According to a memo from White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, a freeze on new or pending regulations went into effect on Friday shortly after President Trump’s inauguration. This might include the recently approved workplace exams rule issued by MSHA on Jan. 17.
MSHA issued the new workplace exams regulation last week, with an effective date of May 23, after months of comments and opposition from NSSGA and member companies. It calls for an examination of an area each time before work begins—not before a shift begins. The rule mandates the prompt notification of affected miners of hazards not immediately corrected, and also requires notification and documentation of any adverse conditions and any abatements made.
Priebus’ memo said that new regulations will not be accepted by the Office of the Federal Register until that specific agency’s administrator is in place, though who will lead MSHA in the Trump administration is not yet known. NSSGA continues to work with federal officials to ensure that this rule is delayed and possibly halted altogether pursuant to the memo. After all, it appears to be similar to others that are being reviewed before going into effect – irrespective of the bureaucratic hurdles that need to be addressed. NSSGA will share more information about the workplace exam rule’s progress as it becomes available.
NSSGA is also evaluating the impacts of this memo on other rules affecting members. One is the Federal Highway Administration’s inclusion of a greenhouse gas component in its recent release of the performance measures required by the 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) surface transportation reauthorization law. This inclusion exceeds the explicit congressional directives and scope of MAP-21, and would put new roads and lanes at a disadvantage compared to public transportation. NSSGA is working with transportation partners to ask for the withdrawal of this performance measure.