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

Saskatchewan

Bill 60 – The Saskatchewan Employment Amendment Act, 2021

Published Date: 24 November 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of Saskatchewan has proposed changes to employment rules in the province. The new rules would revise the definition of “harassment” to include any conduct of a sexual nature and include provisions that would cover independent contract workers, students, and volunteers. The changes would also add provisions to protect employers from liability under COVID-19 measures.

The changes would be enacted by amending the Saskatchewan Employment Act.

Additional information can be found here and here.

Saskatchewan Environmental Code Transfer Station Chapter

Published Date: 6 December 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Saskatchewan has proposed to add regulations for transfer stations in the Province. These regulations would require “a qualified person for the completion of reports and plans, including a qualified person certificate,” require “submission of required documents to the Ministry of Environment online portal,” remove requirements “for annual reporting and submission of minor changes to operations [plans] and emergency response [plans],” remove “the approval process for submissions under [an] acceptable solution,” (the minimum level of performance necessary for a regulated community to meet the acceptable risk level), encourage “innovation in transfer station design and operation methodologies and technologies,” and require that “proposed new methodologies and technologies be described in an environmental protection plan.”

These changes would be enacted by adding a new chapter to the Saskatchewan Environmental Code.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments or complete a survey until 5 February 2022.

Additional information is available here, here, and here.

United States

Federal

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program: Extension of Compliance and Attest Engagement Reporting Deadlines

Published date: 26 November 2021
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry, Chemicals Industry, Utilities & Communications Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has proposed changes to certain compliance dates under its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The RFS compliance reporting deadline and associated attest engagement reporting deadline would be extended for the 2019 compliance year for small refineries and the 2020 and 2021 compliance years for all obligated parties with renewable volume obligations. The method for determining future RFS reporting deadlines would also be changed. These proposed changes would affect those involved in the production and distribution of transportation fuels and renewable fuels.

Interested parties may submit comments until 3 January 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States”

Published date: 7 December 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army (“the Agencies”) are seeking feedback on proposed rules to define the scope of protected “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.

The agencies are proposing to “return generally to the familiar pre-2015 definition that has bounded the Act’s protections for decades,” with certain changes which would include “traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, and the territorial seas [the “foundational waters”], and their adjacent wetlands; most impoundments of “waters of the United States”; tributaries to traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, the territorial seas, and impoundments that meet either the relatively permanent standard [waters that are relatively permanent, standing or continuously flowing and waters with a continuous surface connection to such waters] or the significant nexus standard [waters alone or in combination with similarly situated waters in a region that affect the chemical, physical, or biological integrity of the foundational waters]; wetlands adjacent to impoundments and tributaries, that meet either the relatively permanent standard or the significant nexus standard; and “other waters” that meet either the relatively permanent standard or the significant nexus standard.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 7 February 2022. The Agencies will also host virtual public hearings on the 12th, 13th, and 18th of January 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Listing of HFO-1234yf Under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program for Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning in Nonroad Vehicles and Servicing Fittings for Small Refrigerant Cans

Published Date: 6 December 2021
Industry Sector: Chemicals Industry, Hardware Manufacturing Industry, Utilities & Communications Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to list the refrigerant 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoroprop-1-ene (also known as HFO-1234yf or R-1234yf, herein referred to as “the refrigerant”) as an acceptable substance, “subject to use conditions, in the motor vehicle air conditioning end-use for certain types of newly manufactured nonroad (also called off-road) vehicles, which includes some vehicles that are also considered heavy-duty vehicles.” Three Society of Automotive Engineering standards would be incorporated by reference into the use conditions for the proposed listings. The EPA is also “proposing to require unique service fittings for use with small refrigerant cans (two pounds or less) of [the refrigerant] that are used to service onroad and nonroad vehicles.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 20 January 2022.

Additional information is available here.

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