Welcome

The Legislative Report blog provides timely information on federal and state legislation and regulations and state trends as well as the myriad issues affecting the private club industry. A companion to CMAA's Legislative website, this resource should be your first stop for any information regarding legal, tax or legislative club-specific issues.

Posts by Category

Recent Posts

Search Blog

USCIS Launches E-Verify Portal for Employees

(Dept of Labor, Immigration) Permanent link

10_8_14

On October 6, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the launch of a new E-Verify portal designed specifically for use by employees. Called myE-Verify, the portal  gives employees a free and secure way to participate in the E-Verify process by accessing features dedicated for employees, including:

  • Self Check - This free, web-based application is available to anyone in the United States over the age of 16 to use to confirm employment eligibility. After the individual enters the requested information, Self Check will compare that information with various government records to determine current work eligibility in the United States.
  • myE-Verify accounts – Employees and job seekers can establish a free and secure personal account to manage the use of their information in E-Verify and Self Check through the available myE-Verify features. In order to create an account, individuals must first have their identities verified through the Self Check feature.
  • Self Lock – Individuals can lock their social security numbers to prevent unauthorized or fraudulent use within E-Verify and can proactively protect their identities from being used by others to illegally gain employment. Self Lock is available only to myE-Verify account holders.  
  • myResources – This section of the myE-Verify site contains information in multi-media formats to educate employees about their rights as well as responsibilities of employers in the employment eligibility verification process.

At present, the site is only available to employees in five states - Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia. USCIS plans to make the program available nationwide and incorporate further features.   

EPA’s Waters of the US Rule Comment Deadline Extended to November 14

(Regulation) Permanent link

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the public comment deadline for Defining the Waters of the United States Under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for a second time. This public comment period is now open until Friday, November 14.   
First released in April, this proposed rule could significantly impact the operation and management of golf courses. Final approval of this rule could dramatically expand federal jurisdiction over waters and wet areas in the US, including most water bodies on golf courses.
Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:
 
    •   Online through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
    •   E-mail your comments and include EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880 in the subject line of the message.
    •   Mail: Send the original and three copies of your comments to:
        Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency
        Mail Code 2822T
        1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
        Washington, DC 20460
        Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.
    •   Hand Delivery/Courier: Deliver your comments to EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880. Such deliveries are accepted only during the Docket's normal hours of operation, which are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The telephone number for the Water Docket is (202) 566-2426.
 
For any comments, please reference Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.

CMAA will be submitting comments as part of the golf industry task force with cross-profession representatives. Vice President Tony D’Errico, CCM, CCE, and Senior Director, Communications and Government Relations, Melissa Low are representing CMAA on this initiative. For further information, please contact Melissa Low.

EPA Grants Three-Year Extension for Use of Nemacur to October 2017

(Regulation) Permanent link

Based on a request from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that golf courses will have a three-year extension to use and deplete their stocks of existing pesticide fenamiphos (Nemacur). Prior to the October 1 announcement in the Federal Register, all stocks would need to have been used or disposed of by October 6, 2014. This extension amends the previous 2011 deletion and product cancellation order.

OSHA Modifies Injury Reporting Requirements

(OSHA, Regulation) Permanent link

09_17_14_175wAs announced September 11, OSHA will now mandate a change in reporting for employee injuries. Effective January 1, 2015, clubs will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. Previous OSHA regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule. The updated rule leaves in place the current requirement that employers report all work-related fatalities to OSHA within eight hours.

Employers should report these events by telephone to the nearest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours or the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA [6742], or electronically through a new online tool which will be released soon and accessible at www.osha.gov/report_online.

The above injury reporting requirements apply to all clubs.

The final rule also amends the list of industries which are required to maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses at their establishments through OSHA Forms 300, 301 and 300A.

 

DuPont to Pay $1.8M Penalty to EPA for Imprelis

(Regulation) Permanent link

09-16_14_175wThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its settlement with DuPont over violations of federal pesticide laws related to the product, Imprelis. Designed to control weeds like dandelions, clover, thistle, plantains and ground ivy, the application of Imprelis led to widespread tree deaths and damage at residential and commercial properties across the country. More than 7,000 trees have been impacted, according to DuPont submitted reports to EPA of damage or death of trees – primarily Norway spruce and white pine. 

DuPont has been ordered to pay $1,853,000 in penalties to resolve alleged violations of pesticide reporting and distribution laws. DuPont was specifically cited for failing to fully report the product’s potential adverse impacts on plants or animals that it is not intended to control during the registration process.

As reported in various industry publications including GCSAA’s Golf Course Management, the effects of Imprelis on the golf industry have been substantial.

House Approves Bill to Block EPA’s Waters of the US Rule

(Congress, Regulation) Permanent link

On September 9, the House of Representatives approved HR 5078, the "Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014.”" The measure prevents the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from further "developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing" the proposed Waters of the US Rule that would dramatically expand federal jurisdiction over waters and wet areas in the US, including most bodies of water on golf courses.

The bill will now face consideration in the divided Senate. However, given the Senate’s fall schedule, it is unlikely to be considered until after the November 4 election. 

In a memo to the House from the White House Office of Management and Budget, senior advisors opposed the passage of HR 5078 and indicated that the President would most likely veto the measure.

Meanwhile, the EPA’s public comment period on the proposed remains open until October 20. Please submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.

House Committee Releases EPA Detailed Maps

(Congress, Regulation) Permanent link

09_05_14_175wIn late August, the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology published the Environmental Protection Agency’s detailed maps which illustrate the waters and wetlands for all 50 states on its website. The maps were created in 2013 shortly after the EPA proposal of the Waters of the US rule.
 
These maps have become very controversial. The Committee requested their release at a July hearing with EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe and Chairman Lamar Smith has requested further clarification as to the purpose of the maps.   
 
View all 50 maps, including detailed state by state maps.
 
The EPA has responded to the release through EPA Connect: The Official Blog of EPA’s Leadership in a post entitled Mapping the Truth.