I spoke to an OSHA rulemaker who is working on the long-storied Combustible Dust Safety Rule that has been in the works for over 2 years now (Link to CTI’s Blog on the ANPR). The latest news I was told is that the proposed rule is scheduled to move to a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) review panel in December of 2011.
It is worth noting that the Combustible Dust rule has been slated for SBREFA review before, and delayed. At the beginning of 2011, the rule was on schedule for panel review, but this was delayed in order to hold an Expert Forum (Link to CTI’s summary on the Expert Forum).
What does a SBREFA review mean? The below excerpt is taken from OSHA’s website (Link to OSHA’s SBREFA Page)
OSHA next convenes a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel, consisting of officials from the agency, the SBA’s Chief Counsel for Advocacy, and the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The panel hears comments from small entity representatives and reviews the draft proposed rule and related analyses prepared by OSHA. A written report of this interagency panel is submitted to OSHA within 60 days. OSHA reviews the report, makes any appropriate revisions to the rule and publishes the proposed rule along with the panel’s report in the Federal Register.
The SBA’s Chief Counsel participates in the small business advocacy review panels and identifies the small entities that the panel should consult. The chief counsel also submits comments on agency proposals. These comments can be viewed on the Office of Advocacy’s home page. Concerns about proposed regulations can be addressed to the SBA’s Chief Counsel for Advocacy, 409 3rd. St., S.W., Suite 7800; Washington, DC 20416; or faxed to the Chief Counsel at (202) 205-6928.