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• Publication Date: 04/27/2005
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 70: 21818-21819
• Title: Notice; Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding: To Formalize the Working Relationship Between the Department of Energy and the Department of Labor (August 28, 1992)

[Federal Register: April 27, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 80)]
[Notices]               
[Page 21818-21819]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr27ap05-131]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of the Environment, Safety and Health

 
Notice; Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding: To Formalize 
the Working Relationship Between the Department of Energy and the 
Department of Labor (August 28, 1992)

AGENCIES: The Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration (OSHA); Department of Energy, Office of the Environment, 
Safety and Health.

ACTION: Addendum to Memorandum of Understanding between the Department 
of Labor and the Department of Energy: The construction and operation 
by the University of Chicago of a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory 
located at Argonne National Laboratory; transfer of worker safety and 
health authority from the Department of Energy (DOE) to the 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for a portion of 
land that has been leased to the private sector for construction and 
operation of a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at Argonne National 
Laboratory, a DOE Government-Owned and Contractor-Operated (GOCO) 
facility.

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SUMMARY: This notice is an addendum to the 1992 interagency Memorandum 
of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Department of Labor and the 
U.S. Department of Energy. That MOU states that DOE has exclusive 
authority over the occupational safety and health of contractor 
employees at DOE GOCOs. In addition, the MOU between the departments 
dated July 25, 2000 on safety and health enforcement at privatized 
facilities and operations provides that OSHA has regulatory authority 
over occupational safety and health at certain privatized facilities 
and operations on DOE land leased to private enterprises. This action 
is taken in accordance with the July 25, 2000 MOU, which establishes 
specific interagency procedures for the transfer of occupational safety 
and health coverage for such privatized facilities and operations from 
DOE to OSHA. The MOUs may be found on the internet via the OSHA Web 
page http://www.osha.gov under the ``D'' for Department of Energy Transition 

Activities.

EFFECTIVE DATE:  May 27, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Trese Louie, Office of Technical 
Programs and Coordination Activities, U.S. Department of Labor, 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N-3653, 200 
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 10, 1992, the U.S. Department of 
Energy (DOE) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of 
the Department of Labor (OSHA) entered into a Memorandum of 
Understanding, delineating regulatory authority over the occupational 
safety and health of contract employees at DOE Government-Owned or 
Leased Contractor-Operated (GOCO) facilities. In general, the 
memorandum of understanding recognizes that DOE exercises statutory 
authority under section 161(f) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as 
amended, [42 U.S.C. 2201(f)], 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.C. 653(b)(1), exempts from OSHA authority working conditions 
with respect to which other federal agencies have exercised statutory 
authority to prescribe or enforce standards or regulations affecting 
occupational safety or health. The 1992 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 will not apply to GOCO sites for 
which DOE has exercised its authority to regulate occupational safety 
and health under the Atomic Energy Act.
    In light of DOE's policy emphasis on privatization activities, OSHA 
and DOE entered into a second Memorandum of Understanding on July 25, 
2000; that establishes interagency procedures to address regulatory 
authority for occupational safety and health at specified privatized 
facilities and operations on DOE sites. The 2000 Memorandum of 
Understanding specifically covers facilities and operations on lands 
that have been leased to private enterprises, which are not conducting 
activities for or on behalf of DOE and where there is no likelihood 
that any employee exposure to radiation from DOE sources would be 25 
millirems per year (mrem/yr) or more.
    On September 30, 2003, the National Institute of Allergy and 
Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health 
(NIH), in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced 
that it will fund nine regional biocontainment laboratories (RBL) for 
the study of organisms important to national biodefense efforts as well 
as organisms causing emerging infectious diseases. The Ricketts 
Regional Biocontainment Laboratory was proposed in early February 2003 
by the University of Chicago in support of a Midwestern Regional Center 
of Excellence (RCE), a consortium of prominent medical research 
organizations in the upper Midwest. In September 2003, the U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services announced a grant of $35 
million over five years to support the center.
    The Ricketts Regional Biocontainment Lab will be a biosafety level 
3 (BSL-3) laboratory designed to safely conduct research on microbes 
that can cause potentially lethal diseases. It will be located at a 
site leased from DOE at Argonne National Laboratory--East, 25 miles 
southwest of Chicago, Illinois. Argonne is operated by the University 
of Chicago, a private university, for the United States Department of 
Energy.
    In accordance with the July 25, 2000 MOU, on November 24, 2003, DOE 
notified OSHA of its intent to lease land to the University of Chicago 
for the purpose of constructing and operating a Regional Biocontainment 
Laboratory at the Argonne National Laboratory-East for the National 
Institutes of Health. The letter stated that the laboratory would be 
operated by the University of Chicago, a private institution, to 
conduct research for NIH (as opposed to DOE). It also stated that the 
radiological dose to workers at the RBL would be much less than 25 
mrems/year from all DOE sources. In addition, the University of Chicago 
will own and operate the RBL and DOE will not have a contractual 
relationship with the University relating to that facility. DOE will 
not have statutory authority to prescribe or enforce standards or 
regulations affecting occupational safety or health at the RBL. Thus, 
as the letter stated, the section 4(b)(1) exemption to the OSH Act 
would not apply to the RBL. Therefore, the letter requested, in 
accordance with the 2000 MOU, that OSHA confirm that it will regulate 
occupational safety and health at the RBL. On February 10, 2004, OSHA 
responded to this letter, stating that it would review this request.

    Accordingly, after reviewing pertinent information OSHA, in a 
letter to DOE dated November 17, 2004, agreed to accept regulatory 
authority for occupational safety and health over this site. This 
Federal Register Notice is published as an addendum to the August 28, 
1992 Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Department of Labor 
and U.S. Department of Energy. Federal OSHA has regulatory authority 
over occupational safety and health at privatized facilities leased to 
the University of Chicago for the construction and operation of a 
Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at DOE's Government-Owned and 
Contractor-Operated (GOCO) Argonne National Laboratory.

    Dated: March 28, 2005.
Jonathan L. Snare,
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, 
Department of Labor.
    Dated: April 6, 2005.
C. Russell H. Shearer,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and 
Health, Department of Energy.
[FR Doc. 05-8370 Filed 4-26-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-P

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