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

Bill 23 – Forests Statutes Amendment Act, 2021

Published Date: 26 October 2021
Industry Sector: Forestry Industry

The Government of British Columbia announced its intention to modify the way it regulates forests to focus on sustainability.

According to the British Columbia Government, the changes would notably modify rules concerning road permits and cutting permits, increase “the public control [of forests] between government and First Nations” notably by increasing the opportunities for the public, communities and First Nations “to view and comment on forest-sector harvesting plans,” replace forest stewardship plans with forest landscape plans, which will “address ecological and cultural values, in addition to timber values,” and increase “efforts to mitigate against climate change by allowing the chief forester to set stocking standards for replanting and reduce wildfire risk by creating wildland buffers between communities and forests.”

These changes would be implemented by amending the Forest Act and the Forest and Range Practices Act.

Additional information is available here.

Alberta

Bill 82 – Mineral Resource Development Act

Published Date: 18 November 2021
Industry Sector: Mining & Minerals Industry, Oil & Gas Industry

The regulatory environment respecting the development of mineral resources could soon change.

According to the Alberta Government, these changes would notably “establish the Alberta Energy Regulator as the full lifecycle regulator for Alberta’s mineral resources” instead of having multiple entities responsible for the oversight of minerals, and “streamline and integrate the province’s mineral regulatory regime.”

These changes would be implemented by enacting a new Mineral Resource Development Act and by amending existing legislation.

Additional information is available here and here.

Bill 83 – Environmental Protection and Enhancement Amendment Act, 2021

Published Date: 18 November 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The provincial approach on waste management could soon change, as the Government proposes legislative modifications that would “set the foundation for [the implementation of] an extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework in 2022.”

According to the Alberta Government, the changes would “create provincial systems for managing single-use plastics, packaging, paper products and hazardous and special products like household pesticides and solvents.” They would also “shift the physical and financial role of collecting, sorting, processing and recycling waste to the industries that produce products instead of local governments.”

More information is available here and here.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Drinking Water Safety Action Plan Consultations

Published Date: 9 November 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is seeking input from stakeholders and the public to help inform the development of a Drinking Water Safety Action Plan. The Plan would “ensure the safety and sustainability of drinking water systems whether public, private, commercial, or institutional for all members of the public in Newfoundland and Labrador.” This input would be used to help “determine baseline awareness on drinking water issues in the province, collect feedback on which issues are seen as a priority, and identify and prioritize actions to be taken to help address these issues.”

The Department of Environment and Climate Change invites those interested in participating to submit comments or fill out the questionnaire here until 10 December 2021.

Additional information is available here and here.

Northwest Territories

Proposed change to regulations to require entry level training for new Class 1 drivers

Published date: 18 November 2021
Industry Sector: Road Transportation Industry

The Government of Northwest Territories has proposed to implement entry-level training requirements for drivers obtaining a Class 1 commercial driver’s licence (semi-trailer and tractor-trailers). Currently, there are no training requirements for Class 1 drivers in the Northwest Territories. According to the government, the new rules would “result in more highly-skilled drivers in the trucking sector and improve road safety across the [Northwest Territories].”

Interested parties are invited to submit feedback until 18 December 2021.

Additional information can be found here and here.

Ontario

Bill 13, Supporting People and Businesses Act, 2021

Published Date: 28 October 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

An Omnibus bill could soon bring changes that would affect multiple industries and legal frameworks.

According to the Ontario Government, these changes would notably add new rules “governing the harvesting of forest resources in Crown forests for personal use,” create “a two-year limitation period […] that applies to certain payments, adjustments and amounts settled by the [Independent Electricity System Operator],” clarify the power to amend certain class environmental assessments, change the rules respecting the rehabilitation of mining lands for certain activities, create “a new recovery permit that authorizes the holder to recover minerals or mineral bearing substances from tailings or other waste materials resulting from mining, subject to [certain conditions],” modify certain notification and reporting requirements “with respect to deaths, critical injuries and other occurrences at a workplace,” and prohibit the acquisition of certain rights or title to certain lands, including public lands, through “the use, possession or occupation of the lands or by prescription.”

Additional information can be found here.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) is proposing amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to require the owner of a workplace to provide access to a washroom to delivery workers, i.e., persons making deliveries to or from the workplace

Published Date: 29 October 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of Ontario is proposing changes to workplace accommodation rules that would require owners of workplaces to provide access to a washroom to delivery workers. The change would provide exemptions “for health and safety reasons and reasons related to the circumstances of the workplace,” as well as for private residences.

Additional information can be found here.

Supporting Residential Roof-Top Solar and other renewable resources by clarifying eligibility of third-party leasing and financing net metering arrangements

Published Date: 1 November 2021
Industry Sector: Utilities & Communications Industry

The Government of Ontario is seeking feedback on a proposal to clarify the requirements concerning who can be an eligible generator for the purpose of net metering in situations where a customer is leasing or financing the power generation equipment.

These clarifications would be implemented by amending Net Metering.

Interested persons are invited to make comments by December 16, 2021.

Additional information can be found here.

Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021

Published Date: 3 November 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

Various changes could soon affect the obligations of employers across the province, as new rules are being proposed to protect workers.

According to the Ontario Government, the changes would notably impose “a requirement on employers that employ 25 or more employees to have a written policy with respect to disconnecting from work,” prohibit “employers from entering into employment contracts or other agreements with an employee that are, or that include, a non-compete agreement,” create “licensing requirements for temporary help agencies and recruiters,” prohibit “a recruiter or person acting on behalf of a recruiter from taking reprisals against prospective employees on a variety of grounds,” and require “the owner of a workplace to provide access to a washroom to persons making deliveries to or from the workplace.”

These changes would notably be implemented by amending the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Additional information can be found here.

Addressing sulphur dioxide emissions from Ontario’s petroleum facilities

Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry
Published Date: 9 November 2021

The Government of Ontario announced its intention to “regulate air contaminants released by certain [petroleum] industrial facilities,” including the five petroleum facilities located in Ontario.

According to the Ontario Government, the changes would notably reduce “SO2 emissions by approximately 90%” over a defined period of time,” require “an immediate emissions reduction of up to 30% from heavy emitters,” end “the combustion of solid fuel in combustion devices and [restrict] the use of fuel oil in combustion devices to emergency situations or supply constraints only,” require the development of “up-to-date sulphur dioxide emission minimization plans,” require “root cause [analyses] and [the development and implementation of] corrective and preventive actions for flares that release more than 225 kg of sulphur dioxide in a 24-hour period,” require the development of “continuous monitoring system plans for the design, installation, commissioning and operation of all required continuous monitoring systems,” require the installation and operation of “continuous monitoring systems for emissions from key process units, sulphur recovery units and flares and/or inputs to combustion devices and flares,” require the operation and maintenance of “at least one ambient air monitor for sulphur dioxide in the vicinity of each facility to track sulphur dioxide concentrations in the local community,” and require that “facility emissions data be shared with local First Nations and local municipalities.”

These changes would be implemented by enacting a new regulation.

Interested persons are invited to make comments by December 24, 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Yukon

Bill 8 – Workers’ Compensation and Safety Act

Published Date: 25 October 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The Yukon Government has announced its intention to modernize rules concerning worker safety and caring for injured workers.

Changes to the rules would notably require hazard assessments in all workplaces, and health & safety management systems in larger workplaces, include additional cancers presumed as occupational diseases for firefighters (more information on this change here), increase loss of earning benefits for low-income workers and older workers, reduce red tape for employers requiring employees to work outside the territory for short periods, simplify the appeal process for workplace health & safety-related penalties, and establish penalties for contraventions of compensation provisions.

The changes would be enacted by replacing the existing Occupational Health and Safety Act with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Act.

Additional information is available here and here.

Creating a Clean Energy Act for the Yukon

Published Date: 25 October 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Yukon Government is seeking input on the development of new clean energy legislation that “would legislate the government’s greenhouse gas commitments, provide the regulatory tools needed to meet these commitments and ensure long-term climate change accountability through public reporting.”

Proposed rules would state clean energy objectives and support for green economic development throughout the territory, include reporting requirements for climate change risks and progress on greenhouse gas emissions reductions by the Government, establish greenhouse gas reduction targets (45% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels; net-zero emissions by 2050), require that a minimum of 93% of electricity generated in the territory comes from renewable sources, set zero-emissions vehicle sales targets (10% of vehicles sold by 2025; 30% of vehicles sold by 2030), establish renewable fuel requirements (combining fossil fuels with substances that produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, establish a renewable heating target (50% of heating demand through renewable resources by 2030), and establish the authority to set energy-efficiency standards for products manufactured or sold in the territory.

Interested parties are invited to submit feedback until 7 January 2022.

Additional information is available here, here, and here.

Public engagement on permanent paid sick leave begins

Published Date: 9 November 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The Yukon Government is seeking feedback on “how permanent paid sick leave should be established in the territory.” Interested parties are invited to complete a survey, answer quick polls, share ideas and stories, and ask questions concerning the implementation of permanent paid sick leave until 10 December 2021.

This feedback will be used by the Making Work Safe panel to inform recommendations for amendments to the Employment Standards Act.

Additional information is available here.

United States

Federal

Regulation of Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic Chemicals Under TSCA Section 6(h); Phenol, Isopropylated Phosphate (3:1); Further Compliance Date Extension

Published date: 28 October 2021
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry, Chemicals Industry, Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is “proposing to amend the regulations applicable to phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) under the Toxic Substances Control Act.” According to the government, “PIP (3:1) is used as a plasticizer, flame retardant, an anti-wear additive, or an anti-compressibility additive in hydraulic fluid, lubricating oils, lubricants and greases, various industrial coatings, adhesives, sealants, and plastic articles.”

The changes would “extend the compliance date applicable to the processing and distribution in commerce of certain PIP (3:1)-containing artices, and the PIP (3:1) used to make those articles […] along with the associated recordkeeping requirements for manufacturers, processors and distributors of PIP (3:1)-containing articles.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 27 December 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Cooking Products

Published date: 4 November 2021
Industry Sector: Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The United States Department of Energy is proposing to establish a test procedure for conventional cooking tops (household cooking appliances that contain “a horizontal surface containing one or more surgace units that utilize a gas flame, electric resistence heating, or electric inductive heating”). The proposed test procedure “would adopt the latest version of the relevant industry standard with modifications to adapt the test method to gas cooking tops, offer an optional method for burden reduction, normalize the energy use of each test cycle, include measurement of standby mode and off mode energy use, update certain test conditions, and provide certain clarifying language.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 3 January 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Hazardous Materials: Suspension of HMR Amendments Authorizing Transportation of Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail

Published Date: 8 November 2021
Industry Sector: Rail Transportation Industry, Oil & Gas Industry

The United States Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is proposing to “suspend authorization of liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation in rail tank cars.” The change would allow for rail transport of LNG “on an ad hoc basis as authorized by the conditions of a PHMSA special permit, or in a portable tank secured to a rail car pursuant to the conditions of [a Federal Railroad Administration] approval.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 23 December 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Alligator Snapping Turtle

Published Date: 9 November 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to add the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend protections of the Endangered Species Act to this species. The alligator snapping turtle, North America’s largest freshwater turtle species, would be listed as a threatened species.

Interested parties may submit comments until 10 January 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Standards of Performance for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources and Emissions Guidelines for Existing Sources: Oil and Natural Gas Sector Climate Review

Published Date: 15 November 2021
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry, Utilities & Communications Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is proposing rules to “significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other harmful air pollutants from the Crude Oil and Natural Gas source category.” The rules would revise and expand current requirements and establish new limits for methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed facilities, and establish nationwide emission guidelines to limit methane pollution from existing designated facilities.

Interested parties are invited to virtual public hearings on 30 November and 1 December 2021, and may submit comments until 14 January 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Commercial Space Investigations

Published Date: 16 October 2021
Industry Sector: Air Transportation Industry

The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is proposing to formalize its investigation procedures for commercial space transportation. A new subpart would be added to Part 831- Investigation Procedures that would “enhance transportation safety by enabling [NTSB] to carry out its statutory mission of conducting safety investigations, identifying necessary corrective actions, and preventing future space tranportation accidents and incidents.”

Interested parties are invited to submit comments until 18 January 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (21-2.F)

Published Date: 17 November 2021
Industry Sector: Chemicals Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is proposing “significant new use rules (SNURs) […] for chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs).” The chemical substances received “not likely to present an unreasonable risk” determinations under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The SNURs would “require persons who intend to manufacture (defined by statute to include import) or process any of these chemical substances for an activity that is proposed as significant new use by this rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity.” Persons would be prohibited from commencing manufacturing or processing for the significant new use until EPA has adequately reviewed the notification and made appropriate determinations. The list of chemical substances potentially affected can be found here.

Interested parties may submit comments until 17 December 2021.

Additional information is available here.

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding for Pascagoula Map Turtle; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Pearl River Map Turtle; and Threatened Species Status for Alabama Map Turtle, Barbour’s Map Turtle, Escambia Map Turtle, and Pascagoula Map Turtle Due to Similarity of Appearance With a Section 4(d) Rule

Published Date: 23 November 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the Pearl River map turtle (Graptemys pearlensis), native to the Pearl River drainage in Mississippi and Louisiana, as a threatened species. The Pascagoula map turtle (Graptemys gibbonsi), Alabama map turtle (Graptemys pulchra), Barbour’s map turtle (Graptemys barbouri), and Escambia map turtle (Graptemys ernsti) would also be listed as threatened species “due to their similarity of appearance to the Pearl River map turtle.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 24 January 2022.

Additional information is available here.

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