Dole v. United Steelworkers of America/Opinion of the Court

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Case Syllabus
Opinion of the Court
Dissenting Opinion

Among the regulatory tools available to Government agencies charged with protecting public health and safety are rules which require regulated entities to disclose information directly to employees, consumers, or others. Disclosure rules protect by providing access to information about what dangers exist and how these dangers can be avoided. Today we decide whether the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has the authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, 44 U.S.C. § 3501 et seq. (1982 ed. and Supp. V), to review such regulations.

* In 1983, pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), 84 Stat. 1590, 29 U.S.C. § 651 et seq. (1982 ed.), which authorizes the Department of Labor (DOL) to set health and safety standards for workplaces, DOL promulgated a hazard communication standard. 29 CFR § 1910.1200 (1984). The standard imposed various requirements on manufacturers aimed at ensuring that their employees were informed of the potential hazards posed by chemicals found at their workplace. Specifically, the standard required chemical manufacturers to label containers of hazardous chemicals with appropriate warnings. "Downstream" manufacturers-commercial purchasers who used the chemicals in their manufacturing plants were obliged to keep the original labels intact or else transfer the information onto any substitute containers. The standard also required chemical manufacturers to provide "material safety data sheets" to downstream manufacturers. The data sheets were to list the physical characteristics and hazards of each chemical, the symptoms caused by overexposure and any pre-existing medical conditions aggravated by exposure. In addition, the data sheets were to recommend safety precautions and first aid and emergency procedures in case of overexposure, and provide a source for additional information. Both chemical manufacturers and downstream manufacturers were required to make the data sheets available to their employees and to provide training on the dangers of the particular hazardous chemicals found at each workplace.

Respondent United Steelworkers of America, among others, challenged the standard in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. That court held that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had not adequately explained why the regulation was limited to the manufacturing sector, in view of the OSH Act's clear directive that, to the extent feasible, OSHA is to ensure that no employee suffers material impairment of health from toxic or other harmful agents. The court directed OSHA either to apply the hazard standard rules to workplaces in other sectors or to state reasons why such application would not be feasible. United Steelworkers of America v. Auchter, 763 F.2d 728, 739 (1985).

When DOL responded by initiating an entirely new rulemaking proceeding, the union and its copetitioners sought enforcement of the earlier order. The Third Circuit directed DOL, under threat of contempt, to publish in the Federal Register within 60 days either a hazard communication standard applicable to all workers covered by the OSH Act or a statement of reasons why such a standard was not feasible, on the basis of the existing record, as to each category of excluded workers. United Steelworkers of America v. Pendergrass, 819 F.2d 1263, 1270 (1987).

DOL complied by issuing a revised hazard communication standard that applied to work sites in all sectors of the economy. See 52 Fed.Reg. 31852 (1987). At the same time, DOL submitted the standard to OMB for review of any paperwork requirements. After holding a public hearing, OMB approved all but three of its provisions. OMB rejected a requirement that employees who work at multiemployer sites (such as construction sites) be provided with data sheets describing the hazardous substances to which they were likely to be exposed, through the activities of any of the companies working at the same site. The provision permitted employers either to exchange data sheets and make them available at their home offices or to maintain all relevant data sheets at a central location on the work site. 29 CFR § 1910.1200(e)(2) (1988). OMB also disapproved a provision exempting consumer products used in the workplace in the same manner, and resulting in the same frequency and duration of exposure, as in normal consumer use. § 1910.1200(b)(6)(vii). Finally, OMB vetoed an exemption for drugs sold in solid, final form for direct administration to patients. § 1910.1200(b)(6)(viii). See 52 Fed.Reg. 46076 (1987).

OMB disapproved these provisions based on its determination that the requirements were not necessary to protect employees. [1] OMB's objection to the exemptions was that they were too narrow, and that the standard, therefore, applied to situations in which disclosure did not benefit employees. [2] Id., at 46077-46078. DOL disagreed with OMB's assessment, but it published notice that the three provisions were withdrawn. DOL added its reasons for believing that the provisions were necessary, proposed that they be retained, and invited public comment. 53 Fed.Reg. 29822 (1988).

The union and its copetitioners responded by filing a motion for further relief with the Third Circuit. That court ordered DOL to reinstate the OMB-disapproved provisions. The court reasoned that the provisions represented good-faith compliance by DOL with the court's prior orders, that OMB lacked authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act to disapprove the provisions, and that, therefore, DOL had no legitimate basis for withdrawing them. United Steelworkers of America v. Pendergrass, 855 F.2d 108 (CA3 1988).

Petitioners sought review in this Court. We granted certiorari to answer the important question whether the Paperwork Reduction Act authorizes OMB to review and countermand agency regulations mandating disclosure by regulated entities directly to third parties. 490 U.S. 1064, 109 S.Ct. 2061, 104 L.Ed.2d 627 (1989). We hold that the Paperwork Reduction Act does not give OMB that authority, and therefore affirm.

The Paperwork Reduction Act was enacted in response to one of the less auspicious aspects of the enormous growth of our federal bureaucracy: its seemingly insatiable appetite for data. Outcries from small businesses, individuals, and state and local governments, that they were being buried under demands for paperwork, led Congress to institute controls. [3] Congress designated OMB the overseer of other agencies with respect to paperwork and set forth a comprehensive scheme designed to reduce the paperwork burden. The Act charges OMB with developing uniform policies for efficient information processing, storage, and transmittal systems, both within and among agencies. OMB is directed to reduce federal collection of all information by set percentages, establish a Federal Information Locator System, and develop and implement procedures for guarding the privacy of those providing confidential information. See 44 U.S.C. §§ 3504, 3505, 3511 (1982 ed. and Supp. V).

The Act prohibits any federal agency from adopting regulations which impose paperwork requirements on the public unless the information is not available to the agency from another source within the Federal Government, and the agency must formulate a plan for tabulating the information in a useful manner. Agencies are also required to minimize the burden on the public to the extent practicable. See 44 U.S.C. § 3507(a)(1) (1982 ed. and Supp. V). In addition, the Act institutes a second layer of review by OMB for new paperwork requirements. After an agency has satisfied itself that an instrument for collecting information-termed an "information collection request"-is needed, the agency must submit the request to OMB for approval. See 44 U.S.C. § 3507(a)(2) (1982 ed., Supp. V.). If OMB disapproves the request, the agency may not collect the information. See 44 U.S.C. § 3507(a)(3) (1982 ed.).

Typical information collection requests include tax forms, Medicare forms, financial loan applications, job applications, questionnaires, compliance reports, and tax or business records. See S.Rep., at 3-4. These information requests share at least one characteristic: The information requested is provided to a federal agency, either directly or indirectly. [4] Agencies impose the requirements on private parties in order to generate information to be used by the agency in pursuing some other purpose. For instance, agencies use these information requests in gathering background on a particular subject to develop the expertise with which to devise or fine-tune appropriate regulations, amassing diffuse data for processing into useful statistical form, and monitoring business records and compliance reports for signs or proof of nonfeasance to determine when to initiate enforcement measures.

By contrast, disclosure rules do not result in information being made available for agency personnel to use. The promulgation of a disclosure rule is a final agency action that represents a substantive regulatory choice. An agency charged with protecting employees from hazardous chemicals has a variety of regulatory weapons from which to choose: It can ban the chemical altogether; it can mandate specified safety measures, such as gloves or goggles; or it can require labels or other warnings alerting users to dangers and recommended precautions. An agency chooses to impose a warning requirement because it believes that such a requirement is the least intrusive measure that will sufficiently protect the public, not because the measure is a means of acquiring information useful in performing some other agency function.

No provision of the Act expressly declares whether Congress intended the Paperwork Reduction Act to apply to disclosure rules as well as information-gathering rules. The Act applies to "information collection requests" by a federal agency which are defined as

"a written report form, application form, schedule, questionnaire, reporting or recordkeeping requirement, collection of information requirement, or other similar method calling for the collection of information." 44 U.S.C. § 3502(11) (1982 ed., Supp. V).

"Collection of information," in turn, is defined as

"the obtaining or soliciting of facts or opinions by an agency through the use of written report forms, application forms, schedules, questionnaires, reporting or recordkeeping requirements, or other similar methods calling for either-

"(A) answers to identical questions posed to, or identical reporting or recordkeeping requirements imposed on, ten or more persons, other than agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States; or

"(B) answers to questions posed to agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States which are to be used for general statistical purposes." 44 U.S.C. § 3502(4) (1982 ed.)

Petitioners urge us to read the words "obtaining or soliciting of facts by an agency through . . . reporting or recordkeeping requirements" as encompassing disclosure rules. They contend that an agency is "soliciting facts" when it requires someone to communicate specified data to a third party and that the hazard communication standard's rules are "reporting and recordkeeping requirements" within the meaning of the Act because the employer is required to report hazard information to employees. Petitioners submit that the provisions requiring labeling and employee training are "reporting requirements" and that the provision requiring accessible data sheets containing health and safety information is a "recordkeeping requirement." We believe, however, that the language, structure, and purpose of the Paperwork Reduction Act reveal that petitioners' position is untenable because Congress did not intend the Act to encompass these or any other third-party disclosure rules.

"On a pure question of statutory construction, our first job is to try to determine congressional intent, using traditional tools of statutory construction." NLRB v. Food and Commercial Workers, 484 U.S. 112, 123, 108 S.Ct. 413, 421, 98 L.Ed.2d 429 (1987). Our "starting point is the language of the statute," Schreiber v. Burlington Northern, Inc., 472 U.S. 1, 5, 105 S.Ct. 2458, 2461, 86 L.Ed.2d 1 (1985), but " 'in expounding a statute, we are not guided by a single sentence or member of a sentence, but look to the provisions of the whole law, and to its object and policy.' " Massachusetts v. Morash, 490 U.S. 107, 115, 109 S.Ct. 1668, 1673, 104 L.Ed.2d 98 (1989), quoting Pilot Life Ins. Co. v. Dedeaux, 481 U.S. 41, 51, 107 S.Ct. 1549, 1555, 95 L.Ed.2d 39 (1987). See also K mart Corp. v. Cartier, Inc., 486 U.S. 281, 291, 108 S.Ct. 1811, 1818, 100 L.Ed.2d 313 (1988) (same).

Petitioners' interpretation of "obtaining or soliciting facts by an agency through . . . reporting or recordkeeping requirements" is not the most natural reading of this language. The commonsense view of "obtaining or soliciting facts by an agency" is that the phrase refers to an agency's efforts to gather facts for its own use and that Congress used the word "solicit" in addition to the word "obtain" in order to cover information requests that rely on the voluntary cooperation of information suppliers as well as rules which make compliance mandatory. Similarly, data sheets consisting of advisory material on health and safety do not fall within the normal meaning of "records," and a Government-imposed reporting requirement customarily requires reports to be made to the Government, not training and labels to be given to someone else altogether.

That a more limited reading of the phrase "reporting and recordkeeping requirements" was intended derives some further support from the words surrounding it. The traditional canon of construction, noscitur a sociis, dictates that " 'words grouped in a list should be given related meaning.' " Massachusetts v. Morash, supra, 490 U.S., at 114-115, 109 S.Ct., at 1673, quoting Schreiber, supra, 472 U.S., at 8, 105 S.Ct., at 2462. The other examples listed in the definitions of "information collection request" and "collection of information" are forms for communicating information to the party requesting that information. If "reporting and recordkeeping requirements" is understood to be analogous to the examples surrounding it, the phrase would comprise only rules requiring information to be sent or made available to a federal agency, not disclosure rules.

The same conclusion is produced by a consideration of the object and structure of the Act as a whole. See Offshore Logistics, Inc. v. Tallentire, 477 U.S. 207, 220-221, 106 S.Ct. 2485, 2493, 91 L.Ed.2d 174 (1986) (concluding that the meaning of a phrase was clarified by the language and purpose of the Act as a whole). Particularly useful is the provision detailing Congress' purposes in enacting the statute. The Act declares that its purposes are:

"(1) to minimize the Federal paperwork burden for individuals, small businesses, State and local governments, and other persons;

"(2) to minimize the cost to the Federal Government of collecting, maintaining, using, and disseminating information;

"(3) to maximize the usefulness of information collected, maintained, and disseminated by the Federal Government; "(4) to coordinate, integrate and, to the extent practicable and appropriate, make uniform Federal information policies and practices;

"(5) to ensure that automatic data processing, telecommunications, and other information technologies are acquired and used by the Federal Government in a manner which improves service delivery and program management, increases productivity, improves the quality of decisionmaking, reduces waste and fraud, and wherever practicable and appropriate, reduces the information processing burden for the Federal Government and for persons who provide information to and for the Federal Government; and

"(6) to ensure that the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of information by the Federal Government is consistent with applicable laws relating to confidentiality, including . . . the Privacy Act." 44 U.S.C. § 3501 (1982 ed. and Supp. V) (emphasis added).

Disclosure rules present none of the problems Congress sought to solve through the Paperwork Reduction Act, and none of Congress' enumerated purposes would be served by subjecting disclosure rules to the provisions of the Act. The statute makes clear that the first purpose-avoiding a burden on private parties and state and local governments-refers to avoiding "the time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to provide information to a Federal agency." 44 U.S.C. § 3502(3) (1982 ed.) (defining "burden") (emphasis added). Because Congress expressed concern only for the burden imposed by requirements to provide information to a federal agency, and not for any burden imposed by requirements to provide information to a third party, OMB review of disclosure rules would not further this congressional aim.

Congress' second purpose-minimizing the Federal Government's cost of handling information-also would not be advanced by review of disclosure rules because such rules do not impose any information processing costs on the Federal Government. Because the Federal Government is not the consumer of information "requested" by a disclosure rule nor an intermediary in its dissemination, OMB review of disclosure rules would not serve Congress' third, fourth, fifth, or sixth purposes. Thus, nothing in Congress' itemized and exhaustive textual description of its reasons for enacting this particular Act indicates any legislative purpose to have OMB screen proposed disclosure rules. We find this to be strong evidence that Congress did not intend the Act to authorize OMB review of such regulations.

This conclusion is buttressed by the language and import of other provisions of the Act. For instance, every federal agency is required to take three internal preliminary steps before adopting an information collection request. The agency must take action to

"(A) eliminate, through the use of the Federal Information Locator System and other means, information collections which seek to obtain information available from another source within the Federal Government;

"(B) reduce to the extent practicable and appropriate the burden on persons who will provide information to the agency; and

"(C) formulate plans for tabulating the information in a manner which will enhance its usefulness to other agencies and to the public." 44 U.S.C. § 3507(a)(1) (1982 ed.) (emphasis added).

These requirements affect agencies only when they gather information for their own use. The first directs an agency not to ask for information that it can acquire from another agency. [5] The second requires an agency to consider the burden it places on the public, but only as to information provided to the agency. The third encourages an agency to make the information it has obtained useful to others as well. Significantly, no provision relates to disclosure rules. For example, no provision requires agencies to ensure that a paperwork requirement is effective or that its burden on one party is not disproportionate to the benefit afforded a third party.

Also instructive are the provisions governing OMB's review of proposed agency information collection requests that cast that review in terms applicable to information-gathering regulations but not to disclosure rules. OMB's examination is limited to "determining whether the collection of information by an agency is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility for the agency." 44 U.S.C. § 3504(c)(2) (1982 ed.) (emphasis added). "Practical utility" is defined in the statute as "the ability of an agency to use information it collects, particularly the capability to process such information in a timely and useful fashion." 44 U.S.C. § 3502(16) (1982 ed., Supp. V) (emphasis added).

However, in reviewing the disclosure rules at issue in this case, OMB was unable to consider what OSHA planned to do with information regarding hazardous chemicals at the various work sites, because OSHA was not to be the recipient of this information. Nothing was to be given to OSHA to process-in a timely fashion or otherwise. OMB instead disapproved the three OSHA rules on the ground that the mandated disclosures would be of little benefit to the employees OSHA sought to protect. But there is no indication in the Paperwork Reduction Act that OMB is authorized to determine the usefulness of agency-adopted warning requirements to those being warned. To the contrary, Congress focused exclusively on the utility of the information to the agency. And the only criteria specified are whether the agency can process the information quickly and use it in pursuit of its substantive mandate.

Yet a third provision reinforcing our conclusion that disclosure rules are not subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act is the statute's mechanism for assuring agency compliance with its terms. When OMB approves an information collection request, it issues a control number which is placed on all forms. If a request does not receive OMB approval, it is not issued a control number and the agency is prohibited from collecting the information. See 44 U.S.C. §§ 3504(c)(3)(A), 3507(f) (1982 ed.). In addition, if the agency nevertheless promulgates the paperwork requirement, members of the public may ignore it without risk of penalty. See 44 U.S.C. § 3512 (1982 ed.). [6] However, this protection of the public is applicable only to information-gathering rules. Section 3512 provides that "no person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to maintain or provide information to any agency if the information collection request involved . . . does not display a current control number assigned by the [OMB]. . . ." Ibid. (emphasis added).

While the grammar of this text can be faulted, its meaning is clear: the public is protected under the Paperwork Reduction Act from paperwork regulations not issued in compliance with the Act, only when those regulations dictate that a person maintain information for an agency or provide information to an agency. By its very terms, the statute's enforcement mechanism does not apply to rules which require disclosure to a third party rather than to a federal agency. Thus either Congress intended the Paperwork Reduction Act to cover information-gathering rules only, or Congress intended the Act to cover disclosure rules but intended to exempt them from this agency compliance mechanism. Because the latter is counterintuitive and contrary to clear legislative history, [7] § 3512 is further evidence that Congress did not intend the Act to cover disclosure rules. III

For the foregoing reasons, we find that the terms "collection of information" and "information collection request," when considered in light of the language and structure of the Act as a whole, refer solely to the collection of information by, or for the use of, a federal agency; they cannot reasonably be interpreted to cover rules mandating disclosure of information to a third party. In addition, we find unpersuasive petitioners' claims that there is a "clearly expressed legislative intention [to the] contrary," see INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421, 432, n. 12, 107 S.Ct. 1207, 1213, n. 12, 94 L.Ed.2d 434 (1987).

Petitioners rely on statements from various stages of the Act's legislative history as evidence that Congress intended "collection of information" to include disclosure rules. [8] However, the statements show merely that the Act was intended to reach not only statistical compilations but also information collected for law enforcement purposes and information filed with an agency for possible dissemination to the public (i.e., when the agency is an intermediary in the process of data dissemination). This sheds no light on the issue before this Court: Whether the Act reaches rules mandating disclosure by one party directly to a third party. Moreover, other statements in the committee reports reinforce respondents' position. [9]

Because we find that the statute, as a whole, clearly expresses Congress' intention, we decline to defer to OMB's interpretation. [10] See Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System v. Dimension Financial Corp., 474 U.S. 361, 368, 106 S.Ct. 681, 686, 88 L.Ed.2d 691 (1986) ("The traditional deference courts pay to agency interpretation is not to be applied to alter the clearly expressed intent of Congress"); Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 842-843, 104 S.Ct. 2778, 2781-2782, 81 L.Ed.2d 694 (1984) ("If the intent of Congress is clear, that is the end of the matter"). We affirm the judgment of the Third Circuit insofar as it held that the Paperwork Reduction Act does not give OMB the authority to review agency rules mandating disclosure by regulated entities to third parties. [11]

It is so ordered.

Justice WHITE, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE joins, dissenting.


^1  OMB concluded that workers on multiemployer sites would be adequately protected if each employer kept chemical manufacturers' labels intact, supplied data sheets to other employers on the site on request, and taught its own employees about the chemicals with which they worked directly and explained how to recognize hazards likely to be introduced by other employers. 52 Fed.Reg. 46077 (1987).

^2  The standard promulgated by OSHA had exempted, from any otherwise applicable labeling requirements, all food and drugs subject to the labeling requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 52 Stat. 1040, as amended, 21 U.S.C. § 301 et seq. (1982 ed.), and all consumer products or hazardous substances subject to a consumer product safety standard or labeling requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act, 86 Stat. 1207, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 2051 et seq., or the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, 74 Stat. 372, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 1261 et seq., or regulations issued under those Acts by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. 29 CFR §§ 1910.1200(b)(5)(ii), 1910.1200(b)(5)(iv) (1988).

OMB wanted OSHA to exempt, in addition, all products packaged in the same form and concentration as a consumer product, whether or not used for the same purpose or with the same exposure, as well as all Food and Drug Administration regulated drugs handled in the nonmanufacturing sector. 52 Fed.Reg. 46078 (1987). OMB drew its recommended exemption for consumer products from § 311(e)(3) of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, 100 Stat. 1615, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (1982 ed., Supp. V), a provision aimed at informing the general public about chemicals that could cause hazardous conditions during an emergency situation.

^3  See S.Rep. No. 96-930, pp. 3-4, 8 (1980) (S.Rep.); H.R.Rep. No. 96-835, pp. 3, 17 (1980) (H.R.Rep.), U.S.Code Cong. & Admin.News 1980, p. 6241.

^4  Tax and business records are examples of information provided only indirectly to an agency. In these cases, the governing regulations do not require records to be sent to the agency; they require only that records be kept on hand for possible examination as part of a compliance review.

^5  See H.R.Rep., at 28 (the agency "is to eliminate any information collections which seek to obtain information available from other sources within the Federal Government").

^6  See id., at 20 (The Act "allow[s] the public, by refusing to answer these [information collection requests], to help control 'outlaw forms' ").

^7  See S.Rep., at 52-53, U.S.Code Cong. & Admin.News 1980, p. 6292 ("The only collections of information by a Federal agency which are exempted, and for which a person or persons could not claim protection under section 3512, are those collections of information which this chapter does not apply to and are exempted by section 3518 [certain law enforcement and national security exceptions]"). See also H.R.Rep., at 30.

^8  See Report of Commission on Federal Paperwork, The Reports Clearance Process 1, 43 (Sept. 9, 1977) (explaining that the Federal Trade Commission did not interpret the Federal Reports Act of 1942, predecessor to the Paperwork Reduction Act, to apply to information it collected for law enforcement purposes nor did the Securities and Exchange Commission interpret that Act to apply to information the SEC collected for possible disclosure by the agency to the public); Paperwork and Redtape Reduction Act of 1979: Hearing on S. 1411 before the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Practices and Open Government of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, 96th Cong., 1st Sess., 87 (1979) (testimony of SEC Commissioner Evans that the definition of collection of information in the Federal Reports Act was limited to collection for statistical purposes; testimony of Senator Chiles that Congress was not trying to cripple the mission of the agencies but was "trying to put some governor on this thirst for information"); S.Rep., at 39-40, U.S.Code Cong. & Admin.News 1980, p. 6279 (explaining that the Senate had rejected the SEC's attempt to limit "collection of information" to collection for statistical purposes, that the definition extended to documents filed with the SEC for possible disclosure to the public by the SEC, and that OMB's review of these filing requirements should consider whether the SEC could use the data either to carry out its regulatory functions or to make it available to the public).

^9  See, e.g., H.R.Rep., at 3 (the Act resulted from "a growing concern that the way the Government collects, uses, and disseminates information must be improved") (emphasis added); id., at 22 (explaining the "practical utility" review as a response to the tendency of agencies to "collect reams of data on the basis of need only to store the data unused" thereby imposing "an unnecessary reporting burden on those individuals or organizations being asked to provide it"); S.Rep., at 11, U.S.Code Cong. & Admin.News 1980, p. 6251 ("[T]he essential purpose of the legislation [is] to reduce the burden on the public in providing information to the Federal Government ") (emphasis added); id., at 46, U.S.Code Cong. & Admin.News 1980, p. 6286 ("A Federal agency is considered to 'sponsor' the collection of information if the agency itself collects information or if it uses a procurement contract and the contractor collects information for the agency"); Senate Hearings, supra, at 40-41 (testimony of Wayne G. Granquist, Assoc. Dir., OMB) ("No one questions the basic need of the government for information to plan, make policy decisions, operate and evaluate programs, and perform necessary research. The question is rather how much information is essential").

^10  OMB's assumption of the authority to review the three provisions of the hazard communication standard at issue was consistent with its own regulations. See 5 CFR § 1320.7(c)(2) (1988) ("Requirements by an agency for a person to obtain or compile information for the purpose of disclosure to members of the public or to the public at large, through posting, notification, labeling, or similar disclosure requirements, constitute the 'collection of information' whenever the same requirement to obtain or compile information would be a 'collection of information' if the information were directly provided to the agency"); § 1320.7(q) (defining "reporting requirement" as "a requirement imposed by an agency on persons to provide information to another person or to the agency"). Petitioners' argument that we should defer to OMB's interpretation, as expressed in these regulations, is foreclosed by our finding of clear congressional intent.

^11  We do not reach the question whether other provisions of the hazard communication standard might legitimately be subject to OMB review under the Paperwork Reduction Act. See 29 CFR § 1910.1200(e) (1988) (requiring employers to develop written programs describing their compliance and make them available to the agency on request); § 1910.1200(g)(11) (requiring employers to make their material safety data sheets available to the agency on request). Only the three provisions OMB disapproved are before us today.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).