OSHA Gets Extension to Publish Hex Chrome Rule

A federal appeals court has pushed back OSHA's deadline for issuing a final hexavalent chromium rule, after the agency requested an extension "due to unanticipated delays" resulting from its participation in the response to Hurricane Katrina.

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.

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