Proposed EHS regulatory changes – January 2020

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This is a list of select proposed EHS regulatory changes in the United States and Canada. 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.

Canada

United States

Canada

Federal

Notice of intent to amend the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations

Published – 18 Jan, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Government of Canada announced its intention to modify certain rules concerning the trade of wild animals and plants, to “reflect changes to the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora agreed to by the Parties to the Convention during the 18th Conference of the Parties”.

According to the Government of Canada, the changes will notably reflect

  • the addition, transfer and deletion of various species, subspecies and subnational populations of species to, from and between Appendix I, II and III of the Convention;
  • the adoption and amendment of annotations to species listed in Appendix II of the Convention; and
  • nomenclature updates and changes to definitions.


These changes will be implemented by amending the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations (SOR/96-263). “The final amendments are anticipated to be published […] in the late spring of 2020”.

Quebec

Regulation to amend the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety in mines

Published – 08 Jan, 2020
Industry Sector – Mining and Minerals Industry

The Government of Quebec announced its intention to modify various rules concerning occupational health and safety in mines.

According to the Government of Quebec, the changes would notably

  • modify the requirement respecting the minimum equipment to keep in underground mines for matters related to breathing apparatus;
  • modify the requirement to obtain “specifications of an engineer for extraction work” in certain mines, to include open-pit mines;
  • set requirements “concerning the drilling distance from a hole that has been loaded”; and
  • update “standards that are applicable to electrical equipment in an open-pit mine or an underground mine”.

These changes would be implemented by amending the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety in mines (RRQ,cS-2.1,r14).

Interested persons can submit comments until February 22, 2020.

Interested persons are invited to make comments concerning this strategy by February 5, 2020.

Occupational health and safety—Amendment, Safety Code for the construction industry—Amendment, First-aid Minimum Standards Regulation—Amendment

Published – 02 Jan, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Government of Quebec announced its intention to amend occupational health and safety regulations “to implement the National Occupational Health and Safety Reconciliation Agreement signed in 2019 by the federal, provincial and territorial labour ministers”.

According to the Government of Quebec, the changes would notably

  • harmonize “the regulatory requirements pertaining to first-aid kits and certain personal protective equipment” with other provinces and territories and with the federal government;
  • update the standards relating to first-aid kits, “eye and face protection and safety shoes”;
  • add life jackets to the requirement respecting floatation devices;
  • remove requirements relating to air heaters;
  • “allow the use of direct-reading heat measuring instruments”; and
  • “provide that the design and manufacturing [of safety hats] have to comply with the standard in force at the time of manufacturing”.

These changes would be implemented by amending the

  • Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (RRQ,cS-2.1,r13);
  • Safety Code for the construction industry (RRQ,cS-2.1,r4); and
  • Regulation first-aid minimum standards (RRQ,cA-3.001,r10).

Interested persons can submit comments until February 16, 2020.

United States

National Bridge Inspection Standards

Published – 13 Jan, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing an extension to a comment period.

According to the Federal Register, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to 1) “allow unlined impoundments to continue receiving coal ash unless they leak, and […] classify “clay-lined” impoundments as lined, thereby allowing such units to operate indefinitely”, and 2) “establish a revised date by which unlined surface impoundments must cease receiving waste and initiate closure”.

Comments must be received on or before January 31, 2020.

EPA Method 23-Determination of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans From Stationary Sources

Published – 14 Jan, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing revisions to its current reference test method for determination of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans emitted from stationary sources (Method 23).

The effect of this proposed change would include incorporating isotope dilution for quantifying all target compounds and changing the method quality control from the current prescriptive format to a performance-based approach with specified performance criteria. The proposed change would also expand the list of target compounds of Method 23 to include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Comments must be received on or before March 16, 2020.

Miscellaneous Amendments to Brake System Safety Standards and Codification of Waivers

Published – 15 Jan, 2020
Industry Sector – Rail Transportation

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) (Department of Transportation) is proposing to revise its regulations governing brake inspections, tests, and equipment.

The effect of this proposed change would include the incorporation of relief from various provisions provided in long-standing waivers related to single car air brake tests, end-of-train devices, helper service, and brake maintenance. FRA is also proposing to extend the time that freight rail equipment can be “off-air” before requiring a new brake inspection.

Written comments must be received by March 16, 2020.

Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (20-1.B)

Published – 16 Jan, 2020
Industry Sector – Chemical Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing significant new use rules (SNURs) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for certain chemical substances that are the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs).

The effect of this proposed change would require persons who intend to manufacture, import, or process any of these chemical substances for an activity that is proposed as a significant new use to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. Persons may not commence manufacture, importing, or processing for the significant new use until EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate determination on the notice, and has taken such actions as are required by that determination.

Comments must be received on or before February 18, 2020.

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