Proposed EHS regulatory changes – March 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

Publication of results of investigations and recommendations for seven substances of the Parabens Group specified on the Domestic Substances List (paragraphs 68(b) and (c) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999)

Published – 14 Mar, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Government of Canada announced its intention to add four substances of the parabens group to the List of Toxic Substances contained in Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (SC1999,c33), to regulate them as such. The substances are: methylparaben (CAS RN 99-76-3), propylparaben (CAS RN 94-13-3), butylparaben (CAS RN 94-26-8) and iso-butylparaben (CAS RN 4247-02-3).

According to the Government of Canada, these substances “are widely used as preservatives and fragrance ingredients in cosmetic products, such as moisturizers, make-up, toothpaste, hair/shaving products, and are used as antimicrobial preservatives, fragrance ingredients and flavour enhancers in natural health products”. They “are also used in pest control products, consumer products, and in prescription and non-prescription drugs”.

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

Interested persons can make comments concerning these changes until May 13, 2020. More information is available here.

Regulations Amending the Health of Animals Regulations (Hatchery)

Published – 14 Mar, 2020
Industry Sector – Agricultural Industry

The Government of Canada announced its intention to change the requirements respecting hatcheries.

According to the Government, the changes would notably
– bring “all health of animals regulations pertaining specifically to hatcheries” in the same regulation, and update their requirements;
– incorporate by reference the requirements from the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Hatching Eggs, Breeders, Chickens and Turkeys;
– incorporate by reference the requirements from the Canadian Hatchery and Supply Flock Testing Standards;
– allow hatcheries “to use new technologies to meet regulatory requirements” by focusing on requirements concerning the documentation, implementation and review of procedures instead of focusing on prescribing specific procedures;
– require hatchery operators setting 1 000 eggs or more to develop “a preventive control plan that would identify the risks and describe the mitigation procedures applied to prevent the introduction and spread of pathogens or contamination in animals”; and
– require the hatchery operators to impose certain requirements on their supply flock operators and to source “only eggs and chicks from supply flocks that meet the sampling and testing requirements”.

These changes would be implemented by amending the Health of Animals Regulations (CRC,c296-en).

Interested persons can make comments concerning this proposal until May 13, 2020.

Alberta

Update on COVID-19 in Alberta

Published – 13 Mar, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management and Maintenance

The Government of Alberta announced its intention to modify the employment rules to implement a “paid job-protected leave”, in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes would
– allow “employees who are required to self-isolate or are caring for a loved one with COVID-19 to take 14 days of paid job-protected leave to cover the [recommended] self-isolation period”; and
– not require “a medical note for such leave or to have worked for an employer for 90 days to qualify for such leave”.

The Government of Alberta will provide more information about these changes in the coming days.

Nova Scotia

Railways Act (amended)

Published – 03 Mar, 2020
Industry Sector – Rail Transportation

The Government has proposed changes in requirements associated with public safety and maintenance for operating, discontinued and abandoned railways.

According to the Government of Nova Scotia, the changes would notably
– require operators to provide crossings in certain areas;
– require licence holders to maintain railways in a safe condition and “where a railway is not in a safe condition, makes the licence holder responsible for the cost of repairs”;
– require railway inspections to be done prior to the issuance of a license and companies to conduct an inspection of railways every 5 years;
– require railway companies to maintain “safety standards, insurance coverage and financial viability even while their licence is suspended or after it has been revoked”;
– require railway companies “to maintain the railway continues until the railway is sold, even if it is discontinued or abandoned”; and
– set requirements for “a plan for the discontinuance of a railway”.

Additional information is available here.

Ontario

Early Access to Land for Environmental Studies on Transmission Projects

Published – 2 Mar, 2020
Industry Sector – Utilities and Communications

The Government of Ontario announced its intention to allow electricity transmission project proponents to receive an access to land from the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) earlier, in order to be able to conduct studies to support the environmental assessment of their project.

According to the Government of Ontario, this change would
– “allow proponents to apply to the OEB for earlier access to land”;
– “set out requirements proponents must meet when applying for early access to land”;
– allow affected landowners to give their input to the OEB during the process to grant the access to land; and
– allow the OEB to “attach conditions to a grant of access with which the proponent must comply”.

Interested persons are invited to make comments concerning these changes by April 16, 2020.

Quebec

Occupational health and safety—Amendment, Safety Code for the construction industry—Amendment

Published – 11 Mar, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry, Building Management and Maintenance

The Government of Quebec announced its intention to change the rules concerning respiratory protection equipment.

According to the Government of Quebec, the changes would notably
– allow the use of certified respiratory protective devices that have recently been put on the market, such as those certified by the NIOSH;
– enable “workplaces to refer to respiratory protection standards that are recognized in the majority of other Canadian provinces”; and
– update the reference to the standard on respiratory protection programs to the CAN/CSA Standard Z94.4-11 version of the standard.

These changes would be implemented by amending the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (RRQ,cS-2.1,r13) and the Safety Code for the construction industry (RRQ,cS-2.1,r4).

Interested persons can submit comments until April 25, 2020.

United States

AN ACT to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to the sale and marketing of tobacco products, and for other purposes

Published – 02 Mar, 2020
Industry Sector – Chemical Industry

Changes may be coming that would revise requirements related to tobacco products. According to the Congressional Research Service, these changes notably “[relate to] safety, sale, and advertisement of tobacco products, including electronic nicotine delivery systems (e.g., e-cigarettes, e-hookah, e-cigars, and vape pens)”. These changes would be put in place by amending 21 USC 9 Federal Food, Drug, And Cosmetic Act (21USC-9) and 42 USC 6A Public Health Service (42USC-6A).

Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of CCR; A Holistic Approach to Closure Part B: Alternate Demonstration for Unlined Surface Impoundments; Implementation of Closure

Published – 03 Mar, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to revise its solid waste regulations for the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CRR).

Notably, the proposed changes would (1) add procedures to allow facilities to request approval to operate with an alternate liner for exiting CRR surface impoundments, (2) add two co-proposed options to allow the use of CCR during unit closure, (3) add an additional closure option for CCR units being closed by removal of CCR, and (4) add requirements for annual closure progress reports.

Comments must be received on or before April 17, 2020.

Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (20-3.B)

Published – 18 Mar, 2020
Industry Sector – Chemical Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing significant new use rules (SNURs) for chemical substances which are the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs) and a microorganism that was the subject of a Microbial Commercial Activity Notice (MCAN).

This proposed change would require persons to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing manufacture, import, or processing of any of these chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use. The proposed change would further require that persons not commence manufacture or processing for the significant new use until they have submitted a Significant New Use Notice, and EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate determination on the notice under TSCA, and has taken any risk management actions as are required as a result of that determination.

Comments must be received on or before April 17, 2020.

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