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Organized Migrants in Community Action v. Brennan

Citation: 5 ELR 20681
No. No. 74-2602, 520 F.2d 1161/8 ERC 1442/(D.C. Cir., 10/09/1975)

This action by a farm workers' organization sought to compel the Secretary of Labor to issue a permanent "field reentry" standard limiting farm worker exposure to pesticides under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). The Secretary did issue an "emergency temporary standard" in 1973, but took no further action after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rules on the same subject under the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act of 1972 (FEPCA); following filing of this suit, the EPA issued its final standard. Congress intended in FEPCA to give the EPA statutory authority to regulate farm workers' exposure to pesticides. Consequently, EPA's issuance of field reentry standards is valid and ousts the Secretary of Labor of jurisdiction over farm workers under OSHA, § 4(b)(1), which excludes from its ambit "employees with respect to which other Federal agencies . . . exercise statutory authority to prescribe or enforce standards or regulations affecting occupational safety or health." The court refuses to address the legality of a Labor Department/EPA agreement providing for mutual enforcement of the EPA standards. The district court's grant of defendants' motion to dismiss is affirmed.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Patricia A. Butler
Florence Roisman
2000 P Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 452-8050

Counsel for Defendants
Stephen S. Eilperin
Barbara L. Herwig
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Michael H. Levin

Counsel for Appellate Litigation
Department of Labor
Washington, D.C. 20212

Tamm, J. for himself, Leventhal & Miller,* JJ.