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June 19, 2013
Feds criticized for foot-dragging on safety rules

A group known as the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards (CSS) is faulting the Obama administration for compromising workplace safety and other protections by stalling on several rules. The organization released a new report that claims regulated industries have gained undue influence in the rulemaking process, often slowing or stopping federal regulation.

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The coalition includes small business, labor, scientific, environment, and other interest groups and individuals. They believe the system of regulatory safeguards in the United States “provides a stable framework that secures our quality of life and paves the way for a sound economy.”

Among stalled rules addressed in the report is an OSHA regulation that would impose stricter limits on silica dust to protect construction and manufacturing workers. The coalition is calling on Congress to:

  • Reduce lobbyists’ ability to block public protections;
  • Cut unnecessary delays at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, where many regulations must be reviewed; and
  • Ensure that final regulations are more effectively enforced.

CSS cochair Robert Weissman noted, “The public overwhelmingly supports cleaner air and safer workplaces, but powerful industries that would be inconvenienced by new safeguards have often been able to stop them in their tracks in the rulemaking process.”

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