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ACWI Advance – August 1, 2021

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In this issue of ACWI Advance we take a closer look at these stories:

  • Biden executive order on competition could impact rail shippers.
  • NHTSA orders makers of automated vehicle systems to file crash reports.
  • Southern California warehouse operators are hit with a new emissions rule.
  • Retail sales saw solid growth in June, and also rose on a yearly basis.
  • OSHA substantially changes its Covid 19 NEP launched earlier this year.
  • Amazon no longer tests job applicants for marijuana and loosens work rules.

Send your company news to Editor David Sparkman at, and please understand that there is no cost to you when we use your news in this newsletter.

Biden’s Rail Regulation Surprise

President Biden’s executive order aimed at injecting more competition into freight railroads and ocean shipping could have a major positive impact on rail customers – assuming that everything proceeds according to plan.

The July 9 order is a wide-ranging document containing 72 separate orders regarding different industries, seeking to establish regulations and policies to strengthen the hands of federal regulators.

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NHTSA Seeks Crash Reports

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered manufacturers of automated vehicle systems, including components and technology, to file monthly crash reports if an SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) or SAE Levels 3-5 automated driving system (ADS) was engaged before or during a road crash.

ADS-equipped self-driving vehicles that can perform the complete driving task in limited circumstances, are not currently sold but are in limited use on public roads around the country for testing, ride sharing and goods delivery.

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CA to Impose Emissions Rule

The South Coast Air Quality Management District in California has targeted the warehouse industry with a new emissions rule.

The rule requires warehouses of greater than 100,000 square feet to directly reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) and diesel particulate matter (PM) emissions, or to otherwise cut emissions and exposure reductions of these pollutants in nearby communities.

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Retailers’ Sales See Solid Growth

Retail sales saw solid growth during June, increasing in most categories on a monthly basis and across the board on a yearly basis as the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continued, according to the National Retail Federation.

“Heading into the back-to-school season, we expect record sales as families purchase electronics, shoes and backpacks for in-person learning this year,” said NRF President Matthew Shay. “However, as the drop in monthly auto sales indicates, retailers are facing product shortages and supply chain constraints.”

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OSHA Changes Covid Program


OSHA substantially changed its National Emphasis Program for Covid 19 launched earlier this year.

For one thing, it is no longer designated as a NEP but instead is now termed an updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan, or IERP.

Initially targeted was the healthcare industry, which includes hospitals, healthcare providers, assisted living facilities and home healthcare services. That was followed in May by a focus on restaurants.

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Amazon Backs Marijuana Reform

The ecommerce giant Amazon reported that it will no longer test job applicants for marijuana and announced the company’s support for The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act).

The bill before Congress aims to legalize marijuana at the federal level, expunge criminal records of people who have marijuana convections and would invest in impacted communities.

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