Proposed EHS regulatory changes – October 2020

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This is a list of select proposed EHS regulatory changes in Canada and the United States. 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

  • Federal – Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act
  • Federal – Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (20-9.B)
  • Federal – Pesticides; Exemptions of Certain Plant-Incorporated Protectants (PIPs) Derived From Newer Technologies
  • Federal – Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (20-2.5e)
  • Federal – Operational Risk Assessments for Waterfront Facilities Handling Liquefied Natural Gas as Fuel, and Updates to Industry Standards

    Canada

    Federal

    Regulations Amending the Marine Liability and Information Return Regulations (Exporters)

    Published – 10 Oct, 2020
    Industry Sector – Oil and Gas Industry, Water Transportation

    The Government of Canada announced its intention to change the rules respecting the export of oil by sea to include new reporting requirements.

    According to the Government of Canada, the changes would notably
    – require exporters “to report the total quantities of each type of persistent or non-persistent oil they have exported in bulk as cargo on a ship, if, in a calendar year, they export” more than the prescribed quantity of persistent or non-persistent oil;
    – define “the required content of [the] submission, in line with current reporting requirements for receivers of oil”;
    – require non-persistent oil exporters to “provide the name of the person for whom they exported the oil or the name of the person who exported oil on their behalf, if another party was involved in exporting oil”;
    – require “that the agent report the name of the principal and the type and quantity of non-persistent oil exported on the principal’s behalf and that the principal report the name of the agent and the type and quantity of non-persistent oil exported from the agent”; and
    – require “that reports on exported oil for a calendar year be filed on an annual basis no later than February 28 of the following calendar year”.

    These changes would be implemented by amending the Marine Liability and Information Return Regulations (SOR/2016-307).

    Interested persons can make comments concerning these changes until November 9, 2020.

    Additional information is available here.

    Order Adding a Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

    Published – 10 Oct, 2020
    Industry Sector – General Industry

    The Government of Canada announced its intention to add “plastic manufactured items” 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 changes would be done by amending the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (SC1999,c33).

    Interested persons can make comments concerning these changes until December 9, 2020.

    Additional information is available here.

    Publication of results of investigations and recommendations for two substances — 2-propanol, 1-chloro-, phosphate (3:1) [TCPP], CAS RN 13674-84-5, and 2-propanol, 1,3-dichloro-, phosphate (3:1) [TDCPP], CAS RN 13674-87-8 — specified on the Domestic Substances List (paragraphs 68(b) and (c) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999)

    Published – 17 Oct, 2020
    Industry Sector – General Industry

    The Government of Canada announced its intention to add the substances TCPP (CAS RN 13674-84-5) and TDCPP (CAS RN 13674-87-8) to the List of Toxic Substances contained in Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (SC1999,c33), to regulate them as such.

    According to the Government of Canada, TCPP is “used as an additive flame retardant for manufacturing of building or construction materials in Canada (e.g. polyurethane spray foam insulation), and is contained in imported products of polyurethane spray foam insulation with the same functional use”. TDCPP is “used as an additive flame retardant in the manufacturing of flexible polyurethane foam in Canada (used in manufactured items such as upholstered furniture and mattresses)”.

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

    Interested persons can make comments concerning these changes until December 16, 2020.

    Additional information is available here.

    Publication after screening assessment of a substance — 1,3,5-triazine-2,4,6-triamine (melamine), CAS RN 108-78-1 — specified on the Domestic Substances List (subsection 77(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999)

    Published – 17 Oct, 2020
    Industry Sector – General Industry

    The Government of Canada announced its intention to add melamine (CAS RN 108-78-1) to the List of Toxic Substances contained in Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (SC1999,c33), to regulate it as such.

    According to the Government of Canada, melamine has numerous industrial applications, and is notably used “in the manufacture of polyurethane foams and melamine-based resins for application in laminates, plastics, paints and coatings”.

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

    Interested persons can make comments concerning these changes until December 16, 2020.

    Additional information is available here.

    Alberta

    Setting the stage for clean geothermal development

    Published – 7 Oct, 2020
    Industry Sector: General Industry

    The Government of Alberta has announced its intention to introduce new legislation to implement a policy to promote the development of geothermal power generation in the province.

    According to the Albertan government, the changes would notably
    – provide “industry with clarity on rules and processes” respecting geothermal power generation;
    – establish an approach to land use and liability management;
    – protect landowners and mineral rights owners; and
    – move from a case-by-case geothermal project applications to a dedicated geothermal development framework.

    The Government of Alberta is set to have discussions this fall with “key groups” regarding this initiative.

    Additional information is available here.

    Ontario

    Proposed amendments to regulations under the Environmental Protection Act and the Environmental Assessment Act for combined heat and power systems that use natural gas or wood biomass as fuel

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

    The Government of Ontario announced its intention to modify the requirements respecting the approval of combined heat and power (CHP) systems and power only systems.

    According to the Ontario government, the changes would notably
    – ensure that CHP systems “that are fueled by natural gas or wood biomass and have similar environmental and human health impacts are subject to similar or the same regulatory requirements”;
    – create “new exemptions to [Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECA)] requirements for micro-systems in relation to air emissions”;
    – require “small systems that meet the specified criteria to register in the online [Air Emissions Environmental Activity and Sector Registry (EASR)], instead of obtaining an ECA”, and to “complete assessments (e.g., air, noise) approved by a licensed engineering practitioner to ensure that their facilities meet operating requirements”;
    – update “the EASR​​​​​​​ publication including new air emission limits for NOx (based on Guideline A-5 – Atmospheric Emissions from Stationary Combustion Turbines) and operating requirements for small CHP systems, including power-only systems that use natural gas combustion turbines”;
    – continue to require “systems that do not qualify for an exemption or EASR​​​​​​​ registration […] to obtain an ECA”;
    – no longer require “CHP​​​​​​​ systems that use specified wood fuels […] to obtain a [Renewable Energy Approval (REA)]”, and instead submit them to the requirement to register on the EASR or to obtain an ECA; and
    – create “streamlined environmental assessment requirements” for the approval of “large, high efficiency wood biomass CHP​​​​​​​ systems” under the Environmental Assessment Act’s framework.

    According to the government, the facilities currently holding an ECA or an ERA to operate a CHP system would continue to operate under the conditions of these approvals until they expire.

    These changes would be implemented by amending the following regulations:
    – Environmental Compliance Approvals – Exemptions from Section 9 of the Act (O.Reg.524/98);
    – Registrations Under Part II.2 of the Act – Activities Requiring Assessment of Air Emissions (O.Reg.1/17);
    – Renewable Energy Approvals under Part V.0.1 of the Act (O.Reg.359/09);
    – Electricity Projects (O.Reg.116/01); and
    – Waste Management Projects (O.Reg.101/07).

    Interested persons are invited to make comments by November 27, 2020.

    Additional information is available here.

    Proposal to Amend Ontario Regulation 297/13 (Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training)

    Published – 13 Oct, 2020
    Industry Sector: General Industry

    The Government of Ontario has announced its intention to modify the rules respecting training on fall protection equipment, to “recognize alternative methods of fall protection training”.

    According to the Ontario Government, the changes would notably
    – allow for “the recognition of Fall Protection training approved by WorkplaceNL as an acceptable alternative to Ontario’s training”; and
    – expand “an existing exemption so that it applies to more workplaces owned and operated by an automobile manufacturer or assembler, thereby eliminating the need for those auto sector companies covered by the current exemption to have two separate training programs for some workers who are directly employed by them”.

    The changes would be implemented by amending Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Training (O.Reg.297/13).

    Interested persons are invited to make comments by November 20, 2020.

    Additional information is available here.

    Quebec

    Bill 71, An Act respecting off-highway vehicles

    Published – 22 Oct, 2020
    Industry Sector – Road Transportation

    The Government of Quebec announced its intention to reform the rules regulating off-highway vehicles.

    According to the Quebec Government, the changes notably
    – require an off-highway vehicle driver to hold a driver’s licence to “use such vehicles on public land and on trails”;
    – start regulating “the leasing of off-highway vehicles, in particular by introducing minimum training requirements”;
    – require a person to “have successfully completed training recognized by the Minister of Tourism in order to guide off-highway vehicle excursions”;
    – make “the provisions of the Highway Safety Code concerning impaired driving ability applicable to the use of off-highway vehicles”; and
    – adjust “the maximum speeds authorized and the manner in which the distance standards for trail layout near dwelling houses and other places are to be applied”./a>

    The changes would be implemented by replacing the Act respecting off-highway vehicles (RSQ,cV-1.2), and by amending the Highway Safety Code (RSQ,cC-24.2) and the Regulation respecting off-highway vehicles (RRQ,cV-1.2,r5).

    Additional information is available here.

    United States

    Federal

    Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act

    Published – 19 Oct, 2020
    Industry Sector – General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management and Maintenance

    According to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Fact Sheet, the proposed changes would notably (1) strengthen dam safety requirements, (2) set new energy efficiency standards for buildings, (3) include a phasedown of the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons, (4) create new environmental justice grant and training programs, (5) establish a clean energy workforce development program, including grants for certain businesses, (6) require that certain projects construct, alter, maintain, or repair a public building or public work by only using iron, steel, and manufactured goods produced in the United States, (7) include new wage standards and project labor agreement requirements for certain projects, and (8) create a new program to train workers for career in offshore wind.

    Additional information is available here.

    Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (20-9.B)

    Published – 16 Oct, 2020
    Industry Sector – Chemical Industry

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing significant new use rules for certain chemical substances that are the subject of premanufacture notices.

    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 November 16, 2020.

    Additional information is available here.

    Pesticides; Exemptions of Certain Plant-Incorporated Protectants (PIPs) Derived From Newer Technologies

    Published – 9 Oct, 2020
    Industry Sector – Chemical Industry

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing regulations that would allow for an exemption under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) for certain Plant-Incorporated Protectants (PIPs) that are created in plants using biotechnology, as long as their pesticidal substances are found in plants that are sexually compatible with the recipient plant and meet the proposed exemption criteria. The current exemption for PIPs is limited to PIPs moved through conventional breeding. EPA’s proposed change would allow certain PIPs created through biotechnology to also be exempt under existing regulations, in cases where those PIPs pose no greater risk than PIPs that meet EPA safety requirements, and could have otherwise been created through conventional breeding. The proposed change also includes a process through which developers of PIPs based on sexually compatible plants created through biotechnology submit either a self-determination letter or request for EPA confirmation that their PIP meets the criteria for exemption. For increased flexibility in bringing PIPs to market, a developer can also submit both.

    Comments must be received on or before December 8, 2020.

    Additional information is available here.

    Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (20-2.5e)

    Published – 9 Oct, 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 November 9, 2020.

    Additional information is available here.

    Operational Risk Assessments for Waterfront Facilities Handling Liquefied Natural Gas as Fuel, and Updates to Industry Standards

    Published – 5 Oct, 2020
    Industry Sector – Oil and Gas Industry

    The Coast Guard is proposing to amend its regulations concerning waterfront facilities handling liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied hazardous gas (LHG). The proposed change would make the following three changes. First, the proposed rule would revise the Coast Guard’s existing regulations to allow waterfront facilities handling LNG as fuel to conduct an operational risk assessment instead of a waterway suitability assessment (WSA) without first obtaining Captain of the Port approval. Second, the proposed rule would revise existing regulations to update incorporated technical standards to reflect the most recent published editions. Third, for waterfront facilities handling LNG that must comply with the WSA requirements, the proposed rule would require these facilities to provide information to the Coast Guard regarding the nation of registry for vessels transporting natural gas that are reasonably anticipated to be servicing the facilities, and the nationality or citizenship of officers and crew serving on board those vessels.

    Comments must be received on or before December 4, 2020.

    Additional information is available here.

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