Proposed EHS regulatory changes from Canada and the United States – April 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 of intent to amend Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2016 to update energy efficiency and testing standards of refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers and clothes dryers

Published Date: 2 April 2022
Industry Sector: Hardware Manufacturing Industry

Natural Resources Canada has announced its intent to revise energy efficiency and testing standards for five types of major home appliances: refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers and clothes dryers. The revisions would align with revised energy efficiency requirements proposed by the United States Department of Energy.

The changes would be made by amending the Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2016.

Additional information is available here.

Regulations Amending the Pest Control Products Regulations (Applications and Imports)

Published Date: 2 April 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to update rules concerning the management of pest control products. According to the government, the changes would require registrants and applicants of pest control products that are not microbial agents “to keep records pertaining to all manufacturing sites not provided,” for five years, “remove the requirement for registrants and applicants to provide the names and address of formulant suppliers on an application to register or amend the registration of a pest control product,” and instead require them to retain records with such information for five years, “allow a maximum vailidity for emergency [product] registrations of up to three years, rather than up to one year,” clarify that pest control products containing only active ingredients and no formulants fit the definition of “pest control product”, “prescribe electronic document delivery as acceptable” for communications between regulated parties and Health Canada, explicitly define and prescribe “treated article” as a pest control product, and provide that such an article may be authorized under the Regulations under certain conditions, “exempt antimicrobials used for preservation from the application of the [Pest Control Products Act], when those antimicrobials are used in treated articles regulated under any of the Food and Drugs Act, Feeds Act or Fertilizers Act,” and “align Health Canada’s pest control product import declaration requirements with the information already collected at the border by the [Canada Border Services Agency].”

The changes would be made by amending the Pest Control Products Regulations.

Interested parties may submit comments until 11 June 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act

Published Date: 9 April 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to add the Thousand Islands National Park in Ontario to the list of official National Parks. 80 parcels of land totalling approximately 9.3 square kilometres would be designated as areas within which rules governing national parks apply.

The changes would be made by amending Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act.

Interested parties may submit comments until 9 May 2022.

Additional information is available here.

British Columbia

Public Interest Bonding Strategy

Published Date: 13 April 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of British Columbia is seeking comments on financial assurance mechanisms for environmental clean-ups and reclamations.

According to the BC Government, the Public Interest Bonding Strategy would ensure that owners of industrial projects are held accountable to pay the full costs of environmental clean-up and reclamation, even if projects are abandoned. The corresponding discussion paper notably highlights the following preliminary considerations: providing tools to support consistent closure and decommissioning requirements for industrial projects and opportunities for improvement, and provide opportunities to clarify the purpose and use of financial assurance; providing tools to establish legal responsibility for recovering funds spent by the Province in fulfilling environmental clean-up and reclamation obligations and options for requiring environmental clean-up and reclamation of the entire industrial site; and identifying and prioritizing industries and projects with the highest potential risks of insolvency, abandonment of a site, or environmental clean-up costs.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments by 28 May 2022.

Additional information is available here, here, and here.

Hazardous work protections for youth

Published Date: 21 April 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of British Columbia is seeking comments on whether young workers under the age of 19 should be restricted from certain types of hazardous work.

According to the BC Government, industries within construction, forestry, food processing, oil/gas and power, asbestos abatement, and others have been considered for BC’s hazardous work regulation for young people. The Government additionally states that “if a type of work is identified as hazardous and included in the regulation, an employer would not be permitted to employ a person younger than the minimum age (16, 17, 18 or 19) specified for that job.”

Interested persons are invited to complete a survey here until 10 June 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

Nova Scotia

Bill 145 – Electricity Act (amended)

Published Date: 12 April 2022
Industry Sector: Utilities & Communications Industry

The Government of Nova Scotia has announced its intention to allow homeowners and businesses to generate their own renewable energy, such as with solar panels.

According to the Nova Scotia Government, the changes would notably allow customers to install “a renewable low-impact generator or energy storage device with a total nameplate capacity of 27 kilowatts or less,” guarantee ratepayers the “right to bring the energy portion of their electricity bill to $0 annually if they are able to generate enough power from renewable sources like solar panels,” and simplify the Province’s Green Choice Program and “offer more opportunities for large-scale consumers to use renewable energy.”

These changes would be implemented by amending the Electricity Act.

Additional information is available here and here.

United States

Federal

Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Published Date: 30 March 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed changes to rules concerning occupational injury and illness recordkeeping. The changes would require employers in establishments with 100 or more employees in certain industries to electronically submit injury and illness information to OSHA annually. Existing electronic reporting requirements for establishments with 20 or more employees would continue. Establishments with 250 or more employees that are not in a designated industry would no longer be required to electronically submit certain information annually to OSHA.

The changes would also “update the classification system used to determine the list of industries covered by the electronic submission requirement” to conform with the 2017 version of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Interested parties may submit comments until 31 May 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Integrating e-Manifest With Hazardous Waste Exports and Other Manifest-Related Reports, PCB Manifest Amendments and Technical Corrections

Published Date: 1 April 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed changes to electronic manifest (e-Manifest) rules “for shipments of hazardous waste that are exported for treatment, storage, and disposal.” Changes to hazardous waste export and import shipment information requirements would “more closely link the manifest data with the international movement document data,” and changes to three manifest-related reports (discrepancy, exception, and unmanifested waste reports) are also proposed. EPA is also seeking feedback on “how the Agency can begin to integrate biennial reporting requirements with e-Manifest data” and “changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) manifest refulations for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) wastes.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 31 May 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022

Published Date: 31 March 2022
Industry Sector: Water Transportation Industry

The United States government has proposed updates to rules governing ocean shipping. According to the government, the changes would “increase the authority of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)” with respect to the administration of detention and demurrage charges (i.e., late fees), and prohibit “common ocean carriers, marine terminal operators, or ocean transportation intermediaries from unreasonably refusing cargo space when available or resorting to other unfair or unjustly discriminatory methods.” Operators would also be required to periodically report the total import/export tonnage and empty 20-foot equivalent units per vessel.

Additional information is available here and here.

The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors

Published Date: 11 April 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Financial & Insurance Industry

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission is requesting feedback on proposed changes that would “require registrants [issuers of securities] for which a registration statement is filed to provide certain climate-related information in their registration statements and annual reports, including certain information about climate-related financial risks and climate-related financial metrics in their financial statements” as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emission metrics, and climate-related opportunities. The proposed changes would also “include an attestation requirement for accelerated filers and large accelerated filers regarding certain proposed GHG emissions metrics disclosures” and a requirement that “certain climate-related financial statement metrics and related disclosure [be] included in a note to a registrant’s audited financial statements.”

The climate-related information that would be required to be disclosed includes oversight and governance of climate risks, real or potential impacts of climate-related risks on the registrant’s business and strategy, the registrant’s processes for identifying and managing climate-related risks, impacts of climate-related events and transition activities on the registrant’s consolidated financial statements, GHG emission metrics expressed in disaggregated constituent greenhouse gases and in the aggregate, and in absolute and intensity terms, and the registrant’s climate-related targets or goals, and transition plan if such information exists.

Interested parties may submit comments until 20 May 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos; Regulation of Certain Conditions of Use Under Section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

Published Date: 12 April 2022
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry, Hardware Manufacturing Industry, Chemicals Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has proposed rules to regulate the use of chrysotile asbestos. The rules would “prohibit [the] manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in commerce and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos for chrysotile asbestos diaphragms for use in the chlor-alkali industry, chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets used in chemical production, chrysotile asbestos-containing brake blocks used in the oil industry, aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings, other chrysotile asbestos-containing vehicle friction products, and other chrysotile asbestos-containing gaskets,” and “manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings for consumer use, and other chrysotile asbestos-containing gaskets for consumer use.” The rules would also establish disposal and recordkeeping requirements.

Interested parties may submit comments until 13 June 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Safety Glazing Standards; Codifying Existing Waivers and Adding Test Flexibility

Published Date: 18 April 2022
Industry Sector: Rail Transportation Industry

The United States Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has proposed changes to its Safety Glazing Standards for exterior windows on railroad equipment. According to the FRA, the changes would revise the scope of the rules “to exclude locomotives, cabooses, and passenger cars built or rebuilt prior to July 1, 1980, that are operated at speeds not exceeding 30 mph, and used only where there is low risk of propelled or fouling objects striking the equipment.” The changes would also “provide the option to use a 12-lb steel ball as an alternative to a 24-lb cinder block for large object impact testing when certifying glazing,” adjust the width of the witness plate for large object impact testing, and revise the number of test specimens necessary for large object impact testing.

Interested parties may submit comments until 17 June 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Canola Oil Pathways to Renewable Diesel, Jet Fuel, Naphtha, Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Heating Oil

Published Date: 18 April 2022
Industry Sector: Agriculture Industry, Oil & Gas Industry, Chemicals Industry, Utilities & Communications Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting feedback “on a proposed analysis of the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with certain biofuels that are produced from canola/rapeseed oil.” The analysis evaluated renewable diesel, jet fuel, naphtha, liquid petroleum gas, and heating oil produced from canola oil via a hydrotreating process, and EPA proposes to find that these products meet the required 50% GHG reduction threshold for advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel.

If approved, these fuel pathways would be “eligible to generate Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs)” (“credits used for compliance“, or the ‘currency’ of the Renewable Fuel Standards program) in 40 CFR 80 Subpart M Renewable Fuel Standard.

Interested parties may submit comments until 18 May 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Certain Commercial and Industrial Equipment; Small Electric Motors

Published Date: 20 April 2022
Industry Sector: Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is requesting data and information to assist their evaluation of “whether amended energy conservation standards [for small electric motors (SEMs)] would result in significant savings of energy; be technologically feasible; and be economically justified.” DOE is specifically interested in comments, information, and data on: “(1) The distribution of shipments across applications and sectors by equipment class or by motor topology and horsepower; (2) typical operating hours by application and sector; (3) typical motor load by application and sector; and (4) typical load profiles,” “the appropriate efficiency distribution in the no-new standards case for SEMs by equipment class group and horsepower range,” and the most recently-available annual sales data for SEMs by equipment class, and “the rate at which annual sales ( i.e., number of shipments) of SEMs is expected to change in the next 5-10 years.”

Interested parties may submit comments and information until 20 May 2022.

Additional information is available here.

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