GHS on the EPA’s Agenda

Posted on: January 8, 2014

By Melissa Buckshire

In a publication from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Fall 2013 Regulatory Agenda, it was noted that the EPA is considering making changes to 40 CFR 721.63 (“Protection in the Workplace”) and 40 CFR 721.72 (“Hazard Communication Program”).  Where possible and applicable, the EPA intends to propose changes to these regulations to align with OSHA’s 2012 update to regulation 29 CFR 1900.1200 which incorporated the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) into the Hazard Communication Standard.  This means there could be changes for the purposes of aligning with GHS requirements in certain aspects of the EPA regulations.  The Notice of Proposed Rule Making is anticipated to be published mid-2014, so be on the lookout!

Similarly, the EPA is developing proposed changes to 40 CFR 170, the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard.  Spurred by numerous on-going discussions with stakeholders as well as meetings with the public, the EPA is considering making changes to this Standard in order to align with the incorporation of GHS into regulation 29 CFR 1900.1200.  In addition, the EPA is considering changes regarding the following:

  • Clarification and improvement of requirements to facilitate compliance;
  • Improvement in worker protection from pesticides and pesticide residues along with protecting workers’ families from secondary exposures;
  • Improvement in worker safety training in order to increase worker safety.

This Notice of Proposed Rule Making is anticipated to be published in the spring of 2014.  While this is only the first of many steps the EPA is taking toward GHS conversion, it is a significant one.  Stay tuned for more information next year!


Significant New Use Rules; Amendment of Hazard Communication Program and Worker Protection Requirements:

Pesticides; Agricultural Worker Protection Standard Revisions:


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