Gade v. National Solid Wastes Management Assn., 505 U.S. 88, 24 (1992)

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certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the seventh circuit

No. 90-1676. Argued March 23, 1992—Decided June 18, 1992

Pursuant to authority contained in the Occupational Safety and Health

Act of 1970 (OSH Act or Act), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promulgated regulations implementing a requirement of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) that standards be set for the initial and routine training of workers who handle hazardous wastes. Subsequently, Illinois enacted two acts requiring the licensing of workers at certain hazardous waste facilities. Each state act has the dual purpose of protecting workers and the general public and requires workers to meet specified training and examination requirements. Claiming, among other things, that the acts were pre-empted by the OSH Act and OSHA regulations, respondent, an association of businesses involved in, inter alia, hazardous waste management, sought injunctive relief against petitioner Gade's predecessor as director of the state environmental protection agency to prevent enforcement of the state acts. The District Court held that the state acts were not pre-empted because they protected public safety in addition to promoting job safety, but it invalidated some provisions of the acts. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the OSH Act pre-empts all state law that "constitutes, in a direct, clear and substantial way, regulation of worker health and safety," unless the Secretary of Labor has explicitly approved the law pursuant to 18 of the OSH Act. In remanding, the court did not consider which, if any, of the provisions would be pre-empted.

Held: The judgment is affirmed.

918 F. 2d 671, affirmed.

Justice O'Connor delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, III, and IV, concluding that: 1. A state law requirement that directly, substantially, and specifically regulates occupational safety and health is an occupational safety and health standard within the meaning of the OSH Act regardless of whether it has another, nonoccupational purpose. In assessing a state law's impact on the federal scheme, this Court has refused to rely solely

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