Proposed EHS regulatory changes from Canada and the United States – January 2022

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By: Sydney Sybydlo

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

Federal

Bill C-214 – An Act to amend the Canadian Navigable Waters Act (lakes and rivers in British Columbia)

Published Date: 15 December 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to add certain lakes and rivers in British Columbia to the navigable waters list. The changes would notably add the following lakes to the list: Skaha Lake, Tugulnuit Lake, Vaseux Lake, Osoyoos Lake, Christina Lake, Box Lake, Summit Lake, and Slocan Lake; and the following rivers and riverines: Okanagan River, Granby River, Christina Creek, Kettle River, Pend d’Oreille River, and Slocan River.

These changes would be implemented by amending the Canadian Navigable Waters Act.

Additional information can be found here.

Bill C-219 – Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights

Published Date: 16 December 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Canada has proposed new rules to provide every person residing in Canada with the right to “a healthy and ecologically balanced environment.” These new rules would additionally provide “the right to reasonable, timely and affordable access to information regarding the environment; the right to effective, informed and timely public participation in decision-making regarding the environment; […] the right to bring a matter regarding the protection of the environment before courts or tribunals; and the right to request a review of any Act of Parliament respecting the environment […] or any environmental policy of the Government of Canada.”

These changes would be made by enacting the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights.

Additional information can be found here.

Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

Published Date: 18 December 2021
Industry Sector: Road Transportation Industry, Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to modify regulations related to emission standards for vehicles and engines to maintain alignment with the updated United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) emission regulations. The changes, which may “affect companies that manufacture or import new vehicles and engines for sale in Canada,” would modify definitions of heavy-duty vehicles to ensure electric and hybrid vehicles are accurately categorized, “allow regulated companies to make the model year for a vehicle one year later than the calendar year during which the vehicle’s main assembly is completed,” allow companies to divide their fleets’ engine families into subfamilies to facilitate “flexibility for Canadian companies using the CO2 emission credit system,” revise the definition of “emission family” so certain large spark-ignition engines meeting alternate standards “would be eligible for import into Canada and be recognized as compression-ignition engines,” and update labelling requirements and maintenance instruction requirements for large spark-ignition engines.

These changes would be implemented by amending the Heavy-duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations, the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations, the Marine Spark-Ignition Engine, Vessel and Off-road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations, and the Off-road Compression-Ignition (Mobile and Stationary) and Large Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments until 3 March 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Single-Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations

Published Date: 25 December 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to prohibit the manufacture, import, and sale of certain single-use plastic manufactured items (SUPs). The changes would prohibit six categories of SUPs: checkout bags (ex. shopping bags, grocery bags, carryout bags), cutlery, foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics (ex. clamshell containers, lidded containers, cartons, cups, plants, bowls), ring carriers (ex. six-pack rings), stir sticks, and straws. They would also include exemptions to accommodate people with disabilities for certain products and require manufacturers and importers of these categories of SUPs to maintain records containing written evidence that the SUPs were or will be exported.

The changes would be made by enacting the Single-Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations and amending the Regulations Designating Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999).

Interested parties may submit comments until 5 March 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Order Declaring that the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations Do Not Apply to Certain Metal and Diamond Mines Located in the Northwest Territories

Published Date: 1 January 2022
Industry Sector: Mining & Minerals Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to revise the applicability of federal rules concerning the deposit of mine tailings and other waste matter in the Northwest Territories (NWT). The changes would provide that the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (MDMER) and a provision of the Fisheries Act would not apply to mines in NWT, except for those found in federal areas within the Mackenzie Valley. Mines currently subject to the MDMER would continue to be subject to the rules set out in the Waters Act and the Waters Regulations of NWT.

Interested parties may submit comments until 2 March 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Notice of intent to amend the Migratory Birds Regulations

Published Date: 15 January 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to revise rules concerning the hunting of migratory birds. According to the government, the changes would “change hunting season and special conservation harvest season dates, set daily bag limits and possession limits, as well as make other related modifications for certain species of migratory game birds for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 hunting seasons.” They would also “eliminate the signature requirement for the migratory game bird hunting permit.”

The changes would be enacted by amending the Migratory Birds Regulations.

Interested parties may submit comments until 14 February 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

British Columbia

Asbestos abatement licensing and training

Published Date: 10 January 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of British Columbia has announced its intention to modify occupational health and safety regulations to require asbestos abatement licensing and training. According to the BC Government, the changes would notably “require asbestos abatement contractors to be licensed by WorkSafeBC to operate in BC,”, and “require employers, workers and contractors who perform asbestos abatement work in BC to be certified through a mandatory asbestos safety training process that would be authorized by WorkSafeBC.”

These changes would be implemented by establishing new workplace requirements under the Workers Compensation Act.

The BC Government invites workers, employers, contractors, building- and homeowners, and the general public to submit their responses to three engagement questions to the Ministry of Labour until 11 February 2022.

Additional information is available here, here, and here.

New Brunswick

Amendments to the General Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Phase 1)

Published Date: 19 January 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of New Brunswick has announced its intention to modify occupational health and safety regulations for logging and silviculture, construction, occupational hygiene, x-ray equipment, materials containing asbestos, and mining. According to the New Brunswick Government, these changes would notably add occupational exposure limits with respect to lead sulfide, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, nitrogen dioxide and other air contaminants as set out in the publication entitled “2016 Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices”, modify requirements for ensuring proper ventilation of places of employment, add a code of practice for employees who work with, in proximity to, or disturb material containing asbestos, and modify requirements pertaining to employee safety meetings, the development of a code of practice to protect employees from possible hazardous situations caused by environmental conditions, and the operation of powered mobile equipment.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments to the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour by 14 March 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

Newfoundland & Labrador

Buildings Accessibility Act

Published Date: 20 December 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is seeking comments on the recommendations from the Buildings Accessibility Advisory Board (BAAB) to strengthen and modernize the rules for building accessibility in the province. According to the BAAB, their recommendations are notably to modify exemptions for buildings existing before and on 24 December 1981 from meeting accessibility requirements, to increase fines for certain offences by doubling the current penalty amounts to encourage compliance, to modify rules regarding accessibility standards for home-based businesses and residential properties, to require that all buildings occupied by 300 persons or more are to be equipped with a full-service family washroom that includes an adult changing table, and to develop an action plan to enhance enforcement and encourage compliance of the Buildings Accessibility Act.

These changes would be implemented by amending the Buildings Accessibility Act.

Interested persons are invited to provide input by completing an online questionnaire until 31 January 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

Ontario

Proposal to update reference to Engineers in Regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

Published Date: 15 December 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has proposed changes to the definition of “professional engineer” as it appears in various regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to reflect the new definition of “engineer” in the Act. The change would allow engineers, as defined, to provide certain reports, advice and certification required under the relevant regulations. The new definition provides that “‘engineer’ means, subject to any prescribed requirements or restrictions, a person who is licensed as a professional engineer or who holds a limited licence under the Professional Engineers Act.”

The relevant regulations that may be amended include Notices and Reports Under Sections 51 to 53.1 of the Act – Fatalities, Critical Injuries, Occupational Illnesses and Other Incidents, Firefighters – Protective Equipment, Health Care and Residential Facilities, Construction Projects, Window Cleaning, Roll-Over Protective Structures, Oil and Gas – Offshore, Mines and Mining Plants, and Industrial Establishments.

Interested parties may submit comments until 16 February 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Amendments to Ontario Regulation 271/91 (Gasoline Volatility) to simplify reporting requirements

Published Date: 24 December 2021
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry

The Government of Ontario has proposed changes to reduce administrative requirements on the petroleum industry and simplify legislation by “aligning […] reporting requirements with national timelines for switching from winter-grade gasoline to summer-grade gasoline.” The changes would require regulated facilities to “prepare only one report for the four reporting periods,” by 30 September annually and require the report to be kept on-site for five years, align the testing period for motor gasoline with Canadian General Standards Board timelines, to 16 May through 15 September each year, clarify that “service stations are exempt from the ‘mixing’ or ‘adding to’ requirements,” however service stations that import or refine gasoline would still be subject to gasoline volatility reporting requirements, and clarify that “volatility requirements do not apply to motor gasoline that is expected to be transported for use or sale outside of Ontario.”

These changes would be enacted by amending the Gasoline Volatility regulations.

Interested parties may submit comments until 7 February 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Proposed regulatory changes for the beneficial reuse of excess soil at pits and quarries in Ontario

Published Date: 10 January 2022
Industry Sector: Mining & Minerals Industry

The Government of Ontario has announced its intention to change requirements related to importing soil for facilitating rehabilitation of land at authorized pits and quarries. According to the Ontario Government, the changes would notably include additional exceptions for existing and future approval holders authorized to import materials for rehabilitation purposes and their duties related to excess soil management for environmentally sensitive areas and acceptable soil quality for agricultural and other property use, requirements to keep written records “that are available on request that identify the source site, quality, quantity and placement location of excess soil received for reuse at the site,” requirements to retain a “Qualified Person” (if placing excess soil below the water table) to provide written confirmation that “suitable soil quality is received for reuse based on conditions at the site and the approved future land use in the rehabilitation plan,” and that a “Qualified Person” has overseen the final placement of excess soil, requirements to allow existing licence holders authorized to import fill to facilitate rehabilitation to add rules that “would enable approval holders to make specified changes to their site plan without the need for ministry review,” and remove “conditions relating to sampling, reporting and approval requirements that are not consistent with the new framework” under the Environmental Protection Act.

These changes would be implemented by amending the General Regulations under the Aggregate Resources Act.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments until 24 February 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Retention of proceeds from the sale of samples taken for the purpose of testing on leases, licences, and other mining lands

Published Date: 21 January 2022
Industry Sector: Mining & Minerals Industry

The Ontario Government has announced its intention to “set out the details of the process by which lessees, licencees and owners of mining lands could request that they be permitted to sell and retain the proceeds from materials extracted for the purposes of testing.” According to the Government, the changes would notably require the Government to “provide for aspects of the application process, including the nature of the application form, and the information required to support the Director [of Mine Rehabilitation (‘the Director’)]’s decision-making process,” (such as details on the location and nature of the activities proposed), have the Director “provide written direction with respect to consultation with Aboriginal communities, after receiving an application from the proponent,” and “prescribe aspects of the reporting process, including the nature of the reporting form, and the information required for the Director to ensure that the proponent pay to the Crown any amounts received by the proponent for the sale that exceed the eligible costs to the proponent.”

These changes would be implemented by amending the General Regulations under the Mining Act.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments until 20 February 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Quebec

Bill 14, An Act to ensure the protection of trainees in the workplace

Published Date: 2 December 2021
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The rules regulating the employment of trainees could soon change in Quebec to ensure trainees can benefit from certain employment rights, protections, and remedies. According to the Government of Quebec, the changes would notably grant trainees the right to be absent on certain statutory holidays and for sickness, family, or parental reasons, give trainees the “right to a training environment exempt from psychological harassment,” as well as “protection from reprisals taken against them by an employer, educational institution or professional order […] because of the exercise of a right,” and impose the obligation for employers “to take reasonable measures at their disposal to ensure that the success of the trainee’s studies or training or the trainee’s obtention of a permit required for the practice of a profession is not compromised because of the exercise of a right.”

These changes would be implemented by enacting An Act to ensure the protection of trainees in the workplace.

Additional information is available here.

Deposit system for certain containers

Published Date: 26 January 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Quebec has announced its intention to introduce rules for the development and implementation of a deposit system for certain containers. According to the government, the rules would provide that the types of containers on deposit would include: single-use metal, plastic, fibre, biobased, glass and other breakable material containers, and multiple-use containers made of glass or another material, require “certain persons to develop, implement and contribute financially to a deposit system for certain containers to allow them to be recovered and reclaimed,” establish the persons who are considered “producers” to which these rules will apply, contain specific terms and conditions for collecting and distributing containers and deposits, throughout the recovery process, contain specific terms and conditions for communicating recovery and reclamation rates for containers on deposit, specify deposit amounts for each type of container, include specific rules for “the collection of containers on deposit in an establishment offering consumption on the premises,” and establish “terms and conditions that apply to the transportation, sorting, conditioning and reclamation of containers on deposit.”

The change would be made by enacting the Regulation respecting the development, implementation and financial support of a deposit system for certain containers.

Interested parties may submit comments until 12 March 2022.

Additional information is available here.

United States

Federal

Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Electric Motors

Published date: 17 December 2021
Industry Sector: Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The United States Department of Energy is proposing changes to the scope of testing procedures for electric motors, “consistent with related industry changes for nomenclature and test procedure developments,” for air-over electric motors, submersible electric motors, electric motors with >500 horsepower, electric motors considered small, inverter-only electric motos, and synchronous electric motors. The changes would add test procedures, expand the scope of the rules to include additional electric motors, and incorporate by reference up-to-date industry standards. They would also revise rules concerning “certification testing and determination of represented values for electric motors other than dedicated-purpose pool pump motors, [and] apply these provisions to the additional electric motors proposed for inclusion in the scope of the test procedure.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 15 February 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Circulator Pumps

Published date: 20 December 2021
Industry Sector: Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to establish test procedures, sampling and rating requirements, and enforcement provisions for circulator pumps, as circulator pumps are not currently subject to DOE testing procedures or energy conservation standards. “Circulator pump” would be defined as “a pump that is either a wet rotor circulator pump; a dry toro, two-piece circulator pump; or a dry rotor, three-piece circulator pump [that] may be distributed in commerce with or without a volute.”

The proposed test procedure would include “methods to (1) measure the performance of the covered equipment and (2) use the measured results to calculate a circulator energy index (“CEI”) to represent the weighted average electric input power to the driver over a specified load profile, normalized with respect to a circulator pump serving the same hydraulic load that has a specified minimum performance level.” The proposed test method would include measurements of head, flow rate, and driver power input (all necessary to calculate CEI).

Interested parties may submit comments until 18 February 2022. DOE will also host a webinar on 2 February 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program: RFS Annual Rules

Published Date: 21 December 2021
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry, Chemicals Industry, Utilities & Communications Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is proposing changes to “the 2021 and 2022 statutory volume targets for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel [and] to establish the 2022 volume target for biomass-based diesel.” Changes to previously established “cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volume requirements for 2020,” are also proposed. It also sets out proposed 2020, 2021, and 2022 renewable fuel standards for the above-mentioned biofuel categories, and addresses “several regulatory changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program including regulations for the use of biointermediates to produce qualifying renewable fuel, flexibilities for regulated parties, and clarifications of existing regulations.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 4 February 2022.

Additional information is available here.

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Primary Copper Smelting Residual Risk and Technology Review and Primary Copper Smelting Area Source Technology Review

Published Date: 11 January 2022
Industry Sector: Mining & Minerals Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing new emissions standards in the major source National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Primary Copper Smelters. The change would also “remove exemptions for periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM) and specify that the emission standards apply at all times and require electronic reporting of performance test results and notification of compliance reports.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 25 February 2022.

Additional information is available here.

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