Proposed EHS regulatory changes – May 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

Order Declaring that the Provisions of the Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector) Do Not Apply in Saskatchewan

Published – 16 May, 2020
Industry Sector – Oil and Gas Industry

The Government of Canada announced its intention to stand down the application of the federal rules regulating the upstream oil and gas industry’s methane emissions for in Saskatchewan, in the context of the publication of an equivalency agreement between the Federal Government and the province of Saskatchewan.

These changes would be implemented by suspending the application of the Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector) (SOR/2018-66) in Saskatchewan, which would eliminate regulatory overlap between the federal and provincial requirements for facilities from the upstream oil and gas sector that are not considered federal works or undertakings.

The facilities that are not considered federal works or undertakings would only have to comply with the relevant Saskatchewan methane emissions legislation and directives, such as the
– Oil and Gas Emissions Management Regulations (CA-SK-RSScO-2Reg7);
– Directive PNG036: Venting and Flaring Requirements (CA-SK-Dir.PNG036); and
– Directive PNG017: Measurement Requirements for Oil and Gas Operations (CA-SK-Dir.PNG017).

According to the federal Government, the application of the provisions of the Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector) would remain suspended in Saskatchewan for the duration of the equivalency agreement, which is scheduled to end on December 31, 2024.

Interested persons can make comments concerning these changes until July 15, 2020.

Alberta

Updated coal rules keep protection, strengthen certainty

Published – 15 May, 2020
Industry Sector – Mining and Minerals Industry

The Government of Alberta announced its intention to replace the current coal policy by new “regulatory processes, integrated planning and land use policies”.

According to the Alberta Government, these changes would “eliminate the use of coal categories” and subject the coal industry to “the same land use policies as other commodities”. The review of coal projects would be conducted by the Alberta Energy Regulator.

The repeal of the policy would be effective on June 1, 2020.

Quebec

Regulation to amend the Regulation respecting waste water disposal systems for isolated dwellings

Published – 6 May, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry, Building Management and Maintenance

The Government of Quebec announced its intention to introduce three new alternative waste water treatment solutions by soil infiltration for isolated dwellings.

According to the Government of Quebec, the effects of the changes would notably be to
– “allow treated waste water to be discharged elsewhere than to surface waters”;
– open up “the market for the maintenance of certified systems by offering a wider range of options to owners”; and
– give “municipalities greater latitude in managing the pumping of septic tanks in their territory”.

The changes would be implemented by amending the Regulation respecting waste water disposal systems for isolated dwellings (RRQ,cQ-2,r22).

Interested persons can submit comments until June 20, 2020.

United States

Improvements for Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Test Procedures, and Other Technical Amendments

Published – 12 May, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing changes to the test procedures for heavy-duty engines and vehicles. EPA is also proposing changes concerning light-duty vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles, highway motorcycles, locomotives, marine engines, other nonroad engines and vehicles, stationary engines. These changes would affect the certification procedures for exhaust emission standards, and related requirements. EPA is proposing similar amendments for evaporative emission standards for nonroad equipment and portable fuel containers.

Comments must be received on or before June 26, 2020.

Vehicle Test Procedure Adjustments for Tier 3 Certification Test Fuel

Published – 13 May, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing technical changes to emissions testing protocols and compliance calculations for the Light-duty Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Standards and Fuel Economy Standards that would provide a smooth transition from using test fuel with zero percent ethanol (E0) to test fuel that contains ten percent ethanol (E10).

According to the EPA website, “EPA is switching test fuels since the vast majority of gasoline supplied to consumers in the U.S. is now E10, and EPA’s Tier 3 criteria pollutant emissions standards for light-duty vehicles already use E10 as the test fuel. […] The proposed transition to E10 as a test fuel will allow manufacturers to perform all of their vehicle testing on a single (E10) fuel for compliance with both Tier 3 and GHG Emission and Fuel Economy Standards.”

Comments must be received on or before August 11, 2020.

Fuels Regulatory Streamlining

Published – 14 May, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to update its existing gasoline, diesel, and other fuels programs.

EPA is proposing to streamline its existing fuel quality regulations by removing expired provisions, eliminating redundant compliance provisions, removing unnecessary and out-of-date requirements, and replacing them with a single set of provisions and definitions in a new 40 CFR part 1090.

The new 40 CFR part 1090 will notably include (1) a simplification of the reformulated gasoline (RFG) summer volatile organic compound (VOC) standards; (2) a consolidation of the regulatory requirements across the part 80 fuel quality programs; and (3) improving oversight through the leveraging of third parties to ensure in-use fuel quality.

Comments must be received on or before June 29, 2020.

Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (20-5.B)

Published – 19 May, 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 June 18, 2020.

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