[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 53 (Tuesday, March 21, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 14439]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-05569]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, and 1926

[Docket No. OSHA-H005C-2006-0870]
RIN 1218-AB76


Occupational Exposure to Beryllium; Further Delay of Effective 
Date

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

ACTION: Final rule; further delay of effective date.

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SUMMARY: On January 9, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration (OSHA) published a rule entitled ``Occupational Exposure 
to Beryllium'' with an effective date of March 10, 2017 (``Beryllium 
Final Rule''). OSHA subsequently delayed the effective date of the 
Beryllium Final Rule to March 21, 2017 (February 1, 2017) and proposed 
to further delay the effective date to May 20, 2017 (March 2, 2017). 
This action finalizes that proposal. The additional time will allow 
OSHA the opportunity for further review of the new Beryllium Final 
Rule, including review of concerns that commenters raised, and is 
consistent with the memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant 
to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled ``Regulatory Freeze 
Pending Review.''

DATES: As of March 21, 2017, the effective date of the final rule 
amending 29 CFR parts 1910, 1915, and 1926 that published in the 
Federal Register of January 9, 2017 at 82 FR 2470, delayed at 82 FR 
8901 on February 1, 2017, is further delayed to May 20, 2017.

ADDRESSES: In accordance with 28 U.S.C. 2112(a), the Agency designates 
Ann Rosenthal, Associate Solicitor of Labor for Occupational Safety and 
Health, Office of the Solicitor of Labor, Room S-4004, U.S. Department 
of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, to receive 
petitions for review of this action.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank Meilinger, Director, Office of 
Communications, Room N-3647, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-
1999; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OSHA promulgated the Beryllium Final Rule on 
January 9, 2017 with an effective date of March 10, 2017 (82 FR 2470). 
On February 1, 2017, OSHA delayed the effective date of the rule to 
March 21, 2017 (82 FR 8901). OSHA promulgated the extension consistent 
with the memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant to the 
President and Chief of Staff, entitled ``Regulatory Freeze Pending 
Review'' (82 FR 8346; January 24, 2017) (``Memorandum''), which 
contemplated temporarily postponing for 60 days the effective dates of 
all regulations that had been published in the Federal Register but had 
not yet taken effect, absent certain inapplicable exceptions.
    In addition, the Memorandum directed agencies to consider further 
delaying the effective date for regulations beyond that 60-day period. 
After further review, OSHA preliminarily determined that it was 
appropriate to further delay the effective date of the Beryllium Final 
Rule, for the purpose of further reviewing questions of fact, law, and 
policy raised therein. Therefore, consistent with the Memorandum, OSHA 
proposed to further delay the effective date of the Beryllium Final 
Rule to May 20, 2017 (82 FR 12318; March 2, 2017). Finalization of the 
proposed delay of the effective date would not affect the compliance 
dates of the Beryllium Final Rule.
    OSHA received twenty-five unique comments on its proposal to extend 
the effective date by 60 days to May 20, 2017. Several commenters 
supported the proposal. (e.g., Document ID 2048; 2049; 2050; 2051.) 
Many of these commenters indicated that they supported the delay 
considering the ongoing transition to a new administration. (See 
Document ID 2058; 2052.) Some commenters supported the proposed 
extension and requested that OSHA further review the impact of the 
standards on entities which would be affected by changes from the 
proposed beryllium rule. (Document ID 2051; 2055; 2068.) Congressman 
Byrne, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, among 
others, urged OSHA to delay the effective date beyond the proposed 60 
days or even indefinitely and re-propose the Beryllium Final Rule 
(Document ID 2064; 2067), citing concerns with the rule's coverage of 
abrasive blasting operations under the construction and shipyard 
standards. OSHA also received approximately 2,500 comments with nearly 
identical messages, urging the Agency to adopt the proposal and delay 
the effective date, particularly for the construction and shipyards 
standards. (See, e.g., Document ID 2072.) Several commenters opposed 
the proposal and argued in favor of keeping the effective date of March 
21, 2017, stating that the Beryllium Final Rule was long overdue, based 
on sound science, and that all interested parties had the opportunity 
to participate in the rulemaking. (See, e.g., Document ID 2053; 2054; 
2059; 2061; 2062.)
    After carefully reviewing these comments, OSHA believes commenters 
have raised substantive concerns, including about the Beryllium Final 
Rule's treatment of the construction and shipyard industries, as 
suggested by Congressman Byrne. Thus, OSHA has decided to adopt the 
proposal and delay the effective date by an additional 60 days to May 
20, 2017 to further evaluate the Beryllium Final Rule in light of those 
substantive concerns. The Agency has determined that 60 days will 
provide adequate time to review the rule and consider the issues raised 
without hindering protections of workers affected by the rule because 
the delay of the effective date does not alter the Beryllium Final 
Rule's compliance dates.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on March 16, 2017.
Dorothy Dougherty,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2017-05569 Filed 3-17-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4510-26-P