanding: Savannah River Site, Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority

SUMMARY: This notice is to advise the public of an addendum to the interagency memorandum of understanding which delineates regulatory coverage of occupational safety and health at government-owned, contractor-operated sites administered by the Department of Energy. The addendum provides for coverage by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of certain facilities and operations at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 7, 1997.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bonnie Friedman, Director, Office of Public Information and Consumer Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N-3647, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 219- 8615.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor (OSHA), entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on August 10, 1992, delineating regulatory authority over the occupational safety and health of contractor employees at DOE government-owned or leased, contractor-operated (GOCO) facilities. In general, DOE exercises statutory authority relating to the occupational safety and health of private sector employees at these facilities.

Section 4(b)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 U.S. § 653(b)(1), exempts from OSHA coverage working conditions over which other federal agencies have exercised statutory authority to prescribe or enforce standards for occupational safety or health. The 1992 interagency Memorandum of Understanding acknowledges DOE's extensive regulation of contractor health and safety through safety orders which require contractor compliance with all OSHA standards as well as additional requirements prescribed by DOE, and concludes with an agreement by the agencies that the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act shall not apply to GOCO sites for which DOE has exercised its authority to regulate occupational safety and health.

Among the GOCO sites addressed by the Memorandum of Understanding is the Savannah River Site ("SRS") in South Carolina. Recently, DOE concluded a permit agreement with Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority ("Three Rivers" or TRA), a nine-county consortium which intends to construct and operate a solid waste disposal facility on currently unimproved land located within the Savannah River Site. In recognition of this action, DOE and OSHA are giving public notice that facilities located on the land leased to the TRA, although located within the SRS, are not subject to the regulation of occupational safety and health by DOE. This addendum to the DOE/OSHA Memorandum of Understanding clarifies that all standards, rules and requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act are applicable to private sector employees at workplaces within the 1378 acres of land leased to the TRA on the Savannah River Site.

Because the site is located in South Carolina, a state which enforces its own occupational safety and health standards under a federally-approved state OSHA plan, the addendum also must address the issue of state plan coverage. The South Carolina Department of Labor, which operates the OSHA-approved State plan, has determined that under State law, any facilities located on the SRS are not covered under the State plan, including worksites of State and local government employees which would otherwise be covered under the plan. Therefore, the addendum to the OSHA/DOE Memorandum of Understanding specifies that private sector operations on land leased by DOE to the Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority will be covered by federal OSHA rather than under the state plan. Federal OSHA coverage will extend to all working conditions of private sector employees at worksites on land leased by DOE to the Three Rivers Authority. OSHA intends to amend Subpart C of 29 CFR Part 1952 to reflect this coverage.

DOE and OSHA have discussed the issue of resources likely to be needed to carry out the additional responsibilities to be assumed by OSHA, and OSHA has concluded that sufficient inspection resources are currently available to assure adequate worker protection upon this transfer of regulatory responsibility from DOE.

Accordingly, the Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S Department of Energy and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is amended by adding the following addendum specifying federal OSHA worker safety and health coverage over private-sector employees working in the area leased to the Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority at the Savannah River Site.

Dated: July 25, 1997.

Gregory R. Watchman,
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

Dated: July 29, 1997.

Tara O'Toole,
Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health.

[FR Doc. 97-20774 Filed 8-6-97; 8:45 am)


Federal Registers - Table of Contents

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