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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.

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OSHA Modifies Injury Reporting Requirements

(OSHA, Regulation) Permanent link

09_17_14

As 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.

House Bill Would Block EPA’s Waters of the US Rule

(Congress, Regulation) Permanent link


 09_4_14Representative Steve Southerland (R-FL) has introduced legislation that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers from expanding their regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. If enacted, the proposed Waters of the US Rule would dramatically expand federal jurisdiction over waters and wet areas in the US, including most water bodies on golf courses.

HR 5078, the “Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014,” would prevent the EPA from “developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing the proposed rule.” Further, the measure would require federal agencies to consult with state and local officials to identify which waters should be federally regulated and which should be left to the states.
 
On July 31, the bill was favorably reported out of committee by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The House is expected to consider the bill during the week of September 8. Take action and register your support today with your Congressional Representative!
 
Earlier this summer, the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House of Representative’s Appropriations Committee included a similar prohibition any funds for enforcement of the measure when it passed its 2015 spending bill for the Department of Interior and the EPA.

CMAA Joins Waters Advocacy Coalition to Support Efforts to Overturn EPA’s Proposed WOTUS Rule

(Regulation) Permanent link

08_19_14_WACLogoThis month, the Club Managers Association of America, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, PGA of America, American Society of Golf Course Architects, Golf Course Builders Association of America, National Club Association and National Golf Course Owners Association joined the Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC), a coalition of more than 35 associations focused on educating federal and state policymakers about the broad array of issues associated with expanding federal Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction.

In April 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency and US Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to revise the definition of a "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) for all CWA programs. The definitional changes contained in the rule would significantly expand federal control of land and water resources in the US, triggering substantial additional permitting and regulatory requirements. The WAC is focused on overturning the WOTUS rule as currently proposed.

As part of ongoing outreach activities, WAC is preparing to draft comments on behalf of its membership on the proposed rulemaking that will be supplemented by legal and economic analyses. The golf industry will also submit its own public comment to the federal docket on the proposed WOTUS rule. WAC will continue to hold Congressional briefings communicating the legal and practical issues with the proposed rulemaking to staff and Members. CMAA and its allied partners will continue to talk with Members of Congress about the impact of the rule on golf course development, construction and management.

Other WAC members include the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Forest & Paper Association, American Gas Association, Associated General Contractors of America, International Council of Shopping Centers, National Association of Home Builders and National Mining Association among others.
 

Training Temporary Workers Is Necessary

(OSHA, Regulation) Permanent link

08_12_14_175Earlier this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its Temporary Worker Initiative. With this initiative, OSHA seeks to educate employers and employees that temporary workers are entitled to the same protections under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act as all other covered permanent workers.

So what does that mean?

  • Safety and health training becomes a shared responsibility for host employers and the temporary staffing agency. For example, the staffing agency may provide general safety training but the employer will need to provide training specific to its workplace and any existing hazards. Neither party may assign this duty solely to the other.  
  • In most cases, any work-related injury, illness or fatality of a temporary worker must be reported on the OSHA 300 log of the host employer. These should be recorded on only one employer’s injury and illness log and recordkeeping responsibility is based on supervision. This should be discussed between the host employer and the temporary staffing agency.
  • Host employers and temporary staffing agencies must maintain continuous communication to ensure safe working conditions and that appropriate training is being completed.

Retired club manager and safety expert Alan Achatz, CCM, CHE, shared "This has potential implications for all clubs who utilize temporary, part-time or short-term employees."