ISSA Advocacy Weekly Recap—U.S. Taking Steps to Combat Coronavirus Outbreak

February 28, 2020 ISSA Advocacy Weekly Recap—U.S. Taking Steps to Combat Coronavirus Outbreak

Welcome to the ISSA Advocacy Weekly Recap, our regular roundup of the latest public policy issues impacting the cleaning industry. This week’s recap touches on the United States taking steps to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not pursuing a financial assurance mandate for chemical facilities, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issuing a joint-employer final rule, and more.

U.S. Taking Steps to Combat Coronavirus Outbreak
As the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread across the world, the U.S. government has taken steps to prevent the illness from sickening more Americans. In a recent letter to Congress from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the government requested a funding commitment of at least US$2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, Axios reports. The request for a lump sum account from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services includes $1.25 billion in new funds to fight COVID-19 and $535 million from untouched funds for the Ebola virus.

EPA Will Not Pursue Financial Assurance Mandate for Chemical Facilities
A proposal from the EPA would absolve the nation’s manufacturers of cancer-linked “forever chemicals” from broad financial responsibility for cleaning up their product when they leach into the water supply across the country. The class of chemicals, known as PFAS, are noted for their persistence in both the environment and the human body. They are used in a variety of nonstick products. As PFAS contamination spreads into city water supplies in every state but Hawaii, there has been growing pressure from lawmakers to have manufacturers help fund cleanup efforts.

NLRB Issues Joint-Employer Final Rule
The NLRB issued its final rule governing joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act. The final rule restores the joint-employer standard the board applied for several decades prior to the 2015 decision in Browning-Ferris, but with the “greater precision, clarity, and detail that rulemaking allows. As a result, the final rule provides clear guidance in this significant area of the law.” The NLRB’s rule, which deals only with disputes involving labor unions, follows a similar decision in January by the Labor Department, a separate agency that has jurisdiction over all U.S. workers.

Other links of interest