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Volume 139
June 1, 2015
Nurse Tank Inspection "CT" Courses Announced
If you are interested in certifying your own employees to be able to perform nurse tank inspections, then this course is for you! Facility personnel that want to learn more about the process will also find this new hands-on Asmark Institute Signature Course very beneficial. Craig Dobbins with Craig's Restoration & Repair is the lead instructor for this new course. We've been asked several times to develop a course to help ag retailers comply with the DOT regulations for inspecting/testing ammonia nurse tanks with missing or illegible ASME data plates. Six classes will be offered at the Agricenter in Bloomington, IL between July 28th and August 6th. Click here for information on the class and to register. The course is an action packed day and registration is $165 per person. Space is limited. Note: See the Top 20 Violations for Cargo Tank facilities published later in this newsletter.
Spotlight: ResponsibleAg Registration is Open
Over 1,500 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with a number of facilities already receiving their certification. With season winding down, we encourage you to register your facilities today and support the program. The explosion of the West, Texas retail facility in April 2013 marked a low point in the public and regulator agencies perception of the fertilizer industry. The industry was criticized for not having an organized effort to assist retail dealers in understanding and complying with existing federal regulations. Help is in place now.
It's time to register!
The industry stepped up and officially introduced ResponsibleAg, an organization dedicated to assisting retail fertilizer dealers comply with the complex web of federal environmental, health, safety and security regulations. We highly recommend you register and participate in ResponsibleAg to demonstrate your commitment to the safety of your employees, customers and the community. For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org
Become a ResponsibleAg Auditor or Attend to Learn More....
With the launch of ResponsibleAg, there is the need for credentialed auditors. We are seeing several organizations credential one or more of their employees to perform their own audits. Many others are signing up for the training to become contract auditors or to learn firsthand about ResponsibleAg - they want to see how it works - so they will be ready for their audit. More than 90 people have already participated in the training, with more than 60 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Registration is open and the next class will be offered on July 7-10th. Click here to register. There are only a limited number of seats for this course per year so register soon to reserve your seat.
Notice: Newsletter Transitioning Ahead!
Over the next year this newsletter will transition to a new platform that will serve you better. Articles will be published as they become available throughout the month providing you with more timely information. We have leveraged the Twitter platform in a very common sense way that is conducive to business. Sign up today with Twitter and "follow us" to receive the newsletter articles in real time. We promise we won't cover you up with silly junk mail - we have a strict policy of delivering newsletter articles and current event information on Asmark Institute activities. Sign up now and get started!
2015 National Safety School - Register Today!
The 37th annual National Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held on August 25 & 26, 2015 in Bloomington, Illinois at the Asmark Institute Agricenter. An outstanding lineup of national speakers have been confirmed to present and you won't want to miss it. This year's keynote address will be given by Andrew Moore, Executive Director of the National Agricultural Aviation Association. Other speakers include David Wulf with DHS on security issues in agriculture, Ford B. West with an update on ResponsibleAg followed by a panel discussion, Thomas Bray with J.J. Keller & Associates on the DOT changes as result of the new medical/CDL merge, Brian Bothast with OSHA on topics including new recordkeeping requirements, GHS and fall protection, Kim Basham on the evaluation and selection of repair methods for concrete containment areas, Dr. Fred Whitford and other greats will be on hand. For further information and to register, click here.
While in Bloomington that week, we recommend you stay an extra day to attend the Midwest AG Industries Expo (MAGIE) on August 26 & 27, 2015. It's truly one of the finest displays of "ride and buy" shows in the United States. For more information on registering for MAGIE, click here.
Asmark Institute Team Grows
We are happy to announce that Andy Easley will be joining our team on June 8th as the Manager of Membership Services. His responsibilities will center around developing the relationships with new clients through the onboarding process. Andy possesses a unique blend of technical, operations, safety, environmental, transportation and human resources experiences and was one of the first ResponsibleAg auditors to be credentialed. He graduated with a Computer Science degree from the University of Tennessee and holds a MBA from Clemson University.
We are also excited to welcome Nathan Heep from Murray State University as a summer intern. Nathan is a Junior at Murray State University majoring in Occupational Safety & Health. He will be helping with adding visuals to the ResponsibleAg Compliance Assistance Documents Library, along with a variety of projects over the summer.
Susan Reynolds-Porter Named CEO of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation
Susan Reynolds-PorterOur congratulations go to Susan Reynolds-Porter on being named the Progressive Agriculture Foundation's (PAF) first Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Prior to being named CEO, Susan held the role of Executive Director of Programs for PAF and was instrumental in starting the Safety Day program in 1995. Susan is our primary contact at the "Safety Days" organization and works with Nick Lawrence on our staff. The Asmark Institute supports the Safety Days organization by building and administering its operating platform website and database as a pro bono contribution. Please help us congratulate Susan in her new role and check out the official press release at click here.
Joe Zoglmann Passes
Joe Zoglmann We were sorry to hear of the passing of Joe Zoglmann, one of the early gentlemen in our industry that made the business of environmental, health and safety look easy. Joe was liked by all and most notably known for his skill in working with the regulatory agencies on new rules, and sometimes on occasion, mediating with the regulatory agencies to an outcome that made everyone feel like the winner. He was top of his game when it came to holding the respect of the agencies and getting the job done in a commonsense manner. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Zoglmann family for their loss. He will be sorely missed!
AASA Inspections: Coming Soon in Summer 2015
This summer, the American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) is inspecting ag retail bulk crop protection facilities in 21 states: Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia. AASA operates in all 50 states, working in a different region each year on a three year inspection cycle. The inspections are voluntary, but helps assure compliance with federal regulations pertaining to pesticide storage and handling, and it has helped retailers greatly improve their compliance over the past 10 years on USEPA regulations. If you are selected as a possible inspection site, you will receive advance notice of the inspection via a welcome letter. Actual inspections generally run from June through late August.
AASA inspectors work for the industry, not the government, and provide a friendly, face to face conduit of compliance information to agrichemical facilities throughout the USA. Participation is voluntary, and the facility manager will receive a copy of the inspection results. Retailers have embraced this program with nearly 100% participation.
For ag retailers, AASA is your partner in compliance, much like the new ResponsibleAg (RA) program will also help you assure compliance with federal regulations pertaining to fertilizer storage and handling. Between AASA and RA, our industry has a direct avenue to education, assessment and improvement with regard to federal regulations. Our industry cares about compliance, safety and stewardship. The agrichemical facilities that voluntarily participate are to be commended, as they help assure a safe, compliant and prosperous future for our entire industry.
For more information on AASA, go to www.aginspect.org and click on "About AASA," or the most knowledgeable person we know to contact is Jean Payne at the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association at 309-827-2774.
NSA Data Mining Violated Patriot Act, Court Rules
The National Security Agency (NSA) illegally violated the Patriot Act when it collected millions of Americans phone records, a federal appeals court recently ruled. A panel of judges firmly rejected the government's claim that the NSA could consider all such records relevant to its investigations by retroactively trawling through the data to find calls relating to persons under investigation. "Such an expansive concept of 'relevance' is unprecedented and unwarranted," the judges ruled. Note: Ever wonder what data a browser such as Google Chrome mines? Click here to read the list. The Asmark Institute supports Internet Explorer, FireFox and Safari browsers. We do not support Google Chrome as an approved browser for use with our website due to the nature of the use of our business and website.
June 1st Hazard Communication Implementation Deadline Mired in Controversy
As everyone reminds us that the June 1st deadline is on us to comply with OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard of 2012, the agency has thrown out a curve ball. It seems OSHA is bent on changing some of their long-standing interpretations on when and how Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are prepared and distributed. At the heart of the confusion is the agency's change in stance on the definition of a blender and manufacturer. Most recently the State of Oregon announced to retailers that they would be considered a manufacturer and required to create and distribute a SDS on each load of fertilizer they blended. Like several times over the years, the confusion makes its way to the headquarters in Washington, DC where it normally gets corrected based on the historical interpretations. Representatives from The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) are working with OSHA headquarters to restore the situation. This issue needs to be monitored closely until the outcome is restored to what has been the standard in the past. If not restored, then retailers will need to add office staff and space in order to be able to create, print and distribute the SDS as OSHA currently indicates they want.
OSHA Now Considers Grain Handling Facilities as Manufacturers?
On a related topic, the grain industry has been notified of a slightly different version of the dilemma above. OSHA has taken the stance the elevator is the manufacturer of grain dust, and as such is laying out new requirements for the creation and distribution of SDS. Grain handling facilities are now considered "manufacturers" of a "hazardous chemical." The hazardous chemical is grain dust. So for grain, feed and processing industries that ship to downstream customers, you will need to provide a Safety Data Sheet. The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) have released a hazard communication compliance guide that will help walk you through this process. Click here to review the guidance.
WOTUS Becomes the Clean Water Rule
EPA just released the much anticipated final rule to define "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS), now called the Clean Water Rule. Calling the process "flawed," agricultural groups and farm-state lawmakers reacted with sharp criticism following the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers release of the final rule redefining which waters of the U.S. can be regulated under the Clean Water Act.
Publicly, EPA has been under great pressure from the White House on this subject. The New York Times reported the process generated "fierce opposition" from farm and business groups, stating that action on WOTUS is part of President Obama's increasing use of executive authority to achieve legacy-enhancing milestones.
With the recent release, most are still digesting the nearly 300 page rule. Agricultural interest groups are skeptical at this point that private sector concerns will be adequately addressed. We will provide more details on the rules impact in the next newsletter.
New CDL Requirements - Birth Certificate or Passport Required.....Really!
After July 8, 2015, any new CDL application, renewal, upgrade or transfer will require the driver to show proof of legal presence and domicile. This is a one-time requirement, but you will need to show either a current and original U.S. Passport or a U.S. Birth Certificate. The documents must be the official, original documents with a raised seal, no photocopies.
Jean Payne and Kevin Johnson with the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association brought this new requirement to our attention last week as they issued the following recommendation to their members. Because of the time it takes to obtain a U.S. passport or even an original birth certificate issued by the county in which you were born, IFCA recommends you take action now to: locate your current Passport or original Birth Certificate; obtain a new Passport; or take action to obtain a new original copy of your Birth Certificate. They advise allowing plenty of time before your license expires.
Toss Your Medical Card?
Changes to the procedures medical examiners must follow to report physical exam results as well as revisions to the medical examination report form and certificate have been circulating for a while, but not everyone is following the rules and observing the deadlines.
The requirement for drivers to have their medical cards in their possession has expired, but common sense is needed until all states get onboard. We recommend each driver carry proof of their medical examiner's certificate (physical card) until at least December 31, 2018.
The final rule allows physicians until June 22, 2018, the published deadline for electronic transmission of medical exam results from the medical examiner directly to the DOT. As of that date, medical examiners are required to report the results of all driver physicals (including results where a driver is found to not be qualified) to the DOT by midnight (local time) of the next calendar day following the examination. For CDL holders, DOT will then electronically forward this information to the appropriate state driver licensing agency to be posted to the CDLIS driver record.
Medical examiners are expected to continue following the current procedure of providing a copy of the medical examiner certificate to both the driver and motor carrier, and CDL holders are expected to continue to provide a copy of the medical examiner certificate to their state licensing agency, until June 22, 2018. The final rule also includes new versions of the medical examiner's report and medical examiner's certificate. Medical examiners will be given six months from the final rule's effective date to begin using the new documents.
New Heat Safety Rule Now in Effect for California
Effective May 1, 2015, Cal/OSHA amended its heat illness prevention regulation at Title 8 Section 3395. The revisions impact water and shade provisions; monitoring workers who take cool-down rest breaks; employee observation during a heat wave and during the first 14 days of employment; high-heat procedures for the agriculture industry; first aid provisions; and when to train, training content and training language. A guidance document on the new requirements, as well as an updated Enforcement Q & A are now available. Click here for more information.
DOT Proposes Changes to the Diabetes Standard
New revisions proposed by DOT would allow individuals with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to operate in interstate commerce. DOT published the proposed rule on May 4, 2015. Currently, drivers with ITDM are prohibited from driving CMVs in interstate commerce unless they obtain an exemption from FMCSA. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) would enable individuals with ITDM to obtain a medical examiner's certificate, from a medical examiner at least annually, in order to operate in interstate commerce if the treating clinician who is the healthcare professional responsible for prescribing insulin for the driver's diabetes, provides documentation to the medical examiner that the condition is stable and well-controlled. Comments must be submitted on or before July 6, 2015 using docket number FMCSA-2005-23151.
DOT Publishes Rule Regarding Use of Electronic Chain of Custody and Control Form
DOT published a final rule in the Federal Register regarding the use of electronic versions of the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (eCCF). The final rule allows employers, collectors, laboratories and the medical review officer to use the electronic version of the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (eCCF) in the DOT-regulated drug testing program. Specifically, this rulemaking expands the DOT's definition of the CCF to include both paper and electronic forms.
The eCCF requires the same collection of information and distribution of information to the relevant parties as the paper CCF requires. This final rule does not require entities to use an eCCF. A regulated entity may continue to use the paper CCF and must not use an eCCF until that regulated entity's laboratory is approved to use an eCCF. Employers and their service agents can begin using the eCCF only when the employer's laboratory has been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services National Laboratory Certification Program.
Do You Use Seasonal, Temporary Workers?
OSHA is working towards development of a document that will address best practices for taking temporary workers into account when creating and implementing injury and illness prevention programs (I2P2). Members of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health's Temporary Workers Work Group has been charged with developing materials that would bring together existing I2P2 guidance with guidance on temporary worker safety. Members recently agreed the materials should include I2P2 best practices - which could follow recommendations found in ANSI Z10 - and a model contract. The document also will likely include a self-assessment for employers to determine whether their current program is consistent with best practices and help them prioritize intervention efforts.
Ag Retailer Fined for Illegal Pesticide Disposal
U.S. Attorney Danny Williams Sr. recently announced a guilty plea by the ag retailer for unlawfully disposing of the restricted pesticide Medal II AT an Oklahoma facility. According to the plea, for at least a six-month period beginning in May 2013, the facility disposed of unused Medal II AT by discharging the pesticide onto the ground and allowing it to run onto an adjacent property and into the Little Cabin Creek. Medal II AT contains the restricted use chemicals atrazine and S-Metolachor. Under the settlement, the company will pay $150,000 in criminal fines and $75,000 toward performing community service to fund environmental projects, initiatives, emergency responses and/or education dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the environment and waters.
OISC Reduces Amount of Liability Insurance Required for Pesticide Business License
Indiana's Office of the State Chemist has adopted a final rule to reduce the amount of liability insurance required for a pesticide business license. The rule also simplifies the acceptable proof of insurance form requirement. The minimum coverage requirements for a pesticide application business have been reduced from $500,000 to $300,000 general liability combined single limit of liability for bodily injury and property damage. Proof of liability insurance must now be provided by the issuing insurance company on a certificate of insurance.
Cell Phones and Car Crashes....Alarming!
Cell phone-related crashes have increased for the third consecutive year and now account for 27% of all crashes, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). The estimate includes crashes involving drivers who are texting or talking on handheld or hands-free cell phones. The council estimates texting-related crashes jumped from 5 percent to 6 percent while crashes involving drivers talking on cell phones remained at 21 percent. The NSC calculates its estimate based on a model that uses inputs from federal fatality data, observational data and research into the crash risks associated with various forms of cell phone use. Texting increases a driver's crash risk at least eight times; drivers talking on either handheld or hands-free cell phones are four times as likely to crash. NSC created the annual estimate because cell phone-related crashes are not well represented in federal fatality data.
Top Twenty Cargo Tank Facility Violations - 2014
Part
Violation
180.417(b)
Failing to include all required information on test/inspection report
180.407(g)
Failing to perform a pressure retest as prescribed
172.704(d)
Failing to keep training records for 90 days after termination
172.704(c)(2)
Failing to train HazMat employees every three years
180.407(d)
Failing to perform an external visual inspection as prescribed
172.704(a)(2)
Failing to train HazMat employees in function-specific training
172.704(c)(2)
Failing to retrain HazMat employees every three years
180.3(a)
Representing a package as meeting the exemption when it does not
177.800(c)
Failing to instruct employees in HazMat regulations
107.504(e)
Failing to maintain a current copy of registration information
173.315(m)(2)(vi)
Failing to permanently mark the nurse tank with a unique owner's identification number after passing the visual, thickness and pressure tests
172.704(a)
Failing to train HazMat employees as required
173.315(m)(2)(vi)
Failing to maintain a copy of the nurse tank test/inspection report prepared by the inspector
107.503(a)
Failing to include all required information in registration statement
171.2(g)
Cargo tank does not comply with HazMat regulations
107.504(d)(1)
Failing to notify within 30 days of changes to registration information
180.416(d)
Failing to conduct and record monthly inspections and tests
180.407(e)
Failing to perform internal visual inspection
180.407(h)(4
Failing to inspect and record delivery hose/piping inspection
180.407(g)(3)
Failing to perform wet fluorescent mag part test on MC330/331
180.415
Failing to mark test date on cargo tank
Wisconsin: Retail Displays of Phosphorus Fertilizer Prohibited
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection recently reminded retailers that turf fertilizer containing phosphorus cannot be displayed for sale in the state. Wisconsin Statute 94.643 prohibits using or selling such fertilizer in most cases. Turf fertilizer containing phosphorus or available phosphate can be sold to retail customers if you know that they intend to use the product for:
  • Establishing grass seed or sod planted in the current growing season
  • Fertilizing areas where laboratory tests in the past three years have shown soil to be deficient in phosphorus
  • Application to pasture, land used to grow grass for sod, or other agricultural production
Even though fertilizer containing phosphorus can be sold for those uses, it cannot be displayed in the sales area. You can post a sign telling customers that it is available on request.
OSHA Unveils New "It's the Law" Poster
New OSHA Job Safety and Health PosterOSHA recently unveiled a new version of its "Job Safety and Health - It's The Law!" poster. The newly designed poster informs workers of their right to request an OSHA inspection of their workplaces, receive information and training on job hazards, report a work-related injury or illness and raise safety and health concerns with their employer or OSHA without being retaliated against. The poster also informs employers of their legal obligation to provide a safe workplace. In addition, it has been updated to include the new reporting obligations for employers, who must now report every fatality and every hospitalization, amputation and loss of an eye. Previous versions of the poster do not need to be replaced.
Federal Wage and Labor Law Poster Updates
LOUISIANA: Earned Income Credit (Effective date 01/2015) - 2015 income limits for eligibility are:
  • $47,747 ($53,267 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
  • $44,454 ($49,974 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $39,131 ($44,651 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $14,820 ($20,330 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
This is a substantive change and an updated Louisiana poster is required. Click here to order.
MARYLAND: Equal pay for Equal Work (Effective date 04/2015) - The new notice includes new information regarding the enforcement of the law. Specifically: "3-306.1. Enforcement
(a) Whenever the Commissioner determines that this subtitle has been violated, the Commissioner shall:
(1)Try to resolve any issue involved in the violation informally by mediation; or
(2)Ask the Attorney General to bring an action on behalf of the applicant or employee.
(b) The Attorney General may bring an action under this section in the county where the violation allegedly occurred for injunctive relief, damages or other relief."
This is a substantive change and an updated Maryland poster is required. Click here to order.
NEVADA: Minimum Wage (Effective date 04/2015) - Nevada's Labor Commissioner's office requires new Minimum Wage and Overtime posters with the new effective date, despite the wages and hours remaining unchanged. This is a substantive change and an updated Nevada poster is required. Click here to order.
2015 Asmark Institute, Inc. This information is believed to be reliable by the Asmark Institute, however, because of constantly changing government regulations, interpretations and applicability or the possibility of human, mechanical or computer error, the Asmark Institute does not guarantee the information as suitable for any particular purpose.
Nurse Tank Inspection "CT" Courses Announced
If you are interested in certifying your own employees to be able to perform nurse tank inspections, then this course is for you! Facility personnel that want to learn more about the process will also find this new hands-on Asmark Institute Signature Course very beneficial. Craig Dobbins with Craig's Restoration & Repair is the lead instructor for this new course. We've been asked several times to develop a course to help ag retailers comply with the DOT regulations for inspecting/testing ammonia nurse tanks with missing or illegible ASME data plates. Six classes will be offered at the Agricenter in Bloomington, IL between July 28th and August 6th. Click here for information on the class and to register. The course is an action packed day and registration is $165 per person. Space is limited. Note: See the Top 20 Violations for Cargo Tank facilities published later in this newsletter.
Spotlight: ResponsibleAg Registration is Open
Over 1,500 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with a number of facilities already receiving their certification. With season winding down, we encourage you to register your facilities today and support the program. The explosion of the West, Texas retail facility in April 2013 marked a low point in the public and regulator agencies perception of the fertilizer industry. The industry was criticized for not having an organized effort to assist retail dealers in understanding and complying with existing federal regulations. Help is in place now.
It's time to register!
The industry stepped up and officially introduced ResponsibleAg, an organization dedicated to assisting retail fertilizer dealers comply with the complex web of federal environmental, health, safety and security regulations. We highly recommend you register and participate in ResponsibleAg to demonstrate your commitment to the safety of your employees, customers and the community. For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org
Become a ResponsibleAg Auditor or Attend to Learn More....
With the launch of ResponsibleAg, there is the need for credentialed auditors. We are seeing several organizations credential one or more of their employees to perform their own audits. Many others are signing up for the training to become contract auditors or to learn firsthand about ResponsibleAg - they want to see how it works - so they will be ready for their audit. More than 90 people have already participated in the training, with more than 60 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Registration is open and the next class will be offered on July 7-10th. Click here to register. There are only a limited number of seats for this course per year so register soon to reserve your seat.
Notice: Newsletter Transitioning Ahead!
Over the next year this newsletter will transition to a new platform that will serve you better. Articles will be published as they become available throughout the month providing you with more timely information. We have leveraged the Twitter platform in a very common sense way that is conducive to business. Sign up today with Twitter and "follow us" to receive the newsletter articles in real time. We promise we won't cover you up with silly junk mail - we have a strict policy of delivering newsletter articles and current event information on Asmark Institute activities. Sign up now and get started!
2015 National Safety School - Register Today!
The 37th annual National Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held on August 25 & 26, 2015 in Bloomington, Illinois at the Asmark Institute Agricenter. An outstanding lineup of national speakers have been confirmed to present and you won't want to miss it. This year's keynote address will be given by Andrew Moore, Executive Director of the National Agricultural Aviation Association. Other speakers include David Wulf with DHS on security issues in agriculture, Ford B. West with an update on ResponsibleAg followed by a panel discussion, Thomas Bray with J.J. Keller & Associates on the DOT changes as result of the new medical/CDL merge, Brian Bothast with OSHA on topics including new recordkeeping requirements, GHS and fall protection, Kim Basham on the evaluation and selection of repair methods for concrete containment areas, Dr. Fred Whitford and other greats will be on hand. For further information and to register, click here.
While in Bloomington that week, we recommend you stay an extra day to attend the Midwest AG Industries Expo (MAGIE) on August 26 & 27, 2015. It's truly one of the finest displays of "ride and buy" shows in the United States. For more information on registering for MAGIE, click here.
Asmark Institute Team Grows
We are happy to announce that Andy Easley will be joining our team on June 8th as the Manager of Membership Services. His responsibilities will center around developing the relationships with new clients through the onboarding process. Andy possesses a unique blend of technical, operations, safety, environmental, transportation and human resources experiences and was one of the first ResponsibleAg auditors to be credentialed. He graduated with a Computer Science degree from the University of Tennessee and holds a MBA from Clemson University.
We are also excited to welcome Nathan Heep from Murray State University as a summer intern. Nathan is a Junior at Murray State University majoring in Occupational Safety & Health. He will be helping with adding visuals to the ResponsibleAg Compliance Assistance Documents Library, along with a variety of projects over the summer.
Susan Reynolds-Porter Named CEO of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation
Susan Reynolds-PorterOur congratulations go to Susan Reynolds-Porter on being named the Progressive Agriculture Foundation's (PAF) first Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Prior to being named CEO, Susan held the role of Executive Director of Programs for PAF and was instrumental in starting the Safety Day program in 1995. Susan is our primary contact at the "Safety Days" organization and works with Nick Lawrence on our staff. The Asmark Institute supports the Safety Days organization by building and administering its operating platform website and database as a pro bono contribution. Please help us congratulate Susan in her new role and check out the official press release at click here.
Joe Zoglmann Passes
Joe Zoglmann We were sorry to hear of the passing of Joe Zoglmann, one of the early gentlemen in our industry that made the business of environmental, health and safety look easy. Joe was liked by all and most notably known for his skill in working with the regulatory agencies on new rules, and sometimes on occasion, mediating with the regulatory agencies to an outcome that made everyone feel like the winner. He was top of his game when it came to holding the respect of the agencies and getting the job done in a commonsense manner. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Zoglmann family for their loss. He will be sorely missed!
AASA Inspections: Coming Soon in Summer 2015
This summer, the American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) is inspecting ag retail bulk crop protection facilities in 21 states: Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia. AASA operates in all 50 states, working in a different region each year on a three year inspection cycle. The inspections are voluntary, but helps assure compliance with federal regulations pertaining to pesticide storage and handling, and it has helped retailers greatly improve their compliance over the past 10 years on USEPA regulations. If you are selected as a possible inspection site, you will receive advance notice of the inspection via a welcome letter. Actual inspections generally run from June through late August.
AASA inspectors work for the industry, not the government, and provide a friendly, face to face conduit of compliance information to agrichemical facilities throughout the USA. Participation is voluntary, and the facility manager will receive a copy of the inspection results. Retailers have embraced this program with nearly 100% participation.
For ag retailers, AASA is your partner in compliance, much like the new ResponsibleAg (RA) program will also help you assure compliance with federal regulations pertaining to fertilizer storage and handling. Between AASA and RA, our industry has a direct avenue to education, assessment and improvement with regard to federal regulations. Our industry cares about compliance, safety and stewardship. The agrichemical facilities that voluntarily participate are to be commended, as they help assure a safe, compliant and prosperous future for our entire industry.
For more information on AASA, go to www.aginspect.org and click on "About AASA," or the most knowledgeable person we know to contact is Jean Payne at the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association at 309-827-2774.
NSA Data Mining Violated Patriot Act, Court Rules
The National Security Agency (NSA) illegally violated the Patriot Act when it collected millions of Americans phone records, a federal appeals court recently ruled. A panel of judges firmly rejected the government's claim that the NSA could consider all such records relevant to its investigations by retroactively trawling through the data to find calls relating to persons under investigation. "Such an expansive concept of 'relevance' is unprecedented and unwarranted," the judges ruled. Note: Ever wonder what data a browser such as Google Chrome mines? Click here to read the list. The Asmark Institute supports Internet Explorer, FireFox and Safari browsers. We do not support Google Chrome as an approved browser for use with our website due to the nature of the use of our business and website.
June 1st Hazard Communication Implementation Deadline Mired in Controversy
As everyone reminds us that the June 1st deadline is on us to comply with OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard of 2012, the agency has thrown out a curve ball. It seems OSHA is bent on changing some of their long-standing interpretations on when and how Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are prepared and distributed. At the heart of the confusion is the agency's change in stance on the definition of a blender and manufacturer. Most recently the State of Oregon announced to retailers that they would be considered a manufacturer and required to create and distribute a SDS on each load of fertilizer they blended. Like several times over the years, the confusion makes its way to the headquarters in Washington, DC where it normally gets corrected based on the historical interpretations. Representatives from The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) are working with OSHA headquarters to restore the situation. This issue needs to be monitored closely until the outcome is restored to what has been the standard in the past. If not restored, then retailers will need to add office staff and space in order to be able to create, print and distribute the SDS as OSHA currently indicates they want.
OSHA Now Considers Grain Handling Facilities as Manufacturers?
On a related topic, the grain industry has been notified of a slightly different version of the dilemma above. OSHA has taken the stance the elevator is the manufacturer of grain dust, and as such is laying out new requirements for the creation and distribution of SDS. Grain handling facilities are now considered "manufacturers" of a "hazardous chemical." The hazardous chemical is grain dust. So for grain, feed and processing industries that ship to downstream customers, you will need to provide a Safety Data Sheet. The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) have released a hazard communication compliance guide that will help walk you through this process. Click here to review the guidance.
WOTUS Becomes the Clean Water Rule
EPA just released the much anticipated final rule to define "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS), now called the Clean Water Rule. Calling the process "flawed," agricultural groups and farm-state lawmakers reacted with sharp criticism following the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers release of the final rule redefining which waters of the U.S. can be regulated under the Clean Water Act.
Publicly, EPA has been under great pressure from the White House on this subject. The New York Times reported the process generated "fierce opposition" from farm and business groups, stating that action on WOTUS is part of President Obama's increasing use of executive authority to achieve legacy-enhancing milestones.
With the recent release, most are still digesting the nearly 300 page rule. Agricultural interest groups are skeptical at this point that private sector concerns will be adequately addressed. We will provide more details on the rules impact in the next newsletter.
New CDL Requirements - Birth Certificate or Passport Required.....Really!
After July 8, 2015, any new CDL application, renewal, upgrade or transfer will require the driver to show proof of legal presence and domicile. This is a one-time requirement, but you will need to show either a current and original U.S. Passport or a U.S. Birth Certificate. The documents must be the official, original documents with a raised seal, no photocopies.
Jean Payne and Kevin Johnson with the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association brought this new requirement to our attention last week as they issued the following recommendation to their members. Because of the time it takes to obtain a U.S. passport or even an original birth certificate issued by the county in which you were born, IFCA recommends you take action now to: locate your current Passport or original Birth Certificate; obtain a new Passport; or take action to obtain a new original copy of your Birth Certificate. They advise allowing plenty of time before your license expires.
Toss Your Medical Card?
Changes to the procedures medical examiners must follow to report physical exam results as well as revisions to the medical examination report form and certificate have been circulating for a while, but not everyone is following the rules and observing the deadlines.
The requirement for drivers to have their medical cards in their possession has expired, but common sense is needed until all states get onboard. We recommend each driver carry proof of their medical examiner's certificate (physical card) until at least December 31, 2018.
The final rule allows physicians until June 22, 2018, the published deadline for electronic transmission of medical exam results from the medical examiner directly to the DOT. As of that date, medical examiners are required to report the results of all driver physicals (including results where a driver is found to not be qualified) to the DOT by midnight (local time) of the next calendar day following the examination. For CDL holders, DOT will then electronically forward this information to the appropriate state driver licensing agency to be posted to the CDLIS driver record.
Medical examiners are expected to continue following the current procedure of providing a copy of the medical examiner certificate to both the driver and motor carrier, and CDL holders are expected to continue to provide a copy of the medical examiner certificate to their state licensing agency, until June 22, 2018. The final rule also includes new versions of the medical examiner's report and medical examiner's certificate. Medical examiners will be given six months from the final rule's effective date to begin using the new documents.
New Heat Safety Rule Now in Effect for California
Effective May 1, 2015, Cal/OSHA amended its heat illness prevention regulation at Title 8 Section 3395. The revisions impact water and shade provisions; monitoring workers who take cool-down rest breaks; employee observation during a heat wave and during the first 14 days of employment; high-heat procedures for the agriculture industry; first aid provisions; and when to train, training content and training language. A guidance document on the new requirements, as well as an updated Enforcement Q & A are now available. Click here for more information.
DOT Proposes Changes to the Diabetes Standard
New revisions proposed by DOT would allow individuals with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to operate in interstate commerce. DOT published the proposed rule on May 4, 2015. Currently, drivers with ITDM are prohibited from driving CMVs in interstate commerce unless they obtain an exemption from FMCSA. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) would enable individuals with ITDM to obtain a medical examiner's certificate, from a medical examiner at least annually, in order to operate in interstate commerce if the treating clinician who is the healthcare professional responsible for prescribing insulin for the driver's diabetes, provides documentation to the medical examiner that the condition is stable and well-controlled. Comments must be submitted on or before July 6, 2015 using docket number FMCSA-2005-23151.
DOT Publishes Rule Regarding Use of Electronic Chain of Custody and Control Form
DOT published a final rule in the Federal Register regarding the use of electronic versions of the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (eCCF). The final rule allows employers, collectors, laboratories and the medical review officer to use the electronic version of the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (eCCF) in the DOT-regulated drug testing program. Specifically, this rulemaking expands the DOT's definition of the CCF to include both paper and electronic forms.
The eCCF requires the same collection of information and distribution of information to the relevant parties as the paper CCF requires. This final rule does not require entities to use an eCCF. A regulated entity may continue to use the paper CCF and must not use an eCCF until that regulated entity's laboratory is approved to use an eCCF. Employers and their service agents can begin using the eCCF only when the employer's laboratory has been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services National Laboratory Certification Program.
Do You Use Seasonal, Temporary Workers?
OSHA is working towards development of a document that will address best practices for taking temporary workers into account when creating and implementing injury and illness prevention programs (I2P2). Members of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health's Temporary Workers Work Group has been charged with developing materials that would bring together existing I2P2 guidance with guidance on temporary worker safety. Members recently agreed the materials should include I2P2 best practices - which could follow recommendations found in ANSI Z10 - and a model contract. The document also will likely include a self-assessment for employers to determine whether their current program is consistent with best practices and help them prioritize intervention efforts.
Ag Retailer Fined for Illegal Pesticide Disposal
U.S. Attorney Danny Williams Sr. recently announced a guilty plea by the ag retailer for unlawfully disposing of the restricted pesticide Medal II AT an Oklahoma facility. According to the plea, for at least a six-month period beginning in May 2013, the facility disposed of unused Medal II AT by discharging the pesticide onto the ground and allowing it to run onto an adjacent property and into the Little Cabin Creek. Medal II AT contains the restricted use chemicals atrazine and S-Metolachor. Under the settlement, the company will pay $150,000 in criminal fines and $75,000 toward performing community service to fund environmental projects, initiatives, emergency responses and/or education dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the environment and waters.
OISC Reduces Amount of Liability Insurance Required for Pesticide Business License
Indiana's Office of the State Chemist has adopted a final rule to reduce the amount of liability insurance required for a pesticide business license. The rule also simplifies the acceptable proof of insurance form requirement. The minimum coverage requirements for a pesticide application business have been reduced from $500,000 to $300,000 general liability combined single limit of liability for bodily injury and property damage. Proof of liability insurance must now be provided by the issuing insurance company on a certificate of insurance.
Cell Phones and Car Crashes....Alarming!
Cell phone-related crashes have increased for the third consecutive year and now account for 27% of all crashes, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). The estimate includes crashes involving drivers who are texting or talking on handheld or hands-free cell phones. The council estimates texting-related crashes jumped from 5 percent to 6 percent while crashes involving drivers talking on cell phones remained at 21 percent. The NSC calculates its estimate based on a model that uses inputs from federal fatality data, observational data and research into the crash risks associated with various forms of cell phone use. Texting increases a driver's crash risk at least eight times; drivers talking on either handheld or hands-free cell phones are four times as likely to crash. NSC created the annual estimate because cell phone-related crashes are not well represented in federal fatality data.
Top Twenty Cargo Tank Facility Violations - 2014
Part
Violation
180.417(b)
Failing to include all required information on test/inspection report
180.407(g)
Failing to perform a pressure retest as prescribed
172.704(d)
Failing to keep training records for 90 days after termination
172.704(c)(2)
Failing to train HazMat employees every three years
180.407(d)
Failing to perform an external visual inspection as prescribed
172.704(a)(2)
Failing to train HazMat employees in function-specific training
172.704(c)(2)
Failing to retrain HazMat employees every three years
180.3(a)
Representing a package as meeting the exemption when it does not
177.800(c)
Failing to instruct employees in HazMat regulations
107.504(e)
Failing to maintain a current copy of registration information
173.315(m)(2)(vi)
Failing to permanently mark the nurse tank with a unique owner's identification number after passing the visual, thickness and pressure tests
172.704(a)
Failing to train HazMat employees as required
173.315(m)(2)(vi)
Failing to maintain a copy of the nurse tank test/inspection report prepared by the inspector
107.503(a)
Failing to include all required information in registration statement
171.2(g)
Cargo tank does not comply with HazMat regulations
107.504(d)(1)
Failing to notify within 30 days of changes to registration information
180.416(d)
Failing to conduct and record monthly inspections and tests
180.407(e)
Failing to perform internal visual inspection
180.407(h)(4
Failing to inspect and record delivery hose/piping inspection
180.407(g)(3)
Failing to perform wet fluorescent mag part test on MC330/331
180.415
Failing to mark test date on cargo tank
Wisconsin: Retail Displays of Phosphorus Fertilizer Prohibited
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection recently reminded retailers that turf fertilizer containing phosphorus cannot be displayed for sale in the state. Wisconsin Statute 94.643 prohibits using or selling such fertilizer in most cases. Turf fertilizer containing phosphorus or available phosphate can be sold to retail customers if you know that they intend to use the product for:
  • Establishing grass seed or sod planted in the current growing season
  • Fertilizing areas where laboratory tests in the past three years have shown soil to be deficient in phosphorus
  • Application to pasture, land used to grow grass for sod, or other agricultural production
Even though fertilizer containing phosphorus can be sold for those uses, it cannot be displayed in the sales area. You can post a sign telling customers that it is available on request.
OSHA Unveils New "It's the Law" Poster
New OSHA Job Safety and Health PosterOSHA recently unveiled a new version of its "Job Safety and Health - It's The Law!" poster. The newly designed poster informs workers of their right to request an OSHA inspection of their workplaces, receive information and training on job hazards, report a work-related injury or illness and raise safety and health concerns with their employer or OSHA without being retaliated against. The poster also informs employers of their legal obligation to provide a safe workplace. In addition, it has been updated to include the new reporting obligations for employers, who must now report every fatality and every hospitalization, amputation and loss of an eye. Previous versions of the poster do not need to be replaced.
Federal Wage and Labor Law Poster Updates
LOUISIANA: Earned Income Credit (Effective date 01/2015) - 2015 income limits for eligibility are:
  • $47,747 ($53,267 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
  • $44,454 ($49,974 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $39,131 ($44,651 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $14,820 ($20,330 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
This is a substantive change and an updated Louisiana poster is required. Click here to order.
MARYLAND: Equal pay for Equal Work (Effective date 04/2015) - The new notice includes new information regarding the enforcement of the law. Specifically: "3-306.1. Enforcement
(a) Whenever the Commissioner determines that this subtitle has been violated, the Commissioner shall:
(1)Try to resolve any issue involved in the violation informally by mediation; or
(2)Ask the Attorney General to bring an action on behalf of the applicant or employee.
(b) The Attorney General may bring an action under this section in the county where the violation allegedly occurred for injunctive relief, damages or other relief."
This is a substantive change and an updated Maryland poster is required. Click here to order.
NEVADA: Minimum Wage (Effective date 04/2015) - Nevada's Labor Commissioner's office requires new Minimum Wage and Overtime posters with the new effective date, despite the wages and hours remaining unchanged. This is a substantive change and an updated Nevada poster is required. Click here to order.
2015 Asmark Institute, Inc. This information is believed to be reliable by the Asmark Institute, however, because of constantly changing government regulations, interpretations and applicability or the possibility of human, mechanical or computer error, the Asmark Institute does not guarantee the information as suitable for any particular purpose.