New OSHA regulations directed at the wireless construction industry that were expected to be proposed in 2017 appeared to get a stay of execution when it seemed that the new administration will put a freeze on new regulations – especially since President Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 30 that for every new regulation, agencies would have to toss out two existing rules.
However, the Communications Workers of America along with Public Citizen and the Natural Resources Defense Council sued the Trump administration yesterday to block the order, and if they’re successful, new regulations for the industry could gain momentum.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to bar the agencies from following the order and to issue a declaration that the order cannot be lawfully implemented.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, names as defendants the president, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget and the current or acting secretaries and directors of numerous executive departments and agencies.
The complaint alleges that the agencies cannot lawfully comply with the president’s order because doing so would violate the statutes under which the agencies operate and the Administrative Procedure Act.
“No one thinking sensibly about how to set rules for health, safety, the environment and the economy would ever adopt the Trump Executive Order approach – unless their only goal was to confer enormous benefits on big business,” Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said. “If implemented, the order would result in lasting damage to our government’s ability to save lives, protect our environment, police Wall Street, keep consumers safe and fight discrimination. By irrationally directing agencies to consider costs but not benefits of new rules, it would fundamentally change our government’s role from one of protecting the public to protecting corporate profits.”
“President Trump’s order would deny Americans the basic protections they rightly expect,” said NRDC President Rhea Suh. “New efforts to stop pollution don’t automatically make old ones unnecessary. When you make policy by tweet, it yields irrational rules. This order imposes a false choice between clean air, clean water, safe food and other environmental safeguards.”
CWA President Chris Shelton said, “It is unbelievable that the Trump administration is demanding that workers trade off one set of job health and safety protections in order to get protection from another equally dangerous condition. This order means that the asbestos workplace standard, for example, could be discarded in order to adopt safeguards for nurses from infectious diseases in their workplaces. This violates the mission of the Occupational Safety and Health administration to protect workers’ safety and health. It also violates common sense.”