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Gade v. National Solid Wastes Management Ass'n

Supreme Court of the United States

March 23, 1992, Argued ; June 18, 1992, Decided

No. 90-1676


 [*91]  [***80]  [**2379]    JUSTICE O'CONNOR announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, III, and IV, and an opinion with respect to Part II in which THE CHIEF JUSTICE, JUSTICE WHITE, and JUSTICE SCALIA join.

 In 1988, the Illinois General Assembly enacted the Hazardous Waste Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operators Licensing Act, Ill. Rev. Stat., ch. 111, PP7701-7717 (1989), and the Hazardous Waste Laborers Licensing Act, Ill. Rev. Stat., ch. 111, PP7801-7815 (1989) (together, licensing acts). The stated purpose of the licensing acts is both "to promote job safety" and "to protect life, limb and property." PP7702, 7802. In this case, we consider whether these "dual impact" statutes, which protect both workers and the general public, are pre-empted by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 84 Stat. 1590, 29 U. S. C. § 651 et seq. (OSH Act), and the standards promulgated thereunder by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

 [*92]  I

] The OSH Act authorizes the Secretary of Labor to promulgate federal occupational safety and  [****8]  health standards. 29 U. S. C. § 655. In the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Congress directed the Secretary of Labor to "promulgate standards for the health and safety protection of employees engaged in hazardous waste operations" pursuant to her authority under the OSH Act. SARA, Pub. L. 99-499, Title I, § 126, 100 Stat. 1690-1692, codified at note following 29 U. S. C. § 655. In relevant part, SARA requires the Secretary to establish standards for the initial  [**2380]  and routine training of workers who handle hazardous wastes.

In response to this congressional directive, ] OSHA, to which the Secretary has delegated certain of her statutory responsibilities, see Martin v. Occupational Safety and Health Review Comm'n, 499 U.S. 144, 147, n.1, 111 S. Ct. 1171, 113 L. Ed. 2d 117 (1991), promulgated regulations on "Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response," including detailed regulations on worker training requirements. 51 Fed. Reg. 45654, 45665-45666 (1986) (interim regulations); 54 Fed. Reg. 9294, 9320-9321 (1989) (final regulations), codified at 29 CFR § 1910.120 (1991). ] The OSHA regulations require, among other things, that workers engaged in an activity that may expose them to hazardous wastes  [****9]  receive a minimum of 40 hours of instruction off the site, and a minimum of three days actual field experience under the supervision of a trained supervisor. § 1910.120(e)(3)(i). Workers who are on the site only occasionally or who are working in areas that have been determined to be under the permissible exposure limits must complete at least 24 hours of off-site instruction and one day of actual field experience. §§ 1910.120(e)(3)(ii) and (iii). On-site managers and supervisors  [***81]  directly responsible for hazardous waste operations must receive the same initial training as general employees, plus at least eight additional hours of specialized training on various health and safety  [*93]  programs. § 1910.120(e)(4). Employees and supervisors are required to receive eight hours of refresher training annually. § 1910.120(e)(8). Those who have satisfied the training and field experience requirement receive a written certification; uncertified workers are prohibited from engaging in hazardous waste operations. § 1910.120(e)(6).

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505 U.S. 88 *; 112 S. Ct. 2374 **; 120 L. Ed. 2d 73 ***; 1992 U.S. LEXIS 3686 ****; 60 U.S.L.W. 4587; 92 Cal. Daily Op. Service 5098; 15 OSHC (BNA) 1673; 1992 OSHD (CCH) P29,709; 92 Daily Journal DAR 8187; 22 ELR 21073; 6 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 456


Prior History:  [****1]  On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Disposition: 918 F. 2d 671, affirmed.


pre-emption, pre-empted, licensing, promulgated, hazardous, plurality, training, pre-emptive, commerce, workplace, dual, supplementary, interstate, saved, nonconflicting, compliance

Business & Corporate Compliance, Hazardous Wastes & Toxic Substances, CERCLA & Superfund, Cleanup Standards, Labor & Employment Law, Occupational Safety & Health, Burdens of Proof, Environmental Law, General Overview, Administrative Proceedings, OSHA Rulemaking, Labor & Employment Law, Duties & Rights, Industry Standards, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Civil Liability Under OSHA, Transportation Law, Interstate Commerce, Federal Preemption, Constitutional Law, Supremacy Clause, Jurisdiction, Governments, Agriculture & Food, Product Promotions, State & Territorial Governments, Legislatures, Torts, Procedural Matters, Preemption, Police Powers