Litigators from Gallagher & Kennedy prevailed on behalf of The Fertilizer Institute (“TFI”) against the U.S. Department of Labor following full merits briefing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The team includes Chris Leason, Mark Dangerfield, Andrew Dudley, and Hannah Porter.
BNA Occupational Safety & Health Reporter Sam Pearson reported on the win.
Process Safety: Fertilizer Exemption Guidance Vacated in Win for Agriculture
Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidance narrowing the scope of exemptions to its Process Safety Management regulations amounts to regulation and should have gone through the rulemaking process, a federal appeals court ruled (Agricultural Retailers Assoc. v. DOL, D.C. Cir., No. 15-01326, 9/23/16).
Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, Judge Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit said in the Sept. 23 opinion that the action was significant enough to require a traditional rulemaking procedure. The decision vacates the year-old action by OSHA. The court agreed with petitioners the Agricultural Retailers Association and The Fertilizer Institute, who argued OSHA's changes required a rulemaking under the OSH Act.
The changes are "a big win" for industry groups, Daren Coppock, president and chief executive officer of the said in a statement Sept. 23, though the guidances's proponent warn the decision will put communities at risk.