Proposed EHS regulatory changes – February 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

An Act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (final disposal of plastic waste)

Published – 07 Feb, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The rules concerning the export of certain waste to foreign countries could soon be amended to prohibit the export of plastic waste for final disposal.

These changes would be implemented by amending the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (SC1999,c33).

Alberta

Review of trucking, bus rules seeks public input

Published – 18 Feb, 2020
Industry Sector – Road Transportation

The Government of Alberta is seeking comments to improve the rules respecting commercial trucking, bus and service companies.

According to the Government of Alberta, they are seeking feedbacks on
– Alberta’s two-tier hours of service system;
– the adoption of Electronic Logging Devices;
– implementation of National Safety Code Standards;
– vehicle weights and dimensions; and
– Alberta’s overall regulatory environment.

Interested persons are invited to make comments concerning these changes by March 18, 2020.

New Brunswick

Amendments to the Vehicle Dimensions and Mass Regulation under the Motor Vehicle Act

Published – 26 Feb, 2020
Industry Sector – Road Transportation

The Government of New Brunswick has proposed changes to certain rules respecting heavy commercial vehicles.

The changes would notably:
– modify the maximum length allowed for certain trailers and allowable track width;
– add requirements for vehicles fitted with aerodynamic devices, idle reduction technology and for tridem drive axle tractors;
– change various dimension and weight requirements for certain configurations of vehicles

Interested persons can submit comments via email at Matt.Illsley@gnb.ca or telephone at (506) 474-3147 before 20 March 2020.

Ontario

Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews in Factories

Published – 03 Feb, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Government of Ontario is seeking comments for its review of pre-start health and safety review requirements (PSR) for factories.

The Government is notably seeking suggestions on the following issues:
– the types of workplaces and activities that should require a PSR;
– the types of factories where PSRs should not be required;
– the types of safeguarding devices, barrier guards, lifting devices that should require a PSR;
– making PSRs easier to understand;
– whether certain PSRs should be carried out by someone other than a professional engineer in certain circumstances;
– the requirement to affix a seal to a PSR report made by a professional engineer;
– reducing the cost to complete a PSR;
– the possibility of duplication between a PSR and a requirement under the Building Code or the Fire Code;
– the Guidelines for Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews: How to Apply Section 7 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation;
– making more accessible manufacturer’s documentation used to determine whether an apparatus or a protective element is exempted from a PSR;
– specific requirements for rack safety;
– making more stringent requirements respecting racks and stacking structures;
– only require a PSR when a ventilation system is being installed; and
– the way exposure of workers to chemical or biological agents should be addressed.

These changes would be implemented by amending Industrial Establishments (O.Reg.851).

Interested persons are invited to make comments concerning these changes by March 27, 2020.

Proposed amendments to Ontario Regulation 244/97 and the Aggregate Resources of Ontario Provincial Standards under the Aggregate Resources Act

Published – 12 Feb, 2020
Industry Sector – Mining and Minerals Industry

The Government of Ontario is seeking feedback concerning proposed changes to rules respecting the extraction of aggregate resources.

According to the Ontario Government, the changes would be to
– enhance the information to include “in summary statements and technical reports at the time of application” for new pits and quarries;
– improve “flexibility in how some standard site plan requirements can be implemented and [modernise] how site plans are created”;
– increase consistency between requirements for site plan for private and Crown lands, and better align them with other policy frameworks;
– provide “consistency on compliance reporting requirements”;
– update “the list of qualified professionals who can prepare Class A site plans”;
– update the “conditions that must be attached to a newly issued licence or permit” for a pit or quarry;
– modify “notification and consultation timeframes for new pit and quarry applications” and clarify some aspects of the new applications notification process;
– clarify the objection process and “application requirements for site plan amendments”;
– extend some dust and blasting requirements to existing pits and quarries and update “some operating requirements that apply to all pits and quarries”;
– require “more context and detail on where, when and how rehabilitation is or has been undertaken”;
– outline “requirements for amendment applications to expand an existing site into an adjacent road allowance [or] into the water table”;
– set “out eligibility criteria and requirements to allow operators to self-file changes to existing site plans for some routine activities without requiring approval from the ministry”; and
– outline eligibility and operating requirements to exempt some excavation activities from needing a licence.
These changes would be implemented by amending General, under Aggregate Resources Act (O.Reg.244/97).

Interested persons are invited to make comments concerning these changes by March 30, 2020.

Quebec

Draft Regulation from the Ministry of Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change concerning 22 regulations

Published – 19 Feb, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Government of Quebec announced its intention to proceed with the implementation of the new environmental authorisation scheme under the Environmental Quality Act, where the framework applicable to an activity is based on the level of its impact on the environment.

According to the Government of Quebec, the changes would notably
– specify the various activities that are subject to prior authorisation, require an authorisation for amendment, are eligible for a declaration of compliance, or are exempted from prior authorisation;
– specify various details concerning prior authorisations and the amendment of an authorisation, declarations of compliance and activities exempted from prior authorisation;
– set “the design standards applicable to the establishment or extension of a storm water management system” eligible for a declaration of compliance;
– set “the standards applicable to the carrying out of certain residual materials reclamation activities eligible for a declaration of compliance or exempted” from the requirement to obtain prior authorisation;
– set “the standards applicable to the carrying out of activities in wetlands, bodies of water and other sensitive environments eligible for a declaration of compliance or exempted [from the requirement to obtain prior authorisation], as a complement to the rules prescribed by the Protection Policy for Lakeshores, Riverbanks, Littoral Zones and Floodplains (chapter Q-2, r. 35) and municipal by-laws”; and
– set “the standards applicable to the removal, transport and disposal of snow, storage and handling centres for road salt and abrasives”.

According to the Government of Quebec, “the regulatory provisions related to the admissibility of authorization applications that are currently in force” would be maintained for the 12 months following the adoption of the changes, to accommodate the transition.

Furthermore, “the obligation to send an authorization application using the appropriate forms [and format] during the analysis period of the application” would come into force 12 months after the rest of the provisions.

These changes would be implemented by enacting the following regulations:
– the Regulation respecting the regulatory scheme applying to activities on the basis of their environmental impact;
– the Design code of a storm water management system eligible for a declaration of compliance;
– the Regulation respecting the reclamation of residual materials;
– the Regulation on activities in wetlands, bodies of water and sensitive environments; and
– the Snow, Road Salt and Abrasives Management Regulation.

The following regulations would notably be repealed:
– the Regulation respecting the application of section 32 of the Environment Quality Act; and
– the Regulation respecting the application of the Environment Quality Act.

And additional 16 regulations would be impacted.

Interested persons can submit comments until April 19, 2020.

United States

Regulations Governing Take of Migratory Birds

Published – 03 Feb, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to revise the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) as it applies to conduct resulting in the injury or death of migratory birds protected by the MBTA.

The effect of this proposed change would clarify that the MBTA’s prohibitions on pursuing, hunting, taking, capturing, killing, or attempting to do the same, apply only to deliberate actions (and not accidental actions) directed at migratory birds, their nests, or their eggs.

Comments must be received on or before March 19, 2020.

Pipeline Safety: Valve Installation and Minimum Rupture Detection Standards

Published – 06 Feb, 2020
Industry Sector – Oil and Gas Industry

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing to revise the Pipeline Safety Regulations applicable to newly constructed and entirely replaced onshore natural gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines to mitigate ruptures.

The proposed changes would also revise the regulations regarding rupture detection to shorten pipeline segment isolation times.

Persons interested in submitting written comments on this must do so by April 6, 2020.

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the Western Distinct Population Segment of the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

Published – 27 Feb, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to revise the proposed critical habitat for the western distinct population segment of the yellow-billed cuckoo (western yellow-billed cuckoo) (Coccyzus americanus).

In total, approximately 493,665 acres (199,779 hectares) are now being proposed for designation as critical habitat in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.

Comments must be received on or before April 27, 2020.

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