Federal Registers - Table of Contents Federal Registers - Table of Contents
• Publication Date: 12/29/2009
• Publication Type: Proposed Rules
• Fed Register #: 74:68756-68758
• Standard Number: 1910; 1915; 1926
• Title: Hazard Communication

[Federal Register: December 29, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 248)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 68756-68758]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr29de09-36]                         

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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)]
RIN 1218-AC20

 
Hazard Communication

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of informal public hearings.

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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 
attachments;
    Fax: If your written submission does not exceed 10 pages, including 
attachments, you may fax it to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-
1648; or
    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 
http://www.osha.gov.

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) 
693-1999.
    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 chatmon.veneta@dol.gov.

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 
rule.
    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 
testifying;
     Hearing location at which each individual wishes to appear 
and testify and/or question witnesses;
     Approximate amount of time required for each individual's 
testimony;
     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.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. E9-30713 Filed 12-28-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-P


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