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Letter to the Honorable Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor


Location: Washington, DC

Letter to the Honorable Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor

Obama Calls on Chao to Release Review of Risk Assessment Practices, Extend Public Comment Period on New Rule

U.S. Senator Barack Obama today sent the following letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, requesting that she release the results of a recent review of Department of Labor (DOL) risk assessment practices and extend the public comment period on this new proposal:

The text of the letter is below:

Dear Secretary Chao:

I am writing to request that you extend the comment period on the Department of Labor (DOL) Requirements for DOL Agencies' Assessment of Occupational Health Risks.

The Department spent $350,000 to hire a private contractor to review DOL risk assessment practices. The Department then issued this new proposal, and asked for thirty days of comment, without releasing the results of the review the Department commissioned. On September 5, 2008, 39 representatives of the Duke University Medical Center, Boston University of School of Public Health, Sciencecorps and the Appalachian Center for the Economy and Environment asked for the results of the review and pointed out that unless the review is released, the public comment period is inadequate. At this point, there are less than two weeks left in the public comment period and the request from this group of scholars has been thus far ignored.

In the interest of transparent governance, an informed process, and an informed public, I strongly urge you both to release the results of the review the Department commissioned and extend the comment period for another 30 days.


Barack Obama
United States Senator

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