Proposed EHS regulatory changes – June 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

Bill C-287 – An Act to amend the Pest Control Products Act (glyphosate)

Published Date: 16 June 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The Government of Canada has announced its intent to prohibit the manufacture, possession, handling, storage, transportation, import, distribution, and use of glyphosate as a pest control product. According to Health Canada, “[g]lyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in Canada and [is] used to control weeds including invasive weeds, and toxic plants such as poison ivy”.

The change would be made by amending the Pest Control Products Act.

Additional information is available here.

Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area Petroleum Operations Framework Regulations; Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Area Petroleum Operations Framework Regulations

Published Date: 20 June 2022
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry, Water Transportation Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to introduce new rule frameworks governing offshore petroleum activities in the Canada-Newfoundland and Canada-Nova Scotia offshore areas. According to the government, these frameworks would align “requirements related to safety, environmental protection and resource management […] with international codes and standards and [codify] industry best practices” and establish a technology-neutral approach that would “allow operators (with the approval of the relevant Board) to use the best available technologies and/or methodologies”. The proposed regulations would notably:

  • “extend the application [of rules concerning applications for authorization or approval of offshore petroleum activities] beyond just drilling and production activities, to all regulated petroleum activities”, and “expand on the requirements of a plan for decommissioning and abandonment and [codify] the requirement for well verification schemes”;
  • “establish requirements around the use of spill-treating agents (STA) in responding to spills”;
  • “establish a new requirement that an applicant must develop, for the [relevant Petroleum Board’s] acceptance, a proposed Certification Plan that would identify the codes and standards the applicant proposes to use to meet the requirements of the regulations pertaining to the design, construction, and maintenance of installations”;
  • “require that equipment and materials used in conducting a geoscientific program, geotechnical program or environmental program are handled, installed, inspected, tested, maintained and operated taking into account the manufacturer’s instructions and industry standards and best practices”;
  • “establish new limits on venting, as well requirements related to compressors, leak detection and leak repair”;
  • “prescribe the technical and design specifications of the vessel [for diving] and any light dive craft from which the diving activity would be deployed”; and
  • “establish the clear obligation of the operator to ensure that risk is reduced to as low as reasonably practicable” and to “ensure that the installation, including its systems and equipment, is fit for the purposes for which it is to be used and can be operated safely without posing a threat to persons or the environment”.

To enact these changes, the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Installations Regulations, Newfoundland Offshore Area Petroleum Geophysical Operations Regulations, Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations, and Newfoundland Offshore Area Oil and Gas Operations Regulations with the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area Petroleum Operations Framework Regulations.

The Nova Scotia Offshore Area Petroleum Geophysical Operations Regulations, Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Installations Regulations, and Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations with the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Area Petroleum Operations Framework Regulations.

Additional information is available here.

Marine Safety Management System Regulations

Published Date: 25 June 2022
Industry Sector: Water Transportation Industry

The Government of Canada has announced its intention to modernize safety management system (SMS) requirements for Canadian vessels by expanding “formal SMS requirements to the majority of Canadian vessels, and foreign vessels operating in Canadian waters.” According to the government, the new requirements would:

  • “divide the Canadian fleet into five classes” based on vessels’ size, type, and operation, with each class being associated with varying levels of SMS and oversight requirements;
  • require a vessel’s ship manager to be responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining an SMS “that addresses the shore-based and on-board operations of the vessel”;
  • require “ship managers/ARs [authorized representatives] of vessels in Classes 1 to 3 [to] adhere to specific requirements of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, while those in Classes 4 and 5 would need to follow Canadian requirements based on the ISM Code”;
  • require certain classes of vessels to obtain federal approval, certification, and endorsement of their SMS;
  • contain transitional periods for compliance with new SMS requirements, based on vessel type and operation; and
  • require “foreign vessels [to] have a documented SMS to operate in Canadian waters, except vessels owned or operated by a foreign state and used only in government non-commercial service.”

The changes would be made by replacing the Safety Management Regulations with the Marine Safety Management System Regulations.

Interested parties may submit comments until 8 September 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Northwest Territories

Bill 52 – Elevators and Lift Act

Published Date: 31 May 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance, Other Industry

Northwest Territories could soon adopt new rules that apply to certain regulated products such as elevating devices, amusement rides, and passenger ropeways. The rules will also apply to certain regulated works and the workers performing them including the assembly, manufacture, construction, installation, testing, maintenance, repair, or alteration of regulated products. The new rules would notably “establish requirements for certificates of qualification, contractor licences, operating permits and other authorizations in respect of [certain] regulated work and [certain] regulated products,” require the registration of certain regulated products to a registry of regulated products and inspection of those products for registration purposes, and create certain prohibitions and offences relating to the regulated products and regulated works.

Additional information is available here.

United States

Federal

2022-2023 Station-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations

Published Date: 9 June 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing changes to hunting and sport fishing regulations. The changes would open two National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) for the first time and open or expand 17 other NWRs to hunting and sport fishing for the 2022-2023 season. Other changes would include “pertinent station-specific regulations for other NWRs that pertain to migratory game bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting, or sport fishing” and “increase access for hunters and anglers on Service lands and waters.” A list of the affected NWRs can be found here.

Interested parties may submit comments until 8 August 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification Improvement Rule

Published Date: 9 June 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its intention to revise and replace its “2020 regulatory requirements for water quality certification under Clean Water Act (CWA) section 401).” The changes would affect rules concerning pre-filing engagements, certification and waiver timelines, and rules for EPA-issued National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. According to the EPA, these changes will “update the existing regulations to be more consistent with the statutory text of the [original] CWA” and clarify, reinforce, and provide a measure of consistency for water quality certification.

Interested parties may submit comments until 8 August 2022.

Additional information on the proposed changes can be found here and here. The “2020 regulatory requirements” were announced here.

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program: Alternative RIN Retirement Schedule for Small Refineries

Published Date: 13 June 2022
Industry Sector: Chemical Industry, Oil & Gas Industry, Utilities & Communications Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is proposing an alternative renewable identification number (RIN) retirement schedule for small refineries for the 2020 compliance year under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. According to the EPA, the changes would introduce “a quarterly RIN retirement schedule by which a small refinery must comply with certain percentages of its 2020 RFS obligations.”

Interested parties may submit comments until 28 July 2022. EPA will also host a webinar on 28 June 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Airplane Fuel Efficiency Certification

Published Date: 15 June 2022
Industry Sector: Air Transportation Industry, Hardware Manufacturing Industry

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed “fuel efficiency requirements for [the] certification of certain airplanes.” Fuel efficiency would be “determined by the amount of fuel [an airplane] uses to travel a certain distance under prescribed conditions”, or the fuel efficiency metric (FEM). Airplanes would be required to calculate a FEM value; the two primary components of the FEM that would need to be certified are the specific air range (used “to represent the distance an airplane can travel per unit of fuel consumed”) and the reference geometric factor (“a representation of airplane fuselage size based on productivity or load carrying capability”). The requirements would apply to airplanes that are in service and no longer being produced and that are still being produced, large jet and propeller-driven airplanes produced under the new type certificates applied for after 11 January 2021, and small airplanes produced under new type certificates applied for after 1 January 2023.

Interested parties may submit comments until 15 August 2022.

Additional information is available here.

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Gasoline Distribution Technology Review and Standards of Performance for Bulk Gasoline Terminals Review

Published Date: 10 June 2022
Industry Sector: Oil & Gas Industry, Utilities & Communications Industry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed amendments to the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for gasoline distribution facilities and the standards of performance for bulk gasoline terminals. According to the EPA, the changes include:

  • revised “NESHAP requirements for storage tanks, loading operations, and equipment leaks”;
  • the introduction of New Source Performance Standards for loading operations and equipment leaks;
  • “revisions related to emissions during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction”;
  • new electronic reporting requirements for performance test results, performance evaluation reports, and compliance reports; and
  • revised “monitoring and operating requirements for control devices”.

Interested parties may submit comments until 9 August 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Enhanced Disclosures by Certain Investment Advisers and Investment Companies About Environmental, Social, and Governance Investment Practices

Published Date: 17 June 2022
Industry Sector: Finance & Insurance Industry

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed rules requiring certain financial entities to report on their environmental, social, and governance (‘ESG’) investment practices, which would apply to “registered investment advisers, certain advisers that are exempt from registration, registered investment companies, and business development companies”.. The new rules would notably:

  • establish “minimum disclosure requirements for any fund that markets itself as an ESG-Focused Fund, and [require] streamlined disclosure for Integration Funds that consider ESG factors {…] in investment selections”;
  • require funds to use a standardized language to tag their ESG disclosures;
  • require “certain ESG-Focused Funds [to] provide disclosures in their annual reports”; and
  • require ESG-Focused Funds to disclose “two greenhouse gas (‘GHG’) emissions metrics for the portfolio in such funds’ annual reports”.

Interested parties may submit comments until 16 August 2022.

Additional information is available here.

Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations for Data Elements Under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule

Published Date: 21 June 2022
Industry Sector: General Industry, Building Management & Maintenance

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its intention to amend greenhouse gas reporting rules. According to the EPA, the changes would:

  • revise “existing calculation, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements by incorporating updates to existing emissions estimation methodologies and providing for collection of additional data to understand new source categories or new emission sources for specific sectors”;
  • update “applicability estimation methodologies, [provide] flexibility for or [simplify] calculation and monitoring methodologies, [and streamline] recordkeeping and reporting”; and
  • “establish and amend confidentiality determinations for the reporting of certain data elements”.

Interested parties may submit comments until 22 August 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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