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

Province taking action to recycle more products

Published Date: 10 September 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of British Columbia announced its intention to modify the rules regarding recycling and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to cover more products and expand the circular economy.

Accord to the British Columbia Government, the changes would notably make electric-vehicle batteries and chargers, solar panels, lithium-ion batteries, e-cigarettes, mattresses, single-use fuel canisters and fire extinguishers eligible for provincewide recycling; “explore how to regulate the recycling of more packaging and paper products beyond residential sources, such as from businesses, stadiums, shopping malls and universities”; allow “municipalities to enact their own bans of certain single-use plastics, without provincial approval”; and “allow provincial bans on single-use items, such as straws, takeout containers, shopping bags and other priority items.”

The changes would notably be implemented by amending the Recycling Regulation.

Additional information is available here.

Quebec

Fees payable with respect to the environmental authorization scheme and other fees

Published date: 1 September 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Quebec has announced its intention to make rules to establish applicable fees under its environmental authorization scheme.

The changes would introduce “fees payable by an applicant under the Environmental Quality Act, for the issue or amendment of an authorization relating to projects subject to any of the environmental impact assessment and review procedures, as well as the issue, amendment or renewal of a ministerial authorization. It also proposes fees payable by an applicant under the Environmental Quality Act, for the approval of a rehabilitation plan and the fees payable by anyone required to file a declaration of compliance with the Minister in accordance with that Act.”

The changes would be made by replacing the Ministerial Order concerning the fees payable under the Environment Quality Act with the Regulation respecting the fees payable with respect to the environmental authorization scheme and other fees.

Interested persons may submit comments until 16 October 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Bill 894, An Act to prohibit petroleum exploration and production

Published Date: 16 September 2021
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry

A private members’ bill has been introduced at the National Assembly to prohibit petroleum exploration and production, brine production, and pipeline construction in the province.

These changes, if adopted, would notably revoke “all petroleum exploration and production licences and all brine production authorizations”, allow the revocation of pipeline construction authorizations, and prohibit the issuance of petroleum storage licences and of authorizations to use a pipeline.

These changes would be implemented by enacting An Act to prohibit petroleum exploration and production, and by amending the Act Respecting Land use Planning and Development (CQLR,cA-19.1), Petroleum Resources Act (CA-QC-CQLRcH-4.2), Act respecting the preservation of agricultural land and agricultural activities (CA-QC-CQLRcP-41.1), Environment Quality Act (RSQ,cQ-2), and Act respecting the Land regime in the James Bay and New Québec territories (RSQ,cR-13.1).

Regulation to amend the Regulation respecting mandatory reporting of certain emissions of contaminants into the atmosphere

Published Date: 22 September 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Quebec announced its intention to make adjustments to certain requirements respecting the reporting of certain emissions of contaminants into the atmosphere.

According to the Quebec Government, the changes would update “the tables concerning high heat value by fuel type, emission factors by fuel type and default greenhouse gas emission factors for Canadian provinces and certain North American markets”; and adjust “the information to be provided as of the communication of the greenhouse gas emissions report for 2021”.

The changes would be implemented by amending the Regulation respecting mandatory reporting of certain emissions of contaminants into the atmosphere.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments until November 6, 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Yukon

List of presumed cancers for firefighters to be included in proposed Workers’ Safety and Compensation Act

Published Date: 17 September 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Yukon government has announced its intention to update rules regarding safety and compensation for firefighters in the territory. The proposed changes would list “thyroid and pancreatic cancer, multiple myeloma, primary site prostate cancer, primary site skin cancer, primary site breast cancer, primary site cervical cancer, primary site ovarian cancer and primary site penile cancer” as diseases that are presumed to be work-related injuries for firefighters.

The changes will be included in the proposed Workers’ Safety and Compensation Act, which would replace the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Additional information is available here.

United States

Federal

Pilots’ Medical Certificate Validity Period

Published date: 27 August 2021
Industry Sector: Air Transportation Industry

The United States Coast Guard is proposing to extend the maximum validity period for merchant mariner medical certificates for first-class pilots and masters or mates serving as a pilot from 2 to 5 years. According to the government, the proposed rule “would reduce the frequency of medical certification application submissions to the Coast Guard. First-class pilots and masters and mates who serve as pilot on vessels of 1,600 gross registered tons or more would be required to submit the results of their annual physical examinations to the Coast Guard between medical certificate applications if: [1] The mariner does not meet the physical ability requirements; [2] the mariner has a condition that does not meet the medical, vision, or hearing requirements; [3] the mariner is deemed “not recommended,” by a medical practitioner for a medical certificate; or [4] upon request by the Coast Guard.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 26 October 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Towing Vessel Firefighting Training

Published date: 1 September 2021
Industry Sector: Water Transportation Industry

The United States Coast Guard is proposing amendments to “training requirements for national Merchant Mariner Credential endorsements as master of towing vessels (limited) or mate (pilot) of towing vessels on inland waters or Western Rivers routes.” The changes would “provide mariners seeking these endorsements the option to take a modified basic firefighting course that eliminates training on equipment that is not required to be carried on towing vessels operating on inland waters or Western Rivers.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 1 November 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Safety Program for Surface Mobile Equipment

Published Date: 9 September 2021
Industry Sector: Mining and Minerals Industry

The United States Mine Safety and Health Administration has proposed changes to safety programs for surface mines and surface areas of underground mines. The changes would require “mine operators employing six or more miners [to] develop and implement a written safety program for mobile and powered haulage equipment (excluding belt conveyors) [… that] would include actions mine operators would take to identify hazards and risks to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities related to surface mobile equipment.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 8 November 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act

Published Date: 17 September 2021
Industry Sector: Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping Industry

The United States government is proposing changes to the rules regarding driftnet fishing (activities involving “a gillnet composed of a panel or panels of webbing, or a series of such gillnets, [that] is placed in the water and allowed to drift with the currents and winds for the purpose of entangling fish in the webbing.”). The changes would expand “the definition of large-scale driftnet fishing to prohibit the use of gillnets with a mesh size of 14 inches or greater,” after a transition program that would facilitate the phasing-out of large-scale driftnet fishing.

Additional information is available here.

National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Aerosol Coatings Amendments

Published Date: 17 September 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is proposing changes to the National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Aerosol Coatings (“which establishes reactivity-based emission standards for the aerosol coatings category (aerosol spray paints) under the Clean Air Act. The changes would “update coating category product-weighted reactivity limits for aerosol coatings categories; add new compounds and reactivity factors (RFs); update existing reactivity values; revise the default RF; amend the thresholds for compounds regulated by this document; and add electronic reporting provisions.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 16 November 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Residential and Commercial Clothes Washers

Published Date: 1 September 2021
Industry Sector: Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The United States Department of Energy is proposing amendments to “test procedures for residential and commercial clothes washers to specify test conditions, instrument specifications, and test settings; address large clothes container capacities; add product-specific enforcement provisions; delete obsolete provisions; and consolidate all test cloth-related provisions and codify additional test cloth material verification procedures used by industry.” It is also proposing “to create a new test procedure for residential and commercial clothes washers with additional modifications for certain test conditions, measurement of average cycle time, required test cycles, tested load sizes, semi-automatic clothes washer provisions, new performance metrics, and updated usage factors.” The new test procedures would be used to inform updates to efficiency standards.

Interested parties may submit comments until 1 November 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status With Critical Habitat for Guadalupe Fatmucket, Texas Fatmucket, Guadalupe Orb, Texas Pimpleback, and False Spike, and Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule and Critical Habitat for Texas Fawnsfoot

Published Date: 26 August 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list one mussel species from Central Texas and Mexico as threatened, the Texas fawnsfoot (Truncilla macrodon), and five as endangered: Guadalupe fatmucket (Lampsilis bergmanni), Texas fatmucket (Lampsilis bracteata), Guadalupe orb (Cyclonaias necki), Texas pimpleback (Cyclonaias (=Quadrula) petrina), and false spike (Fusconaia (=Quincuncina) mitchelli). The change would also designate critical habitats for the six species, within “approximately 1,944 river miles (3,129 river kilometers) in Texas.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 25 October 2021.

Additional information is available here.

 

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