Proposed EHS regulatory changes – December 2019

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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

Regulations Amending the Pacific Pilotage Regulations

Published – 14 Dec, 2019
Industry Sector – Water Transportation

The Government of Canada announced its intention to modify pilotage rules for the Pacific region.

According to the Government of Canada, the changes would notably

    • “distinguish the experience at sea requirements for Fraser River pilot candidates (Area 1) from the requirements for coastal pilot candidates (Areas 2 to 5)”;
    • “expand eligibility qualifications to include crew experience on ships of 50 tonnes light displacement or greater”;
    • change various eligibility criteria for the pilot exam;
    • “prohibit vessels without a pilot from remaining in the compulsory pilotage waters without a clear destination”; and
    • “emphasize that a waiver from compulsory pilotage is only granted for the period that its holder meets the conditions of their waiver, which includes having the appropriate crew on board its ship”.

These changes would be implemented by amending the Pacific Pilotage Regulations (CRC,c1270).

Interested persons can make comments concerning these changes until January 13, 2020.

Ontario

Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy (Draft)

Published – 04 Dec, 2019
Industry Sector – Forestry and Logging

The Government of Ontario is seeking comments on its Forest Sector Strategy proposal.

According to the Government of Ontario, the objective of this strategy is to “support existing businesses and help create more opportunities and prosperity in northern and rural Ontario while ensuring high standards of sustainable forest management”.

To reach this goal, the government notably proposes to

      • “[promote] stewardship and sustainability’, notably by “enhancing recognition of Ontario’s sustainable forest management system”, “developing and strengthening Indigenous partnerships”, and “protecting values and respecting Indigenous rights”;
      • reduce “regulatory burdens for industry to access wood”;
      • invest “in newer technologies to improve the quality of the inventory information”, and make “strategic investments in Forest Access Roads”;
      • increase “forest growth and use of available wood supply”, and maximise “the use of mill by-products”;
      • review energy costs;
      • amend “forest management approval processes and reducing duplications”;
      • favorise “educational and training programs” related to the sector;
      • increase the “use of Ontario wood in construction and heating”; and
      • launch a Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program.

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

Amendment to the Record of Site Condition (Brownfields) Regulation related to the Requirement to Sample Ground Water

Published – 09 Dec, 2019
Industry Sector – General Industry, Building Management and Maintenance

The Government of Ontario announced its intention to modify rules relating to the sampling and analysis of groundwater in the context of a phase two environmental site assessment.

According to the Government of Ontario, the changes would notably

  • allow a licensed professional engineer or geoscientist to decide whether it is necessary to test groundwater when special conditions are met, in certain circumstances, such as when “there is no soil on, in or under the property”, and the soil sampling “does not meet the requirements and objectives of a phase two environmental site assessment with respect to soil”; and
  • require the licensed professional taking such a decision to make certain certifications, such as whether the required conditions have been met.

Interested persons are invited to make comments concerning this strategy by January 13, 2020.

Proposal to amend Ontario Regulation 454/96 (Construction) to provide an alternative optional rules in regulation approach to repairing existing low hazard wetland dams

Published – 18 Dec, 2019
Industry Sector – Construction

The Government of Ontario announced its intention to amend rules concerning wetland dams, to provide alternative optional rules to alter “existing low hazard wetland dams without obtaining approval”.

To be exempted from obtaining approval, the following requirements would need to be met:

  • “the dam [is] an existing wetland dam”;
  • “the dam [has] a low hazard potential classification, as determined by a licenced engineering practitioner”; and
  • the “alterations, improvements and repairs [will] not change the hazard potential classification of the dam”.

These changes would be implemented by amending Ontario Regulation 454/96 (Construction) (O.Reg.454/96).

Interested persons are invited to make comments concerning these changes by January 17, 2020.

United States

Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities; A Holistic Approach to Closure Part A: Deadline To Initiate Closure

Published – 02 Dec, 2019
Industry Sector – Utilities and Communications

National minimum criteria for existing and new coal combustion residuals (CCR) landfills and existing and new CCR surface impoundments may soon change.

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.

Modernizing the Administrative Exhaustion Requirement for Permitting Decisions and Streamlining Procedures for Permit Appeals

Published – 03 Dec, 2019
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to streamline and modernize its permitting process.

The effect of this proposed change would notably 1) create a new, time-limited alternative dispute resolution process for any interested party seeking judicial review of an EPA permit; and 2) modify the process relevant to certain administrative appeals under the following wastewater-, solid waste-, and air-related programs:

  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
  • The Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control (UIC)
  • Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Outer Continental Shelf Permit Program
  • Title V Permit Program
  • Acid Rain Permit Programs
  • Tribal Major Non-Attainment New Source Review Permits (NSR)
  • Tribal Minor NSR Permits

Comments must be received on or before January 2, 2020.

Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (19-5.F)

Published – 06 Dec, 2019
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 were 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 January 6, 2020.

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