Mine Safety &
Verdant attorneys have over 40 years of experience representing clients in rulemaking, enforcement and litigation involving occupational or mine safety and health issues. We participated extensively in development and litigation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for lead, arsenic, cadmium, copper, silver, sulfur dioxide and refractory ceramic fibers (RCF), and filed amicus briefs in the Supreme Court Benzene and Cotton Dust cases. We represented clients in the 1992 OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) litigation, AFL-CIO v. OSHA, 965 F.2d 962 (11th Cir. 1992), filing a petition for review but settling before the opinion was issued. Pursuant to the settlement, a series of previously planned upgrades to the client’s facility were recognized by OSHA as compliance with the standards for copper, silver and sulfur dioxide.
Verdant attorneys filed litigation seeking to preclude OSHA enforcement of the threshold limit values (TLVs) set by the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). See Refractory Ceramic Fibers Coalition v. ACGIH, N.D. Ga. No. 1-00-CV-3420-MHS (2001). The case was settled through an ACGIH agreement to discourage use of the RCF TLV as a regulatory standard. The agreement has been in place for more than 15 years. Verdant attorneys have assisted the industry in negotiating a series of 5-year agreements under which OSHA enforces no PEL for RCF provided the industry maintains its voluntary product stewardship program. The third such agreement was concluded in 2012, and renewal is scheduled for 2017. We also assisted the industry in obtaining a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Criteria Document (CD) for RCF that endorses the industry program in lieu of establishing a recommended exposure limit (REL) for RCF, the first such CD of its kind.
In addition to these OSHA and NIOSH matters, Verdant attorneys played a central role in the development and litigation of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) standard for diesel emissions in underground mines. We also have represented clients before OSHA, MSHA and NIOSH on a host of smaller matters involving establishment and/or enforcement of health and safety standards, including the Hazard Communication Standard and enforcement under the OSH Act’s General Duty Clause.