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2011 Fed OSH Agency Appropriations Battle Details

Posted in on Thu, Feb 24, 2011

Dominating the occupational safety and health debate in Washington, DC, in 2011 will be Congressional appropriations for OSHA, NIOSH, CSB and MSHA. Below are the current proposals. On the left are provisions contained in a bill passed by the House on February 19 that would continue funding for FY 2011. Funding now is based on a Continuing Resolution that ends March 4, and the Republican House and Democrat Senate are in a standoff that could result in government shut down if not resolved by that day. On the right are the provisions of the Obama Administration’s budget request for FY 2012. Resolution of FY 2011 will have to come first.

OSHA

FY 2011 House Republican CR (HR 1). Current CR ends March 4. FY 12 Obama Proposal
Overall budget: Proposes reduction in OSHA budget of $99 million from FY 10 $558.6 million budget, a 17.7% decrease to FY 2004 level ($558 mil to $459 mil). As a result, commentators say, a RIF of 415 FTEs will result, including 200 inspectors and 17 whistleblower investigators. Rep. George Miller (D-CA) says this will mean 8,000 fewer inspections and elimination of OSHA’s website. RIF cannot happen all at once, forcing OSHA staff to take 3-month furloughs. Standards in the pipeline such as silica, falls, and combustible dust would be delayed indefinitely. Overall budget: $583.4 million OSHA budget proposed, a $24.8 million increase over FY 10.
Safety and Health Standards: Proposes cut of $3 million from standard-setting directorate. Safety and Health Standards: OSHA requested an increase of $6.4 million over FY 2010, including $4 million for enhancing the agency’s contract support for regulatory activities. It also includes $2.4 million for development of the new Illness and Injury Prevention Program (I2P2).
Federal Enforcement: Proposes $41.3 million reduction for enforcement. Federal Enforcement: Enforcement increased 5.8%, from $224 million to $237 million. 25 new inspectors to be hired, with 2,000 site-specific targeting inspections of sites with 20 or more employees that have high injury rates compared to 1,780 in FY 2010.
Whistleblower Programs: $21 million allocated for whistleblower function, which is $5.99 million over FY 10. Function would be separated from enforcement program. 45 whistleblower investigators to be hired.
Federal Compliance Assistance: $74 million proposed for compliance assistance, $4 million more than FY 11 proposal and $650,000 over FY 10, with 2 additional FTEs. VPP will be funded. Included is $1 million inflation adjustment for on-site consultation program, adding 500 visits.
State Programs: Cuts $14.9 million, or 15%, from state programs. Commentators say Cal OSHA will take the largest reduction and some state plans may have to be eliminated, forcing federal OSHA to take over and further stretching budget and staff. State Programs: $106 million proposed for state programs, a 1.9% increase over FY 10 which represents $1.5 million for inflation adjustment. State Compliance Assistance: $56 million proposed for state consultation grants, a 1.8% increase representing inflation adjustment.
Safety and Health Statistics: Cuts $34.9 million from safety and health statistics program. Safety and Health Statistics: $34.9 million proposed for safety and health statistics, equaling FY 10.
­Technical Support: Cuts $4.2 million from technical support group. ­Technical Support: $26 million proposed for technical support, an increase of $30,000 over FY 10.
Training Grants: An increase of $1.25 million requested over FY 2010.
Executive Direction and Administration: $0.7 million reduction. Executive Direction and Administration: Same request as FY 2010, $11.5 million.
OSHRC: $12.8 million for the OSHRC, an increase over FY 10 level of $11.7 million.

NIOSH

FY 2011 House Republican CR (HR 1). Current CR ends March 4. FY 2012 Obama Proposal
Continuing Resolution (HR 1) cuts $850 million from CDC, with NIOSH not specified. Overall budget: FY 2012 request of $315,292,000, a decrease of $115 million, nearly 27% from FY 10, reflecting the elimination of funding for the Education and Research Centers program, the Agricultural, Forestry and Fishing sector of NORA, and the elimination of the World Trade Center discretionary budget due to the passage of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
NORA: Request is almost $16 million below FY 2010, at $101,528,000.
ERCs : ERCs eliminated, saving $25 million, saying program has met its goal.
NORA agricultural, forestry, and fishing: Program cut for a savings of $23 million.
Mine safety research: $53.1 million for mine safety research, same as FY 10.
Nanotechnology: $16.5 million for nanotechnology research, which is more than $7 million over FY 10.
PPE: PPE technology program funding remains at FY 10 level of $16.8 million.
WTC Program: Cut $70 million in discretionary funding for WTC Program following passage of 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to fund the program.

CSB

FY 2011 House Republican CR (HR 1). Current CR ends March 4. FY 20112 Obama Proposal
$10.25 million, a $300,000 cut. $11.1 million, up from $10.55 million in FY 10.(CSB FY 11 request is $12.71, including opening new office in Houston and Deepwater Horizon investigation funding.)

MSHA

FY 2011 House Republican CR (HR 1). Current CR ends March 4. FY 2012 Obama Proposal
Overall budget: Funding kept at FY 2010 levels of $355 million. Overall budget: Proposed $26.98 million increase over FY 10, with $2.1 million for the Coal Mine Safety and Health for purchasing Continuous Personal Dust Monitors that provide real time respirable dust concentration exposure data to both MSHA and the coal miner.
Metal/Non-Metal: $950,000 and 6 FTE to hire “health specialists” to help ensure operators provide adequate protection to miners from exposure to hazardous contaminants.” $2.3 million and 21 FTE to “bolster enforcement and litigation staff.”
Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances: Increase of $2.1 million.
Office of Assessments: Increase of $355,000 and 2 FTEs.
Educational Policy and Development: Reduction of $2.3 million and 21 FTE.
Technical Support: Increase of $850,000.
Program Evaluation and Information Resources: $2.0 million request to “provide for re-engineering of the health samples database.” An additional $450,000 request “to upgrade mine emergency operations capabilities.” $1 million to “increase the functionality of the data system that collects and tracks information on mine accidents, injuries, and employment.”
Program Administration: $3.26 million reduction.
District 4 split: $634,000 proposed for costs of splitting District 4 into two districts.
Backlog: MSHA allowed to transfer $15 million to Solicitor’s office to assist with backlog reduction program. Without additional funds MSHA will have to lay off staff recently hired to work on backlog. Backlog: $15 million in flexible funding for Solicitor’s office for backlog reduction program.
FMSHRC: $3.3 million increase proposed, with 15 FTE, and an additional $15 million for Program Administration.

Sources

President Obama’s 2012 budget request for the Department of Labor can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/labor.pdf

President Obama’s 2012 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services, where NIOSH is located under the Centers for Disease Control, can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/health.pdf

Explanations of NIOSH cuts can be found in the document “Terminations, Reductions and Savings” at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/trs.pdf

The text of the Republican continuing resolution (H.R. 1) is available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?c112:./temp/~c112YQYWJH

The Department of Health and Human Service’s explanation of proposed cuts to NIOSH can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/about/FY2012budget/fy2012bib.pdf

CSB’s budget justification can be found at http://www.csb.gov/assets/news/document/2012_Budget_Request_FINAL.pdf

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