The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals told the agency Jan. 17 that it could have a 6-week extension, making the new deadline for publication of the standard Feb. 28.
The appeals court on April 2, 2003, directed OSHA to publish a proposed hex chrome rule no later than Oct. 4, 2004, and a final standard by Jan. 18. The court issued the 2003 ruling as the result of a lawsuit filed by advocacy group Public Citizen and the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union that aimed to force OSHA to issue a standard containing a lower permissible exposure limit for hex chrome.
OSHA's proposed hex chrome rule which first appeared in the Oct. 4, 2004, Federal Register included a provision that would lower the PEL for hex chrome from 52 to 1 microgram per cubic meter of air as an 8-hour time-weighted average.