By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs & assistant general counsel, ARTBA

ARTBA April 4 filed suit in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to thwart the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (OSHA) final regulation for exposure to crystalline silica.

“OSHA’s silica regulation is based on flawed science, flawed economic data, and flawed logic,” ARTBA President Pete Ruane said.  “The unintended consequence of the proposal is that it will actually expose road workers to greater risk by diverting resources away from other legitimate safety programs.”

Crystalline silica is a basic component of dust from soil, sand, granite and other minerals associated with construction. The rule, released March 24 by the Department of Labor, sets the limit of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift, compared to the previous level of 250 micrograms for the construction industry.

ARTBA says OSHA’s standard could divert significant resources—human and financial—away from activities aimed at mitigating, if not eliminating, documented, serious hazards to our workers health and safety like runovers and backovers and work zone intrusions

ARTBA’s latest court filing continues a string of high-profile legal cases the association has become involved in to protect the transportation construction industry.  The association is currently asking the Supreme Court to hear the case of Dunnet Bay Construction Company v. Randall S. Blankenhorn, about whether transportation construction contractors have the right to challenge state agencies that they believe have misapplied federal regulations, and is also challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) controversial “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule as too broad an extension of federal regulatory power and would place virtually any wet area, including roadside ditches filled with water, under government control.

Contributions to ARTBA’s “Transportation Makes America Work” (TMAW) campaign directly help fund these litigation efforts against overbroad and burdensome rules. If you have not yet made a TMAW donation – please consider doing so and helping ARTBA continue to protect our industry.

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