Proposed EHS regulatory changes – June 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

Regulations Amending the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (Part XI)

Published – 20 Jun, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry, Building Management and Maintenance

The Government of Canada announced its intention to modify the rules respecting work in confined spaces.

According to the Government of Canada, the changes would notably
– update “the definition of a confined space based on the physical characteristics of the space” and add “a new subtype of confined spaces: hazardous confined spaces”;
– require the performance of “an assessment of the work area to identify all confined spaces”;
– require the establishment and maintenance of a record of confined spaces;
– require the appointment of “a qualified person to determine whether the confined space is a hazardous confined space”;
– require the maintenance of “records of all employees who received instruction and training on emergency procedures and obligations when working in confined spaces”;
– allow “more than one qualified person to perform the assessment of the confined spaces present in the workplace”;
– require “that a confined space be reinspected whenever there is a change to the structure, the intended use, or the immediate surrounding area”;
– align the minimum level of oxygen in the air in a confined space with other jurisdictions in Canada;
– require “the employer to develop emergency procedures for all hazardous confined spaces, in collaboration with the policy committee, the workplace committee, or the health and safety representative”;
– require “continuous atmospheric monitoring when it is noted in the hazard assessment report created by the qualified person”;
– require “that atmospheric testing equipment be used by a qualified person, and be used, calibrated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications”;
– expand “the employer’s obligation towards those granted access to hazardous confined spaces to include contractors, and require employers to share their procedures with them”; and
– require employers “to ensure that all persons allowed access to hazardous confined spaces, including contractors, have received training on safely working in and occupying the hazardous confined space.

These changes would be implemented by amending the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (SOR/86-304).

Interested persons can make comments concerning these changes until August 19, 2020.

British Columbia

Adding diseases caused by communicable viral pathogens, including COVID-19, to Schedule 1 of the Workers Compensation Act

Published – 1 Jun, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry, Building Management and Maintenance

The Government is seeking comments on a proposal to add certain diseases to the Workers Compensation Act.

According to the Government of British Columbia, the changes would notably “add diseases caused by communicable viral pathogens, including COVID-19” to the list of “occupational diseases”. These new diseases would not necessarily be presumed to be work-related like it is the case with other occupational diseases. Instead, this presumption would be subject to a “BC-Specific emergency declaration or notice”.

These changes would be implemented by amending schedule 1 to the Workers Compensation Act.

Interested persons are invited to make comments concerning these changes by June 12, 2020.

Additional information is available here.

Ontario

Proposals to reduce regulatory burden within the wildlife management program

Published – 9 Jun, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry

The Government of Ontario announced its intention to change requirements respecting trapping, fur dealing, and deer removal.

According to the government, the changes would notably
– remove “the regulatory requirement to obtain ministry permission prior to submitting [licensed fur dealers’ transaction] records electronically”;
– reduce “the frequency of [licensed fur dealers’ transaction] records submission to annually, rather than monthly”;
– allow the holding of “both a trapping licence and fur dealer’s licence” at the same time;
– allow “the use of firearms at night by licensed trappers or farmers for humane dispatch of lawfully trapped furbearing mammals”; and
– allow “authorized airports to harass, capture or kill white-tailed deer or American elk in protection of property without ministry authorization”.

These changes would be implemented by amending the following regulations:
– Hunting (O.Reg.665/98); and
– Trapping (OReg667/98).

Interested persons are invited to make comments by July 24, 2020.

United States

Pipeline Safety: Gas Pipeline Regulatory Reform

Published – 09 Jun, 2020
Industry Sector – Oil and Gas Industry

The Department of Transportation is proposing to revise safety standards and reporting requirements for the construction, maintenance and operation of gas transmission, distribution, and gathering pipeline systems.

According to the Federal Register, the proposed change would notably (1) “(provide) flexibility in the inspection requirements for farm taps (individual service lines directly connected to a gas transmission, gathering, or production pipeline)”; (2) “(repeal) distribution integrity management program […] requirements for master meter operators”; (3) “(repeal) submission requirements for the mechanical fitting failure […] reports”; (4) “(adjust) the monetary damage threshold for reporting incidents for inflation”; (5) “(allow) remote monitoring of rectifier stations”; (6) “(revise) the inspection interval for monitoring atmospheric corrosion on gas distribution service pipelines”; (7) “(update) the design standard for polyethylene […] pipe and raise the maximum diameter limit”; (8) “(revise) test requirements for pressure vessels consistent with American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code”; (9) “(revise) welder requalification requirements to provide scheduling flexibility”; and (10) “(extend) the allowance for pre-tested short segments of pipe and fabricated units to pipelines operating at a hoop stress less than 30 percent of the specified minimum yield strength […] and above 100 pounds per square inch”.

Comments must be received on or before August 10, 2020.

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Listing of Substitutes Under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program

Published – 12 Jun, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry, Building Management and Maintenance

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to update the list of substances used as alternatives in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector, the foam blowing sector, and the fire suppression sector.

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

Review of Dust-Lead Post-Abatement Clearance Levels

Published – 24 Jun, 2020
Industry Sector – General Industry, Building Management and Maintenance

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to lower the current dust-lead clearance levels from 40 micrograms of per square feet (μg/ft2) and 250 μg/ft2 to 10 μg/ft2 and 100 μg/ft2 for floors and window sills, respectively. Clearance levels are currently defined as the maximum amount of lead permitted in dust on a surface following completion of an abatement activity. Surface dust is collected via dust wipe samples that are sent to a laboratory for analysis. The post-abatement dust-lead levels must be below the clearance levels.

Comments must be received on or before August 24, 2020.

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