The Government Affairs Committee is connecting members with the information you need. Check out these updates on the REAL ID, Silica Rule, Asbestos Regulations, and the 2018 Standard Mileage Rate.
Massachusetts is making the transition to offer the new REAL ID for those renewing their driver’s license. By October 1, 2020, a standard driver’s license will no longer be acceptable identification for airline travel in the US. Instead you will need either a passport – or this new REAL ID. The REAL ID requires individuals to bring several forms of identification to the RMV office to obtain the more secure identity card. At this time, the standard license will still be available to residents. The REAL ID will be required in order to fly and to enter federal buildings. For more information, here’s a link to a recent news article on the REAL ID: http://www.wbur.org/news/2018/03/21/massachusetts-real-id-rmv
Despite a recent challenge, a federal appeals court has upheld OSHA’s new silica exposure rule. Under the rule, the PEL (Permissable Exposure Limit) was reduced from 250 μ/m3 to 50 μ/m3 with an action limit of 25 μ/m3. This rule is particularly important for painters, masons, and landscapers, but may also impact general remodeling jobs periodically.
According to a recent article by Michael Metz-Topodas of Pallas, Greenhall & Furman PC of Philadephia, PA, “Employers can follow an OSHA-created table (called Table 1) listing the required engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection, including required respirator type and usage, to implement for discrete construction activities. In complying with Table 1, employers should ensure all employees associated with performing a listed task, including observers and assistants, abide by the listed controls and practices. Alternatively, employers can conduct their own air monitoring program to assess silica exposure, implement controls accordingly, and ensure such controls keep silica exposure below the PEL, as measured by objective data.” For more information on the federal appeals court decision, CLICK HERE.
According to the state of Massachusetts, “All residential, commercial and institutional buildings are subject to Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) asbestos regulations at 310 CMR 7.15. Therefore, owners and/or operators (e.g. building owners, renovation and demolition contractors, plumbing and heating contractors, flooring contractors, etc.) need to determine all asbestos containing materials (both non-friable and friable) that are present at the site and whether or not those materials will be impacted by the proposed work prior to conducting any renovation or demolition activity.” Several towns including Weston, Wayland, and Somerville may now be requiring an asbestos test prior to starting a project. The Department of Environmental Protection is the overarching authority on this regulation. Government Affairs committee co-chair, Ron Peik, recommends that remodelers test all surfaces involved in a project for asbestos prior to the start of work. For more information, CLICK HERE.
The standard mileage rate has increased 1 cent from 2017. The new rate is 54.5 cents for every business mile driven. A link to the IRS notice about the rate can be found here: Standard Mileage Rates for 2018 Up from Rates for 2017Ryan D. SullivanScafidi Juliano, LLP40 Washington Street, Suite 201, Wellesley, MA 02481Telephone: 781-210-4710, Ext. 101 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.scafidijuliano.com