The torturous comprise hammered out last weekend in Washington between the House GOP, Senate Dems, and President Obama for federal spending for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 (until September 31, 2011) has had this effect on the occupational safety and health landscape:
OSHAtakes a cut of $1.2 million across the board, affecting all departments, as part of a two percent cut in general federal spending.
NIOSHtakes a whopping $49 million slash in spending. According to American Industrial Hygiene Association Government Affairs Director Aaron Trippler, sources tell him most of the $49 million relates to NIOSH’s work regarding the World Trade Center disaster. NIOSH does take the same two percent hit all other fed agencies absorb.
EPAloses $1.6 billion in cuts, of 16 percent of its FY11 budget. That is more than twice the size of OSHA’s entire budget. EPA also takes the two-percent rescission on top of the 16 percent cut.
MSHAmakes out best of all. The continuing resolution bill gives MSHA $363.8 million, an increase of $6.5 million. MSHA, which has suffered several black eyes relating to mining disasters in recent years, will use the extra funds to step up enforcement, ease the backlog of appeals cases, and improve its emergency response capability.
OSHA beware: AIHA’s Trippler reports in his latest“Happenings From the Hill”newsletter that sources tell him the agency could be in for huge budget cuts in its upcoming fiscal year 2012 funding, beginning October 1, 2011 â€” perhaps taking OSHA back to 2006 spending levels.