By Caroline Holland
Federal Energy Bill Update
The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed the U.S. government's new federal fuel economy standards for many sport-utility vehicles, minivans, and pickup trucks in a ruling issued Nov. 15, 2007. The Court notes that the standards, which would go into effect in 2008, did not properly assess the risk to the environment and failed to address heavy SUVs and trucks, along with other deficiencies.
This ruling followed a lawsuit filed by 10 states, New York City, the District of Columbia and a variety of environmental groups that argued federal regulators failed to note the effects of carbon dioxide emissions when calculating fuel economy standards for light trucks.
The suit was filed last year and sought to force the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recalculate its mileage standards, taking into account carbon dioxide emissions. The Court also called on the Bush administration to re-evaluate why it continues to treat light trucks differently from cars.
Democrats reached an energy deal on Nov. 30, 2007, to boost average new vehicle fuel economy to 35 mpg by 2020. With this agreement, it is likely that American cars could get smaller, and potentially more expensive. Automakers would likely begin production of advanced fuel-saving technologies such as gas-electric hybrids, diesels and gasoline direct-injection systems that boost the efficiency of internal-combustion motors. The proposed bill helps automakers with the cost of overhauling their product lines and factories to build more-efficient vehicles.
OSHA Issues Rule on Personal Protective Equipment
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced a final rule on providing personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace. Under the rule, all PPE, with few exceptions, will be provided at no cost to the employees. OSHA has implemented an enforcement deadline of six months from the Nov. 15, 2007, date of publication to allow employers time to change their existing PPE payment policies.
The minimal exceptions relate to ordinary safety-toed footwear, ordinary prescription safety eyewear, logging boots, ordinary clothing, and weather-related gear. The rule also clarifies the requirement regarding payment for employee-owned PPE and replacement PPE. OSHA predicts that this rule will result in more than 21,000 fewer occupational injuries per year.
EPA Environment Protection Specialist Speaks at CIC
The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held a meeting prior to NACE on Oct. 30, 2007. During the meeting, Kim Teal of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave an update on EPA's proposed auto refinishing regulation. Following the Sept. 17, 2007, publication of the proposed national emissions standards for area sources engaged in paint stripping, the public had 30 days to submit public comments.
ASA was involved in preliminary discussions with the EPA as data was gathered for the regulation. During this time, ASA urged the EPA to consider training qualifications, equipment requirements and enforcement as three critical components of the regulation. ASA believes that this proposed regulation adequately addresses these elements. Teal summarized the comments received and said that a final regulation was published early last month.
The New Mexico proposed standards and EPA's proposed auto refinishing regulation are available on the Automotive Service Association's legislative Web site, www.TakingTheHill.com.
AutoInc. Web Site |
ASA Web Site |
State Super Warranty Programs Continue to Advance |
State Legislative Objectives |
Federal Legislative Objectives |
Keeping an Eye on PSI: Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems |
Kaizen 'Lean' Principles |
In Search of a Perfect 10 |
Motivating Yourself in Order to Motivate Your Staff |
Guest Editorial |
Tech to Tech |
Tech Tips |
News Briefs |
Taking the Hill |
Around ASA |
Shop Profile |
Net Worth |
Stat Corner |
Copyright (c) 1996-2011. Automotive Service Association®. All rights reserved.