policy issues

Health, Safety & the Environment Related News

May 15, 2020
AFIA President & CEO Delivers Video Message to Members
American Feed Industry Association President and CEO Constance Cullman delivered a short video message today to members detailing how the association is addressing industry challenges in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic. She asks that members continue sharing their concerns with the staff so that our essential industry can make it through the public health crisis together.
May 15, 2020
Outgoing AFIA Board Chair Delivers Video Message to Members
Tim Belstra of Belstra Milling, the American Feed Industry Association's 2019-20 Board chair, delivered a short video message today to members detailing how the animal food industry is supporting local communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In it, he talks about how the industry is supporting the healthcare community ? "the real heroes" ? to feeding Americans to supporting pet owners, some of whom have recently lost their jobs.
May 15, 2020
AFIA Advocates for Liability Protection; Farms and Agricultural Businesses Eligible for Disaster Grant Loan; Depopulation Talking Points Now Available
This weekend, the American Feed Industry Association joined partner organizations in asking congressional leaders to provide liability protection to essential infrastructure employers during this critical time. As essential work carries on at the direction of executive orders and Defense Production Act directives, and in an effort to stabilize the food supply chain, employers across the nation are facing increased risks of litigation and punitive claims by employees exposed to COVID-19 ? a risk that only grows as state economies begin to reopen.
May 15, 2020
AFIA Raises Concerns on New Chemical Fee Rule ? Facility Uses of Formaldehyde Not Targeted
Over the past several weeks, the American Feed Industry Association has joined other groups in communicating industry concerns to the Environmental Protection Agency concerning the 2018 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) fees rule, announced in January.
May 15, 2020
Addressing Hard Questions in the Workplace During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, most activities undertaken by American Feed Industry Association members have been deemed essential -- meaning feed and pet food manufacturing operations have continued, while much of the economy has experienced severe shutdowns.
May 15, 2020
Washington Update
Focus in Washington this week remains on coronavirus response as contention mounts over how best to move forward. While states continue planning how and when to reopen businesses, the House and Senate grapple with the price tag of keeping the national economy on life support, and the White House continues with trying to reshape the narrative around economic stability and public health.
May 1, 2020
CISA Updates Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker List; AFIA Advises Documenting Sanitation Measures; U.S. Government Provides Assistance to Livestock Industry
Late last week, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released Version 3.0 of its Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers list. Version 3.0 provides clarity around a range of positions needed to support the critical infrastructure functions laid out in the original guidance and Version 2.0.
May 1, 2020
PPE Distributor List Now Available, CARES Act Supplement Passes Senate
Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force released a list of distributors that have, or will soon have, significant quantities of personal protection equipment (PPE) available, including non-medical-grade facemasks (including cloth masks) and N95 respirators. The distributors listed are prepared to receive requests from entities within the food and agriculture sector that have an immediate need for PPE, which cannot be supplied through existing distributors
May 1, 2020
Washington Update
Following positive movement last week resulting in the replenishment of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Capitol Hill has come to a near standstill this week, while the nation grapples with how best to restart the economy.
May 1, 2020
Slaughter Capacity; Round 2 of PPP Loans Resume This Morning
As you may have seen in the news and livestock/poultry market reports, many of the nation's slaughter facilities have either closed or reduced slaughter capacity due to employees testing positive for COVID-19. As a result, certain situations may require depopulation of livestock and poultry. The American Feed Industry Association is tracking this issue very closely as it may impact the animal food industry in terms of the availability of rendered ingredients and demand for animal feed.
May 1, 2020
CDC/OSHA Issues Guidance for Meat/Poultry Processors; President Invokes Defense Protection Act
On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidance for meat and poultry processing workers and employers. While the guidance is focused on how meat and poultry processing plants can establish or improve their COVID-19 response plans to continue operations, there are lessons that can be applied to other manufacturing systems, like animal feed, ingredients and pet food as well.
April 17, 2020
Small Businesses Eligible for Assistance, FDA Provides Updates on Remote Work and Inspections, OSHA Gives Guidance on Respirators and More
The Paycheck Protection Program, authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, agricultural producers, veterans organizations and tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible for assistance if they also meet program size standards.
April 17, 2020
OSHA Issues New Respirator Guidance
The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued new enforcement guidance on the use of respiratory protection equipment certified under international standards or other jurisdictions during the coronavirus disease pandemic. OSHA's memorandum provides additional interim guidance to compliance safety and health officers for enforcing the Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR § 1910.134) and certain other health standards, with regard to supply shortages of disposable N95 filtering face-piece respirators (FFRs).
April 17, 2020
CDC Updates Guidance for Workers, OSHA Issues Temporary Guidance on FitTest for Respirators
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have updated guidance regarding the continued health, safety and protection of the "essential" critical infrastructure workforce who may have been exposed to COVID-19. These two important informational products include an interim guidance for businesses implementing safety practices for workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and a quick reference of the "Do's and Don'ts" for employers and employees related to COVID-19 exposures.
April 17, 2020
OSHA Releases Guidance Determining COVID-19 as a Recordable Illness
Last Friday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued an enforcement guidance with details on how employers should record occupational illnesses, specifically cases of the COVID-19. In areas where there is ongoing community transmission, employers ? other than those in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations and correctional institutions ? may have difficulty determining whether workers contracted COVID-19 due to exposures at work. In light of those difficulties, OSHA is exercising enforcement discretion in order to provide certainty to the regulated community.
April 3, 2020
ICYMI: Member Webinar on Legislative and Regulatory Issues
Last week, the American Feed Industry Association held a webcast member update with the legislative and regulatory (L&R) team. It covered a number of topics, including African swine fever preparedness and response, learnings from recent Food Safety Modernization Act inspections, an update on trade topics and AFIA's response to the new coronavirus and the implications of the virus on our industry.
April 3, 2020
DHS Updates Infrastructure List, FMCSA Provides Exceptions and More From DOL, FDA and OSHA
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released guidance to state and local decision-makers on what it deems to be the "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce." Under this guidance, the agency lists 16 industry sectors as imperative to the stability of the nation during the COVID-19 emergency, of which food and agriculture is one of these essential sectors. The guidance document further defines critical food and agriculture workers.
April 3, 2020
DOL Releases Additional Guidance on Leave, FDA Holds Animal Food Stakeholder Call
The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced additional guidance to provide information to workers and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which takes effect on April 1.
April 3, 2020
Tips for Using N95 Respirators or Other Alternatives
Many feed manufacturing facilities may suddenly find it difficult to obtain N95 respirators due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. N95 disposable respirators are commonly used in our industry to protect the health of employees handling hazardous materials. As the country is facing a temporary shortage of supply, the American Feed Industry Association is providing reminders on using respirators at your facility and also suggestions on other alternatives that exist that may fulfill your business needs.
April 3, 2020
AFIA Supports Business Continuity for Members
Over the last several weeks, American Feed Industry Association staff have been in close communication with the Department of Homeland Security, other federal agencies and state feed and grain associations in order to ensure a clear flow of communication throughout the COVID-19 crisis. As the nation and world change practices in response to the novel coronavirus, AFIA staff have addressed the systems needed to support business continuity and an uninterrupted flow of ingredients and finished products to feed all classes of animals.
March 20, 2020
From the Desk of the CEO: AFIA COVID-19 Updates
The COVID-19 situation has created a "new normal" for all of us as we, led by our government leaders, work to contain the transmission of this terrible virus. Its impact on individual health is severe and remains our utmost concern. Along with the efforts to protect public health, our industry is also working hard to ensure that the food supply remains uninterrupted. Deemed essential by virtually every state because of aggressive action by your AFIA team and other industry partners, the animal food sector is on the front-lines and successfully navigating limited labor, interrupted supply lines and distribution challenges. This is a remarkable industry!
March 20, 2020
Inspectors ? What if I'm Not Accepting Visitors in My Facility?; Retail Closures Being Put in Place; New OSHA Guidance to Protect Employees from COVID-19
The American Feed Industry Association is tracking updates on the new coronavirus (COVID19) and its effects on the animal food industry. See a few important updates below and be sure to bookmark our new member-only webpage for the latest news and resources.
March 20, 2020
FDA Issues Enforcement Discretion Guidance for FSMA Requirements
Today, the Food and Drug Administration posted guidance for industry entitled, "Temporary Policy Regarding Preventive Controls and FSVP Food Supplier Verification Onsite Audit Requirements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency." This policy provides enforcement discretion for requirements in the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations that require on-site audits to verify suppliers, in light of the recent actions to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
March 20, 2020
Animal Food Facilities Must Stay Open; FDA Updates Stakeholders on Response Plans and New Resources You Can Use
The American Feed Industry Association, along with 23 state and regional feed and grain associations, called on state officials around the country today to maintain access to businesses providing animal food amid proposed state plans to close "non-essential businesses" to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
March 20, 2020
Port Temporarily Closed, USDA Works to Secure Ag Supply Chain, DHS Releases Guidance on Critical Infrastructure Workers
Today, the Port of Houston closed two container terminals, Barbours Cut and Bayport, when an employee that worked at both sites tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Port Authority closed the public terminals and temporarily suspended operations while they conducted a thorough investigation. The Port Authority's other public facilities remained open. According to the Port Authority, the two container terminals will reopen on March 20. A
March 20, 2020
AFIA Calls on States to Keep Animal Food Businesses Open During COVID-19 Response
The American Feed Industry Association, along with 23 state and regional feed and grain associations, called on state officials around the country today to maintain access to businesses providing animal food amid proposed state plans to close "non-essential businesses" to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The plea comes after some states released response plans that excluded animal food manufacturing facilities, transportation and agricultural and non-agricultural retail establishments from their lists of "essential businesses." In an urgent letter, the groups stated that these businesses should be reclassified because not doing so would hinder the animal food industry's ability to continue feeding America's livestock, poultry and pets, threaten the U.S. food supply and drive up prices for farmers, ranchers, pet owners and consumers.
March 20, 2020
Legislative and Political Timelines Dramatically Slow as Nation Addresses Public Health and Failing Economy
In the past two weeks, a relatively productive and on-time legislative session and appropriations process came to an abrupt halt and even the presidential race lost attention as the World Health Organization announced that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) had reached pandemic levels, leading President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency.
March 16, 2020
Coronavirus Update
The American Feed Industry Association is tracking updates on the new coronavirus (COVID-19) and its effects on the animal food industry. See a few important updates below and be sure to bookmark our new member-only webpage for the latest news and resources.
January 7, 2020
Environmental Reporting: EPCRA Tier II Reporting for Combustible Dust
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2017 changed the Tier II reporting requirements and format under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA, Sections 311 and 312). Below are frequently asked questions on how these requirements, including changes on combustible dust reporting, may impact your facilities.
October 18, 2019
FMCSA Revises Hours-of-Service Rules
The Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently sought comments on a newly published proposed rulemaking on changes to its hours-of-service rules. The goal of the proposed rulemaking is to increase the safety on roadways by giving commercial drivers more flexibility in managing their schedules while maintaining the safety limits on driving time.
October 18, 2019
New Overtime Rule Goes into Effect Jan. 1, 2020
In September, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule to make 1.3 million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay. The final rule updates the earnings thresholds necessary in order to exempt executive, administrative and professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. The new thresholds account for growth in employee earnings since the thresholds were last updated in 2004. The rule will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
October 4, 2019
New GFLI Entity to Make Environmental Data on Feed Ingredients Publicly Available
Recognizing that animal feed is a critical component in measuring the total environmental footprint of animal nutrition products, an international consortium came together in 2016 to establish a "global gold standard" for calculating the life-cycle analysis (LCA) of feed ingredients. Now, the founding partners of the Global Feed LCA Institute (GFLI) are establishing a legal non-profit institute, under the same name, to expand its work and make the data more widely available to stakeholders throughout the global food value chain.
August 9, 2019
Join AFIA For OSHA's Safe + Sound Week Aug. 12-16
The American Feed Industry Association has prepared a social media toolkit for members' use in social media Aug. 12-16, 2019, for OSHA's Safe + Sound Week.
August 9, 2019
OSHA Safe + Sound Social Media Toolkit
OSHA Safe + Sound Social Media Toolkit
July 1, 2019
Is a Dust Hazard Analysis Required in the Grain, Feed and Processing Industries?
Recently, there has been much confusion within the grain, feed and processing industries on whether a "Dust Hazard Analysis" is required for new or existing facilities.
June 27, 2019
Is a Dust Hazard Analysis Required in the Grain, Feed and Processing Industries?
Recently, there has been much confusion within the grain, feed and processing industries on whether a "Dust Hazard Analysis" is required for new or existing facilities.
June 13, 2019
AFIA Submits Comments on Powered Industrial Trucks Standards
This week, the American Feed Industry Association responded to the U.S. Occupational, Safety and Health Administration's request for information related to requirements in the standards on powered industrial trucks for general, maritime and construction industries.
March 22, 2019
OSHA Requests Information on the Powered Industrial Trucks Standard
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is requesting information by early June to update its powered industrial trucks standards for general, maritime and construction industries.
January 25, 2019
IFIF Provides Toolkit on GHS Implementation
Earlier this month, the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) launched an online toolkit to provide guidance to the animal food industry on implementing the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.
January 11, 2019
AFIA on Combustible Dust: More Regulations Not Needed
The American Feed Industry Association signed onto a letter to the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) last month outlining why additional regulations on grain handling or the processing industry to mitigate combustible dust hazards are unnecessary.
December 14, 2018
WOTUS Is Back in the Limelight
On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers announced their new "waters of the U.S." proposal at an event that attracted dozens of farmers and industry leaders who have long-sought straightforward definitions that allow farmers to more clearly decide how to operate on their lands.
November 16, 2018
Climate Change Back in the Limelight
Democratic leaders of three House committees announced plans for two days of hearings early next year on the issue of climate change. With Democrats taking control of the House, they have vowed to renew their focus on the issue, even though Senate Republicans can block any resulting legislation.
November 2, 2018
AFIA Board Discusses Latest Policy Priorities
On Oct. 18, the American Feed Industry Association's Board of Directors met in Arizona to discuss and review the association's business items and latest legislative and regulatory work. They also recognized Richard Sellers, AFIA's senior vice president of public policy and education, who will be retiring Dec. 31. 
November 2, 2018
New Law Authorizes Funding for Water Resource Improvement Projects
Last week, President Donald Trump signed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018 into law, reauthorizing investments in infrastructure improvements along inland American waterways. The law, which passed Congress with bipartisan support, was seen as a much-needed investment in U.S. infrastructure as it makes it easier to ship agricultural and other goods to U.S. ports and harbors.
August 10, 2018
Join AFIA in Promoting Safe + Sound Week Aug. 13-19
Next week is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Safe + Sound Week, intended to raise awareness and understanding of safety and health programs. The American Feed Industry Association will be promoting safety in the feed industry on social media throughout the week. Be sure to follow along on AFIA's Facebook and Twitter and use the hashtag #SafeAndSound2018.
August 10, 2018
Ag Nuisance Lawsuits Heat Up with Devastating Consequences to Farmers
More than 35 state and national ag leaders convened last Friday at the North Carolina State Fair to "discuss the threat that nuisance lawsuits pose to the U.S. agriculture industry, rural America, and farm families nationwide." Rep. David Rouzer, R-N.C., Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler hosted the roundtable to discuss the issue and solutions to these types of lawsuits.
June 15, 2018
FMCSA Clarifies Agricultural Commodity Exception
On May 31, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released regulatory guidance that clarifies when the agricultural commodity exception is applicable in the hours of service (HOS) regulations in 49 CFR Part 395.
May 4, 2018
Alert to N.J. Truckers: State Cracking Down on Corporate Tax Violators
If you are a manufacturing facility with shippers that drop-off, pick-up or transport products within the state of New Jersey, you may want to pay attention to this alert. The New Jersey Division of Taxation is cracking down on truckers that transport goods in the Garden State that are not registered to pay the state's corporate business tax.
April 20, 2018
AFIA Partners with OSHA on Safe + Sound for Workplace Safety and Health
The American Feed Industry Association has partnered with the the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on the national Safe + Sound Campaign, which encourages workplaces in the United States to have a safety and health program as a way to identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness.
April 6, 2018
AFIA Co-Sponsors Grain Engulfment Prevention Week
Grain engulfment and the resulting suffocation is one of the leading causes of death in grain bins. In an effort to bring awareness to this issue and help prevent engulfment incidents, the American Feed Industry Association is a co-sponsor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Grain and Feed Association's "Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week," being held April 9-13.
March 23, 2018
Equipment Manufacturers and Production Compliance Committees Working Together
The American Feed Industry Association hosted several spring committee meetings in conjunction with its Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference last week in Fort Worth, Texas. Two of the committees that met--the Equipment Manufacturers Committee (EMC) and the Production Compliance Committee (PCC)--often work together, so they took advantage of being in the same place at the same time to tour the recently opened Hayes & Stolz Industrial Manufacturing Co., LLC facility in Burleson, Texas.