Proposed EHS regulatory changes from Canada and the United States – August 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

British Columbia

Consultation on proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation

Published date: 9 August 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of British Columbia announced its intention to modify occupational health and safety rules respecting first aid in the workplace and cranes.

According to the British Columbia Government, the changes would notably modify various definitions respecting first aid, modify the qualifications to become a first aid attendant, modify the basic requirements applicable to the workplace circumstances assessment used to determine the appropriate first aid measures for a workplace, modify the requirements respecting written procedures for providing first aid at a worksite and require first aid drills to test the procedures, modify the requirements respecting the minimum level of first aid applicable to a workplace and add additional requirements for remote workplaces, set out minimum requirements with respect to the emergency transportation of injured workers, correct inconsistencies in various definitions respecting contacts and misadventures during the operation of cranes, and modify and add requirements respecting overlapping operating zones between cranes and zone limiting devices for cranes.

These changes would be implemented by amending the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (BC.Reg.296/97).

Interested persons are invited to submit comments until 8 October 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Ontario

Amendments to O. Reg. 79/15 to Further Streamline the Use of Alternative Low-Carbon Fuels

Published date: 30 July 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Ontario announced its intention to modify rules respecting alternative low-carbon fuels to ease the restrictions and requirements applicable to the substitution of “fossil fuels with fuels derived from materials that would otherwise be disposed [of] in landfills”.

According to the Ontario government, the changes would notably “provide proponents [of waste diversion projects] with the option to hold public meetings virtually or in-person to meet consultation requirements prior to submission for the initial Environmental Compliance Approval” (ECA), remove the requirement for ECA holders to hold an upfront consultation prior to amending their ECA to add new low carbon fuels or increase the maximum daily quantity of approved fuels, “enable proponents with the option to rely on secondary or tertiary data sources (e.g. published literature) to estimate the CO2 emission intensity of a fuel, […] increase the limit of alternative low-carbon fuel for demonstration projects from 100 tonnes per day to 200 tonnes per day,” remove the requirement that alternative low-carbon fuel non-demonstration projects report NOx and SO2 emissions quarterly, and “allow energy-intensive facilities to use dead animals or dead animal parts like animal bone meal, animal fat and hides as a fuel to replace fossil fuels.”

These changes would be implemented by amending Alternative Low-Carbon Fuels (O.Reg.79/15).

Interested persons are invited to make comments by 13 September 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Mining Health and Safety Regulatory Amendment Proposal

Published date: 28 July 2021
Industry Sector: Mining & Minerals Industry

The Government of Ontario announced its intention to modify various rules respecting health and safety in mines and mining plants, and it is seeking feedback to improve its proposal.

According to the Ontario Government, the changes would notably amend requirements respecting ventilation, air flow, and diesel-powered equipment, replace the occupational exposure limit for elemental carbon, and add requirements respecting the management of heat or temperature in mines and mining plants, require employers to develop and maintain an airborne hazard management program, require the development of a written management of change procedure in certain circumstances, require owners of underground mines to develop and maintain a seismic risk management program, add “specific requirements for independently powered conveyances and allow for more flexible […] testing requirements where that equipment is used for emergencies only,” update requirements respecting eye wash facilities and emergency showers, update “explosives security and storage requirements,” allow “for the use of electronic devices to conduct examinations in a raise where drilling and blasting is taking place,” require “the recording of unremedied dangers by supervisors, [the installation of] visual switch indicators on rail tracks, and [the dissipation of] stored energy before work is done on machines,” and update “various references to industry standards” as well as terminology.

These changes would be implemented by amending Mines and Mining Plants (O.Reg.854).

Interested persons are invited to make comments by 15 September 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Quebec

Afforestation and reforestation projects eligible for the issuance of offset credits on privately-owned land

Published date: 4 August 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Quebec announced its intention to adopt new rules concerning the issuance of offset credits for afforestation and reforestation projects on private lands.

According to the Quebec Government, the changes would notably set conditions “on which afforestation and reforestation projects on privately-owned land may be eligible for the issuance of offset credits,” set the general conditions governing the implementation of afforestation and reforestation projects on privately-owned land, create a notification mechanism “to inform the [government] that the promoter of an eligible project intends to file an issuance request for offset credits in the future,” define “the methods used to quantify the greenhouse gas withdrawals attributable to an eligible project and establish a project outcome that leads to the issuance of offset credits,” prescribe the content “of the project plan that a promoter must produce when filing a project,” prescribe the content of the project report and the conditions applicable to its verification by an accredited verification organisation; and set requirements concerning accredited verification organisations.

These changes would be implemented by enacting the Regulation respecting afforestation and reforestation projects eligible for the issuance of offset credits on privately-owned land.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments until 18 September 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Saskatchewan

Review of The Radiation Health and Safety Regulations

Published date: 9 August 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Saskatchewan is seeking inputs on various proposals and topics related to occupational health and safety with respect to radiation as part of a review of The Radiation Health and Safety Regulations.

The proposals and topics notably concern requiring owners of “ionizing radiation emitting equipment to inform workers if they have been designated as an occupational worker” and to identify the risks associated with the occupational worker designation, reporting and recording requirements respecting radiation doses received by occupational workers, requirements respecting inspection reports and calibration results for ionizing radiation equipment, as well as requirements respecting the persons considered qualified to conduct such inspections, the frequency of safety and preventive maintenance inspections for ionizing radiation equipment and the establishment of a minimum inspection frequency regime, the testing of ionizing radiation equipment by a qualified person to have it certified as operating within the manufacturer’s specifications, expanding the list of qualified laser operators and qualified operators of therapeutic ultrasound equipment to include occupational therapists, updating “the laser classification in accordance with American National Standard Institute (ANSI) Z136.1-2014 Safe Use of Lasers,” notification requirements applicable to laser light shows, “the registry and yearly statements for medical ultrasound equipment,” broadening the reporting requirements applicable to accidental radiation exposure to cover situations where the accident is caused by human error and procedural errors, lowering the acceptable ionizing radiation dose limit for occupational workers for the lens of the eye, and updating various standards.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments no later than 30 September 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Occupational Health and Safety Provision Review

Published date: 16 August 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of Saskatchewan is seeking inputs on various proposals and topics related to occupational health and safety as part of a review of the Saskatchewan Employment Act.

The proposals and topics for review notably concern the definition of “worker,” the specific duties of employers, supervisors, workers, self-employed persons, contractors, owners and suppliers, whether more workplaces should be required to have an occupational health and safety program, requirements respecting occupational health committees and occupational health and safety representatives, what constitutes harassment in the workplace, requirements respecting violence policies and prevention plans, the right to refuse unusually dangerous work, the inclusion of new requirements respecting the use of recording or photography for inspections, and the prepayment for fuel at certain retail establishments as a measure to prevent violence against certain workers.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments no later than 18 October 2021.

Additional information is available here.

 

United States

Federal

Revised 2023 and Later Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards

Published date: 10 August 2021
Industry Sector: Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes changes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for light-duty vehicles to make GHG standards more stringent than “The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks” for model years 2023 through 2026. The EPA is also proposing “to include several flexibilities to incentivize the production and sale of vehicles with zero and near-zero emissions technology.”

Interested persons may submit comments until 27 September 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Energy Conservation Program: Product Classes for Residential Dishwashers, Residential Clothes Washers, and Consumer Clothes Dryers

Published date: 11 August 2021
Industry Sector: Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The Department of Energy is proposing to revoke two rules that established product classes for residential dishwashers, residential clothes washers, and consumer clothes dryers (“short-cycle product classes”). The effect of the proposed change would notably revise the energy conservation standards applicable to these short-cycle product classes.

Comments must be received no later than 12 October 2021.

Additional information is available here.

 

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