EHS Updates in the United States and Canada – July 2018

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Dust-lead hazard standards could soon be lowered

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to lower the dust-lead hazard standard from 40 μg/ft2 and 250 μg/ft2to 10 μg/ft2 and 100 μg/ft2 on floors and window sills, respectively, in an effort to reduce childhood lead exposure.

Comments must be received on or before August 16, 2018.

 

Amendments proposed to entry-level commercial driver training rules

The Department of Transportation is proposing to amend the entry-level commercial driver training regulations by adopting a new Class A theory instruction upgrade curriculum to reduce the training time and costs incurred by Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders upgrading to a Class A CDL.

Comments must be received on or before August 28, 2018.

 

Delay proposed for effective date of transportation worker credential reader requirements

The Coast Guard has proposed delaying the effective date of the “Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)—Reader Requirements” rule by three years, to August 23, 2021, for

  • Facilities that handle certain dangerous cargoes in bulk, but do not transfer these cargoes to or from a vessel; and
  • Facilities that receive vessels carrying certain dangerous cargoes in bulk, but do not, during that vessel-to-facility interface, transfer these bulk cargoes to or from those vessels.

All other facilities would be required to comply with the rule by August 23, 2018. Comments and related material must be received on or before July 23, 2018.

 

Comment period extended for proposed changes to crane and derrick operator training standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is extending the comment period for a proposal to update its standard for cranes and derricks in construction that would

  • Extend and clarify each employer’s duty to ensure the competency of crane operators through required training, certification or licensing, and evaluation;
  • Remove an existing provision that requires different levels of certification based on rated lifting capacity of equipment;
  • Establish minimum requirements for determining operator competency; and
  • Clarify that while testing organizations are not required to issue certifications distinguished by rated capacities, they are permitted to do so.

Comments must be submitted by July 5, 2018.

 

Significant new use rule proposed for asbestos

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing that companies manufacturing, importing or processing asbestos for any of the following uses be required to notify EPA at least 90 days before starting, and approval would be required to move forward:

Adhesives, sealants, and roof and non-roof coatings; arc chutes; beater-add gaskets; extruded sealant tape and other tape; filler for acetylene cylinders; high-grade electrical paper; millboard; missile liner; pipeline wrap; reinforced plastics; roofing felt; separators in fuel cells and batteries; vinyl-asbestos floor tile; and any other building material (other than cement).

Comments must be received on or before August 10, 2018.

 

Alberta

 

Input requested on proposed changes to youth employment rules

The Government of Alberta is seeking feedback on proposed new restrictions on youth employment.

According to the Government of Alberta, the following would apply under the proposed changes:

  • “Youth aged 13 to 14 [could] take jobs on the light work list such as food assembly and retail. Employers [would] need a permit to hire them for work not on the light work list.
  • Fifteen-year-olds [could] continue to do most jobs except for hazardous work.
  • On farms and ranches, waged, non-family youth age 13 to 15 [could] do any work that is not hazardous. The rules [would] not apply to family, friends and neighbours.
  • Volunteering, babysitting, collecting eggs and doing farm chores [would] not [be] considered employment and [would] not [be] affected.”

The changes would be put in place by amending the Employment Standards Code and are intended to take effect on September 1, 2018. The Government of Alberta is seeking feedback on these changes, until June 29, 2018.

 

British Columbia

 

Public input sought on proposed changes to provincial environmental assessment process

The B.C. Government is seeking public input on proposed changes to the provincial environmental assessment process. According to the B.C. Government, “changes to the [environmental assessment] process are focused on three key outcomes:

  • enhancing public confidence, transparency and meaningful participation;
  • advancing reconciliation with First Nations; and
  • protecting the environment while offering clear pathways to sustainable project approvals.”

Public comments will be accepted until July 30, 2018.

 

New Brunswick

 

Proposed regulation provides leave for workers experiencing domestic, intimate partner, and sexual violence

The Government of New Brunswick is seeking feedback on a proposed regulation concerning leave for workers experiencing domestic, intimate partner, or sexual violence. According to the Government, it would notably “provide leave of up to 10 days that could be used intermittently or continuously, and up to 16 weeks that could be used in one continuous period, of which the first five days would be paid.”

The proposed Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence or Sexual Violence Leave Regulation would be made under the Employment Standards Act.

Feedback will be accepted until July 13, 2018.

 

Input sought on proposed changes to elevating device and amusement device safety rules

The Government of New Brunswick is seeking input on proposed changes to safety rules for elevating devices and amusement devices. The proposed changes would notably:

  • Exempt private residence lifts for persons with physical disabilities from certain rules;
  • Change the criteria and procedures for the licensing of elevator contractors and elevator mechanics;
  • Change the types of work that may be done under specified classes of elevator contractor and elevator mechanic licenses; and
  • Change those external safety standards that are incorporated by reference.

These changes would occur through amendments to the Safety Code for Elevating Devices and Amusement Devices.

Feedback will be accepted until July 20, 2018.

 

Input sought on proposed changes to fur harvesting rules

The Government of New Brunswick is seeking feedback on proposed changes to rules for hunting and trapping fur-bearing animals. The proposed changes would notably:

  • Restrict the use of killing traps to trap bobcat during certain periods in November and December; and
  • Change the conditions of use for killing traps, restraining traps, and leg hold traps.

These changes would occur by way of amendments to the Fur Harvesting Regulation.

Feedback will be accepted until July 20, 2018.

 

Quebec

 

Changes proposed to hearing and medical standards for drivers

Drivers of buses, taxis, and emergency vehicles, as well as drivers who transport dangerous substances, could soon be affected by changes to hearing and medical standards for drivers’ licences.

According to the Government of Quebec, the changes would “[abolish] the hearing standard…applicable to bus and minibus drivers, emergency vehicle drivers and taxi drivers as well as drivers transporting dangerous substances…[and make] certain adjustments to medical standards”.

These changes would be put in place by amending the Regulation respecting the health of drivers. Comments on the proposed changes are requested by August 11, 2018.

 

New requirements proposed for petroleum exploration, production, and storage

New requirements for petroleum exploration, production, and storage activities on land and in non-marine bodies of water may soon be in force. New rules for pipeline construction or use authorizations have also been proposed.

In particular, these rules would

  • Set conditions for granting and exercise of authorizations and licences;
  • Require the implementation of protective and safety measures; and
  • Add reporting and notification obligations for authorization holders.

These rules would be put in place by creating the following regulations under the Petroleum Resources Act, which is not yet in force:

  • The Regulation respecting petroleum exploration, production and storage in a body of water;
  • The Regulation respecting petroleum exploration, production and storage licences, and the pipeline construction or use authorization; and
  • The Regulation respecting petroleum exploration, production and storage on land.

Interested persons can comment on the proposed rules by August 4, 2018.