Hawaii State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health; Proposed Modification of 18(e) Plan Approval, 42462-42464 [2012-17363]

Download as PDF 42462 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2012 / Proposed Rules five years from the date the T–T strap package was opened, or if that date was not recorded, five years from the manufacturer’s cure date. (ii) A 2,500 hour time-in-service (TIS) life limit for any T–T straps, P/N 500N5311–5, installed on a Model 500N or Model 600N helicopter that was previously installed on a Model MD900 helicopter. Note to paragraph (d) of this AD: For the MDHI Model MD900 helicopters, AD 2006– 18–01 (71 FR 51095, August 29, 2006) contains additional TIS life limits for T–T straps, P/N 900R3442009–103 and P/N 900R6442009–103 and additional inspection requirements for all four affected T–T straps, P/N 500N5311–5, P/N 900R3442009–101, P/N 900R3442009–103, and P/N 900R6442009–103. (e) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC) (1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: John Cecil, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, Airframe Branch, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712–4137; telephone 562–627–5228, fax 562–627–5210; email: john.cecil@faa.gov. (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC. (f) Additional Information MDHI has issued one service bulletin with two numbers, SB500N–029R3 for the Model 500N helicopters, and SB600N–046R3 for the Model 600N helicopters, dated July 9, 2008. MD Helicopters, Inc. has also issued SB900– 107R1, dated March 14, 2008, for the Model MD900 helicopters. These service bulletins, which are not incorporated by reference, contain information related to the subject of this AD. For this service information, contact MD Helicopters, Inc., Attn: Customer Support Division, 4555 E. McDowell Rd., Mail Stop M615, Mesa, Arizona 85215–9734, telephone 1–800–388–3378, fax 480–346– 6813, or on the web at http:// www.mdhelicopters.com. You may review a copy of this information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (g) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6410: Tail rotor blades. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 10, 2012. Kim Smith, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Internal Revenue Service Occupational Safety and Health Administration 26 CFR Parts 1 and 301 [REG–153627–08] 29 CFR Part 1952 RIN–1545–BI40 [Docket ID. OSHA 2012–0029] Reporting and Notice Requirements for Deferred Vested Benefits Under Section 6057; Correction RIN 1218–AC78 Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Correction to notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: This document corrects a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG– 153627–08) that was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, June 21, 2012 (77 FR 37352), that would provide guidance relating to automatic extensions of time for filing certain employee plan returns by adding the Form 8955–SSA, ‘‘Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits,’’ to the list of forms that are covered by the Income Tax Regulations on automatic extensions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Gibbs, Sarah Bolen, or Pamela Kinard, (202) 622–6060 (not a toll-free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background The notice of proposed rulemaking (REG–153627–08) that is the subject of this correction is under section 6057 of the Internal Revenue Code. Need for Correction As published, REG–153627–08 contains an error that may prove to be misleading and is in need of clarification. Correction of Publication Accordingly, the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG– 153627–08) that was the subject of FR. Doc. 2012–15068, is corrected as follows: On page 37354, column 1, in the preamble, under the paragraph heading ‘‘Background’’, line four of the column, the language ‘‘Employee Benefit Returns,’’and file the’’ is corrected to read, ‘‘Employee Plan Returns,’’and file the’’. LaNita Van Dyke, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration). [FR Doc. 2012–17616 Filed 7–18–12; 8:45 am] [FR Doc. 2012–17545 Filed 7–18–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P BILLING CODE 4830–01–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:06 Jul 18, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Hawaii State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health; Proposed Modification of 18(e) Plan Approval Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Labor. ACTION: Notice of opportunity to request informal public hearing; request for written comments. AGENCY: Hawaii administers an occupational safety and health state plan approved by federal OSHA. During the past three years, the state plan has faced significant budgetary constraints and staffing challenges, and has requested federal OSHA assistance to ensure that workers are afforded adequate worker protection during this period. The Hawaii Director of Labor and Industrial Relations has requested a temporary modification of the state plan’s approval status from final approval to initial approval, to permit exercise of supplemental federal enforcement and to allow Hawaii sufficient time and assistance to strengthen and improve its state plan performance. Hawaii has pledged to accomplish the necessary corrective action to regain final approval status in a timely manner. OSHA is soliciting written comments to ensure that all relevant information, views and data are available to the Assistant Secretary during this proceeding. Members of the public may also submit requests for an informal hearing, which will be scheduled if the Assistant Secretary finds that substantial issues are raised that necessitate a hearing. DATES: Comments and requests for an informal hearing must be received by August 23, 2012. ADDRESSES: Written comments: You may submit comments, identified by docket number OSHA–2012–0029, or regulatory information number (RIN) 1218–AC78, by any of the following methods: Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http:// www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions on-line for making electronic submissions; or SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\19JYP1.SGM 19JYP1 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2012 / Proposed Rules Fax: If your submission, including attachments, does not exceed 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693–1648; or U.S. mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger or courier service: You must submit your comments and attachments to the OSHA Office, Docket Number OSHA–2012–0029, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N–2625, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693–2350 (OSHA’s TTY number is (877) 889–5627). Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger and courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor’s and Docket Office’s normal business hours, 8:15 a.m.–4:45 p.m., EDT. Instructions for submitting comments: All submissions must include the docket number (Docket No. OSHA– 2012–0029) or the RIN number (RIN 1218–AC78) for this rulemaking. Because of security-related procedures, submission by regular mail may result in significant delay. Please contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about security procedures for making submissions by hand delivery, express delivery and messenger or courier service. All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions you about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and birthdates. Docket: To read or download submissions in response to this Federal Register notice, go to docket number OSHA–2012–0029, at http:// www.regulations.gov. All submissions are listed in the http:// www.regulations.gov index, however some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through that Web page. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Electronic copies of this Federal Register document are available at http://www.regulations.gov. This document as well as news releases and other relevant information, is available at OSHA’s Web page at http:// www.osha.gov. A copy of the documents referenced in this notice may be obtained from: Office of State Programs, Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N3700, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, (202) 693–2244, fax (202) 693–1671; Office of the VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:06 Jul 18, 2012 Jkt 226001 Regional Administrator, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, San Francisco Federal Building, 90 7th Street, Suite 18–100, San Francisco, California 94103, (415) 625–2546, fax (415) 625–2526; and the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, HIOSH, 830 Punchbowl Street, Suite 425, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, (808) 586–9100, fax (808) 586– 9104. Other information about the Hawaii State Plan is posted on the state’s Web site at http://hawaii.gov/ labor/hiosh. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For press inquiries: Francis Meilinger, OSHA Office of Communications, Room N–3647, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693–1999; email: meilinger.francis2@dol.gov. For general and technical information: Douglas J. Kalinowski, Director, OSHA Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, Room N–3700, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693–2200; email: kalinowski.doug@dol.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act, 29 U.S.C. 667) provides that states that desire to assume responsibility for the development and enforcement of occupational safety and health standards may do so by submitting, and obtaining federal approval of a state plan. Procedures for state plan approval are set forth in the regulations at 29 CFR part 1902. If the Assistant Secretary, applying the criteria set forth in section 18(c) of the Act and OSHA regulations, finds that the plan provides or will provide for state standards and enforcement that are ‘‘at least as effective as’’ federal standards and enforcement, initial approval is granted pursuant to section 18(b) of the Act (29 U.S.C. 667(b)). A state may commence operations under its plan after this determination is made, but the Assistant Secretary retains enforcement authority during the initial-approval period, as provided by section 18(e) of the Act, which states, ‘‘[a]fter the Secretary approves a State plan submitted under subsection (b), he may, but shall not be required to, exercise his authority under sections 8, 9, 10, 13, and 17 with respect to comparable standards promulgated under section 6,’’ for the specified period. The Hawaii State Plan received initial federal OSHA plan approval on December 28, 1973 (39 FR 1010). The Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 42463 Division (HIOSH) of the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is designated as the state agency with responsibility for administering the state plan. Hawaii proceeded to the next phase of federal plan approval in 1984, when the state plan received ‘‘final approval’’ under section 18(e) of the Act. Final approval under section 18(e) requires, among other things, a finding by the Assistant Secretary that the plan, in actual operation, provides worker protection ‘‘at least as effective as’’ that provided by federal OSHA. A final approval determination results in the relinquishment of federal concurrent enforcement authority in the state with respect to occupational safety and health issues covered by the plan, 29 U.S.C. 667(e). Hawaii was granted final approval effective April 30, 1984 (49 FR 19182). Current Situation in Hawaii During the past three years, the Hawaii State Plan has faced major budgetary and hiring restraints that have significantly affected its program. Impacts on the state plan are clearly reflected in the deficiencies identified throughout recent OSHA monitoring reports. Joint efforts were made by federal OSHA and Hawaii to address these issues, yet Hawaii continues to face severe programmatic, staffing and training issues. As of March 1, 2012, the HIOSH program employed five safety inspectors and five health inspectors, which falls short of the required nine (9) safety inspectors and nine (9) health inspectors as determined by benchmarks established pursuant to a federal court order entered in AFL–CIO v. Marshall, C.A. No. 74–406 (D.D.C. 1978)(order implementing AFL–CIO v. Marshall, 570 F.2d 1030 (D.C. Cir. 1978).) This reduced staffing level has resulted in a significant decrease in enforcement activities. Added to the state’s economic situation is the loss of institutional knowledge with the recent retirement of the program administrator. With the ongoing task of training a new program administrator, as well as hiring and training new enforcement and administrative staff, Hawaii has requested assistance from federal OSHA. Hawaii’s proactive efforts demonstrate a commitment to ensuring that workers are afforded adequate protection during this period of program strengthening and improvement. Joint efforts by federal OSHA and HIOSH to address Hawaii’s worker protection needs during this period, necessitate a greater enforcement presence by OSHA in the state. In order for federal OSHA to be able to provide E:\FR\FM\19JYP1.SGM 19JYP1 42464 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2012 / Proposed Rules this assistance, Hawaii’s plan approval status must be modified from final approval to initial approval. During the phase of initial state plan approval status, federal OSHA regains authority to enforce federal OSHA requirements as a supplement to state plan enforcement. Dwight Takamine, Hawaii’s Director of Labor and Industrial Relations, has committed the state to making Hawaii’s workplaces safe and healthful and to working ‘‘diligently toward restoring [the state’s] 18(e) status as soon as possible.’’ OSHA notes that the 3-year evaluation requirement for final approval following initial approval (see section 18(e), second sentence) does not apply in this instance. Hawaii received initial approval in 1974, and the structural features of the state plan remain completely intact. emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Procedures for OSHA’s Proposed Modification to Hawaii Plan Approval Today’s notice proposes a modification to the Hawaii State Plan’s status from final approval to initial approval in order to allow for federal OSHA to provide inspection and enforcement assistance to Hawaii. OSHA intends to make this modification in keeping with procedures at 29 CFR 1902.47 et seq. Relevant materials, including all public comments, relevant federal monitoring reports, a copy of the federal court’s order under which state staffing benchmarks are established, and other pertinent documentation will be publically available in OSHA’s docket office, as well as through various federal OSHA and state offices as described above. At the close of the public comment period initiated today, OSHA will review all comments submitted; will review any hearing requests; and will schedule an informal hearing if required to resolve substantial issues raised in any such requests. The Assistant Secretary’s final decision will thereafter be published in the Federal Register and will include the appropriate revisions to 29 CFR 1952 if the Hawaii State Plan’s status is changed. Effect of Modifying Hawaii’s Status As discussed above, modifying the Hawaii State Plan’s status from final to initial approval would authorize OSHA to carry on an enforcement program to supplement that of HIOSH, including independent federal or joint state and federal inspections resulting in issuance of appropriate federal citations. However, modifying Hawaii’s final approval status would not affect Hawaii’s basic plan approval and would VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:06 Jul 18, 2012 Jkt 226001 not affect Hawaii’s legal authority to enforce state occupational safety and health standards in the state’s workplaces. This modification would leave Hawaii’s federally-approved state plan completely in place, and would simply reinstate federal OSHA’s authority to supplement state enforcement during this difficult period. Pending a final decision in the proceeding instituted today, OSHA will continue to exercise federal authority over safety and health issues excluded from coverage under the state plan; monitoring inspections including accompanied visits; and other federal authority not affected by the 1984 final approval decision. Operational Status Agreement OSHA regulations provide that in states with initially-approved plans, OSHA and the state may enter into an agreement describing the division of responsibilities between them (29 CFR 1954.3). OSHA and HIOSH are developing such an agreement, which in this case would also include a timetable for remedial action to make state operations ‘‘as least as effective’’ and to ensure state compliance with applicable personnel staffing benchmarks. Notice will be provided in the Federal Register of this agreement, which OSHA intends will be effective on the date of a final decision in the modification proceeding initiated today. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG–2012–0156] RIN 1625—AA08 Special Local Regulations for Marine Events; Potomac River, National Harbor Access Channel, MD Coast Guard, DHS. Proposed rule; withdrawal. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard is withdrawing its proposed rule concerning amendments to the regattas and marine parades regulations. The rulemaking was initiated to establish special local regulations during the swim segment of the ‘‘Ironman 70.3 National Harbor’’ triathlon, a marine event to be held on the waters of the Potomac River in Prince George’s County, Maryland on August 5, 2012. The Coast Guard was notified on May 22, 2012 that the event had been cancelled. SUMMARY: [FR Doc. 2012–17363 Filed 7–18–12; 8:45 am] The proposed rule published April 6, 2012, at 77 FR 20750, is withdrawn as of July 19, 2012. ADDRESSES: The docket for this withdrawn rulemaking is available for inspection or copying at the Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. You may also find this docket on the Internet by going to http://www.regulations.gov, inserting USCG–2012–0156 in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box, and then clicking ‘‘Search.’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about this notice, call or email Mr. Ronald Houck, Waterways Management Division, Sector Baltimore, MD, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 410–576–2674, email Ronald.L.Houck@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing material in the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: BILLING CODE 4510–26–P Background Authority and Signature David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC, authorized the preparation of this notice. OSHA is issuing this notice under the authority specified by Section 6(d) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655), Secretary of Labor’s Order No. 1–2012 (76 FR 3912), and 29 CFR part 1905. Signed at Washington, DC, on July 11, 2012. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. PO 00000 DATES: On April 6, 2012, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking entitled ‘‘Special Local Regulations for Marine Events; Potomac River, National Harbor Access Channel, MD’’ in the Federal Register (77 FR 20750). The rulemaking Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\19JYP1.SGM 19JYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 139 (Thursday, July 19, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 42462-42464]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-17363]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1952

[Docket ID. OSHA 2012-0029]
RIN 1218-AC78


Hawaii State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health; Proposed 
Modification of 18(e) Plan Approval

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 
Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice of opportunity to request informal public hearing; 
request for written comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Hawaii administers an occupational safety and health state 
plan approved by federal OSHA. During the past three years, the state 
plan has faced significant budgetary constraints and staffing 
challenges, and has requested federal OSHA assistance to ensure that 
workers are afforded adequate worker protection during this period. The 
Hawaii Director of Labor and Industrial Relations has requested a 
temporary modification of the state plan's approval status from final 
approval to initial approval, to permit exercise of supplemental 
federal enforcement and to allow Hawaii sufficient time and assistance 
to strengthen and improve its state plan performance. Hawaii has 
pledged to accomplish the necessary corrective action to regain final 
approval status in a timely manner. OSHA is soliciting written comments 
to ensure that all relevant information, views and data are available 
to the Assistant Secretary during this proceeding. Members of the 
public may also submit requests for an informal hearing, which will be 
scheduled if the Assistant Secretary finds that substantial issues are 
raised that necessitate a hearing.

DATES: Comments and requests for an informal hearing must be received 
by August 23, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Written comments: You may submit comments, identified by 
docket number OSHA-2012-0029, or regulatory information number (RIN) 
1218-AC78, by any of the following methods:
    Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments 
electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions on-line for making 
electronic submissions; or

[[Page 42463]]

    Fax: If your submission, including attachments, does not exceed 10 
pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648; or
    U.S. mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger or courier 
service: You must submit your comments and attachments to the OSHA 
Office, Docket Number OSHA-2012-0029, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-
2625, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone 
(202) 693-2350 (OSHA's TTY number is (877) 889-5627). Deliveries (hand, 
express mail, messenger and courier service) are accepted during the 
Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal business hours, 8:15 
a.m.-4:45 p.m., EDT.
    Instructions for submitting comments: All submissions must include 
the docket number (Docket No. OSHA-2012-0029) or the RIN number (RIN 
1218-AC78) for this rulemaking. Because of security-related procedures, 
submission by regular mail may result in significant delay. Please 
contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about security 
procedures for making submissions by hand delivery, express delivery 
and messenger or courier service.
    All comments, including any personal information you provide, are 
placed in the public docket without change and may be made available 
online at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions you 
about submitting personal information such as social security numbers 
and birthdates.
    Docket: To read or download submissions in response to this Federal 
Register notice, go to docket number OSHA-2012-0029, at http://www.regulations.gov. All submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, however some information (e.g., copyrighted 
material) is not publicly available to read or download through that 
Web page. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are 
available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office.
    Electronic copies of this Federal Register document are available 
at http://www.regulations.gov. This document as well as news releases 
and other relevant information, is available at OSHA's Web page at 
http://www.osha.gov. A copy of the documents referenced in this notice 
may be obtained from: Office of State Programs, Directorate of 
Cooperative and State Programs, Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration, Room N3700, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20210, (202) 693-2244, fax (202) 693-1671; Office of the Regional 
Administrator, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, San 
Francisco Federal Building, 90 7th Street, Suite 18-100, San Francisco, 
California 94103, (415) 625-2546, fax (415) 625-2526; and the Hawaii 
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, HIOSH, 830 Punchbowl 
Street, Suite 425, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, (808) 586-9100, fax (808) 
586-9104. Other information about the Hawaii State Plan is posted on 
the state's Web site at http://hawaii.gov/labor/hiosh.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
    For press inquiries: Francis Meilinger, OSHA Office of 
Communications, Room N-3647, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-1999; email: 
meilinger.francis2@dol.gov.
    For general and technical information: Douglas J. Kalinowski, 
Director, OSHA Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, Room N-
3700, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington 
DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-2200; email: kalinowski.doug@dol.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the 
Act, 29 U.S.C. 667) provides that states that desire to assume 
responsibility for the development and enforcement of occupational 
safety and health standards may do so by submitting, and obtaining 
federal approval of a state plan. Procedures for state plan approval 
are set forth in the regulations at 29 CFR part 1902. If the Assistant 
Secretary, applying the criteria set forth in section 18(c) of the Act 
and OSHA regulations, finds that the plan provides or will provide for 
state standards and enforcement that are ``at least as effective as'' 
federal standards and enforcement, initial approval is granted pursuant 
to section 18(b) of the Act (29 U.S.C. 667(b)). A state may commence 
operations under its plan after this determination is made, but the 
Assistant Secretary retains enforcement authority during the initial-
approval period, as provided by section 18(e) of the Act, which states, 
``[a]fter the Secretary approves a State plan submitted under 
subsection (b), he may, but shall not be required to, exercise his 
authority under sections 8, 9, 10, 13, and 17 with respect to 
comparable standards promulgated under section 6,'' for the specified 
period. The Hawaii State Plan received initial federal OSHA plan 
approval on December 28, 1973 (39 FR 1010). The Hawaii Occupational 
Safety and Health Division (HIOSH) of the Hawaii Department of Labor 
and Industrial Relations is designated as the state agency with 
responsibility for administering the state plan.
    Hawaii proceeded to the next phase of federal plan approval in 
1984, when the state plan received ``final approval'' under section 
18(e) of the Act. Final approval under section 18(e) requires, among 
other things, a finding by the Assistant Secretary that the plan, in 
actual operation, provides worker protection ``at least as effective 
as'' that provided by federal OSHA. A final approval determination 
results in the relinquishment of federal concurrent enforcement 
authority in the state with respect to occupational safety and health 
issues covered by the plan, 29 U.S.C. 667(e). Hawaii was granted final 
approval effective April 30, 1984 (49 FR 19182).

Current Situation in Hawaii

    During the past three years, the Hawaii State Plan has faced major 
budgetary and hiring restraints that have significantly affected its 
program. Impacts on the state plan are clearly reflected in the 
deficiencies identified throughout recent OSHA monitoring reports. 
Joint efforts were made by federal OSHA and Hawaii to address these 
issues, yet Hawaii continues to face severe programmatic, staffing and 
training issues. As of March 1, 2012, the HIOSH program employed five 
safety inspectors and five health inspectors, which falls short of the 
required nine (9) safety inspectors and nine (9) health inspectors as 
determined by benchmarks established pursuant to a federal court order 
entered in AFL-CIO v. Marshall, C.A. No. 74-406 (D.D.C. 1978)(order 
implementing AFL-CIO v. Marshall, 570 F.2d 1030 (D.C. Cir. 1978).) This 
reduced staffing level has resulted in a significant decrease in 
enforcement activities. Added to the state's economic situation is the 
loss of institutional knowledge with the recent retirement of the 
program administrator. With the ongoing task of training a new program 
administrator, as well as hiring and training new enforcement and 
administrative staff, Hawaii has requested assistance from federal 
OSHA. Hawaii's proactive efforts demonstrate a commitment to ensuring 
that workers are afforded adequate protection during this period of 
program strengthening and improvement.
    Joint efforts by federal OSHA and HIOSH to address Hawaii's worker 
protection needs during this period, necessitate a greater enforcement 
presence by OSHA in the state. In order for federal OSHA to be able to 
provide

[[Page 42464]]

this assistance, Hawaii's plan approval status must be modified from 
final approval to initial approval. During the phase of initial state 
plan approval status, federal OSHA regains authority to enforce federal 
OSHA requirements as a supplement to state plan enforcement.
    Dwight Takamine, Hawaii's Director of Labor and Industrial 
Relations, has committed the state to making Hawaii's workplaces safe 
and healthful and to working ``diligently toward restoring [the 
state's] 18(e) status as soon as possible.'' OSHA notes that the 3-year 
evaluation requirement for final approval following initial approval 
(see section 18(e), second sentence) does not apply in this instance. 
Hawaii received initial approval in 1974, and the structural features 
of the state plan remain completely intact.

Procedures for OSHA's Proposed Modification to Hawaii Plan Approval

    Today's notice proposes a modification to the Hawaii State Plan's 
status from final approval to initial approval in order to allow for 
federal OSHA to provide inspection and enforcement assistance to 
Hawaii. OSHA intends to make this modification in keeping with 
procedures at 29 CFR 1902.47 et seq. Relevant materials, including all 
public comments, relevant federal monitoring reports, a copy of the 
federal court's order under which state staffing benchmarks are 
established, and other pertinent documentation will be publically 
available in OSHA's docket office, as well as through various federal 
OSHA and state offices as described above. At the close of the public 
comment period initiated today, OSHA will review all comments 
submitted; will review any hearing requests; and will schedule an 
informal hearing if required to resolve substantial issues raised in 
any such requests. The Assistant Secretary's final decision will 
thereafter be published in the Federal Register and will include the 
appropriate revisions to 29 CFR 1952 if the Hawaii State Plan's status 
is changed.

Effect of Modifying Hawaii's Status

    As discussed above, modifying the Hawaii State Plan's status from 
final to initial approval would authorize OSHA to carry on an 
enforcement program to supplement that of HIOSH, including independent 
federal or joint state and federal inspections resulting in issuance of 
appropriate federal citations. However, modifying Hawaii's final 
approval status would not affect Hawaii's basic plan approval and would 
not affect Hawaii's legal authority to enforce state occupational 
safety and health standards in the state's workplaces. This 
modification would leave Hawaii's federally-approved state plan 
completely in place, and would simply reinstate federal OSHA's 
authority to supplement state enforcement during this difficult period.
    Pending a final decision in the proceeding instituted today, OSHA 
will continue to exercise federal authority over safety and health 
issues excluded from coverage under the state plan; monitoring 
inspections including accompanied visits; and other federal authority 
not affected by the 1984 final approval decision.

Operational Status Agreement

    OSHA regulations provide that in states with initially-approved 
plans, OSHA and the state may enter into an agreement describing the 
division of responsibilities between them (29 CFR 1954.3). OSHA and 
HIOSH are developing such an agreement, which in this case would also 
include a timetable for remedial action to make state operations ``as 
least as effective'' and to ensure state compliance with applicable 
personnel staffing benchmarks. Notice will be provided in the Federal 
Register of this agreement, which OSHA intends will be effective on the 
date of a final decision in the modification proceeding initiated 
today.

Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC, authorized the preparation of 
this notice. OSHA is issuing this notice under the authority specified 
by Section 6(d) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 
U.S.C. 655), Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (76 FR 3912), and 29 
CFR part 1905.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on July 11, 2012.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2012-17363 Filed 7-18-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-26-P