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

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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

Federal

Notice with respect to the availability of environmental occurrences notification agreements

Published Date: 28 January 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to enter into environmental occurrences notification agreements with the governments of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. According to the government, “the purpose of these notification agreements is to establish a streamlined notification system and reduce duplication of effort for persons required to notify federal and provincial/territorial governments of an environmental emergency or environmental occurrences, such as an oil or chemical release.” The agreements would allow provincial authorities to receive and transfer emergency or occurrence notifications to the relevant federal authorities.

Interested parties may submit comments or notices of objection until 29 March 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Notice of intent for the implementation of enhanced train control in Canada

Published Date: 5 February 2022
Industry Sector: Rail Transportation Industry

Transport Canada has announced its intention to implement a policy direction to implement enhanced train control (ETC) technologies to add a layer of safety to Canada’s rail operations. According to the government, “ETC technologies act as a driver assist mechanism,” and “the core objectives of ETC systems will be to prevent train-to-train collisions; derailments caused by excessive train speed; unauthorized entry of a train into a work zone; and train movement through a misaligned track switch leading a train to be on the wrong track.” As part of the policy direction, Transport Canada “may require railway companies to develop and adhere to new and/or amended rules respecting safe railway operations to help ensure that railway signals are consistently recognized and followed.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 30 April 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Bill C-234 – An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act

Published Date: 7 February 2022
Industry Sector: Agricultural Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to revise carbon pricing rules for the agricultural industry. According to the government, properties used for heating or cooling a building or structure, including those used for raising or sheltering livestock, industrial machines, stationary and portable engines, and grain dryers would be considered as “eligible farming machinery” that are eligible for an exemption certificate. Marketable natural gas and propane would be considered as “qualifying farming fuel” for which certain charges would not apply.

The changes would be made by amending the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.

Additional information is available here.

Bill S-5 – Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act

Published Date: 9 February 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to revise rules concerning hazardous and potentially hazardous materials to protect the environment. According to the government, the rules will provide that substances may be deleted from the Domestic Substances List when they are no longer in commerce in Canada, allow any person to request a ministerial review of substances for whether they are toxic or capable of becoming toxic, require Ministers, in determining substances’ toxicity, to consider vulnerable populations and cumulative effects of the substances, permit the management of risks associated with certain toxic substances by preventive or control actions, “expand certain regulation-making, information-gathering and pollution prevention powers […] including by adding a reference to products that may release substances into the environment,” and prohibit certain activities concerning drugs unless an assessment of the risks to the environment by substances present in that drug has been conducted by the Minister of Health.

The rules would be implemented by amending the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the Food and Drugs Act.

Additional information is available here.

Public consultation process for the development of recycled content for certain plastic manufactured items regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

Published Date: 12 February 2022
Industry Sector: Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to introduce rules requiring a minimum recycled content in certain plastic manufactured items. According to the government, the rules would “establish recycled content requirements on the basis of product application (for example, beverages) and format (for example, rigid containers),” taking into consideration products’ differing technical readiness, apply to packaging, including “bottles, rigid, flexible, and foam containers, film (for example, shrink wrap), and others,” as well as “durable items like waste bins” and exclude “primary (direct contact) food packaging” and certain other products from their application.

Interested parties may submit comments until 14 March 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

Administrative Monetary Penalties (Canada Marine Act) Regulations

Published Date: 19 February 2022
Industry Sector: Water Transportation Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to establish an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) regime for the movement and operation of marine vessels within Canada “that includes warnings, AMPs, and prosecutions.” According to the government, the rules would introduce AMPs for violations of the following documents: Canada Marine Act (“CMA”), Port Authorities Operations Regulations, Natural and Man-made Harbour Navigation and Use Regulations, Public Ports and Public Port Facilities Regulations, and Seaway Property Regulations.

The AMP regime “would include flexible penalty amounts” for violations rated as minor, serious, or very serious. “Penalties for very serious violations could reach the maximum fines allowed by the CMA,” and total penalties would “vary depending on the severity level attached to the violation and aggravating or mitigating factors.” Certain violations would be penalized per day of non-compliance.

The regime would be introduced by enacting the Administrative Monetary Penalties (Canada Marine Act) Regulations.

Interested parties may submit comments until 20 April 2022.

Additional information is available here.

British Columbia

Proposed policy amendments regarding permanent psychological disability benefits

Published Date: 27 January 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces

The British Columbia Government has announced its intention to include permanent psychological impairment to workers’ permanent disability benefits, and modify WorkSafeBC’s policy in referring claims to the Psychological Disability Committee (PDC) in assessing worker’s percentage of disability resulting from the psychological impairment. According to WorkSafeBC, the changes to their policy would notably provide Long Term Disability Services “with flexibility to implement operational improvements to the assessment of permanent psychological disability benefits in a timely manner,” and address stakeholder concerns “regarding the PDC’s ability to provide an appropriate psychological impairment rating and supported removal of the PDC from policy.”

Interested persons are invited to submit comments until 7 March 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

Bill 3 – Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act, 2022

Published Date: 14 February 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of British Columbia has announced its intention to expand the parks and protected areas system to strengthen wildlife protection and ecosystem conservation. According to the BC Government, the changes would notably add new land to 8 parks and conservancies (for a total of 323 hectares), add 27 hectares of lake foreshore to 4 parks to protect lake values, modify or correct boundaries of certain protected areas, and improve boundary descriptions of certain parks.

These changes would be implemented by amending the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act (SBC2000,c17).

Additional information is available here and here.

Bill 4 – Skilled Trades BC Act

Published Date: 17 February 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of British Columbia has announced its intention to create new requirements for people working in a skilled trades certification trade. According to the BC Government, these new rules would notably require people to register as an apprentice or be a certified journeyperson to work in a mechanical, electrical, or automotive skilled trade. The skilled trades include:

    • mechanical: gasfitter Class A and B, steamfitter/pipefitter, refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanic, and sheet metal worker;
    • electrical: powerline technician, industrial electrician and electrician (construction); and
    • automotive: heavy-duty equipment technician, automotive service technician; and autobody and collision technician.

These changes would be implemented by enacting the Skilled Trades BC Act.

Additional information is available here and here.

Bill 5 – Workers Compensation Amendment Act, 2022

Published Date: 17 February 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of British Columbia has announced its intention to strengthen existing requirements for people working with asbestos. According to the BC Government, these changes would notably “require asbestos abatement contractors [to] be licensed to operate in B.C. and will require workers and employers who perform this work to complete mandatory safety training and certification.”

These changes would be implemented by amending the Workers Compensation Act.

Additional information is available here and here.

Ontario

Amendment to Ontario Regulation 315/07 under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006 to create a conservation reserve along the south shore of Prince Edward County

Published Date: 26 January 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of Ontario has announced its intention to create a conservation reserve along the south shore of Prince Edward County. According to the Ontario Government, the new conservation reserve would include the existing “Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area, including Charwell Point,” the “Ostrander Point Crown Land Block,” and “the adjacent bed of Lake Ontario, generally to a distance of 30 [meters] from the shoreline, except at Charwell Point where the distance is extended to 200 m.”

This change would be implemented by amending the Designation of Conservation Reserves Regulation.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments by 12 March 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Proposed Changes for the Next Edition of Ontario’s Building Code (Winter Consultation)

Published Date: 27 January 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of Ontario is seeking comments on proposed changes to the next edition of the Building Code.

According to the Ontario Government, the changes would notably “update requirements and increase harmonization between Ontario’s Building Code and National Construction Codes.” This phase of consultations will focus on farm buildings, encapsulated mass timber construction, earthquake and structural design, accessibility, energy efficiency, fire safety and fire protection systems, safety glazing, plumbing, home-type care occupancies, and others such as stairs, ramps, handrail, guide design, use and egress, Insulated Concrete Forms, and corrosion-resistant ties.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments by 13 March 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Firefighter Certification

Published Date: 28 January 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Public Administration & Institutions

The Government of Ontario is seeking comments on a new regulation that “would establish mandatory minimum certification standards for specific fire protection services.” According to the Ministry of the Solicitor General, the changes would notably “require municipalities and territories without municipal organization to meet the certification standard that aligns with their level of fire protection service, include minimum certification requirements for identified fire protection services, based on specific job performance requirements from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) professional qualification standards, require certification to full NFPA standards (rather than only specific job performance requirements) for certain fire protection services, prevent the need for recertification of firefighters, if the requirements for obtaining a certification standard are subsequently updated or changed, [and] provide a time-limited legacy opportunity for fire departments to apply for a letter of compliance based on previously completed training and existing skills and knowledge for existing firefighters.”

These changes would be implemented by creating a new regulation under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments by 28 February 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Quebec

Bill 21, An Act mainly to end petroleum exploration and production and the public financing of those activities

Published Date: 2 February 2022
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry

The Government of Quebec has proposed rules to end the “exploration for petroleum and underground reservoirs and production of petroleum and brine.” Existing petroleum exploration and production licences and authorizations to produce brine would be revoked, and holders of revoked licences would be required “to permanently close wells and restore sites” following certain conditions, with exceptions for wells “for which the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources may authorize pilot projects for the purpose of acquiring geoscience knowledge.”

Related changes to the Petroleum Resources Act would “limit its scope to natural gas storage and natural gas and oil pipelines.”

The changes would be made by enacting An Act mainly to end petroleum exploration and production and the public financing of those activities, which makes consequential amendments to documents including the Natural Heritage Conservation Act, An Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife, the Environmental Quality Act, and An Act respecting the Land regime in the James Bay and New Québec territories.

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

Powered Industrial Trucks Design Standard Update

Published Date: 16 February 2022
Industry Sector: Road Transportation Industry, Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration is proposing changes to design and construction requirements of powered industrial trucks standards for general industry and construction. According to the government, the changes would incorporate by reference “applicable provisions of the most relevant national consensus standards from the American National Standards Institute/Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ANSI/ITSDF).” Changes would also include the addition of alternative compliance methods for trucks not manufactured following these consensus standards and the alignment of “specific design requirements for overhead guards with the general design and construction requirements in the proposed rule.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 17 May 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Review of Standards of Performance for Lead Acid Battery Manufacturing Plants and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Lead Acid Battery Manufacturing Area Sources Technology Review

Published Date: 23 February 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing changes to New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for lead-acid battery manufacturing plants. The changes would include “revised lead (Pb) emission limits for grid casting, paste mixing, and lead reclamation operations for both the area source [National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)] (for new and existing sources) and under a new NSPS subpart (for lead acid battery facilities that begin construction, reconstruction or modification after February 23, 2022).”

EPA is also proposing to require performance testing once every five years “to demonstrate compliance; work practices to minimize emissions of fugitive lead dust; increased inspection frequency of fabric filters; bag leak detection systems for facilities above a certain size; clarification of activities that are considered to be lead reclamation activities; electronic reporting of performance test results and semiannual compliance reports; and the removal of exemptions for periods of start-up, shut down, and malfunctions.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 25 April 2022.

Additional information is available here.

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