Proposed EHS regulatory changes – June 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 Output-Based Pricing System Regulations

Published date: 5 June 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to update rules regarding the federal carbon pollution pricing system, that will “ensure that the incentive to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the federal [Regulation] is maintained,” and increase accuracy of output and emissions calculated by covered facilities.

According to the government, the changes would notably (1) “clarify that, when the Minister has established the GHG emissions or the emissions limit for a facility, surplus credits would not be issued,” (2) “clarify that, if the emissions limit set out in a facility’s annual report submitted for a compliance period has been calculated in accordance with the Regulations, then the number of surplus credits that the Minister issues is based on what is reported in that annual report,” (3) “clarify that the requirement to pay [certain] excess emissions charge[s]… would apply to any compensation owed relating to the 2022 compliance period and subsequent compliance periods,” (4) repeal certain provisions that require production values calculated by covered facilities to be rounded to three significant figures, to “only require that the difference between a covered facility’s GHG emissions during a compliance period and its emissions limit for that period be rounded to the nearest whole number,” (5) “require that on-site transportation emissions be quantified in accordance with the 2020 [GHG reporting requirements],” (6) “clarify that certain CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions that have been captured and permanently stored… must be included in the quantification of the facility’s total emissions,” (7) “limit the number of verifications of annual reports by a single verification body… with respect to [a] same covered facility within any period of nine calendar years,” (8) “provide clarification with respect to the beginning of the first compliance period when a covered facility enters the [output-based pricing system] in a compliance period that has already begun,” (9) clarify the conditions under which “the output-based standard for solid fuel only applies to a boiler unit of an electricity generation facility,” and (10) correct errors in “a formula applicable to industrial activities for which an output-based standard must be calculated.”

The changes would be implemented by amending the Output-Based Pricing System Regulations (CA-SOR/2019-266).

Interested parties may submit comments until 5 July 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Regulations Amending the Life Saving Equipment Regulations

Published date: 12 June 2021
Industry Sector: Water Transportation Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to address the “safety risk associated with operating vessels in freezing temperatures with respect to the service requirements for inflatable survival equipment.”

According to the government, the change would require vessels to only operate during months in which the monthly historical average daily minimum air temperature is greater than 0 degrees Celsius according to the nearest weather station’s climate data, in order to qualify for a two-year extended servicing period for the vessel.

The change would be implemented by amending the Life Saving Equipment Regulations (CRC,c1436).

Interested persons may submit comments until 11 August 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Regulations Amending the Grade Crossings Regulations

Published date: 19 June 2021
Industry Sector: Rail Transportation Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to update the rules regarding federally regulated public and private railway grade crossings.

According to the government, the change would notably extend the compliance deadline for upgrade requirements for existing grade crossings by one year for high priority crossings, and three years for all other crossings, and introduce exemptions for low-risk grade crossings from certain requirements related to “sightlines; design, construction, signs and warning systems for new public and private grade crossings; updated requirements for existing public and private grade crossings; and general requirements for instrument housing, inspections, testing and maintenance.”

These changes would be implemented by amending the Grade Crossings Regulations (SOR/2014-275).

Additional information is available here.

New Brunswick

Amendment to the Designated Materials Regulation under the Clean Environment Act

Published date: 9 June 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of New Brunswick has announced its intention to designate packaging and paper as materials whose handling may be managed by a stewardship board.

According to the government, the changes would notably require brand owners to register with the stewardship board in order to sell or distribute packaging or paper within the province, require brand owners to submit a packaging and paper products stewardship plan with an application for registration, set out the information required in packaging and paper stewardship plans, including but not limited to, a plan for the collection, transportation, reuse and recycling of packaging and paper, information on public and First Nations consultations, information on the province-wide collection system, and a plan for managing packaging and paper waste by material type, require brand owners to submit performance measures and targets to the stewardship board, and require brand owners to submit annual reports on the effectiveness of their packaging and paper products stewardship plans.

The changes would be implemented by amending the Designated Materials Regulation (NB.Reg.2008-54).

Interested persons may submit comments until 1 July 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Quebec

Occupational health and safety in mines — Amendment

Published date: 16 June 2021
Industry Sector: Mining & Minerals Industry

The Government of Quebec has announced its intention to update the rules respecting occupational health and safety in mines.

According to the government, the changes would notably introduce new rules regarding the safe use of tubular ladder emergency exits and the keeping of a ground control register, introduce requirements for reducing the risk of fire at a shaft station in underground mines, specify the obligation for the supervision of explosives, specify the requirements for the transportation and storage of explosives in an underground mine, and remove a requirement to install a guard rail in an open pit mine.

The changes would be implemented by amending the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety in mines (RRQ,cS-2.1,r14).

Interested persons may submit comments until 31 July 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Prince Edward Island

Water Act Water Withdrawal Regulations – Irrigation Strategy

Published date: 22 June 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Prince Edward Island has announced its intention to update its rules regarding water withdrawals.

According to the government, the change would notably clarify that a “drought contingency plan” is a plan to reduce the use of water under extreme drought conditions, remove the restriction on drilling high-capacity wells for agricultural irrigation, allow Water Withdrawal Permits for new agricultural irrigation wells, if the irrigation follows a Ministry-approved irrigation strategy, and remove the restriction on repurposing existing wells to agricultural irrigation uses.

The change would be implemented by amending the Water Withdrawal Regulations (CA-PE-EC2021-506).

Interested persons can submit comments until 1 September 2021.

Additional information is available here and here.

British Columbia

Consultation on proposed B.C. Exposure Limits based on the new or revised 2016, 2017, and 2018 ACGIH TLVs for selected chemical substances

Published date: 7 June 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of British Columbia is seeking comments on a proposal to update Exposure Limits (ELs) for various substances.

According to the government, the changes would add or revise ELs for Chlorine (8-hour TWA only), Ethyl Isocyanate, Phenyl isocyanate, Hard metals, containing Cobalt and Tungsten carbide, and Tungsten and compounds in the absence of Cobalt, retain existing ELs for Atrazine, Chlorine (15-minute STEL Only), Chlorine dioxide, Chromium and inorganic compounds, Ethylene glycol, Ethylidene norbornene, Glycerin mist, Hexylene glycol, and Phosphine, and update existing ELs to align with other existing ELs for Chromite ore processing, Lead chromate, and Lead chromate.

Interested persons can provide feedback until 13 August 2021.

Additional information is available here and here.

 

United States

Federal

Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities; North Slope, Alaska

Publised date: 1 June 2021
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to issue regulations authorizing the nonlethal, incidental, unintentional take by harassment of polar bears and Pacific walruses during year-round oil and gas industry activities in the Beaufort Sea (Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf) and adjacent northern coast of Alaska. The proposed change would notably allow take resulting from oil and gas exploration, development, production, and transportation activities occurring for a period of 5 years.

Comments must be received on or before July 1, 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (21-1.5e)

Published date: 11 June 2021
Industry Sector: Chemicals Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing significant new use rules for chemical substances that are the subject of premanufacture notices, a Microbial Commercial Activity Notice, and also to Orders issued by the EPA.

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 actions required by that determination.

Comments must be received on or before July 12, 2021.

Additional information is available here.

 

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