Wildfire Smoke (Chapter 296-62 WAC)Stakeholder Meeting on Rulemaking
5:15 – 8 a.m.
Due to a change in our platform license to virtually accommodate more stakeholders, attendees will need to register at this link:
Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email and calendar item with your personal meeting link or phone number and the password. On the day/time of the meeting, you will need to click on that link or call, enter the appropriate password and then you will be in virtual attendance. (Note: please check spam or junk mail for this confirmation email as it will be coming from Zoom.)
DOSH will provide Spanish translation services through the Zoom link via interpreter. Once logging in, select the “Globe” at the bottom in the row of icons. This will allow you to select “English” or “Spanish”. Select Spanish and you will be connected to the interpreter.
The Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH) of the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is conducting permanent rulemaking to address hazards associated with inhaling wildfire smoke.
Wildfire Smoke Rulemaking Overview:
The agency recognizes the hazard of wildfire smoke exposure is increasing in frequency and severity, presenting a potential health risk to all workers including those in construction and agriculture. In the wake of the 2020 wildfire season, L&I received a petition for rulemaking on wildfire smoke exposures. California has adopted permanent rules for workplace safety and health rules regarding wildfire smoke.
Wildfire smoke presents hazards that employers and workers in affected regions must understand. Smoke from wildfires contains chemicals, gases, and fine particles that can harm health. In particular, exposure to PM 2.5, or particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or smaller, a component of wildfire smoke, has been shown to cause serious health consequences, including cardiovascular effects, and to increase the risk of death. In order to protect workers from PM 2.5 from wildfire smoke, wildfire smoke exposure controls, including proper protective equipment, and training are essential for worker safety.
Rule Development Process:
DOSH filed a CR-101 (Preproposal Statement of Inquiry) on October 20, 2020, initiating the permanent rulemaking process. An emergency rule filing, separate from the permanent rulemaking, was adopted on July 16, 2021, and was effective July 16, 2021 through November 13, 2021.
Stakeholder Meeting - Agenda:
- Background and Timeline
- Trend and Effects of Wildfire Smoke in Washington (Matt Kadlec, PhD, Toxicologist, Washington State Department of Ecology)
- Wildfire Smoke Health Effects and Event Frequency/Severity (Elena Austin, ScD, MS, Assistant Professor, and colleagues, University of Washington, School of Public Health, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences)
- Stakeholder Q & A