Proposed EHS regulatory changes – May 2022

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By: Sydney Sybydlo

This is a list of select proposed EHS regulatory changes in Canada, the United States, and the European Union. 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

European Union

Canada

Federal

Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2022

Published Date: 14 May 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to introduce new rules governing the manufacture, use, sale, and import of certain toxic substances. According to the government, the rules would:

  • prohibit the manufacture, use, sale and import of perfluorooctane sulfonate, its salts and its precursors (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid, its salts and its precursors (PFOA), long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids, their salts and their precursors (LC-PFCAs), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), Dechlorane plus (DP), and decabromodiphenylfootnote2 ethane (DBDPE), with certain exceptions;
  • “allow for permits to be issued for up to three years that would allow the continued manufacture and import of DP, DBDPE or HBCD, or products containing these substances” under certain conditions;
  • clarify the applicability of “clauses allowing the continued use and sale of products found in Canadian inventory”;
  • “exempt the transit through Canada of a manufactured item containing a prohibited toxic substance”;
  • remove various exemptions and add limitations to activities concerning PFOS, PFOA, LC-PFCAs, HBCD, and PBDEs and products containing these substances; and
  • introduce “concentration thresholds for [the above-listed] substances at or below which their presence would be considered incidental and the prohibition would not apply.”

The changes would be made by replacing the existing Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations with the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2022 and amending the Regulations Designating Regulatory Provisions for Purposes of Enforcement (Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999).

Interested parties may submit comments until 28 July 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act [Peary Caribou and 12 other species]

Published Date: 28 May 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to revise the list of species at risk in the country, “by adding nine species, by reclassifying three, and by changing the scientific name of one” which are predominantly found in British Columbia and Ontario. The changes would notably include:

  • adding three moss species and four vascular plant species to the list of endangered species;
  • adding the anthropod species, the American Bumble Bee ( Bombus pensylvanicus ) and Yellow Scarab Hunter Wasp ( Dielis pilipes ), to the list of special concern species;
  • reclassifying the Peary Caribou ( Rangifer tarandus pearyi ) from an endangered to a threatened species; and
  • reclassifying the Greater Short-horned Lizard ( Phrynosoma hernandesi ) from an endangered to a special concern species.

The changes would be made by amending Schedule 1 (List of Wildlife Species at Risk) to the Species at Risk Act.

Additional information is available here.

Alberta

Bill 22 – Electricity Statutes (Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity Grid) Amendment Act, 2022

Published Date: 5 May 2022
Industry Sector: Utilities & Communications Industry

The Government of Alberta has announced its intention to modernize its rules governing energy storage, sale, and transmission. These proposed changes apply to electricity producers and utilities. According to the Alberta government, the proposed changes would principally “(enable) energy storage, unlimited self-supply with export and help the distribution system plan for electric vehicles, renewable power sources and other distributed energy resources.”

Key proposed amendments would:

  • “include a formal definition for energy storage in Alberta’s legislative and regulatory framework”;
  • “allow distribution and transmission utilities to own and/or operate energy storage assets under specific conditions”;
  • “allow competitive models to be used to procure distribution and transmission services from market participants”;
  • “include a definition of self-supply with export and include exemptions to broadly enable market participants to choose self-supply and export”;
  • “ensure that self-supply with export facilities pay their fair share of system costs through the Alberta Electric System Operator’s tariff”; and
  • “(require) distribution companies to prepare system plans according to regulations.”

These changes would be implemented by amending the Hydro and Electric Energy Act and the Alberta Utilities Commission Act.

Additional information is available here and here.

British Columbia

2022 June Public Hearing on proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation

Published Date: 9 May 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces

The British Columbia Government has proposed changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) that would revise requirements covering occupational first aid for workplaces and equipment inspection for tower cranes. The proposed changes would notably align the OHSR with the first aid training and first aid kits framework in Canadian Standards Association Z1210-17 and Z1220-17, provide that a professional engineer (instead of a qualified person) must supervise the inspection of tower crane equipment when a crane is subject to contact with loads and structures, and require an employer to install zone-limiting devices in a tower crane (if practicable) to control its working limits and restrict its operation in a zone.

Interested parties may submit comments on the proposal until 24 June 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Consultation on changes to pesticide legislation

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

The British Columbia Government has proposed changes to the Integrated Pest Management Regulation that would add restrictions on the use and the sale of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs). According to the BC Government, the proposed changes notably “prohibit public and most commercial use of SGARs,” “restrict SGAR use to only those performing essential services (including agriculture),” “require adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), focusing on prevention and normalizing the use of alternative controls techniques,” “require implementation of an IPM plan for each site where SGARs are used,” “require IPM practitioners who plan on using SGARs to be certified,” “require a pesticide licence when SGARs are used,” “prohibit long-term baiting with SGARs and only allow short-term baiting as part of an IPM approach,” “prohibit use of SGARs within critical wildlife habitat,” and “restrict access of SGARs to authorized users through enhanced requirements for SGAR sale.”

Interested persons are invited to submit comments until 19 June 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

Bill 15 – Low Carbon Fuels Act

Published Date: 10 May 2022
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry

The British Columbia Government has announced its intention to replace the Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements) Act with a new Low Carbon Fuels Act. According to the BC Government, the changes would notably authorize “the provision of compliance credits for direct air-capture and permanent sequestration of greenhouse gases,” require “some utilities to direct a portion of their revenues from the sale of low-carbon fuel credits toward programs dedicated to increasing the use of low-carbon products,” enable “those who are not fuel suppliers to earn low-carbon fuel credits and engage in credit trading,” and broaden the scope of BC’s Low Carbon Fuel Standards to “include fuel supplied for aviation and marine use.”

Additional information is available here and here.

Proposed amendments to Schedule 2, Non-Traumatic Hearing Loss

Published Date: 25 May 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Office Spaces, Building Management & Maintenance

WorkSafeBC has announced its intention to review and revise rules concerning the determination of workers’ compensation rates for non-traumatic hearing loss “for workers who have developed hearing loss gradually over time as a result of exposure to occupational noise.” According to WorkSafeBC, the review will consider changes to:

  • “the frequencies used to measure hearing loss;
  • “the methods used to measure hearing loss;
  • “the ranges of hearing loss in decibels; and
  • “the percentages of total impairment for hearing loss.”

The changes would be enacted by amending the Workers Compensation Act.

Interested parties may submit comments here, via email, or mail until 19 August 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Quebec

Cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances—Amendment

Published Date: 4 May 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Quebec has announced its intention to “determine the rules for the allocation without charge of emission units for the period 2024-2030,” that, according to the government, notably apply to:

  • gradual reductions in the allocation without charge of emission units during the 2024-2030 period;
  • estimates of the parts of an allocation without charge that may be auctioned “to collect sums that can then be paid to the emitter, […] for the implementation of certain projects by the emitter” and the “use of such sums and the implementation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction projects and greenhouse gas research and development projects financed by such sums”;
  • the publication of information on sums collected by auctioning emission units and projects implemented using such sums;
  • “an increase in the allocation made without charge to certain establishments that become operational after 31 December 2022, compared to other establishments”; and
  • “the calculation of certain target intensities and the use of new reference units to calculate the allocation without charge.”

The government has also proposed changes “to the mechanism for registering voluntary participants in the system by allowing them to bring forward by two years […] the time when they become subject to the Regulation and eligible for the allocation of emission units without charge.” Other proposed changes include:

  • updates to the information that must be filed when an emitter or participant registers, updates information, and consequences for failing to file updates;
  • simplification of the process for closing the general or compliance account of emitters or participants, and the possibility of re-opening such accounts if required for compliance purposes;
  • permitting emitters who are no longer required to cover their emissions, under certain conditions, to cover their emissions for five years and “continue to benefit from the rights provided by the system”; and
  • “monetary administrative penalties for failutres to comply and penal senctions for offences.”

These changes would be made by amending the Regulation respecting a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances.

Interested parties may submit comments until 18 June 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Charges to promote the treatment and reclamation of excavated contaminated soils

Published Date: 11 May 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Quebec has announced its intention to introduce new charges for the management of contaminated soils. According to the government, new rules would provide that “charges are payable for soils transported from their site of origin by the owner of the soils or, if the soils are excavated during work on a linear infrastructure, by the project owner, or if the soils are excavated following the accidental release of hazardous materials, by the person responsible for the release, and in certain cases, if soils are transported from a receiving site, by the site manager.”

The charges would be implemented by enacting the Regulation respecting charges to promote the treatment and reclamation of excavated contaminated soils.

Interested parties may submit comments until 25 June 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Yukon

Modernizing Yukon park regulations

Published Date: 3 May 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The Government of Yukon has announced its intention to modernize parks regulations in the territory. The proposed changes would apply to activities in recreation parks, natural environment parks, wilderness preserves, and ecological reserves. The proposed changes would notably clarify conditions for bringing domestic animals, add provisions related to vehicles operations, clarify area-specific rules, specify permit requirements for carrying out certain activities such as using drones, the landing of aircraft, commercial activities, special events, scientific research and collection, add prohibitions related to contaminating water, feeding wildlife, disposing of garbage, having a fire, camping, releasing non-native species, having explosives, fires, and disturbance of natural resources, and add rules for campgrounds and recreation sites.

Interested persons are invited to complete a survey until 4 July 2022.

Additional information is available here and here.

United States

Federal

Asbestos; Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

Published Date: 6 May 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing new reporting and recordkeeping requirements for specific forms of asbestos. The rules would require certain manufacturers and processors of asbestos and asbestos-containing articles to electronically report certain exposure-related information in a one-time reporting obligation. EPA is specifically requesting information including “quantities of asbestos (including asbestos that is a component of a mixture) and asbestos-containing article that were manufactured (including imported) or processed, types of use, and employee data” to inform future regulatory action “including risk evaluation and risk management activities.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 5 July 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf—High Pressure High Temperature and Subpart B Revisions

Published Date: 16 May 2022
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry, Mining & Minerals Industry

The United States Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has proposed the addition of requirements “for new and unusual technology” (“equipment or procedures that have not been used previously or extensively under the anticipated operating conditions, or that have not been used previously in a particular PSEE Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region, or that have operating characteristics outside the performance parameters established in 30 CFR part 250“) used in oil and gas and sulfur operations.

The proposed changes would notably “require submission of information in a sequence that provides both operators and BSEE the ability to evaluate whether a new or unusual technology project is economically and operationally feasible; add specific equipment requirements, particularly for barriers, through new regulations and incorporation of industry standards; […] require Independent Third Party (I3P) review of operator submissions, in certain cases, or provide BSEE with the ability to require I3P review, to ensure project viability and safety,” revise Deepwater Operations Plans (DWOP) processes “to establish three stand-alone conceptual plans to address deepwater development projects, subsea tieback development technology, and new or unusual technology” and establish which projects and systems require such plans, and incorporate BSEE’s Barrier Concept to define the types of equipment considered “barriers”, how they must be used, and to ensure projects include sufficient barriers.

Interested parties may submit comments until 15 July 2022.

Additional information is available here.

European Union

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council amending Directive (EU) 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings and Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency

Published Date: 18 May 2022
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry, Utilities & Communications Industry

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have proposed changes to the Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (Text with EEA relevance) that would facilitate renewable energy production projects.

According to the Commission, the proposed changes would notably define “renewables go-to area” for the installation of plants for the production of energy from renewable sources, other than biomass combustion plants, extend the scope of the permit-granting process by clarifying the start of the permit-granting process for renewable energy projects, covering all relevant permits to build, repower and operate plants, and for their grid connection, and set out requirements for buildings to ensure they are solar ready and the relevant rules respecting the solar energy installations on buildings.

Additional information is available here.

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) 2021/241 as regards REPowerEU chapters in recovery and resilience plans and amending Regulation (EU) 2021/1060 , Regulation (EU) 2021/2115, Directive 2003/87/EC and Decision (EU) 2015/1814

Published Date: 18 May 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have proposed changes to the Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC.

According to the document, the amendment would notably introduce changes to the system for greenhouse gas emission allowance by establishing modalities for the auctioning of allowances released from the Market Stability Reserve and the allowances destined for the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

Additional information is available here.

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