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[Federal Register: December 29, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 248)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, and 1926
[Docket No. OSHA-H022K-2006-0062 (formerly OSHA Docket No. H022K)]
AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA),
Department of Labor.
ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of informal public hearings.
SUMMARY: OSHA is scheduling informal public hearings on its proposal to
revise the Hazard Communication Standard. OSHA anticipates receiving
several hearing requests, and this document describes the procedures
the public must use to participate in the hearings.
DATES: Informal public hearing. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m.,
local time, on the following dates:
March 2, 2010, in Washington, DC;
March 31, 2010, in Pittsburgh, PA; and
April 13, 2010, in Los Angeles, CA.
If necessary, the hearing will continue at the same time on
subsequent days at each location.
Notice of intention to appear at the hearing. Interested persons
who intend to present testimony or question witnesses at any of these
locations must submit (transmit, send, postmark, deliver) a notice of
their intention to do so by January 18, 2010.
Hearing testimony and documentary evidence. Interested persons who
request more than 10 minutes to present testimony or who intend to
submit documentary evidence at the hearing must submit (transmit, send,
postmark, deliver) the full text of their testimony and all documentary
evidence by February 1, 2010.
ADDRESSES: Informal public hearing. The Washington, DC, hearing will be
held in the auditorium of the U.S. Department of Labor, 200
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. OSHA will announce the
address of the Pittsburgh, PA, and Los Angeles, CA, hearings in a later
Federal Register document.
Notice of intention to appear, hearing testimony and documentary
evidence: You may submit (transmit, send, postmark, deliver) your
notice of intention to appear, hearing testimony, and documentary
evidence, identified by docket number OSHA-H022K-2006-0062, by any of
the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions online for electronically submitting materials, including
Fax: If your written submission does not exceed 10 pages, including
attachments, you may fax it to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-
Regular mail, express delivery, hand delivery, and messenger and
courier service: Submit your materials to the OSHA Docket Office,
Docket No. OSHA-H022K-2006-0062, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625,
200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202)
693-2350 (TTY number (877) 889-5627). Deliveries (express mail, hand
delivery, and messenger and courier service) are accepted during the
Department of Labor's and OSHA Docket Office's normal hours of
operation, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.
Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and
docket number for this rulemaking (Docket No. OSHA-H022K-2006-0062).
All submissions, including any personal information, are placed in the
public docket without change and may be available online at http://
www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions you about submitting
certain personal information such as social security numbers and
birthdates. Because of security-related procedures, the use of regular
mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of your submissions.
For information about security-related procedures for submitting
materials by express delivery, hand delivery, messenger, or courier
service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office. For additional
information on submitting notices of intention to appear, hearing
testimony or documentary evidence, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
section of this notice.
Docket: To read or download comments, notices of intention to
appear, and other material in the docket, go to Docket No. OSHA-H022K-
2006-0062 at http://www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket
are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some
information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to
read or download through the Web site. All submissions and other
material in the docket are available for public inspection and copying
in the OSHA Docket Office. For information on reading or downloading
materials in the docket and obtaining materials not available through
the Web site, please contact the OSHA Docket Office.
Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice are available at
http://www.regulations.gov. This notice as well as news releases and
other relevant information also are available at OSHA's Web page at
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Press inquiries: Jennifer Ashley,
OSHA, Office of Communications, Room N-3647, U.S. Department of Labor,
200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202)
Technical information: Maureen Ruskin, OSHA, Office of Chemical
Hazards-Metals, Room N-3718, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution
Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-1950.
Hearings: Ms. Veneta Chatmon, OSHA, Office of Communications, Room
N-3647; 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone
(202) 693-1999; e-mail email@example.com.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On September 30, 2009, OSHA published a
proposed rule to revise the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to
conform with the United Nations' (UN) Globally Harmonized System of
Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) (74 FR 50280). OSHA
published a correction notice for the NPRM on November 5, 2009 (74 FR
57278). The deadline for submitting written comments and hearing
requests is December 29, 2009. OSHA anticipates receiving several
hearing requests and is scheduling hearings to begin on March 2, 2010,
in Washington, DC; March 31, 2010, in Pittsburgh, PA; and April 13,
2010, in Los Angeles, CA. This document describes the procedures the
public must use to participate in the hearings.
Informal public hearings--purpose, rules and procedures. OSHA
invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by
providing oral testimony and documentary evidence at the informal
public hearing. In particular, OSHA invites interested persons who have
knowledge of or experience with hazard communication and the issues the
proposed rule raises to participate in the hearings. OSHA also welcomes
presentation of data and documentary evidence that will provide the
Agency with the best available evidence to use in developing the final
Pursuant to section 6(b)(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health
Act of 1970 (OSH Act) (29 U.S.C. 655(b)(3)), members of the public have
an opportunity at the informal public hearing to provide oral testimony
and evidence on issues raised by the proposal. An administrative law
judge (ALJ) will preside over the hearing and will resolve any
procedural matters relating to the hearing.
The legislative history of section 6 of the OSH Act, as well as
OSHA's regulation governing public hearings (29 CFR 1911.15), establish
the purpose and procedures of informal public hearings. Although the
presiding officer of the hearing is an ALJ and questioning of witnesses
is allowed on crucial issues, the proceeding is largely informal and
essentially legislative in purpose. Therefore, the hearing provides
interested persons with an opportunity to make oral presentations in
the absence of procedural restraints or rigid procedures that could
impede or protract the rulemaking process. The hearing is not an
adjudicative proceeding subject to the technical rules of evidence.
Instead, it is an informal administrative proceeding convened for the
purpose of gathering and clarifying information. The regulations that
govern the hearings and the prehearing guidelines issued for the
hearing will ensure that participants are treated fairly and provided
due process. This approach will facilitate the development of a clear,
accurate, and complete record. Accordingly, application of these rules
and guidelines will be such that questions of relevance, procedure, and
participation generally will be resolved in favor of developing a
clear, accurate, and complete record.
Conduct of the hearing will conform to 29 CFR 1911.15. In addition,
the Assistant Secretary may, on reasonable notice, issue additional or
alternative procedures to expedite the proceedings, to provide greater
procedural protections to interested persons or to further any other
good cause consistent with applicable law (29 CFR 1911.4).
Although the ALJ presiding over the hearing makes no decision or
recommendation on the merits of the proposal, the ALJ has the
responsibility and authority necessary to ensure that the hearing
progresses at a reasonable pace and in an orderly manner. To ensure
that interested persons receive a full and fair hearing, the ALJ has
the power to regulate the course of the proceedings; dispose of
procedural requests, objections, and comparable matters; confine
presentations to matters pertinent to the issues the proposed rule
raises; use appropriate means to regulate the conduct of persons
present at the hearing; question witnesses and permit others to do so;
limit the time for such questioning; and leave the record open for a
reasonable time after the hearing for the submission of additional
data, evidence, comments and arguments (29 CFR 1911.16).
At the close of the hearing the ALJ will establish a post-hearing
comment period for interested persons who filed a timely notice of
intention to appear at the hearing. During the first part of the post-
hearing period, those persons may submit additional data and
information to OSHA. During the second part they may submit final
briefs, arguments, and summations.
Notice of intention to appear at the hearing. Interested persons
who intend to participate in and provide oral testimony or documentary
evidence at the hearing must file a written notice of intention to
appear prior to the hearing. To testify or question witnesses at one of
the hearing locations, interested persons must submit (transmit, send,
postmark, deliver) their notice by January 18, 2010. The notice must
provide the following information:
Name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number of
each individual who will give oral testimony;
Name of the establishment or organization each individual
represents, if any;
Occupational title and position of each individual
Hearing location at which each individual wishes to appear
and testify and/or question witnesses;
Approximate amount of time required for each individual's
A brief statement of the position each individual will
take with respect to the issues raised by the proposed rule; and
A brief summary of documentary evidence each individual
intends to present.
Participants who need projectors and other special equipment for
their testimony must contact Ms. Veneta Chatmon at OSHA's Office of
Communications, telephone (202) 693-1999, no later than a week before
the hearing begins.
OSHA emphasizes that the hearings are open to the public; however,
only individuals who file a notice of intention to appear may question
witnesses and participate fully at the hearing. If time permits, and at
the discretion of the ALJ, an individual who did not file a notice of
intention to appear may be allowed to testify at the hearing, but for
no more than 10 minutes.
Hearing testimony and documentary evidence. Individuals who request
more than 10 minutes to present their oral testimony at the hearing or
who will submit documentary evidence at the hearing must submit
(transmit, send, postmark, deliver) the full text of their testimony
and all documentary evidence no later than February 1, 2010.
The Agency will review each submission and determine if the
information it contains warrants the amount of time the individual
requested for the presentation. If OSHA believes the requested time is
excessive, the Agency will allocate an appropriate amount of time for
the presentation. The Agency also may limit to 10 minutes the
presentation of any participant who fails to comply substantially with
these procedural requirements, and may request that the participant
return for questioning at a later time. Before the hearing, OSHA will
notify participants of the time the Agency will allow for their
presentation and, if less than requested, the reasons for its decision.
In addition, before the hearing OSHA will provide the pre-hearing
guidelines and hearing schedule to each participant.
Certification of the hearing record and Agency final determination.
Following the close of the hearing and the post-hearing comment
periods, the ALJ will certify the record to the Assistant Secretary of
Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. The record will consist of
all of the written comments, oral testimony and documentary evidence
received during the proceeding. The ALJ, however, will not make or
recommend any decisions as to the content of the final standard.
Following certification of the record, OSHA will review all the
evidence received into the record and will issue the final rule based
on the record as a whole.
Authority and Signature
David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational
Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice under the
authority granted by section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health
Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655(b)), Secretary of Labor's Order 5-2007 (72
FR 31160), and 29 CFR part 1911.
Signed at Washington, DC, on this 18th day of December 2009.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. E9-30713 Filed 12-28-09; 8:45 am]
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