On December 24, the federal government finally released its fall 2012 semiannual regulatory agenda, the first official statement of the government’s rulemaking priorities in a year. Required by law to be published every six months, the agenda states expectations of when key elements of the rulemaking process are expected to be completed.

The Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica standard is still in the proposed rule state. The NPRM for silica, previously forecast to be released in February 2012, is now expected in May 2013. The silica standard has been delayed at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for over a year.

There has been some movement from the agency on combustible dust and occupational exposure to beryllium. Both issues were listed as “long-term actions” on the previous regulatory agenda. The combustible dust standard has moved into the pre-rule stage, and OSHA expects to initiate the small-business review this October. The beryllium standard is now in the proposed rule stage, and the agency projects to release an NPRM in July 2013.