ISSA LARU-The Regulation of VOCs in Cleaning ProductsApril 29, 2022
Welcome to the latest ISSA Legislative & Regulatory Update (LARU), a biweekly roundup of the latest public-policy issues impacting the full spectrum of the cleaning industry. This update touches on the June 14 ISSA webinar on the regulation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in cleaning products, ISSA submitting a statement regarding the Biden administration’s 2022 Trade Policy Agenda, inflation rising at the fastest rate in 40 years, and more.
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And be sure to check out the latest installment of our video series, Cleaning Is Essential, with ISSA Director of Government Affairs John Nothdurft, to learn about the top three advocacy issues impacting the cleaning industry right now, including President Biden’s trade policy agenda, an upcoming ISSA webinar on VOCs, and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) program to protect workers from heat injuries and illnesses.
The Regulation of VOCs in Cleaning Products
Save your seat for the ISSA Webinar The Regulation of VOCs in Cleaning Products, 12 pm to 1 pm CT on Tuesday, June 14, to learn about the latest developments related to the regulation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in commercial and household cleaning products. VOCs in cleaning products are extensively regulated by a confusing patchwork of state and federal regulations that are constantly in flux, making it imperative for manufacturers and distributors of cleaning products to stay abreast of the most recent changes. ISSA General Counsel Bill Balek, who has over 35 years of experience in the cleaning product regulations field, will lead this June 14 webinar. Register today!
ISSA Submits Statement on Biden’s Trade Policy Agenda
ISSA, as part of Americans for Free Trade (AFT), a coalition of American businesses, trade organizations, and workers united against tariffs, submitted a statement for the record to the leadership of the U.S. Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees following the committees’ hearings regarding the Biden administration’s 2022 Trade Policy Agenda. In addition to calling for an end to existing Section 301 tariffs, AFT urged the committees to include language in a China competition bill that would require the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to reinstitute a “comprehensive, transparent, and fair exclusions process – with retroactivity –” for products subject to Section 301 tariffs. The coalition also urged the committees to inquire about USTR’s plans for reviewing the tariffs, including timing and opportunities for stakeholder input.
Inflation Rose at Fastest Pace in 40 Years in March
Inflation hit a new 40-year high as continuing surges in gasoline, food, and rent costs more than offset moderating prices for used cars, USA Today reported. The consumer price index jumped 8.5% annually, the fastest pace since December 1981, the U.S. Department of Labor said, likely cementing Federal Reserve plans for a half-point interest rate hike early next month. That increase is up from 7.9% in February, and inflation has now notched new 40-year highs for five straight months.
OSHA Launches Program to Protect Workers from Heat Injuries and Illnesses
After months of gathering expert input on ways to monitor and combat extreme heat in the workplace, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a National Emphasis Program to protect workers from heat illness and injuries, according to Cleaning & Maintenance Management.
OSHA Seeks Comments on Whistleblower Protections
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking public comments on its Whistleblower Protection Program during a virtual meeting, Cleaning & Maintenance Management reported. The meeting, scheduled for May 18 from 12 pm to 3 pm CT, is free and open to the public. It is the ninth meeting in a series on how OSHA can improve its Whistleblower Protection Program and will focus on health care workers.
Rail Regulators Want to Speed Emergency Service Responses
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would modify existing emergency service rules so that the board could “act on its own initiative” to respond to service emergencies, according to FreightWaves. The proposed rule also would set up an accelerated process to tackle acute service emergencies. Comments on the proposed rulemaking are due by May 23; replies to comments are due by June 6. The notice comes as the STB said that it has heard from stakeholders over the past year about inconsistent and unreliable rail service with reports of unreliability increasing in recent weeks.
Business Awaits Upcoming Port Worker Negotiations
Major port congestion and the global supply chain have frequently made headlines over the past two years. With labor talks set to begin May 12 ahead of the July 1 expiration date of the current contract between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, there is both tension and cautious optimism in the air, CalChamber reported.
Department of Labor Considers Revoking Arizona’s OSHA Plan
The U.S. Department of Labor is considering revoking final approval of Arizona’s state Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plan for its failure to maintain standards to adequately protect workers in the state, according to Cleaning & Maintenance Management. For nearly the last 10 years, OSHA has noticed that “Arizona’s state plan has failed to adopt and enforce standards and policies that are as effective as those of the federal administration.” Acting on these concerns, the agency may initiate proceedings to revoke final approval and reinstate federal authority over occupational safety and health issues in the state.