Proposed EHS regulatory changes – May 2021

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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

Canada

Federal

Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles)

Published date: 24 April 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Canada is developing new sound requirement rules for hybrid and electric light vehicles.

According to the Government of Canada, the rules would notably introduce minimum sound standard requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles, including “requirements to testable acoustic parameters” when a vehicle is about to move or is moving slowly.

These changes would be adopted by amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.

Additional information is available here.

Ontario

Regulating 13 invasive species and watercraft as a carrier of invasive species under Ontario’s Invasive Species Act, 2015

Published date: 22 April 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

Changes to the list of species classified as prohibited or restricted invasive species have been proposed in Ontario, and the Government of Ontario has announced its intention to “prevent the establishment of wild pigs in the province.”

According to the Government of Ontario, the changes would notably (1) regulate the following species as prohibited invasive species: Marbled crayfish, Red Swamp crayfish, New Zealand mud snail, Tench, Prussian carp, European frogbit, Mountain pine beetle, (2) provide certain species-specific exemptions related to incidental capture, import, possession, transport and export of the prohibited species, (3) regulate the following species as restricted invasive species: Yellow floating heart, Fanwort, Bohemian knotweed, Giant knotweed, Himalayan knotweed, Pig, (4) provide certain species-specific exemptions related to the transportation, propagation, and sale of the restricted species, (5) prohibit the hunting of wild pigs, with certain exceptions for landowners and their agents, (6) require those transporting a watercraft overland to drain unnecessary water and remove aquatic plants from the watercraft and its trailer, prior to transporting the watercraft, and (7) provide that the exemption from prohibitions on depositing or releasing invasive species for common activities that would interact with the species (e.g. ditch digging, roadside mowing, etc.) only applies to plant species.

These changes would be enacted by new regulations established under the Invasive Species Act (SO2015,c22).

Additional information is available here.

Occupational Health Consultation

Published date: 22 April 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Ontario is seeking comments on “new or revised occupational exposure limits (OELs) based on the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recommendations for 2018 and 2019.”

According to the government, the changes would notably align OELs for silica and hydrogen sulfide with ACGIH recommendations, and adopt the 2019 version of CSA Standard for Compressed breathing air and systems (CA-Z180.1:19).

These changes would be enacted by amending the Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents (O.Reg.833), Designated Substances (O.Reg.490/09), and Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations (O.Reg.278/05).

Additional information is available here.

Quebec

Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec

Published date: 13 May 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Quebec has announced its intention to make broad changes to language laws in the province.

According to the government, the changes would notably (1) affirm French as the only official language of Quebec, (2) require the civil administration to use French exclusively, subject to certain exceptions, (3) introduce rules for “professional orders and their members concerning the use of French,” and maintaining appropriate knowledge of French to exercise their profession, (4) require employers “to ensure that the workers’ right to carry on their activities in French is respected,” and affirm employees’ “right to a work environment free of discrimination or harassment related to the use of French,”(5) require employers “to take all reasonable means to avoid requiring a person to have knowledge of a language other than French to obtain or keep a position,” (6) “strengthen provisions related to the use of French [in] commerce and business,” including in the drafting of documents relating to sales of certain immovable property, and (7) extend francization rules to enterprises employing twenty-five (25) or more persons and establish French language learning services within enterprises.

The changes would be implemented by amending the Civil Code of Quebec (LRQ,cC-1991), Financial Administration Act (CQLRcA-6.001), Charter of the French Language (CQLRcC-11), Charter of human rights and freedoms (RSC,cC-12), Professional Code (RSC,cC-26), Consumer Protection Act (RSQ,cP-40.1), and An Act respecting Occupational Health and Safety (RSQ,cS-2.1).

Additional information is available here.

Integration of low-carbon-intensity fuel content into gasoline and diesel fuel

Published date: 12 May 2021
Industry Sector: Oil and Gas Industry, Utilities and Communiciations Industry

The Government of Quebec has announced its intention to adopt new rules regarding gasoline and diesel fuel content.

According to the government, the changes would notably “set standards for the integration of low-carbon-intensity fuel content into gasoline and diesel fuel… [and provide] for a mechanism for the sale and trade of credits.” The standards would apply incrementally from 1 January 2023 through 1 January 2030.

These changes would be implemented by enacting the Regulation respecting the integration of low-carbon-intensity fuel content into gasoline and diesel fuel.

Interested persons can submit comments until 26 June 2021.

Additional information is available here.

United States

Federal

Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Establishing the Allowance Allocation and Trading Program Under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act

Publised date: 19 May 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management and Maintenance

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to issue new rules that would phase down production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and other applications.

According to the Federal Register, the proposed changes would notably (1)  “(establish) the hydrofluorocarbon production and consumption baselines (levels from which reductions will be made),” (2) “establish the allowance allocation program to phase down hydrofluorocarbon production and consumption,” (3) “determine an initial methodology to allocating allowances and allowing for the transfer of those allowances,” (4) “establish provisions for the international transfer of allowances,” (5) “establish requirements to support compliance with phasing down hydrofluorocarbon production and consumption,” and (6) “establish recordkeeping and reporting requirements.”

Entities potentially affected by these proposed changes include persons that produce, import, export, destroy, use as a feedstock, reclaim, or distribute HFCs, and persons that use HFCs to manufacture products, such as refrigeration and air conditioning systems, foams, aerosols, and fire suppression systems.

Comments must be received on or before July 6, 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Regulations Governing Take of Migratory Birds

Published date: 7 May 2021
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 rule would clarify that the MBTA’s prohibitions and enforcement provisions on pursuing, hunting, taking, capturing, killing, or attempting to do the same, apply to deliberate and incidental actions directed at migratory birds, their nests, or their eggs.

Comments must be received on or before June 7, 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Published date: 17 May 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management and Maintenance

The Government of the United States has announced its intention to prohibit practices that discriminate against making reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers (employees and job applicants with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions). Notably, the proposed changes would (1) require private sector employers with more than 15 employees to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers (unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the entity’s business operation); (2) establish that pregnant workers cannot be denied employment opportunities, retaliated against for requesting a reasonable accommodation, or forced take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation is available; (3) include enforcement procedures and remedies for workers that were denied a reasonable accommodation.

Additional information is available here.

 

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