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Newsletter
Volume 90
May 2, 2011
"Many Hats of a Retailer" Tour
Many Hats of a Relailer Tour
Tour Participants:
Daren Coppock, ARA
Richard Gupton, ARA
Carmen Haworth, ARA
Michelle Hummell, ARA
Kelly Jones, ARA
Tracey Kerns, ARA
Jon Samson, ARA
Mike Leggett, CLA
Jeff Blackwood, TFI
Matt Kastner, TFI
Clark Mica, TFI
Lara Moody, TFI

Participating Companies:
Ag Equipment Distributors
AGCO
AGRI-CHEM, Inc.
Agri-Gro Fertilizer
Alliance Equipment
Apache Equipment
CaseIH
Cecilia Farm Service
GVM, Inc.
Hancock County Farm Supply
HelenaChemical Company
H & R Agri-Power
Mid-South Ag Equipment
Montgomery Farmers Coop
Crop Production Services - Clarksville, TN
Crop Production Services - Henderson, KY
Crop Production Services - Beaver Dam, KY
Needham Ag Technologies
Ohio Valley Ag Equipment
Parrish Shop & Sales
Tennessee Farmers Cooperative
Traylor Fertilizer Service
Whayne Supply Company
A wide range of retailers were represented in a tour last week organized for staff members of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and CropLife America (CLA). Thirteen staff members from the Washington, DC area participated in the week-long tour that started in LaVergne, TN with a welcome from Bart Krisle, President, Tennessee Farmers Cooperative and ended with a "ride & drive" equipment demonstration in Owensboro, KY. The tour included stops at sixteen different locations where the participants were able to witness the wide range of "hats" a retailer must wear to successfully operate a retail farm center. Technology was highlighted throughout the week. The tour was designed to provide information and experience into the real world of the retail farm center. The tour was sponsored by the Asmark Institute and made possible by a host of willing cooperators. We extend our sincere appreciation to the participating companies that helped make the tour possible and also the participants for taking a week out of their busy schedules to attend the tour.
New Professional Applicator Training
Tell Us Where You Want It
The Asmark Institute will offer a new professional applicator training program starting this summer. The new course will be a full day of hands-on instructions and demonstrations and will be offered remotely at 24 locations around the United States. Dr. Bob Wolf is recognized throughout the United States for his knowledge of application technologies and will be the lead instructor for this course. The primary focus will be developing and delivering high quality, consistent and cost effective educational experiences for employees considered to be commercial handlers, and/or applicators, and the management that supervise them. This course has been almost two years in development and utilizes more than $250,000 in equipment and technology. Please contact Dustin Warder at 270-926-4600, Extension 203 or dustin@asmark.org if you would like to request the course be offered in your area. Sites for 2011 are being selected now.
Inspections Are Increasing For Facilities With Nurse Tanks
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) recently alerted its members of an article published in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) newsletter. CVSA is an association of state highway enforcement personnel, and along with DOT enforcement personnel, are increasing their inspections of anhydrous ammonia facilities and specifically facilities with nurse tanks. A recent article published in their newsletter indicated that 113 nurse tanks were inspected and 78 of those were found to have serious issues. TFI warned, "this should serve as a reminder to all fertilizer industry members with nurse tanks to have a serious inspection program in place and to ensure that all relevant staff understand the DOT regulations."
SPCC Amendments for Milk and Milk Product Containers
On April 12, 2011, EPA amended the SPCC Rule to exempt milk and milk product containers, associated piping and appurtenances. EPA believes that certain specific construction and sanitation standards and requirements address the prevention of oil discharges in quantities that may be harmful. The capacity of the exempt milk and milk product containers, piping and appurtenances should not be included in a facility's total oil storage capacity calculation to determine if the facility is subject to SPCC. The Agency is also removing the compliance date requirements for the exempt containers. Click here for more information on the amendment.
President Signs Repeal of 1099 Paperwork Nightmare
President Obama recently signed the repeal of the reporting requirement that would have forced all businesses to submit Form 1099s to the IRS and to any entity that it purchased $600 or more in goods or services from within a year.
IRS Issues W-2 Guidance
The IRS recently issued further insight into the W-2 language that was incorporated in the new Healthcare Reform law. According to the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA), employers are required to report annually the cost of employer-provided healthcare coverage on the IRS W-2 form. This requirement was believed to be optional for tax year 2011 ONLY. However the recent guidance (Notice 2011-28) extends this optional treatment for small employers through at least 2012 (and continuing until final regulations are released), thereby providing additional relief for smaller employers. For the purposes of this IRS ruling, "small employers" are defined as those filing fewer than 250 W-2 forms per year. This change does not cause employer-provided health coverage to become taxable; it continues to be excludable from income. Click here to access IRS Notice 2011-28.
Fertilizer Tank Fatality Ruled Asphyxiation
The Paulding County coroner has concluded that the cause of death of a Sherwood, Ohio man trapped while cleaning out a farm fertilizer tank was asphyxiation. The victim was removed lifeless from the tank after becoming wedged in a baffle section of the enclosure. The victim and another employee had been using a gasoline and water mixture to remove sludge from the stainless steel bulk tank, which was mounted on a trailer. The co-worker told the sheriff's investigator the victim started coughing and couldn't be removed. "There was nothing I could do but hold his head out of the water and gasoline and wait for help," the co-worker said.
OSHA Inspectors to Focus on Training Language
The Latino community in the United States loses 14 workers in preventable workplace incidents every week. In a speech to attendees of the recent Latino Safety Conference, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis stated, "Far too many Latino workers have needlessly lost their lives . . . and it must stop."
Solis put more than just lip service behind her statement. OSHA inspectors will now check and verify not only that required safety and health training was provided by the employer, but also that it was provided in "a format that the workers being trained can understand."
The Labor Department will send a letter to ten mayors, asking each one to have city building inspectors notify OSHA when they observe unsafe work conditions. Also, several television announcements will encourage workers to report unsafe conditions, and safety training grant programs will be strengthened.
Company Fined for Unauthorized Repackaging
A Missouri agricultural retailer has agreed to pay a $14,560 civil penalty to settle allegations that it repackaged and sold four different pesticides without proper authorization at its facility in 2008. According to a consent agreement, the company was found to be in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), as a result of an inspection of its facility by the Missouri Department of Agriculture in November 2008. The inspection and subsequent review of records revealed that the business distributed or sold repackaged forms of four different pesticides, all without having prior written authorization from the registrants of those products, as required by FIFRA.
As a result of the enforcement action, the company has since obtained the necessary written authorizations for all pesticide products that it repackages at the facility. "The proper packaging and labeling of pesticides is important to farmers and consumers alike, because it protects public health and safety, and it also protects the environment," Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. "EPA is committed to the enforcement of these regulations."
Updated Compliance Directive Provides Enforcement Guidance on PPE
OSHA recently released an updated compliance directive, CPL 02-01-050 Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry, which instructs enforcement personnel on both the agency's interpretations of PPE standards and the procedures for enforcing them.
Prompted by numerous revisions to the PPE standards, including a final rule for employer payment for personal protective equipment and a final rule to revise the PPE standards based on National Consensus standards, this updated instruction makes the following changes:
  • Clarification on what type of PPE employers must provide at no cost, when employers must pay for PPE, or for replacement PPE and when employers are not required to pay for PPE.
  • Clarification of the PPE payment requirements for PPE worn off the jobsite, for PPE that must remain at the jobsite and for employee-owned PPE.
  • Enforcement policies that reflect court and review commission decisions concerning PPE.
  • Guidance that allows employers to use PPE constructed in accordance with the most recent national consensus standards.
The updated CPL replaces OSHA STD 01-06-006, Inspection Guidelines for 29 CFR 1910, Subpart I, the revised Personal Protective Equipment Standards for General Industry, dated June 16, 1995. Click here for a copy of the complete directive.
FMCSA Changes Public Display of CSA Data Per Agreement
DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced it has reached a settlement agreement with three trucking associations that will end litigation over information published on the website of FMCSA's motor carrier enforcement program, Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA).
The National Association of Small Trucking Companies, Inc. (NASTC), the Expedite Alliance of North America (TEANA) and the Air & Expedited Motor Carriers Association (AEMCA) filed suit on November 29, 2010, challenging FMCSA's CSA program. Under the agreement, FMCSA will make changes to CSA's Safety Measurement System (SMS) public website to address concerns regarding the display of information on a commercial motor carriers' safety performance.
The key changes that FMCSA made is as follows:
  • Replace any ALERT symbol currently displayed in orange on the SMS website with a symbol of the exclamation mark inside a yellow triangle.
  • Revise the disclaimer language on the SMS website to read: "The data in the Safety Measurement System (SMS) is performance data used by the Agency and enforcement community. A graphic of an exclamation mark inside a yellow triangle symbol, based on that data, indicates that FMCSA may prioritize a motor carrier for further monitoring. The graphic of an exclamation mark inside a yellow triangle symbol is not intended to imply any federal safety rating of the carrier pursuant to 49 USC 31144. Readers should not draw conclusions about a carrier's overall safety condition simply based on the data displayed in this system. Unless a motor carrier in the SMS has received an UNSATISFACTORY safety rating pursuant to 49 CFR Part 385, or has otherwise been ordered to discontinue operations by the FMCSA, it is authorized to operate on the nation's roadways.
On December 13, 2010, FMCSA launched its CSA enforcement program that is used to analyze all safety-based violations from roadside inspections and crashes to measure a commercial motor carrier's on-road safety performance. CSA allows FMCSA to reach more carriers earlier and deploy a range of corrective interventions to address a carrier's specific safety problems before crashes can occur. Click here to learn more about the CSA settlement agreement.
Hand Protection Selection Consensus Standard Announced
An updated standard designed to help in the evaluation and selection of adequate hand protection for specific applications has been published by the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA). The standard called American National Standard for Hand Protection Selection Criteria (ANSI/ISEA 105-2011) aims to assist users and employers in the appropriate selection of gloves for identifiable workplace hazards that could result in chemical burns, severe cuts and lacerations, and burns caused by heat and flame exposures. Like previous editions, ANSI/ISEA 105-2011 uses a numeric rating scheme for classifying hand protection against a variety of performance assessments. Updates reflected in the current edition focus on distinct test methods to determine a gloves' abrasion resistance depending on the material type, and cited test methods to ensure they represent the state-of-the-art in materials performance and technology. Perhaps the most notable update to the standard is the acceptance of different ASTM methods for evaluating cut-resistance performance. Some studies show that nearly 20 percent of workplace injuries involve cuts and lacerations to the hand and fingers, prompting ISEA members to focus on ways to provide meaningful information in this critical area. To this end, the updated document includes a standardized template for use in classifying gloves specifically designed to protect against cuts. Educating users on how to use the data in the selection process will be key, according to ISEA. For more information, visit www.safetyequipment.org.
August 16, 2011 Reminder: Refillable Container Requirements Become Effective
This is a friendly reminder the refillable container & repackaging requirements are set to go into effect on August 16, 2011. The refillable container & repackaging requirement part of the rule states what type of containers can be used for refilling or repackaging different pesticide products. The rule also states that each Pesticide Registrant must include language in their repackaging contracts that clearly describes the acceptable containers that are required for refilling and for storing each of their pesticide products.
This rule is an EPA rule and all enforcement will be through the EPA.
The Mid America Crop Life Association's (MACA) website has several items which may be of assistance to you:
Manufacturing-Supercomputer Pilot Program Involves Deere
Small and mid-sized suppliers of Moline-based Deere & Company will be among the Midwest manufacturers getting first crack at using supercomputers to speed up the design of components, under a White House initiative announced recently. Deere, Lockheed Martin Corporation and General Electric are helping to fund a pilot program in the Midwest to develop new software, pay for the use of supercomputers at the University of Illinois, Argonne National Laboratory and elsewhere, and train smaller manufacturers on how to use those tools to develop new manufacturing processes and products. Obama administration officials described it as a "watershed" and "milestone" event, despite initial funding of only $4.5 million, including $2 million from the Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration and $2.5 million from private-sector partners. Grants will go to firms in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
FCC Licenses New Spectrum - May Threaten GPS
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) hosted a briefing of industry groups and DC-based member companies about a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) interim decision on a matter that could severely impact the use of GPS within the United States. The FCC granted a waiver for a new company, LightSquared, the right to use wireless spectrum to build out a national 4G wireless network over the objections of industry groups and federal agencies. The groups feel the new spectrum network runs too close to the GPS spectrum and could cause significant interference. One significant concern is the new company itself was put in charge of the process and was given only a few months to evaluate the interference issue. GPS providers believe this issue needs to be studied objectively and much more extensively than this time will allow.
Report Details Federal Operational Redundancy, Waste
A much-anticipated Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released this month shows the federal government is rife with overlapping, redundant and duplicative programs, and recommends consolidation of government functions from transportation to food safety. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) requested the report, saying once it had been read, it would not cast members of Congress in a good light. "This report confirms what most Americans assume about their government. We are spending trillions of dollars every year, and nobody knows what we are doing. The executive branch doesn't know. The congressional branch doesn't know. Nobody knows," Coburn said. The Oklahoma budget hawk estimated the government could save $100 billion a year streamlining its operations and eliminating duplicative programs in agriculture, health, homeland security defense, economic development, energy, general government and international aid.
A GAO report is generally requested by a member of Congress to address a specific issue of concern. The reports are supposed to be objective evaluations and carry recommendations for remedying problems unearthed in development of the report. Noting 15 federal agencies administer more than 30 food laws, the report stops short of recommending a single solution, but suggests alternative approaches including: A single food safety agency, housed within an existing agency or set up as an independent agency, like EPA, with responsibility for all food safety at the federal level; a single agency responsible for all inspection activities that could be housed at USDA or FDA; a data collection and risk analysis center for food safety, or central executive oversight of existing activities that would have a chair appointed by the president with control over spending and manpower. The report says a single food agency wouldn't save money, but could avoid overspending in the future. In the transportation arena, GAO said the Department of Transportation Department has five agencies overseeing more than 100 programs, another "fragmented approach" in oversight. The report said the way the federal government oversees infrastructure has changed much since the 1950s and needs to be modernized.
New DOT Rule Authorizes Agents to Open HM Packagings
The Department of Transportation has four agencies that regulate the hazardous materials regulations, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and they have just added two new weapons to their arsenal to reduce the transportation of containers that may not be identified, marked labeled or packaged properly. The new final rule authorizes federal inspectors and special agents to open overpacks, freight containers and combination packaging to insure the hazardous materials are offered correctly for transportation.
DOT finalized the rule allowing federal agents to open and/or remove any container or package from transportation for up to 48 hours (or longer) if they have any reason to believe that a packaging or container is not in compliance with the HMR. This rule won't allow agents to open single containers, only combination packaging, outer packaging, overpacks, freight containers or other packaging that is not immediately adjacent to the hazardous material, in order to inspect the inside of the receptacle or container for undeclared hazardous materials, provided the agent has "reasonable belief" that the shipment contains hazardous materials or is otherwise not compliant with federal hazmat law or the HMR. If an opened container is found to contain no violations, the package would then be marked by the agent with a statement relaying that fact to future recipients and agents.
2011 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.
"Many Hats of a Retailer" Tour
Many Hats of a Relailer Tour
Tour Participants:
Daren Coppock, ARA
Richard Gupton, ARA
Carmen Haworth, ARA
Michelle Hummell, ARA
Kelly Jones, ARA
Tracey Kerns, ARA
Jon Samson, ARA
Mike Leggett, CLA
Jeff Blackwood, TFI
Matt Kastner, TFI
Clark Mica, TFI
Lara Moody, TFI

Participating Companies:
Ag Equipment Distributors
AGCO
AGRI-CHEM, Inc.
Agri-Gro Fertilizer
Alliance Equipment
Apache Equipment
CaseIH
Cecilia Farm Service
GVM, Inc.
Hancock County Farm Supply
HelenaChemical Company
H & R Agri-Power
Mid-South Ag Equipment
Montgomery Farmers Coop
Crop Production Services - Clarksville, TN
Crop Production Services - Henderson, KY
Crop Production Services - Beaver Dam, KY
Needham Ag Technologies
Ohio Valley Ag Equipment
Parrish Shop & Sales
Tennessee Farmers Cooperative
Traylor Fertilizer Service
Whayne Supply Company
A wide range of retailers were represented in a tour last week organized for staff members of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and CropLife America (CLA). Thirteen staff members from the Washington, DC area participated in the week-long tour that started in LaVergne, TN with a welcome from Bart Krisle, President, Tennessee Farmers Cooperative and ended with a "ride & drive" equipment demonstration in Owensboro, KY. The tour included stops at sixteen different locations where the participants were able to witness the wide range of "hats" a retailer must wear to successfully operate a retail farm center. Technology was highlighted throughout the week. The tour was designed to provide information and experience into the real world of the retail farm center. The tour was sponsored by the Asmark Institute and made possible by a host of willing cooperators. We extend our sincere appreciation to the participating companies that helped make the tour possible and also the participants for taking a week out of their busy schedules to attend the tour.
New Professional Applicator Training
Tell Us Where You Want It
The Asmark Institute will offer a new professional applicator training program starting this summer. The new course will be a full day of hands-on instructions and demonstrations and will be offered remotely at 24 locations around the United States. Dr. Bob Wolf is recognized throughout the United States for his knowledge of application technologies and will be the lead instructor for this course. The primary focus will be developing and delivering high quality, consistent and cost effective educational experiences for employees considered to be commercial handlers, and/or applicators, and the management that supervise them. This course has been almost two years in development and utilizes more than $250,000 in equipment and technology. Please contact Dustin Warder at 270-926-4600, Extension 203 or dustin@asmark.org if you would like to request the course be offered in your area. Sites for 2011 are being selected now.
Inspections Are Increasing For Facilities With Nurse Tanks
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) recently alerted its members of an article published in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) newsletter. CVSA is an association of state highway enforcement personnel, and along with DOT enforcement personnel, are increasing their inspections of anhydrous ammonia facilities and specifically facilities with nurse tanks. A recent article published in their newsletter indicated that 113 nurse tanks were inspected and 78 of those were found to have serious issues. TFI warned, "this should serve as a reminder to all fertilizer industry members with nurse tanks to have a serious inspection program in place and to ensure that all relevant staff understand the DOT regulations."
SPCC Amendments for Milk and Milk Product Containers
On April 12, 2011, EPA amended the SPCC Rule to exempt milk and milk product containers, associated piping and appurtenances. EPA believes that certain specific construction and sanitation standards and requirements address the prevention of oil discharges in quantities that may be harmful. The capacity of the exempt milk and milk product containers, piping and appurtenances should not be included in a facility's total oil storage capacity calculation to determine if the facility is subject to SPCC. The Agency is also removing the compliance date requirements for the exempt containers. Click here for more information on the amendment.
President Signs Repeal of 1099 Paperwork Nightmare
President Obama recently signed the repeal of the reporting requirement that would have forced all businesses to submit Form 1099s to the IRS and to any entity that it purchased $600 or more in goods or services from within a year.
IRS Issues W-2 Guidance
The IRS recently issued further insight into the W-2 language that was incorporated in the new Healthcare Reform law. According to the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA), employers are required to report annually the cost of employer-provided healthcare coverage on the IRS W-2 form. This requirement was believed to be optional for tax year 2011 ONLY. However the recent guidance (Notice 2011-28) extends this optional treatment for small employers through at least 2012 (and continuing until final regulations are released), thereby providing additional relief for smaller employers. For the purposes of this IRS ruling, "small employers" are defined as those filing fewer than 250 W-2 forms per year. This change does not cause employer-provided health coverage to become taxable; it continues to be excludable from income. Click here to access IRS Notice 2011-28.
Fertilizer Tank Fatality Ruled Asphyxiation
The Paulding County coroner has concluded that the cause of death of a Sherwood, Ohio man trapped while cleaning out a farm fertilizer tank was asphyxiation. The victim was removed lifeless from the tank after becoming wedged in a baffle section of the enclosure. The victim and another employee had been using a gasoline and water mixture to remove sludge from the stainless steel bulk tank, which was mounted on a trailer. The co-worker told the sheriff's investigator the victim started coughing and couldn't be removed. "There was nothing I could do but hold his head out of the water and gasoline and wait for help," the co-worker said.
OSHA Inspectors to Focus on Training Language
The Latino community in the United States loses 14 workers in preventable workplace incidents every week. In a speech to attendees of the recent Latino Safety Conference, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis stated, "Far too many Latino workers have needlessly lost their lives . . . and it must stop."
Solis put more than just lip service behind her statement. OSHA inspectors will now check and verify not only that required safety and health training was provided by the employer, but also that it was provided in "a format that the workers being trained can understand."
The Labor Department will send a letter to ten mayors, asking each one to have city building inspectors notify OSHA when they observe unsafe work conditions. Also, several television announcements will encourage workers to report unsafe conditions, and safety training grant programs will be strengthened.
Company Fined for Unauthorized Repackaging
A Missouri agricultural retailer has agreed to pay a $14,560 civil penalty to settle allegations that it repackaged and sold four different pesticides without proper authorization at its facility in 2008. According to a consent agreement, the company was found to be in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), as a result of an inspection of its facility by the Missouri Department of Agriculture in November 2008. The inspection and subsequent review of records revealed that the business distributed or sold repackaged forms of four different pesticides, all without having prior written authorization from the registrants of those products, as required by FIFRA.
As a result of the enforcement action, the company has since obtained the necessary written authorizations for all pesticide products that it repackages at the facility. "The proper packaging and labeling of pesticides is important to farmers and consumers alike, because it protects public health and safety, and it also protects the environment," Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. "EPA is committed to the enforcement of these regulations."
Updated Compliance Directive Provides Enforcement Guidance on PPE
OSHA recently released an updated compliance directive, CPL 02-01-050 Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry, which instructs enforcement personnel on both the agency's interpretations of PPE standards and the procedures for enforcing them.
Prompted by numerous revisions to the PPE standards, including a final rule for employer payment for personal protective equipment and a final rule to revise the PPE standards based on National Consensus standards, this updated instruction makes the following changes:
  • Clarification on what type of PPE employers must provide at no cost, when employers must pay for PPE, or for replacement PPE and when employers are not required to pay for PPE.
  • Clarification of the PPE payment requirements for PPE worn off the jobsite, for PPE that must remain at the jobsite and for employee-owned PPE.
  • Enforcement policies that reflect court and review commission decisions concerning PPE.
  • Guidance that allows employers to use PPE constructed in accordance with the most recent national consensus standards.
The updated CPL replaces OSHA STD 01-06-006, Inspection Guidelines for 29 CFR 1910, Subpart I, the revised Personal Protective Equipment Standards for General Industry, dated June 16, 1995. Click here for a copy of the complete directive.
FMCSA Changes Public Display of CSA Data Per Agreement
DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced it has reached a settlement agreement with three trucking associations that will end litigation over information published on the website of FMCSA's motor carrier enforcement program, Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA).
The National Association of Small Trucking Companies, Inc. (NASTC), the Expedite Alliance of North America (TEANA) and the Air & Expedited Motor Carriers Association (AEMCA) filed suit on November 29, 2010, challenging FMCSA's CSA program. Under the agreement, FMCSA will make changes to CSA's Safety Measurement System (SMS) public website to address concerns regarding the display of information on a commercial motor carriers' safety performance.
The key changes that FMCSA made is as follows:
  • Replace any ALERT symbol currently displayed in orange on the SMS website with a symbol of the exclamation mark inside a yellow triangle.
  • Revise the disclaimer language on the SMS website to read: "The data in the Safety Measurement System (SMS) is performance data used by the Agency and enforcement community. A graphic of an exclamation mark inside a yellow triangle symbol, based on that data, indicates that FMCSA may prioritize a motor carrier for further monitoring. The graphic of an exclamation mark inside a yellow triangle symbol is not intended to imply any federal safety rating of the carrier pursuant to 49 USC 31144. Readers should not draw conclusions about a carrier's overall safety condition simply based on the data displayed in this system. Unless a motor carrier in the SMS has received an UNSATISFACTORY safety rating pursuant to 49 CFR Part 385, or has otherwise been ordered to discontinue operations by the FMCSA, it is authorized to operate on the nation's roadways.
On December 13, 2010, FMCSA launched its CSA enforcement program that is used to analyze all safety-based violations from roadside inspections and crashes to measure a commercial motor carrier's on-road safety performance. CSA allows FMCSA to reach more carriers earlier and deploy a range of corrective interventions to address a carrier's specific safety problems before crashes can occur. Click here to learn more about the CSA settlement agreement.
Hand Protection Selection Consensus Standard Announced
An updated standard designed to help in the evaluation and selection of adequate hand protection for specific applications has been published by the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA). The standard called American National Standard for Hand Protection Selection Criteria (ANSI/ISEA 105-2011) aims to assist users and employers in the appropriate selection of gloves for identifiable workplace hazards that could result in chemical burns, severe cuts and lacerations, and burns caused by heat and flame exposures. Like previous editions, ANSI/ISEA 105-2011 uses a numeric rating scheme for classifying hand protection against a variety of performance assessments. Updates reflected in the current edition focus on distinct test methods to determine a gloves' abrasion resistance depending on the material type, and cited test methods to ensure they represent the state-of-the-art in materials performance and technology. Perhaps the most notable update to the standard is the acceptance of different ASTM methods for evaluating cut-resistance performance. Some studies show that nearly 20 percent of workplace injuries involve cuts and lacerations to the hand and fingers, prompting ISEA members to focus on ways to provide meaningful information in this critical area. To this end, the updated document includes a standardized template for use in classifying gloves specifically designed to protect against cuts. Educating users on how to use the data in the selection process will be key, according to ISEA. For more information, visit www.safetyequipment.org.
August 16, 2011 Reminder: Refillable Container Requirements Become Effective
This is a friendly reminder the refillable container & repackaging requirements are set to go into effect on August 16, 2011. The refillable container & repackaging requirement part of the rule states what type of containers can be used for refilling or repackaging different pesticide products. The rule also states that each Pesticide Registrant must include language in their repackaging contracts that clearly describes the acceptable containers that are required for refilling and for storing each of their pesticide products.
This rule is an EPA rule and all enforcement will be through the EPA.
The Mid America Crop Life Association's (MACA) website has several items which may be of assistance to you:
Manufacturing-Supercomputer Pilot Program Involves Deere
Small and mid-sized suppliers of Moline-based Deere & Company will be among the Midwest manufacturers getting first crack at using supercomputers to speed up the design of components, under a White House initiative announced recently. Deere, Lockheed Martin Corporation and General Electric are helping to fund a pilot program in the Midwest to develop new software, pay for the use of supercomputers at the University of Illinois, Argonne National Laboratory and elsewhere, and train smaller manufacturers on how to use those tools to develop new manufacturing processes and products. Obama administration officials described it as a "watershed" and "milestone" event, despite initial funding of only $4.5 million, including $2 million from the Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration and $2.5 million from private-sector partners. Grants will go to firms in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
FCC Licenses New Spectrum - May Threaten GPS
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) hosted a briefing of industry groups and DC-based member companies about a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) interim decision on a matter that could severely impact the use of GPS within the United States. The FCC granted a waiver for a new company, LightSquared, the right to use wireless spectrum to build out a national 4G wireless network over the objections of industry groups and federal agencies. The groups feel the new spectrum network runs too close to the GPS spectrum and could cause significant interference. One significant concern is the new company itself was put in charge of the process and was given only a few months to evaluate the interference issue. GPS providers believe this issue needs to be studied objectively and much more extensively than this time will allow.
Report Details Federal Operational Redundancy, Waste
A much-anticipated Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released this month shows the federal government is rife with overlapping, redundant and duplicative programs, and recommends consolidation of government functions from transportation to food safety. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) requested the report, saying once it had been read, it would not cast members of Congress in a good light. "This report confirms what most Americans assume about their government. We are spending trillions of dollars every year, and nobody knows what we are doing. The executive branch doesn't know. The congressional branch doesn't know. Nobody knows," Coburn said. The Oklahoma budget hawk estimated the government could save $100 billion a year streamlining its operations and eliminating duplicative programs in agriculture, health, homeland security defense, economic development, energy, general government and international aid.
A GAO report is generally requested by a member of Congress to address a specific issue of concern. The reports are supposed to be objective evaluations and carry recommendations for remedying problems unearthed in development of the report. Noting 15 federal agencies administer more than 30 food laws, the report stops short of recommending a single solution, but suggests alternative approaches including: A single food safety agency, housed within an existing agency or set up as an independent agency, like EPA, with responsibility for all food safety at the federal level; a single agency responsible for all inspection activities that could be housed at USDA or FDA; a data collection and risk analysis center for food safety, or central executive oversight of existing activities that would have a chair appointed by the president with control over spending and manpower. The report says a single food agency wouldn't save money, but could avoid overspending in the future. In the transportation arena, GAO said the Department of Transportation Department has five agencies overseeing more than 100 programs, another "fragmented approach" in oversight. The report said the way the federal government oversees infrastructure has changed much since the 1950s and needs to be modernized.
New DOT Rule Authorizes Agents to Open HM Packagings
The Department of Transportation has four agencies that regulate the hazardous materials regulations, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and they have just added two new weapons to their arsenal to reduce the transportation of containers that may not be identified, marked labeled or packaged properly. The new final rule authorizes federal inspectors and special agents to open overpacks, freight containers and combination packaging to insure the hazardous materials are offered correctly for transportation.
DOT finalized the rule allowing federal agents to open and/or remove any container or package from transportation for up to 48 hours (or longer) if they have any reason to believe that a packaging or container is not in compliance with the HMR. This rule won't allow agents to open single containers, only combination packaging, outer packaging, overpacks, freight containers or other packaging that is not immediately adjacent to the hazardous material, in order to inspect the inside of the receptacle or container for undeclared hazardous materials, provided the agent has "reasonable belief" that the shipment contains hazardous materials or is otherwise not compliant with federal hazmat law or the HMR. If an opened container is found to contain no violations, the package would then be marked by the agent with a statement relaying that fact to future recipients and agents.
2011 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.