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EPA Releases Study on the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, December 15, 2016

On Tuesday, the EPA released its long-awaited final report evaluating the available scientific literature and data to assess the potential for activities in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle to impact the quality or quantity of drinking water resources.  It also identified factors that affect the frequency and severity of those impacts.  While EPA found scientific evidence that hydraulic fracturing can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances, it implicitly found that it did not in other circumstances. The final report deviates from the first version, which stated unequivocally that there was "no evidence that fracking systemically contaminates water". Thomas A. Burke, the E.P.A.’s science adviser, and deputy assistant administrator of the agency’s Office of Research and Development, addressed the change by stating EPA scientists couldn't quantitatively support the former conclusion.  Mr. Burke did go on to highlighting the data gaps and uncertainties that existed in the study which limited its ability to fully assess the potential impacts on drinking water resources and could not fully characterize the severity of impacts. Additionally, EPA stated it could neither calculate nor estimate the national frequency of impacts on drinking water resources. 

It's important to note that the report will contribute to the conversation surrounding the incoming Administration's stated policy to decrease regulations and increase investment in natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing. 

Additional information on the 666-page final report can be accessed through this link.

Tags:  administration  EPA  fracking  hydraulic fracturing  Regulations  study 

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First Friday Ask IMA - Post Election Update TODAY

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, December 2, 2016

With the election finally over, DC is preparing for the start of a new Administration and Congressional Session in January. Republicans control both the legislative and executive branches, meaning there will be tremendous opportunity to enact their policy agenda. Please join IMA-NA staff today, December 2nd at 1:00pm EST to hear insights on how the Trump Administration's Cabinet choices could impact our industry, what the House and Senate are likely to focus on in the coming year, and how to get involved in shaping upcoming tax reform and the other issues important to the industrial minerals industry.

 

Click here to Register.

Tags:  administration  Congress  first friday  legislation  Legislators  politics  president  Regulations 

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First Friday Ask IMA - This Friday

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Please join us this Friday, September 2nd for First Friday - Ask IMA at 1:00 EST.  As our last Ask IMA before our Annual Meeting, we'll be discussing numerous topics of importance some of which will also come up at the meeting. Amongst those topics we'll provide updates on the EPA's proposed rule on CERCLA 108(b), the ongoing project to update NISA's Dust Control Handbook, MSHA activities related to the proposed rulemaking on examination of working places in Metal-Non Metal mines, North American Minerals Days and Congressional engagement, our program for the Annual Meeting, and other issues IMA-NA staff has been working on this summer. Join us for an update on our activities as your association and to have any questions you may have answered.

To Register Click Here

Tags:  2016 annual meeting  education  first friday  legislation  member outreach  regulations 

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WEBINAR TODAY: The New Toxic Substances Control Act - Dealing with the Present and Looking to the Future

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Register Here for Today's Webinar

Jul 06, 2016 2:00 PM EDT 

The Toxic Substance Control Act has received a great deal of attention recently, with Congress passing the first major revision to the Act in 40 years early this summer. This summer is also important for compliance with TSCA’s existing Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) program, which requires companies that manufacture or import certain chemicals in excess of the applicable threshold to submit reports to EPA every four years. Reporting for the period from 2012-2016 is due by September 30, 2016. This Webinar will provide an overview of the CDR program with an emphasis on key factors for IMA members to consider in determining whether or not they are required to report. EPA has lowered the applicable thresholds for reporting so companies cannot simply assume they are not required to report this year because they haven’t reported in the past. The webinar will then provide an overview of the amendments to TSCA recently passed by Congress, focus on key aspects of the amendments that may impact IMA members, and highlight the opportunities to participate and shape EPA’s implementation of the amendments in the near future.

Presented by: Ben Machlis and Steven Barringer (Holland and Hart LLP)

Cost: $39/person for IMA members $69/person for non-members

* This webinar will be recorded and distributed along with all .PPTs to all registrants following the webinar

Tags:  chemicals  EPA  legislation  regulations  tsca  webinar 

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President Obama Signs TSCA Reform Into Law

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, June 23, 2016

Yesterday morning, June 22nd, President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act into law. The bill was a bipartisan effort that amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  This legislation is the first major update to TSCA in 20 years. Updating and amending TSCA has been a priority for both the Environmental Protection Agency and industry groups for some time.

The Lautenberg Act creates a risk-based standard requiring that chemicals be safe for their intended use, as opposed to a precautionary principle-based approach. It sorts the TSCA inventory of chemicals into high-priority and low-priority chemicals, and establishes a procedure for EPA assessing those chemicals. It provides preemption of the patchwork of state chemical laws and regulations, so manufacturers have clear rules of the road. And it requires the best available science and protects manufacturers' confidential business information. The passage of the Lautenberg Act and its subsequent signing into law is a victory of the collaborative efforts from both the business community and Congress. 

 

In an effort to further educate the public on the changes to TSCA, next Thursday, June 30, 2016, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST, EPA will host a webinar to provide an overview of the new Act. This initial webinar will be informational only to help inform those unfamiliar with the new law. To log in to the webinar next week click here. You will need to sign in as a guest and for audio, please call 866-299-3188, and enter code 2025648098#.

Tags:  chemicals  law  legislation  obama  regulations  TSCA 

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Mark Ellis Featured on Heartland Institute's Silica Podcast

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, April 12, 2016

On the heels of OSHA's release of the finalized Rule on Respirable Crystalline Silica, IMA-NA and NISA's President, Mark Ellis sat down with Isaac Orr to offer insight on the rule for the Heartland Institute's Daily Podcast. Mark provided the historical context for OSHA's decision to update the rule, outlined how the rule has changed, and spoke to the impact on different industries.  Throughout the podcast Mark took the opportunity to speak to NISA's role as a leader in the industry through the proactive development of the Silicosis Prevention Program (SPP) and spoke to the ability to prevent silicosis without OSHA moving the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) to 50 micrograms. The Heartland Institute's podcast offered another opportunity to highlight the industrial sand industry's ongoing work to keep workers safe and healthy outside of OSHA's standard setting for crystalline silica. 

To listen to the podcast click here.

Tags:  IMA-NA  news  NISA  osha  regulations  silica 

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First Friday Ask IMA - Today

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, April 1, 2016

This afternoon IMA-NA is hosting our inaugural First Friday - Ask IMA at 1:00 EST. First Friday will be an opportunity for IMA-NA to update members on current issues and answer your questions. This month IMA-NA staff plan on discussing the recently released final crystalline silica rule, our legislative agenda in Q1, the issues that we will be meeting with legislators and regulators on at our Spring Meeting in May, and our upcoming association activities. We are looking forward to launching this monthly initiative to keep our member interactions dynamic and responsive to member interests. 

To join us for April's First Friday, click here

Tags:  first friday  legislation  member outreach  regulations 

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Upcoming Webinars: OSHA Weight of Evidence Guidance and Mining & EHS - A Case Study

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Over the next week IMA-NA would like to encourage you to participate in three webinars offering insight into various aspects of the mining industry. In addition to the two webinars IMA-NA is hosting: Friday's OSHA Weight of Evidence Guidance and next Wednesday's Mining & EHS - A Case Study, the Association is co-sponsoring the Minerals Sciences & Information Coalition's webinar: Underpinning Innovation: The Science and Supply of America's Critical Minerals and Materials. These three webinars handle both practical topics for running your operations as well as educational topics, such as, the importance of federal investment in the U.S. Geological Survey.  Below you will find brief descriptions of each webinar as well as links to register.

 

Webinar Title: OSHA Weight of Evidence Guidance

Date/Time: Friday March 25, 2:00 EST

Click here to register 

OSHA’s new guidance on how to apply the Weight of Evidence approach for assessing complex scientific studies under its GHS HazCom rule is open for comment until May 2, 2016, and will impact IMA-NA members who must prepare Safety Data Sheets and warning labels for their products. The "weight of evidence" approach is intended to assist both manufacturers and employers in evaluating scientific studies on the potential health hazards of a chemical and determine what information must be disclosed. Attorneys Adele Abrams CMSP and Brian Yellin CIH of the Law Office of Adele L Abrams PC will present the legal and technical information you need to weigh in on this important subject.  

 

Webinar Title: Underpinning Innovation: The Science and Supply of America's Critical Minerals and Materials

Date/Time: Wednesday March 30, 1:00 EST

Click here to register

Minerals are a part of almost every product we use on a daily basis, either as the raw materials for manufacturing processes or as the end products themselves. Advanced technologies for communications, clean energy, medical devices, and national security rely on raw materials from mines throughout the world. In 2010, China curtailed exports of rare earth metals and sparked major concern about the security of global supply chains for a range of vital minerals and materials. This webinar is based on a Congressional briefing organized by AGI on behalf of the Mineral Science & Information Coalition (3 March 2016). The webinar will address the efforts being taken at the federal level to ensure a steady supply of critical minerals and materials.

 

Webinar Title: Mining & EHS - A Case Study

Date/Time: Wednesday March 30, 2:00 EST

Click here to register

Join us for a webinar where we will feature EHS compliance best practices of a leading silica mining and manufacturing company. Gensuite will share practical insights into how your peers in the mining and related industries are addressing MSHA and OSHA requirements, driving accountability throughout the enterprise, and improving compliance performance through the use of web-based systems with a suite of fully-integrated and mobile-enabled compliance and risk management tools. Learn how companies such as U.S. Silica, PotashCorp, Ingersoll Rand, and General Electric are engaging employees at all levels of the organization in driving EHS performance improvements and operational efficiencies.

 

Tags:  Associate Member  case study  compliance  EHS  industrial minerals industry  minerals science  msic  OSHA  regulations  usgs  webinars 

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Senate to Vote on Waters of the U.S. Bill - Update

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, November 2, 2015

Tomorrow, November 3rd, the Senate is set to take up the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S.1140) a bill aimed at forcing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to go back to the drawing board on the "waters of the U.S." rule, which was finalized in May.  The EPA and Corps have faced significant opposition to their updated definition of "waters of the U.S." since the agencies issued proposed guidance back in 2011.  S.1140 adds to the momentum of opposition following the recent court decisions to stay the implementation of the rule, by requiring EPA and the Corps to more clearly outline the science and analyses underlying the rule. Opponents, IMA-NA and other industry associations included, see the rule as a unjustifiable jurisdictional land grab that will effectively give the EPA the authority to regulate most of the United States under the Clean Water Act (CWA). There are questions about both the process and science the EPA used in order to draft the rule.  S.1140 would force the EPA to revisit the rule and either provide the support for the regulation or alter it in order to reflect the actual parameters of the CWA. The bill was introduced by Senator Barrasso (R-WY) and has supporters on both sides of the aisle.

This bill is the companion bill to H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, which passed the House in May. As of now, the bill has 46 cosponsors and it needs 60 votes to clear the Senate. 

To read the bill click here

If you are interested in urging your Senator to support S.1140, click here to find their office contact information. 

**Update** - The Senate failed to reach the 60 votes needed for passage of S. 1140.  IMA-NA, along with other members of the Water Advocacy Coalition (WAC), signed onto a letter expressing disapproval to Senators King, Nelson, Kaine, Warner, Feinstein, Schatz, Coons, Carper, Tester, Bennet and Klobuchar for voting against S. 1140 while simultaneously expressing concerns over the scope of WOTUS.  

Tags:  Army Corps of Engineers  Congress  EPA  legislation  Regulations  wotus 

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Coalition for Workplace Safety Submits Comments on OSHA's Record keeping Rule

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, October 29, 2015

IMA-NA along with over 60 other associations and organizations comprise the Coalition for Workplace Safety (CWS), a coalition established to support improving workplace safety through cooperation, assistance, transparency, clarity, and accountability.  On October 27th, CWS submitted comments to the record on OSHA's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”), theClarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness. The comments focused on OSHA's attempt to circumvent both Congressional and Judiciary authority through the rulemaking process on this issue.  OSHA's proposed rule to alter record keeping standards to impose a continuing obligation categorically ignores the six month statute of limitations on record keeping citations established by Congress in the OSH Act. Not only does this rule attempt to bypass the intent of the OSH Act as enumerated by Congress but the statute of limitations has been reinforced through the U.S. Court of Appeals in multiple decisions. The comments also highlight the punitive nature of OSHA's expansion of grounds for citation by changing the nature of injury and illness record keeping to a continuing obligation.  CWS argues that this NPRM is out of line with precedent, acts as jurisdictional overreach and demonstrates the Agency's misguided belief that more citations create safer workplaces. 

To read the comments please open the attachment. 

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  coalition  comments  CWS  health  legislation  OSHA  record keeping  regulations  safety 

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