In a huge victory for ag retailers against regulatory overreach, the D.C. Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Administrative Procedures Act. The decision centered around a July 2015 enforcement memorandum that redefined the longstanding retail facility exemption to the Process Safety Management Standard for facilities that sell anhydrous ammonia. The decision vacates the memorandum and requires OSHA to go through formal notice and comment rulemaking procedures to make any changes to PSM regulations as they relate to agricultural retailers.
The memorandum would have affected 3,800 agricultural retailers at a cost of more than $100 million, in addition to limiting farmers’ access to anhydrous ammonia while increasing the cost.
The Agricultural Retailers Association and The Fertilizer Institute brought the legal challenge against OSHA.