This is a list of select proposed EHS regulatory changes in the United States and Canada in the past few days. We cover EHS legislation in over 100 countries and 200 jurisdictions. If you would like to track EHS legislation in specific regions, jurisdictions or countries, we are happy to help. Please send us a request for more information here and we will get in touch shortly.
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Compressed Natural Gas Fuel Container Integrity
- System Safety Program and Risk Reduction Program
- Ballast Water Regulations
- Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations Amendment Regulations (Part 1 — Biomass)
- An Act respecting net-zero greenhouse gas emissions
- Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Parts I, V and VI — ELT)
- Migratory Birds Regulations
- Regulations Amending the Wildlife Area Regulations and Other Department of the Environment Regulations
- An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (automated external defibrillators)
- Navigation Safety Regulations, 2019
- Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Food and Drugs Act (Post-market Surveillance of Medical Devices)
- Regulations Amending the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations
- Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (Radiation Protection)
- An Act to amend the Employment Equity Act
- Proposed Regulation to be made under the Federal Carbon Tax Transparency Act, 2019
- Consultation on the proposed Combative Sports Act, 2019
- Employment Standards Act, 2000 – Overtime Averaging in Unionized Workplaces
The Department of Transportation is proposing to amend the visual inspection labeling requirement in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 304, as it appears in 49 CFR 571 Subpart B Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (49CFR-571.B), to state that compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel containers used on heavy vehicles should be inspected at least once every 12 months. No changes are proposed to the periodic visual inspection interval for CNG fuel containers on light vehicles.
Comments must be received on or before August 20, 2019.
The Department of Transportation is proposing to amend its regulations requiring commuter and intercity passenger railroads to develop and implement a system safety program (SSP). These proposed amendments include the following:
- Clarifying that while all persons providing intercity passenger rail service or commuter rail passenger transportation share responsibility for ensuring compliance in creating a system safety program, this does not restrict a person’s ability to provide for an appropriate designation of responsibility.
- Extending the stay of the SSP final rule’s requirements to allow for time to review and address any comments received on this proposal.
- Adjusting the SSP rule’s compliance dates to account for the aforementioned stay.
- Applying the rule’s information protections to the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3 RS) program included in a railroad’s SSP.
- Providing notice of possible conforming amendments to a Risk Reduction Program final rule that would ensure identical consultations and information protection provisions for the risk reduction program and SSP rules.
The proposed amendments apply to 49 CFR 270 Subpart A General (49CFR-270.A), 49 CFR 270 Subpart B System Safety Program Requirements (49CFR-270.B), 49 CFR 270 Subpart C Review, Approval, and Retention of System Safety Program Plans (49CFR-270.C), and 49 CFR Part 270 Appendix B.
Written comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before August 12, 2019.
Stricter and more broadly applicable rules for ballast water management may be coming soon.
The proposed rules would, according to the Government of Canada, notably
- “apply to Canadian vessels everywhere and all vessels in waters under Canadian jurisdiction”;
- “incorporate by reference the [requirements in the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004]”; and
- “impose requirements based on the vessel’s length, its ballast water capacity, its date of construction, and its area of operation”.
These changes would be made by repealing and replacing the Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations (SOR/2011-237).
Air pollutant emission standards for key industrial sources and equipment may soon exclude boilers combusting predominantly solid and liquid biomass.
According to the Government of Canada, proposed changes would notably
- Exclude a boiler from the Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations (SOR/2016-151) if “it can reach at least 50% of its rated capacity when 90% of the input energy in the combustion chamber results from the introduction of liquid or solid biomass”;
- “Provide the same exclusion for biomass heaters”; and
- “Specify that new or recommissioned biomass boilers (or heaters) need to be connected to a biomass supply system designed to supply a sufficient quantity of biomass to meet the conditions for the exclusion”.
- This change would affect the Multi-Sector Air Pollutants Regulations (SOR/2016-151).
A proposed law would require the Government of Canada to ensure that Canada reduces its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
This law is proposed in a bill which, at the time of writing, had just passed first reading.
Aircraft may soon be required to have higher-frequency emergency locator transmitters (ELT) on board.
According to the Government of Canada, proposed changes would notably “mandate that Canadian aircraft, with the exception of gliders, balloons, airships, ultra-light aeroplanes and gyroplanes, be equipped with a 406 MHz ELT on board. Foreign aircraft operating in Canada would be required to be equipped with a serviceable emergency beacon that transmits on a 406 MHz frequency that is approved by [the search and rescue satellite-aided tracking initiative] and is registered with the appropriate authority of the country identified in the digitally coded information transmitted by the emergency beacon.”
These changes would affect the Canadian Aviation Regulations, 2012 (SOR/96-433).
Changes may be coming to migratory bird protections and the rules concerning when these birds may be hunted.
The proposed changes, according to the Government of Canada, would notably
- “[Recognize] the existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Aboriginal people in Canada […] with respect to harvesting migratory birds and their eggs”;
- “[Broad the definition of bait to include any feed or imitation feed”;
- Allow certain abandoned nests to be damaged, destroyed, or disturbed;
- “Allow the temporary possession of dead, injured or live migratory birds” under certain circumstances;
- Prohibit giving at-risk bird species as gifts;
- “[Include] murres as migratory game birds”; and
- Amend the terms and conditions associated with a migratory game bird hunting permit, including changes to rules concerning the types of hunting tools that may be used and the handling, processing, and possession of dead birds.
These changes would affect the Migratory Birds Regulations (CRC,c1035), Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (SOR/2017-109), Designation of Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994) Regulations (SOR/2017-108), Contraventions Regulations (SOR/96-313), Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations (CRC,c1036), Law List Regulations (SOR/94-636), Inclusion List Regulations (SOR/94-637), Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act (CA-SC1988,c28), Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act (SC1987,c3), Preliminary Screening Requirement Regulations (SOR/99-12), and the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (RSC1985,cO-7).
Regulations Amending the Wildlife Area Regulations and Other Department of the Environment Regulations
Restrictions on the activities that may be undertaken without a permit in a National Wildlife Area may soon change.
Proposed changes would notably
- prohibit new types of activities in an NWA without a permit, including introducing potentially harmful organisms, harming wildlife habitat, having a hoofed animal or a domestic animal on a leash longer than three metres, and the takeoff and landing of aerial drones and aircraft;
- modify existing restrictions, including by clarifying that prohibitions on picnicking only apply to large groups and that prohibitions on selling goods and services only apply to selling conducted inside an NWA;
- “[restrict] the use of motorized boats while towing a barge or platform” in the Nisutlin River Delta NWA;
- allow government to temporarily close an NWA in certain circumstances;
- change permitting guidelines as well as criteria for permit suspension and revocation;
- modify the boundaries of 14 NWAs; and
- amend the fine regime under the Canada Wildlife Act.
These changes would affect the Wildlife Area Regulations (CRC,c1609), the Designation of Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Canada Wildlife Act) Regulations (CA-SOR/2017-107), and the Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (SOR/2017-109).
It may soon be required to keep automated external defibrillators in workplaces.
This change would affect the Canada Labour Code (RSC1985,cL-2). It is proposed in a bill which, at the time of writing, had just been introduced.
Navigation safety and radio communications rules may soon change.
Proposed changes, according to the Government of Canada, would notably
- “expand the carriage requirements of distress alerting and communication equipment”;
- “expand the carriage requirements for equipment designed to improve the situational awareness of vessel operators”; and
- “incorporate by reference Chapter IV and Chapter V of the SOLAS Convention”.
These changes would involve repealing the Navigation Safety Regulations (SOR/2005-134), the Voyage Data Recorder Regulations (SOR/2011-203), the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations (SOR/95-149), the Ship Station (Radio) Regulations, 1999 (SOR/2000-260), the Ship Station (Radio) Technical Regulations (SOR/2000-265), the VHF Radiotelephone Practices and Procedures Regulations (SOR/81-364), the Anchorage Regulations (SOR/88-101), the Burlington Canal Regulations (SOR/89-222), and the St. Clair and Detroit River Navigation Safety Regulations (SOR/84-335), and amending the Steering Appliances and Equipment Regulations (SOR/83-810). Comments will be accepted until August 28, 2019.
Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Food and Drugs Act (Post-market Surveillance of Medical Devices)
The Government of Canada has announced its intention to create and strengthen government powers to require medical device licence holders to “conduct an assessment, collect information, conduct additional tests and studies, and/or monitor experience”.
These changes would affect the Food and Drug Regulations (CA-CRC,c870). Comments will be accepted until August 15, 2019.
The Government of Canada has announced its intention to “amend the Canadian [hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)] consumption baseline from 19 118 561 to 18 008 795 tonnes of CO2e”, which would mean lower maximum allowable levels of HFC consumption. In addition, it has proposed to “allow the consumption of HCFC-123 until December 31, 2029, for the servicing of existing fire protection equipment that is in service as of December 31, 2019”.
These changes would affect the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations (SOR/2016-137). Comments will be accepted until August 20, 2019.
Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (Radiation Protection)
Radio protection rules, including those concerning the protection of nuclear energy workers (NEWs), caregivers, and patients, may soon change.
Proposed changes, according to the Government of Canada, would notably
- “reinstate the exemption for caregivers” which was repealed in 2007;
- “remove the requirement to inform the patient [of the radiation risks of providing care and support to them] before they leave the treatment centre”;
- “introduce a requirement […] for all licensees to inform all (NEWs) of their duties and responsibilities during an emergency, as well as the risks associated with radiation to which the worker may be exposed during the control of an emergency”;
- “[require] the provision of information on the potential risks to breastfed infants from intakes of nuclear substances by the female NEW”;
- “[require] that all licensees inform all female NEWs, in writing, of the importance of informing the licensee, as soon as feasible, in writing, if they are breastfeeding, and of the rights of breastfeeding NEWs”;
- “[require] that licensees make reasonable accommodations for female NEWs who have self-disclosed that they are breastfeeding, for the protection of breastfed infants”;
- “[require] that a licensee [use a licensed dosimetry service] to measure and monitor radiation doses to NEWs who have a reasonable probability of receiving an equivalent dose to the skin, or to the skin of any hand or foot, that is greater than 50 mSv in a one-year dosimetry period”;
- “change the equivalent dose limit to the lens of an eye for a NEW from the current limit of 150 mSv to 50 mSv in a one-year dosimetry period”, and “add a new equivalent dose limit to the lens of an eye for a NEW of 100 mSv in a five-year dosimetry period”;
- “[require] that a person be removed from work if the person may have or has exceeded any of the dose limits that apply to NEWs”;
- “remove the requirement for an applicant [for a licence to operate a dosimetry service] to include the types of radiation that will be monitored and their respective energy ranges”;
- “exempt devices that contain radium luminous compounds from [certain labelling requirements] provided that radium is the only nuclear substance in the device and the device is intact and not tampered with”;
- “exempt containers used to temporarily store nuclear substances from [certain] labelling requirements”;
- “[require that] all licensees […] ensure that radiation detection and measurement instrumentation is selected, tested and calibrated for its intended use”; and
- require licensees to maintain dose records for five years after the day on which the information is collected, rather than the 1 year currently required.
These changes would affect the Radiation Protection Regulation (SOR/2000-203). Comments will be accepted until June 29, 2019.
The protections offered by the Employment Equity Act (SC1995,c44) to women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities may soon be extended to self-identified members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit communities. These protections include the requirement that employers identify and eliminate unlawful employment barriers against these groups within their employment systems.
This change has been proposed in a bill which, at the time of writing, had just been introduced.
The Government of Ontario is seeking feedback on proposed rules establishing the placement of the government-issue stickers which retail gasoline pumps will soon be required to display under the Federal Carbon Tax Transparency Act, 2019 (CA-ON-SO2019,c7,Sch23).
The Government of Ontario announced its intention to regulate combative sports.
According to the Government of Ontario, the new rules would
- “establish a new legislative framework for amateur and professional combative sport in Ontario”;
- “improve health and safety conditions for athletes participating in professional and amateur combative sports”;
- ensure athlete of combative sports a safe environment to practice their sport; and
- include “a number of compliance tools designed to promote safety and maintain integrity in amateur and professional combative sports”.
These new rules would be enacted by adopting of the Combative Sports Act, 2019.
Interested persons can make comments concerning this proposal until August 10, 2019.
Employees covered by a collective agreement may soon be allowed to negotiate overtime averaging agreements that average hours of work for overtime pay purposes over a period that exceeds the current cap of four weeks.
This proposed change would notably affect the Employment Standards Act (SO2000,c41). Comments will be accepted until August 5, 2019.
More generous leave entitlements and restrictions on youth employment may be coming soon.
Proposed changes would notably, according to the Government of the Northwest Territories, 1) “extend the period of entitlement to unpaid parental leave and […] provide for parental sharing of leave”; 2) “extend the period of entitlement to unpaid compassionate leave”; 3) “provide an entitlement to unpaid family caregiver leave to allow for individuals to care for family members who are critically ill or injured”; 4) “provide an entitlement to paid and unpaid family violence leave”; 5) “expand the definition of ‘family member’ that applies in respect of bereavement leave, compassionate care leave and family caregiver leave”; and 6) list new occupations where youth are not permitted to work.