Letter from the American Industrial Hygiene Assocation (AIHA) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB):

May 8, 2015

The Honorable Shaun Donovan
Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503

Dear Director Donovan:

On behalf of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) I am writing to express our concern with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) continued delay of review of the proposed Department of Labor rule to limit occupational exposure to beryllium.

OMB received the proposed rule on September 4, 2014 and is required by Executive order 12866 to complete a review of significant rules within 90 days of receipt; however, here we are eight months later with still no action by OMB. We ask that OMB complete its work without additional delay and return the proposal to OSHA so that OSHA can begin the public process on the proposed rule as quickly as possible.

What is even more frustrating with this delay is the fact that there has been agreement by both the largest domestic player in the beryllium industry and the United Steel Workers Union in agreeing to a proposed exposure limit to beryllium. It remains to be seen if other stakeholders will agree to this compromise exposure limit until the proposal is returned to OSHA and open for public comments.

The AIHA membership recognizes and supports the role of OMB in reviewing proposed regulations. However, we remain concerned about the delays within OMB on issues that have major impact on worker health and safety. The proposed beryllium rule is one more proposal that has seen an extended delay. The OSHA proposed rule on silica was at OMB for more than two and a half years before being sent back to OSHA. We strongly oppose these delays.

AIHA is one of the largest international associations serving the needs of occupational and environmental health and safety professionals practicing industrial hygiene in industry, government, labor, academic institutions and independent organizations. The AIHA mission is to promote healthy and safe environments by advancing the science, principles, practice and value of industrial and occupational hygiene. AIHA is not only committed to protecting and improving worker health, but the health and well-being of all people in our communities.

AIHA urges you to return the proposed beryllium rule to OSHA and provide stakeholders and others opportunity for comment and input into the development of a final rule.

Daniel H. Anna, PhD, CIH, CSP
AIHA President-elect
cc: Howard Shelanski, Director, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
AIHA Board of Directors
Peter O’Neil, AIHA Executive Director