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Briefs Challenge Final Hexavalent Chromium Rule PEL and Application to Electric Power Plants

June 14 2007

Briefs were filed May 24th in an ongoing effort to challenge the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) final hexavalent chromium rule. Focusing on the permissible exposure limit (PEL) cited in the rule and its application to electrical power plants, the United Steelworkers (USW) and Public Citizen Health Research Group argued that a PEL of 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air is unacceptable.  USW and Public Citizen have urged the court to remand the rule back to OSHA to reconsider a lower PEL.


On the association side of the matter; Edison Electric Institute (EEI) filed a brief on May 24th as well, arguing that OSHA hasn’t adequately proven that electric utility coal-fired and nuclear power plant employees are “exposed to a significant risk of harm” from hexavalent chromium that will be reduced or eliminated by the rule.  EEI, an association of electric companies, states that the final rule was based on studies from industries with very different environments than that of power plants.


Other petitioners, whose claims have been settled regarding the final rule, include the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO (BCTD), the Laborers’ International Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, and the Surface Finishing Industry Council.

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