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Volume 189
August 1, 2019

Regulatory Changes...Year Round Hunting

What do hunting and regulatory issues or changes have in common? Dustin Warder.  While he would rather be hunting for deer or elk, he finds himself hunting for regulatory answers or changes almost on a daily basis.  Dustin joined the Asmark team in 2006 and quickly transitioned into our "go-to" guy for all things regulatory as the Manager of Regulatory Affairs.

He was instrumental in developing the Compliance Assistance Library, where he took complex and confusing regulatory requirements and made them easy to understand in layman's terms.  He is also a regular presenter at the National Agronomic Environmental Health and Safety School (NAEHSS) in August, leads the Asmark Video Production Team and prepares all of the Risk Management Plans for facilities who handle ammonia.  His latest contribution is as the instructor for the new DOT/EPA AG-30 Hour Course, held at the Ford B. West Center in Owensboro, KY.

Even though Dustin is originally from Illinois, he would tell you that he is finally home, as he has always been a die-hard University of Kentucky basketball fan.  Whether he's hunting for deer or elk, regulatory issues or UK basketball tickets, Dustin always has his eyes on the target.   He's just a phone call away to help with any of your regulatory issues and needs.

UPDATE!  Medical Examiner’s Certificate Gets Another New Expiration Date

DOT has once again updated the Medical Examiner’s Certificate with a new expiration date of 11/30/21.  In December we notified you that the Medical Examination Report Form, MCSA-5875 and Medical Examiner’s Certificate, MCSA-5876, had been updated with a new expiration date of 9/30/19, but that more changes were coming.

JJ Keller initially reached out to DOT in December of 2018 regarding the extension of the grace period to continue using the forms dated 8/31/18.  DOT reversed its initial decision and was still accepting the older version, but encouraging use of the updated form dated 9/30/19.  There is currently no specific deadline when forms dated 8/31/18 or 9/30/19 can no longer be used, but it is suggested that the 2019 or 2021 versions replace the 2018 version.  All three versions remain acceptable, but using the forms dated 9/30/19 or 11/30/21 is advised.  Our thanks to JJ Keller for continuing to monitor these updates.

The newest version of the Medical Examination Report Form and Medical Examiner’s Certificate are now available on the Asmark Institute website.  If you have any questions, please contact the Driver File Department at 270-926-4600, ext 501.

On the Road Again..."Tradeshow Truck" Collectible

The third season for the Asmark Institute "Tradeshow Truck" collectible program kicks off this month and has Donna on the road again heading to the Tennessee Agricultural Production Association (TAPA) Annual Meeting in Gatlinburg.  Last year Donna was able to meet and greet clients in 13 states, and we look forward to seeing them again and meeting even more new faces this year.

Each year we produce a special limited edition replica of a truck that will only be available to our Lighthouse retainer clients who register and attend the Tradeshow or Annual Meeting sponsored by their state association.  This year's collectible truck is a 1:34th scale 1960 Mack B61 with Full Stake Bed.  We encourage you to watch for our special invitation and register for the meeting in your area, support your state agribusiness association and pick up your collectible.  Hope to see you soon!

U.S. EPA Revises "List of Lists"

Dated June 2019, and just recently posted publicly, U.S. EPA has posted a revised version of the consolidated "List of Lists" on their website. The List of Lists is used as a reference for many regulatory requirements, but most importantly spill reporting.  Asmark will be sending our Lighthouse Retainer Clients the revised version to replace the old version (dated March 2015) in their Compliance Manual Filing System binders.  Watch for yours to arrive soon!

National Safety School - It's Right Around the Corner! 

The 41st annual National Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held August 20-21, 2019 in Bloomington, Illinois at the Asmark Institute Agricenter. The school provides EHS&S professionals in the agricultural industry a unique opportunity to gain valuable insight into a host of regulatory topics facing our industry.  This year's keynote address will be given by John Buckley, President & CEO of Wilbur Ellis.  Other notable speakers during the day and half meeting are:  Tom Bray with J.J. Keller & Associates, Brian Bothast with OSHA, Dr. Fred Whitford with Purdue Pesticide Programs and  J. Billy Pirkle with Pirkle Solutions, Inc.  Please visit naehss.org to learn more and to register.

The Safety School is held in conjunction with IFCA’s annual MAGIE Show, the industry’s premier outdoor equipment show in the United States.  We encourage you to consider attending while in Bloomington.  Go to ifca.com for more information.

Driver File Annual Reviews in Full Swing

Every year during the months of July through October, the DQF team completes an annual review on every driver at each facility.  This is typically the slowest time period for facilities and when the lowest number of drivers are employed.  Depending on when your facility's annual review was completed last year, you can expect to receive the Certification of Violations forms for each driver at your facility to sign and return sometime between July 8th and October 1st.

For those facilities signed up for ESP, electronic signatures are used to sign the forms making it a very efficient process, saving you time and money.  Per DOT regulations, an annual review must be done within 12 months of the previous year’s file review in order to keep the driver in compliance.  Please pay close attention to the deadline date for returning all Certification of Violations forms to ensure your drivers remain in compliance and don’t become disqualified.  If you have any questions about the annual review process of driver files, please call the DQF team at 270-926-4600 Ext. 501.

Website problems? Check your Browser

In February, Microsoft came out and announced they were no longer supporting the web browser Internet Explorer.  Since that time, we have received multiple phone calls from locations that have either been unable to download certain documents off of the website, or there have been dark black lines running throughout the documents when they have tried to print them, blocking out key data.  All of these issues have been resolved when we direct the facility to use either the Firefox or Google Chrome web browsers instead of using Internet Explorer.  For optimum experience, check out the system requirements to best view the Asmark Institute website.

If you have noticed any issues when using Internet Explorer, first try a different browser to see if this resolves the problem.  If not, please give the Customer Service team a call at 270-926-4600 ext 506 and they will be glad to assist you.

Top-Screen Resubmissions

Have you checked to see when your facility last completed an updated or revised Top-Screen survey?  DHS requires Tier 1 and Tier 2 covered chemical facilities to submit an updated Top-Screen every two years, and Tier 3 and Tier 4 covered chemical facilities to submit an updated Top-Screen every three years.

To assist facilities in keeping track of this requirement, DHS sends reminder letters through the Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) portal when it’s time to submit an updated Top-Screen.  When a facility logs into CSAT, the Top-Screen will be open and waiting for completion.  Facilities have 60 days to complete the Top-Screen once they’ve been notified to do so by the CSAT notification letter.

Please keep in mind that if your covered facility makes material modifications to its operations or site at any time, your facility is required to complete and submit a revised Top-Screen within 60 days of the material modification.  As a best practice and to ensure efficient reporting processes, facilities are encouraged to predict and report the highest expected quantity of a chemical of interest (COI) and all variations of concentration and packaging they anticipate possessing at a given time over the lifecycle of their operations.  By taking this approach, facilities will not need to resubmit a Top-Screen when the COI quantity or concentration is reduced through normal operations.

It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg

Over 2,600 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 1,339 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org

FCC Plans To Help Rural America with Internet Connectivity

The Federal Communications Commission and the White House announced earlier this year that they are moving forward with plans to help rural America with internet connectivity through 5G wireless infrastructure.  The FCC plans to hold its third 5G spectrum auction on December 10, 2019, which would sell 3,400 megahertz in three different spectrum bands at one time.  "For those of you who are not wireless experts, that is a lot of spectrum," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.  In addition to the 5G developments, the FCC is also planning to invest $20.4 billion into high-speed broadband networks across rural America over a 10 year period.  "This money will extend high-speed broadband to up to 4 million homes and small businesses in rural America...and will help support future 5G technologies," Pai said.

More and more technology in the agricultural industry uses broadband to communicate and many rural areas of the country still have trouble getting the necessary bandwidth they need.  The Asmark Institute is watching the race to 5G closely as it has the potential to bring a tremendous amount of help to our clients, especially when it comes to streaming training content in the future.

DOT Now Accepting Applications for Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program

DOT is accepting applications for a pilot program to permit 18-20 year olds who possess the US military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate large trucks in interstate commerce.  “This program will help our country’s Veterans and Reservists transition into good-paying jobs while addressing the shortage of truck drivers in our country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

As directed by Section 5404 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the pilot program will allow a limited number of individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 to operate large trucks in interstate commerce—provided they possess the military equivalent of a CDL and are sponsored by a participating trucking company.  During the pilot program, which is slated to run for up to three years, the safety records of these drivers will be compared to the records of a control group of drivers.  Veterans and Reservists are encouraged to apply and to learn more about this new program.

EPA Registers Long-Term Uses of Sulfoxaflor

U.S. EPA has issued long-term approval for the insecticide sulfoxaflor - an effective tool that targets difficult pests such as sugarcane aphids and tarnished plant bugs, also known as lygus.  After conducting an extensive risk analysis, including the review of one of the agency’s largest datasets on the effects of a pesticide on bees, EPA is approving the use of sulfoxaflor on alfalfa, corn, soybeans, cacao, millet, oats, pineapple, sorghum, teff, teosinte, tree plantations, citrus, cotton, squash, cucumbers, watermelons, some gourds, and strawberries.

“EPA is providing long-term certainty for U.S. growers to use an important tool to protect crops and avoid potentially significant economic losses, while maintaining strong protection for pollinators,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.  “Today’s decision shows the agency’s commitment to making decisions that are based on sound science.”

New York Now Requires Speed Identification Symbol

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced a new law requiring farm, construction and other machinery designed to operate at speeds greater than 25 mph and less than 40 mph to display a Speed Identification Symbol (SIS) as well as the slow-moving vehicle triangle.  The SIS must indicate the vehicle’s top speed and operators will also be required to carry documentation from the manufacturer indicating the maximum speed the vehicle was designed for.

The slow-moving vehicle triangle should be placed in the center of the back end of the vehicle, located two to six feet above the road and kept clean and replaced when faded. The SIS should be displayed next to the triangle.  Each piece of agricultural equipment, whether self-propelled or used in combination, must separately display the required emblems.  Under state law, self-propelled agricultural equipment can be used on public roads after dark and when visibility is less than 1,000 feet when it has two white head lamps, one red tail light on the rear as far left as possible and two amber lamps at least 42 inches high and visible from the front and rear.

National Labor Law Poster Updates

Considering the magnitude of state and federal agencies in existence today, it’s no surprise that labor laws are constantly changing.  The Federal Wage and Labor Law Institute (FWLLI) tracks these updates for us and we provide results for you.  Wondering if you need a poster update?  Click here to check for the latest Federal and/or State updates to the labor law posters.

Regulatory Changes...Year Round Hunting

What do hunting and regulatory issues or changes have in common? Dustin Warder.  While he would rather be hunting for deer or elk, he finds himself hunting for regulatory answers or changes almost on a daily basis.  Dustin joined the Asmark team in 2006 and quickly transitioned into our "go-to" guy for all things regulatory as the Manager of Regulatory Affairs.

He was instrumental in developing the Compliance Assistance Library, where he took complex and confusing regulatory requirements and made them easy to understand in layman's terms.  He is also a regular presenter at the National Agronomic Environmental Health and Safety School (NAEHSS) in August, leads the Asmark Video Production Team and prepares all of the Risk Management Plans for facilities who handle ammonia.  His latest contribution is as the instructor for the new DOT/EPA AG-30 Hour Course, held at the Ford B. West Center in Owensboro, KY.

Even though Dustin is originally from Illinois, he would tell you that he is finally home, as he has always been a die-hard University of Kentucky basketball fan.  Whether he's hunting for deer or elk, regulatory issues or UK basketball tickets, Dustin always has his eyes on the target.   He's just a phone call away to help with any of your regulatory issues and needs.

UPDATE!  Medical Examiner’s Certificate Gets Another New Expiration Date

DOT has once again updated the Medical Examiner’s Certificate with a new expiration date of 11/30/21.  In December we notified you that the Medical Examination Report Form, MCSA-5875 and Medical Examiner’s Certificate, MCSA-5876, had been updated with a new expiration date of 9/30/19, but that more changes were coming.

JJ Keller initially reached out to DOT in December of 2018 regarding the extension of the grace period to continue using the forms dated 8/31/18.  DOT reversed its initial decision and was still accepting the older version, but encouraging use of the updated form dated 9/30/19.  There is currently no specific deadline when forms dated 8/31/18 or 9/30/19 can no longer be used, but it is suggested that the 2019 or 2021 versions replace the 2018 version.  All three versions remain acceptable, but using the forms dated 9/30/19 or 11/30/21 is advised.  Our thanks to JJ Keller for continuing to monitor these updates.

The newest version of the Medical Examination Report Form and Medical Examiner’s Certificate are now available on the Asmark Institute website.  If you have any questions, please contact the Driver File Department at 270-926-4600, ext 501.

On the Road Again..."Tradeshow Truck" Collectible

The third season for the Asmark Institute "Tradeshow Truck" collectible program kicks off this month and has Donna on the road again heading to the Tennessee Agricultural Production Association (TAPA) Annual Meeting in Gatlinburg.  Last year Donna was able to meet and greet clients in 13 states, and we look forward to seeing them again and meeting even more new faces this year.

Each year we produce a special limited edition replica of a truck that will only be available to our Lighthouse retainer clients who register and attend the Tradeshow or Annual Meeting sponsored by their state association.  This year's collectible truck is a 1:34th scale 1960 Mack B61 with Full Stake Bed.  We encourage you to watch for our special invitation and register for the meeting in your area, support your state agribusiness association and pick up your collectible.  Hope to see you soon!

U.S. EPA Revises "List of Lists"

Dated June 2019, and just recently posted publicly, U.S. EPA has posted a revised version of the consolidated "List of Lists" on their website. The List of Lists is used as a reference for many regulatory requirements, but most importantly spill reporting.  Asmark will be sending our Lighthouse Retainer Clients the revised version to replace the old version (dated March 2015) in their Compliance Manual Filing System binders.  Watch for yours to arrive soon!

National Safety School - It's Right Around the Corner! 

The 41st annual National Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held August 20-21, 2019 in Bloomington, Illinois at the Asmark Institute Agricenter. The school provides EHS&S professionals in the agricultural industry a unique opportunity to gain valuable insight into a host of regulatory topics facing our industry.  This year's keynote address will be given by John Buckley, President & CEO of Wilbur Ellis.  Other notable speakers during the day and half meeting are:  Tom Bray with J.J. Keller & Associates, Brian Bothast with OSHA, Dr. Fred Whitford with Purdue Pesticide Programs and  J. Billy Pirkle with Pirkle Solutions, Inc.  Please visit naehss.org to learn more and to register.

The Safety School is held in conjunction with IFCA’s annual MAGIE Show, the industry’s premier outdoor equipment show in the United States.  We encourage you to consider attending while in Bloomington.  Go to ifca.com for more information.

Driver File Annual Reviews in Full Swing

Every year during the months of July through October, the DQF team completes an annual review on every driver at each facility.  This is typically the slowest time period for facilities and when the lowest number of drivers are employed.  Depending on when your facility's annual review was completed last year, you can expect to receive the Certification of Violations forms for each driver at your facility to sign and return sometime between July 8th and October 1st.

For those facilities signed up for ESP, electronic signatures are used to sign the forms making it a very efficient process, saving you time and money.  Per DOT regulations, an annual review must be done within 12 months of the previous year’s file review in order to keep the driver in compliance.  Please pay close attention to the deadline date for returning all Certification of Violations forms to ensure your drivers remain in compliance and don’t become disqualified.  If you have any questions about the annual review process of driver files, please call the DQF team at 270-926-4600 Ext. 501.

Website problems? Check your Browser

In February, Microsoft came out and announced they were no longer supporting the web browser Internet Explorer.  Since that time, we have received multiple phone calls from locations that have either been unable to download certain documents off of the website, or there have been dark black lines running throughout the documents when they have tried to print them, blocking out key data.  All of these issues have been resolved when we direct the facility to use either the Firefox or Google Chrome web browsers instead of using Internet Explorer.  For optimum experience, check out the system requirements to best view the Asmark Institute website.

If you have noticed any issues when using Internet Explorer, first try a different browser to see if this resolves the problem.  If not, please give the Customer Service team a call at 270-926-4600 ext 506 and they will be glad to assist you.

Top-Screen Resubmissions

Have you checked to see when your facility last completed an updated or revised Top-Screen survey?  DHS requires Tier 1 and Tier 2 covered chemical facilities to submit an updated Top-Screen every two years, and Tier 3 and Tier 4 covered chemical facilities to submit an updated Top-Screen every three years.

To assist facilities in keeping track of this requirement, DHS sends reminder letters through the Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) portal when it’s time to submit an updated Top-Screen.  When a facility logs into CSAT, the Top-Screen will be open and waiting for completion.  Facilities have 60 days to complete the Top-Screen once they’ve been notified to do so by the CSAT notification letter.

Please keep in mind that if your covered facility makes material modifications to its operations or site at any time, your facility is required to complete and submit a revised Top-Screen within 60 days of the material modification.  As a best practice and to ensure efficient reporting processes, facilities are encouraged to predict and report the highest expected quantity of a chemical of interest (COI) and all variations of concentration and packaging they anticipate possessing at a given time over the lifecycle of their operations.  By taking this approach, facilities will not need to resubmit a Top-Screen when the COI quantity or concentration is reduced through normal operations.

It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg

Over 2,600 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 1,339 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org

FCC Plans To Help Rural America with Internet Connectivity

The Federal Communications Commission and the White House announced earlier this year that they are moving forward with plans to help rural America with internet connectivity through 5G wireless infrastructure.  The FCC plans to hold its third 5G spectrum auction on December 10, 2019, which would sell 3,400 megahertz in three different spectrum bands at one time.  "For those of you who are not wireless experts, that is a lot of spectrum," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.  In addition to the 5G developments, the FCC is also planning to invest $20.4 billion into high-speed broadband networks across rural America over a 10 year period.  "This money will extend high-speed broadband to up to 4 million homes and small businesses in rural America...and will help support future 5G technologies," Pai said.

More and more technology in the agricultural industry uses broadband to communicate and many rural areas of the country still have trouble getting the necessary bandwidth they need.  The Asmark Institute is watching the race to 5G closely as it has the potential to bring a tremendous amount of help to our clients, especially when it comes to streaming training content in the future.

DOT Now Accepting Applications for Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program

DOT is accepting applications for a pilot program to permit 18-20 year olds who possess the US military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate large trucks in interstate commerce.  “This program will help our country’s Veterans and Reservists transition into good-paying jobs while addressing the shortage of truck drivers in our country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

As directed by Section 5404 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the pilot program will allow a limited number of individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 to operate large trucks in interstate commerce—provided they possess the military equivalent of a CDL and are sponsored by a participating trucking company.  During the pilot program, which is slated to run for up to three years, the safety records of these drivers will be compared to the records of a control group of drivers.  Veterans and Reservists are encouraged to apply and to learn more about this new program.

EPA Registers Long-Term Uses of Sulfoxaflor

U.S. EPA has issued long-term approval for the insecticide sulfoxaflor - an effective tool that targets difficult pests such as sugarcane aphids and tarnished plant bugs, also known as lygus.  After conducting an extensive risk analysis, including the review of one of the agency’s largest datasets on the effects of a pesticide on bees, EPA is approving the use of sulfoxaflor on alfalfa, corn, soybeans, cacao, millet, oats, pineapple, sorghum, teff, teosinte, tree plantations, citrus, cotton, squash, cucumbers, watermelons, some gourds, and strawberries.

“EPA is providing long-term certainty for U.S. growers to use an important tool to protect crops and avoid potentially significant economic losses, while maintaining strong protection for pollinators,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.  “Today’s decision shows the agency’s commitment to making decisions that are based on sound science.”

New York Now Requires Speed Identification Symbol

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced a new law requiring farm, construction and other machinery designed to operate at speeds greater than 25 mph and less than 40 mph to display a Speed Identification Symbol (SIS) as well as the slow-moving vehicle triangle.  The SIS must indicate the vehicle’s top speed and operators will also be required to carry documentation from the manufacturer indicating the maximum speed the vehicle was designed for.

The slow-moving vehicle triangle should be placed in the center of the back end of the vehicle, located two to six feet above the road and kept clean and replaced when faded. The SIS should be displayed next to the triangle.  Each piece of agricultural equipment, whether self-propelled or used in combination, must separately display the required emblems.  Under state law, self-propelled agricultural equipment can be used on public roads after dark and when visibility is less than 1,000 feet when it has two white head lamps, one red tail light on the rear as far left as possible and two amber lamps at least 42 inches high and visible from the front and rear.

National Labor Law Poster Updates

Considering the magnitude of state and federal agencies in existence today, it’s no surprise that labor laws are constantly changing.  The Federal Wage and Labor Law Institute (FWLLI) tracks these updates for us and we provide results for you.  Wondering if you need a poster update?  Click here to check for the latest Federal and/or State updates to the labor law posters.
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.