EPA urged to postpone implementing Worker Safety Rule

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
Two national agricultural groups recently urged the Environmental Protection Agency to postpone implementation of the Worker Protection Safety (WPS) Rule.

Late in December, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture joined with the American Farm Bureau Federation in a petition that cites several complaints against the EPA, including an allegation that EPA violated federal law in addition to “incomplete and undelivered compliance and enforcement tools,” according to a posting on the AFBF website.

According to the posting, the petition to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the WPS rule “fails to advance the purpose of furthering the safety of farmworkers.” The rule’s implementation date of January additionally creates “a serious problem for administration of the rule’s requirements” for not only ranchers and farmers but for individual state departments of agriculture as well.

“At this time, even if all of the compliance and enforcement materials were completed and distributed to all the appropriate state enforcement agencies, there is simply not enough time for the (state lead agencies) and the regulated community to successfully implement the provisions scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2017,” the petition states. “In short, EPA has failed to develop and deliver the necessary resources for states to train the regulated community on the new requirements, and the agency has failed to comply with its own WPS implementation timeline.”

Organizations in this story

American Farm Bureau Federation 600 Maryland Ave SW Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20024

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