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Newsletter
Volume 161
March 1, 2017
Spring "Busy Season" Is Upon Us!
As we enter the spring season, we want you to know that we have purposely tried to conclude as many of the paperwork requirements as we could to be outside of your busiest time of the year. We know there are plenty of rules and requirements that still apply but if we stop to consider for a moment, they all are in place for a reason. With that thought we want to extend our best wishes to you and your staff for a safe and prosperous 2017!
Special Delivery!
Chelsea and her husband Matt recently received a special visit from the stork. They announced the birth of a beautiful baby girl, Annora Lynn, born on February 26, 2017 weighing in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 inches long. Chelsea is involved in several special projects and responsible for site plans, inventory and scheduling the meetings, training classes and activities at each of our training centers. Congratulations on the new arrival!
SARA Reminder: March 1st Deadline
SARA Tier II submissions were due on March 1st. Penalties have become quite severe for non-compliance, so please make sure your report(s) were submitted to their State Emergency Response Commission, Local Emergency Planning Commission and Fire Department. Don't forget to follow your state's instructions to pay any applicable fees.
Pesticide-Production Report Update
Asmark Institute has submitted and documented receipt of the Pesticide Production Report by U.S. EPA for each of our clients on record with an EPA Establishment Number. All annual reports were received by U.S. EPA by the deadline. We have worked closely with U.S. EPA to develop the new electronic reporting system. One benefit is the ability to produce and send file copies along with the documentation showing EPA has received your submission much quicker. You may have already received your documentation, but if you haven't it won't be long.
Reminder: Time to Post Your 300A
It's time to complete your 2016 injury and illness recordkeeping obligations by posting the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A). OSHA requires that the notice be displayed from February 1st to April 30th of each year in a conspicuous place where employee notices are customarily posted. Businesses with no injuries or illnesses for the year must still post the form. A company official must certify the information in Form 300A was examined and is believed to be correct and complete. Click here to access the form and instructions.
Note: Large organizations may need to research the new requirement of additionally reporting their information for 2016, starting in July of this year. We have reported on this requirement in several past issues of this newsletter, so medium and large employers should review this information and determine for sure if they are covered or not. Under the new rule, many of the same employers will be required to electronically submit the 2016 data to OSHA by July 1, 2017. A page for submitting records electronically will soon be available. Visit OSHA's Recordkeeping webpage for more information on recordkeeping requirements.
Watch for your set of 2017 Regulatory Posters!
The 2017 regulatory posters will ship around the middle of March this year. The GHS update is drawing to an end and the delays are getting shorter in producing informational pieces such as our posters. The set of three includes posters with information on DOT Shipping Descriptions, Worker Protection Standards and Restricted-Use Products. Amber Duke heads up the ProFiles Database and printed materials such as the popular set of posters. Amber can be contacted at 270-926-4600, Ext 213.
It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg
More than 2,300 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 586 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org
Become a ResponsibleAg Auditor or Attend to Learn More....
Several organizations 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 180 people have already participated in the training, with more than 91 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Registration is open and two classes are offered per year. The February 2017 class just concluded and was full, so reserve your seat soon in the upcoming September class. Click here to register.
Heads-Up: Fuel Dealers
The Census Bureau recently changed the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) number for the industry of establishments primarily engaged in retailing heating oil, liquefied petroleum (LP) gas, and other fuels via direct selling. NAICS code 454312 is no longer valid. The current code is now 454310. In some states that have adopted the new code, you may encounter an error when reporting this year's SARA.
New OSHA AG-30 Course - 2017 Summer Courses Posted
Understanding OSHA's requirements will save your company money - but more importantly, it will reduce the number of injuries and it may even save lives. This highly successful training (all 7 classes so far have been full) has been developed specifically for agribusiness and is designed for facility managers or assistant managers, safety and health coordinators, EHS staff and personnel with responsibilities for safety and health at the facility. We encourage at least one person per facility receive this training. Sign up today to reserve the class of your choice. Click here for more information or to register.
Environmental Respect Award Call for Entries
Join the hundreds of ag retailers worldwide who have been honored for their commitment to environmental safety and security. Click here for more information.
Major Motor Carriers Ask to Use Hair Analysis for DOT Pre-employment Testing
DOT is accepting comments from stakeholders in regard to an exemption application it received asking for permission to use hair analysis in lieu of urine testing for USDOT pre-employment drug tests. The application was submitted by a number of major motor carriers that currently vet drivers for a safety-sensitive position using two testing methods, urine samples for USDOT compliance and hair analysis under their independent authority.
The Applicants believe their data "...demonstrates that hair analysis is a more reliable and comprehensive basis for ensuring detection of controlled substance use" and the exemption would enable these fleets to discontinue pre-employment urine testing. Comments on this exemption application must be received on or before February 21, 2017.
Comments identified by Federal Docket Management System Number FMCSA-2017-0002 may be submitted by any of the following methods:
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Fax: (202) 493-2251.
DOT Proposes to Add Four Substances to its Drug Panel
Four additional opioids will become a part of DOT's drug panel for safety-sensitive positions if a proposed rulemaking is finalized. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published on January 23, 2017 would change lab procedures in 49 CFR Part 40 to harmonize with recent revisions to the "Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs." The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revised its Mandatory Guidelines also on January 23, 2017, with an effective date of October 1, 2017.
DOT is mandated under the "Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act" to follow the HHS Mandatory Guidelines for the drugs for which it tests. Part 40 testing procedures are used by all modes of transportation, including highway, air, pipeline, transit, rail and maritime.
In the proposed rulemaking, DOT drug screens would check for the presence of: hydrocodone; hydromorphone; oxymorphone; and oxycodone.
Labs would be required to add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte.
The proposal also: Clarifies certain drug-testing program provisions where necessary; Removes outdated information in the regulations that is no longer needed; and Proposes to remove the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens.
Comments on this proposed rulemaking should be submitted by March 24, 2017. For this specific rulemaking, "Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs: Addition of Certain Schedule II Drugs to the Department of Transportation's Drug-Testing Panel and Certain Minor Amendments," you must include:
  • Agency name: Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), U.S. Department of Transportation; and
  • Docket Number DOT-OST-2016-0189 or the RIN 2105-AE58.
Submit comments by only one of the following means:
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., West Building Ground Floor Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Chao Confirmed as Transportation Secretary
In a vote of 93-6, the U.S. Senate approved Elaine L. Chao on January 31st as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Secretary Chao is the wife of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell. One of her first actions after being sworn in was to send a Department Bulletin with a subject line entitled "Elaine Chao: A Homecoming." In the Bulletin, she reiterated her desire to improve the nation's infrastructure for all modes of transportation. She said in her memo, "our infrastructure is the backbone of our economy, making it possible to move people, goods, services and raw materials safely from our homes, factories, farms and mines to and from destinations throughout our nation, and across the world.
DOT Delays Incorporating Training Rule Into FMCSRs
As the result of a memorandum from the new Administration, DOT is temporarily delaying the effective date of its final rule titled "Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators." The effective date is moved from February 6, 2017 to March 21, 2017.
The January 20, 2017 memorandum prompted by President Trump entitled "Regulatory Freeze Pending Review," directed Agencies to temporarily postpone the effective dates of certain regulations that had been published in the Federal Register, but had not yet taken effect. Because the DOT entry-level driver training final rule was published on December 8, 2016, with a future effective date, it fit within the scope of the memorandum. As a result, the agency is delaying the effective date until March 21, 2017. The Agency may consider delaying the effective date beyond March 21, 2017, consistent with the memorandum.
This delay does not affect the rule's compliance date. The compliance date is when the rule must be carried out, while the effective date is when it appears in regulatory text. The entry-level driver training compliance date remains February 7, 2020.
Small-town Ohio Police Gain Arrest Power
Current Ohio law prohibits constables in about 1,300 townships (those with less than 50,000 residents) from making arrests on portions of roadway in the national highway system that is not interstate highway. Governor Kasich recently signed HB378 into law to remove the population-based threshold to allow all township police the authority to make arrests on national highways that are not included in the interstate system. The affected roadway must be located within the territory of the officer. The new law takes effect April 6, 2017 and empowers township officers to make arrests without being required to wait for a state trooper or county sheriff. Critics have raised concern that removing the population threshold could result in township speed traps on busy roadways.
Quoteworthy: "Be sure you put your feet in the right place, and stand firm," said Abraham Lincoln, American politician and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 to April 1865.
2017 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.
Spring "Busy Season" Is Upon Us!
As we enter the spring season, we want you to know that we have purposely tried to conclude as many of the paperwork requirements as we could to be outside of your busiest time of the year. We know there are plenty of rules and requirements that still apply but if we stop to consider for a moment, they all are in place for a reason. With that thought we want to extend our best wishes to you and your staff for a safe and prosperous 2017!
Special Delivery!
Chelsea and her husband Matt recently received a special visit from the stork. They announced the birth of a beautiful baby girl, Annora Lynn, born on February 26, 2017 weighing in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 inches long. Chelsea is involved in several special projects and responsible for site plans, inventory and scheduling the meetings, training classes and activities at each of our training centers. Congratulations on the new arrival!
SARA Reminder: March 1st Deadline
SARA Tier II submissions were due on March 1st. Penalties have become quite severe for non-compliance, so please make sure your report(s) were submitted to their State Emergency Response Commission, Local Emergency Planning Commission and Fire Department. Don't forget to follow your state's instructions to pay any applicable fees.
Pesticide-Production Report Update
Asmark Institute has submitted and documented receipt of the Pesticide Production Report by U.S. EPA for each of our clients on record with an EPA Establishment Number. All annual reports were received by U.S. EPA by the deadline. We have worked closely with U.S. EPA to develop the new electronic reporting system. One benefit is the ability to produce and send file copies along with the documentation showing EPA has received your submission much quicker. You may have already received your documentation, but if you haven't it won't be long.
Reminder: Time to Post Your 300A
It's time to complete your 2016 injury and illness recordkeeping obligations by posting the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A). OSHA requires that the notice be displayed from February 1st to April 30th of each year in a conspicuous place where employee notices are customarily posted. Businesses with no injuries or illnesses for the year must still post the form. A company official must certify the information in Form 300A was examined and is believed to be correct and complete. Click here to access the form and instructions.
Note: Large organizations may need to research the new requirement of additionally reporting their information for 2016, starting in July of this year. We have reported on this requirement in several past issues of this newsletter, so medium and large employers should review this information and determine for sure if they are covered or not. Under the new rule, many of the same employers will be required to electronically submit the 2016 data to OSHA by July 1, 2017. A page for submitting records electronically will soon be available. Visit OSHA's Recordkeeping webpage for more information on recordkeeping requirements.
Watch for your set of 2017 Regulatory Posters!
The 2017 regulatory posters will ship around the middle of March this year. The GHS update is drawing to an end and the delays are getting shorter in producing informational pieces such as our posters. The set of three includes posters with information on DOT Shipping Descriptions, Worker Protection Standards and Restricted-Use Products. Amber Duke heads up the ProFiles Database and printed materials such as the popular set of posters. Amber can be contacted at 270-926-4600, Ext 213.
It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg
More than 2,300 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 586 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org
Become a ResponsibleAg Auditor or Attend to Learn More....
Several organizations 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 180 people have already participated in the training, with more than 91 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Registration is open and two classes are offered per year. The February 2017 class just concluded and was full, so reserve your seat soon in the upcoming September class. Click here to register.
Heads-Up: Fuel Dealers
The Census Bureau recently changed the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) number for the industry of establishments primarily engaged in retailing heating oil, liquefied petroleum (LP) gas, and other fuels via direct selling. NAICS code 454312 is no longer valid. The current code is now 454310. In some states that have adopted the new code, you may encounter an error when reporting this year's SARA.
New OSHA AG-30 Course - 2017 Summer Courses Posted
Understanding OSHA's requirements will save your company money - but more importantly, it will reduce the number of injuries and it may even save lives. This highly successful training (all 7 classes so far have been full) has been developed specifically for agribusiness and is designed for facility managers or assistant managers, safety and health coordinators, EHS staff and personnel with responsibilities for safety and health at the facility. We encourage at least one person per facility receive this training. Sign up today to reserve the class of your choice. Click here for more information or to register.
Environmental Respect Award Call for Entries
Join the hundreds of ag retailers worldwide who have been honored for their commitment to environmental safety and security. Click here for more information.
Major Motor Carriers Ask to Use Hair Analysis for DOT Pre-employment Testing
DOT is accepting comments from stakeholders in regard to an exemption application it received asking for permission to use hair analysis in lieu of urine testing for USDOT pre-employment drug tests. The application was submitted by a number of major motor carriers that currently vet drivers for a safety-sensitive position using two testing methods, urine samples for USDOT compliance and hair analysis under their independent authority.
The Applicants believe their data "...demonstrates that hair analysis is a more reliable and comprehensive basis for ensuring detection of controlled substance use" and the exemption would enable these fleets to discontinue pre-employment urine testing. Comments on this exemption application must be received on or before February 21, 2017.
Comments identified by Federal Docket Management System Number FMCSA-2017-0002 may be submitted by any of the following methods:
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Fax: (202) 493-2251.
DOT Proposes to Add Four Substances to its Drug Panel
Four additional opioids will become a part of DOT's drug panel for safety-sensitive positions if a proposed rulemaking is finalized. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published on January 23, 2017 would change lab procedures in 49 CFR Part 40 to harmonize with recent revisions to the "Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs." The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revised its Mandatory Guidelines also on January 23, 2017, with an effective date of October 1, 2017.
DOT is mandated under the "Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act" to follow the HHS Mandatory Guidelines for the drugs for which it tests. Part 40 testing procedures are used by all modes of transportation, including highway, air, pipeline, transit, rail and maritime.
In the proposed rulemaking, DOT drug screens would check for the presence of: hydrocodone; hydromorphone; oxymorphone; and oxycodone.
Labs would be required to add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte.
The proposal also: Clarifies certain drug-testing program provisions where necessary; Removes outdated information in the regulations that is no longer needed; and Proposes to remove the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens.
Comments on this proposed rulemaking should be submitted by March 24, 2017. For this specific rulemaking, "Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs: Addition of Certain Schedule II Drugs to the Department of Transportation's Drug-Testing Panel and Certain Minor Amendments," you must include:
  • Agency name: Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), U.S. Department of Transportation; and
  • Docket Number DOT-OST-2016-0189 or the RIN 2105-AE58.
Submit comments by only one of the following means:
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., West Building Ground Floor Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Chao Confirmed as Transportation Secretary
In a vote of 93-6, the U.S. Senate approved Elaine L. Chao on January 31st as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Secretary Chao is the wife of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell. One of her first actions after being sworn in was to send a Department Bulletin with a subject line entitled "Elaine Chao: A Homecoming." In the Bulletin, she reiterated her desire to improve the nation's infrastructure for all modes of transportation. She said in her memo, "our infrastructure is the backbone of our economy, making it possible to move people, goods, services and raw materials safely from our homes, factories, farms and mines to and from destinations throughout our nation, and across the world.
DOT Delays Incorporating Training Rule Into FMCSRs
As the result of a memorandum from the new Administration, DOT is temporarily delaying the effective date of its final rule titled "Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators." The effective date is moved from February 6, 2017 to March 21, 2017.
The January 20, 2017 memorandum prompted by President Trump entitled "Regulatory Freeze Pending Review," directed Agencies to temporarily postpone the effective dates of certain regulations that had been published in the Federal Register, but had not yet taken effect. Because the DOT entry-level driver training final rule was published on December 8, 2016, with a future effective date, it fit within the scope of the memorandum. As a result, the agency is delaying the effective date until March 21, 2017. The Agency may consider delaying the effective date beyond March 21, 2017, consistent with the memorandum.
This delay does not affect the rule's compliance date. The compliance date is when the rule must be carried out, while the effective date is when it appears in regulatory text. The entry-level driver training compliance date remains February 7, 2020.
Small-town Ohio Police Gain Arrest Power
Current Ohio law prohibits constables in about 1,300 townships (those with less than 50,000 residents) from making arrests on portions of roadway in the national highway system that is not interstate highway. Governor Kasich recently signed HB378 into law to remove the population-based threshold to allow all township police the authority to make arrests on national highways that are not included in the interstate system. The affected roadway must be located within the territory of the officer. The new law takes effect April 6, 2017 and empowers township officers to make arrests without being required to wait for a state trooper or county sheriff. Critics have raised concern that removing the population threshold could result in township speed traps on busy roadways.
Quoteworthy: "Be sure you put your feet in the right place, and stand firm," said Abraham Lincoln, American politician and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 to April 1865.
2017 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.