Top EHS regulatory changes for Canada and the United States – September 2021

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Here are a few noteworthy EHS regulatory changes for Canada and the United States in September 2021. We cover EHS legislation and standards for over 100 countries and 200 jurisdictions. If you would like to track legislative changes for specific regions, countries, or jurisdictions, we are happy to help. Please send us a request for more information here and we will contact you shortly.

Canada – Federal

New Principal Document – Exemptions from and Modifications to Hours of Work Provisions Regulations

First Effective Date: 1 February 2022
Industry Sector: Water Transportation, Road Transportation, Agriculture Industry, Public Administration & Institutions

These Regulations provide exemptions from and modifications to the hours of work provisions for specific classes of employees. Classes of employees are defined based on occupations or job titles commonly used in each sector and objective characteristics of the work performed.

Amended Document – Output-Based Pricing System Regulations
Amending Document – Regulations Amending the Output-Based Pricing System Regulations and the Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations

First Effective Date: 1 January 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The amended document (1) limits “the use of surplus credits issued by the Minister to a covered facility located in a province or territory that is removed from [the list of jurisdictions within which industrial facilities rules of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act apply],” (2) clarifies the applicability of “the requirement to pay the excess emissions charge to provide compensation for a minimum of 25% of the excess emissions for each compliance period,” (3) revises the provision that allowed covered facilities to round their production value calculations to three significant figures, (4) updates the emission factors used in quantification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fuel combustion, (5) requires that “on-site transportation emissions be quantified in accordance with the 2020 [Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program] quantification requirements,” (6) explains “when carbon dioxide emissions that have been captured and permanently stored may be deducted from a facility’s total GHG emissions,” (7) provides clarify on “the beginning of the first compliance period for a facility that becomes a covered facility in a compliance period that has already begun,” as well as for “circumstances were a facility ceases to be a covered facility,” and (8) clarifies “that the output-based standard for solid fuel only applies to a boiler unit of an electricity generation facility, even if the boiler unit generates electricity using liquid or gaseous fuel,” in certain circumstances.

Amended Document – Species at Risk Act
Amending Document – Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act

First Effective Date: 12 August 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The amended document adds 11 species, reclassifies 4 species, and removes 1 species from the List of Species at Risk in Schedule 1 as follows:

The Eastern Banded Tigersnail (Anguispira kochi kochi), Golden-eye Lichen (Great Lakes population) (Teloschistes chrysophthalmus), Ambystoma, Unisexual (Small-mouthed Salamander dependent population) (Ambystoma laterale – texanum) Ambystoma, and the Unisexual (Jefferson Salamander dependent population) (Ambystoma laterale – (2) jeffersonianum) are listed as endangered species. The Blanding’s Turtle (Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population) (Emydoidea blandingii) is reclassified from a threatened species to an endangered species.

The Lake Huron Grasshopper (Trimerotropis huroniana) is listed as a threatened species. The Western Painted Turtle (Pacific Coast population) (Chrysemys picta bellii) is reclassified from an endangered species to a threatened species.

The Bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer sayi), Caribou (Newfoundland population) (Rangifer tarandus), Golden-eye Lichen (Prairie/Boreal population) (Teloschistes chrysophthalmus), Long’s Bulrush (Scirpus longii), Magdalen Islands Grasshopper (Melanoplus madeleineae), and the Transverse Lady Beetle (Coccinella transversoguttata) are listed as special concern species. The Anticosti Aster (Symphyotrichum anticostense) is reclassified from a threatened species to a special concern species.

The Sonora Skipper (Polites sonora) is removed from the list of special concern species and is no longer considered at risk.

Canada – British Columbia

Amended Document – Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
Amending Document – Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2021-08-19 Amendments

First Effective Date: 1 December 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The amended document makes several changes to the rules regarding safe handling of flammable liquids, employee safety when conducting work near traffic, and safety for logging operators. Notably, it (1) revises the definition of “flammable liquid” to include a maximum vapour pressure, (2) clarifies that certain rules regarding transport and storage of flammable liquids also apply to combustible liquids normally used as fuel and flammable gases, (3) removes certain cases where flammable liquids are permitted for use as a manual cleaning solvent, (4) reduces acceptable exposure limits to ionizing radiation to the skin, hands, and feet, (5) incorporates by reference federal construction standards for fishing vessels, (6) provides that traffic control equipment, arrangements, layouts, and procedures comply with the Traffic Management Manual, (7) requires employers to complete a risk assessment and develop a written traffic control plan to be followed before engaging employees in work activities that may expose workers to traffic, (8) updates various rules with respect to supervision of work requiring traffic control, the placement of temporary traffic control devices, and prohibited actions by traffic control persons, (9) introduces rules for the use of emergency responders and required training to act as a traffic control person, (10) includes additional requirements for traffic control persons working during daytime and in darkness, (11) introduces rules for assessing competence and adequate certification of persons engaged in work related to concrete pumps and placing booms in a workplace, (12) updates the definitions of “bunk” and “log transporter” for logging operations, (13) replaces certain references to “trucks” with “log transporter”, (14) revises minimum specifications for stake line diameters, and (15) revises safety procedures for loading logs, securing log loads for different transportation routes, removing binding equipment from log loads, and for securing trailers.

Canada – Ontario

New Principal Document – Air Pollution – Discharge of Sulphur Dioxide from Nickel Smelting and Refining Facilities in the Sudbury Area

First Effective Date: 17 September 2021
Industry Sector: Mining & Minerals Industry

This regulation regulates the discharge of sulphur dioxide from nickel smelting at specifically designated facilities in the Sudbury area. It notably sets out requirements concerning off-gas collection systems and pollution controls for pyrometallurgical vessels, single contact acid plants, and other pollution sources. It also sets out requirements for alternative pollution management methods, written records, and mandatory notifications, assessments, plans, and reports. The facilities regulated under this document are exempted from the application of most of the provisions and requirements for contaminant concentration and dispersion modelling contained in the Air Pollution – Local Air Quality Regulation.

Amended Document – Air Pollution – Local Air Quality
Amending Document – Amending O. Reg. 419/05 (Air Pollution — Local Air Quality)

First Effective Date: 17 September 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The amended document makes corresponding amendments to reflect the exemptions from the requirements contained in Part II: Contaminant Concentrations and Dispersion Modelling of this regulation in the newly issued document Air Pollution – Discharge of Sulphur Dioxide from Nickel Smelting and Refining Facilities in the Sudbury Area above.

Canada – Prince Edward Island

Amended Document – Materials Stewardship and Recycling Regulations
Amending Document – Materials Stewardship and Recycling Regulations Amendment

First Effective Date: 18 September 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The amended document adds a new section regulating agricultural plastic products (APP) as designated materials under the Environmental Protection Act. The new section generally prohibits the discard of APP (with exceptions), prohibits the sale of APP unless the seller has an APP stewardship program in place, establishes an application process for the approval of such stewardship programs that includes criteria and fees for approval, establishes annual fees for operators of a stewardship program, and establishes reporting requirements for the quantity of APP collected annually.

Canada – Quebec

Amended Document – Regulation respecting occupational health and safety
Amending Document – Regulation to amend the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety

First Effective Date: 22 March 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The amended document provides “for the wearing of a floatation device or a life jacket adapted to the work conditions where no other safety measure may provide efficient protection against drowning”; specifies the characteristics of floatation devices, life jackets, and rescue boats, and “the conditions in which thermal protective clothing must be worn”; requires the preparation of rescue plans, and specifies “the information that must be available on [a worksite where workers are at risk of drowning in water] before beginning work”.

United States – Florida

Amended Document – FAC Chapter 62-620 Wastewater Facility and Activities Permitting
Amending Document – FAC Chapter 62-620 Wastewater Facility and Activities Permitting 2021-08-31 Amendments

First Effective Date: 14 September 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The amended document revises “the general condition for reporting noncompliance such as sanitary sewer overflows, spills, bypasses, and unauthorized discharges, [and adds] data elements to be reported, update[s] terminology, exclude[s] certain reclaimed water discharges, and incorporate[s] public notification of pollution provisions [of other state legislation].”

Amended Document – FAC Chapter 5E-2 Pesticides
Amending Document – FAC Chapter 5E-2 Pesticides 2021-09-21 Amendments

First Effective Date: 30 September 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The amended document incorporates by reference the most recent edition of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists’ “Official Methods of Analysis” for sampling and analyzing pesticides, updates the list of organo-auxins (a type of herbicide) regulated by the state, recommends the use of appropriate spray nozzles and pressure when applying organo-auxins, and provides exemptions from rules governing the use of organo-auxins for certain application methods.

Amended Document – FAC Chapter 62-604 Collection Systems and Transmission Facilities
Amending Document – FAC Chapter 62-604 Collection Systems and Transmission Facilities 2021-09-21 Amendments

First Effective Date: 4 October 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The amended document notably updates various provisions that “streamline processes including permitting, improve the collection and transmission of domestic wastewater, and implement the relevant requirements of Florida’s Clean Waterways Act. The revisions clarify that emergency pumping capability must be maintained; emergency response plans shall address hurricanes, cybersecurity, and surface water monitoring; that collection systems be operated and maintained to prevent infiltration, inflow, and leakages; and to minimize sanitary sewer overflows. The revisions also clarify separation requirements between sewers and water mains as well as provide timeframes for placing newly constructed collection systems into operation.”

United States – Kentucky

Amended Document – KAR Chapter 803-2 Occupational Safety and Health
Amending Document – KAR Chapter 803-2 Occupational Safety and Health 2021-09-01 Amendments

First Effective Date: 3 August 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The amended document incorporates by reference various federal regulations related to occupational health and safety, establishes occupational health and safety (OHS) complaint procedures, provides that civil action may be recommended to protect workers from an imminent danger if the employer does not immediately abate the danger, establishes requirements regarding penalty notification and penalty considerations, establishes timelines for filing OHS discrimination complaints, establishes requirements for receiving and unloading bulk hazardous liquids, establishes specific lockout requirements, establishes specific requirements related to fall protection trigger heights, and amends various definitions.

United States – North Carolina

Amended Document – NCGS Article 143-21 Water and Air Resources
Amending Document – An Act to Make Various Changes to the Natural, Environmental, and Cultural Resources Laws of the State, as Recommended by the Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural and Cultural Resources.

First Effective Date: 1 July 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

According to the government, the amended document requires stormwater permittees (for new and reissued permits due to transfer, modification, or renewal) to complete and submit an annual certification on the stormwater project’s conformance with permit conditions, includes timelines for submitting permit transfer applications and providing a schedule of remedial actions as part of the stormwater permit transfer process, establishes a permit modification request mechanism for certain low-density permits, and requires water resources management plans “to provide certain information regarding surface and groundwater resources, other withdrawals, permitted minimum instream flow requirements, and pertinent information contained in the local water supply and water shortage response plans.”

United States – Utah

Amended Document – UAC Rule R68-7 Utah Pesticide Control Rule
Amending Document – UAC Rule R68-7 Utah Pesticide Control Rule 2021-09-15 Amendments

First Effective Date: 1 September 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

According to the government, the amended document is made “consistent with [federal Environmental Protection Agency] standards,” which includes changes to “pesticide certification categories; applicator certification, recertification, and licensing requirements and procedures; pesticide applicator testing procedures; pesticide business licensing requirements; pesticide applicator and business licensee responsibilities; recordkeeping requirements; and pesticide application requirements. The changes also add the requirement to this rule that all pesticide applicators provide spill kits in each service vehicle.”

Amended Document – UAC Rule R311-203 Underground Storage Tanks: Technical Standards
Amending Document – UAC Rule R311-203 Underground Storage Tanks: Technical Standards 2021-09-15 Amendments

First Effective Date: 13 September 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The amended document clarifies that an underground storage tank installation permit fee will increase based on the number of additional tanks being installed under the permit, updates references to federal compliance rates, requires certified individuals who test overfill, automatic tank gauges, and line leak detectors to use specifically approved forms for the inspections, and replaces certain references to “responsible person” with “trained operator”.

United States –  Washington

Amended Document – WAC Chapter 296-62 General Occupational Health Standards
Amending Document – WAC Chapter 296-62 General Occupational Health Standards; WAC Chapter 296-307 Safety Standards for Agriculture 2021-07-13 Amendments

First Effective Date: 12 July 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The amended document revises rules regarding outdoor heat exposure for employees. It includes requirements for providing shade, adequately cool water for drinking, and paid cool-down rest time to employees, and introduces procedures for periods of extreme high heat (>100°F).

Amending Document – WAC Chapter 296-62 General Occupational Health Standards 2021-07-16 Amendments

First Effective Date: 16 July 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The amended document adopts rules addressing occupational exposure to wildfire smoke for certain workplaces and operations. It includes requirements for employers to determine the levels of certain particulate matter (PM), to communicate hazards and procedures for protection against wildfire smoke to employees, to monitor for and provide medical care for employees displaying symptoms of illness related to wildlife smoke, and to supply respiratory protection to employees when PM levels reach certain thresholds.

Amending Document – WAC Chapter 296-62 General Occupational Health Standards 2021-08-10 Amendments

First Effective Date: 10 August 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The amended document establishes reporting and notification procedures for infection and contagious diseases during a public health emergency. It requires employers to notify employees of potential workplaces exposures to infectious or contagious diseases within a set timeframe, certain employers to report disease outbreaks to the Department of Labour and Industries, and that employees and contractors are permitted to voluntarily use personal protective equipment.

Amended Document – WAC Chapter 296-96 Safety Regulations and Fees for All Elevators, Dumbwaiters, Escalators and Other Conveyances
Amending Document – WAC Chapter 296-96 Safety Regulations and Fees for All Elevators, Dumbwaiters, Escalators and Other Conveyances 2021-08-31 Amendments

First Effective Date: 1 October 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

According to the government, the amended document (1) incorporates by reference national safety codes and standards that regulate the conveyance industry, (2) provides certain exceptions to the rules of such safety codes and standards, (3) “allow[s] for reduced guard railing heights on car tops on existing elecators,” (4) “require[s] posting of an overhead sign in the hoistway when guardrail clearances are less than allowed by code,” (5) revises the elevator licensing and continuing education requirements, (6) clarifies that “a permit application needs to be sent to [Labor & Industry], along with plans for new installations and and major alterations prior to the start of construction and permit issuance,” (7) clarifies requirements for driving machines in the hoistway for machine room-less elevators, machine rooms and main line disconnects, (8) requires “car safeties for belt manlifts to be tested at 100 percent of its rated load,” (9) requires annual safety testing for belt manlifts, (10) clarifies recordkeeping, maintenance and test log requirements, (11) updates requirements for electric manlifts, and (12) makes various clarifying and streamlining amendments.

 

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