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

Bill S-243 – Enacting Climate Commitments Act

Published Date: 24 March 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Finance & Insurance Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to introduce rules establishing climate commitments and obligations of various entities throughout the country, with additional requirements for financial entities. According to the government, the rules would “align the activities of reporting entities with the public interest objective of achieving climate commitments.” These rules would establish baseline requirements for entities to comply with their climate commitments, clarify entities’ responsibility relative to the global carbon budget, and require “the development of action plans, targets and progress reports for entities in respect of climate commitments through reporting requirements.”

The changes would be made by enacting the Climate-Aligned Finance Act and amending various existing Acts, including the Financial Administration Act.

Additional information is available here.

Ontario

Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act (TSSEA) Regulations

Published Date: 2 March 2022
Industry Sector: Road Transportation Industry

The Government of Ontario has announced its intention to modify requirements for tow operators, tow truck drivers, and storage operators. According to the Ontario Government, the changes would notably require the maintenance of general records and documents (e.g. insurance papers, lease agreements, consent forms, damage records, inspection and maintenance logs, customer complaints), require regular vehicle inspections and associated recordkeeping, require tow operators to carry the prescribed safety equipment (e.g. flares, cones) in the vehicle, and revise “certificate requirements and the process to obtain and maintain a certificate (e.g., requiring background checks, driver training).”

These changes would be implemented by amending the Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, 2021 and the Highway Traffic Act.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments by 1 April 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

Implementation Pause of Excess Soil Requirements in Effect January 1, 2022

Published Date: 11 March 2022
Industry Sector: Construction Industry

The Government of Ontario has announced its intention to delay the implementation of regulations for the management of excess soil. According to the Ontario Government, the changes would notably “pause the implementation of provisions that came into effect on January 1, 2022 until January 1, 2023.” These provisions include requirements associated with “the excess soil registry and filing a notice in the registry, completion of an assessment of past uses, completion of a sampling and analysis plan and soil characterization report, completion of an excess soil destination assessment report, implementation of a tracking system related to the movement of excess soil, […] large reuse site registration and requirements for procedures to assess the quality of the soil being received and ensure proper placement of soil, […and] the registration requirements for residential development soil depots.”

These changes would be implemented by amending the On-Site and Excess Soil Management Regulation.

Interested parties may submit comments until 10 April 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Bill 88, Working for Workers Act, 2022

Published Date: 21 March 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces

The Government of Ontario has announced its intention to adopt new rules to establish workers’ rights for persons who perform digital platform work and to modify requirements to deliver better protections and opportunities for workers. According to the Ontario government, the changes would notably “establish foundational rights and protections for digital platform workers who provide ride-share, delivery, or courier services,” establish requirements with respect to the electronic monitoring of employees, and “reduce the risk of death caused by opioid overdoses in workplaces by requiring employers to provide a naloxone kit in workplaces where overdoses are a potential hazard.”

These changes would be implemented by enacting the Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022, and by amending the Employment Standard Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Additional information is available here and here.

Manitoba

Bill 9 – The Scrap Metal Act

Published Date: 10 March 2022
Industry Sector: Construction Industry, Utilities & Communications Industry

The Government of Manitoba has announced its intention to adopt new rules regarding the selling and purchasing of scrap metal to reduce theft and to protect property and public safety. According to the Manitoba government, the new rules would notably require “scrap metal dealers to record identifying information about scrap metal sellers and details about metal sales transactions,” and require “dealers to report information about legislated items that are highly vulnerable to law enforcement and to hold this information for two years for law enforcement purposes.”

These requirements would be implemented by enacting The Scrap Metal Act.

Additional information is available here and here.

Quebec

Occupational health and safety—Amendment

Published Date: 9 March 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of Quebec has announced its intention to “harmonize its safety requirements with updated requirements of Canadian and international standards” for occupational health and safety rules concerning the protection of employees whose work involves the design, manufacture, modification, use, maintenance and repair of machines.

The changes would be made by amending An Act respecting Occupational Health and Safety.

Interested parties may submit comments until 23 April 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Occupational health and safety—Amendment

Published Date: 9 March 2022
Industry Sector: Utilities & Communications Industry

The Government of Quebec has announced its intention to introduce occupational health and safety rules for arboriculture work. The new rules would include mandatory safety precautions, rules for the designation of the working area, and rescue procedures, require the use of specific personal protective equipment that is compliant with various industry standards for works in general, works with certain equipment, and works in certain hazardous work areas, establish requirements for the use of full-body harnesses and their anchorage, and include specific requirements for work to be undertaken near a power line.

The rules would be made by amending An Act respecting Occupational Health and Safety.

Interested parties may submit comments until 23 April 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Safety Code for the construction industry—Amendment

Published Date: 9 March 2022
Industry Sector: Construction Industry

The Government of Quebec has announced its intention to introduce occupational health and safety rules for “the protection of construction workers when work that is liable to produce crystalline silica dust emissions is carried out.” According to the government, the rules would establish “a list of materials that are presumed to contain crystalline silica and [establish] the method to reverse that presumption,” provide control measures, terms, and conditions concerning the use of protective respiratory equipment when conducting work involving crystalline silica, specify “terms and conditions concerning training, the delimitation of the work area, the cleaning of clothes, premises and equipment, and the management of the debris of materials presumed to contain crystalline silica,” require all persons entering a construction site as of a certain date to complete a course on health and safety on construction sites, and correct “the required minimum dimensions of planking for lumber scaffolding platforms.”

The rules would be made by amending the Safety Code for the construction industry.

Interested parties may submit comments until 23 April 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Saskatchewan

Tackling Red Tape in Saskatchewan – Environmentally Impacted Sites Code Chapters

Published Date: 28 March 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Saskatchewan is reviewing the environmentally impacted sites chapters of The Environmental Management and Protection (Saskatchewan Environmental Code Adoption) Regulations and is seeking feedback on ways to reduce red tape and regulatory barriers for businesses.

Interested parties are invited to complete a survey here.

United States

Federal

Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs: Addition of Oral Fluid Specimen Testing for Drugs

Published Date: 28 February 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States Department of Transportation has proposed changes to employee drug testing program procedures for the transportation industry. The changes would include oral fluid testing to existing urine drug testing procedures for safety-sensitive transportation employees and “clarify certain Part 40 provisions that cover urine drug testing procedures.” Safety-sensitive transportation employees include employees who are responsible for both their safety and the safety of the public, such as train operators, pipeline operators, and trucking employees.

Interested parties may submit comments until 29 April 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

Regulatory Improvements for Production and Utilization Facilities Transitioning to Decommissioning

Published Date: 3 March 2022
Industry Sector: Utilities & Communications Industry

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has proposed changes to rules concerning the decommissioning of nuclear production and utilization facilities. According to the NRC, the changes would:

  • offer “an alternative, graded approach to the current requirements for onsite and offsite radiological emergency preparedness at a nuclear power reactor”;
  • make various changes to rules concerning physical safety, including to “(1) permit a certified fuel handler (CFH) to approve the temporary suspension of security measures during certain emergency conditions or during extreme weather, (2) remove the requirement that a licensee’s physical protection program be designed to prevent significant core damage, (3) remove the requirement that a licensee must designate the reactor control room as a “vital area,” and (4) replace the requirement for maintaining continuous communications between the alarm stations and the control room with a requirement for maintaining communications between alarm stations and the CFH or senior on shift licensee representative, or both”;
  • “provide that cyber security requirements […] continue to apply to a nuclear power reactor after the licensee’s permanent cessation of operations”;
  • “correct inconsistencies in the NRC’s regulations for fitness-for-duty (FFD) programs and clarify provisions regarding a nuclear power reactor licensee’s insider mitigation program (IMP)”;
  • add an alternative definition of CFH “that would eliminate the need for nuclear power reactor licensees to seek the [NRC’s] approval of a fuel handler training program”;
  • modify reporting frequency and financial assurance requirements to align with industry standards;
  • “allow certain nuclear power reactor licensees in decommissioning to reduce the insurance amounts that they are required to maintain without holding exemptions from the NRC’s regulations”;
  • “clarify that licensees must evaluate the environmental impacts of decommissioning and whether they are bounded by previous environmental reviews”;
  • “remove certain record retention requirements for structures, systems, and components (SSCs) that no longer remain in service during decommissioning”;
  • “allow a 45-day window for notification of receipt of shipments of low-level radioactive waste”;
  • “clarify requirements that the decommissioning documents contain information on spent fuel management planning”;
  • clarify how certain requirements apply to nuclear power reactor licensees in decommissioning;
  • “specify the criteria for when a facility is no longer a production or utilization facility and that the foreign ownership, control, or domination (FOCD) prohibition […] no longer applies to a person seeking a license for such a facility”;
  • clarify that the licence termination plan requirement only applies to nuclear power reactor licensees that have loaded fuel into the reactor;
  • remove certain licence conditions and orders that have been made redundant; and
  • align regulatory applicabilities for combined licence holders and operating license holders.

Interested parties may submit comments until 17 May 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Northern Long-Eared Bat

Published Date: 23 March 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) has announced its intention to reclassify the northern long-eared bat ( Myotis septentrionalis ), a bat species found across much of the United States and Canada, from a threatened species to an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Other governmental agencies, Native American Tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested party are invited to submit comments until 23 May 2022. The Service has provided a list of topics on which they are seeking comments here.

Additional information is available here and here.

Clean Water Act Hazardous Substance Worst Case Discharge Planning Regulations

Published Date: 28 March 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed additional requirements for Facility Response Plans (FRPs) for “facilities that, because of their location, could reasonably be expected to cause substantial harm to the environment by discharging into or on the navigable waters, adjoining shorelines, or exclusive economic zone.” The changes would require facilities to develop FRPs for worst case discharges of substances declared hazardous under the Clean Water Act (CWA). According to the EPA, the most commonly discharged CWA hazardous substances are Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs).

Interested parties may submit comments until 27 May 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

Control of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards

Published Date: 28 March 2022
Industry Sector: Hardware Manufacturing Industry, Road Transportation Industry, Utilities & Communications Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed rules to “reduce air pollution from highway heavy-duty vehicles and engines, including ozone, particulate matter, and greenhouse gases.” According to the EPA, the changes would update the heavy-duty emission control program requirements (including standards, test procedures, useful life, and warranty) “to further reduce the air quality impacts of heavy-duty engines across a range of operating conditions and over a longer period of the operational life of heavy-duty engines.” They would also “make targeted updates to the existing Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas Emissions Phase 2 program,” and revise regulations that implement air pollutant emission standards for other vehicle sectors.

Interested parties may submit comments until 13 May 2022.

Additional information is available here.

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