policy issues

Environmental, Workplace Safety & Transportation Regulations that Impact Animal Food Manufacturers

The American Feed Industry Association has been tracking a few noteworthy rule changes and pending decisions that are relevant for animal food manufacturers and throughout the animal food supply chain. Some of these are outlined below: 

Environmental Protection Agency 

  • Pushing a Stronger Climate Agenda - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will have a big role in President Joe Biden’s sweeping executive order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis At Home and Abroad.” Put into effect in early 2021, the order places the climate crisis at the forefront of foreign policy and national security planning.  

  • Combustible Dust Reporting under EPCRA Tier II Reporting – EPA’s 2016 revisions to the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) went into effect in early 2018. The new Tier II reporting form requires facilities to report combustible dust to align the EPA with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Hazard Communication Standard. The AFIA participated in discussions with the EPA and provided guidance to the industry to ensure there is a uniform and agreed-upon approach for reporting combustible dust in the future. 

  • “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) Rule – On Nov. 18, 2021, the EPA and the Department of the Army announced the signing of a proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States.” The agencies propose to put back into place the pre-2015 definition, updated to reflect consideration of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register, with the public comment period closing on February 7, 2022.  

Occupational Safety and Health Administration 

  • Heat Illness and Injuries - In April 2022, OSHA announced the launching of a National Emphasis Program to protect millions of workers from heat illness and injuries.  The AFIA is monitoring the agency’s activities in this area since they have it in their work plan to develop a heat illness and injury standard in the future. 

  • Temporary Worker Initiative - This initiative focuses on compliance with safety and health requirements when temporary workers are employed under the joint employment of a staffing agency and a host employer, particularly related to exposure to outdoor and indoor heat-related hazards. This supports efforts to ensure that temporary workers are entitled to the same protections under the Osh Act as all other covered workers.  

  • Rulemaking to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses – Most AFIA members have been required to submit their OSHA Form 300A summary reports electronically since 2018. In the OSHA’s new proposed rulemaking, the agency is attempting to require employers to submit form 300 and 301 data electronically as well. The new rule would require establishments with 100 or more employees in the highest-hazard industries to electronically submit their forms 300 log and their form 301 incident reports annually in addition to their form 300A summary reports. Animal food manufacturing is in the list that the OSHA considers as a highest-hazard industry. The AFIA has serious concerns about this potential new requirement since the form 300 and 301 logs contain potentially sensitive worker information that could be released if OSHA posts the data. The AFIA will continue to monitor this rulemaking and alert members if/when reporting requirements change. 

Department of Transportation 

  • Entry Level Driver Training – Beginning in February 2022, to be eligible to take required skills or knowledge tests, commercial driver’s license applicants must have completed applicable entry-level driver training from a registered training provider.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued their own fact sheet that contains important information about the new requirements.