Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Chemical Safety, Nuclear ‘Mafia’, Fry’s Electronics
The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration failed to implement changes the board has urged for years, for safety improvements toÂ refineries, chemical facilities, and sugar plants. CSB chairmanÂ Rafael Moure-Eraso said the regulatory changes – including a proposed standard to reduce or eliminate combustible dust – are needed to save lives. But OSHA said it has been held back by budget constraints and by a long rule-making process, Chemical & Engineering News reports.
The State Department Office of Inspector General has started in inquiry into whether ERM, the consultant that drew up a draft environmental analysis on the Keystone XL pipeline, had a conflict of interest, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.Â The inquiry could lead to another “redo” of the analysis, the Hill says.
Several fact-checkers have criticized President Obama’s assertion that the Keystone XL pipeline will only create about 2,000 jobs during construction and 50-100 afterwards. Politifact said the statement was false and the Washington Post Fact Check gave Obama two “Pinocchios” out of a possible four.
South Korean president Park Geun-hye has likened the country’s nuclear power industry to a mafia as scandals in the sector pile up, the New York Times reports. Investigators have discovered substandard components installed in 14 of the country’s 23 nuclear plants, leading to closures at three of the reactors.Â Prosecutors have indicted officials at a testing company for allegedly faking safety tests on parts, indicted officials at a state-financed company for allegedly taking bribes, andÂ raided the offices of 30 suppliers suspected of providing false quality certificates.
Buenos Aires, Argentina’s major agricultural province and the world’s biggest producer of soyoil and soymeal, plans toÂ prohibit aerial spraying of pesticides near cities. The province will also require stricter supervision of ground-level application. Farmers expect to be compensated for higher costs, Reuters reports.
Fry’s ElectronicsÂ has agreed to pay a $50,000 penalty to settle EPA allegations that the company imported and sold an unregistered product falsely claiming to beÂ anti-bacterial and anti-pathogenic. The EPA issued a complaint against Fry’s overÂ Cambre Productsâ€™ Game On brand â€œDirt Rags,” a gaming equipment wipe. Products claiming to kill or repel bacteria are considered pesticides, and must be registered underÂ Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) regulations.
The senate unanimously approvedÂ Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn (Ret.) to head theÂ Navyâ€™s energy program, as well as James Jones to lead the EPA’s Office ofÂ Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, and Avi Garbow as the agency’s general counsel. The chamber did not take action onÂ Kenneth Kopocis’s nomination to lead the EPA’s Office of Water, the Hill reports.
President Obama nominatedÂ retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, to be the Energy Department’sÂ under-secretary for nuclear security. Obama also nominated Steven Croley, a University of Michigan law professor and former deputy White House counsel, for DOE general counsel, the Hill reports.
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