Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

United Steelworkers of Am., AFL-CIO-CLC v. Rubber Mfrs. Ass'n

ELR Citation: 16 ELR 20412
Nos. No. 84-5842, 783 F.2d 1117/(D.C. Cir., 02/25/1986)

The court holds that mandamus compelling the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to adhere to an expedited timetable for issuing a workplace exposure standard for benzene is not appropriate prior to the conclusion of the rulemaking process. The court first declines to determine in advance that OSHA's estimated 14-month timetable constitutes unreasonable delay under the Administrative Procedure Act even though the anticipated date for promulgating the final rule is about two-and-one-half years after OSHA's original estimated date. Determining the appropriate standard will involve assessment of many factors and OSHA does not yet even have public comments. OSHA's timetable is not facially unreasonable, especially compared to petitioners' proposed 12-month schedule. The court also declines to punish OSHA for its past delays by imposing an accelerated timetable. Although the court recognizes the potential health risks at stake, it rules that the agency's issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking has mooted petitioner's claims of unreasonable delay. Even if the delay was unreasonable, judicial imposition of an accelerated timetable may result in hasty drafting. Finally, the court refuses to retain jurisdiction or require periodic progress reports, although it does observe that if OSHA fails to follow its schedule, petitioners may renew their mandamus claim.

Counsel for Petitioners
George H. Cohen, Robert M. Weinberg, David C. Vladeck
Bredhoff & Kaiser
1000 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 833-9340

Counsel for Respondent
Laura V. Fargas, Francis X. Lilly, Frank A. White
United States Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20210
(202) 655-4000

Counsel for Intervenors
Charles F. Lettow, Linda J. Soldo
Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton
1752 N St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 728-2700

Before: SCALIA and STARR, Circuit Judges, and McGOWAN, Senior Circuit Judge.